If you would like to receive a printed copy of our annual report, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to receive a printed copy of our annual report, please write to email@example.com.
We love to take time to remember all that God has done every year at Living Stones. Take a couple minutes to see the miracles of 2017:
The holidays bring us together, as do tragedies: when they are paired together it is often overwhelming. The end of October, the unthinkable happened. The ex-husband of one of the mothers at the Trash Dump Community attacked and murdered her. He was jailed soon after, orphaning their three young children. Click the pictures below to learn more about the kids, and about their community.
Living Stones has a prayer partnership with PPC (Passando Pela Cruz) as they minister in this suffering community. PPC has taken in the children until they can be adopted by their aunt. We are working with them to make sure the kids have basic clothing, needs, and food during this difficult transition. Please pray for them and their community, and consider joining our prayer team. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for specific questions.
Living Stones takes sharing the Gospel very seriously, as it is inviting someone into our family. We love and celebrate hands raised and eager hearts given to Jesus, but that is not the end of the story--it is just the beginning!
This year we have seen many new kids in the program and community give their life to Jesus, and we rejoice! But we are especially excited when we have a chance not to just plant seeds, but to see them grow.
Children's Day (October 12th), we celebrated and shared Jesus in five communities to over 200 children: Caio and Joao Vitor came forward and gave their lives to Jesus.
We have a special joy when the kids who are a part of our core program, like Caio and Joao Vitor (who are a part of Living Stones in Guadalajara), understand what it means to choose Christ: these are the kids we get to see grow up in Jesus and in life, as we laugh, cry, and truly are like family.
Thank you for celebrating with us!
Luiz Fernando, like every other child at Living Stones, is anxiously awaiting October 12, which is Children's Day in Brazil. When Luiz started coming to Living Stones three years ago, it was the last hope for his parents. Luiz suffers from some difficult learning disabilities, as well as being mildly autistic. He lived in his own little world, and refused to come out at school or at home.
One of Luiz's gifts is creativity. Instead of doing classwork, he would take his worksheet and twist, tear, and turn it until he had created a dinosaur or other creature. Instead of disciplining Luiz, the Living Stones workers patiently saw his talents and used them to slowly draw Luiz out of himself. Now, during breaks, you can often find Luiz Fernando surrounded by friends, still creating interesting art pieces.
Thank you for your support of Living Stones, that enables transformation stories like Luiz. He is succeeding at school, at home, and at Living Stones: physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Come alongside us as we celebrate these kids and these successes for Children's day--as well as have a time to share Jesus with the whole community! You can donate to our special events at the link below.
Hear about our three programs in Brazil, reaching over 175 children in needy communities. A lot has happened so far in 2017, and we have many praises and some prayer requests: find out more!
With 75 people raising around $4,000, this was the biggest turnout we've ever had for our annual Trek for Transportation. It was a rainy day, and we had over 30 brave souls who trekked 4 kilometers through the stormy weather.
Congratulations to our top 5 runners:
1. Matthew Wickham (14 minutes 18 seconds)
2. Matt Wickham (16 minutes 12 seconds)
3. Maggie Lutes (16 minutes 14 seconds)
4. Rachel Covey (16 minutes 24 seconds)
5. Kyler Nivens (16 minutes 24 seconds)
Special thanks to Julie Turner, who bought all these amazing Lularoe clothes! Lularoe is an amazing company that gives a percentage to Living Stones for every piece purchased. Sadly, the rain cut our shopping time short, so we are having round two:
Each one of the children from Cajueiro Claro, Lagoa de Itaenga, and Guadalajara worked hard at Living Stones to make and share something with their mothers. We know how hard these mothers work to provide for their families, and it is always a joy to be able to come together and celebrate. Thank you for your support in making this happen!
Alessandra (circled above) is 12 years old and has been coming to Living Stones Guadalajara since 2016. Many of her close friends told her how cool it was to play basketball, and this is the only place in her community she can. She enjoys the classes: math, Portuguese, and reading, because she gets to be with her friends, and Lane and Misse (who run the program) are really nice.
This year, some of her friends started going to church on Sunday, and she joined them. Lane shared with her what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus. On April 7th, after playing basketball, she came up to Lane and Misse and said she wanted to give her heart to Jesus. They sat down with her, carefully went over the gospel message, and she prayed that day.
Two other children have given their lives to Jesus this month at Guadalajara. At Living Stones, we regularly share about Jesus at events. We weekly talk about Jesus in the classes, and the leaders live out the Christian life in real time. When someone gives their life to Jesus, it is not another name on a piece of paper, it is another member of our family.
Living Stones Guadalajara is on a one year trial period that is up in June. To continue the program, we need to have more individuals and groups partnering with them on a long-term basis. This means that before JUNE, we need people to say YES, we will commit to supporting Guadalajara through Living Stones child sponsorship. Is this something God is calling you to do?
Each year, Living Stones takes time to celebrate and share the incredible story of Resurrection Sunday with the children and community. This year, Lagoa de Itaenga put on another Passion play, and the Living Stones children had a special song to share:
Living Stones Guadalajara had the children color and share what Easter meant to them, and illustrate the Gospel message:
Cajueiro Claro had an Easter feast with the community:
Thank you for your prayers and support!
When people donate to Living Stones throughout the year, that money goes directly to the programs for the kids. But how do the workers and leaders get to the programs? The Trek for Transportation.
Join us for our 7th annual Trek at Southeastway Park, as we raise the yearly funds needed to provide gas and vehicle upkeep for the Living Stones workers. We are making it a Brazil experience for the whole family: wheel and pet friendly! Come eat Brazilian hot dogs, win Brazilian medals, listen to Brazilian music, and hear stories about the children whose lives you are changing. If you register by May 1st, you get an awesome tee shirt as well!
If you can't make it to the Trek, please consider sending in your donation at the link above. For updates and all questions answered, write to email@example.com
Carnaval is the biggest holiday in Brazil, bringing in most of the tourist for the whole year. But what does that mean for the poorest children? It means there is little protection (parents/guardians are often away at parties or drinking), and a lot of danger (high levels of tourists, alcohol, and violence means many children are exploited). Many of the churches in Brazil use Carnaval as a time to have church summer camp: Living Stones has a scholarship to help enable to kids to afford it.
Kaylane loves to sing and draw. She is quiet and kind to all of the children. She lives with her mother right down the street from the yellow church in Cajueiro Claro, and loves to learn about Jesus. She is working hard this week to earn her scholarship. As one of the children who can read, she is memorizing five Bible verses, the books of the Bible, and reading one (of the shorter) books of the Bible to share about with the others.
Because of many financial hardships in Cajueiro Claro, instead of having camp at the beach, they are holding it right in the community. The church is one of the few safe places they have. Pastor Flavio and his family are "moving in" Saturday, February February 25, until March 1st. They will have a (blow up) pool, soccer, and days full of games, worship, learning, and food. Twenty-two other children are signed up, and hope to have this opportunity for growing and safety: would you be able to give a scholarship for $30?
Many of you know that Pastor Flavio's car was totaled the end of November. (For more information, go here.) The World Renewal Brazil board got together and decided that it is time to sell the Kombe (We purchased the Kombe in 2013 from kind donations raised at the Trek for Transportation).
The Kombe has been broken down and barely usable for the past year, and so we are hoping to sell it and raise enough money to purchase two smaller vehicles (We need about $2,000). Kombe's are wonderful ministry tools, but they are a bit money pit for gas and upkeep. One vehicle will be used for Living Stones ministries, and one will be used for Glory Sports ministries.
These two ministries work closely together to be God's hands to hard-to-reach children. The smaller car makes longer and more frequent trips possible (but unfortunately limits the amount of people you can bring with you).
We love celebrating, and Christmas is no exception. Each of our three locations had their own way to celebrate:
In Cajueiro Claro, they had a special Christmas morning breakfast, with the whole community!
In Lagoa de Itaenga, they had a Christmas cantata where the kids from Living Stones had some special songs to sing, and then each received a special Christmas present from the generous donors of World Help.
At Guadalajara, they had a special end of the year celebration with prizes and presents and special medals for hard work done all year.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well!
We hope you have a wonderful season full of meaningful moments and memories. We pray that you see Jesus in and through the lives and actions of those around you, and radiate Christ through your own life. We thank you for your love and support of children and workers who live far away from you, but are your brothers and sisters. God bless you!
Guilherme has been a part of Living Stones in Lagoa de Itaenga since it began. You can tell he has parents who love him and want to see him succeed in life. He has an older sister severely disabled and unable to leave their home. His mother spends her life caring for her. His father is a fisherman and works hard, but minimum wage is less than $300 a month for their whole family.
Guilherme was born with Hydrocephalus (water on the brain), which causes an enlarged head and different physical problems like headaches and shaking. Things got worse until this year, Guilherme's hands shook so much he couldn't write anymore.
In April, Guilherme had major surgery, with all of us at Living Stones and his church praying for him. We are excited to share that it was a success, and that by August, he was able to return to the Living Stones program. He still has some shaking, but it doesn't hold him back. When asked about his favorite part of the year, he said it was the Living Stone's trip to the zoo (where we snapped this smiling picture), but that he was looking forward to the Christmas celebration. Help us provide special Christmas celebrations for all of these wonderful kids here.