What would you do if you were told you only had a few more months to live? Rosilande Sperandio chose to dedicate herself to preaching the gospel. The four months of life estimated by the doctors have turned into two years, and now she sets up tents on the street, helps drug addicts, and teaches the Bible to anyone who shows interest.
In 2020, Rosilande entered an operating room after being stricken with a series of serious problems in her digestive system. "The doctor told my husband that he was doing the surgery out of honor for the code of ethics, but that I would not come out alive," she recalls.
Surprising everyone, Rosilande was discharged from the hospital and returned home. However, the next day, her mother would be intubated as a result of COVID-19, passing away days later. It was not an easy time, Rosilande points out, but her purpose to talk about Jesus was affirmed once she became even more certain of the finitude of life.
"I was very weak, but I prayed to God and asked Him to lift me up," Rosilande says. The prayer was, "If the Lord gives me strength and makes me stand up, I can do a little more." With her prayer answered, she devotes all her time to preaching, and the thought is, "Salvation is urgent, and I need to proclaim it to as many people as I can."
Rosilande bought two collapsible tents and established her ministry of preaching to people—not only preaching, but teaching others to evangelize as well. For Pastor Rafael Rossi, an evangelist throughout eight South American countries, "being involved in mission is the best way to prepare for Jesus' return."
Rossi reinforces the validity of Rosilande's method, as she is known in Cariacica, Espírito Santo. "Anyone who wants to give Bible studies and has never been involved in this ministry should form a missionary duo with someone who already has experience in giving Bible studies to learn and feel more secure in how to do it. I like the phases of discipleship that Jesus used with his disciples: come and see; go and do," he says.
Tent of Hope
The woman evangelist, who today dedicates all her time to this work, chooses strategic points in the city to set up her tents. According to Rosilande, many people pass by in search of what the hanging banner offers: a tent of hope. She and dozens of other project volunteers help families in the most diverse needs.
However, Rosilande’s main activity is teaching the Bible. She has lost count of how many studies she has given in recent times. Besides the tent, she also goes to people's homes and attends to those who show interest through TV Novo Tempo. Thus, all her days are dedicated to evangelism.
To cope with so many commitments, Rosilande teaches others to teach. "People already enter the baptismal tank as evangelists," she emphasizes. Today, a good number of the people with whom she works have been baptized through the tent ministry and her Bible studies.
The focus, however, is on young people. There are 60 of them working in groups of up to seven to teach the Bible to their peers. At one of the points where the tent is set up, a Pathfinders club will soon be born.
"The mission of preaching the gospel to the whole world has been given by God to all those who have accepted the good news of salvation. Those who discover grace are transformed by God's love and thus share with others the joy of new life. Since we have a global mission, what God wants is the total involvement of the church. Preaching the gospel is not a task just for pastors, but is the responsibility of all Christians," emphasizes Rossi. Rosilande thinks the same way.
More than two years after her "death sentence," Rosilande categorically states her urgency to preach the gospel. According to the evangelist, in the last six months, forty people have been baptized because of her work. The expectation is that next weekend, eighteen more will go through the ceremony.
As well as the services performed by Rosilande in her tents, the Week of Hope begins tomorrow in all churches in eight South American countries. It also includes what is known as the “Baptism of Spring.” This project began in 1963 in Rio de Janeiro, focusing on young people. In that event, 48 of them were baptized. According to Pastor Rossi, since then, more than 1 million people have been baptized.
On September 17–24, the churches will be prepared to talk about the last events that precede Jesus' return and their impact on each individual's life. To participate, just look for the nearest church. The address can be found on the website encontreumaigreja.com.