Berry Cool Journey and Yogurt
June 01, 2011 | Apple Delight
By Blake Weaver
Traveling to NICS schools is always exciting for me. While there are many reasons why I cherish these opportunities, perhaps what I find most thrilling is having the opportunity to meet current and former NICS students. I simply love hearing how God has used the ministry of NICS to reach children for Christ-after all that is THE heartbeat of the ministry. Sure enough, I recently had the privilege of meeting an alumnus from the Brasilia International School (BIS) while I was visiting Brazil this spring. Upon meeting Rachel Crivella and hearing her life story, I was once again amazed by what God is doing through the life of a NICS graduate. Rachel shares in her own words:
I was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1988. Due to my father’s pastoral work, we were always moving. At age 2 we moved to São Paulo and at age 4 we headed to South Africa where we lived for seven years. Being a white foreign family, unable to speak the language, it was hard for us and we spent many, many months evangelizing, being mocked, and coming back to an empty space we had rented for services (we didn’t even have a real church!). We could do nothing more than live by faith and take a day at a time. As if things couldn't get any worse our home was broken into and we were robbed of the very little we had. It was then, when we were reduced to absolute nothing, when our good intentions didn't matter, when our work was fruitless and doubts and fears clouded our minds, when we waited in the agonizing silence of God, that He showed up. God's answer came, stronger than the silence and time we thought it delayed. It came powerfully and clearly as a hurricane sweeping away the difficulties as a wind blows through dry leaves. Our church grew tremendously! The blind could see, the lame could walk, cancer and HIV were transformed like water into wine. Lives were turned around, hearts were given to Christ and among the people the word got around. The ministry spread from one country to the other, and through the entire continent and to Asia. The churches could not contain the mass of people who formed lines outside the doors. Temples for 12,000 were erected but soon became too small. We took the service to FNB stadium - the only place that could contain everyone, during the week the pope visited South Africa. The headline of the local newspaper read, "The day the pope visited South Africa, the Holy Spirit moved in different ways." And we knew, God had truly moved. It was in South Africa, through the apartheid years, during what could be considered the hardest yet most rewarding time of our life, that I got a glimpse of the sovereignty of God and the inaugurated Kingdom of Christ.
I turned 11 and we moved back to Brazil, now with a different mission – to reach the poor individuals located in the driest area of Brazil – the northeast, especially the city of Irecê. Having learned to sing with the musical African people, my dad recorded a C.D and we spent months traveling the country for his shows. All money gathered from the sale of the C.D’s was sent to a project we started in the Northeast of Brazil. (www.projetonordeste.com.br). Today Projeto Nordeste has a school for over 500 children who study absolutely for free. It plants and sells its own crops and has provided countless jobs and given the people of the area a better quality of life and a hope for a better future.
Brazilians took notice of this truly big and impactful project in an area most had neglected and seen as hopeless, and decided that if Marcelo Crivella could do this with his own money, he could do more with the money of the government. So my dad ran for Senator (without ever having been in a political office before), and won. He served his 8-year term and was just re-elected this past October for another 8 years. My father’s new political mission brought my family to Brasília where I was able to attend BIS.
Rachel attended the Brasilia International School for most of her high school years, and she graduated BIS in 2005. Rachel tells of her experience at BIS:
I attended BIS from ages fifteen to eighteen. Today, at the age of twenty-two, I am still at a lack of words to express how this school has impacted my life.
Training Today’s Students to Become Tomorrow’s Leaders – a motto I only grew to understand years down the road. In fact, the BIS motto still echoes in my mind. How does one become a leader in today’s society? Further, how can an institution guarantee such a feat? Are these words too hopeful, too idealistic? Do these words represent something unique about BIS and its ability to equip today’s students to lead tomorrow’s world, or is this yet another inspirational quote solely for advertisement purposes?
The truth of the matter is, beyond the facts, subjects, and universal understandings that all schools teach, there is a second form of learning that few institutions have to offer, which I suspect is key to equipping a well-rounded student that is propelled for greatness. In order to become a leader of our globalized society, one must not be molded by the mere memorization and regurgitation of responses found at the back of a book but rather shaped to be a universal thinker who is globally minded, considerate in his actions, fair in his decisions, confident in his beliefs, disciplined in his behavior, and respectful to his brother.
Brasilia International School not only provides an education of excellence bringing teachers from the United States to provide first class schooling, but it also gives students the opportunity to engage with cross-cultural peers in a safe, fun, and learning environment. The social benefit BIS brings to the table is tremendous because learning all of a sudden is taking place in all different levels beyond the classroom. Habits, religions, food, clothing, music, artistic expressions and communicative gestures are all absorbed by those who are taken out of their comfort zone and taught to both embrace and appreciate the differences in others. The leaders of tomorrow are the people who can look at a sea of differences and see neighbors, friends, helpers, and brothers.
While enrolled at BIS Rachel flew back and forth from Rio de Janeiro on the weekends where she reported for a local television show and from where she went on to work as a host for bigger productions nationally and internationally broadcast. Upon graduating BIS Rachel enrolled in Biola University, located in Los Angeles, where she graduated with a degree in Cinema and Media Arts. While studying at Biola, Rachel was introduced to a company called Berry Cool Yogurt. This yogurt shop was unique, for it allowed customers to self serve the frozen yogurt as well as pay by the kilogram. Rachel shared with me that:
Berry Cool is a self-serve frozen yogurt shop that is run by Christians. I got in touch with them and, long story short, franchised them out to Brazil with the same purpose of eventually sponsoring Christian events, missionary work, local hospitals, orphanages, etc. The ultimate goal is to be a light in the marketplace.
As a twenty-two year old recent graduate of Biola University, Rachel now owns two Berry Cool locations in Brasilia, Brazil and is negotiating the third one. While this business venture keeps her busy for now, Rachel’s ultimate goal is to move back to Los Angeles for the purpose of getting back into the entertainment industry. She says that, “My heart is to see Christians transforming culture by creating cultural goods through all kinds of art, being mindful of both content and form, in order to impact our generation for the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Of course, I must admit that while in Brasilia I had to swing by one of Rachel’s Berry Cool locations…four times. Therefore, I can personally testify that Berry Cool frozen yogurt is fantastic…and addictive. Fortunately, the local Brazilians think so as well.