Following the guidelines in Acts |

TBC Staff

SAO PAULO (BP)--Scriptures, prayers and random thoughts -- scrawled in white ink -- cover the prayer room's black walls.

"For nothing is impossible with God."

"Whatever it takes."



"Show us your glory."

"Give us the nations."

"Use me."

The words reflect something big God is doing in Sao Paulo, Brazil -- population 23 million. The Christian students who wrote them share a vision for reaching Sao Paulo's 1 million university students for Christ.

Nearly three years ago, in the Sao Paulo neighborhood of Marajoara, IMB missionaries Chris and Melody Julian started "Igrega Zoe Marajoara" (Zoe Marajoara Church). Its members simply call it "Zoe," Greek for "abundant life."

"I never saw myself as a church planter, but God did," says Chris, whose background is in student and youth ministry. "We just took a leap of faith and said, 'Let's start this thing.'"

The Julians, from Memphis, Tenn., had tried to reach students through Bible studies on several Sao Paulo campuses. "But we never really saw any fruit," Melody says.

But at a conference in Moscow, God showed Chris how to reach people where they are. Afterward, the Julians and three Brazilian students began studying the Book of Acts. As they prayed about how to reach Sao Paulo's students, "God put it on our hearts to start a church in our home," Melody recounts. "So, with much fear and trembling -- because we didn't have a clue what we were doing -- we began Zoe. God has blessed beyond our wildest dreams."

[TBC: There are many efforts that begin with man's most "progressive" thoughts that never produce the fruit given to those who simply read the Scriptures and obey them.]