Belo '97 Press Release

January 27-30, 1997
Belo Horizonte, Brazil

With an attendance of approximately 3,000 people, which overtaxed the capacity of the Lagoinha Baptist Church in Belo Horizonte, AD 2000 began the activities of its Joshua Project 2000 congress. The opening service was transmitted by closed circuit television to a large screen outside for those who couldn't fit in the church sanctuary. Many young people were turned away for security reasons, because of the over-crowding of the facility.

The Opening Service:

Marcelo Gualberto, Youth for Christ director for Brazil and coordinator of the Deborah Project, opened the service by presenting the Victors for Christ musical group from Sao Paulo who led a time of worship. A highlight was the presentation of the flags of Brazil and the State of Minas Gerais by the group Art and Life of the 3rd Presbyterian Church of Belo Horizonte. There was an audio-visual presentation of the Deborah Project, followed by a presentation on the project by Ana Maria Pereira. This was followed by a moment of prayer for the youth present by the mothers present. Special recognition was made of Paul Overholt, founder of Youth for Christ in Brazil, who had returned from retirement in the US for the event. Pr. Oswaldo Prado next introduced Pr. Luis Bush, who brought the opening message of the conference. The youth present were challenged to a commitment to Christian service, which met with a very positive response. Pr. Marcelo Gualberto prayed for all the youth and then ended the evening's activities thanking Pr. Marcio Valadao, pastor of the Lagoinho Baptist Church, for the use of the facilities.

The Participants:

According to information from the AD 2000 office, 240 people participated in the programs. The registrants included 157 men, 81 women and 2 children. The following countries were represented: Guatemala, Mozambic, Korea, Scotland, and the United States. Organizations represented included: World Evangelization Crusade, Youth with a Mission, VINDE, Trans-World Radio, The Independent Evangelical Mission of Brazil, The Association of Brazilian Cross-cultural Missions, and COMIBAM International. The following ministries of communication covered the event: The Hope and Life Radio Program of Londrina, and The Standard and The Commission news journals.

The Location of the Event:

The meetings were held in the Colonia Syllia Vellosso, SESC, BH, located in the Venda Nova district of Belo Horizonte, MG. The facilities were constructed in October of 1958, with 66 chalets and accommodations for 550 people. The total area is 718 square meters with full athletic and recreational facilities and a support staff of 35.

The plenary sessions were held in the theater/cinema SESC, with a comfortable seating capacity for 377 people. The theater also has a projection room with well-conserved antique projection equipment.

Regarding food consumption, 140 kg of rice, 64 kg of beans, 42 kg of noodles, 280 kg of fruits, 210 kg of meats, 100 kg of desserts, 12 kg of biscuits, 24 kg of cheese, 24 kg of ham, 48 kg of cakes, and 2400 rolls were consumed during the week.

The Support Team:

The support team for the event included youth and young adults from the Belo Horizonte churches who assisted Ana Paula Wedeman and Maurilio de Paula from Sao Paulo. All totaled, there were 14 youth involved in providing the support structure for the smooth operation of the event. The logistical team was led by Wilson Lopes Couto, Executive Secretary of AD 2000 in Brazil and Pr. Luiz Carlos Porto of the Blue Sky Presbyterian Church.

The Program

Beginning with an opening service where the Joshua Project of AD 2000 and Generation 97 of Youth for Christ met together at the Lagoinha Baptist Church on January 27, the meetings continued until January 29, with morning and evening plenary sessions being held in the main meeting hall. There were also afternoon study groups and recreation time. Basically, the day began at 7:00 a.m. and ended around 10:00 p.m.

Each day, a devotional meeting at 8:00 was led by Dr. Russell Shedd, director of New Life Publishers. The plenary speakers were: Dr. Russell Shedd, Pr. Ariovlado Ramos (Profile of the Brazilian Church), Pr. Geruza Rodrigues (A Perspective on the Role of Women in the Missionary Task), Pr. Bertil Ekstrom (The Process of Adopting People Groups), Pr. Oswaldo Prado (Commitment and Cooperation), Pr. Ricardo Gondim (The Mission of the Church in the Post-Modern Era), Pr. Antonio Carlos Nasser (The Adoption Process in the Local Church), Pr. Rudy Giron (The Latin American Missionary Movement), Pr. Ronaldo Lidorio (Cross-Cultural Missions from Brazil), and Pr. Jeremias Pereira (Consecration/Closing). In addition, all of the track leaders of the AD 2000 Movement in Brazil participated in work groups.

The Expositors:

The following organizations participated with stands in the exposition area: Iphata Productions, Gethsemani Baptist Church, Grace Community, Renovo Productions Ltd., VINDE Magazine, Wake up Deborah, Pr. Paulo (ex- Paulinho Bang Bang), LR Consulting, Residential Sauna Ltd., Brazilian Bible Society, Hope Publishers, Ultimato Publishers, MIAF(AIM Brazil), Horizons Mission, Brazilian Bethel Mission, New Tribes Mission of Brazil, Children Mobilization Track, Silio Photos, The Bible in Bytes, and CCI Brazil.

Broadcasting of the Congress:

Trans-World Radio transmitted the opening service and the morning and evening plenary sessions live to all of Brazil via short wave. The signal was transmitted to the studio in Sao Paulo via Embratel, the Brazilian telecommunications company, and then by satellite to their local transmitters in Santa Maria, RS. The audience response was very positive. This transmission was realized by Josi Eduardo Dias and Samuel Mattos of Trans-World Radio in cooperation with AD 2000.

Press assistance was provided by Marcia Helena Coelho Souza of Belo Horizonte and Josi Eduardo Dias of Sao Paulo with the collaboration of a team of volunteers.

Belo Horizonte, Jan 30, 1997
by Ted Limpic, OC International Missionary to Brazil
and Larry Kraft, OC International, Brazil

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2/24/97