Razão Para Viver: Insight for Living Ministries in the Portuguese Language

  • Razão Para Viver: Insight for Living Ministries in the Portuguese Language
Razão Para Viver: Insight for Living Ministries in the Portuguese Language

During her daily drive to work in metropolitan Curitiba, Viviane refuses to let the noise and rush of her city or the day’s looming activities dominate her thoughts. Instead, she uses this time in her car for worship, tuning her heart and mind to Jesus by listening to the Bible teaching of Razão Para Viver (RPV), the Portuguese-language ministry of Insight for Living Ministries (IFLM). She describes how these messages speak with such personal relevance and biblical clarity that she sometimes stops her car to dwell on the words of “hope and life.” Viviane continues:

I praise the Lord for the zeal with which all of you have served through Razão Para Viver. I listen to your daily words on the radio...almost every day.... Many times, I have heard answers to my prayers.... It is, for me, an invitation of the Holy Spirit to something new and life-changing. Thank you for your messages [and] dedication [to] this purpose.

Viviane is one of 210 million Portuguese speakers in the massive country of Brazil. When Brazil is mentioned, many think of the great Christ the Redeemer statue towering over Rio de Janeiro. With outstretched arms, the statue signals both Christ’s work on the cross as well as His invitation to receive His forgiveness and walk with Him. Sadly, though, a different Jesus, not the biblical Jesus, is more often preached throughout the country. Some preach Christ by infusing the gospel with a burden of religious rituals to earn His favor and salvation. Others skip the cross by preaching only the crown and giving people the false promises of instant health and wealth for following Jesus and for giving to their ministry.

The legalist’s gospel and the prosperity gospel, however, haven’t totally eclipsed the true Gospel. Many Portuguese speakers in Brazil and across the world are discovering the grace of God—putting their faith in Christ and receiving new life in Him. For that reason, RPV is more excited than ever about the work ahead, including new opportunities to preach, new avenues for the broadcast, and new territories to train pastors. Our enthusiasm and diligence flow directly from the Gospel because it is a message worthy of our highest excitement and effort...a prominent theme throughout the 34-year history of RPV.

An Exciting Message

Early on, IFLM dreamed of airing the broadcast in new languages where Bible teaching is less prominent than in the United States. So, as God allowed, we devoted many of our resources toward this end. Portuguese became our second new language, after Spanish, when we partnered in 1988 with Trans World Radio (TWR), whose Brazilian office was headquartered in São Paulo—Brazil’s “New York City.” On September 5 of that year, the first broadcast of Razão Para Viver, translated “Reason for Living,” launched into Brazil from the Caribbean Island of Bonaire with the voice of Sergio Paulo representing Pastor Chuck Swindoll. For more than 12 years, Sergio faithfully heralded the translated sermons of Pastor Chuck. The ministry received countless stories like Viviane’s above. When Sergio felt called to move on, we wondered who would replace him. Would listeners accept a new voice? Thankfully, God was already at work, preparing a new era for RPV...a new era to be led by Fernando Bochio.

In 2003, this energetic pastor, church consultant, and professor became the voice and leader of RPV. But why did he add yet another responsibility to his already-full schedule? Passion. Fernando immediately resonated with Pastor Chuck’s sermons saying they “are the kinds of sermons Brazilians need rather than a tainted, false gospel,” and he fully embraced our mission:

IFLM exists to communicate the truths of Scripture and the person of Jesus Christ in a clear, accurate, and practical manner so that people will come to an understanding of God’s plan for their lives as well as their unique roles as authentic Christians in a needy, hostile, and desperate world.

In fact, passion has fuelled Fernando from the very beginning of his spiritual journey. One night as a teenager, while lying in bed thinking over the intriguing message of the Gospel just presented to him at a conference, he prayed, “God, if you are real, show Yourself to me, because you know I don’t believe.” God instantly answered his prayer and transformed his life.

Quickly, Fernando felt the call to ministry, but dyslexia and a dysfunctional homelife hindered his ability to learn. Then, he met Ieda. The two fell in love and their relationship proved pivotal. Ieda and her father frequently and patiently sat with Fernando to teach him the Bible, giving clarity and confirmation to his call to preach and pastor while also laying the groundwork for further education. Fernando and Ieda soon married, and this year marks their 45th wedding anniversary!

Shortly after joining together in 2003, IFLM and the Bochios began to realize the need for RPV to be its own entity so it could develop ministry initiatives beyond the airways. That hope came to fruition in 2006. First, TWR and RPV parted ways to enable RPV to become an independent nonprofit. Second, Fernando gave up consulting to help navigate the bureaucratic red tape of starting a religious organization. Third, IFLM sent Ken Grant from Texas to help launch the new office and become the executive director of RPV. They stationed the office in Cajamar.

Ken Grant had spent much of his life in South America, as a child of missionaries, before moving in the early 2000s to Texas to lead Visión Para Vivir, the Spanish-language ministry of IFLM. He thoroughly understood the Christian broadcasting world of South America. Fernando and Ken established RPV as an autonomous organization in Brazil to carry the distinct culture and aims of IFLM within its cultural and linguistic context.

The excitement and growth, including the construction of their new recording studio, quickly came to a screeching halt, however, when a financial recession struck Brazil. But Fernando and Ieda determined to keep RPV alive using their personal funds and resources.

Just before the recession hit, they had purchased their new home with multiple floors awaiting a fresh renovation. During the crisis, the Bochios gathered around the table with their three children, all being teenagers, for a family meeting to discuss what to do next. Each agreed the first floor would serve as the location of their new studio and that the funds they had set aside for reconstruction would be allocated toward this end. They refused to let the hardships of this life put out their fire for God’s Word!

For example, when studio construction depleted their bank reserves, Fernando sold two vehicles and used his inheritance to finish the project. For years, the Bochio family lived upstairs with cinderblocks for walls, sheets for doors, and suitcases for drawers as they completed and then harnessed the power of their new studio.

New translated resources, new church engagements, new pastor training conferences—God quickly expanded the borders of RPV. To dedicate more of his time to RPV, in 2011, Fernando stepped down from his professorship, and in 2013, he stepped away from 35 years of local-church pastoring.

Ieda began volunteering for RPV by leading women’s conferences, organizing events, counseling women, and helping with publications. Ieda spent decades lecturing, consulting, teaching, and researching as a professor. But in July 2019, she resigned from her extensive career to turn her full attention to the ministry of RPV by becoming its new executive director. She says:

ALL PEOPLE ARE IMPORTANT TO GOD! ...So, we want to make the priceless Word of God available to more and more. We pray for Portuguese speakers everywhere, so we can be a tool for their spiritual growth and understanding of the Scriptures. We pray that they not only gain head-knowledge but have their hearts and lives changed through the love of Christ.

Bill Gemaehlich, IFLM’s chief operations officer, attests that God is answering their prayers. After his four trips to visit the RPV headquarters in Brazil, he says, “It was always deeply rewarding and inspiring for me to see the way Jesus has used these godly men and women to transform lives.”

RPV’s enthusiastic demonstration of God’s sacrificial love has continued into the present in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has multiplied the needs of many throughout the country. As jobs were lost, deaths increased, and resources like food and clothing dwindled for those in the more isolated parts of Brazil, RPV made every effort to share the strength and comfort of God’s Word and even raise financial support to meet the physical needs of certain communities—more on that in a bit. Fernando shares:

COVID-19 has affected us all every day of our lives. It quickly became very disruptive. God worked in our fragile vases...and, in our fragility, He gave us immense treasure. We were able to experience His power in us that has helped us persevere through all the adversities. We thank God for our fragility because in it He has proven Himself more than faithful.

An Exciting Expansion

The fruit of Fernando and Ieda’s excitement and diligence, as well as that of the RPV staff and board, has consistently expanded beyond what we ever imagined. The Word of God launches out through RPV's broadcasts from 35 radio stations across Brazil—along with stations in Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, France, Paraguay, and the United States. Currently, 28 translated series are available for the radio program and for purchase while more than 130 videos have been published via social media. Thousands upon thousands access these Bible teaching materials along with other written resources, all of which can be found at

In recent years, RPV started a Vision 195 mentorship initiative to strengthen and train pastors in vulnerable and isolated communities throughout the Amazon, Brazil, and Portugal, as well as other locations in Asia and Africa.

In fact, the Amazon is an area of particular need because of the limited accessibility of many of its villages and churches. Initially, RPV began reaching these indigenous people through the radio program. Then Fernando began traveling to strategic sites to train missionaries and church leaders including those with the Amazon mission agency Wings of Help. During these trips, RPV also brings equipment and books. The missionaries and pastors, who serve these indigenous peoples, have responded enthusiastically. The personal, life-on-life support as well as the Searching the Scriptures Bible study teaching have proven invaluable. Fernando says, “We are grateful that our ministry is known for offering sound, biblical training that truly benefits these pastors and missionaries who are trying to reach the remote villages of the Amazon region.”

Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many pastors and missionaries in these isolated areas went without basic necessities. So, RPV began raising awareness and funds to meet their needs. Dr. Luis Pereira, vice president of RPV, said, “We received many testimonies of support arriving just in time as answers to prayer. They shared with us their gratitude to God and we were humbled by their happiness. We serve an amazing God!”

In 2021, RPV completed the Portuguese translation of the Searching the Scriptures Pastor Training Manual, which Fernando uses to train church leaders in areas ranging from big cities like São Paulo to those small communities mentioned above to distant brothers and sisters in Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Ieda continues to cultivate and lead many ministry endeavors as she directs operations, speaks at women’s conferences, and oversees the women’s prayer ministry of RPV.

All these activities capture just a glimpse of God’s faithfulness to RPV and His use of RPV for spreading the gospel message. Our excitement has only grown. Fernando perfectly captures RPV’s spiritual heartbeat:

The testimonies and the many prayer requests we receive remind us of all that needs to be accomplished to fulfil Vision 195. We have many plans, but we are seeking God’s plan and strategies, to have hearts and ears tuned in to His Word and Spirit so that it is His passion that fuels our ministry.