Rafael and Sarah Araujo are MAP Missionaries in British Columbia, Canada. The Araujos moved from Argentina to Canada in 2015 after feeling God’s calling to open a church and minister to Spanish and Portuguese speakers there.
In October 2015, Burnaby Born Again (BBA) church started meeting with weekly small groups at the Araujos’ apartment. The groups were held in Portuguese. From there, the church has continued to grow, moving locations multiple times to best host their congregation. In March 2017, BBA hosted their first baptism, where seven people were baptized. Currently BBA partners with Burnaby North Baptist Church, an English-speaking church, and shares a building with them. The building is big enough to host a children’s ministry and has room for the church to continue to expand.
Below is a short update of what the Araujos’ year has looked like and how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed, but not stopped, their ministry:
Wow! It's been a crazy year, hasn't it!? We had planned to reopen some of our small home groups soon and start to serve the surrounding community practically, but all of the doors have been closed to do so. From one day to the next, everything changes. Rafael lost his part-time job as a personal trainer, and our daughters spent the remainder of the school year studying from home when schools closed. Some families drew away from our church for different reasons: either they moved, changed jobs, or simply decided that they no longer wanted to attend church. We were left with a faithful group - a little over a dozen people who have persevered and understand that this is not the time to stop, but to persevere.
God's word for us is: Don't give up on 2020! We have held Bible studies and as a group intensified our Bible reading and our moments of prayer. We have affirmed our ties as a community of faith. We have studied and discovered more about the spiritual giftings that God has given us, which in turn has challenged us to continue praying and planning for what is coming in 2021. Certainly, we lean on the firm hope that the best of God is still to come. For the best to come, we need to stand firm and continue in the way that He has shown us. We tried to reopen the church but the cases of COVID here in our community mean that we have to wait a while longer. We must have patience, or in other words, walk in faith. Currently we are studying the Gospel of John together during the week (over Zoom) and transmitting our services live on Facebook, in Portuguese and in Spanish. Rafael is doing the translation simultaneously!
Since we cannot go out, we are crossing borders virtually. BBA has reached Latinos in Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey (different cities in Greater Vancouver) but also Nicaragua, the US, Brazil, and Poland! We are thankful to the Lord for this privilege.
We are thankful also to MAP churches for the partnership. Partnering with our brothers and sisters in Texas gives us the ability to continue reaching into the living rooms of Latinos and Brazilians around the world. Not only can we continue to multiply and disciple our leaders here at home, but we are reaching their families and friends in other countries. We are so thankful to all of you for your prayers and support and for walking alongside in this journey.
The Araujos are adopted by Cornerstone Mid County Church, Coastal Bend Fellowship, and Iglesia Bautista El Buen Pastor. For more information about the Missionary Adoption Program, our missionaries or ways you can be involved, please contact us at email@example.com.