The cultural and contextual diversity of Saó Paulo creates an ideal training ground for ministry throughout Brazil, and throughout the world through missions. Students can be prepared for cross-cultural ministry within the many cultural and linguistic groups without ever leaving the city of Saó Paulo. Some of the descendants of these ethnic groups already speak the language and are familiar with the cultures of Europe, Africa, or Asia. Pastors and missionaries can be prepared for contexts of great poverty, or for reaching the middle or upper classes of society. Students learn to work with limited resources to plant churches and evangelize in any context of the world. The mixture of religions prepares them with experience to confront the various world religions and philosophies they will encounter in other nations. Thus, the diversity of contexts within the city serve to prepare workers for locations and settings around the globe.
Brazil is a country that has awakened to the missions vision. The potential of the young, dynamic, zealous ministers that God is calling forth will only be realized with adequate training for ministry. Theological and Missiological training are a vital part of missions strategy in order for the city named after “Saint Paul” to become a sending church for ministry among the nations.
John Hayes served as a career missionary in Brazil, living in Saó Paulo for many years.