The incredible story of Polly Souza from Brazil to her second family in the United States, her encounter with Jesus and her mission to preach the Gospel and help people all around the world.
Polly Souza was born in Natal, Brazil, but had a dream to be educated in the U.S. She came to the U.S. in 1995 to study English and then pursued a B.S. in Medical Technology, graduating in 2002 from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. She worked for Proctor Hospital in Peoria as an MT for 8 years and then spearheaded a new initiative called Planetree, a patient-centered care model, for 1 year. Although she came to the U.S. to pursue an education and a better quality of life, the Lord had much more planned for her—to draw her to Himself. On Easter 1997, Polly gave her life to Jesus and started on a journey of faith and growth.
In 2000, Polly went on her first mission trip to Costa Rica and there discovered one of her spiritual gifts to be evangelism as she led several people into a personal relationship with Jesus by sharing the Gospel with urgency and compassion. In 2003 Indonesia was her next destination. This time the focus was to meet Sulastri, her Compassion International child whom she had sponsored for over ten years until she left the program due to family relocation. There, through the intense exposure to the Hindu religion and the worship of idols, she experienced a deeper brokenness in heart for the lost than ever before. In a moment of crying out for the souls of those around her as well her younger Brazilian sister, who at that time was not following the Lord, she asked Jesus to use her as an instrument in His hand to bring the lost and contrite in spirit a step closer to Him.
In October 2011 she joined Mercy Ships in West Africa using her medical skills to bring hope to the poorest of the poor through outreaches in Sierra Leone and Togo. While with Mercy Ships she not only served as an MT in the laboratory, but she had the opportunity to serve in Human Resources working directly with the staff through orientations and assistance in adjustment to life on the ship. While in that department, she also had opportunities to give devotionals, and on different occasions, share messages of hope and exhortation to crew members during weekly community gatherings. This opened up many opportunities for one-on-one evangelism and increased discipleship prospects with various crew members.
During the year of serving onboard the Africa Mercy, Polly experienced much growth in understanding her role in the Kingdom and desired to be further used in His service. Polly’s yearning to experience new depths of intimacy with her Savior and Beloved Jesus as well as fresh encounters with His Spirit and increasing revelation of His divine purposes for her life led her to participate in the Discipleship Training School with YWAM in southern France. Upon completion of the DTS, she did outreaches in India and Nepal. Since then, she has completed the YWAM School of Biblical Studies (SBS) in Wiler, Switzerland, and has been teaching at different YWAM bases, home groups and churches around the world.
Polly has two loving families, one in her native country of Brazil and another in the U.S. Her American family was responsible for Polly’s first exposure to the Gospel and ultimately led her into a personal relationship with Jesus. They have nurtured and discipled her through the years and have been God’s greatest earthly example to her of a Christ-like life. Through their love and care, they have been instruments of healing in several areas of her life.