Reaching out to Curitiba

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Reaching out to Curitiba

Escola de Cura is located in the beautiful city of Curitiba, Brasil.  Curitiba is one of Brasil's most modern cities and has about 1.7 million residents.  There are many ultra modern malls and restaurants. This city is probably best known for its bus system which is considered one of the best in the world.  Even the city of Los Angelas is said to be modelling its new transit system after the bus system here in Curitiba.

There is also a dark side.  At night the street corners are populated with prostitutes who come from all over the country to work in a wealthy city.  Curitiba has a suprising number of transvestite sex workers.  While the favelas in Curitiba are not as big or as violent as the ones in Rio and Sao Paulo, they do exist and the people who live in them survive in tremendous poverty and are easily exploited by pretty much everyone.

We believe that Jesus and His kingdom are the answer to these problems.  Young girls sell themselves on the streets because they don't know their value.  They don't know the Father who loves them and passionately plans for their good.  They don't see how little they are being offered by the men who use them.  The transvestites are also a reflection on the fatherlessness that is so common in Brasil.  We have been suprised by the openness of these precious ones as we have reached out to them on the streets of Curitiba.  We hope to one day have a property to use as a halfway house for prostitutes who want to come off the streets but need a place to go, recover spiritually and develop other work skills.

The favelas are a special place for us.  We are currently building relationships in a small favela near the neighborhood of Seminario.  Favelas are not run down shacks on a dirt road filled with trash and junk where otherwise hard working, well adjusted, happy, imaginative people have decided to reside.  No, a favela is a place where people who think they can't do any better build little shacks to live in and then throw trash everywhere.  I believe in so much more for these people.  But what they need is not for someone with more stuff than they have to come with a handout.  They need real relationships with people who believe in them and encourage them that they were created to succeed in life and that they are worth more than they ever imagined.  When the kingdom of heaven moves into the favela, poverty will be evicted. 

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