After much deliberation, the name we are going with for the project is “Instituto Engrenar” as we feel it encapsulates much of what we are seeking to acheive here in Brazil, God willing.
It’s tricky to get a direct translation for “engrenar” as it has lots of meanings but the basic idea is to initiate something. It’s close to engage or connect. It works well with our intention of linking up with guys who need an opportunity to train, work and be “engaged” with life and what it’s really all about. The bible says that Jesus came so that we might have life to the full (John 10:10) and we hope to help shape what that looks like in day to day life for people who have come from the darkness of addiction and often poverty, street life and crime. The word also conveys somethings of the connections and partnerships that have enabled us to be here, and those connections we trust will be made with more churches and organisations.
It’s great to see that work has begun on the construction of the workshop for the project. Daniel roped in some of the family to help do an initial clear-up of the area of land we have available to us to build a physical base for Instituto Engrenar.
The main building work will begin with the help of some men who are currently in rehabilitation programmes.
After clearing some space, the project site can already now be used as the new location for morning devotionals. It’s not fancy but there’s something positive about starting to meet on site, even in its current dilapidated state!
We’d like folks to pray for the the man in the middle of this pic, Raimundo. Daniel’s brother, José, met him at a recovery house some time ago but, sadly, Raimundo has not been winning the battle with his vices. He has been home with his partner and their kids for the past few months but keeps going back to his habit, so much so that there is sometimes no food in the house, for the little money they have has gone on drugs. Desperate for help and aware of the project, Raimundo’s wife begged José and Daniel for help. For the past few days, Raimundo has joined the early bible study and mucked in with whatever Daniel and José are doing during the day. Raimundo is a very warm, chatty man and, to meet him the first time, you would have no idea of the chaotic life he has lived and the daily battle he faces. He is very open and keen to work hard and change. He is a Christian and needs your prayers, as does his family.
We have visited the Igreja Batista Novo Alvorecer a few times recently. This church is near the workshop site in the area where Daniel grew up but he’d never been to a service. Daniel met Pastor Nonato during his visit to Brazil in April and was impressed with what the church is doing in the community and the way they organise small groups. The church is growing and seems to have a sound theology. Pastor Nonato values what we are trying to do, especially as his own brother was tragically killed by a drug dealer after making the wrong comment at the wrong time. We felt it was only right to visit this church amidst our searching and we plan to visit a small group this week.
Keep praying for us in our church search and these early days of setting up the project and do keep in touch!