Posted by: calloftheandes | May 22, 2009

Goal: The Gospel’s Impact in the Third Generation

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating” was a message that set a high standard.davejSM

“The test of ministry,” former HCJB Global President David Johnson told missionaries at the 2003 Annual Members’ Meeting, “is not so much what happens in the lives of the people to whom you and I minister, but what happens in the lives of those they minister to.”

Borrowing from family life, Johnson (pictured in file photo) said parenting skills are not as much reflected in the children, as in the grandchildren. His message, emphasizing discipleship as well as evangelism, came several years before HCJB Global missionary Allen Graham had met Cirenio in a remote area of Brazil.

Cirenio is the grandson of one of the first Christian converts among the Terena Indians of Brazil through the work of Henrique Whittington. In the third generation, the passion hasn’t become insipid or died. “Talking to Cirenio, one senses his passion to see the gospel enter the surrounding tribes,” Graham said.

In addition to the Terena, there are Kayapó, Trumai, Panará, Xingu and Kayabí who inhabit the area, totaling some 3,000 people. Bible translation is being done, and two groups have the New Testament in their language. Cirenio belongs to UNIEDAS Indigenous Mission which has a goal to “evangelize the indigenous and prepare them to reach out to other indigenous.”

“Seeing radio as an effective way to build up believers among his own tribe and especially in order to reach out to the surrounding people groups, Cirenio applied to the National Foundation for Indian Affairs (FUNAI) for a community FM license,” said Graham, who recently trained people of the area in radio production. A license was granted in February.

  • A number of years ago, Cirenio and other Terena Indians left their immediate family to move north when the Brazilian government provided additional land to their tribe.

    When even more land was opened up, Cirenio and his family moved again—and sacrificed greatly—as they cleared land for huts and meeting places. Why? Because from this new location, the six tribes can be reached. Graham became involved after missionary Larry Buckman had referred Cirenio to the HCJB Global radio training team, and in early 2008 the first such training session was held.

    Cirenio and his wife, Cicera, have two children of their own, but they have also taken in a number of other young men and women to disciple and prepare for ministry. This process sometimes begins by teaching Portuguese—Brazil’s national language—as some of these young people only speak their indigenous tongue. They are being prepared to return to their tribes, taking with them the good news of Jesus Christ in their heart language.

    Cirenio and Cicera with 8 boys from 3 tribes

    An engineering study is underway to determine details of the broadcast license, while HCJB Global engineers will prepare the equipment recommendation for the new station and launch a special project campaign to raise the needed funds.

    “The same passion that allowed his grandfather to survive persecution without giving up his faith now drives Cirenio and his family in their ministry,” Graham said.


    1. […] Terena are also passionate about reaching other indigenous groups via radio. Presently, three tribal groups are pursuing licensing through the Ministry of […]

    2. […] is key as Graham works across a gamut that includes both experienced staff and raw new volunteers. Some have never stepped into a studio […]

    3. […] represents Brazil’s indigenous tribes that have reached out to surrounding groups. The Amazon region believers see their mission field as the 121 groups that remain unevangelized. […]

    4. Thanks for the great write-up on what God’s doing in and among our brothers and sisters in the region. To God be all the glory and honor!

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s


    %d bloggers like this: