True Happiness in Dark Days

May 20, 2024 • Portuguese

Cover photo Jessie 1

More than 30 years ago, Jessie stood in her wedding dress, exchanging vows with her beloved Martin at an evangelical church. It marked the beginning of a journey filled with unexpected twists and important faith discoveries—a journey in which the Christian Reformed Church has played an important role.

Jessie grew up in the Roman Catholic tradition, but her faith in God and her understanding of Scripture were limited—as is often the case for many people in Brazil today.

"Many Brazilians say that the Catholic church feels like an institution rather than a community," said Pastor Hernandes Dias Lopes, ReFrame Ministries’ Portuguese ministry leader. Lopes is also the author of June’s Today devotional series, True Happiness.

In general, many Brazilians who consider themselves Catholic have very little to do with the church. They attend Mass on major church holidays but think very little about their faith or beliefs on a day-to-day basis.

When Jessie married Martin, her apathetic faith began to change. Both her loving husband and his family helped her see that church and faith could offer her more.

"It was here that Jesse found her spiritual identity, professing her faith and building a blessed family," Lopes added.

As part of the Presbyterian Church in Brazil, Jessie also had easy access to the programs offered by Luz Para o Caminho ("Light for the Path”), the shared media ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Brazil and ReFrame Ministries. This is a ministry that is only possible with support from Christian Reformed congregations and individuals.

Over the years, both Jessie and Martin listened to the programs, first on the radio and, in more recent years, on the internet. Lopes offered Jessie answers to some of her most challenging questions about the Christian faith. And then it became a lifeline in their time of greatest need.

Difficult News

In 2023, both Jessie and Martin received cancer diagnoses.

As the couple navigated the health and financial challenges that came with their devastating news—they faced three combined surgeries and 12 months of combined radiation treatments—they often found themselves exhausted and unable to attend church. Still, they knew they had somewhere to turn.

"I always follow your sermons on YouTube, and I am grateful that you bring the Word of God to so many places," Jessie testified. "Your videos gave me strength, increased my faith, and gave me joy and hope in the most difficult time of our lives!"

Beyond Herself

"By God's mercy," Jessie recently shared, both she and Martin are in remission.

"Their testimonies stand as a testament to God's unwavering love, his healing touch, and his ever-present grace," added Lopes.

Thank you for your prayers and support for ReFrame’s Portuguese media ministry as well as other language ministries that reach nearly every country.

“I have no words to express my gratitude to God and gratitude for your videos,” Jessie said. “I can't imagine people, countries, or places that don't have access to God’s Word.”

On June 26, you can join a special online event to hear more about how God is working in ReFrame’s Portuguese-language ministry. Visit this page to sign up for the live event or to sign up to receive the recording after it takes place.

Join the Portuguese Ministry