The Commons Two Worlds, One Mission by Smirna Lezcano
Through the help and connections of Dr. Franca Valdir, an experienced Brazilian pastor who is now Supervisor of RCA Mission in the Americas, a group of Western Theological Seminary students made an intercultural immersion trip to Brazil this past May.
While visiting Brazil with nine fellow students and two professors I was immersed into one country but two different worlds: the city and the forest. We spent our first five days in the city of Manaus, and the last five days Smirna hugs Jemely from the Amazon village of Itacuachara. traveling by boat on the Rio Negro (black river) into the Amazon forest. In the city we met several pastors and leaders of the Presbyterian When morning came, the clouds were so big Church of Manaus (IPM) who it seemed like we could reach out and touch spoke passionately about their them. I had not known what to expect in Smirna Lezcano vision for the church and mission. the Amazon forest. All of creation expressed I found myself wanting to learn God’s glory, and each day ended with a Senior year student, Master of Divinity more about IPM’s emphasis marvelous sunset. It was phenomenal. Program on discipleship and leadership We traveled with doctors and dentists development. We visited family from IPM. Every day brought us to a different groups and church plants to hear village as people came down to the boat to testimonies of what God has been doing in their congregations and receive medical and dental assistance. I loved communities. God is very active with the church in the city. being able to serve alongside our Brazilian Before I knew it, we were on the J.J. Mesquita slipping through brothers and sisters as we engaged with the water under the night sky. I looked up in amazement at the stars. the ribeirinhos—the people who live in the (cont.)
A PUBLICATION OF WESTERN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY