Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fabrizio and Aline

I'm writing with sad news regarding the family of two of the youth with whom we work in the favela of Sao Joao. As many of you know, Ulisses and I are leading a soccer program with the intention of generating more opportunities for discipleship. Fabrizio (pictured on the far left side of the bottom row) and his sister Aline are two standouts in the program, as both are quite demonstrative and outspoken. They are also leadership types. Aline leads by force, while Fabrizio leads through personality. Their development of these attributes is largely the product of their family dynamic. Besides the two of them, there are seven other children in their home. In a family this large, you learn to play the hand that you're dealt in order to find your place. This lends itself to a more keen awareness of identity, which is obvious in the two of them.

Last Friday, we discovered that their mother had died due to complications in her health. Her death took the family completely by surprise, as there were no real warning signs of any problems. Needless to say, they are experiencing a range of emotions with her passing - sadness, numbness, anger, and fear. However, the situation is further complicated by the fact that their mother was the only caregiver, as the father has been out of the scene for years now. Under such circumstances, the kids are usually parceled out to various family members - a solution that wreaks havoc upon personal identity and the child's system of support. I would appreciate your prayer for their family at this difficult time. Please pray specifically that God would guide those in the family that are having to step up and make significant decisions that will shape the paths of at least nine kids.   

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