Monday, July 29, 2013

30 Things about Living Stones

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:
14.  Our Project: Paudalho (
15.  Our Project: Carpina (
16.  Our Project: Guadalajara (

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 (, 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 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:
26.  Education: Literacy for Living Stones (
28.  Direction: Foundation Builder (child sponsorship program)
30.  Our kids:  

Friday, July 26, 2013

30 Stories of Children

  1. Cesar (January 7) At home, Cesar is known as “Satan” or “little devil.” Most nights he sleeps on the streets because the small cement block house with a dirt floor is closed to him—his mother prefers his brother. Most people had given up on Cesar, labeling him a troublemaker, but not Living Stones. They worked with him until he learned what it meant to take responsibility. With Jesus’ help, Cesar is learning what it means to be loved.
  2. Flavio (January 20) Flavio grew up without a father, stealing mangos from neighbor’s trees and general mishap. But in his teens he met Christ and started going to a church that asked him to teach guitar to street children. That program was called Living Stones. Today, Flavio is the pastor at Cajueiro Claro, working with three different Living Stones programs and transforming the lives of other boys and girls that grew up like he did.
  3. Viviane (January 21) Viviane walks over a mile in the hot Brazilian sun to go to Living Stones in her rural town. It is one of her favorite parts of her week. She is a vivacious girl with big plans to be a veterinarian someday. One of her favorite things to do is to read the Bible at Living Stones. She is the first one in her family to be able to read. As she writes a card for her mother, she explains that she will have to read it to her, but she doesn’t mind.
  4. Lucicleide (February 25) Luci was in first grade for five years because she wouldn’t talk in class. When she started coming to Living Stones, she wouldn’t look anyone in the eye, and when it was time to eat, she would slink away from the table to cower in a corner, hiding her food. Her dad is an alcoholic, and she lives with extended family in a small, crumbling house you have to crouch to get into. Luci learned to write her name at Living Stones. She is learning to talk and laugh and not be afraid to look you in the eye.
  5. Leandra (March 12) Leandra, the oldest of eight, had a little brother on her hip and was leading a couple other siblings around. God is not only working in her life, putting a bright smile on her face, but also in the lives of her whole family. Through the ministry of Living Stones, her mother is learning how to take care of her children and run a home, and her father was able to get a steady job. They went from a one room home with a dirty mattress in the corner to proudly inviting people in to sit on their couch.
  6. Josefa (March 21) Josefa didn’t know how old she was. Her mother didn’t know either, because she couldn’t read her birth certificate. At the Living Stones program, they learned when Josefa’s birthday was, and have begun to celebrate this special girl, one of eight daughters. They lived in a dirt house with a pet pigeon, near the dump where their father worked, but have been able to move to a basic brick home with a cement floor since. Josefa now knows how to sing “Happy Birthday.”
  7. Camila (March 24) Camila loves to learn. She lives across the way from the church where Living Stones is, and is always first in line for everything. Camila was adopted by her aunt, since her mother did not have the resources to take care of her. She is a good reader, and always the first to use the Living Stones “Library,” where you can borrow one book and then return it for another, since she does not have many books at home.
  8. Rafael Jose (March) “Tia,” Said Jose, with tears in his eyes, “How can you go places like this with me? Aren’t you ashamed to be seen with me?” He had been told so many times that he was something less than everyone else that he had begun to believe it. Because of Living Stones, Jose is now standing tall as a child of Jesus. He attends school, and even has a part time job to help his family. He is an example for the other children in the community.
  9. Arthur (April 18) Arthur lives with his grandmother because when his mother went to live her boyfriend, he didn’t want her children. The first month Arthur came to Living Stones he refused to smile, and had a lot of difficulty in school as well. But once he realized how much those at Living Stones cared about him, he changed. He gives hugs to all the workers when he comes and leaves, he is doing better in school, and when we celebrated his birthday (for the first time), he was the first one to say “thank you” when everything was done.
  10. Paulo S (April 20) Paulo, known as “Chimbinha,” proudly brings his new Bible to church. While he enjoys coming to Living Stones, church is his favorite time of the week. He sings the loudest, smiles the biggest, and hugs the hardest. He has recently become a Christian, and is figuring out exactly what that means. He looked on shamefully while another child told a worker, “I heard him cussing—does that mean he isn’t a Christian anymore?” Together, the children at Living Stones are learning about forgiveness and love.
  11. Cloves (April 24) Cloves is a happy, intelligent child who lives with his mother, but it hasn’t always been like this. His father was a murderer and used to beat his wife, going in and out of jail. Through people involved with Living Stones, his mother was able to get a job in another city, with Cloves, and stay away from the situation until she was strong enough to stand on her own. Soon after, Clove’s father was killed and they were able to return home and begin a new life through the Love of Jesus.
  12. Isac (May 1) Isac lives in a three bedroom house that holds four families. He is a soccer manic, playing every day. All of the younger boys look up to him for his skill and his gentle leadership. All of his older brothers have grown up and gone to Recife, the big city, and have gotten lost in the world of drugs. Isac is determined to be the first to be different. He has started training to join a profession soccer team as soon as he is old enough, and is using the money to support his family.
  13. Eliza (May 11) Eliza moved to Northeast Brazil from down south, and has brought all of her big ideas of a big world with her. The other children find her interesting, this outgoing girl from the big city of places they’ve never seen. She is our official “reader” when we do Bible studies, and the first one to raise her hand for any question (often before the question is asked). She has big plans to be a lawyer when she grows up.
  14. Eduarda (May 24) Eduarda has been coming to Living Stones most of her life. Her mother, young and alone, started bringing her to the program so that she would have something to do, since there were no jobs in the small rural community, and she couldn’t leave her baby at home. Living Stones introduced her to Jesus and it has given her hope. Now Anginha (Eduarda’s mother) is a strong leader in the church and found a job for her and her daughter to survive—cooking and cleaning at Living Stones.
  15. Mariana (June 8) Mariana lives in a dirt house across the way from the church. Anytime she sees anyone from Living Stones, she runs over to give hugs and play. She is always friendly and lighthearted, and when she grows up, she wants to sell clothes in a big store. They have no steady income for the family of 6, so she and her mother get old cloth and shred it by hand to make fabric rags used to wash cars. They do whatever they can to make ends meet.
  16. Daniella (June 22) Daniella refused to talk to anyone at Glory Sports/Living Stones. She wanted to come and play basketball, but would not open up or do anything else. After a couple months, she went up to one of the workers and asked their name. Since then, she went to a Word of Life day camp and gave her life to Jesus. She has been coming to church and bringing her family, a testimony to how God can change a life.
  17. Feliciano (June 24)Maybe his name isn’t Feliciano, but that is how he wants to be called, this wild boy that lives and works at the trash dump with his family. Other children laugh when we call him Feliciano, but he has opened his heart, talking and sharing, whereas before he would come to Living Stones just to hit and kick the other children. The name he chose for himself means “Happiness,” which is just what God wants to bring to his life.
  18. Paulo M (July 11)Paulo’s brother, at 22, died of throat cancer. Living in the middle of nowhere, he had chosen to not seek medical attention, and it ended quickly. Paulo came to Living Stones, seeking answers. He found them in the love of Jesus, turning to Him with his whole heart. You can find Paulo running down the street, calling out to the Living Stone’s workers as they arrive, and giving them a big hug. Paulo is learning how to be a light to his family, bringing his mother to church. 
  19. Poliana (July 30) Poliana is six in a family of eight children. Her favorite food is cake. She loves to come to Living Stones, quietly grabbing our box of toys and playing in a corner for hours, something she can’t do at home.
  20. Gustavo (August 10) Gustavo was not expected to live. He had a brain infection with pus coming out, and after being in the hospital for over a month, his family had all but given up hope. We prayed for him at Living Stones, and one of the workers, Grandma Isabel, went to go visit him. Gustavo is a shy boy that finds it hard to look people in the face, but he shines when he tells what happens next: “And then I got better!” Gustavo is back, playing soccer with the boys at Living Stones now.
  21. Manuela (August 27) Manuela lived with her grandmother after her mother abandoned her and her stepmom didn’t want her. But her grandmother died in 2012, so she is now with her aunt. Their small mud/stick house is basic, but clean. Manuela has been through a lot, but she doesn’t let that hold her down. She loves to draw, and wants to be an artist someday.
  22. Ivanilson (September 13) Ivanilson’s father beats his mother. This is very common, especially in rural Brazil. His sad, thin face often reveals when things are going badly at home. At Living Stones, Ivanilson is learning about a love that doesn’t hit. He is always the first to volunteer to read the Bible verse, even though his reading skills are very low. His face shines when he prays, asking God to bless the Living Stones program, workers, children, and his mother and father.
  23. Diane (September 18) Diane stays with her grandmother who lives in a house half the size of a normal living room with 12 other people. She is in charge of her two younger brothers, and when they do see their mother, it is because she takes them out to the streets to beg and then give her the money. Living Stones is a place where Diane can be a kid again, and play dodge ball like the child she is. She loves hearing the Bible stories, and offers to pray before lunchtime.
  24. Alexandra (September 20) Alexandra was not as lucky as her sister Vera, who was adopted by their aunt. Vera was a part of Living Stones, and so Alexandra would show up to visit her, wearing a dirty old baseball cap. She refused to take it off because her head was so infected with lice that she had open sores all over her scalp. Living in an abandoned house, Alexandra fends for herself, giving out sexual favors for bubble gum. Living Stones gives her a place to shower and learn proper hygiene. She is slowly learning that there are people who love her, and a Savior who came to die for her.
  25. Princess (September 25) When Princess first came to Living Stones, she was so dirty you couldn’t tell if she was a girl or a boy. She shook her curls, refusing to say her name. When the other children were asked, they just shook their head. Finally, one said “Fagina. Her name is Fagina.” Without a pause, one of the Living Stones workers said “Princess. We will call her Princess.” And so we have and so she has grown.
  26. Marcone (October 12) Marcone doesn’t talk, he grunts and yells. He doesn’t touch, he hits. He doesn’t listen: he is deaf. Marcone has never been to school, he doesn’t know sign language, and he can’t write his own name. Marcone doesn’t like to be touched, but if you are patient enough he may come sit a little closer.  Marcone has found a safe place at Living Stones where he cannot hear about the love of Jesus, but he can feel it.
  27. Caio (October 20) Caio loves animals. He is the youngest and most stubborn in his family. His mother walks over a mile every day to pick up soup at Living Stones to make sure their family has enough to eat. She has given her life to Jesus, but her husband is suspicious and often follows her to make sure she is not lying to him when she says she is going to church. Caio enjoys Living Stones and says that when he grows up, he would like to become a turtle.
  28. Gustavo (October 22) Gustavo’s house is falling apart. Built out of mud and sticks and covered with a blue tarp, during the rainy season the walls have begun to deteriorate. Gustavo’s father was killed selling drugs, and his mother works cleaning houses to provide for his family. Gustavo was kicked out of school and labeled a liar and thief. Through the daily love received at Living Stones, Gustavo is learning that he does not have to act out to receive attention. He has accepted Christ as his Savior, and wants to be a pastor when he grows up.
  29. Marcinho (September 23) Marcos, nicknamed Marcinho, lives with his mother and younger brother. His older brother is living with their grandmother because his single mother cannot provide for all three children. They live in a small mud house, and his mother makes ends meet by washing other people’s clothes by hand by the river. Marcinho loves to be the center of attention and his favorite part at Living Stones is getting to pray for the food. He brought his mother to church, and she gave her life to Jesus. Marcinho wants to drive a motorcycle taxi when he grows up.
  30. Daniele (November 6) Daniele lives with both of her parents in a loving home. They do not have a lot, but they are happy and love Jesus. Her father works harvesting sugar cane, a hard job working six days a week, 12 hour days, to earn minimum wage (about $320 monthly). Their small mud/stick house is basic, but clean. Daniele loves coming to Living Stones, and is always a sweet girl to the others. It is so good to see a happy home.

Monday, July 22, 2013

How Decorating Describes my Soul

1. I like a clock in every room. I like to be scheduled and organized, on time to be considerate of others. I want to know the time to know I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.

2. The part of the house that bothers me if it is dirty is the floor. I like having my shoes off, feeling the ground (or socks when it is cold), a free spirit with the hippy flavor left over from my parents.

3. I value convenience over beauty. I saw the power of beauty when I was young and have been shy of welding that power and the responsibility it holds. I'd rather be comfortable and invisible.

4. Home made things with memories are my favorite. Only two things are forever: the Word of God and the souls of men, so things connected to relationships have priority in my house. The connection is what gives value.

5. Simple is easier, less is more. In general, I prefer to be lazy, and the less that ties me down/claims my free time the freer I feel--the less there is to worry about.

6. Can't go wrong with classic. I haven't spent as much time developing my style as I have developing my relationships and ministry. I fall back on basic simple and classic looks.

7. I decorate in creative spurts. I am a better copier than creator, but really, creativity is just tweaking someone else's idea until it becomes a something new, which I love doing.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

White, Middle class, Conservative

I am white, middle class, conservative.
I live in Brazil, the beautiful land of brown skin. I haven't read much about Trayvon, except on Facebook. Facebook, where my wall is in four languages: English, Portuguese, Chinese, and those statuses that I have to sound out to understand because the spelling is so creative. Because I have been blessed with friends all over the world, and all over the page of culture. There are people I love in America, Brazil, and Asia, from the good side of the tracks and the other side.
I've always been different. Growing up, it was a nagging feeling that something was wrong with me. When I was 16 and realized I felt more at home teaching at an alternative inner city school than in my suburban church, I had the thought that maybe the problem wasn't ME.
I believe you choose your culture, just as much as it chooses you. And somewhere, I chose "non-normal-American." Oh, I am proud of our country. Even more so, now that I have lived outside of it for five years. I can see every inch of blessing that I receive from being a citizen there: rights and privileges I gained from birth, not from work. But it doesn't change that:

I am white, middle class, conservative.

The man I love is black. And one day, I hope to have Cheerio commercial children. And there will be stares and looks and talks. And hopefully, conversations and laughter and love. More and more I realize that racism is only overcome through relationship. I hope to have many more relationships.
When I was 6, my best friend was black. I met her at a party at my grandparent's house and I loved her as only a 6 year old girl can. And after that I never saw her again, because I went home, six hours away. There weren't girls like that at my church. And I didn't know how to ask why not. Now I do.

I am white, middle class, conservative.
I have been living or working in beautifully mixed communities for half my life. My Facebook pictures are rainbows of color. And that is how I like it. That is my choice: intentionally. Because that is the normal I have created for me.
And when I read this article about Trayvon, (, it hits me more than all the (white) "quit bashing Zimmerman" statuses I see or the (black) "you killed my brother" statuses. Because it talks about relationship. And that I understand.

I understand the woman who fears for her husband and son, jogging at night. Not because of Trayvon, but because that is how life is. Still. I've seen it.
I've seen it when I visited a friend in boy's school, and the guard questioned my safety. I've seen it when the policeman stopped my car, asked me to get out, and asked if I was "safe" with my (mixed) boyfriend. I've seen it when the manager asked me and my friends to be "quiet" in a restaurant, when in the next section, a white group of boys were hollering.

I am an American who wants to make a difference.
And I say it needs to stop.
Those that are saying Trayvon was just a freak accident, it needs to stop. Maybe, in his case, it was. But you are denying truth--that these things HAPPEN. And they happen A LOT. And if you can't see that, you need to meet more people. People who don't look like you.
Those that are saying Zimmerman needs to die to pacify a million injustices you have felt, it needs to stop. Crucifying him isn't going to solve anything. relationships will. And if you can't see that, you need to meet more people. People who don't look like you.

Money Isn't the Answer

My friend told me that, after a long conversation. A conversation I have over and over again, every time I read statistics: "Money isn't the answer." But it is such a nice, convenient answer. Here:
  • Tithers make up only 10-25 percent of a normal congregation. 
  • Only 5 percent of the U.S. tithes, with 80 percent of Americans only giving 2 percent of their income. 
  • Christians are only giving at 2.5 percent per capita, while during the Great Depression they gave at a 3.3 percent rate. 
  • If those who called themselves Christians tithed, there would be an additional $165 billion for churches to use and distribute. 
Then look at this: 
  • $25 billion could relieve global hunger, starvation and deaths from preventable diseases in five years.
  • $12 billion could eliminate illiteracy in five years. 
  • $15 billion could solve the world’s water and sanitation issues, specifically at places in the world where 1 billion people live on less than $1 per day. 
  • $1 billion could fully fund all overseas mission work.
  • $100 – $110 billion would still be left over for additional ministry expansion.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Playing God

 (Alexandria is on the right end)

me: When is your birthday, Alexandria?
A: I don't know
me: Ok then. Does anyone know?
A: No. (her mother was a prostitute in one town, her father a drunk in another. She'd been abandoned and raised herself. I don't know if she even has a birth certificate. And if she does, no one knows where it is)
me: Ok then. When do you want to have a birthday?
A: I don't know
me: Well, what is a month you like? Because I want to celebrate your birthday.
A: I don't know (looking down)
me: Alexandra, have you every celebrated your birthday?
A: No (shuffle, shuffle)
me: Well, this year we are changing that. We are going to celebrate. What month?
A: September?
me: Great! What day? What is a number you like? 15? 22?
A: 20 (finally, a smile)
me: Well, Alexandra, your birthday is now on September 20th. I will come celebrate it with you!
Who gave me this kind of power, to make a birthday? I feel like I am playing God. Alexandra really doesn't know how old she is either: she will tell people anywhere from 17-19. Old records from Living Stones say 1996, so that is what we will go with.

I found this, from an old paper I wrote: "It is moments like that that remind me why I am here. To bless people who would not have been blessed otherwise. To celebrate God and how He loves us in places that have forgotten, or in people who did not know. To sing Happy Birthday to someone who would not have been remembered otherwise.
Maybe it isn't changing the world to carry around a green bag with a birthday cake, knife, napkins, birthday glasses, and presents. But to me it is. To her it is. It changes her world. It means people care about her--from all over the world. It means she is worth celebrating. It means someone sees her. It means someone loves her, love that says "God made you and you are special. He has a plan for you, and it something beautiful. And right now, He is celebrating your birthday too, because you are worth celebrating and remembering."  "

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Make Poverty Real

A 16 week (one semester) class for children/teens/adults about Poverty 101

  1. What is poverty? Introduction (6) different kinds of poverty
  2. Poverty in my country (USA poverty vs. 3rd world poverty)
  3. Global poverty (100 people world infographic)
  4. Poverty in ____ (each person bring a small presentation of a country)
  5. Test/review
  6. What does poverty look like? Movies/documentaries about poverty, TED talks:,, try out dollar street:
  7. What does poverty feel/taste like? Barefoot for a day, No new clothes for a year challenge, the two dollar dinner challenge: Rice and beans for a week:
  8. What does poverty sound/smell like? The differences of urban and rural poverty, Trash workers, jobs no one wants
  9. What does poverty think like? (Different mind sets)
  10. Test/review
  11. Specific issues: Education, women and children (Half the Sky), hunger and shelter, water and sanitation:
  12. Finding your spot: report on specific area that sparks your interest to help
  13. What can I do to help? Brainstorm on your own, as a class
  14. Some ideas of what works: , millennium goals,
  15. Local, country, and global help: what to do now, tomorrow, and in the future
  16. Test/review

30 Things about Poverty

  1. There is a difference between USA poverty and third-world poverty: Poverty level in the USA is roughly $11,000 a year, adding $4,000 per person in the household: Minimum wage (a decent living) in Brazil is $4,000, let alone those living in poverty. The official world poverty line is $2 a day or $750 a year:
  2. There are different kinds of poverty: Eric Jensen’s “Teaching With Poverty in Mind” lists: a. Situational poverty (from a crisis or disaster), b. Urban and Rural poverty (Each have their different needs), c. Generational poverty (in the family for a while, not equipped to move out of poverty), d. Absolute poverty (day-to-day survival), and e. Relative poverty (not meeting society’s average standard of living.)
  3. Some poverty is relative, as is wealth, as an internal measurement compared to those around you
  4. The solutions for each kind of poverty are different, and cannot be lumped together.
  5. For those in deep poverty, the main reasons are a. Decreasing national/local prosperity b. Health/death shocks and natural disasters c. Failure of initiative (agriculture) d. Family problems/expenses e. Asset depletion:
  6. The main reasons for poverty in the USA are: a. Divorce/separation b. Out-of-wedlock child c. Earnings Fail:
  7. Poverty is often transient. Most people are in and out of poverty, or kinds of poverty, depending on circumstances, rather than it being a permanent place of destitution
  8. There are often mind-sets that go along with the level of money you perceive yourself to be in. Those in poverty often value relationships and entertainment first. Those in middle class value work, achievement, and material security. Those who are wealthy value security, privacy, and maintaining their wealth: and
  9. Poverty mind set
    Middle class mind set
    Wealthy mind set
    People are the objective
    Things are the objective
    Legacies and pedigrees are the objective
    Money is to be used and spent
    Money is to be managed
    Money is to be conserved and invested
    Sense of humor is highly valued
    Achievement is highly valued
    Connections are highly valued
    Emphasis is on social inclusion of people they like
    Emphasis on self-governance and sufficiency
    Emphasis on social exclusion
    Food is about having enough: quantity
    Food is about liking it: quality
    Food is about presentation
    Clothes are valued for individual style and expression
    Clothes are valued for quality and acceptance: good label
    Clothes are valued for artistic sense and expression: good designer
    The present time is most important
    The future is most important
    The past, traditions and history is the most important
    Decisions are made in the moment based on feelings or survival
    Decisions are made on future ramifications
    Decisions are made on basis of tradition and decorum
    Education is valued but not reality
    Education is crucial for climbing ladder of success
    Education is a necessary tradition for maintaining connections
    Language is for survival
    Language is for negotiations
    Language is for networking
    Family tends to be matriarchal
    Family tends to be patriarchal
    Family depends on who had the money
    Sees the world in a local setting
    Sees the world in a national setting
    Sees the world from an international perspective
    Love is based on whether the person is liked
    Love is based on achievement
    Love is based on social standing and connections
  10. The graph above is a generalization, and each person may be a mixture of groups, but everyone has their own rules and values from how they were raised, and they often hinder success
  11. To move from poverty to middle class or middle class to wealthy “mind set,” an individual must give up relationships for achievement (at least for some period of time)
  12. In changing a mindset:
  13. Rich people
    Poor people
    “I can create my life”
    “Life happens to me”
    Think big
    Think small
    Focus on opportunities
    Focus on obstacles
    Associate with positive, successful people
    Associate with negative, unsuccessful people
    Are excellent receivers
    Are poor receivers
    Constantly learn and grow
    Think they already know
    Think long-term
    Think short-term
    Talk about ideas
    Talk about things and people
    Embrace change
    Are threatened by change
    Take calculated risks
    Are afraid to take risks
    Continually learn and grow
    Think learning ends with school
    Believe they must be generous
    Believe they can’t afford to give
    Work for profits
    Work for wages 
  15. There are four common ways that people move out of poverty: a. An insight, goal, and determination to change b. A particular talent or skill c. A relationship with someone who guides and supports d. The pain of living in poverty:
  16. To help those in generational poverty, child sponsorship has been proven to work (like through Compassion, World Vision, Living Stones) because “It expands children’s views about their own possibilities. We help them realize that they are each given special gifts from God to benefit their communities, and we try to help them develop aspirations for their future.” –Wess Stafford, Compassion Int.
  17. “Band-aid” help (go in, fix/build/change something, get out) doesn’t help in the long run, although is necessary in certain situations, especially situational poverty/health issues. It reinforces the idea that they can’t do it alone
  18. Here is an interesting look on being poor (in the USA):
  19. Understand, overall, how blessed you are. If the world were shrunk to 100 people, 7 would have a college degree, 17 couldn’t read. 48 people would be living off of $2 a day or less. 22 would not have electricity, 13 would not have safe drinking water:
  20. Understand and enjoy statistics: Hans Rosling makes it funJ
  21. Do you really want to know a little about poverty? Take the rice and beans or $2 a day challenge for a week or a month
  22. You will (probably) never really know what poverty truly feels like. You can read this list, and have the resources to access it and understand it. That means you have been given at least a basic education, skills, and resources in the world. You can go out and “experience” poverty, but you always know that if it came down to it, someone or somehow you could provide for yourself. Those in deep poverty do not have that assurance.
  23.  says we can end extreme poverty, and has a plan: “In the past thirty years, extreme poverty has been cut in half. In 1981, 52% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, but by 2006, that number was 26%”
  24. Top 10 reasons why NOT to listen when Jesus says “Sell your possessions and give the money to the poor:” (by Ash Barker in “Make Poverty Personal”)
  • But then who would support the missionaries?
  • God has called me to minister to the rich
  • It is on my to do list, I just have to finish (fill in the blank)
  • Jesus only asked him because he had a problem with possessions
  • Jesus only asked him because he didn’t have a family
  • Actually, you can get the camel through the gate—if he gets on his knees
  • But Jesus wants me to have the best
  • I would do it, if Jesus made it clear he WANTED me to
  • I give 10%, He wants MORE?
  • Giving money to the poor is bad stewardship—they would use it for booze
  1. 12 Steps to solving poverty (By Paul Polack "Out of Poverty")
  • Go where the action is (stop pitying poor people)
  • Talk to the people who have the problem and listen to what they say
  • Learn everything you can about the problem's specific content (learn about the poor around you, as well as global poverty and what can be done)
  • Think big and act big
  •  Think like a child
  • See and do the obvious (when you know the people, you know the problem, and sometimes a solution)
  •  If somebody already invented it, you don't need to do it again (help whatever is already going on)
  • Make sure it has positive measurable impact that can be brought to scale, reaching a million people and make their lives measurably better.
  • Design to specific cost and price targets
  • Follow practical three year plans
  •  Continue to learn from your customers
  • Stay positive: don't be distracted by what others think
  1. Go and learn about groups/people/organizations that are working to end poverty. Might I suggest Living Stones?
  2. Read “Half the Sky” to get stories and statistics of what is really happening with the women of the world: “Because men typically control the purse strings, it appears that the poorest families in the world typically spend approximately ten times as much (20% of their income on average) on a combination of alcohol, prostitutes, candy, sugary drinks, and lavish feasts as they do on educating their children…perhaps it seems culturally insensitive to scold the poor for indulging in festivals, alcohol, or sweets that make life more fun. Yet when resources are scares, priorities are essential…and the simplest solution is to reallocate spending.” Which is why most social and government services are now going through the women, because the money is more likely to get to the children.
  3. At the end of “Half the Sky,” they call for three pragmatic steps: $10 billion for educating girls, $19 million to give iodized salt to pregnant women (which would raise IQ at least ten points in impoverished children born), and a $1.6 billion plan to eradicate obstetric fistula (which normally happens from harsh rape or when a baby gets stuck during birth and permanently cripples if not treated—but is treatable).
  4. People are doing things to end poverty. It can be done—this guy put a price tag on it. Here is a philosophical and intelligent view of things:
  5. “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of Justice” –Nelson Mandela
  6. “It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish” –Mother Teresa
  7. “Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life. Let us be outraged, let us be loud, let us be bold.” –Brad Pitt
  8. “It is not just the kids that are here, needy and needing. It is the whole family. And even if you don’t help us, do something. Anything. God is always showing us something we can do for someone else. Take the step in front of you, and see where it takes you…but don’t stand still. We are working with those who are considered and treated as the trash of the world. The unwanted. The child that is dirty and strikes his hand in your face and asks for money, making you feel uncomfortable…those everyone else has thrown out—of mind and heart. It is not about money, it is about action. Doing what you can where you are Do whatever comes to your mind when you ask God honestly, What would you have me do?” –Patricia, one of the Living Stones workers
Ok...the numbering got all screwed up. But I promise, there really are 30 things.