The team of Simon, Jonny Robertshaw, Alice Nichols and Tremaine McLean arrived in Brazil on Monday evening to be met by Levi at the airport. Our first day was spent in Brazilia having a look around the capital.
We were able to visit a rehab centre that has been run by Levi’s Aunt and her husband for the last 26 years. It was incredibly humbling to see how this sacrificial work has resulted in the transformation of so many lives. We were privileged to meet with about 14 of the women who are living at the centre. Their stay can be anything from a few weeks up to 5 years, so it has a really long term support in place. We heard numerous stories of lives that have been changed, many coming from horrific backgrounds of drug abuse, alcohol addiction and homelessness. Many broken families have been restored and people set free. We recorded one story of Priscilla who was on the streets, addicted to crack cocaine and separated from her family. Through the love and support of the rehab centre she has met Jesus, been cleaned up and been reunited with her daughter (who is now living with her).
We had a wonderful afternoon of worship together and then prayed with the women. We spoke words of affirmation, encouragement and healing over their lives and prayed individually for each of them. When we prayed for one lady, Simon noticed she had a tattoo of a rose on her leg that was a bud. He shared that God saw her as a beautiful flower and that He was in the process of enabling her to bloom. As we prayed over her, Jonny had a scripture, Zechariah 3, taking away her dirty clothes and giving her clean clothes, talking about changing what she believes about herself. Tremaine spoke about casting all your cares on Jesus (1 Peter 5v7)…. Someone who will never leave us or forsake us. Whilst we prayed God was doing a powerful work in her with lots of tears.
On Monday we travelled on to Goiânia where Levi lives and works, going out onto the streets to give out coffee and pray for those we came across.
The team are really working well together as we pray and worship together daily, praying for each other and expecting God to use us in some way. Levi is doing a wonderful job hosting and translating for us. Do continue to pray.
On Wednesday the team joined Levi to go out onto the streets around the church, taking a flask of coffee and offering this to those living on the streets. We also prayed for a number of those we met. It is often hard work and with little reward and we can see the perseverance needed by Levi and those he works with. We prayed over the city of Goiania from the Mount near Levi’s house
However, on Thursday we were able to visit a male rehab centre and see here some of the men who would have been living on the streets only days or weeks before. We were shown around the centre and then invited to share some encouragement which Alice did really well.
We then shared some words of knowledge and invited the men to respond. It is incredibly humbling to see the hunger for God in these men. Alice shared how she has had little experience of doing this, but felt God spoke to her about someone with a problem with their nose. When she shared this, everyone pointed at one man. He has had problems with his breathing through his nose for a long time. When Alice prayed for him he said it improved up to 8 out of 10.
On Wednesday evening we had a really encouraging meeting at a local church that Levi knows well. About 300 people came out for a midweek meeting. Levi and Alice led the worship and Simon spoke about healing. The worship was an amazing experience of God’s presence and power. We shared some words of knowledge and then got people to pray for each other. We heard back of people being healed for knees that could be straightened, hearing improving, and Carpel Tunnel Syndrome being healed (Levi had fun translating that word of knowledge!).
We continue to be doing well as a team, enjoying a night out in Goiania walking around a lake and a local delicacy called ‘Açai’ – a bit like blueberries with strawberries, bananas and condensed milk.
Do keep praying for God to be at work in and through us as we visit more rehab centres and have a day on the streets on Saturday.
We have had an eventful weekend with a full schedule.
On Friday we visited a Women’s Rehab. Tremaine spoke really well and we were able to pray for many of the girls. There was one picture shared of a girl being dragged by her hair and abandoned. One girl responded to this and we were able to see God meet her in her pain.
Saturday was a real highlight. It was St Andrew’s equivalent of the Noise but with everyone who attended being those who were living on the streets. There was free clothing, medical help, a lawyer to seek advice, haircuts, showers and some great food. There was live worship throughout with the chance to pray for people if they wished. Following this event at the church, Levi was able to take three men off the streets and onto a rehab centre. The following Sunday a number of the men also turned up at the church services which was really encouraging.
At both the Sunday services, Simon spoke about building a church that looks to transform the local community and we shared stories from St Andrew’s, including Jonny speaking about the Marriage Course and Alice about Street Angels.
It has been a real privilege to see the work that Levi and Debora are doing working with the marginalised on the streets and the wonderful way God is using their ministry. We do pray for a growing partnership with other local churches in Goiania to develop and grow the project.