A Heart to Serve the Lord

Published in the Dunndeal Gazettes, November 2021

Cristiane Araujo Costa was born and raised in a Christian family in Brazil. She accepted Jesus as a young child and began missions work as an adolescent, serving in the children’s ministry and evangelism. She learned to play the guitar and began performing during church worship services. At just 14 years of age, she was chosen to be a worship leader.

“The more I got involved in these ministries, the more I loved them, and the more I loved Jesus,” said Cris.

Her heart to serve continued to grow. When she was 17, God spoke to her and told her He wanted her to be a missionary.

“This was the most meaningful day of my life. I felt especially blessed when my pastor and others from my church confirmed that they felt this calling was indeed from the Lord.”

She later attended a five-month Discipleship Training School, where she began to learn about missions and what this life would entail. Since that time, God has led her to various places in Brazil, including villages along the Amazon River, Portugal, South Africa, and the U.S.

“God has impressed on my heart that He wants me to take His message to ‘the Nations’, and so I must continue to go.”

She is currently attending a training program at the School of Ministry Development at Youth with a Mission (YWAM) Orlando. The organization has bases in more than 100 countries around the world. The in-depth leadership training equips young people with the tools they need to share the gospel across the world. When she and her classmates complete their training, they will be sent to Tunisia or Haiti to minister in orphanages and villages, or to somewhere local in partnership with churches in the area.

Judy Dedmon, a long-time Land O’ Lakes resident, met Cris in 2013 when Idlewild Baptist Church sent a team to provide medical care, dental care, and humanitarian assistance, as well as to preach the Gospel to some of the 50,000, mostly unreached, villages along the Amazon River.

Cris served as the translator and led the worship team. Each time the members of Idlewild returned for missions’ trips, they requested Cris to serve alongside them.

“It’s been a blessing to share many trips with her, and we consider each other friends and sisters in Christ. God had a reason for taking two women from different worlds and bringing us together,” said Judy.

The life of a missionary is so rewarding, but it can also be financially challenging. There have been difficult times, including a long recovery from COVID, not knowing how she would pay for her healthcare, monthly gas to continue to visit families, water, or the time when the air conditioning went out at a Presbyterian church in the heat of an Amazon summer, and praying for the $240 to fix it. Each time, she put her trust in the Lord, knowing He would provide. Cris needs our help to “Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Mark 16:15

If you are interested in supporting her ministry, go to https://ywamorlando.com/pay, choose “Payment for a Student/Participant”, enter her name Cristiane Araujo Costa, and choose SOMD under school program.