Victor Kubik talks with Jorge de Campos about the Portuguese language work and Angolan church.
[Victor Kubik] This is Victor Kubik, President of the United Church of God. Our guest today is Jorge de Campos, who is responsible for the work of God in the Portuguese-speaking areas of the world. Portuguese is a major language – it’s actually spoken by more people than German, French, and some other languages that we think of first. And he has been responsible for translating much of our literature into the Portuguese language – 33 booklets, the Bible Study Course – he’s one of the most hard-working people that I know. I first met Jorge de Campos in South Africa in the year 2000 – maybe even before that, on one of my trips. But I stayed with him on two different occasions on trips to South Africa. He’s originally from Mozambique, is Portuguese-speaking, and has now found himself with his wife and family here in the United States. He’s been a person that’s done so much, and again, I said one of the hardest known people that I know – who’s a really hard worker. So welcome, Jorge.
[Jorge de Campos] Thank you, Mr. Kubik.
[Victor] It’s good to have you on the podcast today. Please tell us a little bit about what you’re doing and some of the developments that we’ve had here in the Portuguese-speaking areas. I know that I’ll ask you more questions about relationships with some other Portuguese-speaking people in Africa, but tell us a little bit about, from your perspective, about what’s happening.
[Jorge] What we have been doing is – obviously, we’re getting the booklets into the language and we relaunched the website. It’s now just over a year, and the growth that God has provided in a number of users is in the region of 360% increase in users.
[Victor] Please tell us where this is going, and where do you think this is going to go with some of the media efforts that we have?
[Jorge] What is happening is we’re getting a lot of requests on our website for booklets, as well as literature. One example is God inspired some large group in Brazil to produce a TV program on the Ten Commandments. And because of that, a lot of users in Brazil – and that program is also broadcast in Portugal – because of that, a lot of people searched on the Ten Commandments on a website, and they found our website and our booklet, The Ten Commandments. So since around, about late October through to now, we have had requests in the region of something like fifteen thousand requests for the booklet, The Ten Commandments. That is a huge increase. But not only that, it’s been other booklets that people that have navigated through our website, and there’s been questions that have come on the internet, and therefore hopefully over time, there will be people that will repent and change their ways of life.
[Victor] Now isn’t that interesting? I’m just amazed as to how things work with the internet and what one thing does in leading to another. Actually, I was actually interested and wondering why we had such a great increase in the amount of requests in the Portuguese language. So it was because of this other group speaking about the Ten Commandments that led our people as they searched to find The Ten Commandments and come to our literature.
[Jorge] Correct, correct. And that is amazing. It’s God that opens doors, and it’s God’s work. We’re just too honored to be able to serve God this way.
[Victor] Well, it’ll be wonderful if we could meet some of these people and to visit with them and to be able to establish churches. That’s what I would really like to see us do.
[Jorge] And therefore I’m planning a very large – let’s call it visiting tour after Passover, so including Passover and after Passover, to visit a number of those requests. And let’s pray and ask God that He would bless that so that there would be some fruits, positive fruits, from that.
[Victor] Well, Jorge, one thing that’s been very, very interesting to me is this new group – actually, it’s not a new group, it’s one that we have heard about and had contact with for some time – in Angola. Now, Angola is a Portuguese-speaking country, and this group – you can tell us about it – but how is it that we came into contact with them and their renewed interest? And we understand that you may be going over there to visit?
[Jorge] Basically, it’s a group that heard the truth through the efforts of our previous association, and they’ve been faithful and loyal to the teachings that God inspired through Mr. Armstrong, and they came to know of us also through the internet. Because of our relaunched internet, they saw us, they saw our fundamental beliefs, and they contacted us saying there’s no reason why we should not be talking, and obviously, I didn’t know of them, but I did not know how to contact them. And so they, by contacting us, they then had a special council meeting in their organization, a separate group. They have remained faithful to God’s holy days, to the Sabbath. They keep the Feast. And they contacted us. And the most encouraging thing to me is that they did not come and ask for money – they came and asked for spiritual food. In other words, assistance in the truth and growing in the knowledge of Christ and of the kingdom of God. And that is so encouraging.
[Victor] That is very, very encouraging when people really see what true value is, and what real treasure is. In know that working in Africa, in some of the most impoverished areas of the world, it’s always top of mind – how can we help these people physically, when really, spiritual help should be first and foremost. And then of course, obviously part of your helping would be in a physical way. But it’s interesting that these people have come and really making a point of needing spiritual food. And you said there were two-and-a-half thousand of them?
[Jorge] Yes, sir. They kept – there was two-and-a-half thousand brethren that had kept the Feast, and I’m planning to visit them on my trip to Brazil. Then I will go across the southern Atlantic Ocean to Luanda, to visit them for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread and following Passover and also a day before and a day after those holy days. And they are at this moment putting together a list of areas of training and questions they will have, so that when I’m there, I can have the time – the most productive possible to serve them.
[Victor] Now I know, Jorge, this is somewhat premature, but where do you see this going, and what do you hope will come of this?
[Jorge] God knows where it’s going. I’m just too pleased to serve and to help and to show them a little bit more of God’s truth. We, at the moment, we have all the literature barring two booklets – we’ve got 33 booklets in Portuguese. We’ve got many sermons up in Portuguese. We’re sending them, to each one of the elders, which are 31 elders there – we’re sending each one of the elders one of our – a copy of each of our booklets. And my desire to go there is to show to them what are we doing, how we’re doing, help them to do the same thing within the financial capabilities that they have – help them to do that, and encourage them to do that. And then we’ll see what God leads to.
[Victor] Well, I know that you will do it in a very wise way and this will develop fruit as we see God opening doors. I really believe that God is opening some tremendous doors for the United Church of God, all around the world. And perhaps this is a precursor to some other open doors that He has for us.
[Jorge] Well, what I do want to ask is one favor from the brethren, is that they pray for a couple of things. First and foremost is that God’s Spirit will be abounding so that I may show them God’s love and concern for them, but also a spirit of discernment to help them in a way that they need that help, and also for protection, both physically and healthwise, because it is important – this is a very difficult trip and a lot of things could go wrong. But one of the things that we need is health. We know there are various fears – I’m going to go through Brazil and various areas. There are serious fears now with mosquito-borne illnesses. In fact, I was talking to some of the brethren in Angola yesterday, and one of them has got currently some sort of malaria-type or mosquito-borne disease. So that is everywhere, and for me to do God’s work effectively, I need to be in good health, and I do pray that God would intervene and I know that with your prayers, God will intervene.
[Victor] Well, we certainly will be praying very much for the Portuguese-speaking areas, and particularly in Brazil and Angola, where you really diligently work. Well, we’re so very thankful for everything you do, Jorge, in the work – your translations, your sermons, and the heart that you put into everything that’s done. So thank you for joining us on Inside United, and hope that you come back to visit us soon.