Rev. Dr. Jovanir Lage is a missionary with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. Jovanir serves as a lecturer of theology at United Methodist University of Mozambique.
An ordained elder, he is a member of Igreja Metodista Quarta Regiao (Methodist Church, Quarters Region), Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He is married to Roberta Yntia Vieira Rios Lage, and they are the parents of two children. “My wife,” Jovanir said, “is a graduate in speech therapy and clinical experience in family health and care through the unique health system in Brazil.”
Growing up in a poor family, Jovanir found spiritual support in the Methodist Church. At age 15, he experienced a call to the ministry at a church in a small town. “I felt welcomed by the communion and joy of these brothers and sisters,” he said. Immediately, he became active in the congregation and learned more about God’s love for him and all people.
“As a member of that small Methodist church,” Jovanir said, “I went through different roles, dedicating myself to getting to know Methodism better and applying it to my practice of faith. I worked as a member of the worship ministry and youth society and later took on the coordination of ministries such as social action and missions.”
Those moments of service, he noted, “were essential for the ardor of the gospel to consolidate even more in my heart.” At age 27, he helped to expand the mission field to another neighborhood in the city.
“The direct contact with those people and with their most diverse needs made the call of God consolidate in me,” Jovanir said. “I accepted the challenge of moving to São Paulo to study theology.”
Both Jovanir and his wife left their jobs to study full time at the university. “Although our relatives and friends thought that this was a risky action,” he admitted, “for us, it was the full conviction of God’s call.”
After completing the four-year Bachelor of Theology course, Jovanir was appointed to work in the city of São João Del Rei, with the challenge of building a church.
“With the grace of God, even in the face of many adversities,” he said, “we were able to carry out that work in three years.” Serving as a full-time pastor, Jovanir began studies toward master’s and doctorate degrees in science of religion.
“After another six years of studies,” he said, “I was assigned to take over the missionary and theological training seminar of the Methodist Church, Instituto Metodista Teológico João Ramos Júnior. Since then, the pastoral vocation, combined with educational practice, has become a great learning experience, making me very happy so that more people can prepare for God’s mission.”
As a missionary, Jovanir is a lecturer of theology at the United Methodist University of Mozambique, Cambine. To guarantee the university’s institutional growth, the Mozambique Episcopal Area requested well-qualified missionaries who can help to maintain the university as a pivotal learning hub in southeastern Mozambique.