“I praise God for the privilege of doing this service. We have many different problems every day but the joy of bringing children and whole families into contact with God the Father far outweighs all of this. To God be all glory.” These are the first lines of the last report by Sônia Reinke from Brazil. She is an example of the great passion that characterizes employees of EBM INTERNATIONAL. This high level of motivation is particularly evident in these times of the corona pandemic.
Sônia is the coordinator for the PEPE preschool projects in the south of Brazil, which Baptist congregations of the partner union “Pioneira” of EBM INTERNATIONAL carry out. The programs are currently available at six different locations. This way 81 children from difficult backgrounds are given the chance of a good pre-school education and important learning experiences for life are conveyed. Through the work 72 families are also reached and they experience God’s transforming love through the teams in the congregations which have a caring view of all the families. How this happens everyday can be seen in the feedback you get from children, parents, or even grandparents: “I have experienced a big change in my child’s behavior”, “in preschool it is much better than sitting at home in front of the TV”, “since our child is in the project, we are much happier at home”.
The corona pandemic is hitting Brazil hard. In these days the infections are rising the most in Brazil and with almost 1,000 deaths daily the situation is very difficult. How this will develop in the coming weeks is not yet clear. The EBM INTERNATIONAL projects in Brazil naturally had to completely change their work. Programs such as the PEPE projects are currently not possible on site. However, the support of the families is still necessary and probably more important than ever. We are all painfully aware how much the danger of domestic violence is increasing these days.
How great the influence of PEPE work on an entire family is becomes clear from the testimony of Maira (name changed). During the project she experienced how normal it is to bring one’s concerns before God in prayer. And so she prayed for the family, her parents, and the financial situation at the dinner table. This touched the parents so much that the father began to ask for God. He also began to attend the church services and some time later even got baptized. The example demonstrates at the same time that even in times of Corona it is so important to accompany the children and families. As EBM INTERNATIONAL we therefore want to do everything possible to support projects and their teams financially these days as well.
Sônia concludes her report with the following words: “It is wonderful what God is doing in the life of a child who has never heard of his love, who has never seen a Bible, and who hears nothing from him at home. Many experiences show this clearly. This motivates me and makes my heart rejoice. All glory be to God!”