Brazil's New Day

The country is fast becoming a global center for Bible ministry

 

The Bible Society is active in Brazil, with an efficient printing factory in São Paulo. Photo from Throwinglight.com

The Bible Society of Brazil (BSB) is bringing the transforming light of God to the world. Each year, more than 9 million Bibles are printed in São Paulo and sent out to more than 100 countries. The heart of their story is not told by the numbers, but in the countless lives their words have touched.

Scripture Is Born

Walk into the printing factory of the BSB and you'll hear the hum and whir of the machines. Each has its own section of the factory floor and a specific job: printing, sorting, cutting, binding, stacking or packing, working together to transform a humble roll of paper into the Word of God.

This facility began operating in 1995 with a grant from the American Bible Society, which set the BSB on a new path of sustainability and spiritual impact. New electronic typesetting equipment and modernized facilities purchased with a loan dramatically improved capacity; a Bible that once took more than a year to print can now be ready in less than two months.

As a result, the Brazilian system boasts some of the fastest production turnaround times and largest output of all the Bible Society printing presses. From 1995 through May 2008, the BSB exported more than 19 million Bibles. Because of this, the BSB no longer depends on annual financial support from the United Bible Societies. Now it contributes to the global fund.

Lives Transformed

Paper undergoes dramatic change at the BSB printing press; so, too, do the lives of its workers. Célio Emerique, the general manager, says that taking care of his employees and working for the Bible Society is the high point of his career. “I am now making the Book of Books!” he says.

Neide, one of his employees, works on everything from stitching and gluing covers to notching out chapter tabs in Bible pages. Before the Bible Society, she sewed beads onto wedding dresses. But now life is better, she says, because “I get to spend all day working with God's Word.” Angelica, a woman who works next to Neide, says that her faith has grown in the past 11 years. Because she works so closely with the Bible, she gains new insights about God every day.

Working Partners

The BSB operates through a number of ministry partnerships and provides Bibles, Scripture Portions and supplemental biblical growth materials to hundreds of organizations.

Located in the heart of São Paolo, CENA is one of the vital ministries that depends on the BSB for support. In a neighborhood known to many as “Crackland,” an area infamous for drug trafficking, prostitution and high rates of violence, many of the residents have found refuge in the love they receive from CENA and in the Word of God. According to Francisco, a staff member and former client of CENA's, the BSB has been a crucial partner by supplying essential Scriptures. “Without this contribution, CENA would be unable to offer some of our programs,” he says.

Sunrise on the Amazon

The BSB reaches all corners of an incredibly diverse country. It operates the Light of the Amazon boat ministry, where doctors, nurses, social workers, legal advocates and veterinarians travel throughout the Amazon River basin, caring for those who have limited access to social services and medical care and distributing Bibles at each stop. The boat makes more than 40 trips a year.

The government has invited the Bible Society to play a major role in its Social Action in Schools program, which includes mandatory religious education as part of its public school curriculum. The initial launch of this program has been very successful, and the Bible Society looks forward to expanding this program throughout the country.

The work of the Bible Society of Brazil brings people into relationship with God and deepens their faith. At every step in the process, lives are transformed: the workers who print the Bible, the urban ministries equipped with its messages of healing and peace, and the rural Amazon communities that encounter God's Word for the first time. In this vast and populous country, God's Word is truly reaching people and changing lives.


 

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

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