Brazil / broken / Broken heart / Christianity / Cross / Easter / Five Minute Friday / God / Jesus Christ / Uncategorized


brazilian street children

The sun set fast that day covering the tropical third world landscape with a deep haze. I gathered my books at the schoolhouse where I spent my days teaching young children and set out for home. I had missed my driver by only a few minutes and decided to make the two mile walk home alone, hoping I’d make it before dark. Books in hand, I turned the corner at the end of the street passing a courtyard on my right that was always filled with homeless children, men selling ice cream from push carts and women selling trinkets from homemade booths. Thieves occasionally hid in the underbrush.

As I made my way past the courtyard I noticed a teenage boy run up ahead of me. Something in my intuition flashed a red flag in my spirit. My heart began to beat fast as I looked around and noticed how isolated I had become. It was getting dark. Up ahead, I saw the boy turn the corner at the end of the street and my heart rate slowed in relief. In my fear, I picked up my pace hoping to quickly make it into the more populated part of my walk home.

Relieved that the boy hadn’t come back, I came upon the corner and was just about to cross the street when out of the shadows lunged the boy. He grabbed my neck and pushed me to the ground. My books scattered around me and I could feel the boy’s nails tearing into the skin on my neck. With my back on the ground and his hand gripping my neck I kicked my leg at his stomach and shouted in Portuguese, “Get off me. God, help me!” The boy jumped back and ran away. I sat up and could feel the throbbing on my neck. I rubbed my hand over the place where his nails had gouged my skin and realized I was bleeding. I also realized that all he wanted was my necklace. It was a $5 necklace from a street vendor. I would have just given it to him.

During the encounter, I had met his eyes for a brief moment and saw a broken loneliness in them. I later found out he was a street boy without parents, about 16 years old, without a home and lost on the streets of this city deep in the Amazon region of Brazil.

Amazon - Brazil, 2011.©Neil Palmer/CIAT

I’ve never forgotten that boy, partially because the incident startled me, but also because for that brief moment I encountered a lost boy that needed Jesus. A part of me has wished I could have had a second chance to tell him about the Gospel and this awesome Jesus that died for everything we ever did wrong and came to be a father to the fatherless. Jesus, the One who died on the Cross to make us right and rose again three days later to raise us up to life. The One True God who can repair our broken hearts. I saw the broken heart in that boy.

We are all broken. And Jesus is the God that died and rose again to bind up all broken hearts.

I don’t know what your heart is broken over today, but I’m grateful that Jesus and what He accomplished on the Cross.

The earth shook, the veil was torn and repaired the broken relationship between us and Him. The rock was rolled away to break off brokenness and crush the plan of the enemy to keep us living in that tomb. We can live a resurrection life.

Broken, but now saved. Lost, but now found. Raised up to new life in Him.

Happy Easter, friends. Have a blessed day.

Photo credit 1, photo credit 2

Five Minute Friday is a feature over at Lisa-Jo Bakers TALES FROM A GYPSY MAMA blog.

So, let’s do this thing. Let’s write.

Set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.


1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


13 thoughts on “Broken

  1. I’m so thankful to read this today. There are so many lost and broken lives. Oh, to have eyes like Jesus…to share the joy and victory of our salvation. Many blessings, and Happy Easter!

  2. A boy desperate to survive in a broken environment, desperate for something to fill that void. Reading your story quickens me to pray more so for the street children…how Jesus loves the children! What ever became of that necklace?

    • I don’t even know what happened to the necklace. It was so cheap, which is what made me sad that he was so desperate that he wanted something worth almost nothing. If i remember right, I think the necklace turned a weird color and I got rid of it eventually. I know. I think about the children around the world that are orphaned, poor, lost, or enslaved and it is a good reason to pray! Thank you for what you wrote in your comment. Was a beautiful addition to the story of that boy. Blessings!

  3. This is a fresh, outside-my-box perspective I need. Thank you for bringing something into my world I’d otherwise not understand. Love your heart!

    • And yours also!! I’m glad it was that our-of-the-box perspective that encouraged you today. I love out of the box thinking. Looking forward to reading yours! Blessings!

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