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 almost5,500 miles from their home in Sao Paulo to Tewkesbury, but this isno holiday Ð they're here for five years. Oseias has joined theWorld Church in Britain Partnership programme, which givesministers from other countries the chance to live and work as aMethodist minister in the UK for five years.

Following his induction period, Oseias will be put straight to workin the Tewkesbury and Cheltenham area of Gloucestershire, where theMethodist Conference has stationed him. Here he will have pastoralresponsibility for 2 churches.

Ordained into the Methodist Church in Brazil, Oseias has spent thelast 4 years working in the headquarters of the National MethodistChurch as the National Coordinator of Christian Education. Havingworked for many years with the National Youth Confederation inBrazil, training leaders for youth fellowship groups, he has astrong desire to see young people involved in the life of theChurch; 'We need to be open to new experience, knowledge andsharing. The Church has the power to transform the lives of thoseit touches, but must respond to the needs and challenges ofcontemporary society. This can only be done with the help of youngpeople and their fresh thinking'.

Stretching from urban sprawls to the Amazon Rainforest, Brazil isthe fifth largest country in the world, with the sixth largestpopulation. Oseias said, 'It's certainly very different from theplace we'll be calling home for the next five years. Brazil is sucha diverse country with both immense wealth and extreme povertyliving side by side and I have found myself working in manydifferent situations.'

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

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