Married Couple Fleeing Homeschooling Ban in Brazil

Geraldo & Karen are living on less than $250 per month in a remote village in South America. They want children, but homeschooling is now illegal in Brazil , and the government schools aggressively push the homosexual agenda. They have given up everything, just so they can become Orthodox Christians.

They live in Piraí do Sul, a remote village not yet in contact with Orthodox Christianity. In this village, many residents live in poverty, struggling to survive. Steady work may pay only two or three hundred dollars a month, and the nearest Orthodox church is in the capital city of Curitiba, nearly three hours away. In a situation like this, what chance does a young person have to discover the Orthodox Faith?

Geraldo & Karen have dreams of living near an Orthodox church and becoming Orthodox Christians. They also hope to raise their children in a country where homeschooling is legal. To make their dreams come true, they are scrimping and saving, hoping to relocate to Russia.

Geraldo was born in 1993. His father was Roman Catholic, and his Italian mother was an evangelical Protestant. Sadly, when he was four years old, his parents split up. He lived with his mother, in the home of his grandparents, for the remainder of his childhood. He spent some time in college, and during that time he met his future wife, Karen. He proposed to her in 2015.

Initially, they were doing ok. They weren't wealthy, but they had everything they needed—a good apartment, furniture, appliances—all the basics.

Then they left so that Geraldo could attend a Calvinist seminary. His love for Christ had grown to the point that he wanted to study theology and dedicate the rest of his life to Christian ministry. At the time, they were attending Igreja Reformada de Londrina, which was the only Reformed (Calvinist) church in town. He had been studying Reformed theology and biblical languages, and the leaders of that church encouraged him to attend seminary. They agreed to cover all the costs of their travel and living expenses, if Geraldo & Karen would be willing to leave everything behind and start a new chapter in their lives.

So they gave up their apartment, appliances, furniture, and Geraldo's teaching job, and they moved across the country. He started attending the John Calvin Institute, a Reformed Protestant seminary in northwestern Brazil.

36266898_1547663561904783_r.jpeg[Campus in Camaragibe, Brazil, where Geraldo formerly attended seminary]

During his studies, Geraldo became aware of so many internal contradictions in Calvinist theology. He and Karen wanted to follow Christ, and they became convinced that Calvinism is not a viable way to do it.

This is when Geraldo discovered the Orthodox church. He says he was profoundly impacted by the Russian Faith website. He saw how Orthodox Christianity has positively transformed so many of the dynamics in Russian society. That helped him see that the Orthodox Church is a living spiritual body, and not a dead church, as his Calvinist acquaintances had suggested.

At this point, though, it was very difficult to leave the seminary. Geraldo and Karen had already given up their apartment and nearly all their belongings, and now a Calvinist congregation was providing their living expenses. As long as Geraldo continued attending the seminary, they would continue receiving support. But they knew that if they left Calvinism and became Orthodox Christians, they would lose everything. 

It was tough. None of their family members are Orthodox Christians. They had no place to live, they had no jobs, and the Calvinist church they had previously attended was not willing to help them with relocation. So they had nothing, except their peace of conscience.

Initially they tried moving back to where they had lived before, but they were not able to afford the cost of living in a big city. So they had to move to a small town in a rural area. Karen's mother lives in Piraí do Sul, and she is letting Geraldo & Karen stay with her until they can get back on their feet.

36266898_1547665079471979_r.jpeg[Piraí do Sul, Brazil]

It has been a year now since they came to this village. Brazil is in the midst of an economic crisis, and there are not many job opportunities there. So they have managed to do a bit of everything, finding whatever odd jobs are available to help make ends meet. Each month Geraldo is able to earn about one thousand Brazilian reais. In American terms, that only amounts to about $250 per month, so it is difficult for them to save much.

Geraldo & Karen really want to attend an Orthodox church. A few big cities in Brazil have some beautiful Orthodox churches. But if you don't live near a big city, they are very hard to find. For Geraldo & Karen, the nearest one is located in the city of Curitiba. Unfortunately, the church is about 200 kilometers from their village, and they don't have a car, so it is quite far. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to get there, one way. 

Geraldo & Karen really want to have children, but Brazil is a scary place to raise a family. The government schools have embraced a monstrous homosexual agenda, and it is mandatory for children to attend public school, beginning at the age of four.

Just this year, the Supreme Court of Brazil denied a congressman's attempt to legalize homeschooling. For Geraldo & Karen, this was a really depressing development.

At this point, Geraldo & Karen are seeking for a better place to raise their family. They plan to work, save, and use any resources they have to pave their way to Russia. Homeschooling is legal there, and there are many Orthodox Christians. If they can move to Russia, they should be able to safely raise their children there.

Initially, they will need to study the Russian language. Then Geraldo hopes to attend a Russian university. He also prays that God will provide a good job, so that he can work to support his family.

Karen is fully in agreement that this is the right move to take. She and Geraldo really want to become Orthodox Christians, and they want to raise their children in a place where homeschooling is allowed, and where the government is not being controlled by the homosexual agenda.

These are their immediate needs:

1 - In preparation for entering a university, Geraldo is trying to save money for a laptop computer. Because of the high shipping costs, high taxes, and high import duties on foreign electronics coming into Brazil, a new laptop there costs around $1200 USD.

2 - They also need to relocate, and find some way to cover basic living expenses when they first arrive in the country. They will need to think about plane tickets, visas, tuition, document & application fees, and many other basic necessities, until they get their feet back on the ground.

3 - Geraldo & Karen will also language lessons, since they will be living in a new country, speaking a new language.

My name is Fr. Joseph Gleason, and I'm an Orthodox priest who is working to help Geraldo & Karen. I will receive the donations via a secure PayPal account, and the funds will be used to assist Geraldo & Karen with their needs.

In this first phase of the fundraiser, we are just trying to raise the $1200 needed to help Geraldo purchase the laptop computer he will need for attending the university. Once that goal is reached, we will pray for additional donations to cover the costs associated with relocation.

Your donation is greatly appreciated.
This will mean the world to both Geraldo & Karen.
Thank you so much for your help!

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Иосиф Глисон 
Omaha, IL

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