Take a look at how the local church in Brazil is sacrificially working to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable in their country.

But, first—a song from Ana Lia from Brazil about how to stop the spread of COVID-19!

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Life-saving intervention for a mystery sickness

“I could have lost my child,” says Tatiana of her 13-year-old son José.

In late May, José started to feel pain in his lower belly. His parents took him to the neighbourhood health centre, but because of the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, José was sent home with pain medication.

But his pain just became stronger.

José’s parents learned that the doctor at Jose’s local Compassion centre was available for children’s medical evaluations.

“José’s lips were purple. He was in a lot of pain. I didn’t know what to do, and my heart was desperate. If there hadn’t been the centre doctor, I don’t know how long my son would be able to wait for medical assistance or an ambulance,” says Tatiana.

José was diagnosed with appendicitis by Compassion centre doctor, Dr. Claudia, and needed urgent treatment. She and the centre volunteers contacted the city hospital to prepare them for his arrival.

“Flash is my favourite superhero. He runs fast to anywhere. If I was like him, I could go to Japan or any other place just in seconds.”

If José were Flash, he could be at the hospital in seconds. But since there was no time to wait for an ambulance, the Compassion centre paid all the costs of transporting José and his family to the hospital.

Jose’s Compassion centre director checks up on Jose and his family after his surgery.

“José’s situation was very critical,” says. Dr. Claudia. “When he came to the project, he already had signs of infection and, due to the delay of treatment, had some complications during the surgery. If we had not diagnosed José in time, he would have a generalized infection and could have died.”

After a successful surgery, José was able to return to his home after three days.

Back at home, José’s family now needs to take extra precautions to take care of their son, avoid infections and protect themselves from COVID-19. But Dr. Claudia and the centre volunteers continue to support the family and monitor José’s recovery.

“My father is out of a job because of the pandemic, so everything has become more difficult. However, my sponsor sent me a gift to buy food, and that helped us. The Compassion centre is helping my family a lot at this tough time for us,” says Jose.

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Innovative connection: Reading letters over video calls

Milena’s phone lights up and begins to ring. The name “Rejane” appears on the screen.

“Josyel!” she calls to her son. “Come quickly!” She hits a button to put the Compassion centre director on speaker. When Josyel sees who is calling, a grin stretches across his face.

Despite the limitations that quarantine has presented, Compassion centre directors and volunteers across Brazil have continued to creatively support children and make up for the lack of project activities.

“Even though we are now working from home, our mission cannot stop,” says Rejane, Josyel’s Compassion centre director. “We need to reinvent ourselves to close the gap and ensure that the children feel like we are all together, despite the distance.”

Eduarda, another sponsored child at the Compassion centre, video calls with her centre director, Rejane.

Letters exchanged between a child and their sponsor is one of the most amazing tools of development in children’s’ lives. Because of this, the volunteers at the local Compassion centre decided to conduct video calls to read the children their sponsor’s letters.

“Hearing my sponsor’s letter by video call was a different experience, but very cool…knowing that someone from so far away remembered me at this moment makes me very happy,” says Josyel.

“The children’s joy is contagious. I feel honoured to witness the smile of each child, even on the cell phone screen with his family, all attentive as they listen to the letter’s message,” says Rejane. “This makes us realize how valuable each moment that we invest in the lives of our children is.”

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Support for a panicked mom-to-be in pandemic

Since the first months of pregnancy, Maria was part of the Compassion’s Survival program. When the first news about COVID-19 reached Maria, she was already seven months pregnant.

“My pregnancy was considered risky, and I tried to do all the exams so that nothing would go wrong. However, in the last months of my pregnancy, the pandemic arrived in Brazil and I felt sad and full of panic,” says Maria.

At Compassion’s Survival program, she received guidance on baby care that she had never heard before. When the first cases COVID-19 were reported in Brazil, the centre reinforced protection measures against the virus.

“My pregnancy would be much more difficult without the help of the centre. They helped me with a kit with basic baby products, clothes and food. Thank God my son was born healthy, and despite the initial fear, I can only feel joy and gratitude for his life,” says Maria.

“Whenever my heart was terrified, the project volunteers encouraged me to believe that God is always with me. ‘It will be all right,’ they said, and those words filled my heart with hope and faith.”

As the number of COVID-19 cases grows at an alarming rate in Brazil, Compassion’s local church partners continue to deliver desperately needed hope and help to Brazil’s most vulnerable: children and families living in poverty. Thank you for your continued support and prayers!

Here are some prayer requests from our Compassion Brazil team:

  • Please pray for protection, good health and healing for the people of Brazil.
  • Pray for the health and safety of medical staff, and provision for under-resourced hospitals.
  • Pray for comfort and peace for those who have tragically lost loved ones.
  • Pray for Compassion assisted-children, their families and local church staff.

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You can help families affected by COVID-19 through our disaster relief fund.

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For our most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit our updates page.

Words by Sara Navarro and Laura Phillips

Photos by Sara Navarro

Written by: Compassion Canada