Brazil Dispatch: Ken & Ira Olson

The Fundamentalist is the only hard copy newspaper dealing with current issues in the church such as prosperity theology, Pentecostalism, modern worship, Bible versions, etc. published in the whole of Brazil, as far as we know. We publish 3,000 copies of The Fundamentalist every three months.

The Fundamentalist Newspaper Breakdown

  • Hard Copies – There are other people in Brazil on the internet publishing the type of articles we distribute, but we believe that the time of hard copies is not over. Businesses in the US continue to send out huge amounts of advertising in the mail as we see our mailboxes in the US filled up every day. Many people might read some of the newspaper if it is actually in their hands whereas they would never look it up on the internet.
  • Loose in the Mail – We have been able to send individual copies of our newspaper without any envelope, just loose in the mail. This has the capability to greatly increase our audience. We always put a couple of picture pages from a gospel tract on the back cover (which is exposed with the address) to catch the eye, and I am sure that many workers in the Post Office get some gospel as they take a look (I know a little about Post Office workers as I worked sorting mail in the Post Office for 12 years). We also put a short article on the back designed to stir up some interest. Then if the interest is stirred up, the entire paper can be opened up to read. Whoever picks up the paper from the church mailbox can take a look at it and not just save it for the pastor.
  • Church Leaders – We send out The Fundamentalist to most of the conservative Presbyterian and Baptist churches of Brazil (the ones for which we have addresses). Our mailing list is actually bigger than the 3,000 but we rotate the “cold” lists where many will probably not read the paper. Of course we have people who send in for free subscriptions as well. We make up packets to send to supporters in churches to give out to the people in the church. We go out most Sundays both in the morning and evening to give out the papers in local supporting churches. We try to aim the paper at a general audience as well as for pastors.
  • Page Format – It has been suggested that we make the paper bigger, but we believe it is good at this size because:
    • we send out a PDF email edition which is circulated all over Brazil as well. It already takes about 5 minutes to download the 8 pages and more pages would be unwieldy.
    • postage would be increased if the paper were increased in size.
    • it is handy to give to people in churches and fits nicely in their Bibles.
    • we put out the paper more often than some other papers have been put out – every three months.
    • we are firm believers in “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.” We don’t want to give too much at once. When we witness we want to first give a tract and not a whole Bible.

CIEF 2013: “Contending for the Faith.”

CIEFWe had our fall meeting of CIEF on May 25 in the city of São Paulo. We had a good group and good messages on “Contending for the Faith.” Our director of the Northeast of Brazil made a surprise appearance at the meeting and announced that we would have the next meeting of CIEF in the spring up in the Northeast in Garanhuns, Pernambuco.

Strategic Travel

In April we took a seven hour trip to Rio de Janeiro to visit our friend, Josias, who is starting a new church there. He had been inviting us to go there for years. We also went to a three day Independent Baptist missionary conference where we made some good contacts. I set up a table, gave out our newspaper, and sold a few books at nominal prices.

Olson Family News!

The Olson family welcomed another grandchild, Nicholas, born in May to our daughter Priscilla and her husband Nick! That is in addition to our granddaughter Kaylee born to our son Matthew and his wife Carolyn in February. Thanks again for all of your support and prayers.

– Ken & Ira Olson, São Paulo, Brazil