Leon, Eucaris, Keyder & Kendall, reunited in Itu.
What a privledge it is to get to see lives and whole families restored first hand! Working with CL has allowed me just that priveledge, as the story of Leon and his families resettlement in Brazil demonstrates-
In the last two years Crescimento Limpo has experienced a highly increased demand for support from friends arriving Venezuela as refugees. Leon came to live with us at the CL halfway house in 2019 with the first group of Venezuelans that we received. From day one he had one urgent mission- he would work hard and save money to bring his wife, daughter and sister-in-law to live with him here in Itu. He got a job at a local hotel and soon made good on his promise. He brought his wife Eucaris, daughter Kendall, and sister-inlaw Keyder. The first picture here is of their family, finally together again, worshipping with us at church one Sunday morning.
This moment was especially impactful to me because his daughter Kendall was the same age as my son Liam, and I couldn't have imagined being separated from my baby for so long without the means to keep my family together. They lived with us at the halfway house until they were able to secure an apartment and move out. We helped Keyder get enrolled in school and we were able to hire Eucaris at CL's café, the Caféla, ensuring that we would be able to continue to support and disciple them after they moved on to their new residence.
Recently Eucaris came to talk to us, brokenhearted. She told us that her brother Carlos and his family were needing to leave Venezuela for Brazil as well, but that she didn't have the means to bring them or to offer them housing in Itu. We told Eucaris, "of course you do! You work for CL; an organization that exists to help with exactly these life transitions! Your work opens enables us to keep our doors open to receive men and women needing housing during life crisis!"
So we accompanied Carlos' journey. Between the Brazilian border and Itu, he would have to go through documentation process and wait for the dates for their flight from Manaus to Sao Paulo. This meant twenty days in the large city of Manaus where he, his wife and their one year old child would be on the streets. We contacted the Church of Christ in Manaus and explained their situation. Immediately, one of the church members went to pick them up and keep them at their home for 20 days! Because of the church acting as the body of Christ throughout our country, Carlos' family was never left unsupported or unaccompanied.
Carlos, Grecia (wife), and Fabricio (1.5 year old child) arrived to our house two weeks ago, and they were eagerly welcomed by their family and our staff! Carlos is currently working with us at the CL Farm, in our garden and grounds maintenance. He is being mentored by myself and Rogerio, our monitor of 8 years. Fabricio, who was underweight when he arrived to Itu, is already looking chunkier and healthier! We are honored to be a piece of their journey of restoration.
Carlos, Grecia and Fabricio at Casa CL
Morning devo at CL Farm. Carlos is 3rd from left