The Far-Reaching Gift of Encouragement: Formacao Continua (FOCO), Brasil

A little encouragement and equipping can be a powerful thing. Just ask Guilherme from Brasil…

Transformed by Grace at Black Forest Academy

From a young age Elise began to love and serve the Lord, but as she got older she found herself struggling with the reality of God’s grace. What does it really look like? How does God’s grace apply to me? A petite teenager with a ready smile, Elise is caring, self-disciplined, and ministry-minded. Although she was excelling in academics as well as in music and athletics, by the end of her tenth grade year she found herself worn out. Serving, succeeding, and maintaining spiritual disciplines had become a way to prove to God, herself, and others that she took her faith seriously. Yet, these things took a toll on Elise as she began to realize she was stuck in a fear trap, afraid of not doing or being enough.

Arbor Christian Academy

If you’re ever introduced to Chayim (shy-eem), the chances are you’ll be greeted by his signature sweet smile and infectious laugh. This joyful second grader bursts with energy and a healthy dose of good-natured goofiness, but this side of him didn’t fully emerge until his rocky start to life began to smooth out. As a second-grade student at Arbor Christian Academy, an English immersion school in San Francisco de Macorís, Dominican Republic, teachers and staff have watched Chayim’s transformation since he arrived as a kindergartner. They can’t help but respond to his ready smile and celebrate how God has provided stability and a supportive home for this special boy.  Chayim is of Haitian decent, but was born in America and brought up speaking English. For his first handful of years he bounced back and forth from New York to the Dominican Republic, staying much of the time with different relatives. This unstable start to life began taking a toll on Chayim and behavior issues came into play...