However, this familiarity delayed them from experiencing a genuine desire for missional living.
Junior’s parents were first-generation Christians who had departed from the widespread Roman Catholicism of South America. They launched a ministry in Sáo Paulo, where Junior enjoyed helping out with music and the youth. Despite hearing his father’s sermons every Sunday, he maintained a self-righteous view toward the gospel, not fully comprehending the wickedness within his own heart.
It wasn’t until Junior attended a summer camp in middle school that he finally realized his desperate need for a savior to rescue him from his sinfulness. From that point on, Junior has felt the Lord’s gentle hand pressing him to share this good news with others.
Bree grew up in a missionary family in Campinas, a municipality located outside the city of Sáo Paulo.
“Being a missionary kid [MK] was normal life to me. I was born into it, I didn’t choose it,” Bree said.
Bree viewed missions as a requirement more than a voluntary service. Her perceived lack of choice in the matter almost drove her away from ministry.
She had a change of heart after joining an ABWE missions trip to the Amazon rainforest. Witnessing other missionaries in action, who weren’t her parents, opened Bree’s eyes to the gospel in a fresh way. It was like she had taken a step back to look at the bigger picture and she finally understood her piece in the puzzle. Bree returned home with heightened senses, suddenly becoming more aware of the lack of missionary presence in Brazil.
Junior and Bree met at an event through mutual friends. Despite the long distance of living in different parts of Brazil, they began dating. Bree’s family moved to the US during her senior year of high school, and Junior eventually followed to pursue seminary and marry her.
Since then, they have been training to become missionaries, bent on returning to Brazil as long-term missionaries in the summer of 2021 to equip pastors, plant churches, and make disciples of Christ.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about the Souzas’ ministry here.