Through the end of 2023, we’ll share stories from the past 15 years of ministry. It’s our way of remembering all God has done and encouraging us for what’s ahead. We invite you to read, watch, and pray about how you could be involved in investing in the future of our work. Here’s Clarinha’s story…
Life in the Amazon jungle is difficult for anyone, but it can be especially tough for those with special needs. Our special needs program, which operates in the Amazon and Moldova, was developed to care for these acutely vulnerable children and adults to help with medicine, professional care, and other pressing necessities. Clarinha was one of these dear ones. When we met her in 2009, Clarinha was in her late 30’s. She had cerebral palsy and could never leave her hammock, let alone her mother’s modest jungle home.
We enlisted a sponsor for Clarinha’s family, and they began to receive monthly food bags and special foods that were easier for Clarinha to eat. When the dry season came and the river receded, we provided a pump so that they could access clean water. When Clarinha’s sponsor bought her a wheelchair, other donors helped provide resources for her brothers to build a ramp to connect all of the family homes in their tiny village so that Clarinha could come to visit.
Clarinha’s body was weak, but her mind was strong. She knew that Jesus loved her and that one day He would heal her and make her able to run and dance. That day came in March 2022 when God called her home. Our Amazon team was able to deliver Clarinha’s body from the hospital back to her precious family. As Sarah Rodrigues said, “Clarinha rested.” We’re sure she did, but we believe she first ran as fast as she could into the arms of Jesus who was waiting for her. Watch a video of Kelly Minter remembering Clarinha.
As we look back at the last 15 years of God’s faithfulness through JMI, Clarinha is someone we will never forget. We don’t take for granted that He allows us into people’s lives at their most vulnerable to care for them and share the Gospel.
We believe the future of our ministry will bring us to many more children and adults like Clarinha who need to know they aren’t forgotten. May we always be faithful to answer God’s call to care for the poor, the orphaned, and the vulnerable. Will you come along for this next chapter of our work?
Clarinha’s story is told in JMI’s 15-Year Anniversary Book. Get your copy here.