PPC celebrated the end of the year with a bunch of the volunteers and kids at their now running community center. It has been so exciting to see them grow this year! Check out the overview video at the end of this post!
So excited to share with you God's goodness: Renato is home and running around, playing soccer. We were able to visit with Renato, and he has regained vision in his eye! His ears are still very damaged, and his body is all bandaged, but he is moving around well, carrying an umbrella to make sure the hot Brazilian sun doesn't burn his sensitive skin.
We also saw his aunt, who I've known for many years, and is just a child herself: Mariana.
Mariana still has her arm wrapped up, as it was very badly burned as well. Please pray for her especially, as I know she blames herself for the accident. It was just two hungry children wanting to eat and not knowing how to properly start a fire: it makes my heart ache.
As you can see from the background of the picture above, there is still a lot to be done: much healing, as well as many needs. They still live right next to the dump. They still don't have money for gas for their stove, and so are making fires however they can to eat. It is really difficult to keep the wounds and bandages clean in these living conditions.
But we do not forget to stop and celebrate the miracles that God is doing. Thank you, to those who have given, and helped provide for the month that Renato was in the hospital!
Renato and his family couldn't afford gas for their stove, so they attempted to use fluid from paint to start a fire to make food. They used too much and it exploded. Renato and his aunt were both badly burned.
Renato initially lost his memory and was unconscious, but he has regained both. His aunt will be released from the hospital within the week. Unfortunately, Renato only has a 15% chance of regaining vision in his left eye, and will be in the hospital for at least a month for all the serious burns all over his body.
The immediate needs that he has are mineral oil/medications, towels, soap, toothbrush/paste, deodorant, clothes (10 year old), extra large diapers, snacks, and toys to help keep him occupied for the next month.
Public hospitals in Brazil normally have quite a few patients per room, with each one having one person staying with them to care for them--often sleeping on the floor and going without food to do so. It is very hard to visit if you are not immediate family, so I doubt we will be able to visit Renato, but we would love to support those who are.
The biggest need that they have is for food for those caring for Renato. At the hosptial, only Renato is given food, but he doesn't want to be alone. His other aunt had been there with him since he was burned--and had't had any food until when our friends visited. Contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help out in some way!
It has been a year since we've been able to visit the trash dump (since last Children's Day!) and it was wonderful to see the kids! We will have an update video about the Trash Dump Community soon, as God is working mightily!
In 2011, while Pastor Flavio was walking four kilometers every day to Cajueiro Claro, God opened the doors for him to minister in a city called Gravata. It is about two hours away from Cajueiro Claro, making traveling difficult, but he faithfully served a couple of weekends every month.
He was able to start a chess ministry in an area known as a drug hangout, and had a sports ministry as well. As he continued, he noticed an area on top of a hill that brought tourists and begging street children alike. He brought his guitar, sat down, and started serving them.
Children, and some mothers started coming, some of them giving their life to Jesus. It was a flourishing ministry with 20-40 children! In 2014, with time and transportation problems, Pastor Flavio passed on the ministry to a local Presbyterian church that he had connected with. While Cajueiro Claro only sends groups to visit for special events, the Gravata Ministry is still very close to our hearts. We have been so happy and excited to see Cris and the church in Gravata reaching out to the most needy in their own community, continuing the work that God began over five years ago!
We had an adventure celebrating birthdays with the kids at the trash dump, and at the relocated community at the Matadouro:
We are excited to be getting ready to kick off our outreaches with our Easter ministry coming up! Please keep that in your prayers. Here are the videos of our main outreaches: