Feature news

Education brings Joy

I just wanted to share this photo. The children haven't had their new teacher long but last week I needed to get the kids to write their names for a gift to one of the house mums for her birthday. The photo is of Gabriel (7) who was excited to be able to write his name by himself for the first time without help. Thank you to everyone who  has expressed an interest in supporting the Charity to employ a teacher. You are making a huge difference. Money has started to come in but we are still some way off our target to permanently employ a teacher.  If you would like to help too please contact us.


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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world"Nelson Mandela

The children who have just recently entered the With Open Arms shelter have all come from homes where they have been neglected or worse.  They have not had the chance to go to school regularly and are far behind where they should be academically. Some cannot identify numbers or letters.  If we put them into a normal classroom with children their own age they wouldn't be able to join in any of the work. There is no special help for them and they would continue to get further and further behind and spend their days frustrated and sad not being able to understand. We have an opportunity to change their future. We have an opportunity to help them learn to read and write.

Can you help?

We need £3000 for a 6 month term to hire specialist teacher to educate these precious children. If you would like to give a donation please email us using the email tonyandlauralewry@gmail.com
If you would like to fundraise to help with the cost we would love to hear from you. We can provide photos, stories about the children, work, pictures, certificates and thank you cards to help inspire those raising funds.

 If you would like to help by doing a fundraising event please contact us on the above email with:

-the name of the school/organisation that is fundraising

-any ideas that you have for fundraising

-how much you are aiming to raise

We can then send you some more information about the children and some photos, fundraising ideas and other things you may need to help you begin.

By fundraising for us you're choosing to give these children a future. Thank you for supporting us and good luck with planning your fundraising event!



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The Grandparents in Brazil
















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Clara's watermelon 1st Birthday!

It was a little intense. I had planned this wonderful watermelon themed Big Brazilian first Birthday bash for Clara. Then I got the news that my surgery would be a couple of weeks before it. It was wonderful though and we loved seeing friends come and play and celebrate Clara with us! Here are some of our favourite photos.













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Kindness is sharing the other boot

Tess is very much like her father. Full of life, inquisitive, outgoing, lots of personality, passionate, determined... which is sometimes quite challenging in the form of a two year old. But yesterday I was such a proud mama when I came across this scene.



You see, Tess has had to do a lot of learning very quickly in the last few weeks. 

Her world, as well as ours, has changed dramatically. Her once very peaceful, tropical, haven of a home has been invaded by 12 very loud, demanding and sometimes unkind, hurt and vulnerable children. She has had to learn how to control her feelings, how to have appropriate physical boundaries (yes even at the tender age of two)  but most of all she’s had to learn how to share. Her toys, her space, the trampoline, and as Tony is working long hours, and we sometimes see him whilst he is on shift with the kids, she’s had to learn how to share her precious daddy.

Shes doing really well but I can see sometimes that it has been hard for her.
But Today when I saw this my heart melted.

 It had been raining very hard all day and I had promised Tess she could go and jump in muddy puddles with her new pink wellies in the afternoon. I was watching Tess from a distance whilst trying to explain for the fourth time to a very small boy why he couldn’t pick Clara up. When I went to check on Tess I saw this and I saw the pure kindness of her simple act. 

She loves her little friend L, and to her sharing the other boot made perfect sense. Ridiculous kindness, unashamed generosity. Her compassion had made her uncomfortable.  It humbled and challenged me. When was the last time I gave more than I was comfortable with.

Dorothy Day, a famous activist, once wrote “ If you have two coats you have stolen one from the poor.”  It’s very extreme and challenging but Jesus often asked people to look at how they were handling their possessions.



But today I was so proud of my little girl and her simple act of sharing her prized wellington boots. 

NB: I wrote this several days ago but have been too busy (washing mud stains maybe?!!) to post. This wonderful little chap who stole Tess' heart left today. She will miss him lots but we are happy that his situation is resolved. 
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Our Friend Michael


Many of you may know that our friend, and the director of the charity we now work with, Michael Seelig is seriously ill in hospital. His Kidneys have stopped working. He is undergoing Dialysis to try and restart the kidneys and will have a biopsy to see if they can see what is happening. This is a hard time for the Seelig family. Gabriella, his wife, has had Chikungunya virus recently and not had great health. The Charity is due to start signing contracts and begin taking in children in the next few weeks. Please pray that Michael completely recovers from this. Please pray that his family will be at peace. Please pray for all the practical things that Michael is overseeing as the director of the charity. Please pray for strength that we would be able to support the family, continue with everything that needs doing and not feel overwhelmed by this situation. Thank you.
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Happy 2nd Birtday Tess...

Yes I know I spelled it wrong, but we had a great day anyway!! I was so tired after the mountain of baking that at 11pm the night before the big day, spelling was beyond me! (:
Tess is 2! We had a lovely day in our newly grassed garden playing and eating lots of cake. We are so blessed to have friends here that we can call family. Tess is growing into a fun,animal loving, strong, chatterbox. Her favorite food is any kind of fruit, yogurt, porridge and pancakes!  She has a good imagination and likes to make tea and coffee for mum and dad, yesterday she had a fox round for tea and she is very good at floating (swimming!). She still loves books and you can often hear her recounting Monkey Puzzle "come come come! It's time I took you home to mum!" or the Gruffalo.. "silly old fox.. don't you know?!" she calls her nappies "whackers" and elephants "eletrunks". We are so blessed.










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Back to Nature

Our new home here in Recife is situated in a very rural location. It is full of wildlife and fruit, and we plan to plant more produce and get animals soon. The last few months has seen Tony doing lots of manual work to get the place ready to become a shelter for girls. In the future we hope to incorporate looking after the land and animals as part of the therapy and development for the kids we will take in. There are so many different fruit trees, many of which don't have an English name. The fruit is too much for Tony to pick it all, but each week he picks enough for the 3 families for the week. We have Banana, Limes, Oranges, Acerola, Star fruit, Mango, Coconut and many others. Tess is becoming a bit of a farm girl and always wants to be outside. Her favourite fruit is "Pitanga" a bitter red fruit that has low branches that she can pick for herself. She is learning which fruits she can and can't eat and shows everything to mum before she eats it! We also have several "interesting" creatures.. many of whom I'm sure you will see in the Animal of the Week blogs in the near distant future.

Learning about the native trees

Too many coconuts to count.. but she does love the the Coconut water! 

helping daddy pick the "Pitanga"

Our families bucket of fruit for the week.. * Laura quickly googles.. "starfruit recipes"

Another fruit picking session.. Tess learns the word "heavy" 

This Boa visited our garden .. not sure you need me to explain our respective views on this 

Tess learning about the birds and the lemons.. 

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Settling into a new season

The hobbit hole finally livable, the new charity registered as an NGO, arrival of Maggie the puppy and little Clara Beatrice entered the world.. ( with a lot of encouragement!) all since our last blog entry! To say that the last few months have been crazy is an understatement. I think we have all come out the other side without too many scratches.. we are a little sleep deprived still and these hard times always make us miss our family and friends more, but we are grateful to God for all that he has done, all he has provided and for being our Rock through the manic-ness!
Here are just a few photos to sum up the last 3 months! We will be writing a newsletter soon so look out for that!

All looking a little older! 


Before

After

Before
After

Tired doesn't even come into it! 

..but Tess is coping well.. especially with some art therapy and Pirate relaxation techniques.

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