With your prayers, love and support January was one of the most impactful months to serve the children in the slums of Várzea, São Paulo, Campinas and even locals in Jarinú! Our spiritual theme for the entire month was that you must be born again, from above, to see the Kingdom of God.
The first day we brought forty plus children from Campinas (Gleba B) by bus and van. We split them up into small groups and each group went to one of four couple’s home on our Campus. Two volunteers-in-training helped with activities throughout the day event providing a great experience for discipling new volunteers. The newer couples on our team gained great experiences working with these “at-risk” children in their own homes.
In the homes each child had breakfast, shared stories, participated in special activities, prayed together, were read books to, and heard the gospel in a loving, Christian home environment. What an impact it had on the children to have such individual attention, eat full meals all day (even roast pork & salad) , and then topped it off with ice cream and cake!
John 21:15 Then when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.”
Can you just image being raised in the slums like many of these little ones are? Many live in little, wooden huts with dirt floors in terribly unsanitary conditions. Many times they are left to roam the streets without adult supervision and go hungry throughout the day. Some are neglected and left without affection or appreciation for who they are. Imagine how they must feel being here, swimming in a pool so clean and having so much fun! What an opportunity for them to experience an environment so different from the slums where they live.
Children who frequently stay in the OneLess Children’s Home helped put together hygiene kits for the visiting children from São Paulo (Cachoeirinha). The kits had items such as toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, flip flops, shorts/dresses, etc. They also helped to make care packages of food, snacks, milk, chocolate milk, apples, etc. for each child to take home (sponsored by funding from SFI- Siloah Fellowship International). The children were elated to be taking all these gifts home after such a full day!
The following Monday we did the whole event over again but with a group of twenty-five children from São Paulo (Cachoerinha)! The Monday after that we held a special all-day event for thirty-five children from Várzea and Jarinú. And on the last Monday of the month we brought approximately fifty teens from the cities of Jarinú, Campinas and São Paulo!!
It is actually a miracle to be able to take children, ages 10 and under, away to another city to spend an entire day at the A.M.O. Campus.
It takes years of building relationships within the slums to gain the confidence of drug lords and traffickers to work in their community as well as with the parents or guardians of the child. We have a civil responsibility to take care of the children and pray constantly for nothing to go wrong. We have spent years raising up volunteers with a sincere heart to love on these children and supporters to sponsor and provide for these events.
Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement! ………Pete and Jodi