S is for “Street Children of Brazil” – a book by Sarah de Carvalho. First of all, I should tell you I get my Braille books from a library and have to send them back once I finish reading. It’s awhile since I’ve read this one, but I wrote some quotes down at the time.
From what I remember, Sarah worked in television and left a job with a very good salary to go to Brazil, where she worked with street children in Belo Horizonte.
It was there that she met her husband, and I liked the fact that she felt God pointing her to Isaiah 61:3 (about bestowing on mourners beauty instead of ashes, joy instead of despair). They would be called oaks of righteousness. When she and her future husband read the verse together, she found that Carvalho in Portuguese is ‘Oak’ in English. Probably a woman thing, but I love to hear those kind of stories about God drawing 2 people together and giving them the same verse to seal their engagement.
The plight of those she worked with prompted Sarah to write (in chapter 10): “Now we may walk on streets made of tarmac and full of litter and robbery, but in heaven it’ll be gold and there’ll be purity, joy and everlasting love.”
Compassion is mentioned in the book, which surprised me. I didn’t know they worked with other ministries. I assumed the only children they funded were those in their centres, but the most striking similarity to what I do as a Compassion-sponsor came in chapter 4. “God’s answer to my question was, ‘The children are covered in wounds: Clean their infections. They are hungry: Give them food. They are cold: Clothe them. But above all be their friend.’” If you sponsor through Compassion, your sponsorship provides medical help with your child’s infections; it buys food and clothes, but through the letters you send, you have an even greater privilege – to be their friends.