Pastors still helping families stranded after floods in Southern Brazil: “We Won’t Give Up”

The Engel Ministry provides aid for people isolated by heavy rain and landslides in Rio Grande do Sul


ATUALIZADO: 10 de junho de 2024


The Engel Ministry, led by Pastor Joel Engel, is playing a crucial role in assisting families isolated by the floods in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost State of Brazil. Amid a devastating landscape where bridges and roads have been destroyed by heavy rain and landslides, the Christian ministry has stood out for its dedication and compassion in rescuing the victims.

On June 4th, Pastor Tiago Engel, son of Pastor Joel, shared on social media a heartwarming rescue operation. After receiving information that five families had been stranded for 35 days without any aid, he promptly loaded his car with supplies and set off to the location.

“I received information that five families had been out of touch for 35 days. Immediately, I loaded the car and drove there”, Tiago explained. When he realized the car couldn’t proceed further, Tiago and his team continued on foot to reach the first family.

Decided to reach them all, he sought help to find the other families. With the cooperation of Pastor Joel Engel, who personally joined the mission and lent his Jeep, they managed to cross the damaged road and provide assistance to the needy families.

“By nightfall, we managed to cross the road (or what was left of it) and once again became the miracle for those five families. Thank you, Jesus!”, said Tiago.


Overcoming Challenges

In an interview to Christian website Guiame, Pastor Joel Engel detailed the challenges. “There are places where the municipality began reconstructing the bridges and roads, where much of the population was stranded. Cars couldn’t go through, and people could not reach out because there was no phone service. Every day, new requests for help arise from people who manage to communicate with friends”, he reported.

The need for vehicles adapted for difficult terrain was crucial. “Our team couldn’t enter with a regular car, so we used a Jeep prepared for off-roading. We found abandoned houses and some people who stayed behind. It’s a depressing scenario. These families had no contact with anyone since the beginning of the floods”, the pastor added.

The ministry managed to assist over 500 people in the region, often with the help of motorcyclists who volunteered to deliver supplies and hope to those in extreme situations.

God’s Love in Action

The work of the Engel Ministry goes beyond physical aid. Since the first day of the floods, they have promoted humanitarian and spiritual help, distributing food, clothing, blankets, and sharing the word of God. “We called on churches and leaders to help people with two specific actions: the bread from earth (food and supplies) and the bread from heaven (the word of God). We show God’s goodness through our acts of compassion. There are many challenges, but we won’t give up”, Joel Engel explained.

The pastor also highlighted the importance of solidarity in times of crisis. “Our ministry is open to providing assistance. In the early days, the city of Santa Maria, where we have our offices, became a huge hostel. It was a wonderful effort, and it sparked love for others, compassion, and brokenness. There is a strong move of God to awaken the church to something that was dormant: bringing help to others. In the neighboring city of Faxinal do Soturno, the church is always open. Besides prayers, donations are coordinated by Pastor Tiago Engel”, he recalls.

The response has been positive, with many church members and volunteers joining the relief efforts. The Engel Ministry’s Prophetic School also played a fundamental role, encouraging pastors and leaders to follow Jesus’ example in helping others. “We have encouraged the pastors who are part of the Prophetic School to do the same,” said Joel Engel.

Unity and Hope

The movement of solidarity extends beyond church members. “Christians are working side by side with people who are not part of the church. The motto ‘civilian helps civilian’ emerged spontaneously, uniting the community of Rio Grande do Sul in a spirit of love and compassion,” the pastor highlighted.

The ministry has been serving as a support and coordination point for donations in Faxinal do Soturno, keeping the church open for prayers and welcoming victims.

The government said the reconstruction of Rio Grande do Sul State will take some time. Understanding there is no time to lose, Joel Engel emphasizes the importance of his ministry’s humanitarian aid. 

“We will keep doing the best we can, because it will take a long time to rebuild everything that was destroyed, and we will need support from the Church worldwide. This is the time for the Church to be salt and light of the world, to roll up its sleeves and show the face of Jesus through compassion and service to others”, he concluded.

How to Help?

To contribute with the humanitarian aid provided by the Engel Ministry in the cities destroyed by the flood, please contact the Ministry at this email: