Brethren in Brazil facing major COVID-19 outbreak

The Global Mission office has received emails from Marcos Inhauser of Igreja da Irmandade (Church of the Brethren in Brazil) with updates about the situation in one of the globe’s “hot spots” for COVID-19. The city of São Paulo has become one of the largest localized outbreaks, according to media reports this week.

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“We are 60 miles West of São Paulo,” Inhauser reported. “Campinas (where we are) is the second largest city of the state. Many people from Campinas travel every day to work at São Paulo. Many restrictions are limiting this commuting, people in the streets, and so on.

“I do feel that it is almost impossible to see this situation lessen before the ending of August. The epicenter is in the big cities (capitals of states), but, this week, it is moving to small towns. Many of them do not have ICUs, even some respiratory equipment.

“Many mathematicians that trained in the epidemic dissemination are saying that we can reach 500,000 deaths. It is hard to believe, but they show the statistics.

“This is why Psalms has been my favorite book of the Bible. Also Jeremiah 3, the
most painful chapter in the Bible.”

Inhauser shared the following reasons for giving thanks as well as prayer concerns from the Brethren in Brazil:

“I want to say thanks
1) Because, until now, no one of the church lost his/her job.
2) Because, until now, no one has been contaminated by COVID-19.
3) Because church members are supplying needs for those they know.
4) Even though we are not able to meet, we are using the Internet to have our time of sharing joys, concerns, and receiving a word of hope.
5) Because we did research with church attendees to find ways to go ahead after this time of pandemic and to grow as a church.

“We want to ask prayers for
1) Our future as a church.
2) For the health of the spiritual life of the people who are directly and indirectly involved with Igreja da Irmandade.
3) For the strengthening of our relationship with the church that rented the facilities at Rio Verde.
4) For the ministry of Suely doing Family Therapy, especially with couples stressed by this time of social isolation.
5) For Alexandre with his ministry with family violence, that increased during this time of social isolation.
6) For the people grieving the loss of relatives, especially those who, because of the regulation, couldn’t provide a ‘decent funeral.’
7) For the unemployed or sub-employed, who reach, in Brazil, more than 45 million.”

Inhauser shared the following text adapted from Psalm 5, as he wrote: “This is my prayer during this time when so many people are sick, and thousands have died. It is my prayer living in a country with a liar and crazy president that does not have any consideration for this awful time. Now we have no health secretary. An Army general who does not have any idea about medicine is in charge of dealing with the pandemic. Besides that, against all medical and scientific orientation, the president decided to give hydroxychloroquine to people affected by COVID-19 in the very beginning of the disease”:

Listen to my words, LORD;
consider our sighing.
Pay attention to the sound of our cry,
my King and my God,
for we pray to You.
At daybreak, LORD, You hear our voice;
at daybreak we plead our case to You and watch expectantly.
For You are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil cannot dwell with You.
The boastful cannot stand in Your presence;
You hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who tell lies;
the LORD abhors a man of bloodshed and treachery.
But we enter Your house
by the abundance of Your faithful love;
We bow down toward Your holy temple
in reverential awe of You. (Psalm 5)

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