April 1st (and it was no joke) we moved Stenio, Soraia, and Vitória from the halfway house where they had been living for the past five months after leaving the street to a shelter where they have their own room and will be able to stay for two more months before moving to a place of their own. This is the last stage in the city’s social assistance program for the homeless. Stenio is currently working on a construction job with his brother, and Soraia is about to begin receiving help through a welfare program. Both of them appear to be doing well, staying off of drugs and out of trouble. Victoria is doing well too.
The really good news is that for the past two Sundays Stenio and Soraia have gone with me to Sunday worship in the church in São Lourenço (photo below). Our prayer (and we ask it be yours as well) is that we can find a house for them in São Lourenço and that they would want to live there. The church in São Lourenço is one of the healthiest congregations we are connected with. There is a good community dynamic, the members are all very close and supportive of one another and a good number live within walking distance of the church building.
Please be praying that Stenio and Soraia will decide to make this move. They both have family in different parts of Recife and a logical move for them would be to go live near family. The downside of that is the lack of spiritual support and attention to their situation when they are tempted to fall back into drug use. We believe the community of the brethren in São Lourenço would be the best place for them. But, the final decision has to be theirs. Please pray they’ll make the right one. This is a critical move. Depending on where they are living, proximity to drugs, old drug using friends, marital conflicts without mature support, etc. they could be headed for a fall. Or, in the right situation this could be one more step in a steady walk in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd. We pray for the latter.