Rising death toll in Brazil floods

Rising death toll in Brazil floods

Evaldo Reid Rodrigues shares how the local church are responding

To date, officially, 106 people have died, 10 are still missing under the mud and more than 6,000 have had to leave their homes and are in shelters. 

by Evaldo Reid Rodrigues

It’s sad everything we’ve witnessed since last Wednesday and especially this weekend. All this affected me personally too: two children died in the neighbourhood where I grew up; the Baptist Church in Coqueiral/NGO Solidare Institute that works every winter to help families who suffer from the annual floods, this time it was directly affected; the NGO building serving almost 700 children was flooded and almost everything was lost, plus, of course, the people of the community themselves lost almost everything as well.

Evaldo (in baseball cap) and colleagues out meeting flood-hit residents in V8

On top of all that, in Olinda, in the area where I live, we also had landslides and entire communities were under water. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, my church O Farol has been working and supporting an extremely poor community called V8 and when the floods started we knew we needed to help them and that’s what we did and are still doing. 

group pose, most in fluorescent green bibs
Pastor Anderson (second left) and Evaldo with a team of volunteers from the organisation Evangelical Alliance Brazil. “We have received them to visit critical areas in Olinda the see and think how we can work in partnership to support these communities and families.”

We organise a group of volunteers, we dialogue with the Council and that’s why our church is one of the points for collecting donations in the city. In Olinda there are approximately 400 people who have left their homes and are in shelters. We are helping about 60 people in the V8 community and yesterday we went to “Vila das Pedreiras” and delivered donations to 100 people.

woman in yellow raincoat carrying plastic bag talks to young man in baseball cap
Evaldo talking to the Secretary of Social Assistance of Olinda at a shelter that is the centre of operations for flood relief in the city

It is very sad to see all this, to see children in extreme vulnerability, to see people losing everything they had and to see people losing their lives. At the same time, it is beautiful to see the church of Jesus responding and bringing light to this darkness. It is beautiful to see that the church of Jesus has shown these people that God is with them in this moment of so much suffering and lack of hope. It’s amazing to see so many people, churches and organisations from all over Brazil coming together to support these communities.

Flooded church interior: people sit on dais below cross which is a few centimetres clear fo the surrounding brown water
Inside the Baptist church at Coqueiral (Photo: D’Tony Araújo)

Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

Isaiah 58:7-9 (NIV)

Pray

“Please pray for all those from the V8 community, and for us and our church O Farol as we work out how best to support these families and show them God’s love as they return and try to rebuild their lives once the rain passes,” say fellow CMS partners Rosie and Stu Bayford, also part of Evaldo’s church. They live close to the canal but were not badly affected as they live in a high-rise block.

Latest prayer news

Asia: safe travels

Give thanks for safe travels and good visits for CMS’s manager for Asia – the trip was a good time of connecting with people in mission and other partners. Give thanks also for the organisations he visited and the ways in which they are sharing the unconditional love of Jesus.

Read more
Chile: new constitution

Chile’s proposed new constitution is being officially presented on 4 July before it is put to a vote on 4 September for the nation to decide if it is to be accepted and implemented. Pray for the right decision to be made and for Chile to take the right path for its future.

Read more
Ecuador: ongoing dispute

Please continue to pray for the ongoing situation in Ecuador where negotiations continue between protestors and the government while strikes, roadblocks and protests remain ongoing, triggered in great part by rising food and fuel prices. Pray for a peaceful solution to be found soon.

Read more
Latin America: migration

This week at least 53 Latin American migrants died from heat exhaustion in the back of a lorry being used by people smugglers as the migrants sought a new life in the USA. Please pray for all those who have lost their loved ones. Each year many make perilous journeys, risking their lives in the […]

Read more
Lebanon: new home

Mission partners Phil and Sylvie Good recently moved back to Lebanon, into a new flat. Give thanks for the provision of this flat in walking distance of their refugee friends, and pray for Phil and Sylvie as they settle in and make it a home. Pray also for the people of Lebanon as the country […]

Read more
Philippines: making connections

Please pray for mission partners Eric and Sandra Read, recently returned from UK leave, as they settle back in to life in the Philippines and connect with other like-minded organisations in the area of creation care. Pray for them as they work towards financial sustainability for the farm they run using natural farming principles.

Read more

Get our weekly prayer email

SIGN UP