Steps throughout our journey
|Posted on June 16, 2014 at 9:55 PM||comments (0)|
A question we often hear is, "Why are these children not in school?". This is a hard question to answer and is very complex. Honestly there are many reasons from the parents lack of understanding on how education is important, overpopulated schools, school board's not allowing children to study because they are not in the correct grade, no alternative school system, unattended health problems bc of poor health system, addictions, and the list goes on..... Here is a glimpse into the life of John* and reasons as to why he does not go to school and how we are trying to help.
John* is a 15 year old boy that comes from a very poor family that lives in a wooden house adjacent to our ministry campus. He is the youngest child of 11. His father, 88 years old, is legally blind without means to work and his mother, 64 years old, does her best to care for John* which is her last child to live at home. He was a really shy boy that never ventured out into the streets and stayed home to care for his elderly parents. Unfortunately John* is one of many children that does not go to school and gave up school when he could not keep up because he never learned how to read.
We first meet John* last year when we visited his home during our monthly house visits and invited him to join our soccer program. He has been a faithful player that shows up ever Monday and Wednesday afternoon with the exception of several times when he needed to stay home to care for his blind father while his mother made errands. This year he is also participating in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and literacy classes that we offer as well.
Sergio has really enjoyed getting to know his sweet spirit and willingness to learn. The more Sergio has worked alongside him the more he has opened up about his family situation and their needs. John* has been telling Sergio throughout the last 6 months that he is having a lot of teeth pain and wanted to know if there was something we can do.
Sergio shared the need with our team and we started fasting and praying for God to give us direction because dental work is very expensive and if we took him to a street dentist they would just remove all his bad teeth. In faith, we scheduled him a dental appointment at a health clinic that is run by a church in Curitiba to see what they could offer.
The first visit was very clear as to why he was in so much pain. He has three extra teeth growing in the roof of his mouth, over 10 teeth were infected and full of puss, more than 20 cavities, needed 3 root canals, and the list goes on. The treatment through a normal dentist would have been in the thousands of dollars but the church ministry could offer the treatment for US$400. Unfortunately for John* this was still out of reality for him.
While John* waited in the waiting room Sergio talked to the Supervisor of the health clinic to explain John's* situation and to see if there was something more they can do. The supervisor explained he would talk to the president of the organization and get back to us.
We shared with John* that we serve a mighty God and we, along with him, would be praying for God to provide. Two days later we got a call back saying they will provide all his treatment and possibly braces for him at no charge!!!! When John* heard the news he was relieved and saw how God had answered his prayers!
Sergio has accompanied him to his weekly dental visits and he is already starting to feel better and see a difference!! Praise the Lord!
God once again showed his father heart to the children he has entrusted in our care. We are so thankful that we serve a big God, a God that restores, a God that brings hope, and a God that cares for his children!!! Please continue to pray for John* and his family!
Thank you once again for investing in our lives, in John's life, and in the lives of those we have contact with here in Brazil!
*John is a fictitious name and his face is blurred for privacy reasons.
|Posted on November 17, 2011 at 8:40 AM||comments (0)|
As I sat down to write this update I feel so excited to share with you how God is leading us in our missionary journey.
We are finding ourselves at the end of our time at the Lighthouse in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. As we bring closure to this chapter in our lives it is bitter sweet as we are wrapping up this season but the excitement of the next is before us.
The Lord has spoke to Sergio and I many different times about how He wants to use us not only in reaching out to children but also to focus on their families and He has giving us direction in where to begin this new journey.
This coming year God wants us to dedicate our time by furthering our missionary training in the area of family ministry. It reminds me of when I first came to Brazil to do training that focused on working with children at risk. Until today is a huge tool that I refer to and I know that this coming year will be the same. It will give us more knowledge, understanding, and strategies in reaching out to children and their families.
In March of this coming year we will be students in a Family Ministry school held at YWAM Norway for 6 months. The first three months focuses on the biblical principles of family, marriage, parenting, and family restoration. Followed by three months in field application of these principles in family ministry and seminars. Right now, we are not sure where we will be doing this field application but it is a possibility to do it in the location that God sends us after the training time.
During this time of training we will also be seeking God for direction for the next season! It is an amazing journey that He has us on and are so thankful that He has called us to be career missionaries. We remain focused on the now and excited about the future! Where He leads I will go!
Growth and Renewal!
We will be arriving back to the states just in time for Christmas!!!! We will be mostly spending time with my family, friends, and reconnecting with our church families!
Also during our time in the states God has opened up an amazing door for our family to be apart of a three week retreat for pastors and missionary families focused on growth and renewal. We are so grateful that God as set apart this time for our family.
The retreat cost US$5,500 but God provided us with a US$4,500 scholarship!!!!!! Praise the Lord! The retreat is located in Michigan and will be there from January 9 - 27th.
Prayer Cards:We have new prayer cards with an updated picture. If you would like one to put on your refrigerator or in a place as a reminder to pray for us please send me a message with your address and we would love to send you one!
Praises:Over the past several months God has been touching more hearts to invest in our lives through their financial gifts and we have been so grateful. We want to Thank you all for your love and support!
Prayers Needed:Please pray for each of us to transition well. It is not easy always moving and leaving relationships/family but God's grace is sufficient.
Please continue to pray for our monthly support to reach the needed goal!
Needs:As we leave here there are cost involved, more than we normally use monthly. We move forward believing that God has called us and we are trusting in Him. Please would you pray for us and for the needs that are before us?
Traveling costCar once in the US (praying that we are able to use someones spare car)Temporary housing (if you know someone one who leaves their house for the winter, has a guest house, or a rental house that is not being used, or other ideas please write us!)Thank you for being faithful partners. We so appreciate the prayers and commitment to this journey of seeing people reached for the Kingdom of God. Looking forward to seeing you soon. God bless!
With lots of love,
(Sergio, Stacie, and KayleeAna)
|Posted on July 9, 2011 at 10:25 AM||comments (0)|
We organized a craft display for the women to show and sale their finished pieces
to the Lighthouse community. We had a great time of fellowship as we set around
making more scarfs and showing off their great work!
Their beautiful and creative flower scrafs made from wrapping yarn around
One of the ladies with a few of her finished pieces and Sergio in the background
bringing us some pop and cookies to serve.
They were all very proud of how much they learned during our crochet/knitting
course and are looking forward to our upcoming courses to continue to expand
their minds and talents!
Thank you all again for your support and love!!! We are very grateful for all of
you! Miss you all!
With lots of love,
|Posted on January 13, 2011 at 8:42 PM||comments (0)|
We pray that your Christmas and New Year was full of happiness and
celebration. We had a wonderful time celebrating both of these wonderful days
with Sergio's family. It has already been over a month since we left the
states....Can you believe it? This time has past so fast here in Brazil and
been full of so many emotions. We have been busy with organizing our personal
things, purchasing furniture for our apartment, visiting Sergio's family, taking
care of KayleeAna's health since she has had two viruses since we arrived, and
trying to adapt to our new life here in Brazil.
Currently the Lighthouse (where we will be serving) has not been receiving children because
the Brazilian school system has been in their summer break during December and
January. We have set aside these two months to adapt and get our house in some
type of order. We have not set a specific date when we will start serving at
the Lighthouse but it will be sometime in the beginning of February.
Right now the Lighthouse is asking the children that would like
to participate this coming year to register and in the end of January we will
be going over the list and accepting the children that we feel should
participate this year. We are expecting anywhere from 80 -90 boys to attend
Sergio's soccer club this new calendar year at the Lighthouse Community Center
and around 150 children total within the Lighthouse. We are excited for the
day we get to meet the boys that Sergio will be working with this year at the
Please feel free to write and let us know how you are doing we would love to
hear from you and your family. Again we want to thank you for your love,
support, and kindness to our family. May the Lord bless you and your
- All of our luggage arrived in Brazil without any problems and our flights were very relaxing.
KayleeAna loves to fly so this definitely helps = ).
- We were able to purchase KayleeAna a baby bed mattress, couch/loveseat, and a washing machine
(Thanks Sisters in Christ Circle Group)
- For the car that we were able to purchase in June. It has been such a blessing to our family.
- We were able to find a garage for our car the first week we arrived at a very good monthly
cost. *The owner is Christian and gave us a discount!
- We have been able to spend lots of quality time with Sergio's family
- One of our major prayer request is for a situation that happened this past monday. Sergio tried to
withdrawal our monthly support from our account at two banks and both said their
system was down - so we figured we would try again the next day. When we looked
in our account the next day it stated that the money was withdrawn at both banks
but we did not receive it. Sergio has been in contact with the bank since
Tuesday and they have not resolved anything yet and since Monday we have
been without any money. We do not know how long this will take to resolve or if
there is anything we can do. If anyone feels lead to help us financial this
month we would be very grateful for any help. Please let me know or you can
use the information at the bottom of this email to give.
- for KayleeAna's health
|Posted on October 17, 2010 at 3:32 PM||comments (0)|
After serving the Restoration house for 5 years God put it on our hearts that we were going to begin a new season in a ministerial journey after our furlough. So, once we left the Restoration house two years ago we renounced our hearts and love for that ministry to listen and do what God has planned for us. It was not easy because the Restoration house is a ministry that we loved serving and we had developed very intimate relationships with the boys that lived there. It is our hearts to continue to see these boys grow spiritually and physically in their lives with God and we will remain involved in their lives no matter where the Lord sends us.
We knew that God was giving us this time on furlough to rest in Him for direction. So, we started to pray and talk to each other as a family to see what the Lord was sharing with each of us individually. We prayed with open hearts asking God if we were to continue serving in Belo Horizonte Brazil or if God wanted to send us to another ministry in Brazil or even to another country. After a year and a half of praying, listening, and finding that true peace and direction we felt like we were to continue serving with Youth With A Mission - Belo Horizonte Brazil but in a different ministry that also works with children at risk, this ministry being the Light house.
The Lighthouse is a community center that works with children at risk in the slum. This house is found in the middle of one of the largest slums in Belo Horizonte and serves the slum community in many ways. They have groups of boys, girls, and adults that attend and participate in various activities. Starting always with a bible study and then the children go on to have time studying, getting help with homework, swimming lessons, craft time, computer classes, and many more activities.
We really feel like this is going to be a very exciting season. One thing that we love is that we will be serving in the slum that bore the majority of the boys that ran to the streets and we ended up ministering to them in the Restoration house. This ministry has the strategy to help the children that are still living in the slums to not go down the same road as the children we ministered to at the Restoration house. We pray and ask God to help us have the wisdom to reach these children before it is too late.
We will be arriving in Brazil in the beginning of December and will start serving the Lighthouse as soon as we settle in as a family. As of now we are still not sure as to how we will plant our lives inside the community center (Light house) but Sergio is probably going to be working with a group of teenage boys that attend the Lighthouse and I will be working part-time and caring for KayleeAna the rest of my time. We will be living outside of the community center in one of Sergio's brothers empty apartment until we find a permanent home.