Location: Assis, São Paulo – Brazil
SYLLAS & KEITTE’S STORY:
Syllas was born in a poor home, where his father was an alcoholic and his mother was a maid. He started working at the age of 12 to help pay the bills. Early on, Syllas got involved with the wrong people and with criminal activity. At the same time Keitte was being raised in a loving home with parents in her life, who taught principles she should follow.
When the two met at school, they were only 14 years old. Nonetheless they started dating, and after years of on again off again romance, they eventually got engaged and married in 2012. Under the pressures of marriage, they began to recognize that some thing was missing in both of their lives. They decided to look for it in the first church they passed by. Upon entering, Syllas saw an old friend from his past and could not understand what had happened to him, as he was very different from the way he remembered. That was enough to make them curious and to stick around.
Syllas and Keitte began to get involved in this new church and as a result met Open Arms missionaries Eduardo and Cláudia who were a part of the congregation. Eduardo invited Syllas to play soccer with some other men from the church, and later to volunteer for Open Arms. Eduardo insisted that they both help out at a youth camp that the church held. At this camp, Keitte and Syllas both had an encounter with Jesus. The Lord called them, and they turned to Him in faith. Since that time they have walked with the Lord as He teaches them new values, true love, and continues working in their lives every day.
In 2015 both Syllas and Keitte began serving as volunteers with Open Arms. Keitte remembers, “We were recently converted to Christ and so we didn’t know how to do anything more than play and do face painting for the kids.” Over time, the Lord has trained them and they have matured through the Word and also through the responsibility that they have in their church, at camps, serving in Open Arms youth detention ministry “Project Zadok,” and mission trips. In the midst of this they became convinced that the Lord was calling them into full-time missions. After having worked in the wood flooring business from the time he was 12 years old until he turned 30, God finally opened a new door. In the middle of 2019 Syllas and Keitte were invited to be part of the group of missionaries of Open Arms.
THEIR CURRENT MINISTRY: Today Syllas ministers in our neighborhood outreach ministries in Assis, São Paulo, as well as serving as an assistant in one of our soccer outreaches. Keitte serves alongside Syllas, and is currently the Board treasurer for Open Arms in Brazil (Comunidade Braços Abertos Brasil).