The LIGHTHOUSE 2009 Team!
We are a team of many nations. Brazil, Holland, South Africa, England, New Zealand, and the USA serving to bring TRANSFORMATION and the LOVE of JESUS CHRIST to the people living in the slum of Cafezal, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
After many missionaries returned from holiday vacation time, we as the Light House team began our yearly staff preparation and training time. The Light House functions much like a school. We have an intense time of preparing, organizing and training and then all the programs run from February until December.
This year we are already working with a total of about 200 children in both the children's groups (after/before school program) and the soccer groups.
Our Opening Meeting with just a few of the kids who participate in the children's groups!
Felipe, my fiance and the director here at the Light House, explaining the house RULES .
Here are just a few of the beautiful children I am working with this year!
School functions differently here in Brazil. These children study only in the morning at school and then spend their entire afternoon (Monday- Thursday) participating in my group.
Below is a recent photo of Felipe and one of the boys who has most impacted Felipe's life. This boy has been through much in his 11 years and through participating in the activities and programs here at the Light House this boy has truly encountered LOVE, which he so desperately needs.
It is for children at risk, living in in situations like this young one, that we are here living and investing in children and their families here. We want to see the children who live in the slum grow into people who know and love God and have a lives rich in faith, hope, and love.
This boy participated in Felipe's group just a few years back and God taught Felipe much through experiences working specifically with this boy and his family. Please being praying for this boy. He is in much need...
Here is my friend and co-leader, Beckie (from England), teaching a Bible Study about prayer. This is a small glimpse of our classroom!
Beckie and I are stepping out in faith, as we are leading our group of children totally in Portuguese. We are two foreign ladies who are still learning to speak this beautiful language - so please pray for our speaking abilities. We want to be clear in all we say to the children and understand all they want to communicate as well.
FUN in the Brazilian SUN! The kids enjoying the pool during our first day of swimming!
BOYS! BOYS! BOYS!
This year I am working with BOYS and GIRLS! Last year I just had girls in my group, but this year we decided to mix both boys and girls. We have a goal to have about 10 girls and 10 boys in our group of children ages 6 to 8 years old. Currently we have 9 girls and 6 boys and we are inviting and speaking with families to take in more children (specifically boys) in our group soon. Please pray that that God would send the children who MOST need this group - our way.
Meet the newest addition to the Light House. This is one of the first photos I took of little Humble. He was abondoned on the street outside the Light House and rescued by Beckie and her family. Lady - the Light House guard dog - is loving her new little brother.
Just a few weeks later and Humble has grown SO MUCH! Puppies grow fast!
We decided to allow our children to play with Humble during our play times in the Light House playground area. Here is a photo of Beckie and two kids from our group truly enjoying Humble! I believe there is something special about animals and children playing together. God is using Humble to bring much joy and healing to the kids here.
Below is a photo of Felipe and I planning and working together in Felipe's office!
This year, I am helping Felipe to lead the leaders of the children's groups. I am meeting with the group leaders on a regular basis to help give teaching ideas, feedback, and guidance to them. Many things that I learned through teaching are coming in handy. I see how God was really preparing me through my years of teaching in the USA.
Felipe and I will also soon be visiting many nearby schools to create relationships with school directors and teachers and also to better know how to help and work with the children we attend here at the Light House. I am very excited to partner together with the schools to help improve the community here in the slum of Cafezal.
So on a personal note... I wanted to include a photo of the sweet, thoughtful, and HUGE Valentine that Felipe made me on Valentine's Day! He gathered huge rocks and made this heart and placed a L for Laura and a F for Felipe. So sweet and creative! I loved it!