Friday, September 5, 2014

Our São Paulo Trip

We are back home in Belo Horizonte!
We just got home from our São Paulo trip a few days ago. We spent five rewarding weeks visiting and preparing for our future life and ministry in the huge mega-city of São Paulo.
Here are a few photos from our time there!

We volunteered at a ministry to children and teens living in slums (similar to the kind of ministry we want to start) called Casa Semear, which translated into English is the Sower House.  Here is a photo of us in front of the cool mural at the entrance of the ministry.

At the Sower House I specifically worked with some preteen and teenage girls, teaching them about human trafficking and how they can avoid falling prey to this, through a program called Libertodos While using the Libertodos material, I was able to have many deep and meaningful conversations with the girls.  Conversations covering topics such as what to do if someone is trying to sexually abuse you to precautions the girls should take in order to not fall into the trap of becoming a modern day slave.

One of the most significant things we took away from our time working at the Sower House is that there is MUCH need for more people to be reaching out and working with children and teens living in the slums of São Paulo.  These precious ones face extremely harsh realities and have few people really taking time to invest in their lives.  I wrote a little more about this here.

Our Tree of Thankfulness!
One of the activities I did with the girls was focus on thanking God for the blessings in our lives.  Each week we wrote down various things we were thankful for on colorful leaves and then we pasted them on this tree.  Over time the tree became beautiful - full of reasons to give thanks to the Lord!

Felipe preached at a special service at the Sower House.

Sophia helped out one day with some of the construction going on at the minstry.  This sweet builder was so kind and patient with her, even allowing her to help out during easy tasks.  She loved it!

While in São Paulo we had a special visit from our future teammates Anna and Fabricio, along with their sweet son Paolo.  They are currently serving as missionaries with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Belo Horizonte and plan to work along side us to establish a YWAM ministry to children at risk in São Paulo.  We are excited and thankful for the team God is raising up to work together with us!

 Felipe took this sweet photo of our girls with Paolo during a fun outing to a park.

In preparation for our move to São Paulo next year, we spent hours driving around in our car in search of properties for sale or rent, which could serve as potential housing and/or for a future ministry location.  This is one empty property for sale that we especially liked. 

 We see lots of potential for building something at this site to bless the people living in the nearby slums.  Close by there is also a big house for sale that we are also very interested in buying. If God opens the doors and we can raise enough money to buy both locations to use for ministry, it would be a dream come true! We are praying and trusting God to lead and show us His will...

I must also confess, we got lost several times driving around in the HUGE city of São Paulo!

Felipe spent some time waking through the slums, filming for a video project he wants to make. Some boys helped him and enjoyed taking photos and filming with his camera.

The weather fluctuated quite a bit.  It was very chilly and rainy at times (it is winter in Brazil), but for one week it got really hot so we let the girls play and cool off in buckets of water! 

Felipe and I both celebrated our birthdays and our wedding anniversary!

I got pretty flowers on our anniversary!

Overall, our São Paulo trip was an extremely encouraging, motivating, and renewing time for us as a family and as missionaries.  God is confirming more and more His call for us to reach out to the needy children and teens living in the slums of São Paulo.  Please continue to pray for us as we prepare for our future move and ministry! Thank you! 

1 comment:

  1. Dear Laura and Felipe,
    I am in awe of all you do for God and his people. May God continue to bless you abundantly and help you teach and protect the girls.

    Never Give Up