Benei Aor: Children of Light’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 5, 2007

Brazilian ministry group stops by Selma on tour

By Cassandra Mickens

The Selma Times-Journal

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A Brazilian youth ministry team named Benei Aor traveled 4,330 miles to tell summer day campers at Camp Grist on Tuesday three simple, yet powerful words &045; &8220;Jesus loves you.&8221;

Benei Aor, whose name means &8220;Children of Light,&8221; shares the gospel through drama, dance and song. Members range from age 8 to 22, and perform in the streets of Brazil, children’s homes, schools, churches and hospitals year round, utilizing native Brazilian music and Christian hip-hop music. The ministry is comprised of 500 members from 13 churches.

Last month, the group performed on the streets of Selma in the parking lot of Christ the King Charismatic Episcopal Church off Highland Avenue. At Camp Grist, the group performed Brazilian and American-style dances, as well as a short drama titled &8220;Don’t Touch&8221; on the chapel stage. The group was well received by the campers. Said one girl following the performance, &8220;Show us how to do it!&8221;

Mitzi Howard, a member of Lamb of God Charismatic Episcopal Church in Birmingham, has accompanied Benei Aor on its Alabama tour. The group has also performed at the Shelby County YMCA and the McWane Center in Birmingham. They’re now headed to North Carolina.

Howard first encountered Benei Aor when she and her husband traveled to Recife, Brazil. She instantly fell in love with the ministry and the welcoming hearts of the Brazilian people.

Howard said Benei Aor’s message is universal.

Outside of performing, the group experienced life in Selma and found the city unique.