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Lucas, Eudemarand Andre

11, 10 and 7 years old

Santa Rita, Pariba, Brazil

For years, Lucas, Eudemar and Andre lived in constant fear of losing their father. A raging alcoholic, Eldir was often involved in street fights and regularly beat their mother, Jacqueline. “I wouldn’t remember anything,” says Eldir, recounting some of his worst episodes.

“The boys were haunted, fearful of me, and I beat my wife many times.”

The kids had already lost their grandfather to community violence and couldn’t stand the thought of losing their father as well.

But when Jacqueline started to volunteer at the local church, the boys found hope in the form of prayer, which they directed towards their father’s salvation. At every opportunity, they asked God to help break his destructive cycle of alcoholism, and eventually, He answered their prayers. One night during home worship, Eldir found the strength to replace alcohol with faith, and for the first time in their lives, the boys knew promise.

Since then, the family has been an integral part of both Compassion and the local church community. Eldir participates in counseling and plays guitar at church services, Jacqueline continues to volunteer at the community center, and the three children are sponsored by the Child Development Sponsorship Program (CDSP).

Where the brothers were once reserved, they’ve each found their respective voice through prayer and the supportive church community, which serves as a second family. Surrounded by loving “aunties” (female volunteers) who tend to them and caring “godfathers” (sponsors) who send them letters, the boys have blossomed into confident young men. Plus, they’re fed regularly, receive quality medical care and are getting an education. In economically destitute Northeast Brazil, where half the kids between the ages of 15 and 17 aren’t able to attend school and 20% of the adult population is illiterate, the brothers have a wonderful opportunity to rise above their situation. Lucas, the eldest child, wants to be a firefighter one day, and Compassion is giving him the tools and faith to make his dream a reality.

"Every night we thank God for having saved our father."

Meanwhile, a completely sober Eldir has found steady employment as a factory production assistant and is training to become a welder. What’s more, he even opened an ice cream shop next to their home as a way to generate additional income. Not too shabby! Apart from work, he and Jacqueline wed in the church and he now takes an active role in raising the boys. “Every night we thank God for having saved our father,” says Lucas.

Through sponsorship and the support of Compassion, and by accepting God into their lives, one family’s cycle of addiction, poverty and hopelessness has come to an end – and that’s a miracle to us.

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And now these three remain:
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I needed strength to carry on - and Compassion helped me find that strength.

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"

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.

Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

"

- 1 John 4:7 -

Fundraise Now To Help Expecting Mothers Fight The Zika Virus.

Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator, has awarded Compassion its highest rating - four stars - for 14 consecutive years

"

My sponsor told me one day I will be able to fly many places... The Lord will provide this for me.

"

- Jesus Gabriel, 9 years old

Throw a party!

Entry cover: a donation to your campaign

Turn your birthday into a fundraiser!

"

And now these three remain:
faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

"

- 1 Corinthians 13:13

"

I needed strength to carry on - and Compassion helped me find that strength.

"

- Rosilda, Mother of two

Fundraiser in memory and honor of a loved one.