Missions fair to offer ‘passport’ to glimpse ministry around globe


Photo provided

GREENFIELD — Watch how a Brazilian brickmaker makes bricks at his factory. Find out how to count in Portuguese. Make a bracelet while learning about Tanzania.

Organizers of an annual Christian missions event in Greenfield are adding a missions fair to the evening, serving up kid-size lessons about the countries of the world — alongside helpings of rice and beans.

World Renewal will have its annual celebration, which this year starts with a missions fair, from 5:30-8 p.m. Oct. 18 at Brandywine Community Church in Greenfield.

From 5:30-6:30 p.m., everyone can meet missionaries and mingle among 16 booths highlighting ministry in countries such as Brazil, Burundi, Haiti and Tanzania. There’s also a booth about countries where persecution is more prominent, as well as one about living on mission in the United States. There will also be booths about child sponsorship and using sports as a bridge-builder to share one’s faith.

Children visiting the missions fair can receive a “passport” to be stamped as they visit different booths.

Rice and beans will be served at the missions fair — “the food our missionaries and missionary kids are eating frequently around the world,” said Rachel Ferguson, head of publications for World Renewal.

She hopes the interactive nature and kid-friendliness of the missions fair will make the celebration accessible for everyone, in that lessons boiled down to child-size bites are often more easily digested by adults, too.

“My goal is just … making missions more accessible, making missions more understandable,” she said.

After the missions fair, the celebration shifts to a worship service with an international flavor. Children from several congregations will help share worship songs in multiple languages.

The 2019 celebration speaker, who ministers in a sensitive area of the world, will be back as guest speaker. Gary Wright, founder and president of World Renewal, said the speaker does a good job of offering audiences insight into ministry, especially in such a context.

“It was such a good event before, and I felt like she really communicated well,” Wright said. “She has a very positive, overcoming story that hasn’t ended.”

The celebration will include updates from countries World Renewal serves. It’s been a year of celebration for the missionary organization, whose headquarters is east of Greenfield. Wright said at least 43 new churches have been planted in those countries during 2023.

A particular point of celebration this year has been celebrating 30 years of partnership in Brazil. Several local churches and organizations — Brandywine, Brookville Road Community Church in New Palestine, Living Streams Community Church in McCordsville and Hope Center Indy — sent people to Brazil for the celebration earlier this year. A team put on Vacation Bible School at three churches, and an anniversary celebration service drew about 500 worshipers.

“It’s humbling and inspiring to be connected with people so devoted to sharing Jesus with those who don’t know him,” Greg Ruble, lead pastor of Living Streams, wrote in an email. “We saw with our own eyes the gospel fruit from years of faithfulness and perseverance.”

Pastor Tele Moraes said, by telephone from Brazil, that 37 community churches have been planted in northeast Brazil over those 30 years. More recent ministry milestones there include the 2022 purchase of a 7-acre campground.

He remembers a camp that set his own spiritual journey in motion.

“Forty-five years ago, a swimming pool was one of the things that attracted me to a Christian camp,” Moraes said. “I had never swum in a swimming pool in my life. … That’s the first time I heard the Gospel, going to that camp. (Before that) never heard that Jesus died for me, my personal sins.”

Now a pastor and church planter leading World Renewal Brazil, he’s amazed by all that’s unfolded over the decades. “It’s just beautiful to see the hand of the Lord orchestrating the whole thing, always,” he said.

He plans to be at the celebration in Greenfield, as he has been a number of times in the past.

“It’s just beautiful to go and meet my brothers and sisters,” he said. “It’s a time of refreshment … I come back to Brazil with my tank full…

“I love to hear stories of what the Spirit of the Lord is doing around the globe.”


When: 5:30-8 p.m. Oct. 18

Where: Brandywine Community Church, 1551 E. New Road

Featuring: mission fair with booths, rice and beans; international worship with updates from Christian ministry around the world; dessert after worship

Information: https://www.worldrenewal.org/events.html



churches planted during 2023 in countries World Renewal serves


year World Renewal was founded

33 to 50

percentage of countries World Renewal serves where persecution is prominent


authors who’ll have books available at the event; titles include “We Died Before We Came Here” and “Yes! Committed Beyond Choice, Even If …”


number of languages in which those gathered Oct. 18 will sing the song “God Is So Good”


number of countries World Renewal serves, across several continents