After 24 hours of travel we arrived in Rio, greeted by our friends Eric Papp and Barry Still. We quickly moved into our accommodations, grabbed lunch and made our way to Christ the Redeemer (Christ Statue). Now overlooking the city and streets we'd just weaved through, one could see the vast need for redemption.
Like the clouds that obscured our view of the Christ statue earlier that morning, but later were non-existent as we stood atop the city, God desires to display his redeeming power: "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
On Monday the team visited Morro do Banco, a community that had been left by the government to fend for itself in most things. In place of the government, people from within have risen up and provided protection and structure for the community. While this militia is not always the best at meeting that need, it still helps to prevent the community from further decay into a trafficking community....a form of grace. Much like the militia that's risen up, a young couple (Fabiano and Marcia) have taken it upon themselves to meet the needs of many community children with incapable parents; incapable parents due to their situations or addictions. Fabiano and Marcia are there before or after school to help the children navigate life; not only in the practical (school, reading, hygiene) but in the spiritual. They are there to teach the truth of God and to display his love, in hopes that these children might hear and believe. Over the course of this week we'll have the opportunity to reinforce these truths through a VBS of sorts, sharing the gospel and love of God as much as we can.
Please pray that we connect with the children and are able to reinforce and augment the work of the couple. Moreover; pray the Holy Spirit and these examples of rising up to meet a need, would spur our team and church to be bold in doing the same, even in our imperfections. That God may be glorified in our obedience to Him and His prompting.
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.
Please pray that this week we see our "Redentor" (Redeemer) change the minds and hearts of those we serve and engage with.
Your brothers and sisters in Christ,
Eric Prieto & the 2019 Brazil Team