According to data from a survey conducted by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation released this year, the Mapa da Nova Pobreza, Ceará is among the poorest states in Brazil. With this and other information in hand, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) decided to open a regional headquarters in the state. The headquarters was inaugurated last month.
Fábio Salles, ADRA's national director, said the initiative to open the headquarters in Ceará arose after a field study detected the need for nutrition, hunger reduction, basic sanitation, and income generation projects. "We are talking about one of the most vulnerable states in Brazil, which has high poverty rates. It is urgent to act in this region," he points out.
Pastor Otávio Barreto, president of the Adventist Church in Ceará, emphasized the importance of having ADRA's presence in the region. "Ceará is a wonderful state! However, it has great social challenges, such as poverty, insecurity, and a large number of young people involved with drugs. We see ADRA as God's instrument to bring more justice, love, and compassion to people without any kind of discrimination. Therefore, we decided to strongly support the agency through the creation of a regional office so that many people in Ceará can have their lives transformed," he said.
The work will be led by Pastor André Luiz Lima and has Barreto's approval. "We see in Pastor André a man called by God and with a concern for the neediest people, especially children and young people," Barreto concluded.
Born in Pernambuco and a leader of the Adventist Church for over 20 years, Lima admits the challenge is great yet believes he is surrounded by a team willing to assist him at all times. "When we received the call, my wife, son, and I were happy and at the same time scared, because we understand the responsibility of taking on this position. But we see it as an opportunity to expand our knowledge network. Now is the time to study hard and work hard to find all possible resources to practice compassion in Ceará," he said.