Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 26th ~ Our Day in Photos

During the month of August we are in São Paulo, volunteering at a ministry called the Sower House and preparing for our future move and ministry.  I thought it would be nice to share a little of what we have been doing through posting a "Day in Photos" here on our blog.
We hope you enjoy seeing a glance of what our day was like yesterday!

6:45 - The view outside the window during my early morning quiet time. 

7:15 -  Time to wake up my girls, but Jessie just did not want to wake up. She is such a sleeping beauty!

8:00- Breakfast with our special visitors and future teammates! 

Meet Anna (from Austria), her husband Fabricio (from Brazil), and their super cute son Paolo.  They are currently missionaries at YWAM Belo Horizonte and will be coming to São Paulo in 2016 to work along side us to reach out to children at risk.  They spent a long weekend visiting us here in São Paulo. We are very excited about working together with this sweet family!

9:00 - The girls watching Veggietales while brushing their teeth with their new toothbrushes.  They love their new toothbrushes and want to brush their teeth all the time now!

9:30 - Children from the nearby slum arrive at the Sower House for the morning session.

The kids eat breakfast upon arrival at the Sower House. 

10:00 - A photo with the morning group of preteen and teenage girls I have been working with.
I have been using a special material called Libertodos ( to teach these girls about the dangers of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and modern day slavery.  One of the goals of the program is to teach children how to avoid being exploited themselves.

11:00 -  We watched a documentary called 1 Real - (you can watch it here).
 This documentary shows the reality of how young girls from slums and poor communities in Brazil are being lured into working as prostitutes.  After watching this documentary we were able to have great discussion about how the girls can make wise choices to avoid being lured into a life of slavery.

11:30 - We ended our group session with the girls writing about what they have learned over the last few weeks. 

1:00 - For lunch there was a special Brazilian barbeque with the team at the Sower House.

Felipe and Sophia were out for a few hours taking our friends Anna and Fabricio to the airport to catch a plane back to Belo Horizonte. but I managed to catch this nice shot of the meat cooking on a makeshift grill!

1:30 - Jessie loved the fan!

2:15 - Enjoying good company after lunch!

3:30 - Coffee break!  The Sower House is a part of a missions organization called ABBA. Check out their site in English:

4:30 -  The afternoon session with another group of girls.  
I did the same program in the afternoon as I did in the morning. We had lots of discussion after watching the documentary 1Real.  Silvana, one of the leaders of the project, spent the afternoon with us and her presence and additional input on the subject helped us to have an even richer discussion time. 

5:45 - The girls wrote about what they learned through our discussions about modern day slavery, and then a few girls shared what they wrote. 

6:15 - While I was busy working, Felipe was taking care of Jessie and Sophia while hanging out with the sons of the leaders here at the Sower House.  He had some guy time playing video games! 

7:30 - After a busy day, we were in much need for some family time. We decided to go out for a a quick, spontaneous family ice cream date!

8:00 - It was raining on and off throughout the day, so Sophia decided to draw this picture before getting ready for bed. 

We hope you enjoyed seeing some photos from our day!
This morning Felipe is at a meeting (with several other ministry leaders and pastors) and the girls and I are having a more low key day.  We are also getting ready for Felipe's birthday tomorrow.
Have a great day!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Stories Revealing Reality

A 14 year old girl has a learning disability and does not know how to read or write.

A 10 year old girl, with a 24 year old mom (who got pregnant with her at 13, gave birth at 14), is the older sister to 2 sisters and 1 brother.  All four children have different fathers.

Another girl's father is addicted to drugs.  She knows this because she sees him in the slum completely high. She does not have a relationship with him, but she knows he is her father.

Several other girls have fathers who drink excessively. They always ask for prayer for their fathers to stop drinking.  

Others have conflicts raging at home, difficulties at school, and family members who have died because of drug involvement.

These are just a few stories revealing the reality of girls living in the slums of São Paulo, Brazil.

As I shared in our last post, we are spending August in São Paulo volunteering at an awesome ministry called the Sower House while also preparing for our future ministry to children at risk. I am working specifically with a group of pre-teen and teenage girls who live in a nearby slum, and it has been extremely eye opening for me! 

For 5 years I worked off and on with girls from a slum in Belo Horizonte, so you would think I would not be so surprised or shocked by stories or the reality of life in a slum. Yet the harshness of life here in the slums of São Paulo are on a whole different level of what I have personally encountered in the past. 

Even since we arrived here, a girl who attends the Sower House's program decided to go out with a group of kids to a nearby high class area to beg.  While begging on the streets, the girl ended up getting hit by a car. Thankfully she was not severely injured, but it was quite a scare as she got bruised and scratched up pretty badly and was quite sore from the impact she suffered from the car.

After this unfortunate incident, the missionaries have been talking to the kids about the dangers of begging on the streets.  Several of the girls even confessed to begging because it was an easy way to get fast money. One girl even said, "How am I going to get things for me if I don't beg?"

Even though it has been hard for me to wrap my mind around the reality these kids face, God is using this time to confirm personally in my heart what He is calling me to.

I am called to work with girls... Girls exactly like this.
Precious girls living in at risk situations, who have really little going for them in life, and few people truly investing in them.
A photo from my girls group in 2012.

God is also confirming the NEED to us.  
There is a waiting list of 60 children who want to participate here at the ministry where we are volunteering.  This ministry is doing an invaluable and amazing job with the kids they work with, but unfortunately the ministry does not have the means to receive any more kids into their program.

There are few projects reaching out to children and teens living in slums of Sao Paulo.  As you can gather from the stories I have shared, there is MUCH need!

As I think about this, I am reminded of this scripture, 
"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
~ Luke 10:2 ~

The workers are few here, but the harvest is truly great!  There are many many children and families that are in desperate need of God's hope, unconditional love and transformation in their lives.  Please pray for the children and families living in the many slums of Sao Paulo, and pray for more workers to rise up, to serve, and to reach out with His love.

May God use us to work this harvest field, the slums of Sao Paulo.
We humbly say, "Here we are Lord. Use us..."