30 Things about Living Stones
1. Our Missions Statement: Working with local churches to enable them to love, educate, give nutrition and direction to the poorest children in the community.
2. Our Foundation:
a. Every person/child is invaluable because they are made by God, and true life is found in Jesus (Mt. 19:14, 1 Pet. 2:5)
b. Basic physical needs (food, shelter) must be met before/while sharing about Jesus (Jam.2:14-17, 1 Jo. 3:17)
c. God has chosen to work through the local church and discipleship to change the world (Mt. 16:18, 28:19)
d. Every child should be given the opportunity to read God’s word for themselves (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Rom. 15:4, Ps. 119:18)
e. Lasting ministry is done through local community (Rom. 10:15, Acts 1:8)
3. Our Objectives/Vision: LEND
a. A growing church plant (if there was no previous church) and community outreach
b. Sharing and receiving the love and saving power of Jesus
c. Providing a safe place to learn and be educated spiritually, mentally, and physically
d. Children and families receiving the nutritional health and hygiene that they need
e. Training and direction for families to become self-sustainable, breaking the cycle of poverty and making and becoming leaders in the community
4. Our Challenge: 10 Living Stone s in 10 towns in 10 years
5. Our Passion: coming along side our brothers and sisters in Brazil to enable them to make a lasting difference in their communities through the power and love of Jesus Christ.
6. Our Process:
a. World Renewal Brazil identifies a location to plant a new church or identifies an existing church with a community need.
b. If it is a new church plant, the church planter (from the World Renewal Brazil seminary) will
1. start open air services/programs to get to know the community
2. begin small group Bible studies
3. When a suitable building is found and support is raised the planter is able to start a Living Stones project/church
c. If there is an existing church, 30 of the neediest children in the community are invited (door to door) to participate in the program, providing love, education, nutrition, and direction.
d. Monday through Friday the church is used as a base for the Living Stones Project; on Sunday children from the project are invited to join the church for a Sunday service (some churches choose to have a service on Friday or Saturday instead).
7. Our Curriculum:
a. Mentally: Teaching reading and writing is the focus for the younger children. Reinforcement of basic subjects for middle aged children, and older children receive training in skills useful in life and for a trade.
b. Physically: There are medical check-ups, hygiene, clean living, fitness, and nutrition training. Some Living Stones programs are connected to a Glory Sports ministry that teaches character traits side-by-side with the sports ministry.
c. Environmentally: Children are taught the advantages of reusing and recycling, maintaining a clean community, and gardening.
d. Socially: Living Stones is involved within the community and culture with music, art and community sports. Cultural celebrations, manners, communication skills, and active citizenship are an important part of the program. Resilience in difficult situations is reinforced through self-efficacy, self-esteem, problem solving, and autonomy.
e. Spiritually/Emotionally: Each week there are Bible stories, lessons, and songs that amplify/give examples that teach a specific character quality. The students are given practical ways and activities to live out that quality. The objective is for each child to know and have a personal relationship with Jesus as their Savior and Lord, to become His disciple, and to go and make disciples.
8. Our Past: Started by Pastor Assuario in 1998, in 15 years, Living Stones has shared the gospel with thousands of children, worked faithfully with over 800 children through the local church, and served over 200,000 meals to needy families.
9. Our Finances: We work on a small budget and God does miracles
10. Our Sustainability:
a. Phase 1 - beginning and establishing the project - through local and outside sponsorship, through individuals, churches, families and foundations
b. Phase 2 - Through funding provided by the skills taught in the program, such as carpentry, cooking and handicrafts; as well as local community businesses and partners.
c. Phase 3 - Through assistance provided by the local church founded by the project (Phases 2 and 3 might occur at the same time or vary from place to place)
11. Our Team: to begin a Living Stones program, we need lots of prayer and a dedicated team
12. Our Projects: Living Stones looks different in every local church it is in:
13. Our Project: Overview: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRA5tzRcyTA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3wrB4oo5H0&list=UU61RtkF6QXTP1qxNlDa66kQ)
14. Our Project: Paudalho (http://livingstonespaudalho.blogspot.com.br/)
15. Our Project: Carpina (http://livingstonescarpina.blogspot.com.br/)
16. Our Project: Guadalajara (http://livingstonesguadalajara.blogspot.com.br/)
17. Our Project: Cajueiro Claro (http://livingstonescajueiroclaro.blogspot.com.br/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIt-A9fVOr4&list=UU61RtkF6QXTP1qxNlDa66kQ)
18. Our Project: Mussurepe (http://livingstonesmussurepe.blogspot.com.br/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1UXdjG-G4Y&list=UU61RtkF6QXTP1qxNlDa66kQ)
19. Our Project: Trash Dump (http://livingstonestrashdump.blogspot.com.br/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqiqY8OwL80&list=UU61RtkF6QXTP1qxNlDa66kQ)
20. Our Project: Gravata
21. Our Project: Lagoa De Itaenga
22. Our Staff: Connecting Brazil and the United States, Rachel Winzeler helps plan, train, and assist the Brazilian workers. Her goal is to have 10 Living Stones in 10 towns in 10 years. She also maintains the Living Stones blog (buildinglivingstones.blogspot.com), raising awareness and support. She has been working with at-risk children since 1998, and with Living Stones since 2008. Rachel has degrees in Child and Youth Character Development and Early Childhood Education, and is working on her post-grad in Educational Psychology.
Pastor at Cajueiro Claro, and responsible for the Living Stones programs there and in Mussurepe, as well as the soup ministry, is Flavio Travassos. His goal is to plant 20 churches in Northeast Brazil, working with and through Living Stones. He has a Portuguese blog at nrrestauracao.blogspot.com. Flavio is finishing his degree at Northeast Bible seminary, as well as his degree in Social Services
23. Our Self-Evaluation: True evaluation of relationships and their lasting impact on people is impossible, but for project accountability, evaluation and consideration will come through the following questions:
a. How many people are attending church as a direct result of Living Stones?
b. How many children are attending Living Stones (who would not receive these services otherwise)?
c. Are the children receiving all the nutritional health and hygiene assistance necessary? In what ways were those services provided?
d. Are the families of these children invited/attending church?
e. Are the children attending school more regularly and/or receiving better grades? In what ways were those services provided?
f. Are the children receiving life skills training to become more equipped for their future? In what ways were those services provided?
24. Opportunities to get involved:
25. Love: 10 For Them (http://wribrazil.com/10forthem/ and http://livingstonesbirthdays.blogspot.com.br/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJvfzikvLmA)
26. Education: Literacy for Living Stones (http://wribrazil.com/literacy/)
27. Nutrition: 5 For 5 (http://wribrazil.com/5for5/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52fLgwWmcwA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv44_UYjDgc&list=UU61RtkF6QXTP1qxNlDa66kQ)
28. Direction: Foundation Builder (child sponsorship program) http://wribrazil.com/foundationbuilder/index.html
29. Special Projects: Trek for Transportation (http://wribrazil.com/trek/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHfZv8-DW7U and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbw2K_F0oIE&feature=c4-overview&list=UU61RtkF6QXTP1qxNlDa66kQ)
30. Our kids:
a. Alexandra from Paudalho (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5YR2yvtk6s&list=UU61RtkF6QXTP1qxNlDa66kQ)
b. Viviane from Mussurepe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwtcNufUHmU&list=UU61RtkF6QXTP1qxNlDa66kQ)
c. Josefa from Paudalho (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0myB009Uvcs&list=UU61RtkF6QXTP1qxNlDa66kQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqwAuIH3e9E&list=UU61RtkF6QXTP1qxNlDa66kQ)
d. Gustavo from Mussurepe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG8Tgq13hUI&list=UU61RtkF6QXTP1qxNlDa66kQ) More stories of the children at http://www.rachelsnewday.blogspot.com.br/2013/07/30-stories-of-children.html and http://livingstoneschildren.blogspot.com.br/