Brazil Mission Trip Report
JSAW recently sent a team of 7 riders to skate, serve and share the gospel in Brazil. We visited the cities of São Paulo and Curitiba. One of our volunteers, Marcel, grew up in Curitiba and helped Jonny lead our team.
The first portion of the trip was in São Paulo. We were actually scheduled to fly to Curitiba and then drive to São Paulo, but our plane was redirected through São Paulo. When we arrived our connecting flight to Curitiba was canceled, so the airline put us up in a hotel with 3 meals. It took awhile, since none of us speak Portuguese, but we made several friends getting it all figured out. Marcel drove up from Curitiba the next day to pick us up. We partnered with Skate House Brazil, a local ministry house that includes a mini ramp and a bowl. Each week they have skate sessions, Bible lessons and a church service. We went out street skating and met a few skateboarders who we invited to come to the Skate House Bible study the next night. The next day we visited a park in a rough part of town. There a guy came to the park searching for rolling paper to smoke a joint but instead we offered to pray with him. He said he was searching for a job and allowed us to pray with him. We also gave away a skateboard deck to a guy who needed one and handed out water. Another guy we met said he believed in God but was being oppressed by demons, so we prayed over him and invited him to the Skate House. That evening at the Bible study, Josiah and Phil shared their testimonies.
Sunday we visited another indoor skatepark in downtown. There were a number of pro riders at the park ripping around and it was fun to skate with them. We gave a deck to the shop there and asked the owner to give it to someone who needs it. He was very grateful and shared how there are many who are very poor. Another rider at the park broke his board and we were able to give him a new one as well. He was so excited! A new deck can cost $150-200 Brazilian dollars which is very expensive for them. Unfortunately Phil sprained his ankle skating.
Monday we drove 6 hours south through the hills to Curitiba. We partnered with Marcel’s church, Congrega, which also has a skate ministry and mini ramp in the church. We had a rest day touring around Curitiba and ate some Brazilian BBQ.
Tuesday we visited a school in the morning to demonstrate some skateboard tricks and Jonny and Phil shared the gospel with over 200 kids. So many prayed to accept Christ we couldn’t count. It was an incredible experience! In the afternoon we visited an outdoor skatepark and hosted an impromptu skate contest with some of the locals. We gave away skateboard decks, shared the gospel and invited the skaters to Congrega. That evening Jonny preached at the church on 1 John 2:6, what it means to walk like Jesus walked, and shared the gospel. 8 prayed to receive Christ!
Wednesday we planned to visit another school in the morning but it was rained out. So we visited an indoor skatepark. Again we hosted some impromptu skate contests for the locals, gave away some decks and shared about our hope in Christ. That evening Jonny got very sick.
Thursday morning Phil and Erik went to a Bible study and shared their testimonies. The rest of our team went to a school and got set up. When Phil and Erik arrived at the school, Jonny and Phil popped into a class and shared with the class. We then did 2 sets of demos, jumping over teachers and then Ben and Josiah shared the gospel with over 200 students. The response was again incredible! After each demo we would spend 20 minutes talking with the students as they would try out their English and we fumbled through google translate on our phones.
Friday we drove an hour and a half to the beach to surf. The contest we planned for the skatepark at the beach was rained out so the guys just surfed in the rain. At lunch we were able to pray with our waiter, for his family to follow God. Later that day, we went for a hike into to jungle and then drove back to Congrega church in Curitiba. At a rest stop, we were able to pray for a clerk who was having a rough week.
Saturday we visited a park and then in the evening Ryan preached at the church about limiting distractions and being focused on God. Sunday we were scheduled to leave early morning but our flight was pushed back to the evening. So we decided to go see a pro soccer match and that was pretty energetic! Our flight that evening out of Curitiba was delayed an hour and we then missed our connecting flight in São Paulo so they put us up in a hotel for 24 hours till the next flight was available which was one final test of our patience and trust in God!
The Brazil trip was incredible. We partnered with 2 skate ministries, visited over 10 skateparks, shared the gospel with over 500 people and saw so many respond to the gospel. Each of our team members were stretched and grew in their faith through the experience as well. Thank you for all your prayers and support. Please be praying for our partners as they continue the work of making riders into disciples in Brazil!