A typical day The weather is cold, and it is hard to get out of the bed. It’s 7:30 in the morning on a typical day, and despite his wanting to stay under the blankets, Renan has an appointment he wouldn’t miss for anything.

Lilian, his young mother, enters the colorful room. “Wake up!” she says.

The children’s bedroom used to be the family’s kitchen before the improvement they made after receiving a Christmas gift from her son’s sponsor: a new floor and new paint on the bedroom’s walls. The children decorated the room.

Renan stands up and starts making his bed. The boy goes to the bathroom and brushes his teeth — just like he was taught at the child development center where he is enrolled —  and combs his hair.

He carefully puts on his student center uniform before leaving home with his older brother Jean, who also attends the center. The church gives each of the children a T-shirt to wear.

He has only three minutes to be at the student center in order to eat the first meal of the day with his brother and friends. And three minutes is all he needs to get there; the family’s house is right next door.

The big yellow gate opens and all the children start to enter. On the table are delicious salted cookies, and milk with chocolate.

After the children eat, they go to the bathroom and brush their teeth using the hygienic kit they received from the center; it is kept there so the kids won’t lose it.

It’s almost 9 and the classroom is silent … just the voice of one of the kids can be heard praying to the Lord.

When it is 9 o’clock, it’s time to learn about Jesus and His disciples. It is also time to begin reading the Bible and writing to the sponsors.

Before leaving the classroom, the children pray again, thanking God for the privilege of being at the student center and asking Him to be with their sponsors.

It is 10 o’clock and Renan can barely breathe. It’s soccer time! Renan loves playing soccer, and he also enjoys playing board games with his brother and the other children. Running from one side to another in the yard, he plays and learns at the same time about teamwork, strategies and respecting different opinions and points of view.

The student center works with the children on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; one group in the morning and another one in the afternoons with the same activities such as educational support, Christian education, games and a library where with books and toys. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, staff workers meet with the parents and plan activities.

The smell of food starts filling the rooms and the yard: rice, beans, sausage, bananas and lettuce salad — a typical Brazilian meal.

It’s 11 o’clock and Renan goes to the sink and washes his hands before enjoying his second meal. Thanks to the support Renan and his brother get at the child center, Lilian spends less on food.

She is employed now, but her husband is only employed once in a while doing odd jobs. Lilian works as a cleaning lady at the student center.

After lunch each day, one child is chosen to help Lilian put everything back in the right place, practicing the Christian principle of stewardship.

It is noon and Renana will soon be at home to grab the notebook his mother bought, also with the Christmas gift his brother’s sponsor gave them, and head to school. Lilian watches her little boy until he disappears along the dusty street.

The school is not far from home, and Renan walks alone for about 10 minutes and arrives at at 1 o’clock. He is now in fourth grade.

At 4 he goes back home, takes a shower, and has dinner with his family. He is given basically the same food he had at the student center. Then he will do his homework, play with his brother, paint or draw, and then brush his teeth before going to bed.

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  1. Stephanie Green
    Dec 30, 2009
    at 2:21 pm

    Thank you SO much for sharing this story!! I would love to see a series like this featuring similar stories from other centers in other countries (all my kids are in Africa).

    I really enjoyed learning about a typical day at a center. As a sponsor (and a former teacher), it’s easier for me to imagine what they do at school than at the project center.What a wonderful way to educate those of us who have not yet traveled to meet our children.

    Keep up the great work!!

  2. Dec 30, 2009
    at 3:38 pm

    Stephanie,

    This post is tagged “a day in the life.” If you click on that tag, you’ll get many similar posts, from different perspectives (e.g., center director, center accountant, children in other countries, etc.)

    There are at least three more posts about other children.

  3. Michelle
    Dec 30, 2009
    at 4:18 pm

    I really enjoyed learning about what he did at the center as well… How convenient to live next door!!!

  4. Diana
    Dec 30, 2009
    at 9:38 pm

    I love this story! The part where the story mentions the kids pray for their sponsors is so touching. As much as we care for them, they care for us! Sponsorship is a priceless gift from God!

    I liked the picture of the kids playing a lot. You wouldn’t know it was in Brazil if it didn’t say. It just makes you realize that kids everywhere are the same in that they need love and fellowship and will flourish with both.

    I also love that the center teaches them about teamwork, respect, good hygiene, etc. It even carried on in Renan’s home with stewardship.

    Beautiful story!

  5. Ismael
    Dec 31, 2009
    at 5:34 am

    Thank you to all sponsors who are committed to helping less privileged kids like Renan get a bright future through their support!

    God bless you.

  6. Dec 31, 2009
    at 10:18 am

    Great story – I love these!
    Thanks

  7. Dec 31, 2009
    at 11:37 am

    How cool is that??!!?

  8. Jun 1, 2011
    at 11:55 pm

    I love how many times brushing teeth is mentioned. We totally take it for granted, but it makes a great difference in overall health

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