We have sports, educational, and discipleship programs for children challenged with many hardships – from those who’ve been abandoned or are trapped in trafficking and drugs to those living in poverty and with domestic violence. Most of the children we help come from the low-income community of Tuiuti. Our sports program attracts the children to our missions base, the education we provide prepares them for successful and productive lives, and the gospel we share transforms their hearts.
For children, participating in sports is non-threatening, fun, and an effective means of drawing them to our facility. While they participate in the games, we embrace and love them as family. As they feel how loved they are and learn to trust, hope begins to grow, and they want to participate in our educational programs, hear the gospel, and become discipled in a biblical lifestyle.
In Brazil, there are no homeless shelters, food banks, or jobs for people who want to work. Those who come to our facility are hungry, discouraged, and often lacking in the skills needed for the few jobs that are available. For Rio’s most destitute, we work with every area of brokenness– from hunger and addictions to illiteracy and lack of job skills – to restore their lives and give them hope and dignity.
Every Monday, about 50 homeless people from the dirty streets of the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro come to our facility. In addition to serving hot meals to our friends, we visit with them, share God’s love, and provide haircuts and clean clothes. As we get to know them and their trust grows, we offer our Second Chance program to provide the skills they need to compete for jobs in the marketplace.
Most of the children we serve do not have access to high-speed internet at home, nor do they have a quiet, peaceful place to study. In addition, many are several years behind in their education, especially when it comes to literacy, due to the poor public education system in low-income neighborhoods and the children’s difficult home lives.
To help these children, we set up rooms with the latest software programs on new computers connected to a network, where they can study in an environment of order and peace. In addition to our literacy programs, we teach the skills they need to compete in the marketplace, such as using a computer, completing a job application, and interviewing for a position.
Children who have participated in our education programs greatly improved their skills, learned to read, and even caught up to their current grade level.
In our Second Chance program, we use a digital professional education platform to assist those who are struggling vocationally and would like to learn new skills to either secure employment or improve their employment outlook. Many have lost their way in life and want to learn new trades. As part of the program, we provide food and other living essentials to help them maintain dignity and hope.
On Wednesdays, we go to the streets to spend time with and deliver food to the needy.
The children not only get an excellent basic education with us, they also gain an education in the importance of godly character and living morally as we share the gospel with them. Many of these kids have not felt valued at home or been taught right from wrong. When they encounter God’s love, these forgotten children are transformed into kids who feel loved and valued and want to live godly lives.