By Rev. Esteban Liévano, Chairperson of the Ibero-Latino National Conference
Among our Brazilian and Latino communities, our churches have become drop in points for international students who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 and can’t earn enough to provide for themselves.
At Southside Uniting Church, we organised a set of groceries for one family in our Brazilian community who was recently stranded in Brazil and was only able to return home following the 14 day quarantine in Melbourne.
Other international students are selling all their belongings in order to afford the extraordinary air fares to Latin America at this time.
One of our members of the Ibero-Latino National Conference, Julio Marcelo, was stuck in Brazil. They managed to get the funds together for his wife Celeste to travel to Brisbane, who experienced a long and harrowing journey home, including a 20-hour wait in Auckland Airport with no accommodation or food as the airport. Julio will remain in Brazil until they can afford another passage. He is continuing his Portuguese language Gospel Radio programme streamed to Australia from Santos, Brazil.
We continue to pray for all those members of the Brazilian and Latino community who are presently separated from loved ones and trying to find ways to managed life in a COVID 19 world.