01 September 2006

Minister travels 5, 500 miles to bring a taste of Brazil to church life in Gloucestershire

The Revd Oseias da Silva and his family have travelled almost 5,500 miles from their home in Sao Paulo to Tewkesbury, but this is no holiday Ð they're here for five years. Oseias has joined the World Church in Britain Partnership programme, which gives ministers from other countries the chance to live and work as a Methodist minister in the UK for five years.

Following his induction period, Oseias will be put straight to work in the Tewkesbury and Cheltenham area of Gloucestershire, where the Methodist Conference has stationed him. Here he will have pastoral responsibility for 2 churches.

Ordained into the Methodist Church in Brazil, Oseias has spent the last 4 years working in the headquarters of the National Methodist Church as the National Coordinator of Christian Education. Having worked for many years with the National Youth Confederation in Brazil, training leaders for youth fellowship groups, he has a strong desire to see young people involved in the life of the Church; 'We need to be open to new experience, knowledge and sharing. The Church has the power to transform the lives of those it touches, but must respond to the needs and challenges of contemporary society. This can only be done with the help of young people and their fresh thinking'.

Stretching from urban sprawls to the Amazon Rainforest, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, with the sixth largest population. Oseias said, 'It's certainly very different from the place we'll be calling home for the next five years. Brazil is such a diverse country with both immense wealth and extreme poverty living side by side and I have found myself working in many different situations.'

But he's looking forward to the new challenges that working in the UK will bring; 'It will be fascinating to work where Methodism began and developed. I'm sure the whole family will find it difficult at times, but it's an amazing opportunity for two cultures to interact so that we can share our way of life as well as learn from others.'

Oseias' wife, Jane, is also a Methodist minister and she's looking forward to getting involved in helping those most in need in the community. They bring with them their seven-year-old son, Oseias Junior.

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