Last week was the Missions Conference at our church. It is my favorite (and busiest) time of year. Although I spend much of the conference being completely humbled by my comparative lack of commitment and faith, I am always challenged by the stories of the missionaries.
Earlier this year Dan had the opportunity to travel to Brazil to visit with some of the missionaries who attend our conference. Marcondes and Ruth Marques operate an awesome ministry called CBC, or, the Channel to Brazil for Christ. The primary tool of their ministry to street children is a supplementary education program called The University of Life. In Brazil only 8% of students will graduate from high school. CBC tries to fill the educational holes by offering tutoring in basic subjects as well as training in fine arts, sports, and computers.
When Dan visited last year, the most moving day for him was a Saturday when the students at The University invited the children in their neighborhoods to a special event on the grounds. Volunteers came in with hygiene lessons, make-up bags, and hair cutting stations. Dan said it brought tears to his eyes to see children washing the feet and hands of their young friends, literally scrubbing away their neglect and abuse with fingernail brushes and soap. By the end of the day, children left clean and coiffed. What a message of love.