Boys and girls proudly show off their “Pulseira de Cores” (bracelets). The gold, black, red, white, and green beads help to tell the good news of Jesus.
The children had to quickly rearrange themselves to spell out John 3:16 correctly.
Each child promised to tell one other person about the “bracelet of many colors.”
Life is not easy for Erivelton and Lorena and for many children who live in or near the Torres Gêmeas (Twin Towers) not far from our church. The owner of the Towers apparently ran out of money before construction was completed on the project in the 90s, leaving 15-story skeletons with no windows, doors, electricity or running water. Poor families moved in, making their own improvements on the apartments as resources allowed. Today, over 400 people live in the Towers. Not long ago, there were one or two murders every month. The future seems bleak for families in this bairro (neighborhood).
The local church we attend (Igreja Batista Reviver) is committed to finding practical ways to reach out with the love of Jesus in our bairro, our state and around the world. Recently, we began a children’s ministry with kids like Erivelton and Lorena. Each week, we teach the kids that they are precious in God’s sight. We tell Bible stories, sing songs, play games, and form a kid’s band with homemade musical instruments.
Graça, the director of the community center where we hold the classes, is so pleased with our work that she would like us to offer more classes for the kids. She has asked for our help in setting up a store where kids can “buy” school supplies, clothes, shoes and other necessities using credits they earn through good behavior and faithful attendance.
We heard recently that families from two sides of the bairro are at war. Consequently, children from one of the areas can’t attend our program upon threat of being beaten. Our church is hoping to begin ministering to kids from “the other side.”
Please pray for wisdom and discernment as we explore this possibility. Pray also for the children you see in these photos – that they would feel God’s love in a tangible way and that God would guide and protect them, and give them hope for the future.
Please pray also for Gislene, Suzy, and 12 of our young people who are preparing to serve in this ministry.
Pela graça dEle (by His grace)
Ann, Bruce, and Asa
Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil