Monday, December 12, 2011


Sprawling along the hillsides beneath the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janeiro is a city of juxtaposition. A middle-class gated community may share a wall with a gang-controlled slum. This proximity allows Eric and Ramona Reese to reach out to both extremes within the Brazilian megacity.

While Eric focuses on ministering in the favelas (slums), Ramona reaches out to the middle-class wives and mothers she encounters as she works out at the gym or takes their two daughters to school and ballet practice.

“We’re here in the city, and we try to make relationships with the people who are around us,” Ramona says.

One person Ramona has become friends with is Eliane Santos, a mother she met at the ballet studio. “We were just sitting and talking,” Eliane says. “Eventually, Ramona shared Christ and asked if I had asked Christ into my heart. I said, ‘No, I haven’t.’”

That night in her home, Eliane reflected on Ramona’s message and placed her faith in Jesus.

“I look to Ramona as a mother in the faith,” Eliane says. “She’s someone that encourages me and makes me want to go on.”

When Ramona heard about Eliane’s conversion, she was overjoyed.

“Go out and seek the lost,” Ramona says. “Relationships are what it’s all about.”

Pray God will help the Reeses be His heart, hands, and voice as they build strong relationships with Brazilians from opposite walks of life. Pray many Brazilians will accept Christ through these friendships.

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