Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October 26th - Our Day in Photos

 This is our day in photos of our very last day of working at the Sower House, a ministry of ABBA in São Paulo. Read more about their ministry here.  We are now at the Youth With A Mission base in São Paulo, and will be serving along side YWAM here for the next few weeks.   Due to poor internet service and a busy schedule, I am just getting this posted today.

Here is our day in photos from this past Saturday, October 26th.

 7:30 - Sophia did not want to get out of bed...  During this time on DTS outreach, we are sleeping much later at night and instead of Sophia waking me up at 6:00 am, I am waking her up. 



 8:30 - I was finishing up a blog post about our team visiting Crackland.



10:15 - Prayer and worship time as a team.



11:00 - Sophia enjoyed coloring while we prayed and worshiped together with our DTS outreach team.  



11:30 - Watching a video with our team member Marcia.  Sophia just loves both Marcia and Josie!



 1:00 - I spent a good amount of time packing our bags for our move to the next ministry location.



 2:00 - We ate a late lunch with the Sower team.  It was delicious!



3:30 - Making sandwiches as a snack for an afternoon worship service at the Sower House.



3:45 -A photo with the Sower team!



4:15 - The worship service began for the children and families who participate at the Sower house.  Robert, the leader of the ministry, opened the service.



4:45 - Our team member Josie gave an amazing word to the kids!




5:30 - After the service was over I enjoyed talking and singing worship songs together with a group of girls.  We talked about how the Lord really speaks to us through music. It was a precious moment with these girls.  I pray they will be worshipers and followers of Jesus all the days of their lives.



6:30 - We painted our hand prints on a wall at the Sower House.  All the volunteers who pass through the house stamp their hands on the wall and write their names as well.  We had fun doing this as a team!


We stamped Jessie's foot too!




The final product of our team's hand prints on the wall.  We wrote ETED - BH, or in English DTS and the BH stands for Belo Horizonte.



6:30 - Saying our goodbyes, with painted hands and all!



7:30 - Felipe went to shave and shower. A before and after shot.



8:00 - I did a lice treatment on my hair.  I ended up catching lice from the sweet kiddos who attend the Sower House programs.



8:15 -  Jessie was already in bed and Sophia had some snuggle time with Daddy, watching WALL-E before bedtime. 
 

 

We had a wonderful last day of working with the Sower House. We pray blessings over this ministry and know God will continue to use them Sower team mightily to bless the needy children living in the slums of São Paulo.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Visit to Crackland

Over the past few weeks our team has been working with the missions organization ABBA in São Paulo, Brazil.  We are serving daily with a ministry called the Sower House that reaches out to children, teens and their families who are living in 3 different slums located near the ministry center.  It has been an amazing and busy time here.  You may have seen the photos we posted of a camp we went on with them.

Our team also had the opportunity to serve at another ABBA ministry location, a place called Crackland, which is located in São Paulo's city center.
So, you may be thinking, what exactly is Crackland?  
Crackland is an area where there are literally hundreds of people -homeless people, street kids, poor people, children, prostitutes, - and they are all crowded into one tiny city block.  Everyone is openly smoking crack, getting high, and selling drugs or desperately trying to buy drugs to feed their addiction - many sadly prostituting themselves to scrape together money for their next fix. Felipe describes Crackland like seeing a swarm of ants devouring a pile of sugar.

It was a shocking and heavy sight for our team to see. (Jessie, Sophia and I stayed home as it would not have been safe to take the girls to this area.)  


No one dreams of being addicted to crack...
As I was talking with our team member Josie, after returning from this outing, she said to me this powerful statement,
"No one dreams of being addicted to crack.  When these people (who are at Crackland) were children they did not dream that one day they would be where they are today.  A series of poor decisions and unfortunate events led them to this place, and now they are trapped and enslaved by drugs..."   
We continued to talk about how only the Lord Jesus can free them and transform their lives.

This conversation hit me hard and confirmed once again in my heart, my calling to work with children at risk, living in poor conditions.  Felipe and I desire to invest in the lives of these children, telling them of the hope of Jesus and teaching them to walk in His ways, so that they will not end up turning to the streets or a life at Crackland.


   
The ministry of ABBA has a faithful team going weekly to reach out to the people who frequent Crackland.  They offer to bandage any wounds that the people may have, because often the street people addicted to drugs get wounds and have no way to properly treat themselves.  While bandaging wounds, the ministry workers talk with the people, offer prayer, hope and encouragement to the hurting and often hopeless drug addicts.

Felipe, Josie, and Marcia spent just one afternoon in Crackland and it greatly impacted them. They told me about a homeless man that the team treated.  He had gotten into a fight and had a huge gash on his head.  He tried to go to the hospital to get treatment, but the hospital would not attend him. He was expectantly waiting for the ABBA team to arrive to treat his head wound.  The team used much guaze as they cleaned his wounds.  They were able to encourage him, as he shared of his desire to leave a life of drugs and return to his wife and family.  Please pray he will take the necessary steps to truly change his life.

When I think about what the ABBA team is doing, ministering to the needy and desperate ones in Crackland, I think, this is exactly where Jesus would be.  He would be going to places like this to show His love, care, and compassion.  

  Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
~ Matthew 9:12-13 ~

  The ABBA team is also doing what Isaiah 61 speaks of.  They are bringing good news to the poor and binding up the broken hearted and proclaiming freedom to the captives.  Please pray for this powerful ministry as they simply show the love and care of God to people who are desperately in need.

* Felipe did not take photos at Crackland, so the photos you see on this post we actually found online and were taken at Crackland, but by other photographers.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Sower House Camp

We have been in São Paulo for 10 days now and time is flying by!

Since we arrived our small team has been busy working with a missions organization called ABBA.  To read more about this awesome mission check out their site here.  They have a variety of ministries reaching out to children at risk in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.

We are working specifically with a community center called the Sower House, which attends children and teens who live in several slums.  We quickly felt right at home at this ministry as we were reminded of our days of working with children at the Lighthouse Community Center.
 
This past weekend the Sower team planned a special camping trip for the 8 to 10 year old children who participate in the ministry.  So, after being in São Paulo for just a few days, we packed our bags again to travel to the country-side to help out at a kid's camp.  The theme of the weekend was light and darkness. There were many games, activities and Bible stories centered around the truth that Jesus is the light.

It is often during special outings such as these that lives are impacted in ways like never before.  Many of the children living in slums do not get the privilege to experience special trips or camps, so the children really value these opportunities. For many of them it was their very first camp experience, and they LOVED it!

During the camp we heard the children say things like, "Wow, this is the best day of my life!" and "I don't want to go home.  I am having so much fun!"  The kids played hard, and were full of joy as they participated and thoroughly enjoyed every detail of the weekend.

We hope you will enjoy seeing these beautiful photos documenting (from start to finish) this powerful and life impacting camping trip.  The pure joy you see on children's faces is contagious!
 


The children were in the van ready and excited to go to camp!




Upon arrival, rules were established and the children were divided into three different teams for an ongoing camp competition.

 


 Felipe helped our team - the Orange team - make up a team cheer!





The Green team cheering! 








There were tons of games, which were great opportunities for the children to earn points for their team.








All the kids thought Jessie was so cute!













Fun relay games!














Felipe and our team member, Josie from South Africa, played the games along with the kids!







Sophia wanted to join in on the fun too!


  

Team spirit!












Every good camp needs a campfire with songs and stories!




Learning from the Word of God at a morning devotion time.




Paying careful attention...




 After the morning devotion, one boy in this group made the decision to follow Christ.  It was special moment!


 


...And the games continue!


 










 To end the camp we had delicious Brazilian barbeque!




The winning team of the weekend, after all the games and competitions, was the green team!




Here is the official group photo of the camp!  



It was truly a wonderful, fun-filled, meaningful, and life impacting weekend for us all.  Many of the these kids will take away long-lasting memories from this camp, but most of all, it is our prayer that they remember the truths they learned.  
May they remember who God is, that He is a generous and loving Father, who calls His children to walk in the light, where there is true and abundant life!