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The pastor who went the extra mile

Pastor Hugo, from Brazil, shares what inspired him to dedicate his life to helping those in need.

Agnes McGrane | 10 Sep 2021

Credit: Tearfund Partner

Credit: Tearfund Partner

When the coronavirus pandemic hit Brazil, hospitals quickly became overwhelmed and public resources became stretched beyond their limits. But Pastor Hugo, who has been working with rural communities in Brazil for decades, teamed up with Tearfund’s local partner organisation to ensure that even people in the most remote locations received essential supplies.

Some of the poorest and most isolated communities in Brazil, many of which are living by or in the Amazon rainforest, have limited access to healthcare at the best of times. During the coronavirus pandemic, they have become increasingly vulnerable due to lack of access to resources and public health information.

Pastor Hugo knows the everyday challenges of living in these remote areas well. He grew up by the Amazon rainforest and relied on growing his own food to survive. And he has dedicated his life to helping others in similar situations.

‘I didn't have a shirt and I walked barefoot because I couldn't afford sandals – I came from a poor family. But I said, “I'll help. Whether I have it or not, I'll help.” And I started helping people,’ says Pastor Hugo.

‘The Bible tells us that we must love our neighbours as ourselves.’

And when Tearfund’s local partner launched an emergency coronavirus response in Brazil, Pastor Hugo was quick to help their efforts to reach the most remote communities.

Pastor Hugo delivering food packages to those in need

Pastor Hugo is passionate about helping others in whatever way he can. Here, he is delivering food packages to those in need | Credit: Tearfund partner

A joint effort

Pastor Hugo, along with our local partner, distributed food, medicines and hygiene kits to thousands of people across the region. Many had lost their jobs and income due to the pandemic. Some were forced to resort to boiling tree bark to eat. These food and supply packages were a lifeline at a time when there was nowhere else to turn.

Without internet access, many people had limited information about coronavirus and they were unsure of the symptoms or how to keep themselves safe.

‘There was a lack of information being circulated in the region about the causes and effects of the virus – it was one of the first regions where the medical institutions collapsed,’ shares Pastor Hugo.

In response, Pastor Hugo helped to share educational videos created by our local partner about which symptoms to look out for, and how to slow the spread of the virus.

Not alone

Pastor Hugo’s ongoing relationship with many of the most hard-to-reach communities ensured that support could quickly get to those who needed it most. As coronavirus cases continued to rise and the effects of the pandemic got worse, these communities knew that they were not forgotten.

But despite this vital support, rural communities still remain at risk as the pandemic continues.

If someone gets sick, it is very difficult for them to get the healthcare they need. And because of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, people have been pushed even deeper into poverty.

Please join us in praying for these communities as they live with these daily challenges.

Pray with us

Dear God,

We thank you for Pastor Hugo and his willingness to help people in the hardest-to-reach places in Brazil. Please strengthen him as he continues this vital work. And we ask for your protection over these communities, which have very limited access to healthcare and resources. We pray that they will continue to get the support they need and that they will have new opportunities to provide for themselves and their families.

In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Agnes McGrane

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