We love you Brazil! – Nós te amamos Brasil!

We are about to leave the shores of Brazil and embark on the next leg of our journey. We will miss this amazing place and the people that have become the greatest of friends. Here are some highlights from our three months here… We love you Brazil!

Estamos prestes a deixar a costa do Brasil e embarcar na próxima etapa da nossa viagem. Nós vamos perder este lugar incrível e as pessoas que se tornaram o maior de amigos. Aqui estão alguns destaques de nossos três meses aqui … Nós te amamos Brasil!


The people – As pessoas
People GRID
The places – Os locais

Places GRID

 The food – A comida
The football – O futebol
Football GRID
The Churches – As Igrejas

Church GRID

The prayer and outreach – A oração e evangelismo
Prayer GRID
Family fun – Diversão em família

Family GRID

Until we see you again, thank you.  Até que vê-lo novamente, obrigado.

Tim, Jess & Amy

Shores of Grace – Margens da Graça

An excerpt from a message to family…
(Jess) Tonight I went to street church again (but a different location). In this location most of the people carry water bottles and sniff glue. There were about ten people sitting together on the steps of the shops. The first lady I saw was probably in her 40s. She was crouching on her legs sucking her thumb. I offered to paint her nails and led her by the hand to a step. Later as I painted her very dirty toenails I thought of Jesus and the women who washed his feet with her tears. I thought about loving ‘the least of these’. I joined the others as one Brazilian man played on the drum. His wife asked me (through a translator) if the drum was my husband. I ended up painting her nails and just sat next to her for a while. There was a 5-year-old girl who was lapping up our attentions. I gave her pony rides and when we pretended she was my baby, I prayed over her like crazy. As I passed her to someone else, I sang a lullaby I sing over Amy every night…

Bye, bye baby, rest your little head
Bye, bye baby, angels guard your bed

Back at the base that night I thought of that precious girl, sleeping on the door step of a shop and wonder what chance she has. Can she avoid being sexually abused (if she already hasn’t). Can she avoid becoming addicted to glue when everyone around her (including 8-year-olds) are? These are complicated questions with no simple answer. Yet again, I think that the work these guys (Shores of Grace) do there… Their consistency and love they show is a light to where no other is shining.

This is….


Shores of Grace is a worship and missionary ministry located in Recife, Brazil, led by Nic and Rachael Billman. Their focus is setting those in prostitution and abuse free and walking them through restoration; taking the love of the Father to the poor and the broken and helping them see their true value, and equipping and serving the church in Brazil.

For more information about the ministry click here: Shores of Grace.

We have had two weeks serving and observing this great ministry here in Recife. We have been living on the Shores base with many others and doing ministry alongside the team. We were able to be involved with church at the base, church in the streets, street ministry, helping at Bethany House (rescue home), connect with the local community and much more. Realistically, it’s not about what ‘we have done’, it’s about what God is doing here and will continue to do here long after we have left.

We don’t take photos of the ministry experiences here to look after the privacy of the people who are being ministered too. The photo’s below are from the local area and setting up a banquet we were a part of.


Excerpts from messages to family…
(Tim) A few of us drove into the local favela (slum) in the morning and visited the poorest family who live under a sheet of metal with rugs on the floor. So very poor. I fell in love with the mum and I got to sit with some of her family. They were beautiful. We were able to pray for a few of them and invite them to the banquet being held for the mums that night. I was a jungle gym for three very cute little kids.

(Jess) I’m totally exhausted today, probably because I was up with Amy at 3:30am and went all day without a break. Thank you God for your Grace! The banquet for the mothers from the favela was truly amazing. I was able to sit with the girls that Tim met during the morning and we talked about our dreams. One of them dreams to live in a house and another wants to live with her husband for the rest of her life. This is big… The men often don’t stay around for long. We laughed and talked as best as we could with the language barrier. We ate well and they had their make-up done. It was a fabulous night and the ladies loved being served by the men because in their culture it’s always the other way around.




God has done so much in our hearts this last two weeks. We are learning to trust Him, learning to lean into Him and learning how He loves the unloved. Shores of Grace has been an amazing place to experience all of this and learn from people who have given up their lives to bring love to the least of these.

Thank you Luke and Alison Billman and all of the Shores team and volunteers for this opportunity.

Love Tim & Jess

For the one not here by Jess

In the first few days of 2010 I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks. I never knew that tiny little life, but I loved that baby every day while he/she was alive. I loved my child, prayed everyday over that precious soul and made plans for our future. Please know that I don’t mourn this little one anymore. However, although I don’t carry the pain of all that happened, it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss that little bubba whenever I think of them 🙂

Today, that baby would have been four… so I send this happy birthday message up to heaven.


I love you darling one. Happy 4th Birthday! I still think about you and all the things we didn’t get to do together. But it’s ok sweet-heart, you’re with Jesus and I know that you’ll be having so much fun with Him. Do you laugh together all the time? I think you do. Part of me is jealous really, you beat me to Him!

Please say hi to Timothy, August, Rebecca Faith, Israel and the other babes who have no names on earth. Tell them that we love them too, we miss you all, we will not forget you. We don’t know why you’re not here, but we know that God is good… all the time. Give Jesus a big kiss for me! I’ll see you all real soon.

Love Mummy xxoo

A day in the prayer room with Mummy and Daddy by Amy

I like going to the prayer room some days with Mummy and Daddy. It’s a big adventure and I have lots of fun there. It can be a big day but I’m a big girl so I am very good (except for when I’m not).

When Mummy and Daddy wake up in the morning they don’t look so good. Lucky they have coffee to wake them up. I don’t know why they are so tired, I sleep really well!


This is the prayer room. It’s really big and I walk around everywhere so Mummy and Daddy can get their daily exercise as they follow me. I like the pretty lights on the back wall.


This is what I can see from one of the windows. Mummy and Daddy say that there are lots of people here that need our prayers.


I like to look out another window and I can see Jesus! I can spot him everywhere. “Hi Jesus”.


I pray too, my prayers usual go… “Dear Jesus, thank you for moon (food) and for teddy. I want cake. Amen.”


This is my prayer wall that I like to draw on. I drew a picture of Jesus on a hill and he is looking after the children. I also put love heart stickers on the picture. Daddy’s drawing is next to mine.


Mummy likes my prayer wall too. She likes to write nice things to Jesus while I play.


Mummy and me like to draw and play together and we sometimes wear matching colours!


A trip to the prayer room is never complete without playing with play-doh. Mummy makes duckies and babies with blankets. Daddy isn’t as good, but he tries.


I also bring my toys because some days we stay for a while.

P1050021 copy

I also like playing with STICKERS! They are my favourite!!!

Mummy and Daddy would never go the prayer room without snacks, crayons and paper, stickers and a few toys. Without them, our day can be a little tough. They just thought you should know 😉


Playing and praying is thirsty work, especially when the water comes out of a water-cooler. I often need a top up even if there’s still some water in the cup.


Daddy can get a bit tired praying as well. I bring the iPad for him so he can watch my Charlie Bear cartoon when he gets bored.


I don’t sleep when we go to the prayer room, but mum makes me lay down sometimes. I pretend and shut my eyes for about 10 seconds.


I rarely get to take my shoes off, but when I do, my feet get a bit dirty. I think that’s fun, but Mummy doesn’t think so when she carries me home and I wrap my legs around her.


I love Caroline and Caitlin a lot. They are my friends and when they see me they smile. They are very lovely singers.


I like to play music too and I’m a really good drummer! Watch my fun video – Amy drumming (right click and open in new tab)

When it’s time to go I wave and say ‘Ciao’ to my friends and they giggle. I don’t know what’s so funny about saying goodbye.


Bye… Kiss? Mwah!

Love Amy

A day in the prayer room by Jess

Tim recently blogged about a night on the streets and Vila Mimosa, so I thought I would give you a glimpse into what happens in the prayer room. It won’t be as shocking, but it’s the results of all that the teams are doing on the streets at night.

The prayer room runs on the fifth floor of a six-story building and is open 24 hours during the whole of the World Cup (with plans to continue beyond).  Specific groups or individuals take 2 hour shifts leading worship and prayer, each with their own approach and style. People from different churches regularly come and go, so the intercom at the gate is constantly buzzing to let people up. There are other businesses in the building running during the day and controlling the noise level can be difficult at times. Sometimes the room is full with passionate prayers while other times it is very quite and I secretly wonder if the others have fallen asleep. It is an incredible place to be in.

This particular Thursday I got the to prayer room at 11am and as usual, started telling God how awesome I think He is. I love praising God in a suburb where people praise a lot of other things. I lift up my love to Him. I proclaim that He is Lord and the King of Kings. I read my bible and journal what I’m thinking. Then, I worship Him some more.

P1040952 copy

Every Thursday at about 2pm we host a lunch for the women of Vila Mimosa and other red-light areas that the teams have been going to. This week there were about seven women and about nine kids. Needless to say it felt like there were a lot of kids in the small lunch space… all with nothing to do. Although I couldn’t do much, I asked God to use what I had and what I had was a few pieces of paper and some felt pens. I sat on the concrete floor surrounded by beautiful little faces and taught the younger ones how to make paper boxes and pinwheels while their mums had a break. While I played colouring, the other Liberdade team had an opportunity to talk with the women without distraction.

I made friends with (or more accurately was befriended by) an amazing ten-year-old named Erick. He loved being taught how to make the paper boxes and seemed to be everywhere I went. He made me a flower and I’m telling you now, I will keep it for the rest of my life.


Later, after playing 1-2-3-shoot, Erick and I sat on the floor talking until my Portuguese ran out. I went to get some more paper for us to draw on and grabbed my Brazilian friend Endrew (yes, with an ‘E’) to translate what he could. Erick told me about how his dog had just died, how he could draw a dragon, how he wanted to be a fireman or an astronaut and how he liked coming to the prayer room. He asked me if this place was a church. I said that we weren’t, but that we all loved Jesus. I showed him the prayer wall (I’m not sure what else to call it) and he said he wanted to write something. “What should I write?” he asked. I told him “Write whatever is in your heart”. He wrote Jesus is the best (Jesus e melhor) and you know what, Jesus really is.


After a while a few more Brazilians started connecting with Erick and my heart was so happy even though I was completely exhausted. Erick left around 6pm and I hope to see him again in the next week and a bit.

What an amazing opportunity to speak into this young boys life! In Vila Mimosa there is a sign that says “This place is dedicated to the demon of alcohol and the black demon”. There are lots of negative things spoken over this kid and his beautiful mum, but not this particular Thursday. Not when he was with me, not in the prayer room.

Imagine if Erick had people around him that believed he was smart and could become a fireman or an astronaut. Imagine if He believed that Jesus is the best for the rest of his life. Imagine if a whole generation of prostitutes’ kids experienced the love of God and had a heavenly perspective of their value. I know that the mums and other women were impacted and continue to be impacted by the relationships they are building, but God is also doing something with the kids as well.

(Journaling with a two-year old in tow)

P1040951 copy

If God asked Tim and I to quit our jobs and travel all the way to Brazil just so I could meet Erick and he could meet God… it would be worth it. I believe God is an extravagant God (just look at the stars) and he would ask us to spend a lot of money to reach one 10-year-old boy in the back streets of Rio. How much is one life worth to him? $10,000? $1,000,000? I know it is so much more. Obviously, I believe we are touching more than one life, but seriously, it is about each individual story and heart. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to see all the physical, emotional and spiritual needs, but I just have to stand back and watch which power overcomes. Some may call this fanciful, but I call it faith and hope.

I don’t go on the street outreach at night, because the travel home isn’t safe for me by myself, but I can pray. I can lift God’s name high. I can love a prostitute’s child and I will. The work the teams do at night and the deeper connections that happen during the day are a beautiful example of the church working together. We each have our part to play regardless of our skills, denomination or specific calling.

(The sign in sheets for the prayer room)

Realistically my time in the prayer room isn’t always easy. Sometimes I’m the only one there. Sometimes the music is so-so or I don’t know the songs or I’m hungry or I’m tired. But I truly do love it. The more time I spend with God, the more I love Him. And the more I love Him, the more I love others. That really is what it’s all about.

Love Jess xxoo

Vila Mimosa – Not a meat market by Tim


Have you ever been to a meat market or super butcher? There are so many different butchers presenting their best selections of meat, the best cuts on display, it’s a wonder to the sensors. This is the only analogy that I can think to use to describe Vila Mimosa, a red-light district in Rio de Janeiro that draws around 4000 men each day. It’s in this place that Liberdade teams have been doing outreach over the past few weeks.

Vila Mimosa copy_Fotor 5

Why would I post about this place and be so honest? Because of the women… the men… they need us. They need Jesus and we can’t just turn away from the dark places in society. The people of Vila Mimosa need Jesus.

Let me take you there…


The outreach night started the same as the others (Night of the streets), only tonight, my team were going into Vila Mimosa. I prepared my heart and prayed with others that were about to step out into the different outreach locations. I was teamed with three other people, two girls and a guy, mighty warriors and locals of Rio. Vila Mimosa is just a street away from the prayer room, but even though it was an easy walk, as we entered the main street I felt sick in the stomach. I felt the oppression both physically and spiritually and I knew we were in for a big night.

The street was full of cars and men walking and trolling. There were many alleys coming off the street filled to overflowing. Each of the alleys were lined with bars that are also used as brothels. One bar owner is a witch and worships the black demon. Like many other places in Rio there were street venders, shops and people everywhere. It was dark, noisy and smelly.

Vila Mimosa was alive and we were there to connect with the women and invite them to a lunch at the prayer room.

Cobble Stones 1

The two girls in our team were fearless. They would walk straight up to the women with big smiles and engage them quickly. After a moment of conversation they would give them a small gift and an invitation to the lunch. Even when there were men in close proximity to the ladies, these girls would step in unafraid. Myself and the other male in our team would stand close, praying and watching the men around to keep our girls safe.

We entered one of the dark and dingy alleys. The music coming from the bars was so loud that my head was pulsating. Everywhere we walked there was spilt beer, cigarettes, rubbish and murky water. Honestly, it was the most disgusting and oppressive place I’ve ever been in. The men seemed entranced and they stared at the women like they were pieces of meat. They could easily be hungry men at a meat market selecting their favourite cut.

Cobble Stones 2

Most of the women wore very short and tight fitting clothing. Some wore only bikini g-strings and others were topless, which of course only captivated the men more. I was approached by one of woman who was trying to offer me her business. I yelled over the music that I spoke in english. She only spoke Portuguese so all she said was “2 Reis, 2 Reis” ($1 Australian) and gestured with two fingers. This was the cheapest service she could offer me. I gestured that I was there to pray and she didn’t understand. I said good-bye and moved on with our team.

There were many things that shocked me. Men moved in groups trolling the allies together. Apparently it was a group event and they would stir each other on as they watched the girls. There were also a number of teenage boys standing around in the darkness. How did this become a place where they causually hung out?

As I watched the men meander through the alley questions rolled through my mind. Who are you, why are you here, are you married? I was searching the Spirit for answers and discerning the atmosphere and the people’s stories. I was sensing many things and when I felt led, I would step out and engage someone in conversation. As far as we know this place has never been reached by ‘the church’ before and as I prayed I felt like light was going out into the darkness.

Cobble Stones 3

A lot of the time I felt like I was in another world or in a bad dream. At one point I began to think about my daughter Amy, and for a moment, I felt normal again in this horrible place.

After a while as we walked through the allies all I could do was smile. I smiled at the women. I smiled at the men and I smiled at the atmosphere. There was so much love inside of me and it had to come out somehow. It came out of my smile.

One young man caught my attention. He had a backpack on that had the word ‘Jesus’ printed in bold. This intrigued me so I approached him. He didn’t speak english so in my limited portuguese I told him that I was from Australia and that Jesus loved him. He seemed to understand and also accept my words. I walked back to my team member and asked if he could go and talk with him and reaffirm what I was trying to say. It turns out that it was this young man’s birthday, hence the reason he was there. He explained to my team member that he was blessed by my words and he felt that it was a sign from God that an Australian would come all the way here to tell him Jesus loved him. I continued to pray for him after we moved on.

Cobble Stones 4

I started saying hi to some of the men in Portuguese to see if they understood or if they were foreigners. One man didn’t look Brazilian so I greeted him. He was an Australian and we chatted briefly. I was so saddened that someone from my country would come to this place, a place mostly visited by locals. I saw this man two more times during the night and continued the conversation. I left him with the thought that God was thinking about him and I continued to pray for him too.

We passed two other foreign looking men who were walking into the street. Their body language showed their level of excitement and I could have easily mistaken them as two mates going to a sports game. They seemed as excited as Jess and I were when we went to see a World Cup game. ARGH! I wanted to run up to them and yell “Turn around, get out of here, do you know what you’re doing?!” Instead, I yelled it in my spirit and prayed for them as well.

Cobble Stones 5

At the end of the night as we were walking out of the street, I turned around and yelled out “You will be closed down in the name of Jesus!” It felt good and I meant it.

When we got back to the prayer room our team of four prayed with a passion and fire to see God move in Vila Mimosa. I was so stirred and moved by my experience and I thank God that I was once again able to be involved. Ministry in Brazil to prostitutes and the men that pay for their services is complex. I know it will take more than one lunch invite to bring down the cultural, financial and spiritual strongholds that fuel this industry. However, change is happening one person at a time. With each invite, each smile, each prayer, each expression of love, I have faith and hope that the darkness in that street will cease.

Save Vila Mimosa Jesus. Amen.


Isaiah 40:29 – He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.