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Ana in Brazil

Emerson Cardoso, our Regional Team Leader for Central and South America recently travelled with a team down the Rio Negro, in the Amazon forests of Brazil. Arriving at one of the isolated villages, they were asked to go to a young man’s house to pray for his daughter, because her parents believed her to be possessed by demons. Her name was Ana, and she was seven years old.

The parents related that Ana did not get along with the other children in the community, had constant convulsions and was aggressive towards her younger siblings and towards them. It was, however, evident to the team that the girl was autistic. In the animist worldview, there is no place for mental disorders of any kind, only evil spirits. The idea that their daughter was handicapped in any way was horrifying to Ana’s parents. Why would God do such a thing to them?

Team members encouraged the father, saying that he was a courageous man who cared for his family and protected his children. 

“The most powerful prayers,” they told him, “will come from you, her father. But you will need Jesus in your life in order to be the father that Ana needs.” These words found a place in the heart of that man, and he and his wife surrendered their lives to Jesus in that moment. On the following day, as we prepared for their baptisms, the father shared that he had been able to hug his daughter for the first time! 

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