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The Association's History

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David Rowe Evangelical Philanthropic Association

An Expression of Hope Initiates a Dream

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."

The Rowes 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 Jesus.

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.

Upon returning 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.

Soon 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 machine.

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 business meetings.


Sharing in the birthday party of one of our guests
volunteers with 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 .