Safe haven, sweet sound

written by OM International

Steger Brasil is a church initiative in the city of São Paulo that uses song and performance to encourage young people to practise music instead of turning to drugs. The church’s pastor, Sandro Baggio, has previously served on sister ship Doulos, so was delighted to welcome volunteers from Logos Hope to help build a new music studio.

Hudson Parente, who attends the church, says, “The neighbourhood where our church is located is very needy: full of poverty, crime and drugs. This is why we offer music classes. We believe this is something we, as a church, may do to contribute to the change around us.” David Demirgiam (USA) explains: “There are Syrian refugees, whom they help with learning Portuguese and poor children in the area come after school as this is a safe place.”

The crewmembers gave insight and helped build a structure to house insulation for the acoustics in the practice room. They built a wooden frame and added glass fibre material, which they covered with thick cardboard.

David is a welder on board Logos Hope and his expertise helps him with carpentry; for tasks like measuring, cutting and fitting pieces together. “I get to talk to people and use my hands; for me it is important to serve in any way I can,” he says.

David drew a parallel with Nehemiah in the Bible, who built a wall around a protected place for his people to grow in relationship with each other and with God. He hopes that contributing to this work will make a difference for the community: “God is providing that spot for them so they can flourish and not have to fight for survival, in a sense,” he says.

Tim Rieger (Germany) works in the ship's IT department. He says of the project, “We thought we wouldn’t be able to do it, but with God’s help, we did. There is still a good amount of work to be done but we could encourage them, lay the foundations and show that their project is possible. We were able to use what we have to be a blessing.”

“The crewmembers were excellent,” says Hudson. “It meant a lot having such loving people; willing to help us and be a blessing in this project that is meant to bless other people’s lives.”