‘Search and Rescue’
Fernando is good with people – even I can tell that, and we’re talking through a translator! He spends time on the streets and in the favelas of Recife, getting to know children and their families, building relationships and winning trust. He is ‘Search’, his wife, Nury, tells me.
Nury describes herself as ‘Rescue’. She connects the children and families that Fernando has got to know with the support and facilities that already exist. She works patiently with people, organisations and government structures. She gets the process of transformation underway, hoping and praying for these children to be restored to their families and their communities.
Their ministry is called ‘Search and Rescue’. It is rooted in the gifts God has given them and the people God has made them to be. ‘My life is not my ministry, but God uses my life in my ministry,’ Nury tells me.
Showing God’s love to others
One of the things I’ve heard a lot during my time in Brazil is that there are resources available – social services, charitable projects, the church. But a lot of the people who need them most are not able to access them. Nury, and others like her, help people come into these systems and deal with them. She and Fernando say they know they can’t solve all the problems, but they want to be people who bring hope to their communities. They want to be able to say ‘yes’ when they hear Jesus’ question, ‘When I needed a neighbour, were you there?’
There are huge numbers of children on the streets in Recife and it’s a dangerous city – but sometimes home is even less safe for these kids. Each one is Fernando and Nury’s neighbour. They love them, and they want to show God’s love to them.