Volunteers donated part of their vacation to help build a home for vulnerable families (Photo Credit: Giovane Rosa)
Paraná, Brazil | Jordana Graci

Confirmation of pregnancy was a scare for Jhonatan and Emanuely Camargo. Suddenly, the couple saw their lives change with the news that they would be parents.

“At first it was very difficult because we were wondering how we would take care of our baby,” Emanuely says. “We had no home to live in and we were worried.”

Unemployed and without a source of income, they had to count on the support of their family and a group of volunteers from the Caleb Mission project to prepare a home for little Lorena.

The 25 m², 3-room cinder block house was ready in less than 30 days. The job was completed by approximately 25 people, who had to take turns onsite to avoid gatherings in too-large numbers due to COVID-19 regulations.

According to the pastor who coordinated the project, Gerson Marques, there were difficulties at all stages of the build.

“It was a challenge from the beginning, because most people don't understand construction, so we had to count on the help of some members of the church who are trained in this work,” he explains. “Another challenge was to obtain the construction material, given that the work started without money.”

Getting to work

The project was completed thanks to the solidarity and dedication of the team, who literally rolled up their sleeves to do good, and due to the donations collected from the Adventist church in the Afonso Pena neighborhood, in São José dos Pinhais, Paraná.

The Caleb Mission, of which the project volunteers are a part, has about 12,000 registered in southern Brazil alone. The initiative, which is ongoing from the 4th to the 31st of July, takes place annually in cities in eight South American countries with the objective of helping communities and families in situations of social vulnerability.

This year, activities were planned to take into account the context of the new coronavirus pandemic, respecting the safety rules established by governmental and health agencies. The agenda is divided between face-to-face and virtual actions. In Brazil, among the main activities are serenades for the elderly and people at risk, food collection for needy people, and tributes to health professionals.

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site