The entertainment at a children’s party

In July we asked you to pray for the Soapbox short-term trip to Brazil which was being led by Tim.  Five very full but successful weeks later we’re happy to thank you for your prayers which made a huge contribution to this trip.

Two separate groups totalling 16 people, most of them teenagers, had an excellent mission experience, most of them for the first time, which will have a significant impact on their lives.  Discovering genuine poverty for the first time, taking responsibility for activities, and relating responsibly to underprivileged children were some of the positive outcomes.

Building under way

The teams were working in a home for children who have been removed from their families for their own safety or protection, which is run entirely by local Christians with very little outside support.  Although the children are housed, fed, clothed and educated, they do not have much else, so were really appreciative of the interest shown in them by others from overseas, who played with them, taught them some English, and took them out on trips.  Some of us also formed lasting supportive relationships with the children which will continue now we are back in England.

Also, the teams accomplished an immense amount of practical work:

  • Built, plastered (with professional help) and painted a wall to prevent children falling off the patio
  • Paid for a builder to complete the final section of the perimeter wall and concrete an area of waste ground so that the children can play on it safely
  • Painted the main hall of the building
  • Built a set of sturdy steps to give children safe access to the upper play area
  • Repaired damaged perimeter walls and cracks in the patio paving
  • Replaced the lock on the main door which wouldn’t easily open when shut, or vice versa
  • Replaced broken glass in windows
  • Fitted locks and handles to many doors and cupboards
  • Made numerous repairs to plumbing, furniture and lighting
  • Provided new furniture for the bedrooms
  • Provided new cups, plates and cutlery for the children
  • Bought a new DVD player and some dvds
  • Took out an amazing quantity of sports equipment, games, craft materials and clothes

Painters at work

Happily there were no cases of accident, tummy upsets, serious injuries, culture shock or homesickness, so praise God for watching over us!

This was in many respects the highlight of the year for these children who, while being well-cared for, lack people to take an ongoing interest in them, play with them, and help them develop.  The shelter at which they stay runs a ‘godparent’ scheme whereby local people are partnered with a child and take them out, give them presents, and potentially work towards adopting them.  However many children don’t have godparents to help them, and some are too old (12 or over) to be attractive to potential godparents, who generally seek younger ones.  Please pray that more godparents will be found.

We cannot publish any photos of the children, for their own protection.

Please continue to pray for the children, who will miss us as their lives go back to normal  routine until next summer when another team will visit, and for us too as we settle back into our UK lifestyles (or not!).