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.
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