ArticleField Stories

Ministering to the Most Vulnerable

Time is short. Our missionaries feel this deeply, as they witness to people they may never see again.
Think back to your childhood. What was in it? Parents that loved you? Summer days with trips to the pool and ice cream cones?

Childhood is a time of growth and development, where you create lifelong memories with family and friends. But we live in a broken, sinful world that preys on the vulnerable.

Jessica, an ABWE missionary in Brazil, sees this every day on the streets of Sao Paulo.

She witnesses young children being turned out of their homes, enduring physical and emotional abuse from family members. The very people who should love them the most.

These children scratch out a living on the streets, living hour-by-hour, scrounging for their next meal or opportunity to get high. Dreaming of a better life is the only escape from their reality. Aspiring for even a basic job at the local market or corner store seems far away.

These harsh realities drew Jessica to the hurting in Sao Paulo. She sees the fields that are white and ready for harvest (John 4:35). Every day, Jessica’s ministry provides for both the physical and spiritual needs of these street kids.

One day she met Veronica, a quiet and reserved teenager. Addicted to drugs, Veronica was like most other teens that Jessica had worked with in the past. So, Jessica asked the one question she knew would get a response from her: “What are your dreams?”

Immediately, Veronica’s eyes lit up.

“I want to be a singer,” she whispered, and for a moment, she’d forgotten about the alley she called home and constant gnawing hunger, as she pictured a future full of music and performances. Her smile widened, as Jessica told her about the ministry’s upcoming music classes.

But reality set in, as her hunger broke through the fragile dream. Hope vanished from her dark eyes. It reminded her that the dream would never be real.

Seeing the hope fade, Jessica wanted to offer some lifeline. So she explained that God made every human with dignity and gave each person a unique set of talents, like Veronica’s voice. And through Jesus’ death and resurrection, she can find forgiveness and real hope for the future. Her life could change if she wanted it to.

Jessica said, “Veronica, Jesus loves you very much.” Veronica listened and nodded.

The next day, Jessica shared the love of Jesus with Veronica again, who seemed even more discouraged and lost than the day before. Feeling like their time together would be short, Jessica fervently prayed over her.

Three days later, Jessica received news that Veronica had died in a drug-induced fight.

This is just one of the many heartbreaking stories that have become “normal” for Jessica. Every day, she pours into the broken and lost, and every day, her heart breaks for the children around her. It’s why she shares the gospel in every interaction.

"We don't know if we will ever see these kids again after our first interaction. We must use every opportunity we can to point them to Christ," said Jessica.

Psalm 90 says we should “number our days” and that is exactly what Jessica and her fellow missionaries at ABWE do. This is why they strive to bring the good news of Jesus to the neglected, the broken, and the unreached among all nations. They feel the urgency and carry a heavy burden for the lost. They know tomorrow is never promised.

Sadly, we don’t know if Veronica accepted the Lord as her Savior. But Jessica and hundreds like her are continuing to care for the hurting in their communities and to share the gospel with them.

Did you know you can impact their ministries?

Through the Global Gospel Fund, you can give missionaries like Jessica the opportunity to serve and reach the lost, just like Veronica. Your partnership supports 1,000 missionaries, reaches 84 countries, and provides the resources needed to fulfill the Great Commission. Together, we can ensure we give children the chance to believe.

Would you consider helping these ministries as they tirelessly share the love of Jesus with others? As they share the hope and the chance to accept God’s gift?

Time is short. Eternity matters. And you can make an eternal difference.

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