International Ministries

Three Kings Joined by a Fourth Christmas Eve

January 12, 2005 Journal
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Dear Friends:

Christmas was extra special this year for graduate siblings Thayan, Nyana, and Tatiane Reis (Their last name is Portuguese for "Kings.") These three Kings knew they had some other siblings from whom they had been separated as children. They never heard from them again, however. For a couple years, Nyana had been on a quest to find her paternal siblings, contacting social workers in other states in the cities the family had moved between.

Breakthrough: About two months ago, there was finally a breakthrough. A municipal social worker in Rio took the challenge seriously, and through her efforts Nyana discovered the whereabouts of 4 siblings! All lived in Rio. The Kings kids got together for a tearful telephone reunion with their three sisters and one brother. They have spoken by phone several times since. A few weeks ago Marta, their oldest sister, said she wanted to come and spend Christmas with her new-found siblings.

Reunion: On Dec 24, at 5:30 am, the three Kings piled in my car and we drove down to the bus station to meet Marta. Trying to guess which one of the many women standing around with bags was her was a lot of fun! Upon identifying her there was laughter and tearful hugs.

Over breakfast at our place, Marta (10 years older) had many funny and interesting stories to tell about their father, a wandering gypsy and street performer who moved between several families peddling medicinal herbs (including marijuana). However, by all accounts he was always kind and loving, and started off each day with prayer (go figure). Marta turned out to be a sister in more ways than one: several years ago she had accepted Christ, and today she was a leader in her church. She is also the president of her neighborhood association.

Christmas Eve: On Christmas Eve, spent at the City of Youth (their Bethlehem), the three Kings were joined by a fourth – this one coming from the West. Towards the end of the evening Santa Claus finally called Marta, 34, to go up and claim her bag of toys and goodies. Up on the platform, Marta took the opportunity to address all of the Hope Kids, her new family. Calling her siblings up to join her, she said that this was the most joyful Christmas of her life.

The charming Marta did not disappoint as a Reis sibling, and turned out to be a real kindred heart. We had a wonderful few days together before she had to return home. This was just the beginning of a long and wonderful family reunion, involving 4 siblings on one side and 300 on the other.

In His Hope,

Philip