As many of you may have heard, the towns of Friburgo and Teresopolis (a mountainous region about 2 hours from the Rio’s city limits) were ravaged by flooding this week. The official death toll is at 534, but rescue workers cannot even speculate how many are actually missing. Everyone here follows the news reports quite closely, as most have relatives or friends that live in that area. The stories that have surfaced are horrific, like one father who found the body of one son buried in the mud in search of the other three that are missing. The press has labeled it the most devastating natural disaster in the history of Brazil.
The somewhat chilling part for us in all of this is that Jason, Kristin, Carol and I spent last weekend there. We had purchased one of those Groupon packages for a discount on a bed and breakfast in the area. We used the time to step away from the fast pace of life in Rio. Everything about the place was conducive to rest, as I would describe the area as green and slow. It’s eerie to think how rain can change that in a night. I don’t want to be melodramatic, nor am I trying to revisit the Left Behind series. I just cannot seem to shake how much this speaks of our need for preparedness and unity among believers. I don’t believe that the Western church will continue to be successful in insulating itself from tragedies and suffering. In such, I believe we will also stumble upon our true and real Hope.
Sombra Road (SR) was created to support and enhance Brazilian organizations that are giving street kids a hope for the future. Additionally, SR opened the Sombra Road House in 2007. This home was created to help young men answer the question "What next?" in their transition into adulthood. The goal of the SR House is to create community with direction, that direction being to love and serve others to the glory of God.