Brazil is a nation of contrasts. Although Brazil’s economy is one of the largest in the world, not everyone has benefited from the rapid economic expansion. Brazil has the most unequal distribution of income of all nations in the world (other than South Africa). This stark economic inequality has led to great increases in drug addiction, drug trafficking, and violent crime. Women in Brazil also have limited opportunities, leading many to turn to drugs as a means of escape.

But there is a light in the darkness. In Catanduva, Brazil, Lilies of the Valley is helping girls and women escape the prison of addiction and find freedom in Christ.

Challenges:

  • Brazil is likely the world’s top consumer of crack cocaine. The drug trade in Brazil is controlled by well-organized, violent organizations. Government intervention has done little to combat the spread of addiction and violence.
  • Rates of HIV and syphilis are also on the rise, leading to more infections among pregnant women and a sharp rise in syphilis-related birth defects. Many of the women who come to Lilies of the Valley need medical treatment as well as addiction intervention.
  • Women were slow to attain equality in Brazil, and many continue to struggle with the effects of social inequality. While opportunities have expanded for women in higher socio-economic groups, lower income women are limited to menial labor and whatever work they can find. As drugs and drug-related violence have spread through every level of Brazilian society, many women have also found themselves trapped in the relentless cycle of drug addiction.

Opportunities:

  • Lilies of the Valley care for women who have fallen through the cracks of society. They involve girls and women in innovative rehabilitation programs that help them break free from the bonds of addiction.
  • Women at Lilies of the Valley receive medical care, participate in Bible study, learn basic job skills such as baking and sewing, and work in the Rehabilitation garden that helps provide food for the program.
  • The 150 women who participate in the program each year fill their days with Bible study and craft projects. Program participants sell their crafts, providing them with a small source of income.
  • Lilies of the Valley emphasizes spirituality in their treatment programs, believing only an encounter with Jesus can truly free addicts from their spiritual and physical prisons.

History

In 1983, Lourdes Maria da Silva had a bitter experience with the underworld. God called her to make a difference. Today, Lourdes Maria runs the ministry with the help of a board of directors and an experienced team of social workers, a nurse, psychologist, chaplains, and dedicated volunteers.

Since 1992, Lilies of the Valley has helped over 3,000 women find freedom from addiction. Oakseed has partnered with Lilies of the Valley since 1994 and has helped provide prayer support as well as funding to expand the ministry.

Prayer Needs

  • Praise God that 70 percent of the girls who enter the treatment program remain in treatment for six months. Pray that they will continue to have interest in the Word of God.
  • Pray that God will provide skilled and educated workers who are willing to take on the challenges of helping women break free from addiction and bondage.
  • Pray for funding to build a new House of Teens.


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