Outreach Snapshot | Brazil

by Naphtali / Borderless Media Team Leader

If you happened upon this little town not knowing where you were, your senses would say Africa. Young Africans walk and bus around. The buildings are made of colorful concrete. Bananas grow plentiful on trees. Street food is sold in the city square. Motorcycles and cars co-exist on the roads.

But you’re not in Africa.

You’re in Northern Brazil!

Because Brazilians speak Portuguese, and certain African nations do too, the Brazilian government welcomes African college students from Portuguese-speaking nations to study at this university. Between their three country-wide campuses, there are about 6000 students total and out of those 6000, 1500 of the students are African.

Alexandre and Walquiria are Brazilian, and they moved to this town with their son Benjamin to reach out to African students with the good news of Jesus. They serve with Borderless. After a time, they saw the need for students to have a study space, a place where they could leave their crowded apartments behind and come study in quiet. They rented the apartment beneath their house and set it up as a study space. Sometimes they also teach mini-courses here and feed the students a meal.

African students see teachers as parents, so stepping into the role of ‘teacher’ gives this family a unique opportunity. Some students are already believers and get teased for it, so Alexandre and Walquiria have opportunity to disciple and counsel them. Other students are yet to know Jesus, giving Walquiria and Alexandre the chance to share the gospel with them. Many of these students are from Guinea-Bissau, a country where Alexandre and Walquiria served for several years.

Come with us as we experience what it’s like to visit this Brazilian university town.

Angolan students pose for a picture on campus.

Brazilian and African students spend time at the campus snackbar.

This sweet family was one of the first contacts that Alexandre and Walquiria made after they moved to town.

These buses take students to and from the university.

While we were in town, Angolan students on campus held various events in honor of their country’s independence day. During this particular event, students volunteered to take part in a little visual lesson.

At the main Angolan Independence Day celebration at the end of the week, students performed beautiful songs.

“He’s part African,” Walquiria said of Benjamin, who spent the first years of his life in Guinea-Bissau. A bit before this photo was taken, he was busting out some dance moves at the Angolan Independence Day celebration.

Alexandre, Walquiria, and Benjamin outside the student study space.

Alexandre teaches students from Guinea-Bissau in the study space.

Next door to the study space lives a family who owns a little parrot.

The view from Alexandre and Walquiria’s dining room looking out at some coconut trees.

A church near one of the university’s campuses.

A Brazilian man waits to taxi people around town.

A painted, tiled building near the study space.

Interested in getting involved in this ministry? This student outreach team is looking to grow! Click the button to learn more.