Stories from the Mission Field

January 2022

January 2022

Finally playing together again!

During the Thanksgiving and Christmas offerings, we shared how God is changing the lives of children with His love through the various projects in Ijuí in southern Brazil. We are grateful that the pandemic situation there has developed in the second half of 2021 in such a way that girls and boys can come back to the centers and a bit of normality has returned. Here are some highlights from the lives of some of the children and young people:

At the social center in Ijuí, children are already receiving lunch and an afternoon snack again, as well as workshops in homework assistance, reading, and computers. Especially in the playroom, the joy is evident, because the children can once again experience fellowship on site. Pedro* is 15 years old and has been coming to the social center for eight years. He writes: “Without the team here, I would not be where I am now. Thank you for all the investment in my life, my faith and trust in my potential. You are people who motivate me to keep going.” Pedro’s big sister, like three other young adults, was able to find a job with the team’s help.

At the social center in Cotia, 140 families have received blankets and warm clothing. Lucas* belongs to one of these households and has been going to the center for a long time. He suffered a lot from his obesity and was teased by other children because of it. Now he has made friends, does a lot of sports and has built strong self-confidence. Lucas has learned that he is loved and valuable and writes: “The project is everything for me! I love sports and we can learn from the Word of God. The activities are incredible. I am thankful that Jesus is my friend!”

In Diadema, the pandemic has also increased suffering in many families. Nevertheless, the visits by the team have been able to bring about much positive change, as the story of two sisters (ages 11 and 13) shows: Their parents and two big brothers are drug addicts and some have even had to serve prison sentences. The two girls suffer terribly and are shuffled from one caregiver to another. Often they can only survive with food help from their grandmother or her friend. In this situation, the social center is an important stable contact for the whole family and especially for the two young siblings. The staff is there for them and has open ears for their worries and needs.

*names changed