This past June, Pr. Edison was hospitalized in a battle against brain cancer and on September 22nd, at the age of 67, he succumbed to his illness. This loss was felt by Christians throughout Brazil and was reflected in social media and elsewhere. But the sense of loss is eclipsed by the realization that Edison is seeing and savoring his Lord and, we may surmise, seeing some of the fruits of his own mobilization labors as well. His wife Rute’s words provide perspective and comfort: “My dear, the love of my life, is gone to Jesus. I’m going to see him again for all eternity. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His children. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the Name of the Lord. The will of God was done… praised be the Lord.”
As a mobilizer, Pr. Edison was an innovator. In the 1970s and 80s he was engaged in missions mobilization before it was “a thing” in Brazil. At the same time, when he encountered useful tools — materials, courses, seminars or anything else — he was, unashamedly, an early adopter. Though Baptist — he most recently was serving as the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Santo André (in the state of São Paulo) — his reach was across denominations. Though Brazilian, his reach was international. He was instrumental in launching both COMIBAM - the Ibero-American Missionary Cooperation - in Latin America, and COMINHA - the North American Hispanic Missionary Cooperation - in the U.S. Though a pastor, his reach impacted theologians, missionaries and missiologists. Patrick Johnstone, the renowned author of Operation World, in his book The Church is Bigger Than You Think, says it was Edison “who first opened my eyes to the three basic structures of the Church.” As a child of God, he served his Father well; as a soldier, he served his Commander faithfully.
As I think of Edison now, my thoughts are Pauline-ish. He fought the good fight, he finished the race, he kept the faith. He preached the cause and he mobilized laborers. While Mr. Mobilization will be deeply missed, there is a movement of Brazilian mobilizers and missionaries on the move today — around the globe — who will not forget him… and a band of brothers and sisters in Christ — around the globe — who may never have heard the name of Edison or one of his rousing mobilization messages, but who have heard the glorious name of Jesus Christ and his message of salvation thanks to Edison’s lifelong efforts.
Posted by Joao Mordomo