In the spirit of accompaniment, ELCA companion church Igreja Evangélica de Confissão Luterana no Brasil (IECLB) sent a gift to Lutheran Disaster Response to support our response to the winter storms in Texas. The following excerpt is from a letter written by Mauro B. de Souza, the vice president of IECLB to Gustavo Driau, an ELCA regional representative for Latin America and the Caribbean. We are grateful for the generosity and companionship of IECLB.
We believe the world is turning dark and cold every day. Darkness and cold are brought not only by climate change or the COVID-19 pandemic, but mostly by oppressive systems that make people believe individualism, selfishness, and hatred are the best ways to solve problems. The Church of Jesus Christ does NOT buy into that. Instead, we believe solidarity, communion, and togetherness should be our only possible response. That is what we have been witnessing in the work of the ELCA and its working units around the world.
Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Following Jesus brings the possibility, the invitation, and the opportunity to be light. At the IECLB, we want to be the light in whatever we do. Of course, we fail more often than not. But we keep on trying.
We many know what it know it means to have no access to running water in Brazil. But it is hard for us to imagine what it means to have frozen water pipes. We just cannot imagine people dying from cold.
The resources we send are accompanied by our prayers. We hope people in need and suffering may feel a little warmer. We hope they know they are not alone.
As a partner of the ELCA, the IECLB has many times over been blessed by all kinds of resources. Right now, we feel we can offer this support. Like other Latin American churches, we want to be seen as small candle lights, shining and pointing to Jesus Christ.
Long story to say: May God bless your work and help the people in need in the cold of Texas. May God strengthen us all so that hearts get warmer and warmer, all over the world.
Sincerely, in the name of the Presidency of the IECLB,
P. Dr. Mauro B. de Souza, Vice-President