BMartinho Ferreira de Moura, adviser to the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Entrepreneurs in Brazil, remembers when he was 10 years old. As a child, his parents encouraged him to actively share his beliefs. Every Saturday (Sabbath) he distributed Adventist literature in northern Rio de Janeiro. It has been decades since he was a child, but those early teachings still find a place in his heart. An active member of the Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Rio de Janeiro, Moura has found a creative way to share God’s truth with his friends.
A businessman for decades, Moura served as president of a transportation association and is currently a member of the Inter-American Chamber of Transportation. His work experience has considerably expanded his network of influence and allowed him to meet many entrepreneurs across Brazil. Many of them became his friends.
Since most of Moura’s friends live in other cities in Brazil, they usually get in touch online.
A message to share
One day, Moura had the idea to start sending short devotional messages to his friends via WhatsApp. He chose “This Day with God” by Gilson Brito, which are inspirational five-minute messages based on faith and the Bible.
Initially, the messages were sent to a group of only 20 friends. The initiative quickly gained momentum. Moura’s contact list grew almost sixfold, reaching 114 friends across Brazil. The group receives video devotion every day. He said the effort even acquired a name – Friends Sharing Hope with Friends.
Moura said many of his friends had questions about the topics covered in the video messages. He then spends time helping them better understand the topic of the day.
Impact of initiative
Fernando Carneiro is also a transport businessman. He is one of 114 who receive daily devotion from Moura. In business, the two are competitors, but the 25-year-old’s respect and friendship are above their craft, they said. Carneiro is not a member of the Adventist Church, but he enjoys sharing messages about Jesus. He decided to start a group to send Moura’s messages back to his network of family and friends. Then he discovered that some of his contacts were sharing these messages with their contacts.
“It’s gratifying to exchange experiences with my friends,” said Carneiro.
But Carneiro did not stop there, as he began to read the Bible to delve deeper into the content discussed. In particular, the biblical book of Daniel caught his attention, which led him to continue his studies.
Online and in-person gatherings
Soon the group was discussing the idea of meeting in person. Carneiro was present, along with 15 of his friends. Led by Moura, participants were given the opportunity to choose a topic. “The topic with the most votes was life after death,” Moura said.
Online meetings dealing with various Bible topics now take place every Wednesday, with Edson Nunes, a pastor with a doctorate in the Hebrew Bible.
Nunes ended up spending three meetings discussing what life is and then discussing death. Carneiro said Nunes discussed creation, focusing on what the Bible says in the original language it was written in. “I watched the first episode twice so I didn’t miss any details,” Carneiro said. “It gave me an awareness and knowledge that I lacked before.”
Other topics covered are the resurrection, spiritual gifts, the return of Jesus, the seventh-day Sabbath, the end of the world, the Holy Spirit, predestination, miracles, salvation, and the law of God.
Moura said his local church pastor, Gilson Montin, is usually available to dispel attendees’ doubts and provide more in-depth information on topics if needed.
The idea now is to continue expanding the group, Moura said. “Our goal is to encourage other business people to share the gospel of Jesus in their area of influence,” he said.
the original version of this story was published on the South American Division in the Portuguese language news sites.