A very Happy New Year to you all! We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that the peace of Immanuel, God with us, stays with you among the hopes and fears a new year brings.
Recently, I found an old video from October 2010. At the time we were working with a boy’s home in the city but had come across a number of girls in horrific situations. In the video I speak about our hopes of starting a girls’ home and ask for prayer as we tentatively seek out the first steps of where we feel God leading us. Wow, what a lot has happened since! Could we have imagined then what God would do? Raising up a prayer group, leading us to the streets and, eventually, pioneering the first ever home for girls in the city. Since then over 60 girls have passed through ReVive and have found safe homes either through reintegration or adoption; a second home is about to open for babies and young children; community-based prevention projects are coming up; a God-given vision for fostering and a new municipal law is about to be passed. God not only did more than we could have imagined, but also provided us with a wonderful team to do it all with. We’re grateful to God for all that he’s done and are excited by what this new year will bring.
The new home
The house is now finished and looks amazing. Here’s a report on the grand opening from the ReVive blog:
“On 31 July ReVive officially opened our new safe house for up to 12 boys and girls between the ages of 0 and 6. It was a lovely evening with lots of friends and supporters along with Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Brazil, Vijay, the British Consul in Recife, Graham, and the Vice Ambassador, Liz. There were also representatives of the three branches of local government and a few reporters. The girls gave a ballet presentation which received a standing ovation. Vijay cut the ribbon and revealed the plaque dedicating the house to Kelsey Moore, a friend of ReVive’s from the US who sadly passed away after battling cancer. Kelsey is the kind of mother we wish for every child who passes through ReVive. Andy used the moment to emphasise ReVive’s work in adoption and long term vision of transitioning to foster care, saying: ‘Tonight we’re opening this house because the city needs it – it needs more spaces to care for babies and young children. But the children who will live here do not need a beautiful house – their greatest need is a family who will love and support them.’ The ceremony ended in a prayer of blessing over the house.”
We’re currently interviewing for new staff and hope to open in early January.
“ReVive saved my life”
ReVive’s impact sometimes goes unknown by us, as it takes a while to see the fruits of seeds that are being planted. But recently a “fruit” of ReVive’s work came to a church in Rio de Janeiro where I was preaching, over 2,000km away from where I had last seen her five years earlier. Milena was the second girl to come to ReVive soon after we’d opened in 2014 – she’s one of the two girls jumping in one of ReVive’s most recognised photos. After just under a year in the house she returned to her family. Now 20, she lives close to Rio where she is working in a bar and studying to be an odontologist! She’d heard I was in Rio speaking and had crossed the city to see me. It was wonderful to see her again and to hear, in her own words, how “Revive saved my life.” May God continue to work in her life… and thanks to him for letting us see a little fruit of “restoring lives, renewing hope” among the girls and young people here.
Rose and Elise, ReVive’s coordinator, participated in two international conferences recently. One was in Curitiba, Brazil, on fostering and the other was in North Carolina, USA. Both were of great use as we think about the next stages of pioneering a fostering service here. It has been interesting to see how God has given us favour with the local government. The mayor came to visit ReVive and was very impressed with our work. At two further meetings with him I was able to present the fostering vision alongside colleagues from the local government. He loved the vision and has sanctioned that a municipal law be drawn up to provide legislation for the service. Two of our team, Tony and Evaldo, were instrumental in writing the law. We’re currently waiting for it to be passed by the local councillors and then will partner with the local government to provide the service during 2020.
Please pray for two sisters currently going through the adoption process – the eldest is a little resistant.
A former ReVive girl, Ana, turned 18 recently. She came to ReVive as a 12-year-old along with her older sister. They spent almost four years with us before returning to their extended family. Ana returned to ReVive this month as a paid employee! She is ReVive’s first young apprentice – she’ll spend the next 18 months gaining work experience and doing a professional business course. This will provide a salary for her and we hope that the course and experience will open up doors for future employment. We hope to always have an old ReVive girl in the young apprenticeship programme.
We hope you enjoyed reading the headlines of the past few months. Pray for us as we continue to grow the ministry in the upcoming year. We look forward to seeing many of you during our period of home ministry from August 2020–January 2021. More details to come soon!