Yesterday I ran into one of my friends who lives at the trash dump community. She told me that one of the mothers had been murdered by her ex husband on Sunday.
It is one of those passing things where you feel completely lost and overwhelmed and can’t think of what to say. She was on her way to work, so didn’t have time to wait for me to find myself anyway.
Later, our friends from PPC filled us in: the funeral was yesterday, the ex husband had turned himself in, and so by Brazilian law, was free until the trial. To protect the older children from the very upset community, and whatever other danger, they are staying with our friends at PPC until they will live with their aunt. Their aunt who lives at the trash dump community and is already struggling with her own 7 children.
Thank the Lord, they have a psychologist and a lawyer who have offered to help with all the trauma and making sure the kids are safe with their aunt.
(Here is Weric, with his sucker, at our Children's day party just a week and a half ago)Weric is 10, Tainá is 7, and Rafael is 3. Their father just killed their mother. They don't even have shoes on their feet.
(Taina, in 2013, with one of the volunteers)I've known this family since 2012, when we started a Saturday children's program at the dump. When Rafael was born, we (the missions group from Shelbyville) took diapers and such to their new home at the Matadoro: things were looking up, as the mother finally had her own home.
(Rafael--the baby--and his mother)
Unfortunately, the only work the mother could find was sorting trash, and the dump was too far to keep walking to every day. So she, with most of the rest of the community, moved back to the trash dump community the last couple years.
The newspaper article said that the ex husband wouldn't accept that their relationship was over, and attacked her with a knife. She was rushed to the hospital in Carpina, but had lost a lot of blood. Even more sad, the hospital was ill-equipped to care for her, and she soon died.
I don't understand all of the ends and outs of it, but in Brazilian law, if you freely turn yourself in, you can't be arrested (unless the judge specifically asks for it), and so are free until the trial. My fear was that he would try to grab the children and run, but there seems to be more current danger of the close-nit trash dump community trying to take justice into their own hands, which is why the children are being kept safely far away for now.
We are working on sharing what resources we can, as well as getting immediate needs like hygiene products, shoes, and clothes for the children. What these three children need is someone to come along side them long term and help them financially to be able to stay with their aunt. Please join us in prayer that God would raise up these people, and that He would work miracles in and through this horrible situation.