HERALD INTERNATIONAL (Printing In Over Twenty Languages)
Portuguese Herald Pressing On!
Herald of His Coming (HOHC) is pleased to share with you from recent correspondence with Chris Walker (CW), editor of Arauto Da Sua Vinda (Portuguese Herald). It has been our privilege to work with Brother Chris for about twelve years as he produces the Arauto in Brazil, South America. Please join us as he brings us up-to-date on this God-blessed ministry.
HOHC: What is the circulation, frequency, audience, etc. for Arauto Da Sua Vinda (Portuguese Herald)?
CW: We have been printing 13,000 copies an edition, but next edition we will increase that to 15,000. The Lord opened a door for us to get a lower price, (we will pay less for the 15,000 than we have been paying for the 13,000), and we will thus have more copies for bulk orders and distribution to new potential readers at events, like conferences, etc.
We publish an edition every other month. We are a little behind schedule right now, but we have been able to put out six editions a year. We are presently working on two editions, so we can bring that up-to-date.
The number of individual people on our mailing list is close to 6,000. Then we have quite a few bulk orders, and some churches that get a larger amount. So about 10,000 to 11,000 go out in the mailing and we keep a few to be able to send new subscribers who want back copies, or for distribution.
Besides the main quantity that goes to readers all over Brazil, we send copies to readers in the United States (about 100 altogether, including a couple bulk orders), Angola in Africa (about 20), Portugal (10) and a sprinkling to other European countries, South America, Canada, Mexico, other African countries and Israel.
HOHC: What are your hopes for the future of the Portuguese Herald?
CW: My main goals would be for the work to
be fully supported by the readers themselves, and to reach many more areas and
churches throughout Brazil and other Portuguese speaking countries (we have very
few contacts in Portugal at present). Results cannot be fully measured by
numbers. We desire to see true, lasting fruit in peopleís lives, realizing of
course that many results will never be known to us.
HOHC: Please tell us who shares with you in the Arauto ministry, and handles the various responsibilities.
CW: At present, the people involved are:
Marilene Camargo, a married woman, who takes care of correspondence, the mailing
and filling orders; Eliane P‚ntano, a single girl, who goes to college, but also
helps with the office work; my son Andrť (14) and nephew, Esdras, who do the
computer layout work before sending the paper to the printer; and Jesus Ourives,
a retired, elderly brother, who helps with bank work, and correcting the
translations and articles. He has a lot of experience with editorial work.
HOHC: Have you received any response from having the Portuguese edition on the website?
CW: We get quite a few responses from the site, especially new names for the mailing list. Every day, we get several new names, people who have filled out the form on the site. Some also send messages, comment on the articles they have read, ask for prayer, etc. Many people who do not get the printed papers read the articles on the website, especially people from other countries.
HOHC: Could you give us a brief overview of the current conditions in Brazil and in the church in Brazil?
CW: The political and economical situation is relatively stable right now. There is no great crisis, in the sense of unrest or turmoil. However, there is a great deal of misery and poverty in the area we live in, but much more in other parts of the country. There is a high level of unemployment. The scenario of poor people leaving the rural area and crowding the big cities has been very positive for the growth of the evangelical churches. As the people leave their traditional homes and family settings and find economical and family problems in the urban centers, they tend to be more open to the Gospel. However, the Gospel they find has been very man-centered; there is very little Bible teaching, seeking God, repentance, deep conversions, etc.
So the number of evangelical Christians has grown tremendously over the last two decades, and continues to grow. It has made an impact on society in the sense that evangelical Christians are now noticed more, they are present in politics and other sectors of society. However, the level of testimony or true witness to the world is very unsatisfactory. Few people see any real difference between Christians and non-Christians. Although numbers of people have been converted, the conversions many times have been superficial. But there is a tremendous potential for a move of God as many are open to the Gospel and hunger for more. Brazilians have a strong spiritualistic and mystical tendency, and are open to spiritual things, but this can also open the doors to other spirits and occult religions.
HOHC: What special problems or challenges are you experiencing in the Arauto?
CW: Shortage of funds, and labor to get
the job done for each edition by the deadline. We also would like to have more
help in answering the letters and e-mails. Sometimes we get behind in that, so
that not everyone gets a prompt response!
HOHC: What are some prayer needs for Brazil and for the Arauto, and for your family and yourself?
CW: There is a tremendous need for people here to really know the Lord, to hunger after reality, to go deeper than the average level of going to church, singing lively worship songs, hearing a message and going home. Many people donít even know there is much more than what they are experiencing. We have been especially burdened to see a much deeper prayer ministry raised up in many places.
Personally, and in the literature ministry here, I would like to see this prayer ministry growing right here. We pray together as a ministry team, but it is very limited so far. I would like to find real prayer partners so that we could develop this calling in a more practical way.
My wife may be able to retire from her banking job in a year or so, and I have been able to sell my English teaching business, so we see this as an opportunity God is giving us to dedicate ourselves more fully to the ministry. However, we need Godís direction and provision for this to come to pass.
My three children are ages 17, 14 and 11, the oldest is in college. My prayer is that each one will find his or her place in Godís plan and dedicate his or her life wholly to His work, whether doing secular work at the same time or not. We have a great desire to reform a run-down house we own to become our permanent literature ministry quarters and that some or all of the family would be involved in the ministry together. My 14-year-old son is already working a few hours a day, learning how to do the computer page layout work, so that is a good start.
HOHC: Is there anything special you would like to say to those who offer prayer support and/or financial support for your ministry?
CW: We are very grateful to all who hold us up in prayer. It is a tremendous battle. There are many difficulties, within and without, so we do need prayer at all times. Financial support is also still very necessary, as we get only about 10% of our expenses from local offerings.
The Portuguese Herald ministry relies heavily on financial help from the U.S. Herald office. If you would like to offer support for the Portuguese ministry, you may designate your giving accordingly when you write to Herald of His Coming, P.O. Box 279, Seelyville IN 47878 USA.
See News and Prayer Briefs for testimonies from Portuguese Herald readers.