Pregnancy Perspectives: The Zika Virus in Brazil

I am seven months pregnant and live in Fortaleza, a state where there have been confirmed cases of microcephaly-related Zika virus, and where babies have died as a consequence of it. When I watch TV, I am willing to lock myself at home and not leave until the time of delivery. But I cannot do this; I need to be realistic and face the problem.

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Going to “The Mall” aka The Garbage Dump

In the dump, hills of garbage are the landscape. People hidden behind these hills share this landfill with vultures and fight them for the food.

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Teaching the True Meaning of Easter

There is a lot of commercialism that comes this time of year and few people talk about Jesus, His sacrifice on the cross, and His resurrection.

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The Picture of a Fisherman’s Life in Brazil

Adriano is 30 years old and began his career as a third-generation fisherman when he was 15. The way he holds the net, and the way he moves along the beach toward his jangada (a kind of fishing boat), shows he is a man who knows the ocean intimately.

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The Trouble with Carnival is…

Seen from afar, Carnival in Brazil is truly beautiful, and it’s possible to understand why tourists from around the world come. But if you look closer, you will see another scenario.

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Waiting for God’s Best Plan

Cristiano’s father had a plan: He wanted his son to be a soccer player. But God, Cristiano’s heavenly Father, had another plan.

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But Jesus Cares

In Codó, a forgotten city in the northeast of Brazil, the gospel is being preached through attitudes and community service.

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A Past Full of Poverty, a Future Full of Hope

Just as artists on the stage have people working behind the scenes to make them shine, Felipe has a grateful heart toward one person who helped him shine: his sponsor, Barry. “If it wasn’t for him, his love, his letters, and his sponsorship maintaining me in the center, I’m sure that I would not be who I am today,” Felipe says, repeating his gratitude often.

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God Truly Becomes the Character

Poverty tries to suffocate those who are caught by it. Realizing that we are made in God’s image and that we are nothing less than the crown of His creation completely changes the way we face our obstacles. Understanding that God loves us is the first step to overcoming poverty.

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One Step Further From the Grip of Poverty

one step further Valdênia was 15 years old when she taught a little boy in the community to read and write.

“He was 7 and had difficulties learning at school. His mother asked me to help him.”

At that time, Valdênia was in high school, but had no hope to get into a university. Today, three years later, she can see that she was practicing her vocation.

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How Do We Introduce Children in Poverty to a Christian Education?

Many children enrolled at the child development center got their first contact with the Word of God at the center. They had never heard about God, Christ or stories such as the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark or Joseph in Egypt.

Transformation is the best word to define what happens with the children during the class. Parents recognize the difference in the way their children behave.

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A Safe Harbor From Drugs and Violence

drugs and violence Recife is a beautiful city in northeastern Brazil. Known as the “Brazilian Venice,” it was founded in 1537 by the Portuguese and was greatly influenced by the Jews and Dutch. The Atlantic Ocean bathes its beautiful beaches, and the temperature can exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Foreigners and Brazilians go to Recife to travel and to rest. But hidden behind the great avenues and beautiful places is another Recife: the Recife of violence and drugs, with broken families because of the troubles that drugs bring together; the Recife of gunfire that scares children and kills innocents.

“I still have no emotional structure to even listen to fireworks,” says Adriana, director of Centro de Desenvolvimento Integral Vida 1, which lost an employee to murder last year, a victim of a gang war. “There was so much shooting, so much shooting!”

The employee’s name was Alexandre, and he was killed as he was leaving the center to exchange a crate of soda. A drug dealer suddenly grabbed Alexandre and to protect himself from gunfire coming from another drug dealer. It was urban warfare, and an innocent died.

Inside the center, the children could hear the shooting and were scared and started crying. They lay on the floor in fear after the gunfire began.

“It was a terrible time. It was difficult to explain to the children that God was in control. We lost a friend. Alexandre was loved by the children.”

If losing a beloved teacher is traumatic, imagine when a child sees his mother being arrested by the police?

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