Justice seems to come in many ways. And shapes. And sizes. As Christians, we might say that justice is served when an unborn baby gets a chance at life. Or when a homeless person finds a warm bed to sleep in for the night. Or when a person comes to faith in Christ and is forgiven for his sins by a loving, caring Father. After all, these are all a form of moral rightness, decency, fairness, or being just.
As a federal labor judge in Brazil, Haggai leader Ingrid Barreiros has an intimate and unique perspective of justice. For her, justice goes beyond a decision made in the courtroom. She explains, “The exercise of the jurisdictional function goes beyond adjudicating a case. For instance, when a judge lives in the same city where she works, she may receive requests from local entities that need equipment to be donated to them because public money is not enough to meet their current needs.
A Brazilian fire department received new extrication equipment this year because of a lawsuit filed years ago and heard in court last year. When the company paid its fines, Ingrid was able to get much-needed equipment into the hands of these local firefighters.
“This is the difference between just trying a case and doing justice with the resources that come through public civil actions. The resource coming from the payment of fines does not go back to the government of the state where the case was tried, but it goes back to the needs of the population.”
Recently awarded Friend of the Fireman commendation, Ingrid was given this special recognition as a “thank you” for fighting for justice in her city. The Cascavel Fire Department received new extrication equipment this year because of a lawsuit filed years ago and heard in court last year. When the company paid its fines, Ingrid was able to get much-needed equipment into the hands of these local firefighters. “The equipment is capable of halving the rescue time for accident victims who are trapped. It was a value returned to the public and will be used to save lives. This is the job of justice.”
Ingrid came to know the Lord at the young age of three. Raised in a Christian family, she made her public confession of faith through baptism at the age of seven. She leads a small group that meets weekly for Bible study with non-Christians, focusing on evangelism. Through work and through the church, Ingrid sees many lives transformed by the Word of God and the message of salvation.
Written by Valerie Dyke