“Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.” Anon
The door is always open in our world for anyone that wishes to lend a hand to the poor and needy. That truth hit us between the eyes as we went to Brazil as missionaries; often someone needed help but help was hard to find. At times a person or a whole class of people searched for a lift or a caring smile and it never appeared. This post tell a story not only of a girl who cared for those of her age and area but how others cared for her.
Her name is Raquelzinha with the “inha” on the end of her name telling us that she was small. Perhaps it was because of her age but more likely that she was just a small girl. She tells this story about offerings sent from Canada that helped her out of a difficult situation. Pastor Uilton from the church that she attended began a new church plant in a city nearby called Uiraúna in the interior of the State of Paraiba.
Pastor Uilton saw the need of reaching out to adults with a mid-week program in the city of Uirauna. At the same time he was burdened with the understanding that so many of the children he saw needed a program as well. But this would be only possible on Saturdays or Sundays and that only during the day. But pastor Uilton had neither the time nor the money for gasoline to make the trip. But Raquelzinha, saw the need of a ministry for the children, so she prepared to travel and work there on her free days, her Saturdays. She went once a week providing a church school program for them that was similar to our Sunday school or Vacation Bible School.
She writes, “It was very difficult for me for I had to walk two hours one way on the round trip; I was alone and plodded along on a dirt road heavy with dust. I began to pray and God saw my need and you began to send money to help. During two months I did what I could to save something so it was last Tuesday we were able to buy a bicycle. That was an emotional and exciting moment for me. I am using it now to get back and forth to Uiraúna.” My comment? When she mentions “you began to send money” I wonder if it was someone else rather than us.
My wife Doris and I understand what she meant by “a dirt road heavy with dust.” You see when we lived in the interior of the State of São Paulo, we pushed a baby carriage with our two small children in it up a dirt road, with the fine dirt or dust coming almost halfway up the wheels of the carriage. And we understand the purpose of pastor Uilton and Raquelzinha—that was to minister to the needs of people in a section of the city where we lived.
The story I’ve passed on about Raquelzinha could be repeated hundreds of times in the churches across Brazil. Doris and I recall the help given us by some young ladies much like Raquelzinha who after being involved in their own church came to help us establish a Sunday School on Sunday afternoons. Help is also given by many through the International Child Care program for it reaches to needy children in Brazil. If anyone would wish to funnel funds to help in similar situations I’ve mentioned it can be done through ICCM. Or our friends in Brazil can personally work out the details of a gift. It might happen that you’d get a letter such as the one I’ve translated from Raquelzinha.