Kyle Fox is a missionary to Brazil and is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Christian Education at Calvary Chapel University. Kyle and his family are serving the Lord in Belém, Brazil. Belém (the Portuguese word for Bethlehem) is a large city on the mouth of the Amazon, approximately 100 km upriver from the Atlantic Ocean. In August of 2015 Kyle, Krista and their two boys Aidan and Liam moved to Belém to establish a Bible teaching church and serve the city.
The Fox family have been very hands on and practical in their approach to integrating themselves with the culture of the city. Kyle and Krista were both very interested in learning the language and cultural practices before leaving, and although they are not yet completely fluent, they were very prepared for the mission! When asked about their approach to sharing the Gospel in Belém, Kyle said: “Our ministries are mainly urban, think inner city ministry. We started our evangelism work initially by attending open air parties on the weekends in parks downtown. Mostly college aged people would be at these parks, socializing, drinking and some would be using drugs. My translator and I would walk around the park praying, and then we would approach a group or an individual. The strategy we started with was this: my translator Kaue would approach and say that he has an American friend that wants to talk to them. American culture is quite popular among most Brazilians, so they were often very receptive to allow us to join them in conversation. I would begin by explaining to them why I was living in Belém. We would usually ask if they understood the Gospel message and then we would ask them to explain it to us. Normally we would hear that you have to obey the law/rules to be saved. We would share the gospel in simple terms, then discuss. We would then pray with them. Another strategy that we found very effective was using “connecta” cards at these open-air parties. We would have a team who would either hang these cards on strings or lay them on the ground. Connecta cards are post cards with random photographs of landscapes, people, nature and buildings. People would notice us, and they would often approach us to find out what we were doing. We use the cards to begin a conversation. We would ask them to choose three cards that explain their lives today. Then to choose a card that explains their goals, then choose a card to explain their concept of God, then a card to explain their idea of how they relate to God. As we go along with these cards, people are usually very quick to share their hearts. After they have had time to share their hearts with us, we are able to share the gospel in a way that can connect with what they had shared with us.”
Kyle and Krista have also been very intentional with their use of technology. “We use social media quite heavily here. We use these platforms to keep people informed and to encourage people to get involved in our ministries. We stream our church services each week so that people who can’t make it to church can still join us.”
A huge part of establishing an effective missionary outreach is to build a team of devoted, indigenous believers that are committed to the work and to each other. Kyle shared about their strategy to build these relationships: “One of the ways that we have modeled and taught our faith is in our honesty and openness. We invite people into our homes, we focus on creating relationships with people, spending quality time with them. Rather than coming here and trying to show them how to do church and ministry, we try our best to love the people that we have around us and ask God to grow the church and the ministry this way. They know that we don’t have all the answers, but they also know that we truly care about them. We have focused on being family. We have tried to make the environment of the church building even feel like a home rather than what people think of as a church.”
In addition to creating a welcoming, family culture, Kyle has been laser focused on providing quality teaching to those who have become a part of the church family. “Our strategy for teaching is to teach the Bible in an expository way, within context, verse by verse, chapter by chapter. This was a foreign concept in our area. Once people were exposed to this kind of teaching, they realized that it satisfied a hunger that they didn’t know they had.”
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