Friday, August 14, 2015

Special Vistors in São Paulo!

This week we had two special visitors come to our home in São Paulo.  Alexandre, the leader/director of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Belo Horizonte and Erlon, a member of the leadership council at YWAM Belo Horizonte.

Youth With a Mission in Belo Horizonte has sent us here to São Paulo to start a YWAM ministry reaching out to children living in at risk situations.  These two leaders of ours came here to personally see where we are working, and what we have been doing to work towards starting a YWAM ministry.  

So, this is a little of what we did while our two leaders were here...

After sharing our ideas, dreams, hopes, and a few recent ministry developments, we took Alexandre and Erlon on a drive through the narrow streets of the two slums where we hope to start a ministry.

We showed our guests a small church in the slum that recently said they are open to working together with us!  The church is willing to allow us to use their sanctuary to run children's programs. Working with this church is a great opportunity to get to know more people in the slum, and also have a space to work in and receive children. We are excited to see how this opportunity and relationship will develop.  Hopefully more good news coming soon about that!

We also showed Alexandre and Erlon various possible ministry locations as we desire to eventually have our own ministry space instead of just borrowing a space in the church.  One of the potential ministry locations is an empty lot, that is for sale near the slum. We would then need to build a ministry center there.

 In São Paulo there are very few open lots like this one.  Obtaining and building on this lot would be expensive, but also a dream come true.  With God though, anything is possible! 

Next, we took Alexandre and Erlon to an afternoon ministry session at Casa Semear (Sower House), the ministry where Felipe and I have been volunteering since our arrival in São Paulo.  Through working at the Sower House ministry we have gotten to know other missionaries working in the city, and we have also made relationships with kids living in the nearby slums.

Here's a fun group selfie Erlon took after the children's programs concluded!
One of the main things that has impacted us through working at the Sower House is that we have seen first hand the desperate needs of the kids and teens living in the slums...
We have seen kids neglected by their families,
 kids lacking food at home,
 kids not attending school,
 kids with family members addicted to drugs,
 and kids so hungry for love, attention, and peace in their lives. 

Seeing these needs has confirmed once again to us that we are called to the slums to share the good news of the gospel with the many children and families facing extremely harsh realities. 

This season of serving at the Sower House has been very beneficial to us in so many ways, and the ministry is a great example of the kind of ministry we we hope to have in the future.  It was great to be able to personally share these experiences with our leaders.

We are thankful for this recent visit!
Alexandre and Erlon were a blessing to us, and we so appreciate that our leaders took time to visit us, encourage us, pray for us and personally oversee our work here in São Paulo, Brazil.
The São Paulo state flag.

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