A big part of our philosophy at Crescimento Limpo is that all of the incoming residents to our halfway house come to us as partners. We are sought out for the housing and support services that we provide, but each new resident brings his own set of strengths to our table. CL residents help maintain the house and gardens in order, and we use this exchange of mutual support to affirm the dignity and capacity of each resident.
Wayne's story shows this exchange, and how his recovery served to launch a whole new initiative within Crescimento Limpo; our restaurant the "Caféla".
Through Wayne's willingness to work alongside us in building the Caféla, MANY CL residents have been employed. Employing residents has allowed us a far greater reach into the lives of each contracted individual. And as Wyne's story makes clear, we all have a lot to gain from working together!
Thank you for bringing your support to this grand collective as well!
By Mark Kaiser | Founder and director, Crescimento Limpo
Jose in the CL carpentry shop
Our work with recovery has led to the formation of many friendships and a diversity of experiences that is impossible (and would probably be inappropriate) to fully describe. Some stories unfold as you might expect based on first encounters, while others proceed wildly different than initial expectations! José's story is one of those fantastic surprises. We have accompanied José since the begining of our recovery ministry in Brazil. Durring most of the years in which we've known him as a friend, he had no interest in getting off drugs or pursunig a new life. He was a wildcard- charming and fun when sober, but unpredictable and at times violent when under the influence. But even in his darkest times, God was working on him. After ten years of life on the streets and in adiction, José seemingly "flipped a switch". He checked himself into rehab, completed treatment, and then came to live with us. We recognized a long road ahead for José in order to pursue goals of literacy, professional training, and healthy life skills. So we made him a proposition; to start a carpentry shop with us as a way to develop working skills and allow us to support his personal development and adult education. José agreed and we've lived two years of adventure with him since 2020. José learns by experience (not always recomendable) so we have accompanied two years of expiramental rebuilding. One of the tenants of recovery is to be cautious of people, places and habits connected to your self-destructive past. But José does not learn from theoritical concepts. So he continued with relationships from his street life, perceiving over time how those relationships effect him and subsequently putting that learning into practice for the good of his recovery. His professional development also involved transition from his lifelong practice of "winging it" towards the incremental practice of discipline and measure. We will make no business plan recommendations for entrepreneurial carpenters, but we have seen the miracle of a new life formed. I am so thankful for the time that I have been given with my friend, José. Please take the time to see his testimonial video! And thank you, to all of you, who have given financially to make this work possible! You have blessed us both.
By Mark Kaiser | Founder and director, Crescimento Limpo
Sunday morning breakfast at Cafela
Everything is changing, always. At least in the details. The work of Crescimento Limpo has tradicionaly served single Brazilian men coming from backgrounds of homelessnes and chemical addiction. For the last two years we have seen the demand for our services shift to Venezuelan refugees, and in the last six months shift again to Brazilian and Venezuelan families with children. Today the CL house (downtown location) serves 22 residents, 11 of whom are children. This has been a huge change for us and we are still learning and adapting as fast as we can manage to serve well these dear and highly vulnerable friends in our care. The most recent of these families came to us this last Sunday. The father, Jefferson, had lost his job and been unable to make rent, so they were left to the streets. With what money they had they got a bus and set off to the city of Jefferson's mother, but the money was not enough to complete the trip. Saturday they were left to sleep in the buss station of our city, Itu. Sunday morning we serve breakfast to the homeless from our café and they were brought along by the other homeless men and women who come regularly. A vollunteer told me afterwords that he overherd one of our guests telling Jefferson and his family, "What I can offer you is this- to bring you here. These are good people, now it's up to you." Jefferson shared his story with me over coffee while his exhausted family ate and rested. Their four boys, ages six, four, two and seven months played some and slept some... worn out by the night on the street. They joined me to church that morning where they were able to meet more of our CL staff and we were able to make arangements for their entrence into the CL house that same afternoon. After a good nights sleep they were a different family on Monday morning, with all of the uncontainable energy that you would hope to see in four healthy young boys! We are currently working on school enrolment as well as meeting their needs for clothing, etc, AND raising funds to purchase an additional refrigerator to help keep the needed food onhand for our growing family! I am very proud to be able to provide for this family, and am so thankful that God and our community of supporters has allowed for this opportunity! Everything is always changing, at least in the details. But the essence of what God has given us remains; we are able to care for the vulnerable amongst us and walk alongside them towards hope. Thank you for helping us to live out this mission to whomever God may bring our way!
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