U.S. Resident Adopts Family Affected by Floods in Southern Brazil

Initiative is facilitating contributions to those who have lost essential items.

Emanuele Fonseca, South American Division, and Adventist Review
U.S. Resident Adopts Family Affected by Floods in Southern Brazil
Floodwaters in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, rose to levels that made it impossible to stay in the homes affected. [Photo: South American Division]

Rio Grande do Sul is facing the consequences of the worst flood in history. This issue has become a topic of discussion not only in the state, but also in national and international news. Brands, stores, athletes and influencers have directed resources to Rio Grande do Sul. And ordinary people have also gotten involved and sought ways to contribute to the various humanitarian aid initiatives.

Angela Maria lives in Philadelphia, United States. She heard about the Adopt a Family project through her local church and promptly “sponsored” the family of Beatris Jardim, a resident of the city of Guaíba, in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre.

“If we don’t help our neighbors, there’s no point in being in this world,” Maria said. “We have to do our part the best we can and leave the rest up to God.”

The person in charge of the Adopt a Family initiative contacted Beatris Jardim, informing her about a possible donation from abroad. It was the first time she had to face a situation like this, Jardim said. She shared how this process of “adoption” is making all the difference in this new beginning with her husband and son.

Many families discovered that they will have to replace all of their furniture and appliances affected by the floodwaters. [Photo: South American Division]

“They gave me Angela’s contact, I spoke to her, and she told me she wanted to know what we needed right away. I couldn’t believe it when I received it,” Jardim said. “I had mixed feelings, [but felt] so grateful that God has placed this family in our path.”

The Adopt a Family project is an initiative of the Rio Grande do Sol Conference (ASR), the administrative headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the south of the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The project was launched as soon as people lost their belongings in the floods, leaders shared.

Project coordinators explained that people anywhere in Brazil and the world can donate to the initiative, as Angela Maria did. “You can help with cash or specific items such as new appliances and furniture, which should be sent to the family’s address,” they said.

For ASR secretary Tiago Fraga, the most authentic type of religion becomes alive when we relieve the suffering of other people. “Knowing that there are people very close to us who are suffering has to move us,” Fraga said. “It has to move our hearts, and it has to touch our pockets as well.”

Fraga added that this is a time to show the relevance of the church. Prayer is important, but it needs to go hand in hand with action. “There are people who have lost everything,” he said. “A sacrifice on our part can be essential to change someone’s life, helping them to get back on their feet a little more peacefully.”

The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site.

Emanuele Fonseca, South American Division, and Adventist Review