Brazil is a beautiful and diverse country, but it is also plagued with drugs, poverty, violence, and gangs. These violent gangs actively defend their territory, cutting off children who live in these areas from the rest of the city. Children living in poverty often lack educational opportunities, are exposed to violence and abuse, and do not have a stable home environment. Children in poverty often work on the streets, and many are homeless.
Fundação Baseball is making a difference for children in Brazil. Fundação Baseball uses baseball to teach children about Christ and help keep at-risk children from falling through the cracks.
- A 2007 report estimated that 130,000 children were working on the streets of Brazil, though some reports estimate the actual number could be as much as 12 times higher.
- Many Brazilian children who live and work on the streets come from a single-mother headed home and are more likely to experience poverty, violence, and a troubled family background.
- Some Brazilian efforts have focused on addressing child homelessness by providing temporary housing, but there are few resources aimed at helping solve the roots of child poverty or helping reintegrate homeless children back into society.
- Fundação Baseball uses baseball to teach children about the Bible and how to apply its teaching to their lives. Each week, 150 children from the favelas (slums) attend Fundação Baseball’s weekly Bible study and baseball skill training sessions.
- Children and their parents have the opportunity to learn the sport and play with their peers, helping them form safe, Christ-centered friendships with their baseball family.
- Fundação Baseball also offers a men’s league to help bring adults to Christ and offer a safe place for recreation.
Fundação Baseball’s founder, Agnaldo Verissimo da Silva, began the baseball ministry in 1995. He saw an opportunity to provide a sports alternative for his community and stepped forward to meet the need. In addition to prayer support, Oakseed has also helped Fundação Baseball purchase a van to transport players to and from their games. In 2017, Oakseed helped Fundação Baseball purchase new sewing machines and equipment to manufacture their own uniforms, baseball gloves, and shirts so they can provide materials for the children in their program and sell items to help raise funds for the ministry.
- Pray for opportunities for Fundação Baseball to expand their baseball program into local schools.
- Ask God to raise up additional coaches and volunteers.
- Pray that the children who participate in the baseball program will understand the truth of the gospel and find hope, love, and acceptance in Jesus.