Videos about Living Stones

sábado, 31 de dezembro de 2011

An Amazing Year

God has so blessed Living Stones this year! Here is quick look:

·         2500 meals served to needy children and their families
·         7 Birthday parties (“$10 for Them” program)
·         7 children saved (that we talked with personally and continued discipleship)
·         300 children heard the Gospel (most of these children heard multiple times)
·         35 children enrolled in our Cajueiro Claro program: shown love every weekday this year, and regularly attending church and school.
·         175 children ministered to at the Christmas party, 150 at the Easter party, and 200 at the children’s day party.
·         Two pool parties and a pizza party with Cajuerio Claro program.
·         Over 30 homes visited, multiples times.

For those of you who have been so kind to support Living Stones, here is our 2011 Financial report. If you would like more detailed information, please write to

Costs: (Exact numbers are impossible, with the constant change in real to dollar, but this is our best estimate)  $9590 USD:
·         $6,895 USD in program expenses ($4,025 Flavio’s salary,$ 1,000 food, $870 for parties, $1,000 for supplies)
·         $1,662 USD in promotion costs (books with pictures :$874, business cards: $240, camera: $80, jewelry and other things for sharing Brazil: $470)
·         $1,033 USD in administration costs (10% of what is donated)

Donations from 2011: $10,331 (We have a $740 surplus to help with extra reopening expenses in Paudalho early 2012)

For 2012 we will have a new system for even better accountability.  Rachel will be in charge of filling out a monthly form with the following information:
·         Living Stones report from:   (each project will be listed separately)                                                                                                 
·         For the month of:
·         Food expenses: ($400 budgeted)
·         Salary expenses: ($520 budgeted)
·         Copy and curriculum expenses: ($50 budgeted)
·         General supplies: ($50 budgeted)
·         Party/Presents: ( whatever is given from “$10 for Them” campaign)
·         Promotion expenses: ($100 budgeted)
·         Other:  ($100 budgeted)
·         Receipts attached to the back
There will also be information about how many meals were served and children ministered to, as well as prayer requests and praises. At the end of the month, World Renewal will send the money donated over the course of that month. The program will be using the rollover from 2011 to begin in February (January is summer vacation), and then receive the funds given the month before to fund the next month, and so on.
Steve Turner, the Johnsons, Rachel Winzeler, as well as Tele will receive the World Renewal information on how much was given directly to Living Stones, as well as these monthly forms, reporting where that money went to directly.

Thank you so much for joining us this year! Imagine all the great things God has planned for 2012!

sábado, 24 de dezembro de 2011

Rachel's Christmas Letter

If I could choose any life to live—this would be it. That is a feeling only God can give, and comes when you are living the life He designed for you. I graduated from IUPUI last year, and made it back to Brazil before New Years. The Living Stones program began in 1998, but after becoming the coordinator in 2009, I realized that we were starting from scratch as far as paperwork: missions statement, objectives, fund raising, curriculum, and so on.
The second Living Stones project is in Cajueiro Claro (only 8 more to go, for the 10 Living Stones in 10 towns in 10 years plan). I began walking the four kilometer walk to this small rural town of 1000 people a couple times a week with Pastor Flavio, opening my heart to these amazing children.
The sad news is that with all of the corruption, we had to end the connection with the government program, and close down the Living Stones in Paudalho while they were working on construction. But we were able to keep in contact with the children from Living Stones Paudalho through home visitations, our January Christmas party, Easter celebration, and Children’s day party.
After living all over in Brazil, this year I was able to share an apartment with some of the other English teachers, having my own place to rest, as well as being in a convenient location. I continued teaching English outreach community classes, well as teaching music (in English) at the International school.
This year I was accepted at a University in Brazil to work on my post-grad degree in Educational Psychology. With my tourist visa ending in May, I applied for my student visa while visiting my family for the summer. It was a whirlwind of fun, attending my graduation from IUPUI, spending time with family, a vacation to California, and a month in Hong Kong, working as a facilitator with Supercamp.
Returning to Brazil in August, I finally learned how to cook for Living Stones: rice and beans, noodles and chicken, and anything I could think of to use up all the bananas. With the kind donations from people, we were able to really move forward with the program, and expand our vision for the future. For Children’s day, we had a special celebration for almost 200 children from Paudalho and Cajueiro Claro!
My cousin, Lillian, also came to visit, taking me for a dream come true trip to the Amazon as her translator. It was such a blessing to have her come and teach for Living Stones, and I hope many other friends and family will come in the future.
This year I have grown as a professional. Taking one step at a time, and learning on the job, the Living Stones team, as well as many friends and family, have taught me how to move from a short-term missions trip mentality to long term goals and objectives. While I have never enjoyed asking for money for myself, I believe it is important to be able to give people the opportunity to give to others—just as important as the need is to receive. Creatively finding a way to present theses needs—with creative ways to give is a challenge and an adventure.
This year we began the $5 for 5 challenge—skipping a meal and giving that $5 so that five children can get a hot meal, and $10 for them—donating $10 to purchase and give a child a birthday or holiday present. These two campaigns help fund the basics of Living Stones—providing them with the food they need to be able to concentrate and learn about Jesus, and celebrating with them their personal value in Christ through birthday parties and holidays. Of course, the main need is for monthly donors, willing to give a dollar a day. 60 monthly donors giving $30 will enable us to begin a new program (
With our goal of reopening Living Stones Paudalho early 2012, I am going home for Christmas to enjoy my family and share these exciting opportunities. If you would like to get together, or open your home to invite friends over to hear about Living Stones, I would love to share. We are growing quickly, and need your support! (I will be in the USA until January 24th)

Finding the Perfect Present

What do you get someone who already has everything? (besides food—you can’t go wrong with food) It has been a difficult financial year, and many people are working hard just for the basics. But for most of us, we don’t give Christmas presents because the person needs it—we give because we are filled with the desire to share all the good things we have been given--to show the person that we value them, that we see how special they are, and celebrate it.

Living Stones is working with the poorest children in Brazil, giving them food and opportunities for a better life--most of all, in knowing Jesus Christ. So many people gave to the $5 for 5 campaign, giving $5 to give five children a hot meal. Because of that, the program has been able to finish the year out strong with food for everyone.

But Christmas is about more...Life more abundantly. About the extravagant, overabundance of a God who not only made us, but called us back to Himself after we left. Who came to earth, limiting everything about Himself. This Christmas, let us celebrate Him by celebrating these special children.

The $10 for Them campaign ( is donating $10 to buy a Christmas present for an impoverished child in Northeast Brazil. On the webpage, you can click and print out a certificate to give to a loved one, letting them know that for their Christmas present--they gave a Christmas present to a child who otherwise would not have received one. If you have more questions, write to

terça-feira, 20 de dezembro de 2011

All I Want for Christmas...For Living Stones

Rachel Winzeler is in the United States from now until January 24th. If you would like to hear more about Living Stones in person, please call 317-518-0595.
Living Stones Christmas 2011 Wish list
Big projects:
1.      Heavy duty copy machine for copies
2.      60 people faithfully monthly giving to start Paudalho in February, paying for cook/assistant in Cajueiro
3.      Rechargeable batteries (aa and aaa) and chargers, mp3 players and speakers
4.      Fans to keep cool
5.      A Kombe for Cajueiro
1.      Books that are fun to look at—lots of pictures—to start a simple library
2.      Games (that don’t require a lot of English: topple, connect 4, Uno, memory, cards)  
3.      Posters to decorate the walls-with minimal English, maps, blank posters to use as whiteboards, calendars, attendance, birthday, and holiday posters
4.      The cube evangelism tool
5.      Record keeping/teacher planning books
6.      Dry erase markers/wet erase markers
7.      Small lotion/perfume bottles, gifts for mothers
8.      CEF bible stories with big pictures (those big books at Christian family book store)
9.      Foam shapes (with the sticky stuff on the back)
10.  “Staying safe in Emergencies”  and “Working with others” by Robin Nelson, Peeble book “I am polite”
11.  Curriculum from the Children’s Institute on the masterwork of God, the names of God, and the armor of God
12.  “That’s where God is” by Dan and Ali Morrow, “Heaven for Kids” by Randy Alcorn
13.  “Make these Toys” by Heather Swain, and Azar Fundamentals of English Grammar (big black book)

Supplies in Brazil:
1.      Max Lucado books in Portuguese
  1. Hygiene products (toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, combs, and shampoo)
  2. Portuguese Reading/Literature books to teach basic reading and writing  
  3. Sports equipment
  4. Seeds and such for planting a garden at each Living Stones project

sábado, 10 de dezembro de 2011

10 Perfect Presents

1.      Become a Foundation Builder: It starts with a dollar a day. 60 monthly donors giving $30 will provide for a new Living Stones project in an impoverished community in Northeast Brazil. Support a child in the name of someone you love. Get them connected, knowing they are making a permanent difference in the life of a child—and in a whole community in Brazil.
2.      Buy a present for a child in Brazil by giving $10 for Them: For the cost of a gift card, a birthday or holiday present can be purchased and given to a child within the Living Stones Project who normally receives nothing. Buy the present in the same of someone you love, and give them certificate that lets them know someone is getting loved because of them.
3.      Feed 5 children with $5 for 5: By giving five dollars (a fast food value meal) to Living Stones, you are providing a hot lunch for five children who lack basic nutrition, security, and care.
4.      Magazine subscriptions. I listed the Living Stone’s options first, because that is where my heart is, but there are many other organizations doing wonderful, amazing things around the world. Two favorite ministries, and, both put together good quality magazines with articles that inspire greatness—perfect presents for anyone.
5.      A real letter. I don’t know what is so hard about moving from pen and paper to putting it into an envelope and putting a stamp on it, but real letter writing has become a lost art. Take the time to write down what that person means to you: it will be something treasured long after the wrapping paper is thrown out and the presents are broken.
6.      Picture books. There is amazing (and simple) technology out there to help you make a professional poem, journal, or picture book in minutes. And prices are getting better as well: has a full color, 20 page book for $6 (plus shipping and handling). Put together a book of special moments in a time where most of us never remember to print out any of our digital pictures.
7.      “The Best” lists. Put together a list of “the best” songs, movies, or books. Make a “mix tape” CD, or buy a gift card to a book/movie store where they can then buy their favorite from your list. With media at our fingertips, the question is not how to get it, but what to choose out of all that is offered.
8.      Homemade cookies and coupons. It is hard to go wrong with food, especially when made from scratch. And/or, tuck in a couple “coupons,” offering your future services for things such as cooking meals, car washing, shoveling snow, babysitting, cleaning, manicures, giving massages, and so on.
9.      Making memories. What is the love language of the person you are giving to: is it gift giving? Acts of service? Words of encouragement? Physical touch? Quality time? Find out so that they can truly feel loved. For the“ Quality time” people, give time to make memories by doing something special together. Volunteering somewhere together is a great idea this holiday season, like at Good News Ministries or Wheeler Mission (if you live in Indianapolis).
10.  Passion.Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” –Howard Thurman. The best present you can give this year is you being passionate about something. Be the one who begins the wave of something great—something you believe in. What do you get excited about doing? Who do you get excited about helping? Try something. Get excited about it. Share it.

Christmas Party

December 9th was Cajueiro Claro's Christmas party, celebrating an amazing first year of the Living Stones program and of the church plant there. It was a full house, with people standing outside, peeking in the windows.
The children sang "Silent Night" (in English), and ended with a special presentation for Pastor Flavio.

The children then did a mime presentation

There were almost 40 children in our Sunday school class, and we ran out of chairs so had kids sitting in the window frame and leaning in from the outside.

Rachel shared about what God wants for Christmas.
Their favorite part about the Christmas story was when Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem on the donkey--because one of the kids has a donkey, and they all take turns riding it.(They also liked when I did the voices for all of the characters.)

We had a presentation for the mothers--the kids had writen special Christmas letters and made presents to give them.
Some of the people from the community, and all of the donations from the International school provided for 10 bags of food to give to the families.

And of course, presents for all of the children. And there was great rejoicing and the eating of cake:).

segunda-feira, 28 de novembro de 2011

$10 for Them

Instead of wondering what to buy this holiday season, give the gift of kindness and generosity, donating $10 for them.

For the price of a gift card, a birthday or holiday present can be purchased and given to a child within the Living Stones Project who normally receives nothing. Living stones, working with needy children in Northeast Brazil, works to celebrate these special ones who are so close to the heart of Jesus.

Most of these children do not know when their birthday is, being told and treated like they are something less than everyone else. Help us break this cycle and show them love with a special gift for them. This also opens the door so that we can share Jesus with them.

Donate $10 in the name of a loved one and receive a special certificate to print off and give to them, letting them know that they made a difference in someone's life. It is the perfect Christmas present for someone who already has everything!

Live and in Person

I (Rachel) am going to be in the USA from December 15-January 24th.

Living Stones in Cajueiro Claro is strong, but Living Stones Paudalho is reopening in February, and we need help to be able to have the funds to open and sustain the program. When working with those in need, consistency is number one, and we need to be able to be there for them when they need it.

If you would be interested in hearing about Living Stones and stories about the children, contact me at to set up a meeting. If you know of any churches, sunday school or Bible study groups, children's ministries, or just about anyone else who is interested, please let me know. I need some people who would be willing to open their home and invite friends over to hear about Living Stones.

I can't get the word out by myself. It starts with a dollar a day. 60 people giving $30 a month will enable us to reopen Paudalho Living Stones in February. Please help me find these 60 people.

Thank you for your prayers for this time--I know they are there, and I treasure them.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thank you so much to everyone who gave so generously to $5 for 5. We will have another event in the future, but know that you can give $5 at anytime--the site ( will continue to be available.

It was amazing to see the generosity of the children and families from the International school, giving over $100r and enough food for the rest of the year!

terça-feira, 15 de novembro de 2011

$5 for 5

"I am so hungry I can't focus!"
Isn’t it nice to know that all you need to do is find time to get to the refrigerator or fast food restaurant? So many children do not have that opportunity, feeling hunger every day. Are you willing to join us, praying and empathizing with them for one meal? Over 41% (IFAD, Rural Poverty Portal, Brazil Statistics, 2009) of rural Brazil is in deep poverty, living on less than $2.50 a day.

Join with us on November 19th, 2011,

as we enter into the Thanksgiving spirit by identifying with those who do not have much. By choosing to skip one meal, and giving five dollars (a fast food value meal) to Living Stones kids, you are providing a hot lunch for five children who lack basic nutrition, security, and care.

Donate at 

sábado, 12 de novembro de 2011

An Invitation

My cousin Lillian came to see me (Rachel) in Brazil. It is my pride and joy to show people around Living Stones, and after giving out countless invitations, I was so excited to see someone respond—for it is quite a long commute!
(With Mariana's mother)

Lillian packed two very large suitcases, as well as two full carry-ons full of presents and supplies for the children at Living Stones (and for me—smile). She also prepared a week full of sharing and Bible studies, and taught the kids while I translated. Lillian also brought some presents for the mothers of the children, and we were able to visit their homes.
(With Diego's mother)

Each one of the families were open, and some even invited Lillian to come sit in their small, sparse homes. They were quick to get their picture taken, and hugs were shared. The children (who call me “mom,”) were calling Lillian “grandma” before the week was over.
(With Jasmin's mother)

In January, when I started walking to Cajueiro Claro for Living Stones, the children would not even come into the church for the first couple of days. They would peek in the windows, and scamper away any time I tried to catch them. It took a couple of months before they were comfortable with giving me a hug, and a few more weeks after that before they would attempt to return my “good morning” that I said every day.
(With Paulo and Paulo's mother, and a cat)

When Lillian came, the children proudly sang “Open the Eyes of my Heart” in English for her, giving her “good morning” handshakes and hugs. Some of the mothers have been stopping by the program, bringing bananas or potatoes, and taking time to talk with me in the kitchen while I am making lunch. It is a beautiful thing to watch the changes that God is making in this community, as it slowly opens to His light and love.
(With Ivanilson's mother)

A special thank you to Lillian, for her generosity and time; sharing adventures with us! If you are interested in coming to Living Stones, please write me at We need more help: teaching Bible stories, doing art projects, playing games, cooking in the kitchen, or their favorite—playing soccer. Even teaching the children something new—whatever your interests and talents are, they can be used for the kingdom.
(With Paulo's mother)

Celebrating a Wonderful Year!

Over one year ago, Flavio began making the four kilometer walk to Cajueiro Claro, often more than once a day. He invited the children to participate in a program called Living Stones. From those relationships, he began to get to know the community and families of the children. The previous ministry in Cajueiro Claro had fizzled down to nothing, after a lack of leadership, and many difficulties in the community.
Flavio also began a ministry on Friday nights, where he would bring a Kombe (VW bus) full of friends from the Paudalho church and have a church service in Cajueiro. Sundays, being the only day off for most of the families, is used to go to town to buy food and supplies--so Friday evening worked best for everyone's schedule. These meetings began with two families in the community. As you can see from the picture, our one year celebration was to a full church, with almost 30 children from Living Stones, many of their families, and many more from the community.
The children recieved some special gifts, given by some generous teens from the summer short term mission trips last July.
The ladies of the church worked together to cook an amazing dinner for everyone.
And we all look forward to what God will do in the coming year.

quinta-feira, 10 de novembro de 2011

Children's day Celebration: you are special!

A big thanks to all the volunteers! These seven students from the International school came to help, after the school had also donated some of the toys. Also thank you to our many photographers, and over 15 people from the Community Church of Paudalho--we could not have done it without you!
There were not 150 children--there were close to 200! Around 170 children from Paudalho,
and 20 children from Cajueiro Claro (that was all that could fit in the Kombe).
Rachel got all excited.
Flavio and Precilla sang.
Flavio shared a message of love about Jesus.
And we had a time of prayer.
Afterwards--the presents began! The first table was coins and seaweed from Hong Kong (it is always good to try something new), donated from friends in Hong Kong--thank you!
And then they moved on to the Disney table, with pins, cars tattoos, and beauty and the beast door hangers with book marks, donated by Jane at Disneyland--thank you!
Moving on, they recieved a toy/giftbag, some from the United States (thank you Karianne and friends), some from the International school (thank you!), and some from Cajueiro Claro church ladies (thank you!).
A very special VBS group in Texas (thank you Cherrylynn!) put together school journals for the children, with messages like "Jesus love you!" and "You are special" in Portugese for them. They each also recieved pencils and erasers and some other school supplies.
Erasmas snuck off to a corner to check out his presents in peace.
It was a festa completa, as Brazilians call it, with a trampoline,
A ball pit,
a bounce house,
face painting,
games and hula-hoops,
lots of fun,
cotton candy,
And lots of love.
THANK YOU so much everyone!