[Photo courtesy of the South American Division]
Brazil | Rafael Brondani

Helping people who have had their lives affected by Covid-19 is the aim of a new initiative organized by Adventist young people who are part of a Christian hospital humanitarian group called Doctors of Hope, managed by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Brazil . The event took place on Saturday, August 1, at Paranoá Park, a housing complex created in 2014 to serve low-income families in the Federal District.

The event brought together 90 volunteers and was divided into three parts. The first was held in the morning at the Adventist Church in Paranoá, where volunteers brought a message of love and hope to members of the congregation. During the morning service, several activities were carried out, such as music, reflections, and prayers.

In the afternoon, the group, following safety recommendations, visited some of the residents in the condominium. There are 6,420 apartments occupied by low-income residents, totaling about 25,000 people. In this region, they lack of public facilities capable of meeting the needs of those who live there. All of this added to the pandemic generated more frustration for residents.

In an attempt to alleviate the situation, volunteers went to talk and encourage the residents, in addition to giving them personal hygiene items such as food, clothes, cleaning kits and literatur about life, future, hope and how to start over.

Continued action

For the organizer of the action, Thaís Trivelato, the activity is intentional and much more than just taking physical help, it is also hope for people who are experiencing difficulties. “We want to help them start over,” said Trivelato. “We did a screening to help those who really need it. We want to do something beyond the delivery of products and food.”

This activity will not be limited to just a weekend. Residents will be assisted by members of the Adventist Church, who will continue to help through conversations, advice, and supplies.

Trivelato points out that there are people who have had their lives damaged due to the pandemic. “They had jobs, managed to keep their families, and all of that came down to the current situation,” she said. “They need our help. We are talking about people with large families, who have lost everything, jobs, quality of life, but the obligations continue. Our goal is to help them have a fresh start.”

The manager of one of the areas that the initiative covered, Silvano Lima, highlights that project is important because it gave more than food. "The residents received a motivating word and prayer, elements that can bring faith to their hearts, as well as hope and an awareness that God can and wants to change their lives," he says.

Stories of hope

Volunteer Jânio Lima says that he visited a house and sang for a man who is the father of two children. His wife, their mother, had left them. The man lives with his children and his sister, who suffers from schizophrenia, in a small apartment. While talking to the man, Lima heard their sad story. The resident said one night in May, the sister boiled a pot of water and threw it over him while he slept, burning his entire chest and belly.

“The report we had from the family stated one of the residents was recovering from burns. We did not imagine reality. As there was the presence of two children, I chose the song “I'm Peace,” to sing. Even though it is a happy song, he started to cry compulsively in the first few sentences.

Mauro Souza, on the other hand, coordinated a group and visited three houses. “In the three families, we felt that God was in charge of things,” she said. “We found unemployed, hungry people who lost family members. They had families who revealed that they did not know what they were going to do so the children could eat the next day. They were asking God for an answer to their prayers. Best of all, all families served to want to learn more about the Bible. I left there feeling like I had accomplished something and complete for having done God's work.”

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