Videos about Living Stones

domingo, 27 de março de 2011

Self-Control and Creativity

Living Stones has begun our character program, with Self-control last week, and Creativity this week.  Sara, an older girl from the Cajueiro church, has been volunteering with us. It is her dream to work with drug addicts someday. Raissa is also volunteering, walking with Flavio and I (Rachel), and bringing along a lot of enthusiasm and energy. Here is our classroom:

The children practiced all week to present at church on Friday (in Cajueiro, Sunday church didn't work so well on Sundays. It works better on Fridays). And they did a wonderful job.
 There were over 30 people there, almost half of them being children from Living Stones. The woman in the front row right--Sandra--just gave her life to Jesus last week.
This week we also began the jewelry making project. The children learn how to creatively make jewelry and crochet, and for every one piece that they create, they make one to send to the United States. If you would like to receive one of these creations, to raise prayer and financial support, please contact Rachel at
The kids are not only enjoying the jewelry making, but are learning basic English: this week we played Candyland—and you had to say the colors in English before moving to a space.
 In Paudalho where the children are still located in the open center of town, the character program and jewelry making were a welcome change from the lack of activities available.

Please keep the Easter and Mother’s day programs in your prayers. If you would like to help financially to give the kids something special for one or both of these celebrations, you can donate at .

sábado, 26 de março de 2011

Where Hope Grows on Trees

Sometimes it feels like lying when I write different statistics about Brazil, or post pictures. Yes, they can be impressive and/or depressing, and may make you reach for your wallet--but life here is so much more than statistics. The stories you hear or the faces you see are only one pose captured to represent something bigger.

Brazilians are incredibly resilient people. Truth is, if Living Stones doesn't provide for the children, they will learn to find some other way to get what they need (although, probably not a healthy way). They can survive on nothing, and then throw a party on less than nothing--and everyone has more fun than many extravagant parties have. Daily life is often the "Stone Soup," where everyone puts in a little to make it work. Community and family hold a deeper meaning, for here they are keys to survival.

In the United States, hope seems to be buried in the next job/career that can be found. Things have gotten harder since the recession, but America is still the land of opportunities--the place where hard work will pull you up by your bootstraps.

Poverty in Brazil is a different flavor. Eric Jensen's "Teaching With Poverty in Mind" lists six different kinds of poverty: Situational poverty (from a crisis or situation, like in Japan), Urban and Rural poverty (each have their different aspects, as seen in Cajueiro Claro versus Recife), Generational poverty (it is in the family for a while, and they are not equipped to move out of their poverty), Absolute poverty (day-to-day survival), and Relative poverty (can't meet the society's average standard of living).

America most often has relative poverty (but generational poverty is sadly growing as well), while Brazil is dealing much more with absolute and generational poverty. When you walk around a rural Northeast Brazilian town, you can almost feel the lack of opportunities around you. The few jobs that are available are almost always minimum wage (a little over a dollar an hour) or less.

Brazil's hope is rooted in something different. You hope because it is better than not hoping. Even without seeing the opportunities. It is like the fruit trees that are planted everywhere, for anyone to pick. You eat its sweet fruit and remember that the best things in life are free. In Brazil, hope grows on trees.

The Brazilian people are not the statistics listed for you. They are not the smiling brown children in the pictures posted. They are people, with the potential of saint and sinner just like you. They are not more "worthy" because they do not have, but they are also not forgettable just because they were born on a different spot on the globe than you. Their value comes from the same place as yours--created in the image of God--and so each one is worth saving and loving.
On Tuesday, March 29 we will hold a conference call for friends and partners of World Renewal Brazil (WRB) to share about the incredible work God is doing through our Living Stones Ministry. Join us as Tele Moraes, President of World Renewal Brazil,shares live about the life-changing work God is doing in the lives of these children.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. EST

If you would like to participate in the call, please email Jeff Turner at and he will reply with the call-in number and passcode.

sábado, 12 de março de 2011

Pictures from Carnival

We started off passing out cookies, hot dogs, and bottled water, and then walked to the entrance of the town.
Patricia and Cacau worked for a couple weeks, making the masks and decorations for the parade. Cacau made sure everyone had on sunscreen.

We gathered at the entrance of Paudalho, and began the march/dance/walk through the city.

By the end we were sweaty, happy, and tired:). Thank you for taking the time to be a part of this ministry and the lives of these children.