We have many people who are sponsoring children through Gospel for Brazil’s Seed of Hope program. I wish there was some way that I could adequately express my thanks to each and every one of you. I wish you could physically see the difference that you are making daily in the lives of these forgotten folks. You are literally saving their lives — this isn’t hype, it is reality.
Let me give you just one example.
John Paul and his wife Rose have 4 children. They actually have 13, but 3 died and they were forced to give away 6. “Forced” because if they had kept them they would have died. Both John Paul and Rose have active HIV. While sufficiently bad in itself, that is actually the least of their problems.
John Paul has white lung disease, the same thing as black lung disease except that it comes from lime dust instead of coal dust. He additionally has a bone disease that is causing his bones to dissolve and creates intense inflammation and infection. It is active in his ankles, making it practically impossible for him to walk; they are swollen and pus filled, not a pretty sight. And, just to keep things interesting, he has worms, gastritis and ulcerative colitis.
Rose has a severely deformed spine, and advanced osteoporosis. The medication she takes for HIV is so intense that she literally loses her mind every time she takes it. It is supposed to be taken with milk to alleviate that particular symptom, but she can’t afford milk. She goes insane for 48-60 hours every time she takes the meds. That makes it a bit difficult to take the meds regularly. She can walk only with extreme difficulty and pain. She can’t sleep lying down; in fact, she has severe insomnia due to the pain.
Due to politics, they have been denied disability, even though they qualify for it. Neither can work. They receive $60 a month from the federal government for their children; $60 total, not per child.
Oh, and the mud shack they live in, well, it was washed away in a flash flood and everything they had, which we would have considered trash, was swept away.
And that is it.
They can’t buy food, medication, clothing… nothing.
After the flooding, Rose told me, she knew that her children wouldn’t not last too long. There was nothing to eat. She fully expected her, her husband and the four youngest children to die within a month.
But something happened. You stepped in.
Three of the four children were sponsored via Seed of Hope. They received clothes, some furniture, cooking utensils and we have a lawyer working on their disability case.
As I stood there with Rose and John Paul, Rose looked at me, eyes full of tears, and asked me “Why?” Why would people she’s never met do this for her. And I had a great answer: “Jesus.”
Rose and John Paul both accepted him on the spot.