Go to the People

Reed Hoppe

Reed Hoppe

By Reed Haigler Hoppe –

I have served with The Mission Society for nearly a decade. One of the things love most about my job is having the opportunity to hear what God is doing around the world. From my little desk in the United States, I get to write about people whose lives have been transformed by Christ in South Sudan, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Peru, and dozens of other countries.

At The Mission Society, we allow our missionaries the freedom to pursue the call God has placed on their lives. We train them to go to the people, discover where God is moving, and join him in mission. Each of our missionaries has different ministries as they have discerned how God can use them on their particular field. These ministries range in diversity from drilling clean water wells to rescuing special needs children.

A few months ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Gustavo Faleiro about the new church he and his wife planted in Paris, where they serve as cross-cultural witnesses through a collaborative relationship between The Mission Society and a Brazilian missionary sending agency. The Faleiros have embraced the training they received at The Mission Society and have met Parisians where they are and introduced Christ to them in culturally appropriate ways.

Gustavo and Dalila are originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where Gustavo served as a pastor and musician.

The Faleiros arrived in Paris three years ago to work with La Fonderie, a ministry of The Mission Society. La Fonderie’s purpose is to reach French people for Christ by encouraging, inspiring, and discipling Christians working in the arts and creative professions.

“Dalila and I spent the first three years of our ministry in Paris meeting artists, connecting with people, and sharing Jesus with others,” said Gustavo.

“I met a painter several months ago who invited me to his house for a jam session. I played the piano and he painted and we started to build a friendship. He is involved with drugs and different women. After we had been hanging out for about a month, he found out I was a Christian. He told me, ‘If I had known you were a Christian, I never would have invited you over to my house. I hate Christians. I hate church. I hate those kinds of people.’

“However, because of the friendship we had previously built, we kept spending time together. Now he calls me his pastor and asks me to pray for him about different issues. We have had a lot of discussions about faith and Jesus.

“One day, he invited a bunch of artists over and I was playing music and they were doing art, dancing, and just hanging out. After a while he said, ‘Hey, this guy is a pastor. He wants to talk to you about Jesus.’ They all started hiding their drugs when he said that. I had the opportunity to share the gospel with them, and several of those people are now in a small group with me.”

“Dalila and I were discipling people long before we directly shared the gospel message with them. As they sought to know more about Jesus, we found that they did not want to go to a church. They felt that we were already their faith community,” Gustavo said. “That’s why we decided to start a church. We wanted a community of faith for the people who were already involved in our lives and ministry.”

Eglise Bonne Nouvelle is just a few months into existence, but already the Faleiros are seeing fruit. Around 200 people attended the first worship service. A special event with Paul Baloche, a Christian musician, attracted 700 people. Each Sunday, 50-70 people attend the church.

“A sense of family beginning to grow in the church. People are developing relationships, praying for one another, and supporting each other,” Gustavo said. “Many people want to know more about Jesus, his kingdom, and his Word.”

I am so thankful for families, like the Faleiros, who are introducing Christ to people who don’t know him. I am thankful the transformation that I see taking place because our missionaries have gone to the people, lived among them, and introduced the hope of Christ to a hurting world.

Reed Haigler Hoppe is The Mission Society’s associate director for communications and is an ordained deacon in the Alabama-West Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church.

 

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