Welcome to Crescimento Limpo

This summer it was my honor to spend time, break bread and share life with Mark and Ali Kaiser and the community at Crescimento Limpo in Itu, Brazil.

Crescimento Limpo began around Mark and Ali's kitchen table as they stepped out into a life of radical hospitality, opening their home to homeless friends on the streets of Brazil.

Shouldn't every ministry begin that way, inviting people off the streets to share a meal around your kitchen table?

Over time, as Mark and Ali moved from a "doing for" to a "being with" mode of ministry, the meals became a shared and mutual experience as Mark and Ali's friends started bringing the food and taking the lead in cooking the meal.

And from those shared meals came Crescimento Limpo.

As Mark and Ali shared life with their neighbors, many of whom were homeless due to substance use, they noted that their friends struggled to stabilize their lives for want of housing and community support.

Meals around their table weren't enough.

So Mark and Ali secured some apartments and began to provide housing. Crescimento Limpo, Portuguese for "Clean Growth," soon outgrew that space and they moved to their current location, a facility that houses 25 people, providing round the clock supervision and a staff psychologist.   

Close to the Crescimento Limpo house is the CL Horta (garden). The Horta was scheduled to become a parking lot, but Mark persuaded the owner to let CL transform the lot into an urban garden.

Boasting conventional raised beds and an aquaponics garden, the CL Horta is a witness to sustainable living as well as providing a laboratory of work for those at the CL house working to stabilize their lives and reenter the workforce. The Horta is a place where dignity is recovered as CL residents sell their produce to the local community, a community whose prejudices are dissolved as they form relationships with men and women they passed by on the street only weeks before. 

In all my travels visiting with and teaching about communities of radical hospitality I've rarely encountered a community as impressive as Crescimento Limpo, a community that exists because a couple took Jesus seriously and welcomed people on the streets into their home.

Just breaking bread, over and over, and the kingdom arrived on the streets of Brazil. Just as Jesus said it would.

Crescimento Limpo continues to grow and they are always looking for financial partners, one time gifts or an ongoing relationship. If you or your church are looking to support missionary and social justice work outside of the US consider reaching out to Mark and Ali.

Importantly, in partnering with Crescimento Limpo your church would also be reversing the colonialistic tendencies of so many US missions efforts. If your church is interested in hospitality, housing, addiction, urban renewal, food and sustainability Mark and Ali would be amazing coaches and mentors for a faith community wanting to move in these directions. Given the compelling story of radical hospitality that started Crescimento Limpo and their experience and expertise, Mark and Ali are the sort of missionary partners who are poised to come to US churches to evangelize, convert and train us in living lives of radical hospitality.

Seriously, if you are interested in moving your faith community into a lifestyle of hospitality partner with Mark and Ali and have them walk alongside your church.

If you're interested in learning more about Crescimento Limpo below is a conversation and video tour I took with Mark of the CL House and Horta.

To donate to Crescimento Limpo you can visit their PayPal page.

And if your church would like to explore an ongoing partnership with Crescimento Limpo contact Mark and Ali (email: mark[at]itucl[dot]org[dot]br).

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