What’s on our radar in human trafficking

We just thought we’d share a few things that are on our radar (click on the links). Most are related to human trafficking or slavery and they are in no particular order.

10,000 children refugees have gone missing

Exploitation in electronics

(Get the full report here)

Recent change of focus for Destiny Rescue

We were so encouraged to see the latest reports from DR in late 2015. Rescuing girls is one thing, but having a best practice approach to rehabilitation and reintegration is another. Based on the numbers of rescues they were reporting in the beginning of 2015 we were concerned about how they were keeping up with the massive after-care process. We love that these guys are willing to go back to the drawing board and make sure they are complying with Governmental standards and helping these precious souls have long-term healing and change.

Shopping ethically

You will be horrified by some of the latest news stories you’ll read:

Most Aussies don’t know that in December Woolworths, Coles and Aldi were all buying prawns and seafood from a Thai company involved in the forced labour of men, women and children. If we knew our prawns caused someone else to be trapped in hell I’m sure we would all have a re-think about where we bought them.

This job in Margate with Save the Children

Maybe it will suit someone else 🙂 If you don’t know who Save the Children are check them out here.

Zika virus and travelling to Brazil

Obviously most things concerning Brazil are close to our hearts and this one is no exception. Another level of concern is that Tim and my Brother will be heading over to Rio in August this year to once again serve and observe all that God is doing in this country. We watch the spread and handling of this virus with deep concern and pray for the beautiful babies and families that are affected.

What is causing the microcephaly outbreak?

Olympics and Zika

Zika related abortion debate

That’s all for now…stay educated. Don’t shut yours eyes because it’s painful, but keep it balanced or we’ll all end up depressed.

Love Jess xxoo

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

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

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 🙂

IMAG2554 IMAG2594 IMAG2569 IMAG2564

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.

IMAG2657 IMAG2636 IMAG2622 IMAG2625

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!

P1040615 copy

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



P1030912 P1030841 P1030896 P1030812 DSCN8855 DSCN8862


Tijuca Hike


P1040179 DSCN9096


My birthday




Two Brothers hike and Favela tour

Senderismo y Montanismo Morro dois Irmãos Rio Natural Ecotourism P1030235 P1040217



DSCN9238P1040313 P1040295



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

A Merry Update

Merry Christmas everyone! We thought we’d end this year with a more detailed update of our trip plans. We have been so overwhelmed and blessed by people’s love, words, excitement and support for us at every step of the way. We have amazing family and friends and we feel like we’re doing this with you.

So, what are we planning?

A quick snapshot: USA – April, Brazil – May to July, Turkey for 3 nights, Thailand for a year – August 2014 to September 2015….

Travel Map

USA – Northern California & Florida (1 month)

Time for a holiday! We’re going to stay in San Francisco for about 5 nights before doing a little road trip up north to Redding (including a few days near Yosemite).  Although some of the destinations are only a few hours apart, we want a relaxing trip and have to keep Amy in mind. We’ve never done a road trip together before, so it’s bound to be lots of fun. We’ve paid for a some of the accommodation and hire car and pretty much know where we’d like to stop along the way. After 12 nights in Redding catching up with friends and celebrating Easter at Bethel, we’ll be heading over to Florida to connect with an amazing couple we met in Pennsylvania in 2011.

Brazil – (3 months)

When Tim went to Brazil earlier this year, he fell in love with some incredible people and we’re so excited to stay with Hangar7 for about 3.5 weeks. We’re hoping to serve and observe in any way we can during this time. It’ll be a great opportunity for us to be exposed to a different church culture. Hopefully we’ll get some Portuguese lessons too.

Jess turns 30 in Rio, so we’re meeting up with her folks and sister to spend two weeks exploring the city and filling up the family love tank. After this we’ll be spending a month partnering with Exodus Cry during the FIFA World Cup. We’re so excited to connect with these guys and learn as much as we can from them. This will involve a lot of prayer and worship as well as street outreach. Between us, we’ll spend 6 hours a day in the prayer room while the other person looks after Amy. How involved Amy will be in this venture will depend on the atmosphere and environment. We will be connected with a local church (we think) and hope/pray that they will be able to host us… otherwise, we’ll have to look for our own accommodation eeekkk! If we’re lucky, we may even attend a soccer/football match.


The end of our Brazil leg will be a two-week visit to Shores of Grace. The leaders of this great ministry were Tim’s trip leaders when he was in Brazil in March. This incredible couple (Nic & Rachel Billman) and their team have a huge heart for Brazil and the women and children in Recife effected by poverty and abuse. This will be more time of connection and learning.

Turkey – Istanbul (3 nights)

It’s about a 12 hour flight from Sao Paulo to Istanbul and then another 7 hours or so to Bangkok. If we were just travelling as a couple we may not have scheduled this stop, but once again, we need to keep Amy in mind and be fair on her. So a stop over in Istanbul for three nights is our plan. We haven’t booked our accommodation yet, but we have somewhere in mind. We looked into making a trip down to Gallipoli, but it’s a 5 hour drive one way and a two-year old in a car for 10 hours in one day is probably not the best idea. We’ll stick to easy things and we know we’ll enjoy our short time there, now we just wish it was longer!


Thailand – (1 year minimum)

This is the least organised part of the trip so far. Here’s what we have on the cards at the moment. We’ll fly into Bangkok and then head over to Phuket. We’re hoping to attend the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) International conference where missionaries come together with Australian pastors to connect.

After this we plan on serving with Destiny Rescue, taking a single volunteer position between the two of us. Once again this will mean that Amy will always be well looked after. How this will look we are yet to work out.

We hope to get a 2-3 bedroom apartment whilst in Thailand to host any family and friends who may want to visit . There is always room at our Inn (nice Christmas reference there) if you want to check out what Destiny Rescue are doing or just want to come and hang with the Greenwoods.

Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves!

When we think about all the different destinations of this adventure, we want to be at all of them now. We want to be holidaying in the USA, praying for people in Brazil, walking through the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and partnering with Destiny Rescue in Thailand. How exciting and challenging at the same time! There’s so much more planning (and spending) to come and of course that can be stressful, but we’ll just keep going at it and enjoy this part of the ride.

Once again from our family to yours… Merry Christmas!

Love Tim, Jess & Amy

Brazil Trip with Global Awakening by Tim

In March of 2013 I joined a team from Global Awakening to go to Brazil. This was a long time dream of mine and it was a life changing experience in many ways. I spent two weeks in Brazil divided between Rio de Janeiro for some sight seeing and an area just outside of Sao Paulo for a ministry experience with Global Awakening.


Rio de Janeiro – What an incredible city. The hustle and bustle of New York and the smell and culture of Bangkok. Rio never seems to sleep and there’s always something to do. One of the most tourist populated cities in the world and they’ve made the most of it. I spent 5 nights here and loved it all; from the incredible beaches to the energetic football matches to the momentous sights and friendly people.

P1000298Impanema Beach

P1000172Christ the Redeemer

P1000110View from the top of the Sugar Loaf


Hangar7 – This was one of the most amazing groups of people I’ve ever met. A church of young people who live for Jesus in everything they do and passionately love the people in their city of Indaiatuba. This group of people is pastored by Juan and Keila, who are now my great friends. The Global team partnered with Hangar7 to run a three day conference at the church. It was an incredible time of meeting amazing people, soaking in God’s tangible presence and training and equipping for outreach and life. Fantastic memories. Thanks Hangar7!




Campinas Red-light district – One of the most incredible experiences I had during this trip was a visit to a red-light district in Campinas. A small team of people would go into the district each afternoon during the conference with Hangar7. We would take roses and a Father’s Love Letter in small teams looking for opportunities to bless the ladies in the area. It was an eye opening experience but we were able to pray for and prophecy over a number of ladies. Some great news, there are plans for future ongoing ministry in this area.


The Global Awakening team – This was the crazy bunch of people that I got to hang out with over the week. The group were from the US, Canada, Switzerland, UK and Aus. We laughed, cried, sung, ate and ministered together and saw God do some incredible things.

Global Team

The Three Musketeers and D’artagnan – These three guys became my brothers and friends I will never forget. Isaque (top right), Diego (bottom right), Igor (top left) and I made the most of every chance to hang together and minister together.  With only Isaque having good english and Diego and Igor ok english, there were many laughs and blank stares when trying to communicate to each other. Macomequeisso???!!!

The three Musketeers

I was changed forever and blessed by what God did in me and through me. I now have some life long friends that I know I will see again. Thank you.