A grand vision for Brazil, carried out by its youth

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Human passion often is described in terms of fire or flames. “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire,” said the French WWI hero Ferdinand Foch.

If Carlos Calill Pires’ passion to see transformation in his country was a crackling campfire three years ago, today, it is a wildfire that cannot be contained. It leaps from person to person, like trees in a forest, electrifying communities and gaining momentum. The fuel that set it off was an encounter with DNA teachings in 2009.

“The DNA was an answer from God for our ministry,” says Carlos, a 27-year-old leader of the National Union of Christian Students (UNEC) in Brazil. “We realized that even our group had many Christian people without a biblical worldview. It means that we were working hard but with no great results, if we consider results as transformation of life.”

After hearing Darrow Miller speak at a conference in 2009, Carlos studied Discipling Nations, a book which continues to speak profoundly into the minds and hearts of God’s laborers worldwide. Then, he and some friends studied LifeWork, which examines how we glorify God with our daily tasks. “My life was so impacted that many concepts and ideas for UNEC were changed,” he says. “I realized that many efforts we had focused on were not effective.”

As a result, Carlos and his team contextualized the DNA teachings for their own UNEC community, requiring all UNEC leaders to be trained before beginning their work in society.
“I have a dream to see the church in Brazil discipling people to be agents of transformation in each area of Brazil,” Carlos says.

Taking it to the streets

“I can see churches nowadays worried to have a great number of people inside the temples,” says Carlos, “but they don’t worry to disciple those people in order to impact society.” To counter this, Carlos and his team equip other young people to use their professions to disciple their nation.

  • Teaching English >> While it is very expensive to study English in Brazil, knowing this language is a valuable asset. UNEC has built a partnership with a public school in the city of Belo Horizonte, selecting children from poor areas to receive top-quality education. “All the families selected to this project asked us why we do this,” says Carlos. “It is a great time to share love to the community!”
  • Discipling youth >> Through seminars and other trainings, youth learn how to practice biblical values in their homes and in civil society, choosing areas of the city to invest their gifts and start small projects.
  • Sports outreach >> 1,500 students at Christian schools learn about biblical worldview through two regional sports leagues.
Carlos’ group promotes sporting events to bring together students from various Brazilian Christian schools.

Taking it across the globe

The vision of Carlos and UNEC is so big that it busts through political borders. They are in the beginning stages of forming a Youth Leadership Exchange Program — a collaboration of Christian universities from several countries. Sharing ideas, debating global hot-button issues and critiquing each others’ work, these students of an ever-increasing global society will collaborate to become Christian leaders equipped for Kingdom work, whatever their professions may be.

Iron sharpening iron, the students will examine each others’ worldviews and form a solid web of next-generation leaders ready to transform their societies through the gospel.

Contact Carlos: E-mail cfpires1@yahoo.com.br

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