As you may recall, currently we have a team from New Hope serving with the Wheels for the World ministry (an outreach of Joni & Friends) to distribute wheelchairs and care for the needs of those with disabilities. Below are a few brief updates from the team leader, Bob Brooks…
Day 1 – When the bulk of the team arrived, one of our members was detained by immigration because of mistakes on his visa. He had documents explaining that the problems were the fault of the Brazilian consulate, but immigration was still going to deport him on an evening flight. A Brazilian friend called federal law enforcement agencies, immigration, and the foreign ministry without success. I worked through the US embassy with no better results. The deadline for us the resolve the situation had passed and nothing could be done after 8 hours of trying. From the very beginning our team recognized this as a test and prayed for God to move. Even after the deadline I had peace about the outcome. Before our team member was scheduled to depart our Brazilian friend, who is a retired federal officer, decided to see if he could at least get money to our friend because the authorities had all his possessions. When the retired officer contacted immigration he saw an officer who knew him. God softened the heart of this officer and he connected with someone in the Foreign service and after 10 hours God released our captive and our team is complete.
Day 2 – We had day sharing at three separate churches. It is always a joy to worship the Lord and feel the presence of the Spirit even when you can’t understand the words. Our team worked with volunteers from the churches to set up for tomorrow. We ended the day with devotions, prayer and communion. We are honored to work with such a great team. We will serve around 45 patients a day. Pray for great fruit and unity among all the groups represented.
Day 5 – These are the kind of children we have been seeing this week. They are emaciated and their bodies are twisted, but Jesus died for them. It is hard to see so much suffering, but we feel honored to be a tangible expression of the love of Jesus to their family. We worked 11 hours yesterday and will have another long day today. When we get tired it helps to remember that children like these may spend 14 hours on a bus and several more hours waiting for treatment. Any of us or our loved ones could be in their situation, but instead God in His mercy allows us the blessing of bringing a little comfort into their lives and sharing the good news Jesus has for them. Thanks for your prayers.