First of all, the YWAM base in Belo was started by Johann and Jeannette Lukasse, and Jeannette has written a book about their story called, A Cry from the Streets. I highly recommend reading this book no matter who you are or where you are in life. I am certain that it will warm your heart, inspire you, and just altogether enrich your life. To follow the adventure of a young dutch couple just wanting God to use their lives, not having the slightest idea just how much He would, and how they were miraculously led and provided for step by step is simply thrilling. I pretty much cried my whole way through the book.
The ministry that they began now is comprised of several unique types of ministries. Some work directly with children living on the streets in rescue houses for kids on the streets. The kids go through a program teaching them life skills, and since many of these kids do actually have living parents, much work is done to reach out to their families and seek to help them get back on their feet and love and take responsibilities for the kids as well. The goal is restoration of families and helping kids be able to function in society and get off the streets. There is also an refuge house for those who have no home, many of whom are victims of AIDS. Some of these children have been adopted by staff workers and it is so beautiful to see. These are just a couple of the types of work going on.
My friend that we are going to visit and hopefully help works at a ministry called "The Lighthouse." As I said before, many of the children living on the streets do have families, but are forced out because their parents do not care for them, their homes are simply not safe, or a variety of other reasons. Most of the street kids also come from the slums, or poor neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city. The Lighthouse is located in the largest slum in Belo Horizonte. They work with the kids in the slum to teach them life skills, give them productive and safe ways to spend their time, and of course share the love of Christ with them. This is a program aimed at preventing kids from ending up on the streets. They also put an emphasis on reaching out to the parents of the children and helping the whole family. They seek to help the children spiritually, academically, physically, and socially.
You can get a personal glimpse into this ministry by following my friend's blog, Let Them Come. You can also click on the image below. Please take a moment to look at her blog!