Our first trip to Riacho da Porta, home of the the first well project by Jacob’s Well Missions.
Mike and I have wanted to visit Renato and Michelle for several years to see what Jacob’s Well is doing in the drought region of Brazil. The drive from Fortaleza to the drought region was interesting. We were shocked to see how wide the river bed used to be in the drought region; it is now completely dry. We also didn’t realize how much effort and work it takes to get a drilled well functional and safe for drinking water. We fell in love with the people of Brazil! They are quiet, yet friendly. We even got treated to a meal while visiting community members in Riacho da Porta.
One thing that really amazed us was Renato’s tenacity in networking with others in the community. He has a knack for getting people together; discussing problems surrounding water shortage. This leadership has been lacking in the past. Lawyers, community members, government leaders, Jacob’s Well board members, and others are all involved and sharing ideas. Even some local universities are willing to help. We are also impressed with Renato’s passion to help the drought area. It is clear that the people of the drought appreciate Renato and Michelle and the efforts of the local church and Jacob’s Well.
We also wondered, like many, why didn’t the people just move into the cities if there is limited water where they live? These questions were answered quickly when we visited a favela (slum). The crime and violence is so extreme in the favelas. We found out that Fortaleza is rated 4th in the world’s most dangerous cities.
We can see how Jacob’s well is bringing hope to a region that has been without it for many years. Many doors are opening up in this region and the people are experiencing love! We were honored to be a part of this trip.