We support Tim & Hannah and their work for Latin Link in Brazil.

Hannah is the neice of one of our members and it is great to be able to offer suport to someone known to us. Tim & Hannah (& new addition, baby Rita) visited the fellowship earlier in the year and so we were able to spend time hearing about their work in both Brazil and South Sudan.

The family have now returned to Brazil (7th Jul) and we will continue to support them financially and through prayer for their work in a new area. We will publish regular updates from them and indications for prayer.

 

 

December / Dezembro / Rut '17

Relaxing at the waterfalls in a place called 'Beautiful' (Bonito!)

Dear South Hams Christian Fellowship,

322 years ago, Zumbi - the Paramount Chief of the most famous of quilombos, Palmares - fought his final fight against Portuguese-backed mercenaries. For a hundred years or so his community (at its height around 20,000 people spread over 1,100 square leagues – the size of a small state) defended themselves against slaveowners and forces backed by the Portuguese crown. He is now celebrated as a national Brazilian hero representing black resistance to slavery and racism. The month of November is dedicated to celebrating black consciousness and Zumbi’s death is commemorated on 20 November.

We celebrated black consciousness month by attending seminars at nearby quilombola community Onze Negras (“11 black women” - named after their football team!). It was good to take part in this local government-run event and interesting to hear the questions asked by members of the community. Hannah was moved by questions about books and research papers that have been written about Onze Negras. When anthropologists and researchers visited the community, in some cases decades ago, the results of their research were not usually passed on to the whole community. Many were not aware that these resources exist. There are lessons here for development practitioners and missionaries: our accountability to the communities we work with is as, or more, important than, our accountability to our funders.
 
During November the children at CADI looked at the influence of Africa and Africans in and on the bible. One study focussed on Ninrod, the black African who was a mighty hunter before the LORD, and founded and governed several cities (Gen 10.8-12). We compared him to quilombola ancestors who also founded autonomous communities here in Brazil. Today there are still around 5,000 Brazilian quilombola communities, predominantly of African descent, formed as an act of resistance to slavery and racist oppression; of these a minority have a local church.

Our local church took part in the national week of prayer for quilombolas. To start the week, Pastor Ivaldo prayed in repentance for the failure of the national and global church to  share the gospel with quilombolas and walk alongside them in their fights for justice. Fulano, (the older man who Tim disciples, himself of quilombola descent – not his real name), prayed that God would give quilombolas a place in heaven and their land on earth (the theme of the week of prayer, based on Psalm 115.16). At the end Pastor Ivaldo asked for forgiveness personally, and Fulano replied “In the name of Jesus, I forgive you!”

Last month we were able to attend a week-long training event at a Missionary Training Seminary in nearby city João Pessoa, for those reaching out to quilombola communities. Topics included anthropology, church planting, laws impacting on quilombos (especially land rights) and community development. Some familiar topics from our days at All Nations! It was really good to meet other Christian missionaries working with quilombolas. We have already started getting out our diaries to plan to visit some of those we met at the training. We still don’t have a clear direction as to which community we will move to next year when we begin quilombola ministry full-time. Please be praying that we will have patience to take the time we need to make a good decision – in the meantime there are valuable things we can be doing in Gaibu. Our next trip is to Custódia, 8 hours west of here, 11th - 17th December.

 

We are enjoying a visit from Hannah’s mum and dad, Linda and Jeremy Cross. They arrived on 18 November and leave on 6 December. We spent a few days holidaying with them in Bonito, a hilly region with several waterfalls, and they have taken part in a CADI Gaibu event, a church service (Hannah’s mum preached on the sheep and goats), and the last session of the marriage course. They have got to know some of our friends, and favourite local haunts. We asked them to write a short paragraph about their visit to an estate on the outskirts of Gaibu, formerly worked by slaves (see green box below).

 

Final session of the marriage course. Zoom in on Rita's face!

Gaibu: a ‘Cross’-cultural perspective

By Linda and Jeremy Cross
 
How things have changed - or have they? We visited the engenho where abolitionist, politician, writer and diplomat, Joaquim Nabuco, spent his childhood in the mid-1800s. In his book My Education he described life for his landowning family and the hundreds of slaves: the gleaming white Catholic chapel at the highest point, just above the grand family home, with the sugarcane mill and slave quarters below.

Although not much more than the stone structures remain today, historical records and reconstruction gave a vivid impression of the harshness of life for the slaves, and the unbelievably inhumane treatment they suffered at the hands of the settlers. The homestead is now a museum, encouraging visitors to reflect on the legacy of the past.

Some of the same issues live on in our world today.

Children praying at CADI thanksgiving party

 
FAQs

Do you work in Brazil or South Sudan now?
Both! We live in Brazil but make visits to South Sudan every year. God has given us a heart and long-term vision for both countries.

What are quilombola communities?
Quilombola communities are predominantly Afro-Brazilian communities formed as an act of resistance to slavery and racist oppression. Many were formed 100s of years ago. It is estimated that there are over 5,000 quilombola communities in Brazil. Quilombolas are considered to be an “unreached people group” in Brazil. We  start working with quilombolas sometime in 2018. Until then we are making visits to quilombola communities & continue ministry in Gaibu.

What is CADI Gaibu?
CADI Gaibu is a local Christian charity working with vulnerable children and their families. Our ministry in Gaibu is divided between our local church, and CADI.

Please be praying:

Pr. Ivaldo’s elderly Dad is very weak and Ivaldo is travelling into Recife as much as possible to see him. Please pray for them both.
 
We celebrated the final session of the marriage course last month. Pray that the course would help couples to commit to strong, godly marriages.
 
Pray for clarity regarding our future ministry location as we make exploratory trips to quilombola communities throughout Brazil. Our next trip is to Custódia, 8 hours west of here, 11th - 17th December.
 
We are prayerfully considering when our next trip to South Sudan will be, who of us will go and for how long. Please accompany us as we discern God’s will.
 
Sadly, Concordis is winding up its operation in South Sudan and Abyei because its grant funding has not been renewed. Please pray that God would protect the gains made in relations between communities in Abyei, resolve outstanding issues and that Concordis would remain in good standing with the South Sudan

Mum & Dad Cross

Mum preaching

Contact details

We love hearing from you! Here’s how to get in touch:  
 
Email: tflatman@gmail.com / cosmo_whirl@hotmail.com
WhatsApp: +5581983635147 / +5581983634598