A night on the streets by Tim

The Liberdade project in Brazil has been an incredible experience for our family. The project runs for the 31 days of the Fifa world cup and we are half way through. As soccer teams from all over the world have gathered to play in one of the world’s largest sporting events, the Liberdade teams reach out to the countless victims in Brazil’s notorious red-light districts and pray for an end to sex trafficking in the nation.

We have been privileged as a family to serve and observe what God is doing through this movement. I personally have been a part of the night outreach teams to the women and men of the streets and have been impacted in such a powerful way.

A night on the streets

I leave our apartment around 8pm and catch a taxi close to the prayer room.


I walk across the bridge over a busy Rio road. I’m full of expectation as I pray and feel the Spirit stirring in me.PhotoGrid_1403896548939I walk under the train bridge…

Train bridge

…and past the bbqs and the bars.


I have walked down this street many times. It’s full of bars, bikers and places that make me wonder. Who goes there? Where do they come from? God, how do you see this place?


I arrive at the building where the prayer room is running on the fifth floor.  24/7 this place is full of worship and prayer and is an unassuming beacon of hope and light in a dark place.

Outside prayer room

I join others and spend time in worship.

Worship time

We take time to pray and prepare our hearts. I feel love and power stirring inside of me.


Then we head out as a team. We are ready and open to what the Holy Spirit wants to do.

Team walks

As we pass streets of brothels my mind races and my emotions bubble. These places are so foreign to me, but the more I go out the more comfortable I feel in this environment. God is doing a work in me and I’m welcoming the change.


As we see girls on the roadside, three or four of our team members approach. With love in our hearts we engage with each girl and share the love of Jesus with them by telling them how special they are to Him. In many of the conversations the girls shed tears. Someone cares enough to say hi, to pray with them and give them words from their heavenly Father. We invite them to a weekly lunch held at the prayer room, give them gifts and say good night.


We continue to walk and find more ladies to talk to. Men in cars troll the roads staring at the women, consumed by their own lust. I am angered and saddened but I pray for them, I ask God to change their hearts too.


I take in the surroundings on a street where many ladies and transvestites work. It’s dark, sad and lonely. “I can’t feel hope anymore” describes one of the women in conversation. My heart breaks. Of the 20 women and men we saw on the streets we had conversations with about 10 of them. There are more tears, more gifts, more invitations. We feel a real openness tonight and our prayer is that light would shine through us and meet them where they are at.


After a couple of hours we return back to the prayer room. We debrief and pray and team members are brought to tears from the experience.

I make my way home and walk along the now empty street. Solemn, prayerful and changed.

Street homeI get back in a taxi and within 5 minutes I’m home. I wait and settle my thoughts before I go to bed.


It was a good night.

4 songs for the season by Jess

Dear friends, I just thought I’d share four songs that have meant a lot to me during the last few months. These songs have been a source comfort, strength and encouragement in moments when I have felt both very weak and very strong.  I’ve pulled out just a line or two that have really spoken to me, I hope they speak to you as well.

Click on each title to access the song.

We Dance – Bethel Music, You make me Brave
I’ve been told, to pick up my sword and fight for love
Little did I know that love had won for me P1030104

(Figure 8 Island, Willmington, North Carolina)

Carry On – Heartland, Alive in You
Because when I’m weak you make me strong
You make me strong enough to carry on P1020768

(Redwood National Park, California)

Hoist Your Sail – Archaeologist, Before the Start
Darling lift your eyes, can you see that sunrise
Think of what this brings, a new day that begs to be explored

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(View from our apartment in Rio de Janeiro)

Give me Jesus – Bethel Music, Tides
The original hymn is an old African-American spiritual written during the time of slavery in the Untied States.

You can have all this world, give me Jesus P1030556 copy

(Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro)

Love Jess xxoo

The first week with the beautiful game by Jess

It’s been a big week since the World Cup started and so much has happened. I mean the Blues finally won a State of Origin after an 8 year drought. Anyway, to kick off the World Cup we went to stay with our billets in Vilar Dos Teles. Our billets consisted of two different house-holds that we were to travel between, each just as lovely and welcoming as the other.

Amy was sick, so although we were a little house-bound it worked out well. We managed to go for a walk on the street and met some of the local kids because they wanted to touch Amy’s blonde hair.  Amy’s hair always gets people’s attention. I often hear people say “Que Linda” (how beautiful) as they walk past. Unfortunately I still haven’t learned the word for ‘gentle’, so when it comes to kids, I try to say as sweetly as I can “Para por favor” (stop please) and just hope I don’t scare them away. I haven’t so far 🙂

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Tim and Fernando (our host) made a trip into Rio to pick up our World Cup tickets (that’s right) and it was then that we realized Rio was a 1-hour drive away or a 3-hour trip via public transport. Although these guys were willing to take us as much as they could, unfortunately for a whole month it wasn’t practical. Hence, I started the search for an affordable place to stay. Given that it’s the WORLD CUP and prices are tripled, I was concerned about our options. However, with favour on our side we found a great two-bedroom apartment close to the prayer room and Maracanã Stadium. We moved two days later.


We took a couple of days to rest, as I had now joined Amy in the sick department, but on Monday we made our first trip to the prayer room. We weren’t able to stay long, but it was great to be there anyway. We will go there as much as possible either as a family or separately.

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The rest of our week consisted of hanging out with Frank from Australia… (sorry about the horrible picture quality)


Amy’s 2nd Birthday…


And all of us becoming seriously sick with a dreadful flu. The type of flu that makes you go through boxes of tissues and unable to open your eyes in the morning.

On a plus side, we have watched a lot of World Cup games and love to hear the Brazilians cheer and celebrate throughout the area we’re staying. I’m pleased to say that the Brazilians in our area seem to cheer for Australia when they play… it must be the similar colours. We have been asked a few times, why we play with yellow and green “Why do you use Brazilian colours?” they ask, “Yellow and green are not on your flag.” Fare enough questions really, but the most embarrassing thing is that I had to Google the answer. Apparently there are lots of reasons, so we just show them this…


Well, after a big week what else have I learned? Firstly, Amy really loves balloons!

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Secondly, Brazilians really know how to celebrate and are far more passionate about Football than us laid back Aussies are about anything. It’s hard to explain if you aren’t here, but the noise of triumph and heartache comes from EVERY house at every moment of the game.

Thirdly, I’ve learned that although I had dreams of spending long days in the prayer room, with Amy and especially while we’re all sick, it’s just not possible – we can only do what we can do and that’s ok 🙂 Well, I keep telling myself it’s ok.

Lastly, I’ve learned that I want a bigger heart to love. When I look at my life and the state of my heart, I desire more. From everything I’ve done up until now and people I have known, I know that there is so much more. I know that God has created me with a certain capacity and I don’t have to be someone I’m not, but perhaps that’s it… I believe God is growing my heart to love more. I recently posted on FaceBook:

“God reminded me again today that I have one purpose, and that is to love. I could ask for no greater assignment.”

Like most lessons in God, it starts at home. This means learning to receive God’s love more and then loving Him back. It means loving Tim and Amy when I just want a moment to myself or I’m too sick to move. I think this one will take some time, but that’s ok. I have time to give.

Much (more) Love
Jess xxoo

A lot can happen in two weeks by Jess

For the last two weeks we have being in Rio de Janeiro having a holiday with my family. It was such a blessing and wonderfully timed as we gear up to help with Liberdade during the World Cup.

The highlights

– I turned 30 and had the most amazing day including a one hour massage at the famous Copacabana Palace
– I got to see my folks, sister and Rachel
– Our schedule was our own
– Tim and I managed to have a few dates/outings by ourselves.
– We explored Rio with Rio Natural tour group and saw some truly amazing things

Here are some pics…

Christ the Redeemer


Christ the Redeemer and Santa Teresa Rio Natural Ecotourism P1030173

Sugar Loaf

P1030974 Rio WIDE

Copacabana and Ipanima



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Tijuca Hike


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My birthday




Two Brothers hike and Favela tour

Senderismo y Montanismo Morro dois Irmãos Rio Natural Ecotourism P1030235 P1040217



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The sacrifices

– I have been missing out on celebrating some of my closest friends birthdays, this is especially disappointing as most of us are turning 30.
– One of my amazing friends just became an Ironman. If I was in Australia, I would have traveled to Cairns to see her cross the finish line.
– The birth of my niece! God bless SKYPE! We were able to meet Esther this morning via Skype, but I still feel sad that I can’t hold her and kiss her in person. I also wish we were there to support my sister and brother (Tim’s Bro and sister-in-law) as they journey through the first few weeks as a family.
– My cat died. Jimmy was hit by a car and had to be put down. I was and still am totally heartbroken. Tim gave him to me for my 21st birthday and we had 9 years with him. I felt so bad that I couldn’t be there as he was put down, but an amazing friend played him a WhatsApp message from me and cuddled him for me.

So, it’s been a few weeks of highs and personal difficulties, but honestly… I never thought I would be in Rio for my birthday. I am truly blessed! We are currently in Niterio, which is a city across the bay from Rio. We are staying with friends of friends (who are now our friends) and loving our time here. Tim spoke at Pier 49 church on Sunday night and we’ve been able to explore this city a little. We’ll head to Petrópolis on Wednesday, so I’m sure there will be some more interesting updates to come.

Love to all
Jess xxoo