Recovery for Imprisoned Missionary

For: Jose Dilson da Silva
Organizer: Jonatas da Silva
of $15,000 goal.
Raised by 56 donors
53% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

The Situation:

On November 6, 2012, my father, Jose Dilson da Silva, was arrested and put in prison for his work with an orphanage in Senegal. He is a Brazilian missionary who has been serving the Lord in Senegal for 22 years through his ministry, the Obadiah Project. We started an orphanage in 2011 to take children from the streets of Senegal and give them a place where they could be loved and find hope again. Another Brazilian missionary, Zeneide Moreira Novais, who is the “orphanage mom,” was also arrested at the same time. My father was arrested when one street child’s father was not happy that his son had learned about the Word of God at the orphanage. The man said my father had started an "association harming the children" of Senegal. These accusations are baseless, but my father and Zeneide are still in prison. The authorities have denied him habeas corpus and he is incarcerated in a filthy cell crammed with 35 other prisoners. The prison conditions are severe. They have been forced to sign papers without being allowed to read them, put into overcrowded rooms without windows or a place to sit or sleep, and affected by the mosquitos and heat. My mother and brother are only able to visit my father on Mondays and Fridays for 10 minutes. It is difficult for them to see him being treated like a criminal, dragged away from them and treated poorly. The Brazilian Embassy and three lawyers are working to bring them freedom while Christians around the world have been praying.

Why I am Raising the Money:

The past few weeks been very traumatic for my entire family. My father, mother, and 10-year-old brother are still living in Senegal; my sister is serving with YWAM in a closed country; and I am at university in the US. Even though we are separated, we all feel God’s peace in our lives. We believe that God will set my father and Zeneide free and that we will continue to work in Senegal helping the street children there. Once he is set free, my family needs to rest from this painful experience because the prison conditions are harsh. I hope to raise money to help pay for the legal expenses of the trials. After the legal expenses are paid for, the money will go to help my family to come to the US or Brazil for two months where they can all get psychological therapy and regain their strength again.

How The Money Will Be Used:

        • The money will help pay for traveling expenses from Dakar, Thies, and Mbour.
        • It will help pay for a part of the food for my father, Zeneide, and the other prisoners.?
        • Besides legal expenses, the money from this fund will help cover the plane tickets (about $1500-$3000 per person), the stay, and the treatment when my parents and brother come to Brazil or the US. This would also allow my sister and I to visit so the family could be reunited.?
        • We also need money to help cover expenses that come up because my father is a diabetic and needs special food and medicine.

We are not sure yet how long the trial will last or how much money will be necessary, but we are expecting the costs to be very high. Any amount you can give will be a huge blessing for my family. We believe that God will bring justice to the situation and allow my father to continue ministering in Senegal in the future.????

Major Updates:

        • Our mission APMTS and Zeneide’s mission Missao Servos will cover the cost of hiring the three attorneys.
        • Part of the cost of food will be covered by the Brazilian Embassy
        • Brazilian churches, missions, friends, and other Christians around the world have supported us greatly financially and in prayer outside of this website.
        • My whole family is now in Senegal. I will stay until January 8th and my sister will stay until February.

A Video About The Project:

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on January 5, 2013 by Jonatas da Silva

For the French speaking, here is a link to the national newspaper that describes the condition of the prison my Father and Zeneide are being detained. They say it's only a 1/3 of what actually goes on in there. 

Para quem fala Frances, aqui esta um link que explica a situacao e a condicao da prisao aonde o Jose Dilson E Marlie a Zeneide estao presos. Dizem que e so um 1/3 da realidade.,-ex-detenu-«c’est-l’enfer-à-la-prison-de-thiès…».html

Posted on January 5, 2013 by Jonatas da Silva
Thank you everyone who has donated and shared the link with friends, you have been a blessing. 

This money has already helped us pay for several expenses, some of which include:
-Helping build another cell at the prison to better the condition of the inmates
-Traveling and transporation expenses 
-The cost of food prepared daily (until the Brazilian Embassy reinburses us)
-The continual functioning of the project/orphanage. The payment of staff and food for the kids at the land
-And several other small expenses

There're some great news concerning the finances behind the situation. 
-Our mission APMTS and Zeneide’s mission Missao Servos will cover the cost of hiring the three attorneys.
-Part of the cost of food prepared daily will be covered by the Brazilian Embassy
-Brazilian churches, missions, friends, and other Christians around the world have supported us greatly financially and in prayer outside of this website

Though the amount states $15,000, the expenses are going to be much higher, even with the help we will receive. Thank you for helping us reach 28% of our goal in the fundraiser so far. We appreciate any help. 

**(For those who had problem donating, I have updated the paypal account to receive payment from non-paypal users, making it easier to donate.) 

God Bless.

Posted on November 30, 2012 by Jonatas da Silva
A lot happens in 24 days.

24 days ago my father was imprisoned with false accusations.
In 24 days 2 Brazilian Senators have visited the Obadiah Project.
In 24 days my father has started a church ministry inside the prison
In 24 days several prisoners have come to Christ.
In 24 days the Obadiah Project videos have shot from 100 to 4000 views in total.
In 24 days the churches in Senegal and Brazil have become more united.
24 days ago Human Rights was not drafting a document to attack child slavery in Senegal
24 days ago the presidents of both Brazil and Senegal did not know about the project
24 days ago God chose our family to be used for his glory

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support. The overwhelming care we have received has been incredible. Thank you for everyone who has been donating, your financial support is also a tremendous help during this time.

Keep praying that God continues to use this situation for his glory and that the Judge releases them soon.

Posted on November 30, 2012 by Jonatas da Silva
Prayer Request: 
-Pray for strength, encouragement, and rest for Jose Dilson and Zeneide. Also pray for their health. Both my father and Zeneide have diabetes, so pray that their health is not affected during their time in prison.
-Pray that they will continue to be light in that prison. That the prisoners who they have already ministered to will see the joy that is in them.
-Pray that Jose Dilson and Zeneide will be granted Habeas Corpus in their next hearing.
-Pray that the Ambassador of Senegal in Brazil, the Brazilian government, and the Senegalese government will all work towards their freedom.
-Pray for the lawyers: wisdom, understanding, and discernment.
-Pray that the Obadiah Project will not be affected during this time. That God will actually grant us more power to act and help the street children of Senegal.
-Pray that this incident will not impede any missionary work in Senegal. It is the last thing we want.
-Pray for finances to cover this whole trial.
-Pray for da Silva family (peace, concentration, wisdom).
-Pray for kids at the orphanage and the boy whose father started all this, that God will be with him wherever he is.

Posted on November 30, 2012 by Jonatas da Silva
Monday November 12 Update:
“Today I was able to visit Jose Dilson and Zeneide once again. Though I was only able to be there for 5 minutes, it was really good seeing them. After the visit I returned to the project with the Chancellor of the Brazilian Embassy who also came to visit Jose Dilson and Zeneide. I was able to talk to him for a long time and explain the project to him. Our embassy has been helping us very closely with this case, which we are very thankful for.
Please continue to pray for our dear ones even more intensely! Let us bombard the heavens with our prayers and supplications! Let us pray for wisdom, for direction, for discernment and for the lawyers to use every opportunity to help our dear ones.”
Tuesday November 13 Update:
Senator Magno Malta just finished speaking to the Ambassador of Senegal in Brasil, asking him to intervene for Jose Dilson and Zeneide who are imprisoned in Senegal. We are waiting for a positive response from the part of the Ambassador of Senegal. Continue praying for this whole situation.

Posted on November 10, 2012 by Jonatas da Silva
November 10:

Update #4 from my Mom: 
Because we know that we are not doing anything wrong, we will continue to post and spread the word about this case. My mom told me this, "This man, what he intended for evil is turning into something we could never do before, spread the word about this project to the whole world." So here it goes, update #4 about the Obadiah Project. 

"Yesterday, on the 9th, I left the pro
ject early with Zucki to visit Jose Dilson and Zeneide. We needed a lot of strength, for us as well as for him. As we waited for our turn to go in we couldn’t hold back the tears, but we told each other, “We can’t cry now, we need to be strong so dad won’t see us like this.” But it was impossible keeping back our tears when we saw him coming out with the other prisoners and come our direction. What a joy it was being able to hug him! We didn’t want to let go, we wanted to stay there, but we only had 10 minutes to see and visit him. 
While the other missionaries visited Zeneide, Jose Dilson told me that he was in a cell with 35 other prisoners. He couldn’t sleep at night, due to over crowding of the cells. The prisoners arranged themselves like sardines to be able to fit. The heat is unbearable and the conditions are very precarious. He then told me that there are other Christians on the cell. When he came in he quickly met an older man who also a Christian. The man told him that there were 28 other Christians in that prison that are there for various reasons. Jose then told me in tears, “As soon as we leave we will start a ministry in the prisons.” Jose is very exhausted but he is still working. The little money he had, he bought biscuits and food at the cantina and distributed it to those in need. He told us that 2 men already died at the prison for lack of food. His own food, which we bring him, he wasn’t able to eat. He divided it with the other prisoners. 

November 9:

Unfortunately, the judge did not concede to the habeas corpus, and they will now be detained in closed establishment. This same night Jose Dilson has been taken to the male compartment while our sister Zeneide was taken to the feminine compartment, both in Thies. From now on the visits will only be authorized on Mondays and Fridays. 

We have the blessing of the having t
he consul of the Brazilian Embassy helping and orientating us showing us that we are being accompanied and supported by the Brazilian Government, and that gives us comfort. 

This situation has strengthened us and our brothers are receiving all of the encouragement and words you are sending. We know that God has called us and continues to be omnipotent over all things.

November 9:

Update #3 from my Mom:

"Dear Friends,
I just arrived from the courts where Jose Dilson and Zeneide were heard by a judge. The judge was unwavering in his decision to keep them in prison while more evidence is gathered. Now our two lawyers will be filing a demand for habeas corpus for Jose and Zeneide to able to continue through the legal process outside of prison. 
Since the case involves minors,
the accusations are serious and severe. The accusations include traffic of children, corruption of minors, and formation of gangs. Even though we are downcast and exhausted, we rejoice in the LORD. He has given us immense peace for we know that all of these accusations have no basis. We are the servants of the Living God, and we are going through this for no other reason than for our faith. 
The display of love and care from missionaries contacting us and informing family, friends, and churches is overwhelming. National brothers, and people that work and have worked with us, are outraged with the decision but are ready to come and testify of the good we have done for the children. We believe that God is preparing great and wonderful blessings for this place and ministry. 

We need you to pray, for we might have to close the orphanage and send the children to other organizations. We had contracted a lawyer to take care of the legal papers that would grant us right to have the children, though he had initiated the process we were still waiting for the approval of the judge. 
We need to pray that our lawyers will be able to succeed with their demand for habeas corpus in a speedily maner. We can visit Jose and Zeneide Mondays and Fridays, so tomorrow I am going to go see them and I will take Zucki with me. Thank you for all the love, care, messages, and encouragement. We can only ask you to keep pray and asking the Father to intervene in show us the reason for all of this. 
“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” 1 Peter 4:16"

November 8: 
Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement. The news of my father is all over the world now, and it's encouraging to know that Christians all around the world are praying for him. We really appreciate all the prayers.

God's been giving me an immense sense of peace, and I am very thankful for that. I know that God will be glorified and that he is in control of everything. 

Just pray that
God will keep giving my father and Zeneide (the missionary lady) strength, they are very tired and discouraged. It is not easy being humiliated and called someone who harms kids after giving your whole life to serve a people you love so much. I just pray that the ministry doesn't stop, but that this situation actually gives us more power and strength to act and help the street children of Senegal. 

Pray for Mustafa, who is still missing. Pray that he will also have peace and his faith won't be shaken. Pray that he will not feel guilty for the situation. Pray that he will be able to return to the orphanage and continue living there. Also pray for my mother, who is very tired and stressed. She is also very sensitive seeing my father in such conditions. So pray that God will give her peace and strength.

Once again thank you for all the prayers.

November 7:
UPDATE#2 from my Mom: "Dear friends, finally this afternoon Jose Dilson and our sister Zeneide were transferred to Thies to have a hearing. The documents of accusation claimed that we are an “Association Harming the children.” They were forced to sign this document without being able to read what they were signing. Those who know us know how hard we have worked for the well being and happiness of 
the children of Senegal. We need you to keep praying for us. They will remain one more night in prison. This time they are in a cell for criminals, with no light, water, or even a chair to sit, without being able to have any personal belonging, a filthy holding cell. I cried a lot seeing the situation, but I need to be strong. Please pray that they will at least let us take a mattress for them tonight, so that they will have a place to rest tonight. They will have a hearing tomorrow that could set them free or keep them in jail for several more days until the whole situation is resolved. So please keep praying." Unfortunately the situation is getting worst so please keep praying.
UPDATE: My mom was able to see my dad a few minutes ago. My father and the missionary lady will be spending the night at the police station. Tomorrow they will be going to another city where they will be interrogated. Our lawyer will be there to meet them. They let my mom bring mattresses, repelent and other things for them at the police station. Thank you for all your prayers, support, and words of encouragement. Let's continue praying!

November 6:
Please pray for my father, he was put in jail because of our orphanage in Senegal.

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