AA dventist leaders in Campo Grande, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, came up with an inspired idea to encourage acts of solidarity among members and help vulnerable families in their community, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chaplain Claudiney Primo started the “Onda do Bem” or “Wave of Good” challenge in the health unit of Hospital Adventista do Pênfigo in Campo Grande. He challenged managing director, Everton Martin, to purchase food baskets for needy families in the city. Martin, in turn, challenged three other co-workers. Gradually, the chain gained momentum and many employees joined the initiative.
The hospital matched the number of donations collected by employees, which resulted in approximately five tons of food in the form of basic baskets. Some of the staff personally took the food to the Vitória and Só Por Deus communities.
Altogether, 130 families received supplies.
In the Só Por Deus community, 68 families benefited from the hospital’s contribution. Community leader Luciene Pereira de Lima, 47, reveals that many are unemployed and that many women are single mothers. She has lived there for four years with her son, daughter-in-law, who is pregnant, and grandchildren. “This will make a big difference. My daughter-in-law is pregnant and my husband is unemployed and can only do short term jobs,” she shares.
Ana Paula Bento, 30, is the mother of three children aged 6, 10 and 13. She lives with her husband in a small shack. The family has a monthly income of only 400 reais. She says that sometimes she doesn't have rice to eat. “This came at a good time because my husband is the only one working and maintaining the house is difficult. Today I'm going to make rice and beans. Today there will be happiness in my house!” she celebrates.
For Primo, seeing the result of his challenge is indescribable. He met the families, read a passage from the Bible, and prayed with them.