Credible Faith

Learn about the Mission to Brazil

Paul shares about the desire to be an evangelist for people in the North and South American continents.

Text Publication: December 26, 2014

Author(s): Paul Larson

To persons interested in supporting the spread of the gospel and the strengthening of the Christian church in South America,

Though my central area of ministry will be in the English-speaking world, I have long had a desire to reach non-English linguistic communities with the gospel, and it is my hope and desire to be fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese such that I could be an effective evangelist and apologist for at least almost all of the North and South American continents. After finishing the PhD program, I had a number of video recording sessions in which I recited word-for-word from memory at least almost all of 1 Peter and Galatians in Portuguese and of Philippians in Spanish. Why those recording sessions? Languages can be very hard, and without those videos people might have a significant amount of skepticism concerning my ability to achieve that goal of fluency in those three languages. Such skepticism would be understandable, both for English speakers who might be potential supporters of Credible Faith and for South American pastors and ministers who might consider having me minister at their church. With languages, as with many other things, showing is better than telling, and video from those sessions is now available on the Credible Faith YouTube channel such that others can see at least some of my capacity to speak Spanish and Portuguese. I would hope that a typical viewer would come away with the impression that I have already achieved a quite advanced stage in Spanish and Portuguese.

But why Spanish and Portuguese? First, because there is a great need for competent and well-trained apologists and evangelists in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds. English speaking communities are blessed with an abundance of literature in Biblical studies, theology, apologetics, philosophy, and other fields. Further, the general level of education, at least in the US, is often far above that of many people in Spanish and Portuguese speaking communities, and frequently so is the Biblical literacy. Second, because Spanish and Portuguese are the two foreign languages in which I have made the most progress and feel most comfortable. Third, because, even if I were to limit my ministry to the US, the Spanish speaking population in the US makes it profitable to be fluent in Spanish, and Spanish and Portuguese are so similar that making progress in one means progress in another, and vice-versa. Fourth, because, despite the far larger number of Spanish speakers in the US than Portuguese speakers, I have a greater love for the Portuguese language than Spanish, find it easier than Spanish, and have made much further progress in Portuguese than Spanish.

With these considerations, I desire to be an intellectually rigorous apologist and evangelist for at least almost all of the North and South American continents. Outside the US, though, and in light of my affinity aptitude for Portuguese, Brazil is and will be my first target and also the place where I will likely do the most ministry in South America. My hope would be to make two ministry trips to Brazil in a typical year, staying for multiple weeks on most trips and even teaching at a seminary or school on some trips.

I have already had Skype conversations with a number of Brazilians, but it does not hurt to enlist the help of others. If you know of Brazilians who could provide help during my times in Brazil or create opportunities for me to minister in Brazilian churches or universities, or even people who would be interested in helping defray some of the cost of such trips, feel free to get in touch with me.


Paul Larson

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