THOSE WHO LOVE WELCOME: this is the motto that tries to express the soul and passion that drive us every day to serve the children of the Betania shelter, which we have been coordinating since 1994 on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte.
My husband Paolão and I chose to fulfill our great desire: to serve the smallest ones, to open the arms of our marriage to welcome this work of our community. At that time, we lived in the south of Brazil, in the state of São Paulo. After becoming a widow, I moved to Belo Horizonte with our three young children to continue this project that my husband continues to accompany from heaven.
It is a great gift for me to work with my brothers and sisters in the community for those who need it most: I always feel much more helped than I can help. The resilience of families, children, and adolescents gives me strength and makes me thankful for what we accomplish.
Leaving my family and hometown was not easy for me; but the fact that I give myself every day to offer children and adolescents a dignified welcome with good nutrition, in a clean and beautiful environment, is an accomplishment for me. I live this service with love and dedication on behalf of the entire community. Missionaries, collaborators, volunteers, and benefactors from different countries help us in various ways to ensure the respect of children’s rights and to be an instrument of God the Father’s love for them.
Every day, I try to offer motherly love to all the children I welcome. A mother embraces, gives affection, listens, advises, corrects because she wants to see her baby grow well and be happy. Families place great trust in our work; they leave their children at the shelter to work and lead a dignified daily life.
The fruits of these years of work are numerous. Many children who attended the Center have come back to thank us, and now they are volunteers or support us with donations. We reap the fruits of what we have sown, and there is no greater reward than seeing children become happy and satisfied adults, pursuing their dreams. We face many challenges every day, but it’s worth it – it brings great joy!