Brazil is a country of great ethnic diversity. It is home to over 200 million people, and though the predominant language is Portuguese, there are many other languages represented. Some of the these languages include German, Spanish, French, Arabic, Italian, Japanese, Hebrew and English.
These language groups can be and often are quite large. To put it in perspective, the largest of these minority languages, German, claims more residents in Brazil than people living in Tennessee! A missionary from Germany could feel right at home in Brazil.
Clearly the idea of ministry to Brazilians solely in the Portuguese tongue is unfit for such a diverse land. In fact, it is much better to see the country as an opportunity to reach those who can then carry the same gospel message in their mother tongue to their homeland. Brazil is already ethnically and linguistically ready to reach the world–a sleeping giant that needs to be awakened.
The task of the missionary in Brazil remains itinerate church planting. It is his responsibility to take the light of Christ into the vast darkness of this country. Brazil has seen missionary activity since 1850 but the land is still filled with animism, spiritism, Catholicism and Charismatic emotionalism.
There are also thousands of indian tribes each having their unique way of living and speaking that are yet without the gospel. Many of these groups have never had any contact with the outside world. In fact, Brazil has the largest number of uncontacted tribes. And, there is evidence that hidden within the Amazon rain forest are tribes that have not even been discovered.
Recently, photos were taken of what was believed to be a newly discovered tribe. These controversial images are thought provoking. Exactly what does God want His people to do about such remote people groups? Is exploration still a necessity even in the modern world?