We meet a lot of homeless persons on the street, but not always do we get to be part of a family reunion. A couple months ago, a staff member met a homeless man hanging out in the city square that we visit weekly. The man asked for help to contact a family member currently living in the United States. This team member passed the number to me and I involved my mother, asking her to call this family member and pass along the man’s email. What none of us knew is that our new Brazilian friend had actually been thought to be dead by his family! They had not been able to locate or contact him for the last 22 years! Within a week, the two shocked sisters of this man flew to Brazil determined to find their brother. As I and two other Shores team volunteers put aside our agendas to hunt down our new friend, a beautiful story unfolded…

    The week before the sisters came to Brazil, this man had told us he converted to Christianity two years earlier and knew that he needed to apologize to his family for the falling out he caused. This man had traveled to Recife because he felt direction from the Lord to come. He also made a vow with the Lord recently asking that by the end of the year, he would have some kind of answer or reunion. While in the United States, one sister, who self-identifies as a practicing Buddhist, had recently visited a prayer event in hopes of receiving some kind of answer about her brother. The well-known minister called her out and spoke hope to her about finding him. That same day she received the message from my mother about him.

    The sisters found their brother on the second day of searching and I unfortunately could not be there to witness their reactions. However, I am told the man smiled and they embraced each other! For the next few days I maintained contact with them. The sisters accompanied him to church and they spent time together catching up. The sisters even visited our mission base one day and our church service during their stay. Upon asking one sister what she thought (the one who practices Buddhism), I laughed when she said she enjoyed the service a lot; she felt peace and thought the speaker (our assistant director of Shores) was “inspired”. I was not shy during our time together to talk to them about the Father’s love for their family and his desire for reconciliation among them. That same week, they even flew their mother from the States to Brazil to reunite with her son. She was the last one to speak with him before he cut off all contact. I am waiting to hear the full update, but I heard good news…

    Although the man has currently chosen to remain in Brazil without a home or job, the sisters and I are brainstorming ideas of how we can help him. Of course, I am convinced this story has been written by the Lord and I pray this man’s heart becomes softened to receive help so that this whole family may get to walk in the fullness of the blessings God is longing to pour out on them!

     

    Written by Danielle Pagnanella, missionary in Shores of Grace.

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