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Witnessing God's Restoration Power

by | Mar 26, 2012 | Missions Articles

Highlights from the Billman’s ministry on the streets

On November 9th Nic, Aline, Glaucia, Rebecca, and myself took off for Recife, Brasil which is in the far north of the country. Recife is one of the sex tourism and human trafficking (of children) capitols of the world. The main purpose of the trip was to film a documentary about the atrocities that happen there and the power of God’s redemption to save and restore the children trapped in that life. We contracted an awesome film producer named Weslei Vianna to come and film as much footage as possible for the time we were there. While there we spent 16-18 hours a day on the streets, in a restoration house, or driving to and from. We were very blessed to get a lot of footage. This article is a little teaser about what we encountered and how God is working in the north of Brasil. I will continue to update you on our site when the documentary is available.

It is hard to summarize everything into a short article but for the sake of space, I’ll give the highlights of the trip.

We split up the team and spent some time asking around where all the homeless children and child prostitutes were. Many people insisted that those things didn’t exist in their city. Some people said it happens but it is hidden. And although I’m sure there are terrible things hidden in the city, we knew that it happened out in the open as well. Nic and Aline were able to get some really good information on a couple of places we could go. The first place was an 18 story building that was turned into a favela. We were told that there was a lot of prostitution that happened in this place. We started asking a girl some questions and she was very responsive and helpful at first. Then, a couple of men noticed her talking to us and walked toward us. She had nothing to say after that and you could feel things get a lot more tense. People were watching and whispering around us.

The second place we went to was a park where a bunch of homeless children slept and lived. I had never seen anything like this before. It was a group of at least 20 kids from the ages of 8-13. All of them were huffing bottles of glue and smoking cigarette butts they found on the ground. It was so heartbreaking. I was able to play with, talk to, and pray for almost all of them while we were there. I was able to hear some of their stories about what brought them to the streets. Some children left to get away from an abusive family member. Others chose to live on the streets rather than the favela, which had become too dangerous. Another child’s parents simply told them to leave when they were six years old.

The children were very open and honest with us. One boy was 12 and had one leg. At the age of 10 he was hit by a truck and lost his leg. He was living on the street for four years when he was hit, so he didn’t have a mom or dad to hold his hand while he screamed in pain in the hospital, or bring him his favorite teddy bear while he was recovering. He was completely alone and thought in his head that it was normal.

Another boy had lived on the street for about four years and I told him that in seven months we would be back to open a rescue home in his city. He started to cry and said, “please remember me when you come back. If there was a place for me to go I would leave the streets, if someone cared enough to help me I wouldn’t be this way anymore.” He was only 12 years old.

I could go on and on but the stories are the same…the enemy is trying to destroy future leaders in Brasil, future ushers of the kingdom, future healing evangelists. This most stop!

A couple of days into the trip we were blessed to be able to visit a rescue home that was four hours away in a city called Natal. Natal is also known for its “sex tourism” and has signs advertising it on the way in. It also has huge statues of the 3 wise men and a star leading them, which I took as a prophetic sign of the city being a beacon of salvation to the lost.

The girls in the rescue home are some of the most beautiful people I have ever met. They were saved through God’s redemptive power and restored to someone even greater than they were before. There were no physical traces of abuse or prostitution by looking at them, and they have been through more than you could imagine. One girl started prostituting at the age of 9 because her family was poor and she wanted to wear nice clothes to school. So she sold her body to get money to buy clothing to fit in. Another has a 2 year old daughter who is the product of her step father raping her. The same man would give her to his employees in place of paying them when she was 13 years old.

The stories these girls have are things that people are in therapy for their entire lives. Some people would pay a psychiatrist hundreds of dollars an hour to try and do what the Lord can do in an instant. The girls pray for the forgiveness of the people that did these things to them, and spend their lives in worship. Jesus is so good and it is awesome to be able see His hand at work.

It was hard to leave knowing that we won’t be there to start this work for another 6-7 months. During the short time we were there we were able to show the Love of God to people that are considered “untouchable”. We were able to see the redemptive side and saw that nothing is impossible for Him, nothing is too outrageous for Him to restore. I am so honored to play a part in His plan and witness “The restoration of all things”!

– Luke Billman

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