Rio de Janeiro is a unique city. There are well over 6 million people living in the city with around 13.5 million living in the greater metropolitan area...a lot of people. As a southern hemisphere nation the "summer" games took place during the winter and yet the weather was still mid 20c or above. The city is both beautiful and stark all at once. Full of tourism, poverty and prostitution. Two years ago temporary houses of prayer were started all across Brazil, in each of the host city of the world cup, each with an emphasis on outreach to men and woman trapped in sexual exploitation. When the competition finished, each prayer room closed except for Liberdade Rio, a prayer room based in the heart of a prostitution hot spot called Villa Mimosa.
A team of 7 from MHOP went to join Liberdade Rio during this years Olympic Games to help serve in their prayer room and join them in outreach.
This was a truly unique ministry trip. More than simply going somewhere to minister for a week and leave, we were partnering with a ministry that before we arrived and long after we're gone is week in, week out, reaching out to those caught in prostitution all in the context of night and day prayer.
Over the week our team's schedule consisted of 6 hours in the prayer room, from 10am-4pm with outreach each evening usually starting around 10pm until the early hours of the morning. Our team led 7 sets in the prayer room over the week with the rest of the day time sets being filled with other english speaking teams, with people from Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Australia and beyond who had come to be a part of the prayer room and outreach during the Olympics. These times of worship and prayer were powerful; encountering Jesus and praying His will over the city, region and nation, calling forth destiny and freedom over the people.
Outreach was primarily aimed towards an area of Rio called Lapa, known for it's arches, nightlife and transvestite prostitution. We worshipped together on the main square by the Lapa arches on a couple of occasions but on the whole we went as small teams to give gifts and speak to the men, in their various stages of transformation, to let them know that Jesus loves them and has a plan and a purpose for their lives. These conversations were such an incredible privilege, talking with no agenda or expectation, sharing stories, and prayer with them.
So much happened in such a short amount of time that so much is still being processed, we hope to share more stories over the next few weeks. But we are encouraged that we got to be a part of something significant that the Lord was doing in Brazil that will have a profound effect on our nation.
Thanks to everyone who covered the team in prayer whilst they were in Rio and we would ask you to continue to lift up Brazil, Rio and Liberdade Rio to the Lord as we believe they are significant in what He has planned to do on the earth.