Gangs are a big part of the neighbourhood culture in many areas of Brazil and Maraba is no exception. Sometimes you have to chose to either run with the gangs or run from them. Fransisco is a kid who is part of the Maraba church and before becoming a Christian he led a very different life. When we decide to take the leap of faith and put our lives in God's hands, all our past wrong doings are forgiven, and washed away like they never happened in the eyes of God. God does not hold grudges, but gangs do.
There are people trying to kill Fransisco. They have come to the gates of the property where we will live asking if he is there, they have gone to his house more than once. The Brazilian pastor, Ivanildo has gotten him to safety, he has travelled far to work with another missionary family.
People often ask, 'What will you do in Brazil?' And I struggle to answer that question, I guess I think people often want to hear tangible things like buildings and water filtration (which is part of what we will do) but it's so much bigger than that. It's offering them a boat and paddles to get across that giant river of hopelessness to a place they can believe they have a hope and a future.
So although bringing clean drinking water to remote areas is extremely important and valuable, bringing them hope is priceless.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
This video clip is of Fransisco, thanking the pastors for all their help:
Please pray for Fransisco and for all the youth in Maraba.