PHOTO: “ReVive saved my life all those years ago.” – Milena with Andy Roberts, ReVive’s founder, when they met recently in Rio de Janeiro
One of the challenges of doing mission for the long haul can be not knowing the results of your efforts – it takes a long time from planting a seed to harvesting fruit. Yet mission partner Andy Roberts recently had the privilege of coming face to face with a young woman whose life had been turned around by the work of ReVive, founded by Andy and his wife Rose.
ReVive run a safe house in Olinda for girls who have been abused or abandoned and they work to restore the girls’ lives and renew their hope for the future.
Back in 2014, Milena was the second girl to be cared for at the safe house. Recently, Milena surprised Andy by coming along when he was speaking at a church in Rio de Janeiro.
Testimony of hope
Milena is one of the two girls jumping into the sunset in one of ReVive’s most recognised photos. When she heard Andy was going to be speaking at a church in Rio de Janeiro, 2,000km away from Olinda, where she now happens to be studying, she crossed the city to see him.
She told him where she’s up to now: she is working in a bar and studying to be an odontologist.
Andy says, “It was wonderful to see her again and to hear, in her own words, how ‘ReVive saved my life all those years ago.’ May God continue to work in her life… and thanks to him for letting us see a little fruit of ‘restoring lives, renewing hope’ among the girls and young people here.”
Five years on, the work is going strong and the team has recently opened a second home for younger girls as well as boys. While Andy, Rose and their growing staff have invested in countless lives over the years, they don’t always get to see the long-term effects of that investment.
For girls like Milena, the work of ReVive can actually mean the difference between life and death. But directors Andy and Rose don’t see their work as the solution to the problem of girls being exploited; rather, their safe houses are a jumping-off point for something even better.
Long-term, they hope to close their safe houses as church members catch God’s heart for children like Milena and step up to adopt.
The team at ReVive work hard to change the lives of individual girls, walking with them as they find healing through different types of therapy in a stable environment.
Members of the team are also working hard within the legal system and through advocacy among churches to pave the way for fostering by and adoption into loving, Christian families.