Videos about Living Stones

segunda-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2011

Party for the Children

Each year, many people in the United States work hard to fill red and green bags with Christmas presents for the Living Stones children in Brazil. Due to Christmas break and scheduling, the party in Paudalho was put off until last Friday. It was a bittersweet time, as we were also announcing the end of PETI (the government program) in connection with Living Stones, meaning that the kids would not be meeting at the church anymore, but at a different location.

Emily and Lindsay were a great help, and also provided for s'mores--a first time event for the children!
Patricia and Cacau made hot dogs and cake
Flavio came and we sang songs

And Pastor Celso gave a word of encouragement

Let's not forget about the presents!

Thank you, all who gave and care

Catching up from 2010

Having been in the United States all of 2010 (This is Rachel speaking), I wanted to catch you up on what happened in Brazil Living Stones Paudalho during 2010.
January and the beginning of February, Living Stones joined the other PETI groups. They did not meet in the church, but in the center of town, and the workers were able to be God’s light and example to over 300 children.
The rest of February, they had a special Carnival celebration, making sure to be sensitive to stay away from the party/drinking/sex themes, and teaching/learning about the better parts of the Brazilian culture.
In March, the focus was on music. The music teacher was able to get some recorders for the children, and they are practiced and presented a song in church, with their parents invited to the service. 
For some of the children, the Easter celebration is their first time eating grapes as they sit down to carefully decorated tables and listen to the pastor share about the very first Passover, and then the Lamb that was slain for our sins, but who rose from the grave victoriously.
April’s focus was on traditional Indian art. An indigenous Indian from Brazil works with the program, and taught the children to make beautiful jewelry. May was spent with special visits to the families of the children in the Living Stones program. They were given siesta basicas, which is basic food supplies, and invited to a special Mother’s day tea, as well as to Sunday services at the church. PETI provided some parenting classes in the center of town, where Pastor Celso was also able to share.
In June is the Brazilian festival of Sao Joao, where the children learned about traditions and how to make the traditional corn recipes. The government also celebrated the “Week of PETI” where they were able to parade through the town and have special activities.
July was their break, although they were able to been by the medical clinic, set up by a group of doctors from the United States who came to the church in Paudalho. This will be the one time most any of these children see a doctor, or receive medicine.
Since August, Living Stones has two official sites—in Paudalho and in Cajuero Claro. In Paudalho, Patricia, Cacau, and Pastor Celso are working diligently with around 150 children (divided between morning and afternoon), while in Cajuero Claro, Flavio is working with around 30 children in the afternoons from 2-4pm. The small town of 1,000 is located almost three miles from the main road, with no public transportation in. Flavio walks to reach these children, teaching them soccer, guitar, and chess as well as sharing the gospel. Please pray for his support and transportation.
In Paudalho, August was a focus on those around you, discussing family and relationships, as well as those in the community with disabilities. In September is the Brazilian Independence Day, and they focused on being a good citizen and what that requires.
 October is Children’s day. Children’s day (October 12), is one of biggest holidays in Brazil. Most of the children in the Living Stones program do not celebrate Children’s day since their parents cannot afford to buy them presents. For the past two years, Living Stones has received special donations to provide for their own Children’s day party. It is something the children look forward to all year long, and this year the party was no exception, thanks to the kind donations of those who purchased the Brazilian jewelry I (Rachel) brought to the United States.
November Living Stones worked on basic math skills, and in December all the children put together an art/music party for “Papai do Ceu” (Jesus) where they painted pictures and sang songs for Jesus’ birthday. On Christmas Eve, a local restaurant helped to provide siesta basicas, basic food supplies, which were delivered to the homes of over 90 families in the program.
Unfortunately, due to corruption in the local government and many difficulties later, the decision was made to end this connection with PETI in December of 2010. This begins a new page in the Living Stones program. Patricia and Cacau will continue to work with the PETI program, which will relocate to another location, where they will be a light shining in the darkness.
This is a time of great opportunity, where the local church can really step up and take charge of this program and caring for the children in their community. It is also a time of discovery, as Flavio (in Cajueiro Claro) and  I (Rachel in Paudalho) work to find what really works well in a half-day program, and put it in a format that the other churches and new church plants can use as they begin to implement the complete Living Stones program.

Cajuiero Claro

Living Stones is working on programs in two different towns in Northeast Brazil: Paudalho, and Cajueiro Claro. Here is the Cajueiro Claro story, with (translated) quotes from Flavio, who heads up the program:
“You (Rachel) asked me so many times to come see the Living Stones project at the church just up the hill from my house (in Paudalho)—but I never found the time to go. Now, I walk over half an hour each way to help with a Living Stones program myself.”
Last year, Flavio began a half day (2-4pm) Living Stones program in Cajueiro Claro. He walks 4km each way to enter this little town of about 1000 people. To go to school, the children of this town have to walk at least 3km for any education or hope for a better life.
In 2005, World Renewal Brazil was given a church in Cajueiro Claro. A ministry group from a nearby town would go every Sunday to have services. This ministry made a big difference in the community, but without someone to head up the ministry and keep it going, it slowly faded. Flavio, besides the Living Stones program throughout the week, opens the church for a Friday night service to the community.
Flavio continued reflecting on the change in his life last year: “I couldn’t understand you (Rachel), coming from the other side of the world to love these kids who are not yours. I would watch you, as you passed my house every day, to go to the program. Now I understand. I have no children of my own, but that really, over 25 children are mine. This ministry is close to my heart, and a great way to plant churches as well.”
Flavio’s personal goal is to plant 20 churches in his lifetime, working closely with Living Stones. He has begun his own blog about the ministry in Cajueiro Claro, and even if you don’t speak Portuguese, you can understand the pictures of these beautiful children:

The History of Living Stones

In 1998, the Living Stones program began in northeast Brazil under the name of Growing Kids. The founding pastor of Paudalho, Asuério Naque and his wife Miriam started the first outreach after seeing a great need in the community.  At different times, churches in other communities also started similar programs, but because of the devaluation of the dollar, lack of new support, or lack of workers those programs had to end. Past/current programs have been held in Guadalajara (in the state of Pernambuco), Carpina (also in Pernambuco state), and Cajueiro Claro.
In Paudalho however, an agreement was reached between the church and government program called PETI (Program to Eradicate Working Children). The government could use the church building, paying only for the water/electricity it used, providing the meals for the children, and some workers to come along side the church members to run the program.
This allowed the program to go from serving 30 children to 150 for the past couple of years.  I (Rachel) began visiting and being a part of this program in 2008 (This is where all our pictures come from). Living Stones had a special trip for some of the kids to the zoo, movies, mall, and McDonalds—all for the first time! There was a wonderful Mother’s day program for the families of the children, Our first lice killing party, and a Children’s day party, where many of the children celebrated for the first time the day made for them. Christmas was a special meal, where the pastor shared the story of Christmas and they shared in communion.
2009 brought new connections with those in the church, as well as many difficulties with government funding. At Easter, each child received a bag of necessary and fun items from the US. They received new uniforms, celebrated the second lice killing party, Children’s day party, and Mother’s Tea party. November was a trip to Word of Life camp and pool, and for Christmas, each child received a Bible—for many, the first book they´ve ever owned. I (Rachel) considered it an honor to “intern” at the program for six months.
Since that time, Living Stones has grown in my (Rachel) heart, and it is my goal to help start/assist 10 Living Stones programs in 10 towns in 10 years. Rebecca and David Johnson have felt led to work on the United States side of things, raising support for the programs, while I work with the local churches and see how God moves.
Beginning of 2011 the Living Stones program was turned back over to sole church leadership and financial responsibility. In early 2011 the Living Stones program was revamped to fit a new more cost-effective budget.  Churches and church plants now have the option of opening half programs for two hours a day to lessen the burden of meeting staff and financial needs.
(Picture from 2004. The girl, Karla, is still in the Living Stones/PETI program)

Introducing Living Stones

In the light of keeping things organized and easy to access, World Renewal Brazil has begun this blog to keep you updated on the Living Stones ministry. If this is your first time hearing about Living Stones, or you would like a quick refresh, here is a quick look at the program:
Living Stones serves at risk and street children, age 6-16.
“Street children” is a term often used to describe both market children (who work in the streets and markets of cities selling or begging, and live with their families) and homeless street children (who work, live and sleep in the streets, often lacking contact with their families)” (Casa Alianza, Worldwide Statistics, Sept. 2000).
Both spend their time on the street. Most of the children we work with are market children, who have been labeled “At risk” by the government, and so apply for help and welfare assistance. Each child is individual, as well as their story and needs, whether they are temporarily or permanently homeless. For most of these children, the meal they receive at Living Stones is the only hot meal they will have all day.
 Living Stones is located in Northeast Brazil with World Renewal Brazil.
Working under the ministry of World Renewal Brazil (, Living Stones is a program individually connected with and under its respective community church to serve the children in their community.
Living Stones is a community outreach and church planting ministry.
1. A Community church identifies a location to plant a new church
2. A church planter (educated at World Renewal seminary) begins open air services and getting to know the community, and small group Bible studies.
3. A place is selected to be Living Stones/church
4. 30 of the neediest children in the community are invited to participate in the program, providing love, education, nutrition, and direction.    
Through the week = Living Stones
On Sundays = A new church plant

Living Stones' primary reason for being is that we are called to go and preach the gospel—that is the objective in planting churches. How will they hear unless someone is sent? And how better to hear than while they are receiving their daily bread.

Living Stones LENDs: providing Love, Education, Nutrition, and Direction

Living Stones serves two groups per day, in conjunction with the school system. One group goes to school in the morning, 1:00-4:00pm Living Stones (lunch and classes), and the other group comes 8-11am Living Stones (classes and then lunch), and goes to school in the afternoon.
Most of these children would not be able go to school because they have to work/beg all day to receive a meal.

In areas where we cannot offer a full day program, we are beginning with half day programs for two hours in the morning or the afternoon. A nutritious snack is provided, with one hour of spiritual/emotional classes and training, and one hour of physical/mental classes and training.

You can help Living Stones LEND by giving a HAND

Have a HEART for the ministry, investing a part of yourself. ASSISTANCE by coming to Brazil yourself is always welcome and needed. Please take the NEEDS of the ministry before the Lord, who supplies abundantly, and lastly, DONATIONS are always a blessing. If you feel called to give in any of these ways, you can get more information at our website:

The cost of the Living Stones program is approximately $1 a day per child. Please pray about supporting a child with a monthly donation of $30. Once 60 people are committed, we can begin to plant a new Living Stones program and church in a community.