Brazil: marking a decade of making a difference for at-risk girls

Brazil: marking a decade of making a difference for at-risk girls

A pioneering project that’s restoring hope to abused and exploited girls is commemorating two major milestones

Photo: “This is the night we found that first girl a decade ago…” says Andy Roberts, CMS mission director and ReVive founder

It’s been 10 years since the first girl arrived at ReVive International and a dream of providing a safe house for abused and exploited girls became a reality. And so much has happened since, thanks to God and faithful supporters.

The first girl

“We found that girl in the middle of the night sleeping rough on the streets of Olinda [picture above]. She was only 12 but had been in the care system since the age of four after her mother went to prison for attempting to kill her (twice!),” said Andy Roberts, CMS mission director, who founded ReVive with his wife Rose when they were CMS mission partners in Brazil. He continues with this remarkable report:

“That girl stayed for many years at ReVive being loved and cared for. We helped her receive the psychological help she needed to deal with the trauma of her past, catch up with her studies and begin a faith journey.

two girls (identities disguised) happily play in ball pit
Two of the 100 children who have come to the Revive home over the years. The vast majority of them are now reintegrated back into safe families, adopted into forever families or fostered!

“It wasn’t easy, she ran away a few times when it all became too much for her. One time led a friend and I, together with social services, into the middle of one of the most dangerous slums in the city to bring her back. We’d managed to pinpoint her location via social media messages she’d sent us.

“She burst into tears when she saw us – no one had cared enough to search for her before – we told her at the time that Jesus doesn’t give up on her, neither do we.

Some of the ReVive girls listening to a devotional. These times are vital to hear God’s word and talk about it.

One to 100

“That 12-year-old girl is now in her early 20s, working and with a young family of her own. Her life isn’t perfect by any means, but whose is? By God’s grace, through ReVive , he restored her life and renewed her hope for a better future.

“ReVive has also hit another milestone: taking in their 100th child, who, just like the first, will be loved, cared for, and never given up on.”

Where it all began – much longer than 10 years ago – in a regular prayer meeting seeking God’s guidance on what to do about the many vulnerable children in the city.

First ever foster families

In recent years, ReVive has pivoted towards family-based care rather than institutional provision.

“We were able to help write the law that allowed us to launch the first ever fostering service in the city,” says Andy.

Some of the current ReVive team in Brazil

“Just this month two sisters, five and seven years old, who were in the ReVive safe house, have now gone to a foster family trained by Revive. Another child currently in foster care is going through the final stages of being adopted.

“ReVive currently has three foster families – more are scheduled to receive training soon. It’s great to see Christian families from a number of churches come forward to become a foster family. ReVive provides lots of support, including financial.”

Now locally led

Andy and Rose are now living in the UK, having put the leadership of ReVive into local hands.

CMS mission partners Rosie and Stu Bayford continue to work at ReVive and adjacent ministries as do CMS mission partners Daniel and Sarah Brito-Medeiros.

adults and children enjoying a game of giant Jenga
Stu (pictured) and Rosie Bayford lead the ReVive team at the community market.

Congratulations to this pioneering ministry on 10 years of mission among people at the edges of life, empowering many to reach their God-given potential.

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