First Presbyterian Church Blog

News from Mark Barnes in Brazil

One sign of a nation being discipled into it’s God given purpose is it’s name will be great amongst the nations, consider Brazil’s name these days.

Zika, political corruption and crime sadly are the head lines making Brazil famous these days.

But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” On my most recent trip to Brazil I got infected again with renewed hope and vision for Brazil.

There is something brewing in the hard times in Brazil. Failed political and church systems are provoking a new generation of young leaders to imagine reformation, and to re-imagine church, political and economic structures. I see this on the ground in the work my team is doing in a small, real and inspiring ways.

Acts 4:34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet

For many years I have felt that this verse is connected to Brazil’s destiny in the world.  The “Zero %” in “no needy person”, is a token of something bigger going on. If this can be tapped into in Brazil it can flip Brazil right side up and this would be a global spectacle. I think it’s fare to say that in the book of Acts the church was living and giving the gospel of the Kingdom, as one. This is not beyond where God can take us today and surely not more than we can hope and work for.
I have a friend in BH named Cacau, Kaka lead him to the Lord a few years ago. Cacau recently traded his big mansion house for the hotel we used during our outreach in July. We are now making plans to use it as an operational base for the Deck to stage a cultural shift to dislocate criminal culture in communities over run with murder. Some much of the perpetual brokenness is rooted in culture.

New Vision – To pin point a social movement that shoots “to drop murder rates to zero”. This target adds something important to the concept of The Deck, it give us 3 things.  1) A “clear trumpet call” to rally and organize communities for life that are PROVOKED by the blood of children in their streets. 2) A clear plan with 4 broad based maneuvers with long-term and sustainable effect, scaled to move many of players in society.  3)  Zero %  also gives scale to quantify transformation efforts in communities.

With this righteous scale (Mt. 6:33, Prov 11:11) we can be more intentional in the quest to deliver the gospel of the Kingdom that constructs a superior life keeping culture to dislocated and uproot the criminal cultural that perpetuates murder and brokenness all over Brazil. To knock down murder rates many other things will fall. It is for this fight that we have been give might weapons (II Cor. 10:4) , and 4 tested components, integrated into a missional designed that makes room for all hands on DECK.

1)  the circus, 2) “friends for good in schools” (amigos do bem na escola) partnering with public school under much duress , 3) seed projects (Harvest), and 4) the hotel (yellow Axis)  –  U of N / ywam base.

(these are the quantifiable components of the deck that are intentionally applicable and transferable.)
The Outer ring represents the Kingdom community/congregation, living, cultivating and keeping the Kingdom ( Gen
2:15 ), this ring is beyond the deck design. It’s the extended movement not quantifiable but will display “a token” of the overcoming power of the age to come in this present age, “no needy persons among them” or  zero % .  No more shall an infant from there live but a few days Is 65:20, a new count of life.

In august we will be running our circo manifesto outreach in Rio during the Olympic games, together with our local team in Rio. I REALLY hope to take Barbara and Gabriel with me on this trip. This is part of the build up to launch “zero %” in target communities around Belo Horizonte next year.

I hope this short email gives a glimpse of the regions beyond that we are stretching for. Our inspiration is kept alive by God in so many ways. Those he send to stand with us count for double. Thank you for your interest and help, keep it up!

I long to spend more time in Brazil. As good as everything is for us in Fort Mill, I think I am made for Brazil.

This are some pictures of the hotel and a short video of the hotel.



We have your tickets for Stadium’s Beauty & the Beast!

Stadium High School’s performance of Beauty & the Beast is on stage next week, staring many of our own FPC youth and directed by Liz Jacobsen! Liz has pre-sold us 30 tickets for this soon-to-be sold out show.
Tickets are for 1:30pm matinees on Saturday, April 2nd or Saturday, April 16th at Stadium High School’s auditorium. Email Julie Brownlee or call 253-272-3286 x115 to reserve your tickets for this family friendly show!

Come and See—Open Sanctuary on Good Friday

From 5:00 am-5:00 pm on Good Friday, our historic Sanctuary will be open for prayer, meditation, and worship. Throughout the day various people will be sharing their gifts through music and scripture readings. Come and experience the peace of Christ as you reflect on Christ’s amazing love for us and the way he died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and bring us to wholeness. Thank you to Lance Kagey for coordinating this day-long time for prayer and worship. Following the open Sanctuary, we will be having a Good Friday service at 7:00 pm featuring Holy Communion.

April Seminar: Personal Holiness in Times of Temptation

Join us in April for a 4-week Thursday night video seminar on personal holiness presented by Walk Thru the Bible’s Bruce Wilkinson. The class will meet from 7:00-9:00 pm on April 7, 14, 21, and 28 in the Gold Room of our South Building. Cost for materials is $10 per person. Register now. Need more information? Contact Steve Groves, 253-752-2313 or

The four sessions cover:

  • Holiness: How to Get There from Here. Discover why the Lord’s call to holiness is so important and what the Bible means when it tells us to be “set apart.”
  • Temptation: Why It Is So Tempting. Walk through the seven stages of temptation and learn how to recognize and avoid traps.
  • Sexuality: The Toughest Temptation. Nothing provides as much opportunity to temptation as one’s sex life. Success or failure has a dramatic impact on everyone, but God’s way provides tremendous rewards.
  • Victory. In the final session, attendees learn to recognize their own personal temptation patterns and find proactive ways to become the man or woman of God they want to be.

FPC Kids Communion Class

Is your child curious about Communion? On Sunday, April 17th, kids 8 and older are invited to come learn about Communion with Pastor Becci! She will help students understand why we celebrate communion and the symbolism of all the elements. A pizza lunch will be served before the class begins. We do ask that one parent attend, and because space is limited, please RSVP to Julie Brownlee.

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