January 17, 2021

Recommendation and Review: Butterfly in Brazil by Glenn Packiam

glenns-book-med.jpgIn the center of our campus is a poem on a monument. The poem, which I can’t find online and won’t reproduce, is about accepting that God has sent you to serve in a small place. You’ve said, “Here am I, Lord. Send me,” and God has sent you to a place in the literal middle of nowhere.

The last line of the poem is this, “Of course, Nazareth was a tiny place. And so was Galilee.”

Glenn Packiam, worship leader and student minister at New Life Church in Colorado, has written a simple motivational book for Christians who need to be reminded that changing the world is a small business venture. That small business begins where you are, with the opportunities in front of you, the neighbors you have, the work that needs to be done and the small things that matter today.

Butterfly in Brazil is the first book from this worship leader and multi-cultural Christian, but I predict it won’t be his last. Packiam is a voice calling a generation to missions and he needs to be heard from in print, not just in his more well-known venue, Desperation Band.

Packiam wants us to abandon the idea of doing great things for God by starting great things for God. He wants to implement the “Butterfly in Brazil” principle: one small change in a butterfly’s wings in Brazil can, through the subsequent chain of changes, result in a tornado in Texas. Our calling to be Kingdom servants is, in Packiam’s vision, a calling to start small, start now and start local.

This is great stuff for any group of Christians, but Packiam writes with a student/young adult audience in mind. He delves into Biblical examples like Nehemiah and tells great stories of people who made incredible things possible by doing faithful things now. He keeps it interesting and devotional, but the appeal to missionary action and risky, costly, bold ministry is never compromised.

Packiam is an energetic writer whose work will be great fuel for anyone working with students or any preacher wanting to create a missions and ministry emphasis locally. This book, in combination with local ministry options or seminars on how to use technology to multiply ministry around the world, could be a revolution for your ministry or small group.

This is a book about perseverance, focus, risk, suffering and even dying for Christ. But it’s disguised as a fun read for students who liked their mission trip. It’s a good book to have on hand to give away to a student feeling “called” to missions. It has the complete right attitude about where to start, and what to avoid.

I read it in 4 hours. Good stuff on missions, discipleship and Christian growth. I recommend it. (I think Frank Turk would like the chapters on staying where you are and making a difference there.)


  1. Aaaaaaaa!!!!

    Sorry, the scientist and mathematician in me is screaming about that whole “butterfly wing flaps to tornado” idea.

    Chaos theory is the source of that idea, but the idea is a horribly sensationalized misunderstanding of what the models and mathematics of Chaos Theory actually say.

    (This has nothing to do with the book, I’m sure the book is awesome.)

  2. Could be this poem:

    “Father, where shall I work today?”
    And my love flowed warm and free.
    Then He pointed out a tiny spot and said,
    “Tend that for me.”

    I answered quickly, “Oh, no, not that!
    Why, no one would ever see,
    No matter how well my work was done.
    Not that little place for me.”

    And the word God spoke, it was not stern.
    God answered me tenderly.
    “Ah, little one, search that heart of yours.
    Are you working for them…or me?
    Nazareth was a little place,
    And so was Galilee.”
    –Meade McGuire

Speak Your Mind