Within the vast country of Brazil is a state called Bahía. This area is about the same size as France and is one of the most-populated regions of the country. In this region, in the town of Sertaro Baiano, lives Pastor Antonio, his wife Veridiana, and their children.
When Antonio was invited to a seminar for Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM) and their program on More Churches and Stronger Churches, he jumped at the opportunity. As a leader in the Church of God, he invited a couple pastors to accompany him.
They were amazed at what they learned because, for some time, their denomination had tried to make progress in planting more churches. The result was only a few new churches and many closed soon after opening.
Church planting has not been easy in this area. In the religious realm, the Church faces a great challenge—even though people are open to the gospel, the traditional religious practices are deeply rooted into the culture and the people. Witchcraft is viewed as just another approved tradition and is an active part of the people's faith. This has made it difficult to work here and oftentimes very tiring as well, Antonio admits.
However, Antonio and other church planters in the area are aware of the spiritual resistance and it has helped them to see the need for the light of God in the darkness.
"The people need to know Christ and we need to push ourselves to reach them. We believe God will provide the resources to do this—we only need to begin the work and believe," Antonio says.
This is why Antonio is so excited to receive the training from MNM—they are given tools and a clearly marked path on how to plant healthy churches that will multiply themselves.
"We do not have money but we have faith and this will help us to grow quicker," says Antonio with complete conviction.