Attorney Déborah Cardoso is living a dream come true. In 2023, she is set to go and serve as a missionary in Lebanon and then in Egypt. There, she’s planning to spend several months of her life working in an educational project aimed at the community. “I must serve to be useful; if I don’t serve, I won’t be useful at all,” she says. “Participating in mission has always made sense to me.”
Cardoso is one in a group of 120 missionaries from the Brazilian states of Bahia and Sergipe who will be sent to serve in various regions of the world in 2023. The Pitcairn Project, as it has been called, is a response of the Adventist Church in that region to what others did when they left their countries so that the Adventist message could be spread throughout South America.
“As church leaders and members, we are partnering together to send young missionaries to various places around the world,” East Brazil Union Mission president André Dantas said. “For instance, Adventist businesspeople who cannot take a year off their business are contributing [funds] so that others can go. People who have few resources are also helping in some way. Everyone is involved.”
According to Dantas, this initiative reinforces the feeling that no one is alone in sharing the biblical message in each of their localities. It also awakens what could be called missionary awareness, because it is necessary not only to speak about Jesus where one lives but also to help elsewhere.
The group of young missionaries, who recently attended the Sixth I Will Go Convention at Bahia Adventist College, will serve under the auspices of Adventist Volunteer Service (AVS), which will connect them with their place of service. The regional church will help them cover the cost of passports, visas, and air travel, Dantas said.
Contribution to the World Mission
Sending young missionaries to places in need means that the focus of the Adventist Church is on the right place, Elbert Kuhn, AVS director for the General Conference of the Adventist Church, said. “Our church exists to fulfill the biblical mandate, which calls us to share Christ’s love. It also shows concern for young people, who at the most challenging moment of their lives are involved with something that will give them depth in their communion with God, abilities and skills in the emotional and professional area, and in their relationship with new cultures and languages.”
Kuhn pointed out that such an initiative also stresses the global nature of the Adventist Church. “It shows our appreciation for the new generations and that we have the same ideal around the world,” he said.
After participating twice in the One Year in Mission Project, which offers initiatives in the areas of health, social development, and Bible teaching, Jeferson Silva thought of taking a step further: he decided to take the entrance exam required to study theology. At the same time, Silva received an invitation from his local pastor in Ilhéus, Bahia, to be a missionary in another country. “I am passionate about it: bringing the Word of God to people. I eventually found out that the entrance exam would take place on the same day as the I Will Go Convention, and that I had to make a choice. My heart already knew where I wanted to go,” he said.