Joe & Jeanie Stucky
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1998
HAPPY NEW YEAR (1/2)
Web Page (1/12)
Traffic Laws (1/25)
Not Cool (2/9)
Carnaval (2/22)
New email address (3/10)
Billy Jones (3/18)
Getting Forgetful (3/29)
They brought their friend (4/13)
Mr & Mrs. Oliveira (4/26)
Urgent Prayer request (5/2)
They Keep coming (5/12)
Passed Him! (5/17)
Spinning wheels (5/26)
 (6/7)
Busy week (6/15)
Conference (6/26)
Plan "B" (7/5)
WE LOST (7/14)
seventy six (7/21)
projects (8/2)
We're making progress (8/15)
Church cat (8/22)
Cat Saga (9/5)
Everybodys moving (9/17)
Retreat (9/25)
Election (10/3)
Plenty of dust (10/18)
Never a dull moment (10/28)
No Subject (11/6)
S.O.S. (11/16)
Good news, Bad news, Good news! (11/17)
Another one (11/23)
Where did it go? (12/1)
Thanks for praying (12/12)
Jesus is the Reason (12/12)
They're here! (12/23)
Blessings on you this year (12/31)


HAPPY NEW YEAR (1/2)

Dear Family,

        Here we are in the second day of the new year.  I wish you could see my desk.  It is all cleared off!  One of my goal for this year is to get organized.  I'm trying to get at least one thing done each day toward that goal.  Today I'm putting away the Christmas decorations and working on correspondence.  Sure was great getting letters and Christmas cards from many of you!

        Joe and I have been chosen to be the youth sponsors at our church starting this month.  If you had the opportunity to teach young people the eight most importants truths for their spiritual lives, what would they be? (A 15 minute lesson each week for eight weeks) Pray for us to have wisdom, patience, lots of love and lots of ideas for this ministry.  We will keep you informed of how it is going and keep you up to date with specific prayer requests.

        We kept Alicia on New Years day while Ken and Lori and Jessica went to the beach with a bunch of the young people from our church.  She is getting to a fun age.  I can hardly believe how much she changed from Christmas day to New Years day.  She now walks all over with confidence.  She jabbers all the time and even says a number of real words, some English, some Portuguese.  When she gets excited she giggles and claps her hands.  She has 4 teeth and acts like she is getting some more.

        Joe and I have both been working at loosing the excess pounds we acquired during our time in the US. We are encouraged because we have lost some, but it seems so much easier for us to gain than loose.  Our goal for this year is to get down where we belong and stay there.  We had been walking most mornings but kind of got away from that during the holidays.  Today we started again and plan to walk for about a half  hour 4 or 5 times a week.  We also try to swim about that often.  Today we decided to try a 2 meal a day schedule, combining breakfast and lunch mid morning.  We'll see how that works out.   Any body have any suggestions?

        We have had some cloudy days recently and a couple of very brief showers.  It did help settle the dust.  Pray that the rains will set in soon.  Some people predict a drought this year.  I guess they are blaming it on the "El Niño."

We are praying for you to enjoy God's rich blessing this year,

Jeanie (for Joe too)



Web Page (1/12)

Dear Family and Other Friends,

        We have joined the ranks!   We now have our very own web page.  Thanks to Ron and Ranelle who set it up for us for our Christmas present.   Please take a look at it and send us your comments.  You can find us at:
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/9686/index.html

        Today is Ron's birthday.  It doesn't seem like 27 years ago that the Dr. said, "must be a girl, sure is stubborn."  His head was in a posterior position so the birth process was taking longer than the Dr. anticipated.  He was wrong thinking it was a girl and I don't think Ron is particularly stubborn either, at least not any more so than some of the rest of us.   We are thankful that God loaned him to us and gave us the awesome responsibility of teaching and training him and showing him the way in which to walk.  We are also thankful to many of you who have prayed with us through the years for us to have wisdom in bringing up each of our children.   It fills our heart with gratitude to know that each of them and their spouses love the Lord and desire to live for Him.  Now we are praying for them to have wisdom in bringing up their children.

        We have begun our weekly meetings with the youth.  We meet each Saturday at 7:00 PM.  We had 25 out the first week and only 15 the second week.  We aren't particularly concerned about how many come but we do want to make the time meaningful for those who do come.  Tuesday night we are having them all over to our house for table games and pizza.  Pray for us to be good examples to them and show them Christ's love.

        Next Sunday, I will be beginning a teachers' training course with 4 perspective SS teachers.  When Joe and I took the responsibility of Youth Sponsors, I turned my responsibility of Jr. SS supt. over to Reriton but he asked me to do the teachers' training at least this time.  I am making a few changes in it, but I have taught the course several times so I won't have to do a great deal of preparation each week.

        It's nearly 10 o'clock so that means it's nearly time for Jessica to come over for her daily visit.  I should say every other day visit, because Lori and I decided that starting this week,  Alicia could come every other day.  I perfer to have one at a time.  Jessica is a big helper, but there are times when she "helps" too much.  Any other grandmothers, or mothers know what I mean?

Love, Jeanie



Traffic Laws (1/25)

Dear Family and Other Friends,

        Guess what?   I'm getting organized!  It's Sunday night and I already have my Sunday School lesson prepared for next Sunday and also am prepared for my session of the teachers' training class next week.  Tomorrow we are going to Fortaleza for our missionary retreat and business meeting.  We won't be back until the end of the week so I knew I had to be prepared ahead of time.

        I forgot to mention that what really suffered last week while I was preparing extra lessons was my correspondence.  If you have written to us recently  and didn't receive a  reply you now know why.  It isn't that our computer is broken down or anything like that.  Just be patient and you may get a personal reply yet.

        We asked you to pray for us as we take on the responsibility as youth sponsors at church.  We don't have anything very exciting to report yet.  One of the older fellows said he had some ideas for improving the quality of the youth meetings and asked if he could plan the programs for  a few weeks.  We agreed to let him do the planning for the month of Feb.   Pray for Antonio as he takes this responsibility.    Did we ever mention that youth group includes all unmarried people from age 12 on up?  Some are in their late 20's.  Perhaps we have a conflict of interests.
 
        We have had cloudy weather for the last week and several rains.  The temperature has gone down a few degrees, ( 79 - 86)  and the humidity has gone up some (70-80%).  The lawn is greening up and of course the weeds are liking the moisture too.  It surely is nice to have the dust settled.

        On January 23 dozens of  new traffic laws with significantly higher fines went into effect.  Below is a summary of some of the penalties.  Many of the infractions can include jail time if a death occurs as a result of the infraction.

Following are the classifications of the types of fines:

Also included is one example in each classification.  There are many, many more.

VERY SERIOUS FINES - R$164 (or higher) and your car is impounded and/or lose your license
-Threaten pedestrians with your driving

VERY SERIOUS FINES - R$164 (or higher) and vehicle is towed
-Dangerous maneuvers

VERY SERIOUS FINES - R$164 (or higher)
-Loan the car to someone who doesn't have physical or mental conditions to drive (even if they have a license)

SERIOUS FINE - R$109
-Not using the windshield wiper when raining

MEDIUM FINES - R$73
Not giving someone a chance to pass on the left when requested (car behind flashes lights at you)

LIGHT FINES  - R$46
-Driving without paying attention

Are you ready to come to Brazil to get your drivers license?

Jeanie



Not Cool! (2/9)

Dear Family,

        Did I tell you last time that the temperature has gone down a few degrees?  Don't believe a word of it!  Since I last wrote it has rained very little if any and the temperatures have risen.  The temperature in the house is up to about 90 at noon each day.  I suppose it's about the same outside, or maybe hotter.  Most people are saying it's hotter than they remember it being before.  The humidity is high too.  Pray that the rains will set in.  The days we were in Fortaleza it rained nearly every day there.

        Youth group seems to be going pretty well.  Antonio has made it into a regular church service.  He has someone lead a song time, some people do special numbers, and Ken, Reriton, or Joe bring a message.  At the end there is time for a game or two.  The two times he has done it, there have been quite a few visitors and the comments we  have heard were that  the the Kids are liking it.  Beats me, we thought they would enjoy a more informal time rather than another service very similar to the Sunday night service.  We'll see how long they like this and when they get tired of it we will be ready with the great ideas some of you have sent us.  If anybody else has any ideas, send 'em in.

        Today is Reriton's birthday ( our co-worker) so we  had him and Nilvania and Ken and Lori and girls for lunch. We had one of his favorites-- tacos.  The lady that works for me helped me make the shells a while back and they were in the freezer.  There are not available in the stores here, makes a simple meal quite a bit more complicated.

        Our missionary retreat in Fortaleza was great.  Bob Cook, one of our board members and a good friend of ours and two of his friends were here.  The two friends were Bob Foster Sr. and Bob Foster Jr.  What a privilege to learn to know them and be influenced by their obvious love for the Lord.  Bob Foster spoke on the book of Col.  The messages were a big ncouragement  to us.  He is about 78 years old, very active and very much a "people person".

        The business meeting also went well.  Ron and Ranelle were allocated to work in the Pajuçara Bible Church for the rest of their first term.  This is the same church we went to during our first year in Brazil.  Of course the church has grown a lot since then, but some of the same folks are still there that were there when we attended there, 31 years ago.  The pastor used to come to camp at Silver Lake Bible Camp when he was just a kid and a new believer.  Later he came back and served on staff as a counsellor and even as camp speaker.  I'm sure they will gain a lot of good practical experience working in this church.

        Joe went to see the dermatologist and got a good report.  It had been quite some time since he had had sores burned off his head and face. She (the Dr.) said that those that he has now are very superficial and she perscribed some creme for him to use for 15 days.  She said that a more severe treatment is not necessary.  Because of his skin type and the many years he spent so much time in the sun while working at camp, she says the sores will continue to surface even though he spends very little time in the sun, always wears a cap when in the sun, and uses 40X sun lotion.  We praise the Lord for the good report.

Have a good week,
Jeanie (for Joe too)



Carnaval (2/22)

Dear Friends and Family,

        SS attendance was pretty low today.  This is "Carnaval" week in Brazil.  This corresponds with Mardi Gras.  It ends on Ash Wednesday when Lent begins.  So this is the "last fling"  before 40 days of denying oneself of certain worldly pleasures.  Carnaval means celebration of the flesh.  It is a very worldly celebration.  But since most of the stores and business are closed, even the Christian take advantage of the time to travel somewhere else.  It seems that everybody that can, wants to get away from home to be somewhere else.  There were only about 5 or 6 young people at SS this morning since most of them are somewhere out of town.  Pray that each of them will be a good testimony where they are, and not yield to temptations around them.

        We usually sponsor a retreat for the young people during this time.  In fact this year the church leaders had planned for the young people to participate in a retreat being sponsored by another church in town.  But our young people decided to be rebellious and not accept what we planned so all but 2 of them turned down the opportunity.  So each one had to find their own thing to do this week.  Some have made comments that we should be praying that next year they will all be able to do something together.  It makes it sound like there was nothing planned for them this year.  Pray with us that God will touch their hearts and by next year this time they will be willing to cooperate with the church leaders.  Pray for us to be loving, and patient through this phase.  We believe we are already begenning to see some little changes.

        We have acquired a small piece of property about 145X90 ft.  We hope to be able to start a Christian school by next school year.  The term begins in March.  We would start with the lower grades probably pre-kindergarten and kindergarten and plan to build up from there each year.  Joe spent some time this week pruning some of the trees, and fixing a crack in the cistern.

        One day last week  we had Jessica over for lunch.  She knew we had one of the church families over for supper the night before.  Kaline is 8 and Jessica loves playing with her so she asked, "next time you have Sr. Lindomar's family over for supper, could you please invite us over too?  I knew they were there last night and when I went to bed I was so exhausted because I couldn't come and play with Kaline."  Alicia is growing up a lot and runs all over the place.   It's so much fun living next door to them.

We'd like to hear from you
Jeanie for us 2



New email address (3/10)

Dear Family and other Friends,

        This will be our last letter from this address.  Starting tomorrow we will be using our new address:  jstucky@serv2000.com.br

        This week is reserverd for Jessica and Alicia.  Ken and Lori and Ron and Ranelle are at the Paraklesis retreat in Natal, 3 hours from here.  We went last year and it was wonderful.  It is designed especially for renewal in ministry or charging up ones batteries.  We do get pretty run down sometimes from giving and giving and giving.  At any rate no children are allowed so last year we decided that next time one of these retreats was held in our area of Brazil we would keep the girls so Ken and Lori could go.

        Since both of the girls are napping now, I thought I'd take the opportunity to get a quick note off to you.  All I have scheduled for this week besides the girls is to prepare my SS lesson and plan the program with Joe for Youth Group on March 21.  We need to read the program at our meeting on the 14th so those who have a part in the program know what to prepare.   Continue to pray for our involvement with the youth. Pray also that we would focus on the positive rather than the negative.  We need to spend more time helping those who want to grow than fretting about those who aren't interested.

        It is a lot of fun having the girls but I sure can tell I was a lot younger when my children were that age!  To add to the activity around here, Ron brought us a kitten (at our request).  We have recently been fighting a battle with mice and thought the presence of a cat would be very desireable.  This kitten is quite young and having a hard time getting used to being away from his mother.  He cried quite a bit yesterday so today I broke down and brought him into the house so he wouldn't feel so lonesome!   It frustrates Alicia that she can't catch him and yet she isn't really sure she wants to either.

Please write to us at our new address,
Jeanie for both of us



Billy Jones (3/18)

Dear Family,

        Billy Jones, that's our new kitty's name.  He's doing very well.  We wondered the first day or two if we had taken him away from his mother too soon, but once he got used to being here, he settled right in.  When Ron and Ranelle got back from the retreat on Friday they were surprised to see how much he had grown and how playful he was. Though he is a little young to catch mice, we haven't seen any around since he came.  There is something about the presence of a cat!

        Ken, Lori, Ron and Ranelle all had a good time at the retreat.  We had a lot of fun with Jessica and Alicia.  Alicia soon learned that when Grandpa headed for the freezer, he was probably going to get some ice cream and she stuck very close to him to see if he would share with her.  The first night just at bed time it started to thunder and lighten and rain, so  Jessica decided that it would be better for her to sleep in the room with Grandma and Grandpa.  Her reason was that it really bothered her to try to sleep when it was raining because she might have nightmares about people with white faces and no eyes, hands or feet.  After that explanation could we resist letter her sleep in the room with us?

        Sunday 2 of the 3 girls that started teacher's training class did their test.  The other girl dropped out about half way through.  Both of them passed and will continue hands on training as they are helpers in my class.  We have an average of 24 in our class, so it keeps us all busy.

        Saturday night we are having a Bible quiz at youth group.  The first Sat. of March we divided into 2 teams and told them to study Rom. 12 for a quiz on the 21st.  We chose 6 verses for them to memorize and Joe has given one study on the chapter and will be giving another one on Saturday.  Pray that we will all apply the truths of this chapter to our lives and that the Young people will enjoy the evening.

        I am working on getting all of our email addresses up dated.  Please let us know if this letter gets to you, so we can be sure we have your correct address.  Please also notice our new address:
jstucky@serv2000.com.br
If you are already flooded with email and would rather not receive our updates, let us know so we can remove your name from our list.  We don't want to cause you any unnecessary stress!:-)

Love,
Jeanie for Joe too



Getting Forgetful (3/29)

Dear Friends,

        It has been good to get short notes from several of you lately.  Some of you wrote and said you wanted to remain on our mailing list.  No one said you wanted to be taken off, so you stayed on!

        Last week was very full.  Sunday was exciting.  Three children ranging from ages 9-14 received Christ as their savior.
Monday night I had a meeting to plan for Sunday school for the month of April with my co-teacher and our 2 helpers who are getting the "hands on" part of their teachers' training course.

        Tuesday I went to visit one of the girls that accepted the Lord on Sunday.  I had a very nice visit with her mother who said she was going to come to church this evening.  She has come before and said she really enjoyed it.  She is a nurse and is going to school so has a very busy schedule.

        Wednesday night Joe and I had a meeting with the program committee to plan the programs for youth group for the April.
Thursday night was prayer meeting.

        Friday I was relieved that I had a free evening and could get caught up on some correspondence.  A couple times during the day I had the feeling that I was supposed to have some kind of meeting.  You guessed it, we DID have something scheduled.  Joe and I have been having a weekly Bible study with one of the families of our church on Fridays.  I usually have a lesson especially geared for the children first and then we adults study together.  About 45 minutes before time for the study, I was busy helping a couple of neighbor girls with an English lesson when Lindomar came by to ask if we could cancel our Bible study for the evening because something had come up and he needed to go somewhere.  I was glad to cancel, since I had forgotten to prepare for it.  I thought maybe Joe had forgotten too but when I went to talk to him about it, he was all showered, and dressed and ready to go.

I hope this week, I'll be able to keep better track of my schedule.

Write and let us know what's going in  your life.

Jeanie (for us 2)



They brought their friend (4/13)

Dear Family and other Friends,

        It's Monday morning.  I have our suitcases packed and lunch is ready.  Joe is dowtown taking care of some business.  So that gives me time to get a quick note off to you.  After lunch we are leaving for a short vacation together with Ken & Lori and family; Ron & Ranelle; and Don & Maria Lott ( the couple who furnished us all with vehicles while we were in the US.)  They are visiting us here in Brazil and we want to show them where we have worked during the past years.  We are going out to Silver Lake Bible Camp and will also catch some other places of interest in Ceará.

        Yesterday between our early morning Easter service and dinner, the 2 little girls that accepted the Lord 3 weeks ago came to visit me.  I was busy with dinner preparations so after visiting with them for a while, I invited them into the kitchen to visit while I worked.  After I finished what I was working on, we went back into the living room.  They had a million questions about what everything was and what it was for etc.  I picked up an illustrated childrens' Bible and read them the Easter story.  They liked that, but weren't ready to go home yet so I suggested that perhaps their family was about ready for dinner and it might be a good idea for them to go home and they could come back another time to visit.  They took me up on it and left.

        In the afternoon the door bell rang while I was in the shower.  Joe answered the door and came back and told me the girls were here to see me.  I thought  "Oh no, not those 2 little girls again!" When I got through with my shower I went out and they had brought their friend with them who also wanted to receive Jesus as her savior.  What a joy to help another one of my Sunday school students receive Jesus as her savior.  Pray for all 3 of these girls to grow in the Christian lives and to win their families for Jesus.

The call to board has just been issued so will close for this time.

Jeanie (for Joe too)



Mr & Mrs. Oliveira (4/26)

        This has been quite a day.  We have been going full speed ahead all day.  In the morning Joe, Ken and several others from the church did a thourough cleaning of the floor etc.  It was dirtier than usual because just yesterday they finished laying the tile on the platform.  This week they also plastered and painted the front wall.

        The door bell seemed to ring all day long.  First it was someone bringing a table cloth for the cake table and the little bride and groom to set on top of the cake.  Next it was someone bringing the table to put the cake on.  A little later the cake arrived.  The lady who made it finished mounting it with several looking on as she worked.  When that was over the girls came to get the flowers to decorate the church and soon were back needing some scissors.  Someone needed a drink and then Alicia and Jessica came over to stay with Grandma while Lori practiced the wedding music.

        After lunch, I told Joe "I hope no one else comes to bring anything for a while because I have a headache and I would really like to get in a little nap before it's time for me to go and pick up the bride."  Before I got to the bedroom, the doorbell was ringing again.

        Who was there, but 2 of the little girls that accepted Christ recently.  They wanted to know if I had a sheet of gift wrap that they could use to wrap a present for the bride who is their SS teacher, along with me and another girl.  How could I deny that request?  After I got the paper they asked if they could PLEASE have a drink of water and after I got it for them they all remembered to say THANK YOU.  (This is one of the little things I have been working on with them whenever they come for a visit.)

        About 2 o'clock  Joe and Ken decided they better go get 50 chairs they had borrowed from another church.  The person who had promissed to deliver them by noon ended up having to work.

        I took a shower, got dressed, and went to pick up the bride.  The wedding was scheduled for 4.  The bride was supposed to be ready to come at 3 so there would be time for some pictures etc. before hand.  I got to her house at 2:50, and would you believe, she was ready and waiting for me!  She even had her bags packed to take along on the honey moon and her sister remembered to put them into the trunk.

        At 3:40, she remembered she had forgotten to bring the dress she was going to change into before they left the church.  Joe and I were testimonies at the wedding and were to march in at exactly 4:00.  I quickly went back to the bride's house to get her dress, hoping that her mother who was supposed to be at our house by 3:30 hadn't left home yet.  When I got there, about 10 people were standing on the side walk waiting for a taxi.  Someone grabbed the dress and I told her mother, father, and a few others to jump in the car since they wouldn't all fit in the taxi and I wanted to be sure to get them there on time.  We got back to our house at 3:50, just in time to get  in position and march in at the right time!

        The wedding was very nice.  The bride was beautiful.  Many of the bride and grooms unsaved friends and relatives attended the wedding.  Our prayer is that this couple will have the joy of winning many of them to the Lord.  They are gone now for a short honeymoon.  Pray for Milton and Dalvinha as they begin married life, that Christ will be the center of their home.

Jeanie (for Joe too)



Urgent Prayer request (5/2)

Dear Friends and Family,

        This is just a quick note to ask you to join us in prayer for 14 year old Iano.  He has been diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes.  His mother, Jessie, is a believer but he is not.  They are going to Fortaleza for treatment.  Pray for peace and calmness for Jessie and for healing for Iano and that this ilness will be used to draw Jessie closer to the Lord (she has not been walking in close fellowship with the Lord recently) and that Iano and others in the family will accept Jesus as their Savior.

Joe and Jeanie Stucky



They Keep coming (5/12)

Dear Friends and Family,

    Thank you for praying for Jessie and Iano.  We heard a report that the Dr. in Fortaleza did not feel that Iano's situation is as serious as the Drs. here did.  He is undergoing treatment there.  Jessie is feeling much relieved and is very grateful for your prayers.  Continue to remember them especially that when the crisis is over they will not forget that they still need the Lord.

        Lázaro, a 19 year old young man from our church, is also in need of prayer.  He was born with a heart condition and had surgery when he was 2 years old.  At that time the Dr. said he would need to have surgery again when he was 12.  His parents never had this done but recently he has been having problems with dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness.  He cannot even go to school by himself but has to have someone take him.  He is planning to have surgery as soon as they get the details worked out.  He is the only believer in his family.  Pray for comfort and peace for him and that he will have the joy of bringing others to the Lord during this family crisis.

        Remember the 3 little girls that accepted the Lord recently?  They have brought 3 of their friends who also accepted Jesus.  So now we have six 9-ll year old girls in our SS class who are new believers.  These girls want to come to my house everyday but I don't have time that I can spend with them each day.  I wouldn't mind letting them play some games or entertain themselves but they have never been taught any manners in their homes and the minute I turn my  back they are into everything, handling everything they can get their hands on.

        Their attention span is about 3 minutes long.  So I am trying to teach them important principles in small doses. "Always say please when you ask for something."  " Say thank you when you receive something."  "Do not handle things that belong to others without asking."  They have expressed an interest in music so I'm  working on teaching them some of the choruses that they like.  They have begun showing up at the other SS teacher's houses as well.  We have decided to get together and set a day for them to come to each of our houses.   Pray for us to love them and be patient with them and for them to respond in a positive way.

        Last week end we had the pleasure of having one of our former Bible Institute students as the speaker for evangelistic meetings in our church.  He and his wife and son stayed in our home.  They also were former campers and staffers when we were directing the camp ministry.  We really enjoyed having them here for a few days.

        One young lady accepted the gift of salvation Saturday night.  Sunday she came with her 2 little boys for Sunday school and Sunday night she volunteered to help serve tea after the service.  What a delight to see her wanting to get involved in service immediately.

        This week Joe and Ken will be going to Fortaleza to help Ron and Ranelle get the house they are renting cleaned up, painted etc.  so they can move in soon.  They are excited about living close to the church they are working in.  This is the church we went to when we were in language school over 30 years ago.  Some of the same people are still there!

Drop us a line,
Jeanie, for Joe too



Passed Him! (5/17)

Dear Relatives and other friends,

        As much as I hate to admit it,once again, I'm older than Joe is.  My birthday was Thursday so I've passed him again in age and he won't catch up with me until his birthday in Dec.  It was so much fun receiving "Happy Birthday" wishes from many of you by e-mail, including electronic cards and virtual buoquets.  I also received more cards by snail mail than normal, a couple even came early and one came the day after, but most of them arrived right on the day of my birthday.  Good timing!  Thank you all very much for making my day special!  I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

        Thursday is our regular prayer meeting day.  We usually alternate having it every other week in church and the other times in homes.  We had it at our home last week and served tea and cake afterwards.  The crowd grew from the usual group of 20 to nearly 40.   We all enjoyed the fellowship.

        Continued saga of "my little girls":  This morning 2 of them came up to me after SS and said they needed to talk to me privately.  They wanted to know what to do to make a relationship right.  They said that they had had an argument with André, who also was saved recently.  And now they weren't speaking to him.  They said he had asked them for forgiveness and they had forgiven him but there was still something lacking.  I asked them what they thought it was and they said they thought they should ask him to forgive them too.  So I asked if they were willing to do that and they said they were, but didn't know how.  I said I'd call him in and tell him they wanted to talk to him.  Of course their was a great deal of nervous giggling as you can imagine with 11 year old girls, but they did ask his forgiveness.  He gave them a big grin, as is so typical of André, shook their hands and they all left happy.  Wouldn't it be great if we adults could settle our differences so easily and quickly?

        This morning Dalva taught the lesson in SS for the first time.  I wish you all could have been here to hear her.  She did an excellent job!  She taught the lesson of Naaman's healing.  In addition to emphasizing God's power to heal, she made the practical application of how God hates coveteousness and lying as can be seen in His dealing with Gehazi, Elisha's servant.  The kids all admitted that they have been guilty of lying.  We pray that they will make a real effort to stop that habit.

        Joe and Ken spent 2 days this week getting the wood up for Reriton's roof.  There is still a lot of work left to be done before the house will be ready to move into, but it's coming along and Reriton and Nilvania are getting exciting about the prospect of moving into their own little house.

I've rambled too long so will close here.
Jeanie for the 2 of us



Spinning wheels (5/26)

Dear Family and Other Friends,

        Do you ever feel like you are spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere?  Last week was kind of like that for us.  I think Joe was in every store in town that sells plumbing connections.  He finally found what was wanted in the last place he looked.  (Of course he wouldn't have looked any more after he found it!)  Anyway he is planning to install an electric water heater under the kitchen sink just for heating water to do dishes.  Did you know that few homes here have water heaters?  We have an electric shower head in the bath room, wash our clothes in cold water, and heat dish water on the stove.

        I spent a lot of my time on the computer learning how to use the scanner in order to do a project for my  SS class.  The figures for next month's lessons were printed in the quarterly but needed to be blown up.  With Lori's help and the manuals, I finally got the 11 pictures printed up and my 2 helpers are going to color them.

        I also worked on another project for church called "The memory Bank" It is a system of scripture memory using questions answers and verses to back up the answers.  We are making pocket-size spiral note books for each person who wants to participate.  Lori had set it up for me on my publisher program a couple months ago when we prepared the first 9 pages (one legal size sheet of paper)  But I had forgotten several important points so when I tried to prepare the 2nd sheet, even though everything fit into the 9 little boxes, I couldn't get it all to print on one page.  I wanted to get it figured out for myself so that I would know how to do it even when Ken and Lori are gone in the US.  I finally had to admit defeat and have her come over and "fix it up" for me.

        This week started on an encouraging note.  Sunday night Dona Nazaré, the mother of 2 of our Christian teens, accepted Christ as her personal saviour.  She has been coming to church quite regularly for the past several months.  Her children were thrilled as were the rest of us too.

        This week, Ken and Lori are busy tying up loose ends before they leave for several months in the US.  I'm trying to help by keeping the girls here for several hours each day.  Things will seem pretty empty around here when they leave.  Yesterday, Jessica was sure I liked Alicia more than I like here because she thought I gave Alicia more time and attention than I gave her.

Have a good week,
Jeanie for us 2



(6/7)

Dear Family,

        Wed. morning Joe and I took Lori, Jessica and Alicia to Fortaleza.  Ken came later on the bus.  Joe and I both had mission committee meetings in the afternoon.  In the evening we picked Ken up at the bus station,  took him to the mission home, then we went shopping for groceries at Macro which is the Brazilian version of Sam's Club.
        Thursday morning we went shopping down town.  Ron and Ranelle had a committee meeting at the mission home so we all ate lunch there together.  After lunch we said our good-byes to Lori and the girls and took Ranelle to the grocery store and then went to Ron and Ranelle's "new" house.  It was the first time I had seen it.  They don't have much furniture yet, but have it fixed to look quite homey.  Meanwhile Ken and Ron had gathered a trailer load of Ron and Ranelle's things from several places and brought them to the house.  Included in the load were a file, washer, dryer and desk.
        After Ken left, Ron and Ranelle served us a candle light supper to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary which is tomorrow, June 8th.  They didn't have a table so put a table cloth on  2 packing cases which were piled on top of each other.  It was just big enough for 4 plates and a candle.  We had to put our glasses on the floor.  But we enjoyed the celebration!
        We had a good trip home.  Our house seems very quiet now that Ken and Lori and the girls are gone, even though the telephone and door bell rang constantly Friday.  It's not quite the same as "Grandma, could you "please read me a story?"
        Saturday afternoon we had the church youth group over for swimming, volley ball, a wiener roast and a devotional time.  I think there were 18 here.  Everybody seemed to have a good time.
        This morning Ledyane taught the lesson in Sunday school for the first time.  She came over yesterday to practice and really had a hard time.  She was sure she would forget everything.  I told her to just do her best and tell what she remembered and I would fill in at the end if she forgot something.  By then she was in tears so we prayed together and I asked her if she would rather I teach the lesson this time and she could do her first lesson in a few weeks after more practice.  She said she really wanted to try.  This morning she did a great job.  I was so happy for her that it went well.  This will help her have more confidence next time.
        Time to get ready for church so will close here.  One more thing.  Please pray for Deb and Sam and especially Brian.  He is 4 years old and hasn't been feeling well lately.  He doesn't have much desire to eat and has lost some weight.  They had treated him for amoebas but the last tests showed that is taken care of and nothing else showed up on the tests.  Pray for them to discover the problem and for his appetite to return so he will start gaining weight instead of loosing.  Thanks.

Drop us a note,
Jeanie for Joe too



Busy week (6/15)

Dear Family and other Friends,

        It's a good thing I took my planner to church tonight so I could write down all my appointments for the week.  I start out at 8:00 am tomorrow with a meeting with the 2 co-teachers of my Sunday school class.  We are going to be gone for 2 week ends so I have to plan with them for them to handle the class by themselves.  I'm sure they will do fine, but they need a little guidance in setting it all up.
        This week I also have a discipleship lesson, a Dr. appointment, a piano lesson, a church staff meeting, some visits and preparations to make for traveling.
        Friday Joe and I will be leaving to spend the weekend in the home of one of our former Bible Institute students.  Joe will be speaking and singing at their church's anniversary celebration.  I have been practicing the songs that he's going to sing, but have a ways to go yet before I will be ready to play them well.  After the weekend we will be going to Fortaleza for our mission conference.
        After the conference 2 girls who are coming from the US to participate in our summer mission's program will be coming home with us to spend several days here.  We are looking forward to having them with us and expect to keep them busy.  I'm hoping they will be able to organize my life:-)
        Last week we asked you to pray for our grandson, Brian.  We are happy that he is feeling better and is eating better.  Please continue to pray that he will continue to eat well and gain weight.  This week I want you to ask you to pray for me.  (Please DON'T pray for me to gain weight!) I have been feeling dizzy for several days.  I think it might be an ear problem and was hoping it would go away, but it hasn't.  Pray that the Dr. will be able to discover the problem and the cure.
        Ken and Lori arrived safely in the US and tomorrow start their car travels with a 12 hour trip.  It's a good thing they're young!  Pray for the girls to enjoy the traveling.  They will be doing a lot of it in the next several months.  We miss them here, but know that many of you will enjoy visiting with them in the coming weeks.

Love, Jeanie for Joe too



Conference (6/26)

Dear Family and other Friends,

        We left home a week ago so haven't been keeping up very well on our e-mail.  We spent last weekend in the home of one of our former students who is a pastor.  We had a great time of fellowship with Manoel and Adriana and are greatly impressed with their ministry. Joe spoke and sang at their church's anniversary celebration on Sunday night.  In the morning they had a baptism service.  This was held at a  small lake about 2 kilometers from town.  The ladies fixed dinner and we all ate the noon meal there together.  Unfortunately, several of us ended up getting food poisoning which kept us awake with severe cramps during a good portion of the night.  By the next day we were all feeling fine.  In spite of that uncomfortable situation, we had a very enjoyable weekend.
        Monday we came to Fortaleza and our conference began with supper.  Board member, Gary Gilley is our speaker and we are enjoying the studies and fellowship  immensely.  We have had some interesting business discussions.
        Our conference is held at the camp/mission complex in Fortaleza.  We have some time ago outgrown these facilities and most of the missionaries who live in Fortaleza and suburbs have to stay at home overnight.  Since Ron and Ranelle live quite a distance from here, they have brought their hammocks so they can rest here after lunch.  Our room is large so they use it for their daytime "headquarters", a place to hang their hammocks, change clothes etc.  The bath room we share with the room next door is outside just down the hall from us.  This afternoon Joe was the last to come in for his nap.  While he was sleeping, I got up to take a shower.  Ron and Ranelle left as well.  When he got up no one was here so he locked the door and left.  When I
came out of the bathroom, I realized I was locked out so I had to traipse all over the campground to find him so I could get the key and get into our room.  Life is never dull around here.
        Some of you have written and not gotten a personal response.  We haven't forgotten you but we got typhoid shots yesterday and our arms are too sore to use the computer much.  Is that a good enough excuse?  We'll write after we get home next week, okay?

Love,
Jeanie for Joe too



Plan "B" (7/5)

Dear Family and other Friends,

        I just got back from doing a discipleship lesson with one of the ladies from church.  We hadn't done one for nearly 3 weeks because I was gone.  She had it all filled out and ready to go.  Some of her children are saved and they help and encourage her.  I always enjoy our time together.  She really loves the Lord and she is growing and praying for her husband and unsaved children to come to the Lord as well.
        We got home on Wednesday and brought 3 young ladies with us.  They are college students who are spending several weeks in Brazil with our mission experiencing "missions first hand." Ever since they got here one of the most important thing they have learned is that it is important to be flexible and to be ready to switch to "Plan B" and sometimes "Plan C".  They have learned that it is good to have "Plan B"and "Plan C" formulated ahead of time because there is a good chance that you will need them.  They have been really great to work with and have been very flexible.
        They have helped get our personal library organized, get our mailing list on the computer, participated in a party for the kids in my SS class who won the Bible Quiz at the end of the quarter (even played soccer with them),  taught a song in SS this morning,  gave their testimonies and taught 2 games at youth group, went to the market with Joe on Sat. to get fruits, vegetables and meat.  One girl said  it was the first time she had ever seen meat look at her when she walked by it.  I guess the head was still on the particular animal which was being hacked up for sale.  They are all trying to learn as much Portuguese as possible.  They enjoy trying new fruits and other foods.  They have even gotten some recipes.  Tomorrow we are going to tour the bakery, and go shopping down town in the morning.  We are also going to go swimming with several of the recently saved adolescent girls.   If we get time there are still some Christian Ed. materials left to sort.  Tuesday we are going to take them on to the next Missionary family.
        Keeping 3 girls busy has kept me hopping.  This week, I'll have to get back into my normal schedule of classes, visits, studying etc. etc. three weeks off the normal schedule is too much.

Drop us a line,
Jeanie for us 2



WE LOST (7/14)

Dear Family and other Friends,

        If you were following the world cup soccer games you already know that France beat Brazil in the final game with a score of 3-0.  At the end of the game there was a great noise in Mossoró of fire crackers exploding.  Many people had bought firecrackers to blow up for each goal and for the victory at the end.  Since this didn't happen they lit the firecrackers at the end anyway to say to the Brazil team, "We still love you!"  At least we were able to sleep in peace because their was no victory celebration with loud music, dancing etc.  We cheered for Brazil and are proud that they got second place even though they didn't get the gold cup.  Since they already got it 4 times and France has never even gotten into the finals before, it was nice that France got it, especially since France was hosting the games.
    Did I say we were going to get back to our normal schedule after getting back from dropping the girls of at the next missionary station?  We got home Tuesday afternoon.  We had our normal schedule all day Wed. and Thur.  Then on Friday Dan and Linda Anderson and their 3 children ages 1-5 arrived to spend 2 weeks with us.  I am attempting to show Linda some hints on housekeeping and cooking in Brazil as well as ways to economize on the grocery bill.  They are still seeking God's will
concerning where they should do their language study and what church to be involved in in the coming months.  Pray for God to give definite direction as they visit here and in Maceió.
        Right now Elisabeth, 5 and Micah, 3 are "helping" me write this letter.  If I sound a little distracted you can understand why.  Joe and Dan have made a trip to Limoeiro, to get the Documents for Dan's car up to date. The former owner lived there.
        Lázaro is home from the hospital after open heart surgery.  He had a hole patched up.  We asked him if they used epoxy glue and he didn't know.  He is looking much better and feels well and is getting tired of his Mother fussing over him.  He has to go back for a check up in a couple of weeks and if everything is as the Dr. expects, he will be able to resume a normal schedule, including riding his bike and playing his trombone. The day before his surgery, he sneaked out of his room and went up to the balcony overlooking the operating room and watched a similar surgery being performed.
        Saturday July 25th is the day for our bi-annual business meeting at church.  Pray that all the members will come and that we will have an orderly meeting and that we might make wise decisions on important issues.

We would love to hear from you.
Jeanie for Joe too



 seventy six (7/21)

Dear family and other friends,

Are we 76 years old?  No!  Do we expect 76 people to show up for our semi-annual church meeting Saturday night?  No!
Was the temperature 76 when we got up this morning?  Yes it was and the humidity was around 70%!  The weather has been simply lovely lately.  Many of you in the US have been talking about hot weather even up over 100.  Today when I checked the thermometer at noon in was only 82.  We're really enjoying it.  Remember this for next year.  Make your plans to visit us in July.  June is usually pretty nice too.  Get your reservations in early.

This is the week we are going to begin to get caught up on all we got behind on during the past 6 weeks while we traveled,  attended our field conference and had house guests.  Already this week we have visited some of  the folks from our church.  We  have quite a few more that we need to visit yet soon.  Another major accomplishment-I got my desk cleaned off.  I also got a lot of laundry done.  Joe is working on a car port project, in addition to everything else.

Last Friday evening Dr. Luis Cláudio stopped by for a visit.  Dan and Linda Anderson were here and he said he wanted to practice his English.  We prayed that morning that we would have an opportunity to talk to him about the Lord.  We didn't have any trouble getting started because his first question was about something he wanted explained from the Bible.  Two and a half hours later when he went home we realized that we hadn't talked about anything except the Bible.  He is searching but hasn't trusted Christ for salvation yet.  Pray for him to faithfully read the Word and for the Spirit to draw him to Jesus.  Pray for his wife too.  She is not interested in studying the Bible.

You all have a good week.
Jeanie for Joe too



projects (8/2)

Dear Family and other Friends,

Joe is in the middle of 2 projects.  One he is doing and the other one is being "done to him".  The one he is doing is making a car port so visitors can park their cars in the shade off the street.  He has a ways to go to get it finished but has made a good start on it.  So if the reason you haven't come to visit us is because you couldn't park in the shade, off the street, you'll have to think of a different excuse.  Come any time.  Call us at (085) 312-1661 so we can have a meal or a dish of ice cream ready for you when you get here.

The other project is extensive dental work.  Already he has had 2 teeth pulled and 4 repaired.  He has 1 more to pull and 3 more to repair.  After everything heals he will be fitted for removable partials both upper and lower.  By the end of August this work should all be done.  So far the first day was the worst.  The dentist pulled 2 teeth and first had a hard time getting the anesthesia to take hold and then had a hard time getting the teeth out.  Joe came home with a swollen face and could hardly talk.  He said he felt like he had been beaten up.  I made him a milk shake for supper and he went to bed at 6:30.  His face stayed swollen for 2 days but he was up and about though moving more slowly than usual.

This week we will make a quick trip to Fortaleza.  Joe has a mission committee meeting and need to have Ron help me with some of my computer questions.  Sure is nice to have kids who know how to help you when you get stuck.  We're looking forward to visiting with them and catching up on what's been going on since we last saw them.  They have done some jobs around their house so it will be fun to see what it looks like now.

Joe and I will be team teaching at women's retreat in September.  Pray for us as we begin preparing our lessons and also as we continue with the responsibilities at church.  We are missing Ken and Lori's presence here at church.  Some of the folks have a bad case of the grumbles and have been passing it around to others.  We have bent over backwards trying to please some of these people and I think it has come to the place that it is obvious that nothing will please them.  God is the one we answer to and it is of utmost importance that we please Him.  Pray for us to humbly serve Him and not worry about the complaints of
the "grumblers".

Have a good week and drop us a line.  Let us know if you are praying for us.  It encourages us greatly!

Jeanie for Joe too



We're making progress (8/15)

Dear Family and Other Friends,

We enjoyed hearing from several of you after our last letter.  It is encouraging to know that your are praying for us.  We appreciate it. If your wrote to us Wed, Thur. or Fri. the 12, 13th or 14th please resend your message if you can.  Our server was down for a while and when they started up again, they did some strange things like resend messages we had received 3 weeks ago but we know some messages that were sent this week did not arrive.  We are not sure if all the messages we sent arrived at their destination or not.  If you receive this letter, please take a few moments to drop us a note so we know our mail is going through.

Joe took a week off from dentist visits while we went to Fortaleza and then had company for 3 days.  This week he went in 3 times and got another tooth pulled, some filled and a thorough cleaning.  Tuesday he goes in for his last filling and then they will make a plaster of paris mold to figure out how to make his store bought teeth.

Some work still remains to be done on the car port.  The roof is all finished but the floor still needs to be finished.  Hopefully this job will be finished next week.

For some time we have been thinking about getting a garden in but just keep putting it off.  Well recently some friends wrote about picking tomatoes weighing 1 kilo.  That did it, we remembered how delicious those home raised tomatoes are so we planted some tomato seeds.  By the time they come up and get big enough to plant, we should have our garden space all ready.  We're going to plant peppers, and cucumbers too.

Friday night Joe and I are in charge of adults meeting at church.  We don't call it couples meeting because so many of the believers have unsaved mates who don't come (though they are invited) and we also have some who are separated from their mates.  We plan to zero in on the subject of the family this month and we hope that we will be able to encourage one another as we think together about our responsibilites as parents.  Pray that we will have a good group out and that the meeting will be profitable and enjoyable.  We plan to do some fun things, maybe even some silly things.  Sometimes we need to lighten up a bit.

Have a good week and don't forget to drop us a line.
Jeanie for the 2 of us.



Church cat (8/22)

Dear Family and other Friends,

I'm sure you have heard of church mice but have you ever heard of church cats?   I hadn't until last Sunday.  In the middle of Reriton's message Sunday night a cat hurriedly made her way across the stage behind him and out the door.  After church we checked out the off stage room that she had come out of and discovered 4 tiny kittens that had been born a day or 2 before.  Billy Jones, our cat, ran away a few weeks ago and already the mice have made their appearance in our house.  We could keep this mother cat and her babies, but we really prefer one male cat who will just keep the mouse population down.  We aren't interested raising a lot of cats.  Seems like you just can't win!

All the rest of the work is done now and Joe is just waiting for his "store bought"  teeth to get here.  Hopefully they will be here by Wed.  It will be different for him to get used to a mouth full of teeth for a change.

The roof and the floor of the car port are done.  Next Joe needs to make a gate so we can get in from the street through the wall around our property.

Tonight is our last night as sponsors of our youth group.  We want to have a special time to challenge the youth to work together with the new sponsors.  We are going to try to help them realize that they will get as much out of youth group as they are willing to put into it.  Pray for the new sponsors as they take over in September.   And pray for our youth to be committed to the Lord and give Him first place in their lives.

Last night we already started with our responsibility with the adults of the church.   We had a pretty good turn out.  There were about 20 present.   We don't have very many couples.  Several of the Christian ladies came without their unsaved husbands.  We plan to visit in each of their homes and start building relationships with these unsaved men.  We hope that by our showing interest in them, they will realize that the Lord is interested in the also.

Busy serving Him,
Jeanie for Joe too



Cat Saga (9/5)

Dear Family and Other Friends,

The neighbor kids promissed to bring me a kitten recently.  They arrived empty handed saying the kittens were sick, would I want a cat that was a little bigger.  Since the mice have been getting very annoying, I decided to give it a try.  They arrived with this huge cat which I was foolish enough to receive.  I let him in the house and he immedeately ran for a corner and hid behind a potted plant.  Next time I saw him he was sitting in the pot and the plant wasn't looking so good.  We let him stay in the house overnight hoping he would catch some mice.  The next morning we let him outside and fortunately we haven't seen him since.  The kids were surprised when he arrived back home and asked if they should bring him back.  I said, "No thanks."

The mice continue to frolic so we decided we better think about keeping the "church cat" and her kittens.  We fixed a nice box for the kittens and began feeding Mama Cat, petting her and making friends in general.  After several days we took Mama Cat and her babies to a nice little corner we had fixed on the porch for them and left her some food.  When we checked back a half hour later the box was empty.  We looked back in church and they weren't there, so we figured she had managed to get them over the wall and off the property.  Last Sat. afternoon Joe pulled the tarp off the chairs that were stacked in the church and guess who came out?  Mama Cat!  She immedeately took her kittens and put them behind a large piece of ply wood that was leaning against the wall.   I'm not sure what we will do but when the kittens get big enough to come out from behind the ply wood, I'm sure we will have to find a different residence for them as it would be too distracting to have them at church.  Besides I'd like them closer to the house to scare the mice away.  Are there any experts out there that know how to deal with cats.  Let us know how and when to make this move.

Monday is Independence Day in Brazil.  We were going to plan something special for the church people but before we were able to get plans made, we found out that one of the women had made plans with some of the young people to go out to the boonies where her daughter lives to have an evangelistic service.  They rented a truck and plan to leave early in the morning and go visiting and distributing tracts in the neighborhood.  Then they will all have lunch together, do some more visitation, have supper and then the service, before heading back home.  They convinced Joe to go with them to lead the music and Reriton to preach.  Reriton would not go if he had to leave his pregnant wife alone, so I volunteered to stay with her.  I think I got the better end of the bargain.  I don't think I would fare too well bouncing along in the back of a dusty open truck sitting on a backless wooden bench for a trip of more than an hour each way.  I have back and neck problems when I travel on a smooth road in a comfortable car!  Do pray that the believers who live out there will be encouraged and that others will come to know Christ as well.

Have a good week, and drop us a note.,
Jeanie for Joe too



Everybodys moving (9/17)

Dear Family and other Friends,

The reason you haven't heard from us for a while is because we have been diligentely studying and preparing for our messages for ladies retreat.  We have them all ready to go now so finally I can feel free to sit down at the computer and get a note off to you.

We plan to leave home early tomorrow morning and drive to Fortaleza.  We'll pick Ranelle up there and possibly one or 2 other passengers as well.  Then we'll continue our journey to Silver Lake Bible Camp.  It will be fun spending time back at our old stamping grounds and seeing many old friends.  No doubt we'll also meet a lot of new people as well.  Last we heard there were 107 ladies registered.  That makes nearly a full house.

Last week week Joe fixed a little house under the back steps and we again moved the kitties.  This time Mama cat seemed content to live at our place instead of at the church.  But one day while we were gone one of the little kittens somehow got into the yard next door.  Woops!  He met up with the dogs there and now we have 3 kittens instead of 4.

Last week Reriton and Nilvania, our Brazilian coworkers, made the big move.  They have been living in our upstairs which we fixed into an apartment for them when they got married 2 1/2  years ago.  He moved in up there, at the same time we moved into the house.  Now they are living in thier own little house a few blocks from here.  It seems a little strange to have the whole house to ourselves.

The first thing we did was move my Sunday school class upstairs.  We have an average of 20 children age 7-11 coming each Sunday.  We had been meeting in the sanctuary.  It is so nice to have our very own class room for the first time ever!

Two days after we get back from retreat, the people who are living next door in Ken and Lori's house we be going back to North Ireland.  That means we will be the only ones living on the compound until Ken and Lori come back in  December.  Needless to say, we can hardly wait until they get back.

Please remember to pray for safe travels and and effective retreat.
We'll let you know how it went when we get back.
Drop us a line, Jeanie for Joe too



Retreat (9/25)

Dear Family and other Friends,

We're back home.  The retreat went great.  Thanks for praying.  One hundred fifteeen women and one man attended.  The man was the driver of a van that one of the churches rented.  His wife was at the retreat and no one seemed to mind him sitting in on the sessions.  Our theme was "Raising children isn't just a game".  Since they have 2 young children, he found the messages were very helpful and he kept coming back for more.

Only a few of the ladies who came were not believers.  One accepted the Lord on the last day.  When the invitation was given about 25 women stood, indicating that they were committing themselves to begin putting into practice some of the things they had learned or been reminded of during retreat with regard to their relationship to God, their husband or their children.  We are praying that they are being faithful in their committment.  The testimonies on the last night were a blessing and encouragement to us.

Guess what?  When we got home Mama Cat and all three kittens were gone!  Thus ends the saga of that cat family.  So far the mice doen't seem to know the cats are gone, so before they find out we want to try again and get another cat.  We'll see what happens this time.

Please pray for Nadja and Ediocelio.  On Sept 23 thier first child, Daniel was born.  They have been doing everything they were supposed to be doing during the pregnancy.  They have been looking forward to raising this child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and of course, were anticipating the birth of a healthy, normal baby.  Imagine their dissappointment when the Dr. informed them that it is almost certain that the baby has Down's syndrome.  Pray for us to know how to comfort and encourage them.

Nadja's sister, Nilvania and Reriton are expecting thier first baby in Novemeber.  Pray for them to be calm and trust in the Lord rather than to imagine that their baby too will have some birth defect.

We've got lots to do to catch up on things that got behind while we were gone, so will sign off here.
Jeanie for Joe too



Election (10/3)

Dear Family and other Friends,

Tomorrow is election day here in Brazil.  The past several weeks have been noisier than usual around here.  Sound trucks have been going around the city blasting out propaganda for one particular candidate and against the others.  Most evenings there is a political rally somewhere.  These are accompanied by extremely loud music, much shouting and carrying on and hundreds of people milling around causing general confusion, traffic congestion and disturbing the peace.

Yesterday on the evening news it was announced that no liquor would be sold today or tomorrow nationwide in order that everyone be sober to fulfill their obligation to vote.  By the way it IS obligatory to vote here. (One man did say he already had stocked his refrigerator so wasn't concerned about not being able to buy liquor for 2 days.)

We have canceled SS for tomorrow because of the election.  All of the SS teachers felt it would be difficult to be here in the morning and still have time to vote and get to church at night.  Each person has a specific place he is assigned to go to vote and often each member in the family has to go to a different place.  Some have to go clear across town.  The lines are long and one often has to wait hours.  There are 2 exceptions.  Pregnant women and the elderly are allowed to go immediately to the front of the line.  Only one of our teachers is pregnant and I'm the oldest teacher so none of us are elderly!

The winning candidate has to get more than half the votes.  There are many parties here.  If none of the candidates gets half or more there will be another vote between the 2 top candidates in a few weeks to determine who the winner is.  We hope, it is all settled tomorrow so that we won't have to listen to another several weeks of campaign rallies.

This week we have gotten several notes from people giving reports of someone who went to retreat and is now working on training her children according to Biblical principles.  Reports like this are a big encouragement to us and make us feel like all the hours of preparation were well worthwhile. Several people have even asked for our notes or outlines either because they didn't take good notes or because they want to teach the material to others.

Next Tuesday we are having our monthly meeting with our church couples.  This includes a number of ladies whose husbands aren't saved and though the unsaved spouses are invited to come they seldom do.  We plan to begin teaching some of the same lessons that we used at retreat during these meetings.  Most of the child rearing is left to the mother and most of our mothers don't have a clue of what that responsibility is.  Pray for us to help them begin to understand what an awesome responsibility God gives to every person, when he entrusts them with a life to teach and to train.

Drop us a line and tell us about your week.  We'd love to hear from you.
Joe and Jeanie



Plenty of dust (10/18)

Dear Family and Other Friends,

Election is over and everybody must have gotten elected the first time around at least we haven't heard anything to the contrary.  I know that both the president of Brazil and the Governor of our state got reelected.

Our monthly meeting with the couples went well.  We're excited because Elizabeth's husband came with her.  She has been saved for over a year and he has been rather antagonistic toward the gospel.  He really seamed to enjoy our meeting and this week he came for the church family picnic which was held on Monday afternoon.   He stayed for the afternoon activities and supper.  We had a film in the evening but he went home before that was over.  He seems to be warming up to the church family and feels comfortable around us.  Pray that soon August will receive Jesus as his Savior.

Last Sunday 2 children in our SS class accepted Jesus as their Savior.  Both of them have Christian mothers and non-Christian
fathers.  Our prayer is that their mothers will help and encourage them in their daily walk with the Lord and that these children will be instrumental in bringing their fathers to the Lord.

Starting this Sunday we have a new trainee in Sunday school.  She just took her written exam for the teachers' training course and did an excellent job.  Now she has a couple of months of "hands on" training.  I'm trying to work myself out of a job but I'm not being very successful.  One of our teachers is due to have a baby any day now so she will be out of teaching for a while.  We also need to divide our classes so it will be a while before I'm not needed as a teacher.

We are in the dusty season now.  We didn't get much rain last year so it is really dry and every afternoon we have a lot of wind.  An hour after doing the dishes and washing all the counter tops, I can write my name in the dust.  There are actually little "drifts" of dust on the floor and we sweep every day.  It reminds me of my Mother telling about the "dirty thirties".  She said they used to dip a sheet in water and hang it in the window to keep the dust from billowing in and choking my sister when she was a tiny baby.  I'm also reminded of spending several months in Washington after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.  There was absolutely no way to be a neat housekeeper.

Thanks for praying for us.  We have enjoyed hearing from several of you and it's great to know what you are up to.

Love, Jeanie for Joe too

PS Pray for Joe he is coming down with a cold and not feeling too well.



Never a dull moment (10/28)

Dear Family and other Friends,

Last week was a busy one.  (Which week isn't?) At 3:30 AM Wed. we were awakened by the ringing of the telephone.  It was Reriton, our co-oworker asking Joe if he could take Nilvania to the hospital.  The baby was on the way.  After dropping them off at the hospital Joe came home and tried to sleep a little.

We were scheduled to go to Fortaleza right after breakfast.  Joe had a committee meeting in the afternoon and I spent that time with Ron and Ranelle.  In the evening we went to church with them and had the privilage of hearing Jonas and Iria Braun, Brazilians,  who work in Equador with HCJB.  We enjoyed hearing them sing and tell about their ministry.

We spent the night at Ron and Ranelle's and then Thur. went to Limoeiro do Norte to Bill and Sandi Graf's.  We enjoyed visiting with them and with their guests from the US.,  Gilbert and Anne Larson, friends of ours from Grace days.  In the evening Joe preached at their outdoor evangelistic service.  There were quite a few people present and 2 men came forward to accept Jesus at the close of the service.

Thur. we hit the road again and headed home.  We got to Mossoró just before noon.  Before going home, we stopped to see the new baby.  He has lots of dark hair but wouldn't open his eyes for us to see.  His daddy says they are blue.  His skin looked a little yellow to me.

By Saturday his skin had turned very yellow and Reriton asked Joe to take  them to the Dr.  Several hours later after a big run around to get a blood test, back to get the results, from one hospital to the other, Pedro Henrique was admited to the hospital.  He will have to stay 3-7 days while he is being treated with lights and having medication administered through IVs.  Pray with us that he will recover quickly and completely and that Reriton and Nilvania will weather through the storm, and come out stronger because of it..  It is a very devestating experience for them.

We are now working diligently on getting our Christmas program parts all in order and plan to give them out soon.  In the meantime life goes on and we have to keep up with our regular schedule of study, classes, visits, counselling, meetings etc.  We never have time to get bored around here.

We always have time to read our mail so take a few min. to let us know what's going on with you.
Blessings on you,  Jeanie (& Joe)



No Subject (11/6)

Dear Family and Other Friends,

Joe's brother, Sam and his wife Jean left a few minutes ago.  They came to Brazil last month for a visit.  We had seen them briefly  in Fortaleza shortly after they got here, but were glad they could come and spend a little time with us in our home.  It was good to hear what the Lord has been doing in their lives since they left Brazil 2 years ago.

Sunday we had our first choir practice, for the Christmas program.  We had 12 out for practice.  If there are any others that want to join, Joe will let them in this Sunday.  Probably after that, he won't let any new ones come in.  We are working on a rhythm band for the tiny tots and my classs is doing a little play.  This year Reriton is in charge of the youth so I'm glad I don't have the responsibility of working with them.  Joe may do a little play with the adults as well.

Tomorrow, (Saturday) Joe and I are starting a program for the 11-15 year olds in our community.  We have asked one of the married couples to work with us and some young people will be helping us as well.  We plan to have a music time, a lesson, a verse to memorize and a game time.  Our goal is to evangelize those who are unsaved and to help those who are saved to grow and mature spiritually.  Please pray that we will get off to a good start.  Pray that we will have a good group out for our first meeting and that they will be well behaved.  Pray also for those who are helping us, that this will be a learning, growing experience for them too.  We'll let you know next week how it went.

Sunday night, after church a 13 year old boy kinda hung around Joe but didn't say anything.  After a while one of the young people went and told Joe that this boy wanted to accept Jesus as his saviour.  He had made a profession of salvation a few years back but said he really hadn't understood what it was all about.  So Joe dealt with him on the issue of assurance and helped him make sure he really understood this time.  He will be starting discipleship lessons with him next week.

Nilvania and the baby are home from the hospital.  Most of the jaundice is gone and he is beginning to gain weight.  Reriton and Nilvania are praising the Lord.  They are thankful to all who prayed for them during these days.  They are surprised that  the arrival of this little one has totally changed their lives.  Nothing is the same as it was before.  They're learning a lot and have a lot more to learn in the days to come!

It was great hearing from a bunch of you this week.  We love getting mail from you.

Love, Jeanie (& Joe)



S.O.S. (11/16)

Dear Prayer Supporters,

Greetings in the name of our wonderful Savior.   Jeanie and I are passing through a very difficult phase in our ministry.  We need your earnest prayer as never before.   The devil is using several of our young people to undermine the Christ is Life Church. They seem to have dedicated themselves to criticize the leadership of the church.  They are contaminating the minds of the others with their discontent.  Because they have been believers longer than most of the other young people, they wield a lot of influence in the youth group.  The problem is compounded some by the fact that most of our families are involved.  Because, we  can't put our finger on exactly who all is responsible for the problem, we haven't been able to affect the necessary discipline.    It has been extremely discouraging to us.  We need wisdom from The Lord to deal with this problem.   Please pray for revival in our hearts and the hearts of our people.

Thank you so much for standing with us before the throne of grace.  May God bless you richly!

Your fellow laborers in His service,
Joe and Jeanie Stucky



Good news, Bad news, Good news! (11/17)

Dear Family and Other Friends,

I told you I would report to you on how our program with adolsecentes went but last week I was so busy with preparations, classes, etc. that I didn't get around to writing.  Now we've already met twice.  We didn't have a large number of kids out but the ones who did come were well behaved (mostly) and seemed interested in the lesson and learning the verse.  We expect that they'll get the word around and our group will grow.

Everyone who came the first time was ready to quote the verse as they came in the second week.  That was a real encouragement.  We are going through the lessons of the "Wordless Book" and all of those who are able to quote all of the verses and explain the plan of salvation will receive a bracelet with the colored beads strung on a leather thong.  This will give them a tool for evangelism.

We're pleased with our helpers.  They're doing a good job.  Some of them haven't been very involved with ministry before.  It's good to see them get involved, teaching the verse, leading the music and taking charge of the game time.  So far none of them has volunteered to give the lesson.  One of them is thinking about it and we're hoping that soon they'll get up the courage to do it.  In the meantime I am teaching the lesson.

Joe just got back from doing a disciplship lesson with the boy who accepted Jesus a week or so ago.  He said they had a real good time together.

It's a good thing that there are some very encouraging things going on because at the same time there are some very discouraging things happening.   A few of the young people have been, for some time, opposing almost everything the leadership promotes.  Most of the time they don't do it openly but just don't cooperate and go around to the other young people and get them  not to cooperate either.  Recently some of the young people are beginning to realize what's going on and are seeing that they have missed out on some good things because they blindly went along with the few who are undermining the leadership. We want to ask you to pray earnestly with us as we seek a solution for this problem. "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us who can be against us?"  Rom. 8:31

Love,
Joe and Jeanie



 Another one (11/23)

Dear Family and Other Friends,

Last week was "another one of those weeks"!  Our copy machine quite working so a couple of weeks ago, Joe had taken it in to the shop.  They were supposed to call and let us know how much it would cost to fix it.  Finally after 2 weeks, they called to tell us to come and get our machine because they couldn't get the parts to fix it.

Joe had an appointment with the dentist because his "store bought" teeth aren't fitting quite right.  After waiting for an hour, he
finally got in.  The dentist said it was a bigger job than he had anticipated he would have to come back another day when they could mark a bigger time slot for him.  On the day he was supposed to come in the receptionist called to say they didn't have the materials they would need so set up an appointment for Tuesday this week.  Hope he gets them fixed in time for the Thanksgiving turkey!

Then wouldn't you know it,  our printer for the computer started acting up.  Finally Sunday when Joe got ready to print  his message for Sunday night it began printing hearts and other shapes instead of words.  We got out the manual and looked up "troubleshooting."  We tried everything we could understand and when it seemed like maybe it was going to work the cartridge ran out of ink.  No problem, we got out a new one, opened the package and alas, found it to be defective.  It was our last one and Sunday at that so there was no place we could go to try and buy one.  Missionaries have to be resourceful so Joe managed to put ink from the defective cartridge into the one we had just taken out of the machine using a syringe.   After getting it to quit leaking he put it in, turned on the printer and, wonder of wonders it printed his message.  So 2 hours later that job was done.

Of course the Lord always sends something along to encourage us in the midst of the discouragements.  Saturday at our kid's meeting we doubled our attendance from the week before!  They were quite well behaved, considering the age group we're working with, our team of helpers all did an excellent job, and most of those returning from the week before were able to quote the verse they had learned!  Thanks for praying.

Have a good Thanksgiving and don't eat too much!  Take time to count your blessings, we really do have a lot to be thankful for and I'm sure you do to.  Ron and Ranelle are coming on Wed. to spend a few days so we're looking forward to than even though the rest of our family is far away.

Drop us a line,
Jeanie  (& Joe)



 Where did it go? (12/1)

Dear Family and other Friends,

Here we are in the last month of this year already.  Christmas program practice is in full swing.  Most of the children in my class have their parts all memorized already.  They have also learned the songs that they're going to sing as the tiny tots accompany them with their "famous" rhythm band.  Joe has been working  with the choir, trying to get several songs ready for the program.
They are coming along.

Joe and I have been working real hard on losing weight during the last 3 months.  It's coming off thou slowly.  I don't plan to do much Christmas baking for ourselves because that would wreck the progress we've been able to make so far.  However one of the gals is coming over to help me do some special baking for our couple's meeting which will be held next Tuesday.

We had a great Thanksgiving.  Ron and Ranelle came on Wed. and stayed until Saturday morning. We had chester and all the trimmings for Thanksgiving dinner.  Didn't have to cook for the rest of the week. Chester is a bird like a turkey only smaller and it has smaller bones in comparason to it's size so it seems like a better buy pound for pound and it is very tasty.  Ron helped us out with several computer projects and problems.  He taught an attached file so they can take it to the printer.  He showed Joe how to scan and send something that he needed to send the home office.  That was after they took our scanner apart to find out why it wasn't working.  They discovered a broken part which they glued with super glue. He helped me make up an invitation for our Christmas program with a manger scene and then print it in color.  The screen on my laptop was acting up and showing funny patterns in stead of what I was working in.  So he took that apart and tightened everything up and so far it is working okay now. Sure glad for his patience in working with these things. We took some time off to relax and play some games too.

Thanks for praying for us, we appreciate it.  If you have any special prayer requests let us know.

Have a good week.
Jeanie (for Joe too)



Thanks for praying (12/12)

Dear Friends,

Just want to let you know that it was a great encouragement to us to hear from you that you are praying for us with regards to the problems we have been having in our church.  We wish we could report to you that everything has been resolved and everything is going fine.  But it isn't that way.  So far not much progress has been made at all.  Right now everything seems to be calm and we haven't heard many complaints or had any new problems come up.

Joe has visited with some of the young people who we feel are responsible for the discontent in order to try to find out where they are coming from and just what their real complaints are.  It is hard to get them to level with us and tell us what is going on in their minds.  Please keep praying that we would have wisdom and patience to get to the bottom of the problem and not act in haste and do something that we would be sorry for later.

We are really encouraged with our work with the married couples and with the adolescents.  Some of the young people are helping us with the adolescent ministry.  They have an attitude of wanting to serve the Lord.  We are so thankful for them and pray that they will be able to influence other young people not to get involved with the group who are causing trouble, but to take a stand for what is right.

Thanks again for praying and we're counting on you to continue to uphold us regarding this problem.

Joe and Jeanie



Jesus is the Reason (12/12)

Dear Family and Other Friends,

This afternoon we had a great time with the adolescents.  Seven of them quoted all of the verses and explained what each color represents on our "good news bracelets".  Each one of them received thier bracelet and we pray that they will use them as a witnessing tool.  Others are nearly ready to quote the verses and explain the plan of salvation going through the colors of the beads on the bracelets, then they will receive theirs too.

Now that we finished the Wordless book lessons we started a new CEF series on attitudes.  I taught the lesson today and it was on Grumbling versis Thankfulness.  Guess who was the first one convicted?  I remember when we used these lessons at camp several years ago.  They spoke to me then too, but I guess I'm a slow learner and have hear it all over  again.  At game time we had an opportunity to see if we had learned today's attitude lesson.  I think it helped and we made it through with a minimum of grumbling.

The pump that pumps water for our part of the city has been broken for 10 days so no water has come in during these days.  Some people have been without.  Fortunately for us we have a large cistern and it was full so at first we didn't even realize there was a problem until we heard others talking about it.  Then we began to conserve water and so far haven't run out.  Last night some people got a little water but we didn't get any.  Hopefully tonight it will start flowing again.  Our neighbors bought a barrel of water for $3.  For a big family needing showers, washing clothes, doing dishes etc. a barrel of water doesn't last long.

Tomorrow morning we have Christmas program practice instead of SS.  There seems to be no other time to practice.  Some of our people go to school in the morning, some in the afternoon and some in the evening.  Some even have school on Saturdays, that, together with assorted work schedules, makes it complicated to get the whole group together any other time.  Our program will be held on Sunday night the 20th.  Usually we have a lot of visitors out and quite a few unsaved  people come, so we take the opportunity to give out the plan of salvation.  We plan to serve birthday cake afterwards to celebrate Jesus birthday.  That usually helps to keep people around for a while so we have an opportunity to visit with them.

I hope you have time during this busy season to remember the Jesus is the reason for the season!

Jeanie (for Joe too)



They're here! (12/23)

Dear Family and Other Friends,

Yesterday at 5 PM Ken, Lori, Jessica and Alicia arrived at the Mossoró bus station.  It's wonderful to have them back home.  They had a safe though long, and tiring trip starting from Houston Sunday afternoon.  All of their baggage arrived (eventually), once piece was lost for a while,  and all went well going through customs.  PTL!

Sunday night we had our Christmas program at church.  There were about 200 people present and everyone did a great job.  Everybody that had a part came (on time).  That's practically a miracle!  Nobody forgot their lines and everyone enjoyed participating or watching and listening.  The plan of salvation was given out clearly.  Nobody indicated a desire to be saved, but the seed was sown and we pray that the Holy Spirit will yet speak to hearts through the Word that was given out.

Something that took place that was a real blessing to us was the birthday cake for Jesus that we served after the program.  It turned out to be an all-church project.  We were thrilled because we had very good cooperation from almost all the members.
We put a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board for the ladies and girls to sign up for certain ingredients.  The fellows signed up to bring 2 liter bottles of pop.  All of the ingredients were donated.  I made some of the cakes and another lady made some and decorated all of them.  We had asked for 15 bottles of pop and got 17!  One was left over at the end.  After the program all of the young people and some adults worked together and served the cake and pop to everyone who came.

It was exciting to see everyone working together on a project.  Sad to say 1998 has not been a great year in the area of cooperation on the part of some of the young people in our church.  It was so good to see everyone work together on this project and we hope that as we enter into 1999  this will be the norm and not the exception.

We desire that you will have a blessed time as you celebrate the birthday of the King of Kings!  May the new year bring you much joy and many blessings.  We would love to hear from you!  Keep in touch.

Love,
Joe and Jeanie 


Blessings on you this year (12/31)

Dear Family and other Friends,
It's almost time to go to go to our new year's eve service at church,
but I'll take time to write a few quick lines to you.

Our home has resembled a guest house during the past several days.
First we had fellow missionaries come to visit us for a couple of
days, a family of 5. Before they left, Ken and Lori, Jessica and
Alicia arrived. The next day the other family left but a few days
later another family of 5 came. They are missionaries in South Brazil
and just visiting here in the Northeast. She was a former school mate
of Ken's so they were Ken and Lori's guests.

Fortunately Joe and I had plans to leave Sunday afternoon for Joe to
speak at the first church he pastored after we got out of language
school. It was their 35th anniversary celebration. On Saturday
another missionary family of 5 called to say they were coming through
and needed a place to stay overnight. So that night there were 14
guests here and we were gone!

All this time we were not getting any city water and we were rationing
water to make what was still in the cistern last. We arrived back
home on Monday evening and everybody else had moved out. Tuesday I
decided that I just had to wash clothes. Joe told me to go ahead and
if iIdrained the cistern, he would clean it out and haul in some
water. While I was washing clothes before the cistern went dry, city
water started coming in. That same afternoon we got about .6 of an
inch of rain. Our lawn is brown and parched so we were really happy
for that rain.

The water held out for washing all the linens. I counted 17 sheets
and 25 towels, plus a week's accumulation of clothes, dish towels
etc. Water is such a precious commodity that we take for granted
until we don't have it.

A new year is about to begin and we want to be found faithful giving
out the message of the Water of Life which is far more important than
ordinary water. I hope that you too are faithfully proclaiming "that
message". I have been working on getting my goals for the new year
written down. I was reading a book today and these are the words the
author wrote about her parents-in-law. "They always leave our lives
and our homes better than they find them." Wow I would like for
people to be able to say that about me! One goal that I have that
will take some work is based on Phil. 2:14 "Do all things without
grumbling or complaining."

Blessings on you,
Jeanie (for Joe too)


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