Monday, August 25, 2014

Stories Revealing Reality

A 14 year old girl has a learning disability and does not know how to read or write.

A 10 year old girl, with a 24 year old mom (who got pregnant with her at 13, gave birth at 14), is the older sister to 2 sisters and 1 brother.  All four children have different fathers.

Another girl's father is addicted to drugs.  She knows this because she sees him in the slum completely high. She does not have a relationship with him, but she knows he is her father.

Several other girls have fathers who drink excessively. They always ask for prayer for their fathers to stop drinking.  

Others have conflicts raging at home, difficulties at school, and family members who have died because of drug involvement.

These are just a few stories revealing the reality of girls living in the slums of São Paulo, Brazil.

As I shared in our last post, we are spending August in São Paulo volunteering at an awesome ministry called the Sower House while also preparing for our future ministry to children at risk. I am working specifically with a group of pre-teen and teenage girls who live in a nearby slum, and it has been extremely eye opening for me! 

For 5 years I worked off and on with girls from a slum in Belo Horizonte, so you would think I would not be so surprised or shocked by stories or the reality of life in a slum. Yet the harshness of life here in the slums of São Paulo are on a whole different level of what I have personally encountered in the past. 

Even since we arrived here, a girl who attends the Sower House's program decided to go out with a group of kids to a nearby high class area to beg.  While begging on the streets, the girl ended up getting hit by a car. Thankfully she was not severely injured, but it was quite a scare as she got bruised and scratched up pretty badly and was quite sore from the impact she suffered from the car.

After this unfortunate incident, the missionaries have been talking to the kids about the dangers of begging on the streets.  Several of the girls even confessed to begging because it was an easy way to get fast money. One girl even said, "How am I going to get things for me if I don't beg?"

Even though it has been hard for me to wrap my mind around the reality these kids face, God is using this time to confirm personally in my heart what He is calling me to.

I am called to work with girls... Girls exactly like this.
Precious girls living in at risk situations, who have really little going for them in life, and few people truly investing in them.
A photo from my girls group in 2012.

God is also confirming the NEED to us.  
There is a waiting list of 60 children who want to participate here at the ministry where we are volunteering.  This ministry is doing an invaluable and amazing job with the kids they work with, but unfortunately the ministry does not have the means to receive any more kids into their program.

There are few projects reaching out to children and teens living in slums of Sao Paulo.  As you can gather from the stories I have shared, there is MUCH need!

As I think about this, I am reminded of this scripture, 
"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
~ Luke 10:2 ~

The workers are few here, but the harvest is truly great!  There are many many children and families that are in desperate need of God's hope, unconditional love and transformation in their lives.  Please pray for the children and families living in the many slums of Sao Paulo, and pray for more workers to rise up, to serve, and to reach out with His love.

May God use us to work this harvest field, the slums of Sao Paulo.
We humbly say, "Here we are Lord. Use us..."

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