By Luiz Coelho, Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil Communications Working Group Member
As you all can see in the news, unusually heavy rain has been falling in Southeastern Brazil for days. The mountains in the countryside of Rio de Janeiro State have been affected by the worst rainstorms in their history. In cities such as Teresópolis, Petrópolis and Nova Friburgo, hundreds of people have instantly died due to mudslides that caused entire hills to collapse. It is by far considered the worst catastrophe in Brazilian history.
The area is served by two Anglican communities, plus an Anglican school, and it is time we unite to them and try to help all affected families. The Diocese of Rio de Janeiro is raising funds and donations through its Diocesan Offices and asking all to dedicate this 3rd Sunday after Epiphany to praying and helping all victims.
The Rt. Rev. Filadelfo Oliveira, Bishop of Rio de Janeiro, has issued an appeal to all who can contribute with donations and prayers.
Peace and goodwill to all.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Mt. 25:35.
As we see the tragedy that has affected the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro State, we cannot help but be in shock with the numbers of victims, and concerned with the lack of care for the environment that increases weather related catastrophes and natural disasters.
On behalf of the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro, I am asking all friends abroad to help us raise funds which are needed to help our brothers and sisters who have lost their relatives, friends and houses. Remember, this is also part of the Christian Mission.
In Christ’s Love
Here are some ways to help the victims affected by such disasters.
This Brazilian account was set up by the Anglican Diocese of Rio de Janeiro and is ready to receive deposits (including wire transfers from abroad):
Alternatively, donations can also be sent to IEAB’s International account.
153 East 53rd Street/ 16th Floor
New York, NY 100432
Holder: Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil
Swift Code: CITIUS33
Finally, the Anglican Communion Office has published a collect, composed by the Primate of Australia & Archbishop of Brisbane: the Most Revd Phillip Aspinall. Please join us in prayer by saying it.
Great God, whose love for us knows no bounds, we pray for all those who are affected by floods: comfort all who grieve for loved ones lost; strengthen those who face destruction of homes, memories and livelihoods; encourage and sustain all who bring relief and assistance. Fill our hearts with compassion and generosity for all in need. As we face our greatest fears, may we know the assurance of your presence with us and hold fast to the promise of new life beyond all adversity. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives with you and the Holy Spirit: one God, now and for ever. Amen.