Videos about Living Stones

sexta-feira, 13 de dezembro de 2013

10 Perfect Present Ideas

1.       Become a Foundation Builder
Child sponsorship through Living Stones provides for a child, a church, and a community (
2.       Buy a present for a child in Brazil
Provide a birthday party/holiday present for a child who wouldn’t normally receive one (
3.       Feed 5 Children
Giving $5 provides for 5 children to have a hot meal (
4.       Magazine Subscriptions
Sign up for Living Stones e-newsletters at Other amazing ministries are and
5.       A Real Letter
Forget Hallmark and sit down to write a letter that they can treasure forever
6.       Photobooks has options for as low as $6 for books of pictures, poems, recipes, or your creative works/memories
7.       Homemade Cookies and coupons
Breakout your Pinterest ideas, and then add some coupons for future service in something meaningful
8.       Make Memories
Find out their love language (physical touch, gift giving, acts of service, words of affirmation, or quality time) and then give them that gift.
9.       Volunteer Together
At a soup kitchen, friend in need, baby-sitting for someone who needs a night out, hanging out with someone lonely…
10.   Passion

The greatest gift you can give someone is YOU being passionate about life and what you can do to make a difference.  Begin the wave of something great.

An amazing 2013

Living Stones has 5 different programs running, currently on a $1000 budget (ideal is $1000 for each Living Stones program). This year:
·         17,000 meals served
·         280 children enrolled at Cajueiro Claro, Mussurepe, Trash dump, Guadalajara, and Lagoa De Itaenga
·         250 Birthday parties
·         300 involved in the Literacy program
·         600 children heard the gospel
·         Vehicle (Kombi) was purchased for Living Stones .

As far as finances, $14,150 was spent ($4,800 on food, $4,800 on transportation, $2,100 on salaries, $2,150 on special events and promotional costs, and $300 on general supplies). Donations were $16,250, so we have over $2,000 rollover for 2014! Praise the Lord! Note: the Kombi was $17,500, but that was stored in a separate account and given over in a one lump sum, and so counted separately. If you have any other questions about finances or accountability for Living Stones or Rachel Ferguson, please write to We are firmly committed to using every cent given to us wisely and with accountability. 

Merry Christmas from over 250 children in Brazil! 
Cajueiro Claro:
Trash dump:
Lagoa de Itaenga:

The Wedding

On November 9th, over 100 children from Living Stones (Trash dump, Cajueiro Claro, Mussurepe, and Guadalajara) were able to come and be a part of Caid and Rachel's wedding. Rachel has served in Brazil for 9 years, and been the coordinator of Living Stones for the past three years. For many of these children, it was the first wedding they had ever attended:
You can read more about the event here:
Rachel and Caid are now back in the States enjoying the holidays with their families. Rachel will continue to be the coordinator for Living Stones, just on the USA side of things. She will still be in charge of checking finances, writing the Living Stones blogs, sending out monthly information and newsletters, and raising funds for Living Stones through speaking/meeting with churches and individuals.
Caid and Rachel are excited with the special opportunity to partner with Shelbyville Community Church, who is taking on Living Stones as a church ministry! They are sending a trip to Brazil in October 2014, and Caid and Rachel will be helping them to prepare for it, as well as praying (and hoping!) to go along with them as they help Living Stones celebrate Children’s day 2014.
Caid is working on finishing his degree (he has over 90 credits) in Urban Leadership at Crossroads Bible College next year, so they will be living in Indianapolis, close to friends and family, during that time. They are both looking for jobs and opportunities as God leads them in this new life together, as well as praying about what God might have for them in the future—whether in the States or abroad.  
Merry Christmas and God bless you--From the Fergusons

quarta-feira, 4 de dezembro de 2013

Jackson Visits Brazil

The dump. I’d heard of it before, of course — it’s one of the many stories that Rachel uses to pitch her Living Stones projects in Brazil. Its stickiness factor lies in the shock of it, so it always remained in the back of my mind. But before today, they were all just words.
“There are kids living at the dump, rummaging through garbage to pick out scraps of recyclables, pieces of cardboard piled in a bundle to sell. Their parents work for less than half the national average salary–lucky if they make 150USD a month.”
Sure I felt bad for them, but these were just words. Statistics.
On the back of a moto, I flew towards the outskirts of Carpina, a city in Northeast Brazil of 80,000 inhabitants. We rounded the corner that opened into a driving school, and a few moments later, dirt paths lined with garbage indicated our descent into the dump.
The smell came first. I thought about all the trash bags in bins beside the toilets, holding dirty tissue paper and who knows what else. The plastic bags I’m seeing everywhere now contain rotting fruit peels and discarded toiletries. Bloody hospital waste. Vomit. Strewn for miles in all directions, decomposing and stinking, exacerbated by the Brazilian heat.
All of Carpina’s daily waste is brought to this dump and overturned onto the waiting arms of desperately needy workers.
I met these workers today. They didn’t wear masks or gloves or boots. They couldn’t afford these. Do they even know about the danger?
Their soiled faces, wrinkled and dark from the sun, squinted into a smile as I zoomed past.
We eventually stopped in the residential area, mere steps from the open-air dump. Rachel was already off her moto, tousling the kids’ hair, and making them giggle. I hesitated. I couldn’t help but think about disease and germs and cleanliness and I kicked myself for not having enough love for them. Rachel's people come every week to visit these children, to play with them, to feed them, to teach them, to remind them that they are not trash, forgotten by society. Why is my heart not there? Why is this fear of getting dirty suddenly rising and holding me back?
But I couldn’t process it all then. The kids have already noticed my arrival and are staring at me curiously, excitedly; their mothers tiredly looking on at the scrambling chaos from the sanctuary of their small houses.
Rachel introduces me in a string of rapid Portuguese, which by now I’ve heard enough of to understand: “This is my friend, Jackson, who I want you to meet. He’s from China!”
I plaster a big smile on my face as these kids beam brilliantly at me with their big chocolate eyes and adorably missing teeth. I try the handshake, but it dissolves into a hug as they move closer. Again, I felt the rush of shameful repulsion – their sticky hands were just picking through toilet paper, their bodies are covered in the slime of the dump. But as I look into their faces, their gigantic grins and dancing eyes, I keep my own smile plastered on and mutter the few words of Portuguese I know, tousling the kids’ hair and poking their sides.

Rachel gets up to show me a bit of the neighbourhood: a house made completely of garbage here, a tragic story of respiratory disease there. She asks the kids to stay with their moms, but they follow us nonetheless – a little boy grabs my hand and leads the way to a shoddy shelter with a tin roof, where they hold their weekly gatherings. Another boy brings along his most prized possession: a yellow bicycle with peeling paint and the chain falling off, probably the discarded toy of some other kid in Carpina. With his helmet resting lopsided on his head, he poses for a picture.
I guiltily take out my DSLR – it’s a luxurious burgundy, and all the kids clamor to touch it. Rachel pulls a boy off of me, telling him he can’t take the picture and that the camera belongs to Jackson—but he persists, making shutter noises and moving his head close. He was also the one who took me by the hand. He’s my favorite, I decide, and I feel a little bad about not letting him handle the machine.
We bring the kids back to their moms, where I take pictures of Rachel with the kids before she asks to take pictures of me.
In all the pictures, I am smiling too wide. It’s a stark contrast to the plight of the kids, wearing only underwear that don’t even fit, and swarmed with flies. Much too soon, I left the dump, throwing one last glance over my shoulder at the plumes of black smoke rising from the ashes of burning trash. Not even 10 minutes later, mansions appear on both sides in Carpina. A boardwalk with patterned tiles glitters, lined with joggers in the afternoon sun. Not even 10 minutes down the road there are fellow Brazilians living a life the dump kids will only dream about.
I felt horrible. I hated the way I was repulsed by the dirty hands and the snot-covered faces. I hated how I spent less than half an hour there, brought out my fancy camera, took some pictures, and then whizzed away on my moto, never to see them again like I was some entitled tourist peeking into their impoverished lives so I can write a story about it afterward. I hated that I couldn’t do anything—that the difference between my being there and them being there was just, as Bono puts it, “an accident in latitude”.
20% of the world live in extreme poverty, a friend pointed out to me that afternoon. That’s one in every five people. How terrifyingly startling.
She told me the first time is always startling.
“It’s good to feel this way, because it shows you have a soul. Return to see it again,” she urges me. “Maybe not here exactly, but everyone needs to see this extreme poverty.”
I peeked into the lives of some real people today. People, just like you and me, who were simply born under different circumstances. Souls attached to bodies in different places. There was a connection, a realization that they were exactly like me but simply living elsewhere. That scared me, and I reacted in fear and disgust. But really, we’re not all that different, the children of the dump and I.
“It is startling how, sometimes, we must first be brave in order to be kind.” – Asad Chishti
I wasn’t brave enough that day. But I’m hoping to return one day and by then, I’m hoping I will be.

terça-feira, 19 de novembro de 2013

domingo, 13 de outubro de 2013

Children's Day 2013

In Brazil, October 12 (Children's Day) is a huge holiday. Stores market for months, capitalizing on this extra day to sell toys. And the children in poverty? They watch everyone else celebrate one more holiday without them.

Living Stones recognizes the importance of celebration, and making sure that each child feels special, wanted, and a part of something bigger than themselves. We also know the value of education, and have worked hard to focus on literacy, giving books instead of just toys.
This year, each one of the Living Stones programs were able to have celebrations for the children in their community.
In Lagoa, over 50 children had a great time, teaming up with Athletes in Action:
In Guadalajara, over 80 kids had special competitions and Disney fun:
In Cajueiro Claro, over 50 children received books after a special trip to the bookstore:
In Mussurepe, around 100 children received books at our literacy celebration with the International School:
At the Trash Dump, over 150 kids had an amazing day and received special presents of books and toys:
All together, Children's Day 2013 has seen well over 400 children celebrating, that wouldn't normally be included. Over 300 of those children received at least one book and tutoring time--a big thanks to Lifepoint kids from the USA for their literacy giving! Thank you to all our partners, in Brazil and in the USA for making a difference!

segunda-feira, 16 de setembro de 2013

Literacy, Phase 1

Living Stones is excited to focus on literacy this fall. We have begun by having every child/family fill out a yearly registration form and getting their picture taken.

Many home visits, lost papers, blinking eyes and muddy shoes later, we are about half-way there. 
Next, we are working with writing and letter recognition,
as well as common literature, basic reading, and of course, tongue depressors as book marks
Our next step is individual reading assessments, as well as letter writing and a collaborative writing project. We are excited to be able to do this in each of the 5 Living Stones programs! Join us for Phase 2 of our Literacy program next month, as we provide Literacy celebrations/Children's day parties for the children, giving each child books of their own. Help us at 

segunda-feira, 19 de agosto de 2013

Literacy Celebration

Our goal is for every child to be able to read. We want to make sure that each one of the kids owns their own book(s). This fall, Living Stones is focusing on literacy. We will be evaluating each of the children individually and visiting homes to make sure to accurately assess the educational needs.
October 12 is Children's day in Brazil, where toys and candy abound, but only for those who can afford it. Help us to provide Literacy Celebrations for each of the Living Stones programs: Cajueiro Claro, Mussurepe, the Trash Dump, Lagoa de Itaenga, and Guadalajara. These include each child receiving a book (s) and having a fun time as a kid. We are so grateful for the children from Lifepoint church, who at VBS, raised money to provide for 100 children: we have 100 more waiting! Give at

quinta-feira, 8 de agosto de 2013

We have 10 faithful sponsors to run 6 Living Stones programs

To provide for a program that regularly provides the nutritional and educational needs for 30-50 children, it costs $1000 monthly, or around $1 a day. Our child sponsorship program, giving $1 a day, provides the costs for one child. We currently have 10 faithful sponsors, and are surviving month to month off of personal one-time gifts and the creativity of the Brazilian churches.
Our current needs are great: we have two full-time programs running, and four programs that are doing the best they can without any funding. Giving to special programs such as birthday parties, trek for transportation, and literacy has been fantastic: but if we do not have faithful sponsors, we cannot continue. Living Stones in Guadalajara is currently on hold because the man running the program does not have enough money to ride the bus to get to the church.
We currently have no churches regularly supporting Living Stones. Our dream is to have churches from America partner with a church in Brazil to get them started in making a difference in their communities. Imagine, 30 people from your church signing up and being able to support your own program in Brazil. Each program has a blog, videos on Youtube, and a monthly e-newsletter to see and be informed. Missions trips can be planned. People can be connected with children and families in their sister church, and God’s glory can be multiplied.

Living Stones Finances

Coming Together: How it Works

Celebrating 15 Years of Service

Infographic for Living Stones

domingo, 7 de julho de 2013

Child Sponsorship: Foundation Builders

If you are looking for statistics to prove child sponsorship, like Living Stones Foundation Builders works (,
“Overall, sponsorship makes children 27 to 40 percent more likely to complete secondary school, and 50 to 80 percent more likely to complete a university education. When the child grows up, he is 14–18 percent more likely to obtain a salaried job, and 35 percent more likely to obtain a white-collar job.”
“Poverty causes children to have very low self-esteem, low aspirations. The big difference that sponsorship makes is that it expands children’s views about their own possibilities. We help them realize that they are each given special gifts from God to benefit their communities, and we try to help them develop aspirations for their future.” ~Wess Stafford, Compassion Int.
“Patient nurturing of self-worth, self-expectations, dreams, and aspirations may be a critical part of helping children escape poverty. It is a holistic approach that secular antipoverty initiatives have largely downplayed, but an approach that Christian development groups have championed for decades.
The traditional approach to development work has been to provide things for people. If people lack education, we build them schools. If they are unhealthy, we build them hospitals and provide doctors, or we drill a freshwater well. If their small businesses are stagnant, we provide microcredit so they can borrow.
While each of these interventions can be helpful in the right context, mere provision fails to address the root of poverty: the behaviors, social systems, and mindset that are created by poverty. The key to ending poverty resides in the capacity of human beings—and their view of their own capacity—to facilitate positive change. While some interventions are necessary, especially in the area of health, they come at a cost of reinforcing an inferiority complex among the poor. Good development organizations understand this.
Along with providing some basic resources that allow children to progress farther in school, the child-development approach advocated by Compassion appears to get under the hood of human beings to instill aspirations, character formation, and spiritual direction. In short, it trains people to be givers instead of receivers.”

Living Stones is not Compassion International, and we do not have the data to be able to do a similar study, but we have the same principles, and an even stronger focus on working through local churches. Please pray about being a part of our sponsorship program called Foundation Builders:

sábado, 6 de julho de 2013

Women's Tea blesses Living Stone's Mothers

This June we have been blessed with two short term mission trip groups. The first one provided Vacation Bible School for Living Stones, and the second group had women's teas for the mothers. It was a wonderful time, and over 130 women were blessed from Carpina, Tracunaem, Acacias/Friends church, Lagoa De Itaenga, Mussurepe, Guadalajara, Paudalho, and Cajueiro Claro.
Lagoa De Itaenga
Cajueiro Claro

domingo, 23 de junho de 2013

The Kombi Has Arrived

We are so excited to announce that Living Stones now has a Kombi! We were able to purchase a 2010 Kombi for around $15,000USD, and use the rest of the donations from Trek for Transportation towards registration and fixing up costs. Pastor Flavio and all of the workers let tears of joy fall to see this miracle come to pass.
We haven't told the children about it yet--they have been praying for two years, and ask about it regularly. Video coming soon. for more information and pictures.

quarta-feira, 12 de junho de 2013

Successful Trek for Transportation!

We have raised $17,500 from last and this year's Trek for Transportation!
A big thank you to everyone who made this possible!
Steve Turner (Happy Birthday!) is coming to Brazil this week and says we can start Kombi shopping. A new/almost new Kombi is closer to $20-25,000, so any last minute gifts would be wonderful.
Pastor Flavio sends his thanks as well:  "I would like to thank all my fellow Americans who were involved in this race, the missionary Rachel for stealing my dream and told the men and women of God (laughing) by supporting the world Renewal, Pastor Gary Pastor Tele, Steven and everyone who prayed all that participated all who prayed, all were important. This achievement is all. I promise to take good care of the blessing that God gave us through every one of our dear brothers. thank you, thank you so much."
Shout out to our top runners in the 4k race!

domingo, 19 de maio de 2013

Word of Life 2013

Word of Life invited Living Stones (and Athletes in Action and Massa Humana) to bring around 200 children to a day camp: transportation, food, and activities provided. Even though it rained all day, everyone had a wonderful time. 14 children from Cajueiro Claro, 22 from Mussurepe, 32 from the trash dump, and many, many from Guadalajara and Carpina.
It was the first activity we have ever been able to do with the children from the trash dump, and truly something they will never forget:
( if the above link doesn't work)

sábado, 11 de maio de 2013

Terrific Tees

Our Trek for Transportation is coming up in less than a month! Please come support us--your donation will be doubled this year with our anonymous matching donation, and we now have these Trek Tees:
The proceeds from the shirt go to Living Stones as well. You can order it online and pick it up the day of the Trek to save on shipping:
Join us June 8th, at 10am at Southeastway park! All the information you need is at, or you can call 317-784-1535. If you can't make it, please donate to someone who can!

sexta-feira, 12 de abril de 2013

Trek for Transportation 2013

We are excited to announce the 4k run/walk Trek for Transportation 2013!
On June 8th, at Southeastway park in Indiana, churches and individuals will be coming together at 10:00am to raise money to buy a vehicle for Living Stones in Northeast Brazil.

An anonymous donor has volunteered to match dollar for dollar (up to $7,000) for this event! Please come and participate, or give to someone who is. More information and registration forms are at

Blog Changes

To keep up with how Living Stones is growing, we have (and are) working on making the blog as clear as possible. Under the header there are four tabs:
  • "Children" has the stories and videos of individual children in the Living Stones program
  • "Programs" has the links to go to the individual Living Stones programs--they each have their own blog as they are all completely different and connected to their unique church program.
  • "Donate" has links to donate to specific areas of Living stones
  • "Connect" has links to further information about the program
Every month I send out an e-newsletter, and you can sign up for that under "Subscribe to our mailing list" located on the side. If you would like a copy of the newsletter in publisher, to print and give out, just e-mail

We are also working to provide more videos, for our tech-love audience. Please feel free to re-post these and share them. All of the videos are on youtube under Rachel Winzeler or World Renewal Brazil.

Thank you for partnering with us!

domingo, 17 de março de 2013

Carpina: Living Stones #5

Living Stones Carpina has now began, working alongside the Glory Sports ministry to reach out to one of the neediest communities in the city. Carpina was the first church plant through World Renewal Brazil, in 1993. They have been working for years to save up and build a gym to serve as a meeting place and ministry for the community.
In August 2011, Glory Sports began, and has its headquarters in the Carpina church. Glory Sports is the sports ministry working to expand the youth ministry within the churches in Northeast Brazil. Rogerio, working through Athletes in Action, heads up this program, as well as training leaders to go out into their own churches (working with Community churches, Baptist, and Episcopal) and make a difference.
They serve around 300 children a week through basketball (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), soccer (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday), and karate (Saturday), offering an hour and a half classes in the mornings and afternoons for boys and girls. They are also connecting the children with English classes on Sunday, as well as attending church.
Starting now, Living Stones is also working alongside Glory Sports to offer even more for the children, including weekly character qualities, Bible verses, and celebrating birthdays. As time goes on (and finances allow), we hope to add home visitations, literacy, and tutorial help, and nutrition as needed. This is our 5th program!

Guadalajara: Living Stones #4

Living Stones Guadalajara has now began, working alongside the Glory Sports ministry to reach out to this poor community favela on the outskirts of Paudalho, the last stop on the road before you get to the new stadium for the 2014 World Cup.
I’ve been wanting to work in Guadalajara since 1999, when I first visited Ricardo’s small church plant. I remember the sly boys and the hugs of the girls I couldn’t pronounce the names of. They began a Living Stones project for a couple of years, but when the dollar went down in value, that ended the resources and the program.
Over the years, they built a building—a gym used for most everything except a gym. And then Luzinho came. Luzinho who I’d met in 2005 when he first got saved and attending church. In October 2012, Luzinho began the Glory Sports ministry in Guadalajara, training with Athletes in Action, alongside with Mike Westlake from Community Church of Greenwood.
They have about 100 children coming to different events on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, mostly focusing on basketball and teaching English. Luzinho is hoping to build a small apartment attached to the church so he can stay and work more closely with the children.
(If you are interested in helping this project, please go to
We are excited to have our 4th Living Stones program, and get to know these precious children and offer even more for them, including weekly character qualities, Bible verses, and celebrating birthdays. As time goes on (and finances allow), we hope to add home visitations, literacy, and tutorial help, and nutrition as needed.
Celebrating Jaciara's birthday

How to Relocate Your Heart: A Trash Dump Story

My first encounter of the dump was driving past a pile of trash and having a flock of white Ibis fly off it. The contrast of beauty and putrid struck my heart, as did the overwhelming sense of helplessness at “discovering” a people group called catadores , or waste pickers, and seeing their daily lives and needs.
Official statistics say that a quarter of a million Brazilians engage in waste picking[1], and are responsible for the high rates of recycling (at least aluminum and cardboard) in Brazil. These untrained, self-appointed workers are doing more to save the world than any other program currently working in Brazil[2]. This is true for most third world countries around the world.
Twenty minutes after I put out the trash, I left my apartment for the day. I see my trash bag torn open, with bits of paper flying down the street, floating behind the waste picker who is now wearing my broken hat. I sigh, bemused that any secrets I wrote on those papers were in a language he couldn’t read.
Millions of governmental dollars are saved through these individuals[3].  In effect, waste pickers subsidize formal solid waste systems. Their recycling efforts also provide raw materials at low prices to recycling industries. Further, the waste pickers conserve resources, reduce air and water pollution thus contributing to public health and sanitation, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions thus mitigating climate change.[4]
We passed out cups and soda and snacks for all the children. One small girl let her cookie wrapper slip from her fingers to the ground. “Eduarda!” I chided, “Don’t litter!” She blankly replied, “But this is the dump.” I looked around hopelessly. Why shouldn’t she litter? This was where the rest of world sent their litter. But this was her home.
These unlikely heroes are often starving and living in inhumane conditions[5]. The local governments are happy to receive their free services, some even feeling proud of “providing jobs” for their community. This can unfortunately lead to exploitation and general ignorance of the problems and possible solutions involved.
Andreia and Washington, the couple leading Massa Humana, head up the program for children (with Living Stones) in the trash dump. They left their number with some of the ladies in case of emergency. One came from Maria Jose, who’s respiratory infection had gotten so bad that she had to be rushed to the hospital. The doctor said she would have died an hour later, and that she could not continue living in her house made of trash—it was causing/worsening her infection. The church, with Massa Humana, began to build Maria Jose a simple brick home. It is smaller than the average American living room, but the stuff that dreams are made of in the trash dump.
In 2010, Brazil ended 20 years of arguing on its National Solid Waste Policy, and signed it into being. It is trying to make sure private sectors pay for proper disposal of their products, and has a “special provisions for accommodating waste pickers, who have traditionally played a central role in the waste sorting and disposal system in Brazil. Community outreach and retraining are part of efforts to shift to more municipal solid waste landfills.[6]
I walked down the street to the corner, which long ago had been declared the place where the neighborhood dumped their trash. I went slowly, because the two horses and sickly dog were busy eating whatever edible unidentifiable items they could. I threw in the trash bags and ran when the horse started moving towards me.
The Federal law means that current trash dumps will be closed, and more sanitary landfills created. The documentary “Wasteland” talks about this from a personal perspective at one of the largest dumps in Rio de Janeiro[7]. While the Federal government has set aside funds to “local governments to help improve recycling and training, including social inclusion programs for waste picking communities,”[8] many fear the actuality of this happening[9]. Many are even questioning the environmental benefits of these changes[10].
“Here is another bag of clothes for those poor children at the dump.” She says, handing me a huge plastic sack. I thank her politely, but my lip curls in disgust once I begin to sort through the clothes. They are old, torn, stained, and dirty. Why do we only give our leftovers? Do they deserve nothing better? 
Thousands of questions are being raised around HOW this law will be enacted, which is to be completed by 2014, according to federal regulation. In Carpina, the trash dump community was a hot topic in the last elections, with many promises made. In January, they announced action—the whole community would be moved to a different part of town, where 70 new homes would be built for the waste pickers.
“I think it is a beautiful thing that we are giving these people new homes.” Says Daniel, one of many Brazilians who are happy see progress. I, on the other hand, am weary, having seen the speed of most government promises. Washington pragmatically tells me that he is hopeful that the houses will be built, and relatively soon, since the local government is being pressured, and they can make a goodwill “show” out of providing homes for the homeless.
What worries me is the training and re-education that is also to be involved. That is a long and tedious process that cannot be “shown off” or receive instant gratification. Professional analysis about it says, “The existence of a body of legislation for inclusivity is not a guarantee that solid waste management in most cities are abiding to the law but it indicates that catadores (waste pickers) have sufficient public visibility and recognition. The implementation of legislation depends a great deal on the level of social mobilization of organizations of catadores and their supporting NGOs.”[11] In other words, it is up to us.
I haven’t been able to find much information on the success rates of Brazilian “transplant” programs, but know that in the USA, they never turn out as helpful as they sound, mostly due to weak follow through. All these people have known is trash, and trash is their culture. That doesn’t change in a new house. How many of them are emotionally ready for a change this big?
We sit on the ground and color, bringing soup on the weekends, as promises fill the air. It isn’t how life should be, and yet it is. People and governments are trying to change it, but here it is still. And Jesus says go. Love. I can’t find anywhere where He suggests waiting until the government or rich donors finally complete their promises.
 What does all this legislation mean to the children of the waste pickers? Nothing. The adults pause, holding their breath to see if the papers signed will come through. The house we were building for Maria Jose and her family? Stopped, because the area will be bulldozed. The land given so we could build a community center/church? It will lay empty and life goes on.
And so we work in the dirt once again. My legs turn black streaks and I flick disease-ridden flies off my face and shudder when they land on my lips. I carefully hold little girls who moan when I accidentally brush against their multiple bug bites or various skin diseases. I brush back lice-ridden hair with my fingers. I see open wounds fill with dirt as they sit down to color a picture with me.
Living Stones and Massa Humana will continue to work with the children in the trash dump until they are relocated, whenever that happens. We will continue to work with them after they are relocated, with whatever new challenges arise. Please continue with us in prayer.

[1] “Waste Pickers and Solid Waste Management.” Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.
[2] “Waste Pickers and Solid Waste Management.” Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.      
[3] “Waste Pickers and Solid Waste Management.” Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.
[4] “Waste Pickers and Solid Waste Management.” Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.
[5] “Waste Pickers” Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.
[6] “Brazilian National Solid Waste Policy.” U.S.-Brazil Join Initiative on Urban Sustainability. Web. 16 Mar.2013.
[7] “Hollywood: Documentary Explores Latin America’s Largest Garbage Dump.” Global Post. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.
[8] “Brazilian National Solid Waste Policy.” U.S.-Brazil Join Initiative on Urban Sustainability. Web. 16 Mar.2013.
[9] “Hollywood: Documentary Explores Latin America’s Largest Garbage Dump.” Global Post. Web. 16 Mar. 2013.
[10] “How Will a New Waste Management Law Affect Brazil?” Waste-to-Energy Resource and Technology Counsel. Web.16 Mar. 2013.
[11] “Brazil Legal Framework for Social Inclusion of Waste.” Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing. Web. 16 Mar.2013.