In early March, Carlos Duorado, Oakseed ministry Liaison to Latin America, and Norm Snyder, Oakseed Board Member, traveled to Brazil to visit Oakseed ministry partners Brazilian Baseball Association, Israel Shalom, JEAME, Lily of the Valleys, and Semear. Here are some pictures from their visit.
Carlos and Norm joined JEAME staff and volunteers on a visit to a detention unit in the Brás district of São Paulo. There were three different services in the unit they visited that evening. The service they attended had about 50 teenage boys. JEAME visits nine boys’ and three girls’ centers regularly. JEAME primarily focuses on ministering to teenagers in detention centers and building relationships with them and their families when released.
Carlos and Norm met Maria do Carmo Bezerra, a former addict, criminal, and prostitute. She is a missionary worker at JEAME, focusing on restoring drug addicts.
Lily of the Valleys ministry in Catanduva was next on their visit. While visiting the center, they enjoyed worship songs by the women in treatment. Several talked about their history and how they rely on the Lord for freedom from addiction. There was also a video presentation featuring former patients testifying to a restored life in Christ. A former addict who works at the treatment center also shared her testimony.
An informal lunch with women in treatment, former inmates, supporters, volunteers, and staff.
Carlos and Norm met João Lotufo and Missionary Diego Rosa at a city shelter for homeless families. The shelter they visited was for families with children and had different-sized rooms (4 to 8 people). The shelter management is outsourced to Associação Evangélica Beneficiente (AEB), which operates over 30 daycare centers, shelters, and evangelical hospitals in several cities in Brazil. It has been operating for 93 years.
João has taught children how to work in a vegetable garden at this center and established a couple of native beehives. Diego works with the kids to perform age-appropriate sports activities.
Carlos and Norm visited the room of an Angolan refugee at the shelter.
Another center run by Associação Beneficente Comunidade de Jesus (ABCJ), with whom Oakseed partners for Semear, is a daycare/after-school care center in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in São Paulo, Bolha de Sabão. They are based in a home with a large yard donated to ABCJ. The center serves children of maids and doormen working in wealthy buildings nearby. They could serve 100 children, but due to funding restrictions for the staff, they can currently only serve 50 children.
At this daycare, João and Diego also conduct gardening and sports activities.
Semear has access to a community center, sports fields, and a garden in the shantytown of Jardim Panorama, wedged within a wealthy neighborhood. Semear conducts its ministry from here.
Norm watches children put together a puzzle at the Community Center.
Norm in front of the rented facility of Israel Shalom that is located in Vila Brasilândia, a very poor neighborhood on the outskirts of São Paulo. The ministry has access to a large room where classes are conducted and an open-air rooftop platform where some materials are stored.
Several ministries were highlighted. A child evangelist who is a clown and uses this to evangelize children at schools, churches, camps, etc., was one of the ministries they could experience.
In São José dos Campos, Carlos and Norm met with ABBS ministry leader Agnaldo Verissimo da Silva. On arrival, they were welcomed by ministry supporters, ABBS kids, the pastor of the neighborhood church Agnaldo attends, a city council member, and a TV reporter. Agnaldo invests great effort in securing a baseball and softball field for the city. A chance to get more people committed arose due to Carlos and Norm’s visit.
The local TV reporter interviewed both Agnaldo and the visiting City Councilman.
“I am grateful to the Lord for His blessing and protection during this trip. Overall, the ministries are doing well and are thriving. Each demonstrated dedication and perseverance and is grateful for Oakseed’s support.” – Carlos Duorado