Rick and Deanna Bergen - Missionaries in Brazil (1993 - Present)

Todd Rutkowski, Mar 19, 2022, 4:13 PM
Todd Rutkowski National Catalyst of Vineyard Emerge
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Rick and Deanna Bergen have been missionaries in Brazil since 1993, and for the past 7 years, they have been helping people learn to share the gospel through Discovery Bible Studies. They have also been helping people connect to Jesus through Immanuel Prayer. Their goal is evangelism among the unchurched, leading to sustainable churches. Here is a recent story from a young pastor:

I got to know a family during my first funeral experience as a pastor. The family asked to borrow our building to host the memorial. I had no experience with how to handle the situation. I gave them our facility and got to know the family. Let me tell you what happened; it was so crazy.

During the funeral service in the church, the family invited me to share something. The next day they asked me to share a message at their home, after the meal, with the widow, children, and extended family. A large group came to this memorial meal, and they were all in deep pain. I did not know what to do because no one in the group identified as a Christian. They did not know me, and they didn't know our church. Moreover, they were in such great pain. I took a risk. I decided to do a huge Immanuel Prayer with the whole family and everyone at the memorial meal. Remember, this was the day following the burial of a significant person in their family. With the Immanuel Prayer, the family members started to remember good things this beloved father, brother-in-law, etc., had done. People began to share their memories. The Immanuel Prayer did not remove their pain, but it transformed them. They began to share their memories of the man who passed away.

One of the memories was how the man who died loved to eat pork. When I heard this, I told the group, "Since this man loved to eat pork, I will go out and buy some, and I want to come back on Tuesday to eat it with you." They agreed. Tuesday evening, after our meal together, the family expected me to say something. I did an impromptu Discovery Bible Study without them even knowing what it was. They loved it and invited me back for another study. Within three weeks, because of Immanuel Prayer and Discovery Bible Studies, we added eight people from this family to our church!

I was thinking, "What kind of a supernatural, simple method is this for connecting people with Jesus?" One of the young people of the extended family came to me and said, "My dad wants me to get married in this church. I am still underage, but I want to start participating now as a member so I will be ready when I am of age." I was amazed. Eight people! Eight passionate new church members came from one Immanuel Prayer and three Discovery Bible Studies. I was talking to Jefferson about this. I am ready to do another training conference with our congregation later this year. At our first training conference here in AnapĂș, Immanuel Prayer and Discovery Groups never really caught on. I do not know why. These methods are powerful and simple. Through them, people can get healed and introduced to Jesus in a form that is not religious. I am so pumped! If I could have three of these situations I just experienced per year, I could fill half the chairs in my church with people who are passionate about Jesus!

I am excited to learn more about how to minister this way.

Immanuel Prayer is a way to help people recognize that Jesus is always with us and to develop a personal connection with Him.

Discovery Groups or Discovery Bible Studies are part of the evangelistic strategy of Disciple Making Movements (DMM) are a way of helping unbelievers develop a direct personal connection with God. One city church out on the Amazon River just told us they now have 163 active Discovery Groups in their region!

Healthy neighborhood churches are the best way to help marginalized communities because in this sustainable environment people learn to celebrate Jesus and work out their faith together.

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