26 Oct Day 18

Convergent Paths

By Philip Smith


“His sons are far from safety, they are even oppressed in the gate, and there is no deliverer. Job 5:4


Edimar taking karate lessons at the City of Youth

I don’t know about you, but when I was 10 years old, like millions of other children, I spent my days grudgingly going to school, reading comic books, and worrying about ways to upgrade my bicycle. A bad day was being forced to finish everything on my plate.

Edimar, 10, and Carlos, 11, also spent their lives like millions of other children: abandoned to live in the streets, sleeping on scraps of cardboard and begging for food.

One day, a car with official symbols on the door pulled up beside Edimar, who was begging at an intersection. Municipal social workers put Edimar in the car and drove away. Carlos ran away and hid.

From that point on, the two brother’s lives could not have been more different. Edimar was brought to Hope Unlimited, where he found himself in a loving home, with a cozy bed and Christian house parents. He went to school in the mornings, took vocational courses in the afternoon, and did all kinds of fun activities on the weekends. He embarked on a journey that led to him graduating from Hope, getting a job, and practicing his hobby of exhibition Karate in his spare time, earning his black belt. (He often returns to give free lessons to the Hope children).

Carlos remained a beggar boy on the streets of Sao Paulo that became his home. Year after year, his days were marked by the struggle to stay alive, his nights by desperation and fear.

Edimar, for seven years, pestered our social workers to find his brother Carlos. Our team made repeated appeals to youth authorities in Sao Paulo. But finding one street kid in a city of eighteen million–especially one who didn’t want to be found—was like finding a needle in a haystack.   

Just a few months before Edimar was scheduled to graduate, our team received a call from social workers in Sao Paulo. They had found and identified Carlos! According to the social workers, upon hearing that his brother was being cared for at Hope Unlimited, Carlos broke down and pleaded, “For the love of God, can this Mr. Hope do something to help me too?”

To be continued tomorrow . . .


Today, even as we thank God for the children at Hope, let us remember and pray for children all over the world who are suffering at this very moment, particularly those separated from loved ones and siblings.