Local communities in Brazil are taking the initiative to continue learning and find ways of thriving despite the COVID-19 lockdowns.
This has been a challenging time for so many of us. Lives have been upended; jobs have been lost, and celebrations have been postponed or canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Jacob’s Well communities in Brazil have faced similar challenges, compounded by poverty and limited health care access.
In the midst of this, though, we are seeing resilience with Bible studies and remote classes. Plus, the rains came in April which was a blessing for the farming efforts and water reserves.
As the U.S. slowly begins to reopen, we turn our eyes to other nations who are managing the crisis. In the Jacob’s Well communities, COVID-19 did arrive in Riacho da Porta and Morada Nova. Fortunately, the impact has been minimal overall, though the Jacob’s Well staff has been unable to continue activities in-person but continues to encourage and coach virtually.
The Blessing of Good Food
In one area, the work at the farming co-op continues under the guidance of Jacob’s Well agricultural expert Kaka. This month, areas were cleared for the planting of lime and papaya trees; organic fertilizer was applied to these areas as well as the garden area where the chives and cilantro are grown.
In another region, the farming co-op teams have been incredible with expanding their agricultural activities. The locals have demonstrated some impressive innovation as they plant of urucum (a popular Brazilian spice), use hydroponic techniques to raise chives and lettuce, and expand organic fertilizer production.
The hydroponics units in our other communities are doing very well. Members used the profit from one group of crops to purchase materials to construct a shade structure that will protect more vulnerable plants for the intense summer heat. This month they also began trial plantings of lettuce and chives in the units and planted a new crop of cilantro.
Our third major community experienced an incredible bean harvest, yielding 8½ large sacks that were distributed among the farming families.
The Work Continues in Many Forms
We are incredibly blessed and impressed by the forward movement in all communities despite Jacob’s Well staff not being able to be physically present during the lockdown. This shows the impact of the training and mentoring activities that have been underway months before the coronavirus emergency.
Outside of the farming activities, team members have participated in a local government program called Orange May to combat the rising issue of sexual abuse with children and adolescents. This problem is particularly come to light as a result of the lockdowns that forced everyone to stay home or in their small towns.
With this knowledge, the team hopes to expand their educational lessons and continue positively influencing local communities with the blessings of gospel-centered living.
Please continue to pray for the team in Brazil as they work to bring the hope of the Word of God to every part of people’s lives.