“It was God who always provided for us”. A strong testimony of faith from a family of Shalom Covenant Community

“I have been married to Denise for 8 years now, and we have a 2 1/2-year-old daughter”, says Tancredo. He and Denise, his wife, are both members of Shalom Covenant Community, having already made their Definitive Promises.

“About 4 years ago we started a long adoption process, since we would not be able to bear biological children due to health reasons. It was God who, even before we got married, had put in our hearts such desire and it grew with time”, remembers Tancredo. “On July 31

2014 we received the papers which cleared us for adoption and from then on we set ourselves on visiting shelters to find the child we were going to adopt. On August 1

I lost my job at a company which I had been working at for 14 years. Some worries came about on how it would be to go on with the adoption in such conditions. We prayed to God who told us to keep going for His Providence would never fail us. It seemed contradictory but God was asking us to keep going.”

Tancredo recollects that on that same month he took part in one spiritual retreat by the Community when through the voice of Emmir Nogueira, co-founder of Shalom Community, God addressed him: “Many times God proves us by means of contradiction”. “I kept this phrase firmly in my heart,” he said, “and I shared this with my wife. We went on praying with our spiritual directors who confirmed our path and really encouraged us to go on. At each step, the spiritual accompaniment they gave us was very important and they were indeed the Voice of God during our challenges and conflicts. In the beginning of the process, we thought of adopting a baby.  However with such high demand and scarcity, we started looking for siblings between 3- and 5-years-old. At that time I already started to claim unemployment benefit and the last instalment was on March 2015. I distributed my resume, but had no reply.”

Tancredo and his wife received a phone call from another Community member, who had been in charge of the Community Shelter in Sobral, a city in the State of Ceará, informing them there was a 1-year-old child available for adoption. “We had just begun a novena to Saint Joseph asking for his Providence when she telephoned us. We took the matter to our spiritual directors and they confirmed to us on this too. We also went to the Court of Infancy and Youth in Rio de Janeiro, but there we were taken for fools since we were willing to go to Sobral to receive a child we had only seen in photographs. It was then that I realised the anguish Saint Joseph would have felt when he took Mary – it seemed a contradiction to receive a child who was not your own. My faith went through a desert, but God came to my aid. We saw His signs confirming to us, even in the face of great challenges such as having to reopen proceedings to submit the papers to the Court of Infancy and Youth in Sobral.”

With the flight booked for March 12

2015, Tancredo remembers they still had nothing for the child. “We were praying in a church in Petrópolis.  In a few days’time we were scheduled to preach in a spiritual retreat during Carnival.  A couple approached us and gave us cash to buy a present for the baby. It was God beginning to show His Providence. Later on, another couple gave us a new cradle. In this way we received the entire contents for the nursery. We managed to buy our flight tickets and stayed with another married couple from the Shalom Covenant Community, who also gave us a baby layette. We arrived in Sobral on March 15

, during the week of the Novena to Saint Joseph, who is the Patron Saint of the state of Ceará. On the very next day we took our daughter back to our friends’ house where we were staying.”

Tancredo and his family went back to Rio de Janeiro on March 20

. On the next day, their communitarian cell threw a party, gathering friends and family.  They celebrated together the joy of welcoming Ana Isabel. “As if it weren’t enough, I received two job offers. One of them was to work in the Shalom Association as a sales representative for Shalom Press in Rio de Janeiro, where I currently work. My wife was on maternity leave for 8 months and my job as a salesman allowed me to work from home. I could stay closer to my family, sharing the new time God gave us together.” The new and happy father adds that, even in face of their challenges, they have not stopped sharing their Communion of Goods, which has allowed gratitude to grow in their hearts.

“Blessed be God who has not let us lack anything!

Saint Joseph, pray and provide for us!”

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