Joe & Jeanie Stucky
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2003 UPDATES

Break - no break (01/16/03)
Growing pains (02/05/03)
Having Fun (03/08/03)
Pray for Edna and Luana (03/29/03)
Second quarter beginning (04/13/03)
Visitors (05/21/03)
Celebrations (06/04/03)
What a week (06/15/03)
We're getting it all back together (07/01/03)
Project (07/22/03)
Encouragement (09/07/03)
Special Memories (10/26/03)



Special Memories

Dear Friends and Family,

A couple of weeks ago Joe's sister, Annie suffered a heart attack. She spent a few days in the hospital and then had triple by pass surgery. She came through that fine and was doing well and went home from the hospital. She had some problems with breathing and had to go back to the hospital to have liquid drained off her lung, but went home again where she took another turn for the worse and God called her home. We were saddened to hear the news and we shed some tears, but at the same time we rejoice because we know that she is with our precious Saviour, Jesus. Joe says, "I remember her playing the piano and singing when I was a little boy and encouraging me to sing with her. She also talked to me often about my spiritual needs and was influential in my coming to know Jesus at a young age." What special memories!
Our days have been filled with activities and it's time we let you know what's going on with us. Joe is glad that the ALFA fence project is finally finished. We had contracted the work out to 2 teams of men. They have been working steadily at it for about 6 weeks. The total number of meters they did was 1,758. There are 10 rows of barbered wire so it was quite a task. Joe is so glad they are done because it took quite a bit of his time just keeping the men in supplies and also he had to keep on them to make sure they did it right. The fence posts they used came from Ceará. They are actually just tree trunks that are supposed to be fairly straight and cut to about the same length and approximately the same diameter. We had some to start with and then received another truck load of 1125. The first step was to peel the bark off each post. Then each hole had to be dug by hand, wire strung, and fastened on each post. The work on the church fence is being done by the men and boys of the church on Saturday mornings, on a volunteer basis. It will take a few more Saturdays for the church to get their part done.
Our 4th grade English book had a chapter on Halloween so I wrote a chapter on Thanksgiving to replace it. I prefer to teach the kids the prepositions by putting a turkey or pumpkin IN, ON, UNDER, BESIDE, BEHIND, and BETWEEN the boxes rather than a bat or a skull. I'd also rather teach them about the Pilgrims and Indians than about witches and ghosts. It was a lot of work but it turned out well. I gave out the booklets last Friday and we started with the introduction.
Starting next month we are going to begin using the Firm Foundation lessons for our entire Sunday School, including the adults. We are looking forward to having a special time as we go through these lessons which start with creation and go to the death and ressurrection of Jesus. As we study the Old Testament we lay the foundation for the teachings in the New Testament.
We praise the Lord that 2 ladies in the church volunteered to take charge of the Christmas program! They are already working diligently on that. We also have a newly formed team who are working on evangelism. They are making visits, writing letters to people who visit our church and some are doing home Bible studies. It is a blessing to have the people in the church become more involved in more of the ministries.
Thank you for your prayers. We appreciate knowing you are upholding us in this very important ministry.
Joe and Jeanie


Encouragement

Dear Friends and Family,

Thursday we left Ken, Lori, Jessica, Alicia and Anabel at the airport, stopped to do a little shopping and then headed back to Mossoró. Shortly after we arrived here Ken called to say they had arrived safely in São Paulo. Friday morning they arrived in Atlanta, GA where Ron picked them up. That evening they went to Waxsaw, NC to spend a couple of days with Ron and Ranelle who are visiting Ranelle's parents.
We're looking forward to Ron and Ranelle and Caleb's return in a couple of weeks. Mean while we are keeping a pretty busy schedule.
Besides my normal English classes at school, I am teaching 4 periods of science to the 4th graders on a special subject. I did 2 last week and will do 2 tomorrow. I have also been asked to have a session on classroom discipline with the teachers this week on Thur. afternoon. Pray for me to be able to impart some important principles to them and that they would be willing and able to apply them. Some have been having difficulties keeping their students in line. We feel that it is absolutely essential to have an orderly classroom, if there is to be effective teaching and learning taking place.
About 2 weeks ago, Clenilda accepted the Lord. Pray for her spiritual growth. She lives with her sister and brother-in-law who are members of our church. She has been coming to Sunday school, church services and youth group for several months.
Evaristo spent about 2 weeks in Natal where he was having radiation treatments. He is home now for a few days. It was good to see him and Nazaré, his wife at church tonight. He has lot a lot of weight. Next week he goes back for an evaluation to determine whether he will continue the radiation treatments.
The men have been working on the fence around the school and church property on Saturday mornings. It's nice to have a start on it. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this project. Pray for progress to continue.
Next Sunday Milton, one of our deacons will be preaching. Pray for him to have liberty to express himself. This is his first time to preach. It is a blessing to see our men become more involved.
Joe is helping out at youth group but should be home soon. He's had a full day today. He taught a class this morning and another one this evening as well as the evening message.
We appreciate your prayers. We need to make a lot of visits in the next few days. Seems like everyone needs encouraging.
Drop us a note if you get a chance. That would encourage us and then we can in turn encourage others.
Until next time,
Joe and Jeanie


Project

Dear Family and other Friends,

Our break from classes at ALPHA is already half over. Joe continues to supervise the men as they finish up the new classroom that was added to our present campus. This should be sufficient space for the rest of this school year and also for 2004. After that we will have to move part of our students to the new campus. Pray with us for the Lord to provide the funds we need so we can start building soon.
The project at hand is to get a fence around the school and church property. Every day on the news on TV there are reports of "homeless" invading private property. They set up tents, cardboard shacks, or just stretch a sheet of plastic between poles and set up residence. In some areas hundreds of people move in overnight. Before that happens to us we need to get our property identified with a fence. Many of these people are "Professional Homeless" who have been given a small lot and a house by the government one or more times, sold it and then are again "homeless".
I am working on a "Tubular Bath Chair" for Luana. Her mom got the pattern from the hospital where she took Luana for observation. It is made of PVC pipes and skid resistant plastic screen-like material. The ladies of the church are signing up to buy the parts needed. There are about 32 parts needed including pipes of various lengths, elbows, "Ts", glue velcro etc. So far I haven't been able to find poliplex tubular styrofoam. I think it is the stuff that people put on pipes that lead from water heaters to insulate them. I'm still looking.
Evaristo isn't doing well physically. He doesn't eat much, doesn't sleep much and has a lot of pain. He doesn't like to take the morphine because that doesn't eliminate the pain anyway and makes him grogy. He went for Chemo last week and the Dr. said according to the blood test, the chemo is affecting his kidneys so she's not going to do chemo any more but made an appointment with the radiation Dr. for him to come back in 2 weeks and she will evaluate the situation to see if they can do radiation, which would be daily for about a month. I wonder if he has long to live? Praise the Lord, he's got a better life coming! He comes to church when he can, brings visitors and helps Luana, a lady he encouraged to accept the Lord, with her discipleship lessons. Pray for Evaristo and his family, especially Nazareth, his wife. Its hard on all of them as they stand by helplessly and can't do anything to help him. Several in the family aren't believers. Some claim to be but aren't walking with the Lord.
Church attendance has been down a bit this month, with various people gone on vacation. Two weeks ago one of our deacons, Lindomar, preached. He did a good job. In a few weeks one of the other deacons, Milton, will be preaching. This will be his first time. Pray for him as he prepares. Pray also for several unsaved young people who come nearly every Sunday to Sunday school, the evening service and youth group.
Thank you for your encouragement,
Joe and Jeanie


We're getting it all back together

Dear Family and Friends,

We have so much to thank the Lord for. Everybody who was in the car accident is pretty well healed up. Jeanie is still having quite a bit of pain in her left knee but it's getting better. Pray that it will soon be back to normal.
We got our car back from the shop on Saturday. It looks good and runs well. The other fellow got his car back last week as well but it is still lacking some parts which have been ordered. We are thankful for our mission's in house auto aid plan which paid for the damage to the other fellow's car and loaned us money to fix our car. Please pray for the Lord to provide so we can get this loan paid off soon.
We were glad to have our car back in time to take Maria to the airport in Fortaleza to catch her flight back home. She spent 3 weeks with us and helped out a lot at Alpha as well as in other ministries.
Last week we had a science fair at school Wed, Thur, and Fri evenings. Lori and the students and teachers put a lot of work into getting ready for it. The students did a very good job in the program. Each night different continents of the world were featured. Music, skits, games etc. were presented. Each class had a display for the parents and visitors to view and some typical foods were also available for sampling. Many of the parents and other visitors came every evening. We were pleased with the good turn out.
This is the last week of classes at Alfa before our one month summer break. We are looking forward to a little time off.
Saturday night is our regular church business meeting. We are looking forward to receiving several new members at that time as well as discussing other matters of business. Pray that we will have the mind of the Lord in each decision.
Thank you for your faithful prayers,
Joe and Jeanie


What a week

Dear family and friends,

We had quite a week.
Sunday evening the people in our church put on a skit that they had planned for the 10th anniversary of the church. It was very good and very well done on the subject of the various ministries and the importance of each one and everyone being involved. We had LOTS of visitors! We pray that they will come back often and hear God's Word and accept the gift of salvation!
Monday we took off for our 40th anniversary get-away. We enjoyed our day at a resort hotel built on some cliffs overlooking the ocean. We walked on the beach, picked up shells, swam in the pool, visited the duck pond, read a book together, took some time to evaluate the past year and made some plans for the coming year. We also enjoyed wonderful meals at the hotel restaurant which features sea food. We felt relaxed and ready to get back to the ministry as we left to go to Fortaleza and pick up Maria Riess who is spending 3 weeks working with us at ALPA and church.
Saturday, evening the church men had a work time. They planted the steel cornor posts for the fence that will be put around the church property. Some of the ladies took a snack to them and afterwards as Jeanie was taking some of the girls to the bus stop to catch a ride home, she turned in the path of an oncoming car. Though extensive damage was done to both cars, none of the 4 people in our car or the 3 in the other car were hurt seriously - just some bumps and bruises. How we praise the Lord for his protection. Everyone is a bit sore today, but up and around. We don't have insurance and we will have to pay for the repair of both cars. Pray with us that God will provide the finances for this.
Thank you for praying for us. Many of you mention praying for us regularly - some of you everyday and we know that God hears and answers.
Joyfully alive,
Joe and Jeanie


Celebrations

Dear family and friends,

During May we had 3 groups helping in our church and school. We had a group of 3 fellows from Frontier School of the Bible, 4 people from Bondurant, IA and 4 people from our community in South Dakota. They were not all here at the same time but at least 2 of the groups overlapped during the whole time. It was a special blessing and encouragement to have our "long time" friend Mel Schneider from our home church and his granddaughter, April, with us. This is the first time anyone from our church has come and we hope that they will be instrumental in encouraging others to come as well.
These summer workers were involved in construction projects, painting, helping in English classes at Alpha, devotional times with Alpha teachers, visitation in the community, testimonies at church, help in SS classes, participation in youth group, and a number of other activities. Mel even built a house for Jeanie, and made furniture to put in each room - it was a doll house to use for English classes! The children are learning the names of all the rooms and the names of the furniture. If he had stayed longer, we might have gotten him to build a whole city! We are amazed at how God uses the people who come with their expertise to help us with a project or give us insight as to how we can improve in various areas in our service for the Lord.
On June 10th Maria Riess will be coming for 3 weeks. We've got lots of ministry lined up for her.
Sunday our church will be celebrating our 10th anniversary. The people have planned the program on their own with no help from the Pastors. They've been practicing diligently for a number of weeks and we're looking forward to seeing the program they have come up with. Sunday is also a very special day for us. It is our 40th wedding anniversary. We didn't want to disappoint the church people so we're staying for the celebration here and then Monday the 2 of us will leave for a mini-vacation to celebrate. We'll be going to a hotel just to take it easy and reflect on the past year and look at goals for the coming year. Then Tuesday, we'll go on in to Fortaleza and pick up Maria at the airport.
Thank you for praying for us. We appreciate knowing that you are on our team! Several of you have written with prayer requests and we want to assure you that we are remembering your requests. It's great that we can uphold each other, isn't it?
Busy about the King's business,
Joe and Jeanie


Visitors

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday morning we got up early and had Ron, Ranelle & Caleb at the airport at 5 AM to catch their flight to São Paulo. Last night they left São Paulo and arrived in Atlanta, Georgia this morning. We are thankful they had a safe flight, all their baggage arrived with them etc. We will miss them here but we're glad they will be able to visit some of you while they are in the US.
We are delighted to have Mel Schneider from our home church in SD and his granddaughter April Hetle as well as 2 other young people, Andrea Kleinsasser and Andrew Glanzer with us for 2 1/2 weeks. We are keeping them busy with various projects for school and they are also helping at church. They brought me some materials to use in my English classes at Alpha. I'm eager to try them out. Three young men from Frontier School of the Bible arrived to spend a week with us on the same day the group from SD came. We enjoyed getting to know them and having their help in the projects too. Today they left to spend time with some of our fellow missionaries. Pray that this time of hands on ministry in Brazil will impact each of these who have come and that the Lord will use this time to speak to their hearts concerning their involvement in missions.
Sunday night we had a baptism service at church. Six people were baptized. Each one gave a testimony, expressing their trust in Jesus as their Savior and also challenged the unsaved visitors who were present to accept Christ's gift of salvation.
Thank you for praying for Edna and Luana. She is getting more accustomed to sitting in the wheel chair, but hasn't decided yet if she likes me very well. Pray for me to have the patience to keep trying, for Edna to be willing to "let go" and for Luana to be cooperative.
Andrew Johnson, one of our MK's who graduated from Bible College has come to take over Ron's computer classes, some of Ranelle's English classes and various other responsibilities at church and school. We are thankful to have him working with us. Pray for him as he serves with us.
Thank you so much for praying for us and our ministry. Pray that we will not let the urgent things which scream so loudly at us, keep us from doing the important things which quietly wait to be done.
In His Love,
Joe and Jeanie


Second quarter beginning

Dear Family and Friends,

A week ago Friday I picked up Edna and Luana and brought them to our house. I want to try keeping Luana one afternoon a week to give Edna a break. Edna isn't at all sure this will work and is afraid it will be too much for me to handle. She came with me and got Luana to sleep for her nap, then she read until Luana woke up. At that time I tried my hand at feeding Luana 1/2 cup of yogurt which took at least 1/2 hour.
Then Edna, Lori and I tried to get the special wheel chair (which Lori had acquired from the states) adjusted to fit Luana. By the time we had worked on that for 20 min. or more with Luana sitting in the chair so we could see how to adjust each part just right for her, she was thoroughly disgusted with all of us and didn't want to have a thing to do with sitting in that contraption. So then we rocked her, walked with her, talked to her, sang to her, even had Jessica bring over her puppy for Luana to pet, but she was still an unhappy camper. She did settle down and was content with her mother holding during the ride home.
We had planned to try again last Friday, but when I called Edna she said Luana had an ear infection and she thought it best not to have her come over. I'm going to try again this week. Pray that Edna will be willing to let me keep her and that Luana will get used to me and that it will go better next time. Some of the other ladies in the church are willing to help me once Luana gets accustomed to me.
We already finished our first quarter of classes at ALPHA. I did a little test with each of my English students in order to evaluate their progress. I noticed some areas that I need to zero in on next quarter. On the bright side...One 5 year old girl, that I thought wasn't learning much of anything really surprised me. I had flash cards of 8 items and 4 colors spread out on the table. When I said "point to the book," for example, she did so. Then I pointed to each one and asked "what's this?" and she was able to name each one. I have visited in the homes of some of my students and have found that very rewarding. I desire to use this time to get to know the parents and be able to share the gospel with them, as well as getting to understand my students better and be better equipped to work with them.
Joe continues to have leadership lessons with the men. He finished 2 studies with Evaristo and they are starting another one. Thisweek he will do the last discipleship lesson with Keliane. He is also still building furniture for ALPHA. Now it's desks for theteachers. There is more on the list.
Easter Sunday our church family will have our annual church breakfast, followed by a service, including communion. We'll also havea special evening service with an emphasis on evangelism. The young people are working on a skit to present at that program. Pray for these services to be meaningful to all who attend.
Thanks for your prayers. We count on you and appreciate the important part you have in our ministry.
Take care,
Joe and Jeanie


Pray for Edna and Luana

Dear Family and Friends,

Last Friday we took our guests, Charles and Carol Regeir, to Fortaleza and Saturday out to see Silver Lake
Bible Camp where we worked for 17 years and Antioch Bible Institute where we used to teach. They have been
following our ministry all through the years so they enjoyed seeing where we
used to minister as well as where we are now. Charles has been teaching and working in other areas at Corn
Bible Academy in the Oklahoma for 38 years, so he had a lot of helpful insights for us regarding the school
here. Sunday we went back to Fortaleza and Monday took them to the airport and came back home. Their visit
here was a big encouragement to us.
Gerald and Amy Bergen are retired but have been in Brazil for the last 3 months caring for our mission guest
house. They came out to visit Wed. and to see Alpha in operation. They have their 12 year old granddaughter
with them.
Now everybody's gone and it's time for me to get to work and, wouldn't you know it, I came down with a cold. My
nose is all stuffed up and my head aches but I was able to make it to school to teach my classes yesterday.
Edna, a lady in our church and her 6 year old daughter, Luana, just spent 2 weeks in a hospital in Fortaleza that
specializes in caring for handicapped children. Luana has cerebral palsey and is severly handicapped both
physically and mentally. They observed Luana during this time to see if there is any way they can help. They
changed some of her medication and want her to return in 3 months to see how she is doing. Please pray for
Edna because caring for Luana is becoming almost more than she can handle, both physically and
emotionally. Luana cannot sit, stand, feed herself, or talk, and she is blind. She has body spasms and is
irritated whenever she isn't sleeping. Nothing entertains her. Luana is normal size for a 6 year old and it's
getting increasingly difficult for Edna to carry her from place to place.
Drop us a line and let us know how things are with you.
Serving in Mossoró,
Joe and Jeanie


Having Fun

Dear Family and Friends,

We must be having fun, because time is surely going fast!
Last Sunday night after church, we had 20 people from church over for a snack to begin our mini retreat. (While
the world celebrated Carnaval or Mardi Gras with worldly, immoral activities, we were celebrating being part of
the family of God.) Nine of the people stayed overnight and the rest went home but came back the next morning
for breakfast and to spend the day.
We left after morning devotions on Monday to go to Fortaleza and pick up our friends from college days,
Charles and Carol Regier, who are spending 3 weeks with us. We returned home just in time to enjoy the
supper that the ladies in our group prepared.
Tuesday afternoon we joined the other 2 groups from our church who also had mini-retreats. We played some
games at church, had a wiener roast and a time of fellowship with singing, testimonies and prayer. It was a
special blessing to have Sr. Evaristo in our group. He accepted the Lord only about 2 months ago but is
growing steadily and it was a joy to see him participating in every part of the retreat including kitchen duty.
Another special blessing was to have Lucineide and her children with us. Her husband isn't a believer and
seldom lets them attend any of the special activities. They were all delighted to be here enjoying fellowship with
"the family."
Things are going well at ALFA. We have 89 students registered now. We are still needing another teacher and
it would be good if we had someone we could call on to substitute when someone has to miss. Pray for God to
send us the right people for these positions. Pray also that the parents will keep up to date with paying the
monthly tuition so we can meet our financial responsibilities.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and your notes of encouragement. We appreciate you!
Joe & Jeanie


Growing pains

Dear Family and Friends,

As of this morning we had 80 students enrolled at Alpha! It seems that there are still more parents enquiring about registering their children. You prayed with us for 70 and God answered and surpassed what we asked. Thanks for praying, but please don't quit now. Now we have to make decisions about closing registrations for the younger classes in pre-school which have reached the capacity that we feel we can handle. Imagine, turning students away! We still have room for a few mores students in grades K-4.
We have been scrambling to find enough chairs, tables, desks, and other classroom equipment. Joe is spending lots of hours in his shop making furniture, bulliton boards, etc. Some of the classes may have to trade rooms to make the size of the class fit the size of the room. Pray for us all to be patient with one another and maintain a good attitude during this time of adjustment - growing pains, I guess is what it's called. It's exciting and we are eager to see what the Lord is going to do this year!
We are also short of sponsors for needy students. If you know of anyone who would be interested in helping, please let us know. It costs $25 per month to sponsor a student, paying half of the total tuition, with the student paying the rest. Of course one time gifts or partial sponsorships are also welcome.
Last Saturday night we had our regular church business meeting. We had a good turn out and the meeting went very well for which we thank the Lord. We have been having quite a few visitors at our Sunday meetings, some coming quite regularly. Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict them of their need for salvation.
Lindomar, one of our church leaders was admitted to the hospital today. He is having complications with a boil that he had lanced and then infection set in. Pray that he will get better and not worse while he is in the hospital. He has not been working for over a week already.
Joyfully serving Him,
Joe and Jeanie


 

Break - no break

Dear Friends and Family,
The first month of 2003 is already more than half done! Though we are having a break from classes at Alpha, we are as busy as ever.
We had our field conference in Fortaleza Jan 4-11. It was great to visit with the other missionaries and enjoy the messages brought by our speaker. Our business meeting finished Friday morning and in the evening the children presented their VBS program. Saturday morning after stopping for some groceries we traveled home.
We missed one Sunday at our church but left all the bases covered. Lindomar preached his first message ever, and what a thrill for all of us, a young lady, sister of one of our members accepted Christ as her Savior!
Many of you have been praying for Evaristo with us for a long time. Last Sunday he accepted Christ as his savior! Praise the Lord. Continue praying with us concerning his health. He will be going to Natal again on Thursday the 23rd for another round of chemotherapy on his lung cancer. Also continue praying for the other unsaved husbands of the women in our church - Marcos, Antonio, Leomar and José Rodrigues.
We're all busy getting ready for the new school year at Alpha. Classes begin January 30th. Registrations are in full swing. So far we have about 15 registered so have a ways to go to the 70 we hope to enroll. Keep praying with us. Parents have been coming in every day to look the school over and ask for information. Joe is busy in another remodeling job. The family that was living in the house next to the school moved out and he is remodeling it to be used for the lunch room, teacher's work room and lounge and library. Today they took the roof off to make more of a slope so it won't leak like it did before. Joe has also been building furnitureand has a list of things needed, to keep him busy for many a day. I've been working some on plans for my English classes. This year I'll have 4 different classes. Tomorrow night we have a school board meeting.
Busy for the Savior,
Joe and Jeanie