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Rainy season hits Brazil hard, relief spread even more thin

By June 24, 2010

Brazil (MNN) — More than 115,000 people are now homeless or
displaced after rain and floodwaters swept through two of Brazil's northeastern
states. In the state of Pernambuco, 53 cities have declared a state of
emergency, and an additional 22 cities have done so in Alagoas state.

"This isn't just typical rains and typical flooding;
this is a devastation," said Kathy Redmond of Compassion International. At
least 42 people have died, and over 600 people are missing in Alagoas.

Compassion was not spared from the floods either, as one of
their projects in Pernambuco was affected. Redmond said, "The river's
overflowed, and it's flooded the community. So, we're awaiting our child list
to know just how many kids have been affected."

She fears many of them have no shelter and have lost all their
possessions, as their homes are made of corrugated metal roofs and cardboard,
providing little or no shelter from the rain and floodwaters.

While Brazil's Center for Climatic Studies predicted above-average rainfall during the fall, their winter just began on June 21. Still,
rain continues. And right now, Brazil is not the only Latin American country in
the midst of their rainy season.

Redmond fears Haiti could be hit by heavy rains and floods as
well, which would be devastating to the tent cities and crippled landscape.

However, Redmond said, "The wonderful thing about
Compassion is that we have such dedicated sponsors."

Compassion International is not primarily a disaster
relief organization, and their staff is spread thin across
countries recovering from other natural disasters. However, Compassion sponsors, working with their
local church partnerships, have been able to provide immediate and concentrated relief in
areas with great need.

"It's just such an efficient and effective way of
getting aid to people who need it the most. And, furthermore, as it should be,
the people in the community are going to the church–the local church–for
their help," Redmond said. As hurting
victims seek out the church for their physical needs, they are also finding
answers to their spiritual questions and comfort for their pain as believers
share Christ with them.

"Because Compassion backs up that church, …we're able to get
to them the message of Christ, even in some of the most oppressive and frankly
frightening places in the world," Redmond said. "So, that church stands there,
and it's the one light that they see, and it's a transforming light."

Communities once riddled with drugs and gangs, or crippled by
hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, are being transformed–in Brazil and around the
world.

To join this transforming work, visit
compassion.com. There, you can learn about being a sponsor. Or you can satisfy
your heart for giving through their Complimentary Interventions (CIV) fund, going
toward disasters like the one in Brazil.

Pray with Compassion as they lift up the communities
affected by flooding and their local church partners on the frontline
responding with aid.

Redmond is also thankful for the many people praying for
Haiti. She said they have seen many answered prayers, and she asks for continued
prayers for God to work.

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