Videos about Living Stones

domingo, 23 de outubro de 2011

Getting Ready for Big Things

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This week has been full with passing out invitations for the party (which is next Tuesday, October 25th) and putting together all the plans. In Paudalho, Mercia, one of the older girls, has been kind enough to take me (Rachel) around many of the homes—she knows everyone. Most of the time we have a whole train of children around us, little ones running ahead to yell, “Tia Raquel is here! And we are going to have a party!”
Even Marcone, my deaf boy (who is now taller than me!) was grunting and making guestures to one of the kids to go get an invitation. I ask them how they’ve been, and tell them to make sure to come because there will be unlimited cotton candy and popcorn and clowns and a bounce house. I’ve missed my kids from Paudalho so much.
Paudalho is where Living Stones began, and I started volunteering in 2007. In 2009 I worked there full time, but when I returned to Brazil in 2011, the program ended. The church was under construction, and the government was corrupt and didn’t care enough to provide the funds that it had promised to continue the program in a different location. We have tried to work hard to stay connected, having the Christmas party in January, the Easter party in April, and now the Children’s day party. We hope to reopen Living Stones Paudalho before the end of the year.  
I have been around to visit the homes of the children over five times now, so the mothers are getting to know me and warm up to me—except for the occasional one who will stare at me like an alien and say “I don’t understand a word she is saying—what kind of accent does she have?” Some of the mothers shyly ask if they can come to the Children’s day party too. “Of course!” I smile.
In one part of town, They came running down the dirt road with puffs of dust scattering behind them. They were wet and happy, just come from the river, where they swam and pretended to help their mother wash clothes. She walked slowly behind them, a big tub of clothes balanced on her head. They saw me from a distance, and I waved. Neto, wearing torn underwear, came running, with Erasmas and Polyana close behind him. Hugs were given freely and fiercely. And I think I was born for moments like these: two children tucked under my arms with two more holding my hands, looking up at me with big smiles.
I am so excited and amazed at how many people are involved and contributing to make this party a success:
·         Patricia and Cacau, with their advice and knowledge of how to do the children’s day party, since they have done it the four previous years
·         Everyone who donated to the jewelry that was made in Brazil (and Nicki for her special gift)—you guys provided for the party package with clowns and balloons and a bounce house and trampoline and pool of balls
·         Cherrylynn and her VBS children who decorated and donated almost 90 school notebooks, pencils, erasers, crayons, and other school supplies
·         Donations from Disneyland  (thanks to my Mom and that nice lady there)
·         Candy from the Youth Center (Thanks Mr. Elliot!)
·         Toys from Karianne and her mother’s group from Michigan
·         Toys from Sandra in Brazil
·         Toys from the International school children
·         Snacks from the ladies in Cajueiro Claro
·         Volunteers from Paudalho church to help at the party
·         Volunteers from the International school to help at the party
 It is truly a time to celebrate these special ones who are so close to the heart of Jesus. There is still time to give and be a part of this! If you would like to help out with some of the last minute expenses (because those always happen), please go to to donate. Please write in the comment area that it is for the Children’s day party. Thank you for your prayers! I will post pictures soon after the party.
A BIG PRAISE THE LORD! In Cajueiro Claro, Flavio has worked it out with one of the restaurants in Carpina to donate a big pot of soup every day to Living Stones. This means that the children are not only getting a hot lunch (and a breakfast snack as well), but have soup for dinner! This has been a really ministry to the families, as there is enough soup for the whole family to come and enjoy together.

(Daniel, at last year's Children's day party!)
Children’s day (October 12) was
derful time with over 15 children fro
Children's day (October 12) was a wonderful time with over 15 children from the Cajueiro Claro Living Stones spending the day at Word of Life with the reunion for all of the Community churches. It was amazing to see all the people that this ministry has touched over the years—the fruit of what God is doing in the different cities in Northeast Brazil.

The kids loved meeting new people and swimming (normally their one chance a year to swim in a pool instead of a lake). Rogerio gave each one of the kids a pair of shoes (many didn’t have any—just flip flops) and a toy, and while we were eating lunch, some of the families around us saw all the hungry boys and helped out with feeding them. Not only did we eat all of the food we had brought, but we ate everyone else’s leftovers as well.

I enjoyed playing mom to all my kids, making them put on sunscreen, and telling the boys not to run around like little hoodlums without their shirts on. They carefully put on their shirts anytime I made them take a break from swimming, but whenever they got the okay to go back, into the pool, their shirts would be off and flying at me with, “I love you Rachel” as they ran and dived in again.

segunda-feira, 10 de outubro de 2011

Like a Family

Living Stones functions much like a family, complete with me (Rachel) saying “You need to listen or I will go tell Flavio,” which normally works. I might be able to get kids in Indianapolis inner city to listen, but these kids still hold out. Yelling and punishment are not proper solutions, but it is all they know. It takes a long time to retrain these things.
For me and my family, it was really after we began getting up in the morning, having devotions and breakfast together, that Christianity came to life. Living Stones begins with us sitting in a circle, in the church or under a tree, and having devotions. Then Flavio gets out the guitar and we sing.
From there, every day is different. Sometimes we get into a conversation started from the devotional. Or we talk about something that is going on in the kid’s lives. Or we play Frisbee or soccer. Other times, we actually follow what I plan and talk about a character quality and color a picture or do a craft.
During, in, and through this time, Flavio or I am figuring out what to cook for lunch, cooking lunch, serving lunch, and washing dishes. Lately the girls have been helping me cook. We sit at the table cutting up vegetables and stirring pots while chatting about life and what we want it to look like. One of the girls brought a bag of potatoes from her garden, so we had potatoes with everything all week: beans and potatoes, noodles and potatoes, fuba (similar to cornbread) and potatoes, soja (a soy bean meat substitute) and potatoes,  and chicken and potatoes. It was a lot of potatoes.
Wednesday, October 12, is Children’s day. The community churches use this holiday to get together at Word of Life and celebrate with our church family as well as our personal family. It is $10r a person, so most of the Living Stone’s children do not have the money to go—and this is their one chance a year to go swimming in an actual pool with a waterslide.
Last week we put together some jobs around the church to do in exchange for the money needed to go to the party next week. The boys worked hard, weeding and raking the grounds, while the girls washed down the whole church and all the classrooms. If you would like to help support their work, please go to to donate ( Please make sure it is under Living Stones, and marked for Children’s day).

One marked memory is when five or six of the kids were in the kitchen (while I was trying to cook), sweeping and mopping the floor while we all sang and danced to the World Cup song “Waka Waka.” Paulo came in from outside, covered in sweat, so started a slip-and-slide—belly first, across the kitchen floor.

Plans are still working towards our big Children’s day party, on October 25. Funds are still needed to make sure we can have over 150 children for an afternoon of fun and evangelism, complete with cotton candy, bounce house, trampoline, popcorn, clowns, and hot dogs. See the above link for donations.