Finding God in Brazil by John Dyer
Frank and engaging account of serving with BMS World Mission in Brazil
Finding God in Brazil – Personal stories to amaze and inspire
By Dr John B Dyer
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Reviewed by: Mark Greenwood
Finding God in Brazil, as the sub-title suggests, both amazes and inspires. John and Maria Dyer's memoirs, recounted from John’s perspective, describe the Brazil of the past as this vast nation looked to the future, now our present. This frank and engaging account is enriched by the Dyers’ privilege of having served in four quite different, equally enthralling, corners of the land of the Southern Cross. As you read you are carried through the doubts, joys, tragedies and victories through which God carried them over three decades, as He revealed Himself to them in a rich diversity of episodes and contexts. You can laugh with them. You can cry with them.
Travel is a clear leitmotif in the text, and through it John’s descriptive yet clear style transports you to places unknown to many Brazilians today, either because they have never visited or because the locations themselves have undergone the metamorphosis of order and progress, as proclaimed on the national flag.
The narrative gives glimpses into the lives and perspectives of a cast of colourful and fascinating personalities who revealed God to John and Maria, or who found Him through their ministry, as they journeyed together in prayer, preaching, church planting and theological education.
Family life is a central feature of the volume, both in vivid descriptions of the way of life of those with whom the Dyers shared their lives, and through John’s open and honest struggles with God as he and Maria faced one set-back after another in their own quest to form a family.
Helpful explanatory notes simply inserted into the flowing stories, and larger, succinct yet analytical sections introduce the wider national canvas for those unfamiliar with Brazilian history, politics and geography. These details enlighten the episodes, without being boring to readers not normally interested in such things.
If you are struck by a particular incident and wish to revisit or faithfully recount it to others, the Index of stories at the back will be the perfect tool.
John closes the book saying “This is our story. His alone is the glory”, yet in many ways this is also my story and that of all who served in Brazil with BMS during the period depicted. This is the country I fell in love with, so beautifully described that you too might fall in love with and find God in Brazil.
Mark Greenwood; BMS Overseas Team Leader for South America and Sub-Saharan Africa; BMS worker in Brazil 1993-2014; Bristol Baptist College 1987-1992; MTh (Spurgeon’s 2008)