Monday, March 16, 2015

Sula

                João Pessoa seems to be a nice, calm city, but lately on lisst of violent cities in Brazil and the world, it has climbed close to the top. Now that doesn't seem to affect us much because, as brother Ricardo (a policeman) explains the most dangerous demographic bracket to be in is black youth between the age 16 to 22, involved in illegal drug trafficking.

                But sometimes tragedy strikes closer to home. Our dear sister Sula received the worst birthday present anyone could ever receive, her youngest son (22 years old) was murdered in the street in front of her house, shot three times. Sula's sole dream in life is for her children to belong to Christ, but little by little the chances of it being fulfilled are being chipped away. Her oldest son was killed in Recife four years ago, just when he was getting his life on track and even visiting the church.

                The family knows who killed this second son and why (debt-related not drug-related), but an inefficient judicial system leaves them scared for their lives instead of confident to seek to bring the criminal to justice.

                As for Sula, having suffered more than her amount in this lifetime, she says that the only thing that keeps her going is Jesus; she's hanging on to him with everything she got. At the funeral, she cried out loud a prayer to God, for him to bring her other kids and grand-kids to Jesus and eternity before it is too late.  Resurrection in Christ would change everything, even in burying a child; desperate agony would become a hopeful sadness.

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