Visitor FAQs

Application Process

What does the application process entail?

The application process includes an online form that asks for basic information about you along with some more in-depth questions about your life. A $35USD application fee is needed at the time of application in order to submit and process your application. We also require a basic background check, a pastoral reference, and a copy of the ID page of your passport to be emailed to us after the application has been submitted. After we receive your documents, we will schedule a video call with you to get to know you better, discuss the ministry, and answer any questions you might have about your time with Shores of Grace. After this, we’ll let you know if you’re officially approved and you can purchase your tickets to come visit us!

Do I have to fill out an application?

Yes! Everyone who visits Shores of Grace must fill out our Visitors Application. Even if Nic or Rachael invites you to come serve with us, we require an application from each person who chooses to be with us. Thank you for helping us to ensure the safety of the people we serve!

Do I need a visa to visit Brazil?

This differs depending on where you are located. Please check with the Brazilian consulate in your country (or region) for the most up-to-date information!

Do you accept teams for short-term visits?

We love when teams come to visit us! Our ideal number for team members is up to 12 people, but we have hosted up to a group of 25 before, so don’t let that number keep you from wanting to do a visit! Email us for more information or with specific questions.

Do you accept individuals for short-term visits?

Yes! We love to host individuals.

Do you accept minors for short-term visits?

Yes, we accept minors from the ages of 14-17, but only when accompanied by their parents or a guardian. Please note that minors will not be allowed to participate in some of our outreaches due to the nature of our work. Please email our team at visitors@shoresofgrace.com for more information about bringing a youth group to serve at SOG!

Are families with children allowed to visit?

Sure! However, we do not offer childcare for visiting families. Because of this, one person will need to stay behind to watch the children while the other goes to the outreaches.

What is the cost for me to visit Shores of Grace? What does this amount include?

We are currently revamping costs due to a lot of changes to our base in Recife. Please send us an email to find out approximate costs for visiting for your group!

Planning Your Visit

Are there any times during the year when Shores of Grace does not receive visitors?

Yes! Due to the Fornalha School and many of our missionaries visiting their families, during the months of January and December, we do not receive visitors.

Will I have personal time with Nic and Rachael Billman during my visit?

We will try our best to get you a short meeting if they are in Recife during your trip, but due to Nic and Rachael’s busy schedules, we cannot guarantee that you will have one-on-one time with them. You will have plenty of time with Shores of Grace missionaries, however!

When will I know what my schedule looks like for my trip?

After arriving in Brazil, our team will sit down with you to do a short orientation about the ministry and your time with us. During this meeting, we will give you your schedule for your visit and answer any additional questions you may have.

Can I do something special for the Shores of Grace staff during my visit?

Absolutely! We have several ideas about how you can bless our missionaries during your time with us. Email us for more information!!

What can I bring to give/donate?

Thank you for your generous heart! The following are our current needs:

Father’s Love:

  • Manicure/pedicure kits (with all the tools needed to give someone a manicure/pedicure)
  • Journals (to be given with a bible to people starting discipleship)
  • Baby products
  • Beauty products

Street Church:

  • Nail polish – especially over-the-top bright colors, clear top coat, and glitter/sparkles!
  • Art supplies – colored pencils and crayons, sharpeners and erasers for pencils, construction paper, pens, chalk, coloring books with easy-tear pages OR individual coloring pages
  • Children’s books about popular characters – Hot Wheels, Barbie, Disney, super heroes, etc. (with or without words)
  • Kids games – jump ropes, domino sets, checkers, dice
  • Sports balls – soccer, kickball, dodgeball, etc.

Casa Hadassah (Transition House):

  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash
  • Hair cream (for black-textured hair)
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste
  • Pads
  • Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Other women’s hygiene products

Vila Betania:

  • Needs of our children and babies
  • Perfumes
  • Diapers (M, G, XG)
  • Milk
  • Nestogênio (1 and 2)
  • Burp cloths
  • Educational toys
  • Clothes (girls)
  • Clothes (babies)
  • Muslins
  • School materials
  • Foam floor mats
  • Needs of our team of caretakers
  • Food parcel/donations
  • Uniforms
  • Needs of our home
  • Plastic containers
  • Silverware
  • Cookware – frying pans, baking pans, etc.
  • Dish cloths
  • Bathroom rugs
  • Bath towels
  • Hand towels
  • Blenders (220v)
  • Glass bowls
  • Coffee mugs
  • Glass cups
  • Plastic cups
  • Container for sugar
  • Cookie jar
  • Large serving bowl (meant for desserts)
  • Chairs
  • Buckets
  • Brooms
  • Plastic tables
  • Twin bed sheets
  • Pillowcases
  • Sofa covers/slips
  • Lamps/lightbulbs (220v)
  • Food products (in general)
  • Throw pillows
  • Cleaning materials
  • Hygiene products
  • Fans
  • Portable speakers (220v or battery operated)
  • Pillows
  • Thermal bottles
  • Plastic table cloth (thick – about 20 feet long)
  • Aprons
  • Mixers (220v)
  • Food processors (220v)
  • Juicers (220v)

Communities:

  • Sports balls – soccer especially
  • Arts/crafts supplies
  • School supplies – pens, notebooks, colored pencils (but not regular please – we have a lot!)
Where will I stay?

We currently do not have a place to host visitors and volunteers, so you will need to stay in a hotel or AirBNB. We will be happy to assist you with this search!

Is knowledge of Portuguese necessary?

No, but it is helpful! Even a little bit of time put towards learning just a few words (like hello, how are you, goodbye) is so appreciated! We will do our best to have translators available for outreaches.

Can I visit Vila Betânia when I come to Shores of Grace?

Of course! Everyone who comes to Shores of Grace will have the opportunity to visit Vila Betânia. We will give you time to meet the staff and learn all about our hearts for the children we serve.

Travel

Are there any requirements for my passport?

Please make sure your passport is up to date and has at least 6 months before the expiration date. Before traveling, please make 2 copies of your passport, as it is recommended to carry a copy instead, and the second copy will be requested when entering Vila Betania.

Will I need a visa?

To enter Brazil, you will most likely need a visa. Every country is different, so please check with your Brazilian consulate to confirm your requirements. If you are a resident of the United States, a visa is currently not required for tourists (as of November 4, 2019). However, the information below is relevant to all visitors, so please read it carefully:

  • You will need to request a “Tourist Visa.” This is also your intent for entering the country, as far as the consulate is concerned. This means that, when asked, your reason for visiting Brazil is for tourism.  
  • If you feel inclined to request a “Missionary Visa” or mention that you are coming for missionary purposes, your application will most likely be denied. If you’re in a group, you may put your whole team’s trip in jeopardy.
  • Make sure you have received approval for your trip and confirmed the dates with the Visitors Coordinators before booking your flight and applying for your visa.
Which airport should I fly into?

The airport our visitors fly into is Recife/Guararapes–Gilberto Freyre International Airport (REC). 

Please be mindful and book your flights to arrive and depart between 7am – 10pm, and not on weekends. The best days to arrive and depart are Mondays and Tuesdays because these are our slowest days of ministry.

Once your application has been approved and plane tickets have been purchased, please forward a copy of your itinerary to visitors@shoresofgrace.com.

Do I need to get any vaccines?

It is YOUR responsibility to check the requirements according to your country of departure, along with any other countries included in your trajectory here and back. 

We recommend you obtain a shot for Yellow Fever, though it is NOT required as of May 3, 2018.

How much luggage can I bring?

Most airlines allow 2 checked pieces of luggage (up to 50lbs each), in addition to your carry on and personal item (backpack, laptop bag, etc.). We ask that you bring only 1 checked personal bag, but you are permitted 2 pieces of checked luggage if you are bringing items for the ministry.

Will someone pick me up from the airport when I arrive in Recife?

We will do our best to provide transportation to and from the airport with our ministry vehicle. Please be mindful of this and book your flights to arrive and depart between 7am – 10pm. Mondays and Tuesdays are preferable.

Where will I stay when I visit Recife?

We currently do not have lodging available for visitors and volunteers. Our team will be happy to assist you in finding local hotels and AirBNBs that are close to our base.

Will there be transportation during my time at Shores Recife?

Yes, we have a ministry vehicle that we will use for transportation during your visit. However, depending on the size of your team, you may be required to rent an extra vehicle. We will let you know if this will be required for your group as early as possible in the application process as this will increase the fee per person.

What should I bring for my trip?
  • Bug spray – Mosquitoes pose a large problem here; they are active at all hours of the day and night; plan accordingly.
  • Refillable water bottle 
  • Toiletries – shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.
  • Towels – wash cloths, bath towel, beach towel
  • Summer clothes – It is hot and humid year-round. Shorts, tshirts, tank tops, and dresses are all okay to wear (as long as they are modest and not revealing).
  • Sneakers – either tennis shoes or closed-toe shoes that you are also willing to potentially get dirty
  • Nice/Semi-Formal clothes – Bring at least one set in case of a special event 
  • Sunscreen
  • Personal Electronics – Bring at your own risk; electricity output is 220V here so prepare accordingly. Don’t forget to bring an adapter (Type N – usually without the middle socket)
  • Bible, journal, pens/pencil
  • A servant’s heart
What should I NOT bring on my trip?

We do not recommend bringing valuable items (jewelry, watches, etc…). If you deem them necessary, remember that all personal items are your responsibility.

What kind of clothes should I bring?

Recife is a large city on the eastern coast of Brazil. This means a tropical climate, a beach within walking distance, and year-round summer. We recommend you bring clothes for warm weather that dry quickly (we hang our clothes outside on a line to dry), flip-flops, and comfortable walking shoes (as we do a lot of walking). Shorts and tank tops are okay for most of the day and most outreaches as well. We will ask that you bring clothing that is a little more modest (such as pants or a long skirt/dress) for our outreaches in the red light district. During the rainy season (April through June), you may want to bring rain boots and a rain jacket.  

On top of this, we recommend you bring a set of nice or semi-formal clothes (nothing too fancy) in case we host or attend a special event, such as a Father’s Love Banquet.

Expectations

What’s the difference between a visitor and a volunteer?

As a visitor, you will participate in all outreaches at least once (depending on the length of your trip) and get a glimpse of our daily life at Shores of Grace. Proficiency in Portuguese is not required, and translators will be available. You will not be entrusted with any major responsibilities or tasks. Take advantage of your downtime to draw closer to the Father and to cultivate intimacy in ways you are not able to back home. Be praying and asking God how you can partner with Him during your time here. Visitors can stay with us for a maximum of 2 weeks and your trip will be scheduled according to our availability.

As a volunteer, you will participate in all outreaches and, in addition, you will be given an area of focus determined by the visitors coordinator according to the needs of the ministry. You are welcome to join our bi-monthly discipleship meetings. Knowledge of Portuguese is helpful but not required, though a translator may not be available at all times. Please come with a servant’s heart, a willingness to learn and be asking God how you can be a blessing to Shores of Grace. Volunteers are asked to commit for a time of at least one month up to the maximum of 3 months, and your trip will be scheduled according to our need.

Will I have downtime?

Though there is a lot to be done at Shores of Grace, you WILL experience downtime. Part of your daytime hours are usually free (whether morning or afternoon), as much of our ministry happens at night. We encourage all of our visitors to prepare for this. The work we do is emotionally and spiritually demanding; this is a great time to refresh yourself by spending time with God (whatever that might look like for you).

During the day, the staff has their own responsibilities. They will do their best to keep visitors busy but if not able, visitors will need to entertain themselves. Some options include walking on the beach or exploring the city.

If I am a group leader, what should I prepare?

We ask that group leaders organize devotionals for their teams during the mornings. We have noticed that teams who walk in unity are always more fruitful. We also highly encourage every team member to participate in our set times of Intercession in the Prayer Room.

Can I bring donations?

Many visitors ask about bringing donations, toys, gifts, etc. for our ministry, and we love receiving them! Our staff and those we minister to love receiving international products. We have ongoing lists of items needed in different areas of the ministry. If this is something you’re interested in receiving, just ask the visitors coordinator during your application process!

What will I experience in my time at Shores?

IN ONE WEEK YOU CAN EXPECT TO EXPERIENCE…

FATHER’S LOVE – The Father’s Love outreach is the time when we minister to the men and women in prostitution. We walk up and down the avenue, approaching each person working in prostitution that night, to offer prayer and anything else Papa God tells us. Expect to stop for The One. Come prepared to be pushed out of your comfort zone by praying for the miraculous and prophesying on the spot.

VILA BETÂNIA – This is our rescue home for girls. We care for 20 children from newborns to 18 years old. The house is a place of safety and recovery where our trained staff consistently cares for our girls in an environment of love and encouragement. We have a staff of professionals including psychologists, social workers, and caretakers who ensure that the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of each girl are met. Expect to visit the home and to interact with the girls throughout your visit. Keep conversation light, focused on lifting their spirits and showering them with love. If someone has a specific skill-set or something that can be taught to the girls in a workshop setting, please let us know so we can schedule a time for it.

COMMUNITIES – We visit the houses of the families in the communities with whom we already have relationships. We don’t simply bring them food or donations, but we come as friends to their homes and visit with them every week for prayer and quality time with no strings attached. During the week, we have discipleship with some of the women and a separate time with the children and teens. Expect to move in the gifts of the Spirit, to bring a testimony, encouragement, a word of knowledge, or anything the Lord has been teaching you lately. 

On Saturday afternoons, we invite the boys to play soccer at our court at the base. Men can expect to play soccer and/or share a quick message.

STREET CHURCH – We go to the streets to minister to those trapped in addictions, homelessness, and whoever else the Lord highlights. We bring a guitar, a soccer ball, nail polish, and coloring supplies. Every night is different! Expect to be guided by Holy Spirit.

WORSHIP SERVICE – We open our base for a worship service and to pour into the local church, leaders, and new believers. Expect to be part of the ministry team by being called up front to pray for healing and to give prophetic words. Consider this an outreach where you are expected to minister to our guests as translation is not always available for the messages.

© 2021  |  3000 Custer Road Suite 270 #7024 Plano, TX 75075  |  +1 (615) 647-6274  |  Av. Pres. Castelo Branco, 7966 - Barra de Jangada, Jaboatão dos Guararapes - PE, 54460-210  |  +55 81 99802 9000 |  Shores of Grace Ministries, a US 501 (c)(3) public charity, EIN 27-3022828  |  Shores of Grace is a charity registered in Brazil CNPJ 19.312.157.0001-80.