Dates: Thursday, June 28 – Sunday, July 8, 2018
Location: Salgado, Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil
Partner Organization: MAIS: Missão em Apoio à Igreja Sofredora (Mission in Support of the Suffering Church)
Mission of Organization: Our work is with the community of Christians anywhere in the world, living under conditions of war, natural disaster or religious persecution. We recognize that human suffering is not limited solely to such circumstances, but we believe this to be the operational arena that God has placed in our care.
Process of Assisting Refugees
1. Fleeing persecuted Christians contact MAIS International Bases, Voice of the Martyrs, Mercury One Nazarene Fund, or other like organizations for resettlement. Thorough vetting through terrorist watch and FBI databases is completed before being passed on to the next step.
Nazarene Fund Statement: “We Rescue by resettling Christians who are fleeing from genocide into safe, secure locations away from conflict and hostile environments. We resettle them in safe locations in their native country or relocate them to a country that is willing to host them and provide them asylum seeking status.”
2. These organizations reach out to MAIS in Brazil and other like entities to seek a place for these individuals / families to resettle.
3. MAIS accepts these recommendations on a case-by-case basis and continues the resettlement process. Plane fares are paid by sending organization or the families themselves and MAIS receives the refugees once they arrive in country. MAIS initiates paperwork for refugee status and begins language and cultural training. As soon as the refugee arrives in Brazil, MAIS is responsible for all financial, housing, and transportation needs of the refugee.
4. Once all refugee status paperwork is complete, MAIS then applies for a CPF (Brazilian social security card) and matches them with a church which will begin the process of locating employment for the refugee in the area of their skill sets. The transition time for each asylum seeker is 3 to 4 months.
Where a Mission Team Can Help
Housing for refugees is currently being rented in the city of Colombo at a cost of R$1200 per month per unit. This takes incredible resources to maintain since the process of completing the refugee status paperwork can be a lengthy one. In the meantime, MAIS must supply everything the individual / family needs to survive.
MAIS owns a 60 acre property just outside of Colombo where housing for missionary families had been built. They are seeking to use the buildable part of this property (30 acres) to construct as much housing for refugees as possible to defray the costs of sustaining these individuals / families while they are waiting to receive permanent asylum.
These single level, 2 to 3 bedroom houses with bathroom, kitchen, living/dining room combo (depending on the architectural needs) will be built in double or quadruple adjoining fashion with the eventual goal to create a community for the refugees (along with future plans for a community center). The cost of each house would be somewhere around $7000, with the sending church providing a portion of this and funding for the remainder coming in gifts/grants from other organizations.
The mission team will leave the US on Thursday, June 28, 2018 and arrive in Salgado on Friday, June 29, 2018. They will then work at the site through the week and leave Salgado on Saturday, July 7, 2018 and return to the US on Sunday, July 8, 2018. The cost per team member has yet to be determined.
The mission team will stay at hotel in the city of Salgado and be transported by cars daily to the worksite (buses cannot reach the build site because of the terrain). The mission team’s responsibility will be to work on the site building refugee housing from 9:30am to 5:30pm, Monday through Friday, with breakfast provided at the hotel and lunch and dinner being provided at the work site. Built into the days the team is in Brazil will be opportunities to experience local cuisine and enjoy some tourist destinations.