Aims at building a South American tentmaking movement

Last updated 15 September 2018 16:49

He is the father of four, owns a recently opened coffee shop, works in an insurance company and has just started a branch of Tent in his own nation. Gustavo Borges still wants to see more things happening. 

Last month he served as the keynote speaker at several tentmaking events in Ecuador. More than 200 people took part at the gathering where they got introduced to the tentmaking way of working..

– The events were well organized and the team in Ecuador had done a great job in promoting everything. It was exciting to see how people got engaged. This is promising, says Gustavo Borges.

Life changing
He did not really know what to expect when he signed up for a GO Equipped-course in the US five years ago. A friend told him that he thought this course would fit Gustavo well. It became a life-changing experience. As the course went on, Gustavo sensed that he wanted to share what he learned with his own people. After returning to Brazil he immediately began to plan the first GO Equipped course in his home nation. Now more than 100 Brazilians have taken the course. 

One and a half year ago Gustavo started to look at how Brazil could get its own resource center for business people, professionals and students who want to serve God cross-culturally. In November last year Tent Brazil was officially opened. This year the organization arranges two GO Equipped-courses. Next year there will be even more.

Growing interest
– Tent is already well known in Brazil, and a growing number of organizations and congregations invite us to preach and teach. The demand for courses is also growing. From next year we should look at having four annual courses in Brazil, thinks Gustavo Borges.

Three years ago, he attended a conference for Christian business people in Panama. Business as Mission (BAM) has become a well-known concept for many business people. At the conference Gustavo experienced that less people were familiar with the idea that also professionals and students could go to other nations to work and study and at the same time share the Gospel.

South American movement
– Many people got excited when I started sharing about this, and after the conference I got invitations to several South American nations. We are now seeing the birth of what can easily become a South American tentmaking movement, believes Gustavo Borges.

Tent´s branch in Nigeria has made plans for sending 200 tentmakers before 2023. Gustavo Borges believes Tent Brazil should aim equally high.

– Statistics tell us that Brazil has 25 million evangelical believers. In addition, we can recruit tentmakers among those in the Catholic Church who also have a close relationship to Jesus. One of the participants at our GO Equipped-course in November has already gone abroad as a tentmaker. Several other may be on their way soon, says Gustavo.

Growth pain
Tent Brazil´s director is happy that people get engaged when they hear about tentmaking. The growing interest is however also causing some challenges.

– It is fairly easy to organize and run courses. When people start planning how to go, they do however need another kind of follow-up. As soon as possible we hope to have employees in Tent Brazil who can mentor everyone who would like to serve God cross-culturally through their work and studies, says Gustavo Borges.

He believes Tent Brazil will meet two main challenges as they are recruiting tentmakers.

– Brazil is a big nation, and many people have never been outside the Brazilian borders. Thus they have not seen any need of learning another language. This may cause problems when they want to apply for international jobs. Another challenge is that some may look at Tent more like a regular recruitment company. Many people are interested in getting a job outside of Brazil. We do however not aim at just sending people to other nations. We want to work with those who will go as ambassadors for God and his kingdom. Thus we will need to carefully monitor what people´s motivation is in the recruitment process, says Gustavo Borges.

Tent Brazil´s next GO Equipped course will be held in Rio de Janeiro in November.