Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Celebrate Recovery

Last night we had our Celebrate Recovery support group. One of the guys in the group who most recently completed the drug rehab program came to share about the struggles of leading as a dad and husband. His five year old boy had breathing problems this week, leading to a night in the hospital, and the marital tensions that come with high stress and lack of sleep.

At the same time as it was concerning to hear of difficulties my friend is encountering, it was great to see the redemption that shines in the life he is leading. At this time last year he didn't have the mind to serve as a husband or a father. His priority was feeding a drug addiction. Last night he spoke of a new reality. He is not resentful or bitter about the difficulties, he is just learning to live in a new role. His redemption has brought redemption to his whole house- be it in good times or bad.

After sharing our different struggles we had a time of worship. God soothes the soul that is place openly and with humility before Him. I can't describe very well what that was like... but I saw my friend humble himself before the Lord, and the Lord lifted him up.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


In about an hour we will be receiving a major group of our biggest partners here in Itu. They call themselves the Kaiserês, and they are a group of high school age students that give life to our house.

We are in a series about putting ourselves at risk for the sake of living out our faith in a world that runs from trouble. The crisis in Japan has been the reference point for us. As thousands of people are evacuating from the area of an unstable nuclear power plant, a small team is being trained to enter into this plant and face the problem.
Our question to the kids is "What is the melting power plant in your life, and what are you doing to help?"
May we all be His hands and His feet.

Friday, March 18, 2011


In 2009 we invited homeless into our home. We realized they were the ones that most need a space that would invite them in as dignified, valuable creation. We began by offering a warm meal and a listening ear. Today, two years later, they eat, shower, change clothes, wash their dirty garments, get a haircut, share their stories, and listen to others. They call themselves the XICXOU family, which is a slang meaning “very cool”. They are a very cool community.
But this is not enough.
We invite them weekly to change their journey… to pursue something better. They are accepted and cherished, and they know that what we desire is to be a place, a group of people, that invites them to open their wings, to live the life they were created to live.
If we extend the invitation, we must be ready to provide the means for change.
Today our home dreams of opening a drug rehab center and a halfway house for the men who chose to take flight. In the last year, three of our homeless friends have chosen to rehabilitate their lives: Alemao, Eduardo, and Samuel. Not one of them has a stable family or community to return to. We want to provide a house where they can call home, and receive the emotional and spiritual support to stay clean, and the tools to become a valuable part of society and contributors to a healthy community. Setting up this home is the beginning.
But that’s not where we stop.
We also want to establish a drug rehab center where men get the chance to start over in a holistic community (small businesses will be run from within to create an internal economy). In addition to changing addictive habits, lessons will include relapse prevention, work ethic, professional skills and administration of finances.

We want to give these men a CHANCE to change.
We are in the business of giving people a CHANCE.
CHANCE bags is the way we want to raise funds for this dream - this needed reality. The bags are made with “upcycled” material, and produced by the community that wants to see the change take place – our communal home, our partners, our homeless friends, and recovering drug addicts.
We want to use material that represents the country we are developing, Brazil. This is why we’ve chosen to build CHANCE bags with used soccer jerseys and soccer balls. This is where you can contribute. Bring along any and all soccer jerseys you are willing to donate to this movement, and be a part of giving people a CHANCE.

For every CHANCE bag sold, a homeless friend will receive a CHANCE to change.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Quick Update

It's Carnival again in Brazil! Tomorrow morning (5AM) we will load 3 cars and drive 9 hours up north to take part in a retreat with our youth group in Belo Horizante. We will be gone through Wednesday.

A couple updates -
last blog I mentioned that Harley had come into our home in expectation of getting into rehab. He is doing great! He has been through a world of change in a week and is committed to seeing this through and becoming a new kind of husband/dad. His depression has been turned to joy in an amazing way! I have started meeting one on one with his son weekly as well, who has been launched into a whole new level of reality through this experience.

we are working with a lawyer (our friend Vitinho) to set up our non-profit organization to better serve guys coming out of rehab. God has brought all kinds of connections out of nowhere to make this happen, i'll have to explain all that in another blog.

Please pray for this journey and retreat. Trips are very formative experiences for youth groups, and we want to see our kids be formed as Christ would have them to be.

Alright, happy Carnival to you all!