|Posted on June 16, 2014 at 9:55 PM|
A question we often hear is, "Why are these children not in school?". This is a hard question to answer and is very complex. Honestly there are many reasons from the parents lack of understanding on how education is important, overpopulated schools, school board's not allowing children to study because they are not in the correct grade, no alternative school system, unattended health problems bc of poor health system, addictions, and the list goes on..... Here is a glimpse into the life of John* and reasons as to why he does not go to school and how we are trying to help.
John* is a 15 year old boy that comes from a very poor family that lives in a wooden house adjacent to our ministry campus. He is the youngest child of 11. His father, 88 years old, is legally blind without means to work and his mother, 64 years old, does her best to care for John* which is her last child to live at home. He was a really shy boy that never ventured out into the streets and stayed home to care for his elderly parents. Unfortunately John* is one of many children that does not go to school and gave up school when he could not keep up because he never learned how to read.
We first meet John* last year when we visited his home during our monthly house visits and invited him to join our soccer program. He has been a faithful player that shows up ever Monday and Wednesday afternoon with the exception of several times when he needed to stay home to care for his blind father while his mother made errands. This year he is also participating in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and literacy classes that we offer as well.
Sergio has really enjoyed getting to know his sweet spirit and willingness to learn. The more Sergio has worked alongside him the more he has opened up about his family situation and their needs. John* has been telling Sergio throughout the last 6 months that he is having a lot of teeth pain and wanted to know if there was something we can do.
Sergio shared the need with our team and we started fasting and praying for God to give us direction because dental work is very expensive and if we took him to a street dentist they would just remove all his bad teeth. In faith, we scheduled him a dental appointment at a health clinic that is run by a church in Curitiba to see what they could offer.
The first visit was very clear as to why he was in so much pain. He has three extra teeth growing in the roof of his mouth, over 10 teeth were infected and full of puss, more than 20 cavities, needed 3 root canals, and the list goes on. The treatment through a normal dentist would have been in the thousands of dollars but the church ministry could offer the treatment for US$400. Unfortunately for John* this was still out of reality for him.
While John* waited in the waiting room Sergio talked to the Supervisor of the health clinic to explain John's* situation and to see if there was something more they can do. The supervisor explained he would talk to the president of the organization and get back to us.
We shared with John* that we serve a mighty God and we, along with him, would be praying for God to provide. Two days later we got a call back saying they will provide all his treatment and possibly braces for him at no charge!!!! When John* heard the news he was relieved and saw how God had answered his prayers!
Sergio has accompanied him to his weekly dental visits and he is already starting to feel better and see a difference!! Praise the Lord!
God once again showed his father heart to the children he has entrusted in our care. We are so thankful that we serve a big God, a God that restores, a God that brings hope, and a God that cares for his children!!! Please continue to pray for John* and his family!
Thank you once again for investing in our lives, in John's life, and in the lives of those we have contact with here in Brazil!
*John is a fictitious name and his face is blurred for privacy reasons.