A mission: to bring love and faith to Cape Verde

 Paulo Diego, 31, left Brazil in 2014 with three more friends to Cape Verde. His goal was to learn more about the culture, to learn Cape Verdean Creole, and to identify communities and areas that needed help. The trip was one more step following a long period of planning by the Christian organization Vida Vida em Foco.

Photo: “Vida em Foco” ONG in Cape Verde

Being a missionary for 8 years – 6 of them in Cape Verde – Diego contacted the organization for the first time in 2009 invited by a friend. “Those days were remarkable in my life, I learned many new, impactful things, and with each passing day, I was sure and convinced that God was calling me for missions”, he shares. Years later,  Paulo Diego helped to found and became a mission president in the African nation. From a Catholic family, he became a Protestant in his teens and says he has always received a lot of support.

Paulo Diego is currently married and the father of a 9-month-old boy and he claims that he has no intention to leave Cape Verde. “There is still a lot to do”. He shares that he wants to “Expand our kindergarten and open an elementary school in a poor community called Salina”, says. Diego also says he dreams of inspiring the work of missionaries in other countries in Africa.

Paulo Diego next to his wife Jade and their son Benjamin, Photo: Personal archive

The Vida em Foco Mission started with the goal of mobilizing Christians from Brazil and abroad to practice their religion with a focus on the sustainable and social development of the countries they visit. It was founded in 2004 by two missionary couples from Fortaleza.

ATLANTICO – How did you become a missionary? 

Paulo Diego – In 2009, a friend invited me to do a school for urban missions. I had no idea what a mission was and how missions were done. In fact, I didn’t care about that. But I knew there was a time for prayer and meditation. That’s what attracted me because I needed that time. The school had 16 students, all involved with something in the church and I was the only one who did nothing. Those days were remarkable in my life, I learned many new, impactful things, and with each passing day, I was sure and convinced that God was calling me for missions. In 2012 I became a full-time missionary. The following year, I was invited to be part of the first team that would meet and probe Cape Verde. The second trip was in March 2014 and in August of the same year we returned definitively.

ATLANTICO – How is your work in Cape Verde?

Paulo Diego – We work in the city of Pedra Badejo, which is on the island of Santiago. We work with around 300 children and teenagers from two poor communities. We conduct children’s worship, discipleship, drama classes, dance, music classes, crafts, recreation, and a soccer school. With adults, we offer craft classes, training courses for young people, sewing and sewing workshops and support for drug addicts. Besides that, we do training for missionaries and provide assistance to some churches. All of these projects are intended to evangelize and improve people’s living conditions.

Photo: “Vida em Foco” ONG in Cape Verde

ATLANTICO – How did you choose Cape Verde? How long did you arrive and for what period do you intend to stay?

Paulo Diego – When we arrived in the region where we are today, we realized that there was a great need. Cape Verde’s geographical location is also strategic. In August 2020 it will be six years that I am here and I do not know when I will return. There is still a lot to do.

ATLANTICO – What is your perspective on Cape Verde and Africa after this mission? 

Paulo Diego – There are some challenges to be overcome in Cape Verde. We want to expand our kindergarten and open an elementary school in a poor community called Salina, one of the places where we operate.

ATLANTICO – How does your family deal with being a missionary?

Paulo Diego – My parents are Catholics. I became a Protestant but they never opposed it. It was my father who gave me the first bible. When he gave me the second bible, he wrote: “the day of separation has come. To God, we give you up and trust that His will is the best for your life “. When I read this I realized that I would never return to live in the place where I was born.

ATLANTICO – What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a missionary?

Photo: “Vida em Foco” ONG in Cape Verde

Paulo Diego – The first thing is to get involved in some way in some mission, to have an experience. It could be a training school, a congress, a seminar or a mission trip, something like that. Second, it is necessary and good for the person to serve in the local church. This is not crucial, but it helps a lot. The third point is to be convinced of the missionary call. This conviction will come from missionary experiences, but mainly through prayer. Fourth: don’t be rebellious, be submissive to pastors, leaders, and parents. Fifth: do it for the love of Christ and neighbor.

More information about the organization:

Instagram @mvfcaboverde
Email: mvfcaboverde@gmail.com
Whatssa + 238 9309796