Service Project in Brazil Opens Doors for Missionary Work
By Lucia Lima, Church News contributor
- Members of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Stake conducted a community service project for a preschool that caters to 160 children daily.
- Volunteers scraped graffiti, cleaned windows, and painted walls, facilitating a better environment at the preschool.
- After the project, many community members wished to meet with the missionaries.
“Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend your efforts to helping people. … Stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hang down. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ.” —President Gordon B. Hinckley (1995–2008)
RIO DE JANIERO, BRAZIL
“Through service, you and those who are prepared for the restored gospel come together in a powerful, inspiring way. Your good works will help people recognize you as a servant of God and will lead to opportunities to teach the restored gospel” (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service , 168).
It was with this purpose that members of the Galeo Ward, Rio de Janeiro Brazil Stake, conducted a community service project in Dr. Antonio Monteiro Preschool, located on Ilha do Governador.
The preschool caters to 160 children daily in the Royal Park community and surrounding areas.
On the morning of Saturday, October 19, volunteers sanded and scraped graffiti, cleaned windows, and painted walls, leaving the nursery organized, a perfect place to entertain children in a healthful and happy environment.
During the entire work period, teachers, parents, students, and community members at the school praised the attitude of the members and missionaries, emphasizing their Christian spirit and community service.
Some who passed in cars stopped to applaud and encourage. Others wanted to know when the next activity would be, in order to bring together more volunteers. An ice cream vendor who passed the work site was so touched with the gesture of the Church members that he distributed free ice cream to each volunteer in recognition of their efforts.
The community service brought a new vision to people about the Church of Jesus Christ, and many wished to meet with the missionaries to know more about His teachings.
On the other side, the joy and enthusiasm of the volunteers who participated in this action was noticeable. They remembered the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend your efforts to helping people. … Stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hang down. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ” (in Preach My Gospel, 168).