The Yelles
John and Neila Yelle

At the very bottom of Brazil, a small tag of land juts out into the neighboring countries. That southern tip is the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. This state is the “Texas” of Brazil, famous for its cowboys and barbeque. There have been other missionaries called to parts of the state, but we are going to the city of Caxias do Sul, where only the Yelle family is working in church planting. The whole state of Rio Grande do Sul has a population of 11.29 million people. The city of Caxias do Sul claims almost 500,000 of that population. That is a lot of people for one Baptist missionary family!

BrazilMapOutlineThe primary language of Brazil is Portuguese. Joneia is already fluent in Portuguese and the Brazilian culture; she has been helping Jeremy get a head start in language learning. 

The state of Rio Grande do Sul is the southern most state of Brazil. As the Texas of Brazil it has traditional roots in the Gaucho Culture. The Gauchos are the cowboys of South America. People can be seen riding along the streets in their traditional Gaucho outfits on horseback. Along with the Gaucho culture are deep roots in German and Italian cultures. Vineyards are commonly seen across the hills of the countryside. The bi-annual Festa Da Uva (Festival of grapes) is a highlight of the culture of Caxias do Sul.

Brazilian Gauchos
Brazilian Gauchos

>The overall culture of Brazil has been sensualized. Purity and morality are some of the greatest challenges of holiness in Brazil. What Brazil is best known for worldwide is their annual Carnival. It is described as the biggest party in the world, but this is seriously deceptive as it is one of the biggest sexual events in the world. Nudity is common, and sexual, lewd dancing is a prominent part of this festival, and, recently, open sex acts in public. Yet, citizens of Brazil and people around the world flock to this event in central Brazil. It is only a symptom of the immorality of the culture.

CanelaChurchOutlinePolitically, Brazil is a mess constantly wrestling between socialism and democracy. Pray for the current President as he is the closest thing to a capitalist the country has had in office in a long time. Because of the dominant socialist culture, the average person working full time only comes home with less than US$300 a month. Prices are hiked up, inflation is rising, and income is low. Most Brazilians scrape by and live paycheck to paycheck.

The official religion of Brazil is Catholicism, although their Catholicism is not like it is in the United States. Brazilian Catholicism is deeply mixed in with spiritism. At almost every popular location there is some statue or tribute to Mary, and close by will also be idols to other demons. There is even a combination of the two known as Black Mary. She is called the patron saint of Brazil “Our Lady of Aparecida.” Demonic influence has a stronghold in Caxias do Sul. The city itself has been dedicated to a demon called Ogum. This demon has a statue in the city, and there is a festival in his honor every year.Black Mary, the Patron Saint of Brazil

Other active religious affiliations include Masons mixed with spiritism, Mormonism mixed with spiritism, and just pure spiritism. At several intersections, small offerings with wine, candles, popcorn, and even sometimes a slain animal will be put in place for the  spirits of the intersections. Overall, Caxias do Sul is a very spiritually dark city. It only makes the work of Evangelism that much harder.

If you have ever asked a church planter in Seattle Washington about their work, they will tell you that the people are generally cold to the gospel, and therefore the work can be slow and hard. It may take years for even a single person at a time to come to Christ. This is very much the same case in Caxias do Sul. Is this because the gospel isn’t being preached? Certainly not! But it is the great challenge of a church when the culture seems cold and resistant to the gospel. Many missionaries have not made it in Caxias do Sul because the work is so long and hard. Please pray actively for your missionaries because the field is very challenging.


Contact Us:

+1 (206) 849-3874

BRT (UTC/GMT -3 hours) Time Zone 


Sending Church:

Worth Baptist Church
Pastor Tyler Gillit

4900 Campus Dr.
Fort Worth, TX 76119

+1 (817) 534-0787


Mission Agency:

Independent Baptist Fellowship International (IBFI)

PO Box 151259
Fort Worth, TX 76108

+1 (817) 367-3422