Carmen Cleia Lobão dos Santos has been an ESL teacher in Brazil for the last 22 years. She was born in Brasília, the capital of Brazil, on June 22, 1966 but has been living in São Luís, Maranhão since 1986. Her father, Humberto, passed away in 1990 and her mother, Isaurita, passed away in 2009. She has 5 brothers, 2 of whom have passed away as well. Her third brother, Carlos Wagner, lives in Bahia, her fourth brother, Carlos Cleber, lives in the country side of her state, and her fifth brother, Carlos Roberto, lives in São Luís.
Carmen has a degree in Language and Literature from the Federal University of Maranhão (1994) and a degree in Missions from World of Life Bible College in São Paulo (2008). Her favorite food is Italian, favorite sport is soccer, favorite kind of music is Christian Rock and Pop, and her favorite hobbies include table games and watching movies.
She has lived in Haiti for a year now and intends to stay at least one more year before considering going back home. But she feels the need to go out of the country every three months, so she plans to travel to countries close to Haiti while there.
She was born into a Christian home where her father was Catholic and her mother Evangelic. Her education was molded by Evangelical principals. She received Christ as a seven-year-old girl. Unfortunately, she said her relationship with God did not develop a lot while she was growing up. Her mother was no longer attending Church and her spiritual life was not enriched by God’s Word, so consequently, it became weaker and weaker. The next years of her life were filled with a lot of struggle and darkness. She was twenty-four when she returned to God’s arms again. A year later she was baptized and for three years, she stated she went to church every week.
In 2010 Pastor Caleb went to Brazil and preached at her church. In 2011 she came to Pignon, Haiti for 30 days to know his ministry. Now, in 2012 she is back serving as a long-term missionary for the first time. She is here supported by family, brothers and sisters in Christ from her church, and other churches where she had the chance to teach or preach. She said that after 16 years of service in her country it was about time to serve in other countries, using the languages God gave her a chance to learn.
She is serving in many different areas. At this moment she is teaching English to Kindergarten (7 groups), to First Grade (2 groups) and Second Grade (3 groups). Soon, she is also going to be working with the female soccer team, helping with kids and teenager camps, teaching an extra English class for adults and High school students, forming a Creative Evangelism Group with the students from CDG, and helping with a kids’ ministry in the neighborhood along with whatever else is necessary.
During this month she is feeling very comfortable with everything. The biggest challenges for her in being in Haiti up until now are: 1- Not having transportation. She is trying to buy a used four wheeler for about $3,000 US but she hasn’t gotten it yet. She already has 50% of the money and is sure that soon God will bless her with it. 2- She is learning to do a lot with a little…having many ideas and few material resources. She is trying to adapt herself and has become known among her friends as “MacGayver”. 3- She struggles explaining why she is not married and doesn’t have kids to everybody as well. She asked Pastor Caleb what to answer, and he said “Mwe bien jan mew ye” (I am fine the way I am).
Her favorite things about serving with HIM is to see the plans of God being realized in her life. It seems that she has been prepared all her life to be servingt here. She has been using all her past experiences to really make a difference there and she knows that it is just the beginning!
Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else —to the nearby villages —so I can preach there also.” (Mark 1:38)