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The Mission: a Lifestyle

Renato Costa Carvalho Filho, 36, left his homeland, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, to serve as a missionary in Bangkok, Thailand, a bit more than a year ago.  

Before living out his new lifestyle, Renato had to struggle with substance dependence and failed business attempts. He did not even have money for a full course meal. After listening to a sermon, Renato accepted the missionary call. But, how would he be able to afford the initial costs of a trip to the other side of the world, the plane ticket, the visa, the passport, the language tests?  

He had been teaching English in different schools for many years, due to the fact that he had gotten a batchelor's degree in Education with a specialization in English. That is where he found his main possibility of action, in accordance with missionary vacant positions.

Being persistent in prayer, Renato was approved to work in an adventist school that serves high-income families which have but little contact with Christianity. Due to his finacial situation, traveling there seemed impossible; but miracles happen. In three months he already had all the documentation required; and in late 2022 he embarked on a new life.

"Many times I wondered how I would talk about Jesus to those people. I thought it was the poor who needed my work," stated Renato when remembering his challenge. On his very first work day he got his answer: he needed to live with Jesus. “I understood that I need to take care of my relationship with Christ, pray, study the Bible and walk with Him. Whether to go to work, to take the bus or to practice sports. If I am with Jesus, that is enough for other people to see Him,” highlights Filho.

A young lady saw him praying with his hands open to heaven and approached him to ask him about it. This way God opened doors for him to get closer to people with the message of salvation and overcome social differences.

When Renato decided to become a missionary, he had already been free of drugs and alcohol for nine years. But he was still searching for a purpose. And it turned out that he understood what that actually meant while he was the other side of the world, living out that experience. 

The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site. Read more at:


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