My life among the Xavante tribe

Photo: My first Church, working among indigenous people in the state of Mato Grosso – Brazil, 1993

My name is Rosangela. When I arrived at the Universal Church I was very sick. I had allergic bronchitis and was constantly in the hospital. Besides this, I felt like an empty and worthless person. I had such low self-esteem that it caused me to become depressed, but at the time my family thought it was just me being silly and no one took me seriously. I cried a lot and was afraid of everything.

In the late 80s, the Universal Church came to my hometown and began holding weekly meetings at a social club. My mother took me to one of these meetings, and soon, it was love at first sight. It wasn’t long before I surrendered my life and threw myself at the feet of my LORD JESUS CHRIST. He healed and delivered me, and at that moment a conviction came over me and the desire to serve Him for the rest of my life was born inside. Moreover, I wanted to win Souls for my Lord.

At the age of 13, I was baptized in water and born again. Soon after, I was consecrated as an assistant of the UNIVERSAL Church. Even though I was already doing the work of God, I had some disappointments in my love life, but the Lord Jesus allowed me to meet a man of God, who is now my husband. As soon as we were married, we were sent to live in the village of the Xavante Indians, which belongs to the municipality of Nova Xavantina, in the state of Mato Grosso. Access to the village was very difficult. We had to take a motorcycle all the way from New Xavantina to the village, because at that time there was no public transportation that made it that far into the village. We traveled more than 500km by motorcycle on a dirt road.

As I think back about these things, I’m reminded of the day I arrived at the village. It was already nighttime and all I could see was tall grass and pitch darkness. There was no electricity in the village and there was only a small lamp and a hammock inside the straw house the Indians built for the pastor and his wife.

I must confess that I was shocked when I first came in contact with the tribe, because there were so many people and they were all surrounding the house to meet the pastor’s wife. They spoke a strange language that I didn’t understand, but it was their language.

The ride to the village was quite tiring, and once we arrived, all I wanted to do was take a shower because I was covered in dust from the dirt road. At the time, my sister-in-law was an assistant and lived in the village. She walked with me down to the river called Anaconda. The trail to the river was dark and we had to use a lantern to illuminate our path. There were many snakes, which caused this great fear to come over me and I didn’t even want to take a bath anymore. I quickly splashed myself with water and left.

Another situation that marked me was when it came time to sleep. There was only one hammock for my husband and I. Until now, I had never slept in a hammock; just imagine two people sharing this space for 20 days! Thankfully, the state pastor sent us a bed and a gas stove, because I had been cooking over a wood fire.

In the beginning, I found it very difficult and felt embarrassed when it came to personal hygiene. My husband taught me what to do, because we had no privacy, and everywhere I looked there were Indians watching me. Then I realized that having a white woman living among their tribe was also something very new.

I was always at my husband’s side for everything: under sun or rain we were ready to serve our God.

At the time, the evangelistic work in the village was so intense and promising that ten Indians were invited to participate in the UCKG’s congressional meeting in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. During that same meeting, a Xavante Indian was ordained as a pastor. Today, Pastor Dejamim heads the UCKG’s work in the village.

Today, I have a 17-year-old son who is an assistant pastor in another state. He was my Isaac, which I gave to the LORD JESUS. And this year I will be celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary married to a man of God, who was sent by our Lord Jesus to make me happy every day.

I am very honored to be a part of this Work.

I am Universal!

Rosangela

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