Dreams & Doors in Brazil
by Leon Mazin, Shavei Tzion Messianic Center, Tents of Mercy Network

By Leon Mazin

I always dreamed of going to Brazil. Most likely it started when I was a boy growing up in the Soviet Union, with cartoons, movies and books about the Amazon River and its uncharted jungles. I imagined myself wading through tropical rainforests, monkeys screeching all around while exotic birds flew overhead.

After moving to Israel, I had the opportunity to visit and teach in many countries: the United States and Germany, Japan and Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and Russia, Korea and Scandinavia. Though my English is not as fluent as I would like, I still get invited to share and I give it my best. I teach about Israel and the roots of our faith, hold seminars about "Tikkun Olam" (restoration of the world) and the prophetic biblical feasts. Occasionally I return to Israel with regrets, and at other times I am strongly inspired by my reception. People are the same everywhere, and every minister knows these two feelings. Sometimes one succeeds in conveying an idea, and sometimes it turns out that even the teacher doesn't understand fully what it was that he wanted to communicate. At least it is so in my case

Received with open arms
Throughout these many journeys, the thought of Brazil remained in my mind and my heart. And then the dream came true. Somehow ... mysteriously ... through email correspondence we received an initial invitation. I say "we" because I am not alone. On our team we have a brother from Brazil, who serves as an administrator/cantor, and also prepares children for their "Bar and Bat Mitzvah". With my insistence and his Portugese language skills we wrote to people in Brazil about the possibility of coming to teach, and in several places people responded. Perhaps it was hope combined with childish naiveté. But such a combination sometimes works out, and it is also called faith.

The plan was to go to Sao Paulo, Mines, Compino and Rio de Janeiro in 13 days! Huge cities and vast distances to cover. There were six to seven meetings planned, with the hope that there would be some free time to sightsee. But it worked out differently.

After the first meeting with the theme "Mishkan David - the Tabernacle of David", we received various invitations. Instead of ordinary meetings, we were invited to gatherings of dozens of leaders and pastors. Some of those who attended were "trans-national leaders" or apostles, enthusiastically accepting the word from Zion. Our hands were nearly "torn off" from so many handshakes. We felt blinded by the camera flash. (But we did not allow ourselves to become proud because of it.) We saw God opening the door!

Heartfelt prayer
The Word was received with such desire, intensity and interest. I have not seen this even when I served in my native language (Russian). We met many wonderful people, including Paulo and Nadia - servants at the national level - who became our guides and most importantly, became our friends. They were truly angels of God!

Brazilians express emotions even more freely than Israelis. However, it was not just emotions. The Holy Spirit was moving, and as it is written in the Scriptures, we were with them "in weakness and in fear and much trembling" (I Corinthians 2:3).

Well, my dream came true, though I spent more time in meetings than in the jungle. I look forward to seeing the fruit of our visit. In the meantime it is a worthy cause to pray for Brazil. Brazilians face many challenges - but also have an open heart for God, sincerity in their eyes and energy to pray. And in their hearts there is plenty of room for Israel! These are "foreigners" of whom Isaiah speaks in chapters 56, 60 & 61. With their prayers and hands they are ready to build up and repair the walls of Zion! Together with us they are preparing the way for the homecoming of our Messiah!

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