Today I am featuring a story I wrote for a recent issue of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Belo Horizonte's base newsletter. It was such a special experience for me to write this piece! I had the honor of seeing this amazing story unfold as a "Beautiful Reunion" between a mother and son came to pass. I pray you are blessed by the story!
In 1995 in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Maria left her 3-year-old son Lucas at a local YWAM shelter.
It was a difficult day for this troubled mother. Things were hard at home, and Maria was struggling to care for her six children. She reasoned, “Once things are better, I can bring Lucas back home. This will just be for a little while...” Her alcoholic husband was physically abusive and Maria feared for Lucas’ life. “This will be best for Lucas,” she convinced herself.
A “little while” turned into longer, and the missionary couple who had taken Lucas into their home decided to adopt him, with Maria's blessing. Then, just a few years later, Lucas moved to the Netherlands with his new adoptive family.
Though separated by great distance, Maria and Lucas managed to stay in touch sporadically for a span of about ten years. But eventually, they lost all contact. For years, mother and son thought about each other, prayed for one another, and hoped to find each other again. But they knew that this would take a big miracle!
Now, almost twenty years after Lucas’ adoption, this miracle has taken place, and God used the missionaries serving at the Rock House to make this reunion possible.
The Rock House (Casa Rocha) is a community center working to share God’s message of love and transformation in the most drug-infested slum of Belo Horizonte called Pedreira Prado Lopes. You can often find YWAM missionaries walking through the slum, visiting families, sharing God’s love with drug addicts, and praying for the community and the critical needs there. Almost daily the Rock House runs programs such as kid’s clubs, Bible studies, swimming, water aerobics, and other activities to help enrich the community.
During the recent World Cup games, the Rock House ran a special children’s program and many kids who had never participated at the ministry attended. This is when the team first met some of Marias's grandchildren, who live in the slum with their mother and grandmother (Maria).
Through home visits and various opportunities, several missionaries gradually got to know the family better and learned of Maria's story. “Does anyone know where Lucas is? Can you help us find him?” asked Lucas’ biological sister.
The Rock House leader began to search online, and find Lucas he did!
Today, Lucas is doing well. He lives in the Netherlands and is 23 years old. Lucas was very happy and surprised to receive news from Brazil about his biological family. Maria was also overjoyed that her long-lost son was found.
The Rock House ministry helped organize an online meeting so mother, sister and son could see each other for the first time in many years and speak to one another through a translato. It was a beautiful reunion! Many tears were shed, memories were recounted, forgiveness was asked and freely given, “I love you” was spoken, and plans were made for an in-person meeting.
God greatly used the ministry of the Rock House to help reconnect this family in a miraculous way! Through this reunion, God has shown His amazing love, His tender care, and how He longs to bring healing and restoration to hurting hearts.
This story is also a great reminder: “With God, all things are possible!”
Below are photos of Maria, her daughter and some of her grandchildren during a visit to her home. I was able to take her some current photos of Lucas.
To see photos and read more about the Rock House ministry go to: www.jocumcasarocha.com.br