A few weeks ago a new family of seven entered the doors of the soup kitchen in the Rio, an impoverished community that Back2Back serves. One glance told us that this family was in need of help. Mom, Virginia, is younger than myself and has five little kids. The oldest is nine and the youngest (a set of twins) are two. Virgina, her husband, and children had moved into a shack with her mom after being unable to pay rent for their own place. Their house is smaller than most kitchens and houses nine people.
After seeing the children arrive at the soup kitchen on Saturday dressed in school uniforms (because they didn’t have other clothes) and smelling as though they had worn the same uniform the whole week, I realized that we needed to help. A few days later I dropped off several bags of clothing and toiletries and loaded kids, mom, and grandma into my car to go school shopping. Thanks to a donor we had money to buy the oldest kids new uniforms, school shoes, and notebooks.
I think the best part for the kids was just riding in my car! They laughed the whole time.
I didn’t really realize how much in need this family was until one day when the grandma asked me if we had any dishes they could have. I went to their home later that week and saw that the kids were drinking out of pieces of plastic coke bottles! The Back2Back staff pulled together as well as some donors and we were able to supply them with cups, plates, silverware, etc.
By God’s grace I have had many interactions with the family, including prayer and a sharing of the gospel with them! Please keep them in your prayers! Currently we are trying to get them connected to the government resources that are available to them as well as trying to satisfy some of their basic needs. Please pray for me to have wisdom and discernment to know what to do and what not to do and how to help, but not enable. It is for families like this one that we, as Back2Back, have a Rio ministry. Virginia is a prime candidate to take her children to a children’s home because of difficulties in providing for them. Our hope is that by coming alongside them and helping them to provide for their children’s basic needs, we will prevent them from reaching the point where they need to drop off their children at one of the children’s homes.
Pray for this family! Pray for me and the other Back2Back staff, as we seek the Lord on what to do! He is faithful!