On the Way to Nova Aliança


We pull up at a mercandino (little market) near the rehab center. We grab a few baskets to fill with stuff the guys will need: soap, deodorant, cookies, bags of sugar, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bars of laundry soap, crackers, shampoo, shaving supplies, and chips. Lots of munchies and sweets to help curb their cravings.
Rafael stands watching while we sort the items into seven separate bags: Rafael, Francisco, Mario, Ricardo, Luciano, and two extra just in case. He’s standing in the middle of the store, a bit lost, hand on his mouth, smiling when we catch his eye. He fidgets, smiles, shifts his feet. No one there for me. No one to visit. This is his family, right here, in the store, buying supplies to hold him over for the first two weeks until they can next visit. This is the family that tells him, “If you don’t fix your eyes on Jesus Christ and stay at the foot of the cross you don’t have a chance. Seek Him with all the force of your will and don’t let Him go. Fix your eyes on the future. The road is narrow and long.”


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