In 1999, Pete & Jodi Brennan founded a non-profit organization called Feed My Sheep Brazil/Apascentai Minhas Ovelhas (A.M.O.). They had left their home and lives in Miami, Florida, and came with their family to minister to the children and families in the slums (favelas) of São Paulo, Brazil.
I (Jessica) am their daughter and I grew up in the ministry here. There is so much that goes on at AMO, but basically the main goal is to reach the lost for Christ and help meet spiritual and physical needs along the way. There are many ways in which this happens, but to give an idea (very small idea) of how it all works, I'll share a little about where we are and part of what goes on there. The AMO Main Campus is our base of operations, where the full-time missionaries are housed, and our Jarinu church, the vegetable gardens, and the Homes for At-Risk Children are located. We go weekly into a couple of different favela communities (shanty towns), and have ministry centers at two of them, in the cities of Campinas and São Paulo. The ministry centers serve as our churches and are where we hold classes and whatever else it is we need when we minister in these communities. We're in it for the long haul and over the years have formed great relationships with these communities.
At these ministry centers we have on-going projects (kids programs, water filter ministry, hunger relief, etc), special projects (vocational training, events, etc) and our full-time missionaries (thirteen in total) are the ones who make it all happen with help from volunteers from our two main churches (on the Main Campus and in Campinas). International mission teams come to help out with different projects at different times of the year, but for the most part it's our core group who go into the favelas and, when school vacations permit, bring out kids and youth from these communities to the Main Campus in order to pour more specifically into their lives while offering refuge from the craziness that is more often than not their home life.
How do we fit into all that? Nate leads our agriculture ministry, worship for our churches, teaches in our favela children's ministries, assists with the construction projects on our main campus and in the favelas, disciples young men and boys, fills in to preach when our pastor is out, and co-leads weekly culinary classes in one of the favelas where we minister. Jessica heads up our Embrace a Child program (sponsorship program that offers kids experiences to broaden horizons, provides for needs and some extra fun stuff along the way), oversees all the registration/ authorization forms for minors, creates curriculum and teaches snippet-style homeschooling to meet the needs of some of the kids who come to the Main Campus regularly, teaches one of the teen girl classes at church, and coordinates the lesson plans for our favela children's ministries and manages our home. We both are active in the lives of the kids to come to our main campus, often have children in our home for times of refuge and spiritual growth, and assist with translation for visiting international teams.
We love the Brazilian people and know that God has called us here to see lives transformed and the generations changed with the message of Jesus. We believe in what God is doing through AMO and are excited to see all that God has written for us and this ministry for many years to come.