dos Santos, Vinicius Guimaraes

Country: Barbados
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Serving At: Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, South Caribbean District
Home Country: Brazil

Vinicius Guimaraes dos Santos is an international Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service. He is studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at Center University, Una, Brazil.

The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program has a strong emphasis on faith and justice. Global Mission Fellows become active parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.

A member of Parish of Our Lady of the Conception Catholic Church, Aparecida, Brazil, Vinicius leads youth and teaches catechism.

“My life path is accompanied and led by God,” he said. “Daily, God has shown me what I need to improve and what decisions I need to make in the best way possible. Through all the moments and situations I went through, God was present, showing me what was best and helping me make important decisions. And so, it happened when I decided to be a missionary.”

He believes fervently in God’s call to mission.

“Dedicating myself to the mission of evangelizing people is something that God has had for me since the day I discovered myself as a servant of God,” he said, “and this has been a unique and exciting experience in my life. My spiritual growth comes from all the opportunities I have had to help someone discover God’s path and understand the wonderful the blessings he can provide in our lives.”

Even in tough times, God has prevailed, Vinicius said.

“Many times that I felt discouraged, God, with all his mercy and love, helped me to rekindle the flame in my heart, and I returned even stronger to my mission,” Vinicius said. “I see myself ready to learn more as a missionary, knowing that my spiritual growth will be even greater and more challenging, but that the reward of working for God will be infinite.

“God has always been with me, and at this moment, he trusts me with the possibility of accomplishing something new in my life, something that he prepared for me and has been preparing me for all these years: the mission of evangelizing.”

Working with the United Methodist project Shade and Fresh Water, Vinicius did educational community organizing and development. He also led adult adult sports teams in the community, encouraging and strengthening participants’ well-being.

“The Global Mission Fellows program,” he asserted, “fits with my efforts in educational community organizing and development.”