Last month a 13 year old boy ran away after stabing his 25 year old neighbor numerous times in the back, a young mother who was holding her baby.
Another man ran to us for help after seeing his friend fall next to him from two gun shots that were fired directy at his head. His crime? Owing drug money! The killer threatened the man saying: you didn´t see anything did you?...Then you better run. He only excaped because he didn´t owe any money. Today he is at our drug rehabilitation center...
This is the kind of news we hear almost every week from our neighborhood Palmares. Drugs, especially crack, are killing dozens every month. There is no mercy for those that owe and no justice from those that should bring justice. Last year the police theselves were killing one drug traficant a week in Palmares....
In the past year we have sensed the Lord moving us, and all the ministries of the base, more and more toward mercy ministries. It is urgent!...and we have already begun to act! Two weeks ago we took the DTS students to do house to house visit in our neighborhood. The picture below was taken after our visits where we did a survey to know the kinds of problems they are facing so we can better serve the community as a whole.
I have learned that we fist need to know what questions people are asking so we can give the right answers...so the survey was our way to listen for the questions.
We talked with the pricipal of the local school to use a couple rooms where we could give a workshop on drugs...We visited about 100 homes for the survey and we also invited the families to come to the free workshop and we even rented a loud speaker car to promote the event for us.
In the end we had only a hand full of parents and some youth. It was hard not to be discouraged...but I believe that reflects the hoplessness that people in Palmares are feeling. They have lost all hope of a better future...but this is just the beginning!
I know those that came, were educated and impacted... so much so that the parents begged
This was a skit about drugs that 3 of the DTS students put together.
This is not a great picture, but it shows the man God used to give the workshop - his name is Darlan. He is the father of 4 and a very enthusiatic and prepared teacher. His life testimony is one of the most amazing I have heard. Darlan had a story of drugs since he was 13. He has a scar on his left cheak left by the bullet that he fired into his own mouth in a failed suicide attempt. Today he ministers to parents and in schools,
Three of the DTS students dressed themselves as clowns and presented the gospel in a fun way to the younger kids in the separate room...
Early on Sunday morning we headed to the streets to do evengelism next to the local Palmares street fair.Faces painted and ready to go!...
Many understood and we watched as heads bowed down
to pray and give their lives to the Lord! Praise God!
This man was wiping away fresh tears!
After the prayer we all approached those around to ask them questions, affirm their decision, or help them understand more clearly their need to seek the Lord....
After a break we did a second round of presentations...this time the ones who presented were children from the Terceiro Espaço Ministry who had been practicing for a few weeks before
with Aurea (the lady sitting before them, with her two kids). She is one of the Terceiro Espaço staff.
It was so wonderful to see these kids courageously present before their own community!Another drama...
And this time Roney (also one of the Terceiro Espaço staff) made the altar call in the middle of the street..
At the end of the hard work we had a debriefing and gave thanks to the Lord for the new lives that were brought into the kingdom, but we also felt the tension of heavy spirtual atmosphere around us. The enemy was not happy to have us in his territory... but he is defeated already!
The following week we also had a beautiful event happen at the base. Juarez (we call him Coquinho which means little coconut), the former drug addict who just finished his term and was helping us to build our home, decided to get baptized.
He passed through a short one month course on baptism and last week he was submerged
The Terceiro Espaço continues to grow and take shape. We are dreaming with doing more family visits, more events, more workshops, and being more present in the community. Today the children (about 70 of them) come to us three times a week at the base, but we are praying for the Lord to help us incease our staff so that we can have more ``arms`` in this minitry.
One of the things we are dreaming for next year is to open a community center where we can assist families with counceling, classes, worshops and where people can seek help and council in general. We know of women that are being battered, young girls abused, and familes who have no where to go for help. We want to be the go between them and the local government so they can get the help they need.
Another arm we want to deveop is a day care center for young kids, where working mothers can leave their chidren in our care and where they can grow up hearing about Jesus...
Please pray for this important ministry!!!