Pray with Brazil, November 5, 2023
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 23:1-12
Prayers for Brazil
Our Father God, look over Brazil, our beautiful country that you have blessed with so much natural beauty, but where a large part of the population suffers from the lack of the essential things in life such as food, housing, education, clothing, and medical attention. Our people deserve health, dignity, and respect. The Gospel calls us to have compassion, which involves walking with the people to feel their suffering, the lack of love, and the social injustice. It calls us to walk in their sandals and to cry for their pain. This path of putting oneself at service and feeling the people’s suffering firsthand perhaps attracts the attention of the powerful. Still, the hypocritical clergy who dress in vestiges of power and kneel at altars praying for the poor like the Pharisees do not do this. They do not lift a finger to point out the injustices to Brazilian sufferers. The suffering people look at you, religious people asking you to rise from your knees and walk with them to demand a look of compassion and love from those who hold power in Brazil. The sons and daughters of God cry out for justice. In the name of Jesus, act like him and walk with us in his name, amen!
Prayer based on the text of the Gospel of Matthew 23, 1-12, by Barbara Mosley
Mission Moment from Brazil
The mission of the Association of Community Health Educators (AECS) is to offer the population of the favela (poor urban community) Canal do Anil in Río de Janeiro, community service in the areas of Education, Culture, and Health, believing that these are the basis for changing and transforming lives. Through the services offered during these 27 years, we have observed how our work makes an impact by restoring dignity to each citizen welcomed into our projects. Like many other favelas in Rio de Janeiro, our community has a poor population and requires constant social intervention from different actors like national and local governments and non-governmental entities. Let me share some brief testimonies of the people who participate in our programs as a sign of light amid darkness:
“I’m Myla Rodrigues. I’m 21 years old, and I was a student of the social pre-university process supported by AECS and obtained a place to study Pedagogy. I managed to enter the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, considered one of the best in the country. In six months, I gained knowledge that will serve me always. A big dream come true that I often thought was unattainable for a black girl who lives in the favela. Today, thanks to the support of excellent teachers, friends, and the Favela Vertical social project initiative supported by AECS since 2020, I am the first in my family to enter a public university.”
“I am Luiza Mariano, the aunt of a teenager in the AECS Theater group. My nephew, André Luís, is a 14-year-old teenager with a late diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. The difficulties in understanding some situations and socialization require a different perspective. One of André’s most recent achievements occurred after he started in the theater class. In a short time, we observed how much more confident he became in expressing himself and interacting with people. He really enjoys acting with his friends in the class and has even improved his relationship at school. André Luís has a younger brother diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He is part of the music group with guitar lessons. I am grateful for this work, which, in my opinion, AECS holds a crucial ministry that helps children, adolescents, young people, and adults to deal with their differences and particularities”.
“Hello, I’m Camila, part of the Training Course for Health Educators. This work would not be possible without your support and the dedication of dear teachers Barbara Mosley and Maria Garcia. Through the content covered in the course, I was able to open my eyes to the importance of knowledge about health, care, medicines, and healthy eating. I also took a training course for elderly caregivers at AECS. Today, I work in this area that is necessary for the health of the elderly. Gratitude to everyone.”
We at AECS appreciate your continued prayers for our work at Canal do Anil. We are deeply grateful for Global Ministries’s accompaniment and hope to continue serving our favelas in this part of Brazil.
Written by: Isabel Maria Fernandes da Silva, AECS’s Administrator and Academic Coordinator
Translated from Portuguese by Angel Luis Rivera-Agosto
Partners in Brazil
- Association of Community Health Educators Rio de Janeiro (AECS), Brazil
- Evangelical Congregational Church of Brazil (IECB)