Cesar was four years old when his mother was killed by her stepfather. As he grew, Cesar’s anger made him a difficult child. Eventually, he left home to live on the streets and became involved with drugs and prostitution. His anger and determination to avenge his mother led him to a life of crime.
After he was finally arrested, Cesar met some JEAME evangelists at the Foundation House. He learned about the love of God. One afternoon he sat with a cigarette in one hand and a Bible in the other, trying to choose between them. He threw away the cigarette and began reading the Bible. He chose to follow Jesus.
Eventually, Cesar was released to a Recovery House. JEAME continued to work with him through his journey of recovery, and Cesar found freedom in Christ. Today Cesar is an evangelist, husband, and father who marvels at what God has done in his life.
JEAME means “Jesus loves minors.” JEAME is dedicated to ministering to at-risk children and youth on the streets of Sāo Paulo, Brazil. JEAME helps children like Cesar by offering them hot meals, a safe place, education, and a variety of outreach programs. JEAME reaches out to those living on the streets, in prison, and in recovery. Through their work, JEAME sees lives transformed by the power of God.
- Drugs have devastated Brazil’s society. Brazil is the world’s second-largest consumer of cocaine (behind the United States), and some reports estimate that Brazil is now the world’s largest consumer of crack cocaine.
- Brazil’s central position in the flow of cocaine has given rise to violent gangs. These gangs wield significant power over the slums and inner city, and war has ignited between two of the largest gangs within Brazil’s prison system.
- Children living in areas controlled by the gangs are exposed to addiction and violence. Gangs often use children to do their dirty work and recruit children as young as nine or ten years old. Murder is now the most common cause of death among Brazil’s youth, and 40 percent of all murder victims are between 15 and 25 years old.
- JEAME works with children and youth living on the streets and at the state shelter Fundação CASA. They specialize in child advocacy, child well-being, poverty, homelessness, drug abuse recovery, and addiction training.
- This year JEAME held evangelistic services for 904 adolescents in 17 units of the prison system. Through their work with the Foundation House, a government home for adolescents in trouble with the law, JEAME reaches about 1,000 teens each week.
- On the third Friday of each month, JEAME volunteers hold prayer walk vigils in Cracolândia. They spend five hours walking through the 22-acre sized area, offering those they encounter hugs, prayers, and a chance to leave the streets. These vigils offer hope and help evangelical churches connect with the need for urban ministry.
- JEAME also sponsors Encounters With God, a four-day recovery program for youth who are undergoing drug treatment in recovery houses. People come from all over to help, and JEAME sees the power of God moving to bring freedom at each meeting.
JEAME’s street ministry began in 1981. Ministério JEAME became an Oakseed partner in 1994. Over the years Oakseed has helped JEAME survive several crises and helps support missionaries as well as provide funds for food baskets and Bible distribution. At the 2016 Foundation House Christmas party, JEAME was able to provide a Bible and meal to all 2,100 residents and staff.
- JEAME desires to expand their ministry by purchasing land to build a home for teens, pregnant women, and their infants who have given up crack cocaine. They also need space to expand their Papo de Responsa program, which offers job skill training and classes on addiction recovery and life with Christ to those living on the streets. Pray for provision and opportunity.
- Pray for support for the missionaries who work with JEAME.
- Pray that those living on the streets will escape the prison of addiction and violence and find freedom in Christ.
- Praise God for the many lives he has touched through JEAME’s ministry and pray that their work will continue.