Hello, VIVA friends!
It's been a long time since our last post, but we can explain! This past month Carioca was invited to go to Texas to be part of the summer youth ministry at Highland Church of Christ. To celebrate that invitation he brought one of the kids from VIVA with him. Joab is a great kid who is going through that awkward phase of figuring out who he is and what the future holds. Carioca thought it would be a good opportunity for Joab to experience a new culture and other forms of how people experience life. During May, they both are getting involved with the community through several activities, teaching Bible classes and Portuguese, reaching out to the youth however they can, organizing retreats, and preparing a group to bring to Brazil this summer.
On the other side of the hemisphere there is a lot going on too. One, since Carioca is gone, the VIVA community has stepped up to take care of VIVA. People there are taking care of organizing finances, providing food, cleaning, management, and teaching classes. This just affirms the value of what we are offering! One fun story is Cinthia's. She came to take classes in our Nutrition class. She saw our advertisement on Facebook and decided to participate. Months later she wanted to volunteer as a teacher. She is an engineer and good with numbers so she decided to teach our community Mathematics. Then she started coming to our community lunch to help cooking, and then she started visiting our church. Now she and her whole family are part of our Christian family. Isn't that great?
Another amazing thing that is happening at VIVA is our community lunch. The idea was to have these every Friday of April. But the kids loved it so much that they decided they would fundraise to have it every Friday for the rest of the semester. This could make anyone’s heart melt!
Classes are about to finish in June as we prepare for Camp Roots and CURA (the medical campaign). We will use this time to redo some painting and cleaning, setting up the books in the shelves, and organizing the classes that will start in August. So, we would appreciate your prayers for what's coming at VIVA this next semester as we work to impact the students, teachers, families, and local businesses. Here's a picture of our reading drama class. The kids read a book and they performed it as a play, they organized the script, costumes, and set.
We are fundraising for VIVA too. We are specifically looking for monthly partners and of course would be thrilled with one time donors as well! If you would like to donate, you can find us on Venmo @vivarelevante. One of our goals for this semester is to hire a very dear friend and valuable member of our community who is needing a job to be able to stay in Itu That itself would cost us US$400 a month. For other expenses such as material supplies we spend an average of US$250 and for water, internet, telephone, gas, and electricity we spend an average of US$250 more. Consider being part of VIVA's story. It is hard when you are far, but this is a way you can be involved in a super important and helpful way!