SOUTH AMERICA MISSIONARIES
GlobalGrace Fellowship first sent a missionary to South America in 1945 and has been involved in ministry there continuously since then. The population of South America is composed, first of all, of the many indigenous peoples that inhabited these lands long before the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese explorers.
Scott and Margaret Jones
Scott and Margaret Jones have been with GlobalGrace Fellowship since 1979. They first served in the country of Brazil from 1980 to 1992 where Scott taught at a local seminary. They held evangelistic meetings in the northeast part of Brazil working with a number of different churches and denominations.
In 1992 they returned to the U.S. where they started at Campus Ministry teaching international students English through Christian Bible studies. They also began an extensive Counseling Ministry with married couples, which have touched many families. Scott and Margaret also help pastor a small church in central Iowa.
During these years in the states their hearts have remained in Brazil as they return each year for six weeks of ministry which includes: purchasing and distributing school and hygiene kits to needy children in schools and orphanages, purchasing and distributing Bibles through a number of the local Brazilian churches, training and encouraging Brazilian pastors, and holding evangelistic meetings in both northern and southern Brazil. Four new church plants have taken place from these evangelistic efforts; one of the larger churches is in Rio de Janeiro where they support a meal program for children in the surrounding area.
Lou and Fay Warkentien
Lou and Fay Warkentien have been career missionaries planting reproducing churches in Caruaru, Brazil. Now in their retirement years, they spend their efforts making the Light of Life Bible Correspondence Course available on the Internet in order to reach the entire Portuguese world.
Their “heart for Caruaru” continues, though, as they make seasonal visits to support and encourage their son, Phil Warkentien (GGF missionary), who carries on the work of establishing a strong church and reaching out to plant other churches. Lou and Fay’s gifts of teaching and hospitality continue to impact Brazilian believers, providing leadership training in the Caruaru church, and developing camp and retreat programs, such as, Couples Encounters.
Phil and Rita Warkentien
The nation of Brazil is not only large in size, but also population, currently ranking 5th in the world in both categories. Brazil is a nominally Christian nation, with close to 70% of the people adhering to the Catholic faith. However, the northeast expanse of Brazil remains relatively unreached for the Gospel. Within this region lies the historic city of Caruaru, two hours west of Recife.
GlobalGrace missionaries Phil and Rita Warkentien have a multi-pronged ministry based in Caruaru. Phil, a second-generation missionary to Brazil, is the pastor of Pinheirópolis Baptist Church, a missions-oriented fellowship of believers which regularly makes trips to other cities, leading many to Christ. But he also oversees the Light of Life ministry, which provides discipleship courses to prison inmates and native Brazilians in remote areas. Being fluent in English and Portuguese, Phil has also served as a translator in many high level situations, including the UN and the BGEA. Phil and Rita also serve with Samaritan’s Purse, giving out shoebox gifts to needy kids at Christmas time.
Rita, a Brazilian by birth and usually smiling, has a gift for hospitality. She and Phil often invite guests to their homes to share the Gospel with them. The Warkentiens often welcome and host short-term teams from the USA who come down to Brazil to minister. Beware though, if you come, Phil will put you to work somehow. It might be working on a building project, or it might be speaking or giving your testimony in the church or in a storefront Bible study in downtown Caruaru.