This ministry is a direct outcome from the experience the
Rowe family went through with their son David, who at 9 years old was diagnosed with leukemia. Upon receiving the diagnosis
of that disease in June of 1994, Steve and Debra immediately drove David to Boldrini Hospital, in Campinas where they were
living, which specializes in the treatment of childhood cancer. On the way David stated, "At least I know that if die, I will
go to heaven to be with Jesus."
David was hospitalized for the next 10 days, and seeing that his parents were sharing
their faith with others there, said, "If anyone comes to know Jesus through this it will all be worth it."
were fortunate to have lived in Campinas, but noted that many other families had to travel long distances to receive treatment.
One day a pastor friend was sharing with them about his vision to one day have a Christian hospitality house available for
these families. David commented how wonderful that would be, a place where children could learn about the Bible and hear about
David completed his treatment on December 23, 1996, when he was received into his eternal home by his Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ, having passed through this challenge trusting in His Lord, and knowing the peace that passes all
understanding. Soon thereafter, the Rowes began receiving memorial donations, and remembering David's interest in the Christian
hospitality house, decided to apply them toward founding such a ministry when they returned to Brazil.
to Campinas, Brazil, for their third term, in May, 1998, the Rowes began to share this vision with others at their church.
They realized that they could never form a ministry like this on their own, and thankfully, gradually saw others expressing
interest in the vision.
During this phase Steve had the privilege of meeting Pator Jimmy Allen, of the Big Canoe Chapel,
GA. They were both in attendance at an event sponsored by Boldrini Hospital, and Steve happened to mention to Pastor Jimmy
the vision to form a Christian hospitality house. Months later Pastor Jimmy extended an invitation to Steve to share the vision
at his church's missionary conference. Steve accepted this opportunity, and it proved especially significant in the continuing
process of forming the ASSOCIATION, because in an extraordinary way the sense that God was in this became evermore aparent.
Steve was encouraged by the positive response to the vision he sensed at the conference, and this was more than confirmed
after receiving word that the church had approved a generous financial gift to launch the hospitality house ministry.
the ASSOCIATION was formed, and the job of finding a suitable rental became the priority. Through a "happenstance" conversation
with Steve and Deba, a couple from their church shared about a house they owned and wanted to rent. Soon it became apparent
that this was something that God was in. As other representatives from the ASSOCIATION got involved, it was confirmed that
this was the house where the ASSOCIATION would initiate the ministry. Preparations were soon made as the house became outfitted
with the necessary furnishings, some of which were provided by local donations. Steve and Debra were especially touched in
that they were able to apply contributions to the David Rowe Memorial Fund toward the speedy purchase of new beds and a washing
In March, 2001, the hospitality house received its first guests, Marcelo and Ana Maria, friends of the Rowes
from the time of David's treatment. Marcelo had successfully completed his treatment, and was in Campinas for a routine checkup.
The first bone marrow transplant patient actually referred to us by Boldrini Hospital Social Services was Anderson, in May,
2001. He and his mother, Cassia, have been model first guests, so helpful to us in the initial phase of this ministry. Cassia
herself proved to be a provider of insightful ideas from a guest's perspective, and also gave us the sort of affirmation and
encouragement that was so encouraging to us at this phase of the ministry.
Debra led two training sessions where about
70 people were trained and received as volunteers, now available to donate time and talents in the ministry. The ASSOCIATION
now has about 73 members who contribute financially and have the responsibility and privilege of participating in the annual
|Sharing in the birthday party of one of our guests
The David Rowe Evangelical Philanthropic Association ministry has been written up in the CORREIO POPULAR, a widely circulated
newspaper in Campinas, as well as in PALAVRA, a Brazilian Christian newspaper that has national circulation. The Baptist
General Conference magazine, THE STANDARD, also featured the hospitality house ministry in the June, 2001, issue. The ASSOCIATION
also maintains a quarterly informative publication, SUSTENTACAO, that is distributed primarily among evangelicals in Campinas