Our Refuge in a Broken World

Bringing Light and Hope to the Favelas

By Youval Yanay

“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.”– Psalms 119:114

This verse reassures us that God is our ultimate source of security and protection.

We, as a One New Man community living in Israel, will be sending a team to favelas in Brazil in August. In places like the favelas, young people, and even children, often perceive the power of weapons and involvement in crime as the only means for safety and for securing their future. Due to the lack of opportunities there is a sense of hopelessness, and many turn to gangs, engaging in criminal activities. These gangs and militias control specific areas, and become the ruling power. Many live their lives in fear and often see the militias as the only source of influence and power over their lives. While they seek the protection of these groups, in reality, they are fearful and hopeless. These armed groups have their own agendas and cannot truly protect the people. And, sadly, in such circumstances, people do not trust in God.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him, the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

Our team will partner with local churches and organizations, sharing God’s love with a message centered around this verse and others like it. As Jews and Arabs, we want to show them that God is real and that they can find hope and true peace in the God of Israel. It is only through Yeshua, in His promises that are affirmed and fulfilled, and through our faith that we can find true peace. 

The LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:5-8

A life without a true relationship and knowledge of God is filled with darkness, despair, and death. Those of us who have been saved know the pain and loneliness we experienced before encountering Yeshua and surrendering our lives to Him. However, we also know the immense blessing, joy, and security that there is in Him, and our team will be sharing this with the people of the favelas. 

Amidst the darkness and despair, our desire is to bring the light of God’s love and the hope that can only be found in Him. We understand the struggles and hardships these people living in poverty encounter, and we want to give them a different perspective—one rooted in faith and trust in the Lord. We believe that true transformation and lasting change come from encountering the living God. Our mission is not just to provide physical assistance but to introduce people to the source of hope, peace, and abundant life. 

We desire to see lives transformed, communities revitalized, and a renewed sense of purpose and dignity restored to those who have been marginalized. When we have a true relationship with God, we become a source of hope to the people around us. We are praying that this will also happen to the people in the favelas. Join us in praying for our team as we prepare to share the love of Christ and the life-giving message that God is their refuge, their shield, and their ultimate source of hope.

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