Location: Assis, São Paulo – Brazil
Social Assistance Coordinator
“I want to see God’s Kingdom manifest wherever we are serving; serving the children and their families in the name of Christ and mobilizing the local church and business community to embrace the children in their own community with the open arms of Jesus.” – Nei Tapia
Early in his adult life, newly married and without a relationship with Jesus, Nei (Nay) was struggling and searching for something to satisfy a thirst he had within himself. This led him into a downward spiral of drug abuse, anxiety, and depression that left he and Angela on the precipice of divorce. That is when they were invited to attend a three-month marriage course at a local Baptist church. Three months turned to seven and both Nei and Angela had a deep, personal encounter with Christ that changed their lives forever.
When their church partnered with Open Arms to begin a work in a poor, drug and crime ravaged neighborhood in their city, Nei and Angela stepped out to volunteer in the new ministry of their church. It was there that they discovered their calling. Nei says, “It was there that God softened my heart with compassion for these children. I felt useful and could see that this was really where I was supposed to be. I have no doubt of my calling and I love the work the Lord has prepared for me to walk in. It’s what I was born to do.”
Nei and Angela began serving full-time as Agents of Hope in 2012, taking on a tough challenge in one of the largest, underprivileged neighborhoods in their city. Nei’s handyman background and Angela’s gift of hospitality have given them unique opportunities to minister in the homes of the children who attend Open Arms.
THEIR CURRENT MINISTRY
Nei completed his degree in Social Work in 2019 and assumed his current role of Social Assistance Coordinator for all of Open Arms. He and Angela also lead a thriving small group ministry of teens who grew up in Open Arms and are now serving as volunteers.