Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our Outreach to a Daycare!

In our girls group, here at the Lighthouse Community Center, we have been teaching our girls:

We are always encouraging the girls that it does not matter that they are just children.  They can make a postive impact on their community - their slum, their school, their families and friends - by the small choices and kind actions they make each day.

 Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
 1 Timothy 4:12
A few months ago, we even brainstormed a list of practical things that the girls could do to be a blessing and make a difference.  It was a long list of ideas - the girls really got into brainstorming!  Then we decided to choose one main idea, and together as a group do it!

So the girls in our group unanimously chose the idea to go into the slum and do an outreach to a local day care center - which is run by the government and provides childcare to the poor families in the slum.   This childcare makes it possible for parents to work (especially the single moms), which results in helping the overall financial condition of the families.

 The girls in our group LOVE to dance so they prepared a dance for the children at the daycare.  First they presented the dance, then they invited the children to dance along.  The little ones were so cute!

With lots of help from Alynena and I, we also prepared a drama teaching the importance of making good choices, showing kindness, sharing, using manners, helping others and treating others with love.    Since our group has been learning about making a difference, we wanted to teach about this.  It is in our small acts of kindness that we can make a difference and really share the love of God.

Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.  1 John 3:18 
At the end of the drama the girls gave out hand-made paper flowers to all the children.

The girls really enjoyed this experience of doing an outreach at the local daycare!
  After the performance one of the teachers complimented the girls (in front of everyone) saying she was very happy and proud to see the girls doing something like this. About four girls from our group actually went to this daycare center when they were toddlers, so it was very rewarding for their former teachers to see them now doing so well, making good choices and choosing to do something to bless the little ones of our slum.

The whole outreach really was the girls' idea and they took it seriously. They worked hard preparing for it and saw the fruit of their labor.  They were a blessing!  The girls felt very proud of the compliments they received from their former teacher and were encouraged to continue to show God's love by their kind actions.
The girls are already planning our next outreach to make a difference in the slum!

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."    Matt. 25:40

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Dream Come True at the Zoo

 This week we took our girls group to visit the ZOO of Belo Horizonte!

Sabrina, the girl pictured below, had never been to the zoo before.  During a classroom activity  a while back, we were all talking about the different dreams we have.
Sabrina's dream was to go to the zoo.

 So together, with the collaboration of another missionary who serves with YWAM Belo Horizonte (our friend Jonathan), we planned a group field trip to the zoo, just so Sabrina's dream could come true.
 It was a special day for Sabrina!  

Sabrina's face was literally beaming as we began to walk through the zoological park. 
All the girls in the group dressed up in their best clothes for the outing.  It was the first time I had ever seen Sabrina in a nicer piece of clothing, and a dress at that!

 The girls also borrowed cameras or cell phones from family members to be able to take photos of our outing.  I was really surprised that SO many of the girls even had a camera or a cell phone.   I commented about this to Felipe and then I learned something new...

  In the slum there are actually lots of cheap, used cameras and cell phones for sale.  Often times, the people who steal cell phones and cameras come to our slum to sell the items to get fast money.  Unfortunately, this is a reality and the reason so many of our girls have these things.

The girls were literally taking photos constantly!   We have so many photos of the girls taking photos, it is funny!

 Petting a beautiful snake through the glass...

  Admiring the chimpanzees playing on their playground.

 Sophia enjoyed the zoo too!  The last time we went to the zoo was on her 1st birthday and she definitely appreciated it MUCH more this time around. She recognized many of the animals and could even say their names.  As she saw the various animals she would also say, "Aww, cute!"

   We had a great time at the ZOO! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Camping Out at the Lighthouse

This past weekend we had a camp-out at the Lighthouse with the girls from our girls group. 
 We had LOTS of FUN!!
Enjoy seeing the MANY photos of our special time together!

The girls arrived here early Saturday morning, we went over the rules and then spent the next 24 hours at the Lighthouse Community Center enjoying quality time together.

The girls went rollerblading with the Lighthouse roller skates!

Even Sophia joined in on the fun!

Andreia, one of the missionary's who serves here at the Lighthouse, shared her life story and how she came to know and follow Jesus Christ.  This was a powerful and meaningful moment during the camp.  Several of the girls even cried as Andreia spoke because they identified with Andreia's life and the hard things she has been through.  Andreia reminded the girls of the importance of our family and the hope we can find in Christ.

Andreia also led a special sports activity with the girls after sharing her testimony. 

 Brazilian lunch - rice, beans, lettuce and pasta!


Luciana, a missionary who is the leader of the Reborn Hope Project here at YWAM Belo Horizonte,  was also a guest speaker at our camp.   She led various activities with the girls during the afternoon period.

Luciana talked about how each and every day of our life is like a candle.  We burn (in a sense) every day, and by the end of the day we are completely spent.  It is important to make the most of every opportunity and every day God has given us.  Our life is a gift from God.  She left the candle burning during the whole afternoon as an object lesson to the girls...

 Moments of creativity!

Fun memories being made...

 Celebrating sweet Ludmila's Birthday!  She turned 11 years old on Saturday.
We prayed for her, blessing her next year of life, sang Happy Birthday and enjoyed yummy birthday cake!

What is a camp without a good CAMPFIRE?  The girls loved helping Felipe build the fire and sitting fireside while sipping hot chocolate.  It was a chilly night here, so it was perfect for a campfire!

After the campfire, we had a late night...  We watched a bit of a Narnia movie, but almost all the girls fell asleep - so off to bed we went.  We "camped out" inside of our classroom here at the Lighthouse.

Sunday morning we had a typical Brazilian breakfast - coffee, hot tea, fruit and bread.

 We had a wonderful weekend just being together, playing, talking and of course eating! 

During the camp-out, we were able to have some really meaningful and deep conversations with a few of the girls.  I always enjoy these moments of just "being" with the girls in my group.  Moments of just hanging out and talking about life...
   As we have prayed for our group, God has shown us over and over again that He wants us to just "be" with the girls, to spend quality time with them and be there for them.  This weekend was a great time of just "being" together and having fun!

Beautiful Girls... 

These girls have such great value and worth!
   This is a message God has given me over and over to share with these precious girls.   Many of them live in harsh realities and already are facing great challenges and obstacles to overcome in this life.  These girls are growing up in a slum in Brazil, yet God has a great future for each one.

Please pray with us for these special girls... 
 It is our prayer that they will really know the Lord in a deep and personal way, walk in His ways and make good choices in life that will set them on a path with a great hope and future.  We want them to experience a full, happy and joyful LIFE!  The abundant life Jesus wants for all of us to have.

With God, all things are possible!
Matt. 19:26