Videos about Living Stones

sábado, 28 de maio de 2011

From the Newsletter

Children are the future - the living stones that build what tomorrow’s foundation will be.  Many children in Northeast Brazil have little or no hope for a future.  They are considered to be “at-risk” as they must live and/or work on the streets begging for enough money just to have an occasional meal.  They cannot attend school because they must beg daily just to survive.  Poverty abounds and the only answers seem to be drugs, crime and prostitution as a way to cope with their immense hopelessness and despair.  Brazilian society considers these children trash, treating them as disposable - depriving them of opportunity, education, and basic necessity.  They are vulnerable and all alone.

But World Renewal Brazil seeks to change all of that.  Our Living Stones Ministry takes literally Jesus’ command to “let the little children come to me,” striving to foster change in the lives of these young kids, ages 6-16, through education and the hope of Jesus Christ.  Living Stones, an extension of our church planting efforts, is a child outreach program that provides the poorest, most at-risk children in the community with education, nutrition, hygiene, character development and most importantly, the love of Jesus.  By focusing on the whole child’s well being - mental, physical, spiritual and emotional - healing and restoration can occur.  The program serves two groups of children each day - a morning group and an afternoon group, with an midday meal provided for all of the children.  Often, this is the only meal the children receive that day. 

The government has looked with favor on our program because it provides an alternative lifestyle to the challenges and hardships the children face every day.  In the last 13 years, the Living Stones Program has served over 700 children in Northeast Brazil and has been an integral catalyst for extensive church growth.  Where Living Stones Programs exist, there is remarkable community transformation - less crime, less drugs, less prostitution.  Our goal is to implement a total of ten Living Stones Programs in ten cities in ten years.  By serving the children with the love of Christ, we will reach their families as well - transforming a culture and a nation.  But we can not do it alone.

We depend on your faithful support and our staff’s faithful efforts.  Patricia has worked with Living Stones from the very beginning and eventually, she became a full time employee.  She is so passionate about serving children through Living Stones and teaching them about Jesus.  When asked what she would share if she could speak in America, Patricia offered these words,
        ‘It is not just the kids that are here, needy and needing.  It is the whole family.  And even if you don’t help us, do something.  Anything.  God is always showing us something we can do for someone else.  Take the step in front of you, and see where it takes you...But don’t stand still.  We are working with those who are considered and treated as the trash of the world.  The unwanted.  The child that is dirty and strikes his hand in your face and asks for money, making you feel uncomfortable...those everyone else has thrown out - of mind and heart.  It is not about money, it is about action.  Doing what you can where you are.  Do whatever comes to your mind when you ask God honestly, What would you have me do?’” (Winzeler 2010)

Would you prayerfully consider how God may be calling you to take action so that the children the world considers trash can realize their worth in their Creator, Jesus Christ?  If 60 people pledged $30 each month to sponsor a child, it would enable us to start and continue other Living Stones Programs throughout our region - sharing the love of Christ with those who have never heard the good news.  We are grateful for your ongoing prayers and support.

In Christ,

Tele Moraes
World Renewal Brazil

P.S. Your gift of $30, $300, or even $3000 will enable us to reach more at-risk children and their families through our Living Stones Program with the love and hope of Christ.  Thank you for your partnership.

Winzeler, Rachel. Steps to Nowhere. Blurb Inc., 2010.

segunda-feira, 9 de maio de 2011

About Rachel Winzeler

My journey in becoming a missionary hasn’t been traditional. When I was 16, I went on a short term missions trip to Brazil for two weeks and soon after knew that Brazil had a place in my heart and life. Five years later, I stayed with Tele Moraes and his family, missionaries with World Renewal International, for a three month internship. After that, they asked me to return and teach English at an International school they were beginning. Now, after eight years, I have lived in Brazil over three years, going back and forth because a tourist visa only allows a six month a year stay. I have taught English, learned Portuguese, and had experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Since 2008, I have been working with the Living Stones program. This is where my heart is, and my vision is to assist/start 10 Living Stones in 10 towns in 10 years. Living Stones is the outreach and church planting ministry in progress in Northeast Brazil. The mission of Living Stones is two-fold: meeting the needs of the children within the community, while planting/being a part of a growing church plant that is reaching out to the whole family. Living Stones helps L-E-N-D: L: Love, E: Education, N: Nutrition, D: Direction.
Being young and single, I have been able to keep my expenses very low: living with family while in the USA and working to cover costs, and minimal expenses in Brazil (plane ticket/visa costs about $2000 a trip, while food, housing, and other expenses being about $350 a month). While I have never had a problem asking anyone for donations for my kids at Living Stones, asking for myself has always created a hole in my throat. The other problem is that the US dollar is also worth much less than it was in the past—meaning the same expenses cost much more.
It has been a struggle for me to trust God to creatively work together the desires He has given me: for Living Stones, and having a family. Putting down roots and making solid, permanent decisions scares the brave out of me, but I need to have a complete budget that truly has my needs and future in mind. While I do not know my exact plan for the future, I know that Brazil is a permanent part of it. My position/amount of time in Brazil may fluctuate, but wherever I am, I will continue to represent and advocate for the Living Stones program and the children that it serves.
My monthly budget  is $850 a month ($200 Food/Transportation, $150 House/rent, $150 Other expenses/Savings/Emergency, $100 Health insurance, $150 Ministry Expenses ,$100 Taxes). By having these guidelines, I am saving for tomorrow, as well as having more opportunities to give. I am not a traditional missionary—but this is what God has called me to. Thank you for your support throughout all of these changes. If you would like to help support me, you can donate online at or contact me at for other options.

2011 Review

This year Living Stones has gone through many changes. In January the program was put on hold at Paudalho, due to construction and changes. The new Living Stones curriculum needed to be tested and translated into Portuguese, because some ideas just didn’t work in another country and culture.
While putting together this ministry website, updating, and organizing our missions statement, objectives, and general information (, Rachel was able to begin talking with other churches interested in beginning a Living Stones program, and putting all the information into Portuguese.
A second Living Stones project began last year in Cajueiro Claro. It is a small community of 1000 people, about two miles off the main road, in the middle of nowhere. Rachel began walking there with Flavio (the church planter/pastor/Living Stones worker) a couple times a week, and soon found these children holding a special place in her heart. The rural needs are different and sometimes complex, but it has been a rewarding time in Cajueiro Claro (even with the frogs, bats, lizards, scorpions, and snails that are weekly cleaned out of the classrooms).
Living Stones Paudalho is hoping to reopen in August, but in the meantime, the workers have been able to keep in contact with the kids through home visitation and special activities, like our Easter program. These past months have been a big transition for Rachel, as she has gone from assisting/observing to teaching/running the character and Bible program for Living Stones (in Portuguese).
Rachel will be returning to the United States because her tourist visa has expired. She has been accepted into the post-grad program at FALUB, a university in Brazil, to study educational psychology, and hopes to return with a student visa in August. Please keep her trip in your prayers, as she spends time with family, speaking and sharing about Living Stones, and a unique teaching opportunity in Hong Kong for the month of July.


Frank Penna has said goodbye and headed home, and Rachel Winzeler is soon to follow. Cajueiro Claro had a special goodbye party, as Brazilians do so well.
After the Easter party in Paudalho, we were able to do home visits, passing out toys and Mother's day gifts to some of the families.

Please continue to pray for these children and the daily needs that they face, especially during Brazil's rainy season, and the problem with flooding the past couple weeks.