Below is an inspirational testimony of my brother’s life which he wrote before he passed away. He had sent it to be published but because of the number of letters coming in, the persons only now received it years after his death! – Jancel Mater
My experience as a volunteer missionary taught me firsthand that God doesn’t call the perfect but makes perfect those He calls.
I’d come to Porto Allegre, Brazil, to teach English, and one of my responsibilities was to host a class in the community that would help lead my students to Jesus. Before I started my mission service, I hadn’t seen the connection between teaching a language and sharing Jesus, so I decided to pray that God would guide me and bless my ministry.
Within the following weeks things began to change dramatically, but not the way I wanted. The number of students in all my classes began to dwindle, and my largest class of 20 students completely dried up. Now I was even more unsure about my abilities as a missionary. I felt like giving up. I was terrified at the thought of leaving the mission field having accomplished nothing.
Little did I know that God was revealing to me that in my own strength I could only teach English but that only through His power could I draw others to the cross. So I decided to pray a different prayer. “Lord, I’m all Yours. Please use me as You will, and give me the wisdom I need to do this.”
Then things began to change immediately. One day, as I was searching for teaching materials online, I came upon a website that uses books based on the Bible to teach English. Not only was it free to download, it came with a workbook and audios for basic and intermediate levels of English.
The next day I got a very pleasant surprise after distributing flyers for almost a month and getting a very poor response. Twenty-one new students registered for the class, and this time I was well-equipped and better prepared to teach them. My first set of students had all been from the Adventist church where I worship, but in response to my prayers, God had given me non-Adventist students from the community. And the class keeps growing because the students are inviting their friends and family members to join!
But, God did even more. When one of my students learned that I was a psychologist, she told me that one of her colleagues was willing to allow me to use a fully equipped room in her clinic to offer my counselling services to the community. This sounded great, but there was a big problem. My Portuguese was really bad, and all my patients spoke only Portuguese. Since everything discussed between a counselor and patient must be kept confidential, using a translator wasn’t an option.
“Lord, please help me share Your love, and speak through me because my Portuguese is horrible,” I prayed. From then on, I would utter Portuguese words in my sessions that I didn’t even know that I knew and they were perfect for the context of the conversation! I have had such a high influx of patients that I had to begin counselling sessions in the church because any time I was free there was someone needing counseling. But this was still not sufficient and two other therapists had to join the clinic at the church to help with the high demand of people needing our services.
God is great, and He will bless all those who are faithful to Him and seek His help. Within four months of being in Brazil God has really blessed my ministry and supplied my every need.
I’ve learned that God does what is best for us and that I must just trust Him and leave the rest to him. I am to work, but it is God who gives the increase.
Serving as an Adventist volunteer has been a life-changing experience. It’s helped me realize my dependence on God, become more obedient to His voice, and draw closer to His heart. I now know, without a doubt, that I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
– Randy Mater
Originally from Castries Saint Lucia, Randy Mater was a graduate of the University of the Southern Caribbean in Trinidad He served as a volunteer missionary in Brazil, teaching English and sharing the gospel at an Adventist church in Sao Paulo Brazil. After his service, Randy attended Centro Universitário Adventista in São Paulo, Brazil, where he was in the process of earning a Master’s degree in clinical psychology Randy had a passion for spreading the word of God. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 20. He is dearly missed by his family and friends.