Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sarah Sheeva the daughter of Baby Consuelo visits Gloria. Right, well this was out of left field but a relatively famous person in Brazilian pop culture stopped by for an evening with us recently. I had to do a bit of research on the internet to find out exactly who the socialite in my front room was, but this is the basic story.

Baby Consuelo/Baby do Brasil was a famous Brazilian singer, something of an institution I guess, with hits stretching back to the 60s. Her kids also formed music groups and bands and had moderately successful careers in Brazil. Anyway, sometime in the late 90s, Baby and several of her children and relatives converted in dramatic style to Protestant Christianity out of a lifestyle of dark religious practices and the excesses of a rock and roll lifestyle. The conversion was dramatic and long-lasting - Baby has stepped out of the music industry and is now a pastor in a church. Her daughter, Sarah Sheeva, who was a member of the pop trio SNZ along with her sisters also quit (much to the dissapointment of sections of her fans) and now takes up her time recording Christian worship music and touring doing evangelistic events.

Sarah was in Natal as part of one of these tours for a week of meetings that our church group had some hand in arranging. Of course, we were unable to attend because of the arrival of Gloria, so, instead, she visited us for a "quick visit" with a special view to meeting a new baby. Actually, the quick visit was definitely of the Brazilian variety in that it wasn't quick at all and it soon became a two hour sit down and chat about the state of the church in Brazil, the nature of conversion, the details of Sarah's family's past and present and the wonder and blessing of children. Sarah (who in terms of appearance could pass for a younger Cher) dominated the evening as I guess only a gifted evangelist with a history of performing on stages can - she spoke with real and heartfelt enthusiasm about what Jesus had done in her life. I couldn't catch everything she said in her southern Brazilian accent, but I was left with the enduring impression that this person's life had been totally turned around. The inexplicable, total, genuine and positive transformation of people by God is one of the most compelling evidences, in my opinion, of the reality of Christian truth. As Rachel later said - before she or her mother became Christians, you would be hard pressed to imagine a family in the Brazilian public eye further away from ever becoming believers. Their story is partly due to the witness of a family friend who committed to praying regularly for the family over a period of ten years.

So, above, a picture of Gloria mixing it with her famous friends. Sarah is the one holding Gloria. And here is a (kind of cheesey) video of Sarah in her hey-day as part of the trio SNZ, although she looks so much like her sisters I'm not sure who she is in the video!

ps. I tried to find some info on Baby, Sarah and SNZ on wikipedia but the only substantial articles were in Portuguese. SNZ is made up of the initials of the three sisters in the group - Sarah, Nana and Zabelle. As it happens, I discovered that SNZ is the name of an American music group and that the initials stand for something altogether more ridicilous.

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