Friday, December 14, 2007

SEE WITH MY EYES...

I have been living in Belo Horizonte, Brazil over the last 8 months, working with YWAM and children in need. During this time something the Lord spoke to me is that
HE is giving me NEW EYES to see - EYES to see the world and children with His heart and His great love.
I have learned so much and wanted to share a small glimpse of my life the last 8 months. Enjoy!

A precious orphan at an orphanage our YWAM team presented at.

Teaching these boys- who are now living in the boys shelter - how to play the guitar!
May they grow up to be WORSHIPERS and men after God's own heart!

Worshiping in spirit and in truth...


Shachelle- one of the first street guys I met when I arrived in Brazil. I visited him on the streets consistently every month since April. He once was in the YWAM Boy's Shelter, but ran away many times. Now Shachelle is too old to live in the boy's shelter. We have helped him into some rehabilitation centers, but he runs away from those too. He is addicted to the streets... Pray for a miracle and that he would have TRUE change in his life! There is HOPE for Shachelle- in Jesus...
Another street shot...

Teaching guitar to a street guy...

Pedreira - This is the 2nd largest crack producing slum in Brazil. The 1st is in Rio and here is the 2nd... YWAM is starting an outreach to this community and my heart has been really burdened for the people and lives here.
The scripture on my heart for the slums of Brazil is,
"How can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard?"
So many need to hear of the LOVE and TRUTH of Christ.
God longs to give this little one a crown of beauty instead of these ashes...


Flying kites in a favela...

His eyes speak of suffering...


Cafezal - this is the favela or slum I am going to live and work in soon.


A singing clown and puppets! Kids LOVE this stuff!
I am the 2nd puppet over with the short black hair.
Our team presenting a children's program in Cafezal!

CLASS- This is a typical day in my training course called Children At Risk.
So MANY awesome topics were covered and I learned TONS!


God shuts the mouths of lions! We can TRUST in HIM!
A sweet little one at an outreach we did in Cafezal.

Capeira - A former street kid and YWAMer showing off their moves...


Favela Girls! These girls live in Cafezal- the slum I am going to live in!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A TEST on Thanksgiving day??? YES!!!

I woke up to the sound of an alarm going off...
I am currently sleeping in a BIG room of eight girls and one of the girls in my room had set her alarm for 5:00 am! But, unfortunately I had not realized the time yet... I rose from my bed thinking, ¨OK- 6:00am... Time for a new day!¨

I started getting ready for the day... once I realized it was super early I decided to just stay awake.. I was already up!

Today was actually my last day of class in my Children At Risk Course AND we had a test!
A TEST on Thanksgiving day??? YES!!!

SO, early this morning I enjoyed my coffee and breakfast while reviewing my test notes.
BY 8:30 am I was starting my test and then at 9:30 our last class for the course started.

Today in class Johan ( the base leader) talked about helpful points to stay mentally healthy while working in missions. It was a good teaching about caring for yourself as a missionary! A very helpful teaching I know will be useful in the future!

At 1:00 I was eating the normal Brazilian lunch! BEANS and RICE! Today along with the beans and rice we had some roasted beef, fried eggplant, and tomatoes! Very exciting- I know!

By 2:00 I along with the other students in the course started a special time of cleaning on the YWAM base. I spent about 2 hours today scrubbing a wall that looked like it hadnt been cleaned in ages! The wall turned SO white-it transformed!

Tonight I will be having a Thanksgiving party with all my friends in the course!

So today I will be celebrating my Thanksgiving with people from all over the world!
People from these nations will be present at my Thanksgiving celebration: Korea, Norway, Germany, Brazil, USA, New Zealand, Holland, and England!

I want to say a BIG thank you to all of you who have supported me through prayer, encouragement, and finances this year!

Lots of Love and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Boys will be Boys!

See what´s going on in BRAZIL...

Meet Davidson and Alex! These two boys are now going through a 2 week trial period at the Rescue House (this is the ministry I worked at for my first 5 months here in Brazil). I am on a team of 5 students from the Children At Risk Course and we are spending 2 weeks working the various ministries here at the YWAM Belo Horizonte base. It is cool because we are learning about all the ministries and getting to know a lot of the kids!


These boys are moving into the boys shelter - called the Restoration House - very soon! All of the students doing the Children At Risk training are currently living at the Restoration House, so we will be able to continue to build relationships with these boys.
Pray for these boys and their transition into the house. They both have been through lots in their short lives.
Walking with the boys to get ice cream!!!




TALENT NIGHT AT THE RESTORATION HOUSE!!!

We as students of the Children At Risk Course helped organize a TALENT NIGHT for the boys living in the Restoration House. There were many fun and funny acts! This night was to honor the boys, to encourage them to be creative and to share their special talents and abilities. Here are just a few photos from the special night! Hopefully I can post more photos soon...

Loren (from Germany) juggling with Jonatas! She taught him how to juggle for this night!

Welver won the craziest hair contest for the night!


This was a silly dance with hands and heads!



Leo rapping! The boys LOVE Hip Hop!
(It is funny because in Portuguese the way to say Hip Hop is Hippie Hoppie!)

Me and a boy named Hobson, sitting in the audience enjoying the show!

Having fun and enjoying the after-show treats!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Children At Risk Course




Restoration House
I am now in a YWAM training course receiving specific training to work with children at risk. All of us students are living at the YWAM boys shelter called Restoration House. We are really getting to know the boys and the ministry here at the Restoration House. Above is a photo with me and a boy who lives here at the house. I first met him and worked with him at the Rescue House. He did triage there and then moved here. He is such a sweet boy and the Lord is doing beautiful things in him.


Here are some more photos of some of the boys during a recent birthday party here in the Restoration House!










Children At Risk Course
So currently I am spending each day in class and I also work in the different ministry projects here at this YWAM base. I have weekly assignments, papers, projects, and books to read! I am learning lots! I am so thankful to really learn more about YWAM Belo Horizonte and understand a part of each ministry. I think it is important as a staff here to understand each ministry project.


I have been learning about the many different kinds of children at risk in the world and different projects and methods to help to reach and restore these hurting kids. Sometimes it is lots to process when I am hearing about all these needs. So far we have learned about God´s intentional plan for the family, children´s ministry techniques, disciplining children at risk, working with people and children with HIV/AIDS, and working with sexually abused children.


Recanto House
Below are a few fun photos from my time working at the YWAM home for ex-street girls. The name of the house is Recanto House. The translation of the word Recanto is cozy little nook...

Two girls (below) working on a collage project we did with them during a devotional time.



Two sisters (below) who live at Recanto!
These girls have been living at Recanto for many years.




A girl having some fun with my camera!


Friends
There are people all over the world here taking part of the Children At Risk Training and working here with YWAM. Here is a photo of me and two of my friends here in Belo! One friend is an American (Kris) who is doing the Children At Risk Course with me and the other is from Germany (Alex) who has worked with YWAM and is studying here in Brazil.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Going to the Mountain...


I recently heard a message at a church here about going to the Mountain to be with God. It challenged me a lot to go to that secret place... away from everyone and everything... every distraction and just be with the Lord.






The Mountain represents so many things...

Sacrifice
It is a place of sacrifice. Abraham took his son Isaac to the mountain and was willing to sacrifice his promised son. He was willing to give to God someone (not just something- but someone) and this someone was SO precious to Abraham. He let go of His rights and in Abraham´s obedience and faith, God provided another sacrifice, another way -- God met Abraham and was pleased with Abraham.

Intimacy
Jesus went alone to the mountain to pray and spend time with the Father. Being with the Father... Being intimate with Him, talking with Him, worshiping Him, spending time alone with the Father was a priority in the life of Jesus.

Direction
Moses went to the mountain and recieved direction and guidance from the Lord in how to lead the Israelites. God revealed His purposes to Moses and divine guidance on the mountain.





I feel like God is calling me to the mountain now...

He is calling me to a place of sacrifice. I am laying down my life daily here and learning more and more about the cost of being His disciple. But, oh what a priviledge and joy it is to lay down my life for the sake of knowing Him more.

He is calling me to deeper intimacy. He is challenging me to fast and pray and to press into His heart more... At times I think, ¨Oh Lord, I want this deeper intimacy... but how the spirit is willing, and my flesh is weak...¨ How I need God´s grace to choose to hide away with Him. I have to PURPOSE myself to GO to the mountain. I have to plan this time, or somehow and in someway I don´t make it up there... I don´t enter into this place with the Lord, because my time has been stolen away.


He is calling me to seek Him for direction. This is a special time in my life. I am starting a YWAM training course called Children At Risk. I will be learning about how to work with hurting children who live in poverty, or who have been abused or experienced trauma in their lives. I will be learning how to help children who are at risk of giving their lives away to crime, violence, drugs, and a life on the streets. I really feeling like God is going to give me specific guidance about my future during this time.
The mountain is such an amazing place to go... It is beautiful.
There is SO MUCH to see and take in at this sacred place.
I want to take in all that the Lord wants to show me... on the mountain...


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Singing Over Joseline




The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you.
He will quiet you with His Love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

~Zephaniah 3:17 ~

One of the most special moments I have had occurred during a triage we had here at Rescue House with a 15 year old girl named Joseline. Her mother was murdered when she was three, and her father later abandoned her. She has spent most of her life living with various family members in poor slum areas, and she has also spent some time on the streets. Thankfully she is now in the YWAM home for girls!

One of the most special moments I have had occurred during a triage with Joseline. I was the staff worker on duty for the night to hang out with Joseline, do Bible Study, and make sure she followed her triage schedule. The rest of the staff went into the city to attend a special event.

Joseline was not happy to stay at home this night. She did not want to have a Bible Study, talk to me, look at me, or have anything to do with me. She was pouting and angry that she could not go out into the city with all of the other staff workers. She wanted to do something fun and exciting, but she was stuck at home with me.

When it was time for Bible Study, Joseline slowly walked the stairs up to the triage room with her head hanging down. I knew right away that she probably would not get anything out of our time together with that attitude.

I also knew much was on her heart too. She had only two days left of our triage and she would be moving to Recanto, the house for girls. She was nervous and scared about this change. Joseline flopped on her bed and still would not make eye contact with me.

Since she was in no mood to start our Bible Study or listen to me I said,
¨O.K. I am going to just sing a few songs.¨

I grabbed my guitar and began to play and sing worship songs. I sang songs proclaiming the truth and love of the Lord over her life. She turned her head, trying to hide her tears as I sang. Eventually she layed down , closed her eyes and rested in the loving arms of our Father God as I sang songs of love over her.

She fell fast asleep...

I eventually woke her up and we started out time of Bibler Study and prayer. Her attitude was much changed, God had touched here heart with His love. She was open, talking with me, sharing her fears, asking questions, and hungry to hear what God was wanting to speak. My times with Joseline were so special to me. God worked so much in her heart during her time here with us. She started to learn what it means to have a personal relationship with the Lord. She is continuing to do well at the Recanto, the girls house.

This time of with Joseline was such a beautiful picture of how God sings over us. He sings songs of love. When we are full of fear, we are angry, when we aren´t getting our way-- He continues to love us in spite of our weaknesses and struggles. He lavishly LOVES. He pours out His love over and over again... What a faithful and loving Father we have!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

See through my eyes... a typical day of work...

Every day in Brazil is started with COFFEE!!! Brazilians LOVE coffee and drink it every day throughout the day. This is the typical Brazilian breakfast, freshly made bread (made at a local bread shop) and coffee. I enjoy thisevery morning with my team here at Rescue House.

After breakfast, we as a team have a time of prayer and intercession. We pray for each other and also divide into groups and pray about different things God is placing on our hearts. I love starting our days putting God first and seeking His heart for our work with street children and street people.
Marian, Eveline, and Mariska (from Holland) praying during our time of intercession one morning.


We have open house every Monday morning. Street people come to our house to take showers, change clothes, and eat something. During this time we share the love of the Lord with the people and talk with them about opportunities that will help them leave the lifestyle of living on the streets. Here I am sitting with some of the street men at open house.




Here is one of the street ladies that we work with on a consistant basis. She visits our house every week and we are trying to help her and encourage her to make steps of change. Please pray for her and her daughter. Soon her daughter (pictured here) will be doing a triage with us here in the Rescue House. She is going to live in another YWAM ministry shelter here in Belo Horizonte.

This is a typical Brazilian lunch! In Brazil, you eat the biggest meal of the day in the middle of the day. This meal usually consists of beans and rice and also some kind of meat and vegetable.
I am learning how to cook Brazilian style! After lunch we get back to work doing various things. We may go on visits to the streets or fevelas or work within the house!
Here are a few photos of our work!

Here is one of the girls that just did a triage with us. She spent two weeks living at the Rescue House and just moved to the YWAM shelter for girls this past Sunday. Her mother died when she was 3 years old and she does not have contact with her father. She was living in a fevela with other family members and then spent some time on the streets, but thankfully she is now in the YWAM home for girls! My times of working with this girl were really special. We shared times of prayer, Bible Study, going out and having fun, and working around the house together. God is working in amazing ways in her life and I am excited to see how she continues to grow.
Me and my Brazilian friend Janete visiting in a fevela!
We visit families frequently throughout the week!

A young street boy of 8 years. He has a family and a house, but chooses to live on the streets. I don´t know his whole story or the condition of his family. Many street kids choose this way of life over living at home though due to family problems. They like the freedom they feel from living on the streets and also many become addicted to sniffing paint thinner.
Street boys on the streets here in Belo Horizonte. Usually groups of street kids live together.
We visit and talk with different groups of street kids every week.

A girl playing on the streets. I saw her one morning as we were visiting the streets. She wouldnt talk with us, but her face alone speaks so much...
Some afternoons we spend working in the house. Janete and Faith are sanding and painting this cabinet to hang up in our house.
We have a FULL house! Currently all of these people (short term volunteers and staff workers) are living and working at the Rescue House! Our family is made up of many nations- people from Brazil, Holland, United States, Uraquay, Argentina, and England!




At night, after a long days work, we often rest, spend time together, go out into the city to visit friends or run errands, and some nights we have other YWAM meetings as well!
This night we were enjoying yummy Brazilian breads and cakes!