I am Natalia Galvão Marinho Guerra, I am 30 years old, born in Brasilia, graduated in Law school, married and now a missionary. My husband and I left everything, our city, family, friends, jobs, money, opportunities and a brilliant future, and we dedicated ourselves entirely to the work of Christ. Is there a better future than this one? We knew about the need to be better prepared, so God guided us to the Theology course in a SDA University in Bahia, northeast of Brazil. There, my husband studied for 3 years until an opportunity popped up for us to learn English abroad. This was once again God leading and guiding our steps towards His work.
During that time, we went on a mission in Mexico, and to finish up our year we went to Panama. Together with that, God was already showing us what the next mission would be. In August 2014, we had just arrived from the mission trip in Mexico, our hearts thirsting for mission, God showed us our next destination. I was on Facebook when I saw a video sharing about the Amazon Lifesavers project. I called my husband and we saw the video together. While we were watching, God was working in our hearts and confirming the call.
We got in touch with the project and revealed our interest in serving as missionaries. We handed in our references, but the response was delayed and we began to pray for God’s response. Reno asked for the response to come until September 10. Since we had no money to pay for the School of Missions, we asked them for some help and God did much more than we imagined. We received the acceptance response for the first class of 2015 and see what it said: “With joy we want to inform you that you were accepted in the One Year for Christ on Mission and in the Lifesavers School of Missions. You will receive a full scholarship to take the preparatory course for the Mission.” Wow, God is awesome. I was very happy, anxious, also a little worried about the idea, after all, we were going to live in the forest. I was already thinking about the insects and other difficulties, but was getting used to the idea and dreaming about it. However, in October 2014, my husband, Reno, received a calling to be a Youth Pastor at a church in the USA. Quickly my Amazon dream had changed, after all, it seemed to be much smoother in the US, much more fun, plus I could practice my English. Soon I forgot about the mission in the Amazon.
It was almost all set for the new mission when God started to remind us about the clear answer He gave us concerning the mission in the Amazon. Everything began to go wrong for us to travel to the US. So on February 3rd of 2015 we took off for God’s dream for us.
We studied for three months and learned many things necessary to contextualize with the riverside and to continue with the beautiful work that this NGO does. They prepare us very well. We graduated from the intensive course and on May 12, 2015 we were sent to the communities of Saracá, Ingleses and Tumbira, located on the left bank of the Rio Negro. And there began our work.
OVERCOMING is the word that defines my mission here in the Amazon. Today, Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” makes all the sense in my life. I would never imagine myself doing so many different things as I do today. Every day in the Lord I can overcome my fears of insects, in the Lord I can overcome my limitations, my lack of creativity, my small thinking, my lack of faith, my lack of patience, intolerance and more. Today I know that I can fly with Christ, I can reach places and people and do things that I would never have imagined in my entire life. In the Lord I can overcome myself, overcome my ego and live the plans of Christ. It is wonderful to be on a mission that brings you closer to God, that makes you break through barriers that have never been overcome before. God had to bring me to a remote area, to show me that I can, that I can truly do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Maybe you feel limited to do God’s work, maybe the barriers seem insurmountable, maybe fear paralyzes you. I tell you that you just have to accept the call and God helps you overcome the rest. I am a Law graduate, but for my community, I am a Physical Education Teacher, I am a Christian Ethics and Citizenship teacher, I am a school teacher, I am creative, I am a choir leader, I am a singer (haha), legal consultant and, from time to time, they call me Pastor. And you know what? I never studied for any of this, but I took advantage of the opportunities that life brought me, little did I know that one day God could use me in so many things. I simply said yes to the Lord’s working in my life. I’m still in a long training process, I know I have a lot more to learn.
Do not reject God’s calling. He wants people willing to say yes and willing to overcome any difficulty to fulfill the mission. My joy is knowing that I am part of a team that works, prepares and waits for Christ’s return. I delight in knowing that I am a pilgrim on this earth and I’m storing up treasure in Heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy. May I live to fulfill the God’s assigned mission and may the Lord always count on me to accomplish his great work. “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8.