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Winning Portuguese-speakers for Christ
Bishop Andy Lines

Bishop Andy Lines

Bishop Andy Lines speaks to Rev Rodrigo Cavalcanti de Silva to learn more about the Anglican Church in Brazil and his efforts to plant a Anglican church in Portugal.

Interview transcript

Andy Lines
Well, it is my joy and privilege to do another interview in a series of interviews so that we can get to know more about those who are brothers and sisters of the Anglican world together.
And this morning I have the Reverend Rodrigo Cavalcanti de Silva, probably have got that wrong pronunciation, who is from Brazil but is living somewhere else.
Brazil is a huge country, 5th country by geography and population in the world. And with some 209 million people and about half of South America, both by population and by geography.
It has some 20 of cities that are a million or more people in each one, and some large percentage, 26% of the population are under 15 years old. So a young population, Europe is 17%. Brazil is 26%. Brazil, a country that became independent of Portugal in 1822 as a Kingdom, then as a Republic, but has also suffered years of military rule.
But in God’s great goodness, evangelicals have grown hugely, particularly since the 1960s. So that’s a little bit of background from Operation World.
But it is a joy to have Rodrigo with me. And I’m now going to ask him a few questions which we have prepared. So, Rodrigo, tell us about your background, your family and where you’re now living.

Rodrigo Cavalcanti
Hi Bishop, it’s my pleasure to share a little bit of my life and ministries experience in Brazil and Portugal. And. Your pronunciation of my name is correct. It’s very good.
I am 44 years old and I am Anglican, that’s for sure. But I’m a software engineer. I have always served in the church and work; my first degrees as software engineer.
About my family. I have been married to Edlene for 23 years. I spent more time with her than alone. We met in the first course in the Seminary in Brazil when I was only 18 years old. My wife.
Today we have two daughters. One 17 years old and more younger, 15 years old. Well, we are living in Portugal now. We moved in to Portugal in August with my older daughter, and my wife and my younger daughter arriving in December.

Andy Lines
It’s a little bit background in my family. That’s great. And your daughters are Anna Vitoria and Yasmin.

Rodrigo Cavalcanti
Yes.

Andy Lines
And you’re now all together since December in Portugal. That is great. Tell us how you came to know Jesus.

Rodrigo Cavalcanti
Yes, I knew Jesus when I was 16 years old. A group of friends from high school invited me to watch the movie “The Cross and the Switchblade”.
And the next day I accepted Jesus as my saviour. I don’t remember about the topic of the movie, but I remember that I need Jesus.
So two years later, I started my theological studies and have never given to give up Jesus in his Church.

Andy Lines
Well. The Anglican Church of Brazil which you are part of is a province recognized by GAFCON with your Archbishop Miguel Uchoa, but it is not recognized by Canterbury. Could you help us understand how that came about?

Rodrigo Cavalcanti
Yes, sure. This is a long history, but you try to summarize it with a few words. The Anglican Church in Brazil is a church of the Anglican tradition, which was born from the communities, pastors and pastors who were excommunicated from the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil in 2005.
Is that correct?

Andy Lines
Yeah.

Rodrigo Cavalcanti
Okay. For being in disagreement with the denomination regarding the normality of homosexual practice and the ordination of such persons into pastoral ministry. At the time, former diocesan bishop Robinson Cavalcanti led in the direction and agreed to abide by Resolution 1.10 of 1998 Lambeth Conference.
Our situation is similar to ACNA in USA, but in 2018, under the leadership of the Archbishop Miguel Uchoa we are recognized by Gafcon as a genuine Anglican church province. Part of our history can be found by website. https://www.anglicananobrasil.com/
There is a little explain our history and the movement in the Gafcon and their accepting of our Church, and the community, and the world.

Andy Lines
Yeah. So we can learn more of that history on the web. And I will put up the website so that people can and follow that.
So tell us, therefore, a little bit about the province that you’re part of, and the seminary that you are leading that seeks to serve the churches of your province.

Rodrigo Cavalcanti
Yeah. Of course. I think that the seminaries are the motherhood of the Church. We need it. They’re to save the history and the orthodoxy of the Church.
In 2020, we had a great challenge with the arrival of the pandemic. All our classes were face to face and distributed between three dioceses. And well, we couldn’t take the risk of losing the students and the stopping of the class.
So Archbishop Miguel Uchoa invited me to transform the Anglican Seminary of Theology into online provincial seminary learning. Because of my background in the theology studies and the technology work.
In five months, we began with the provincial seminary e-learning. This way we can serve more churches and more cities in the country of Brazil. Places that did not have access… We went from 80 students to more than 200 students today in the seminary.
Because of my move to Portugal in the last January, I needed to resign in my position to the seminary, because I put my focus into planting churches here, But I’m still one of the tutors in the seminary in Brazil.

Andy Lines
Alright. A big thing. So because of the pandemic and the worry about the loss of the seminary, you went online using your theological background and your technical background.
And the numbers grew from 80 to 200 from all parts of Brazil. But you have stood down from leading the seminary because you want to give your full focus to planting a church in Portugal, in the town of Braga. Wow. That’s terrific!
So finally, the Anglican Church of Brazil that we have been talking about has sent missionaries to West Africa. And I have seen and how there have been links with the Church of Nigeria in some of these countries of West Africa, and you and your family have come to Portugal.
Tell us why you came and how can we pray for you.

Rodrigo Cavalcanti
Yeah, we have been in a missionary church in a sense. I give up my job working in the Church of Holy Spirit in Brazil to come to work in Portugal and plant an Anglican Church here too. We have some people dispersed the country in Portugal. Currently we get together, one Google meeting on Sundays.
But we want to gather in the person as soon as possible in Braga.
There are some things that is very important to pray for us and in my family. Three points… It is very important to me, as adaptation of my family in other countries is very good, it’s very important.
The second point is, maintenance of my job is very important to us. And three, a place for us to meet. We (hope to) find a place for us to meet in March. I believe that is possible.

Andy Lines
Yeah. So your adaptation to Portugal, a very different place to Brazil, very different culture. And then, secondly, for you to keep your job is very important. And then, thirdly, a place for these people to meet with you, from March when you think that will be possible.

Rodrigo Cavalcanti
Yes. Very important to us.

Andy Lines
Thank you. It has been terrific to hear from you, and I hope that this will encourage our brothers and sisters to pray for you and the work in Portugal, but also the work in the really important work in Brazil.

Rodrigo Cavalcanti
Okay. Thank you for praying.

Andy Lines
Let me pray now.

Rodrigo Cavalcanti
Okay.

Andy Lines
Father, we thank you so much for Rodrigo and for Edlene and for Anna Vitoria and Yasmin. Thank you for bringing them together to Europe, a country and a continent that desperately needs the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for calling them to your service. And we pray that as they adapt from Brazilian culture to Portugal, that you will help them. Although the language will be similar, there will be many differences. And we pray that you will help them to adapt and make good roots in Portugal.
We pray, too, for Rodrigo and his work as a software engineer. We pray, Lord, that he would be able to keep that and be able, therefore, to support his family, and to give himself to the planting of this Church.
And we pray for a venue, a place for them to meet and to gather people who are from Brazil, but also from other nations together in Braga. So we pray that and pray that you will bless their endeavours and our partnership in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For we ask that in his most precious name, Amen.

FEATURE

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