Joe & Jeanie Stucky
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2004 UPDATES

Cozy (01/23/04)
More (02/10/04)
Keeping On (03/24/04)
More Rain (04/25/04)
Mini-Vacation (06/11/04)
ALPHA (06/29/04)
Family Reunion (07/25/04)
New Team Member (09/01/04)
Visits (09/30/04)
NewsLetter (12/01/04)



Cozy

Dear family and friends,

December slipped away from us and the first month of 2004 is almost gone too and finally we're getting around to letting you know that we're still alive and well.

In December we enjoyed the school closing program and ALPHA and the Christmas program at church. We spent a few days together as a family, eating visiting, playing games etc.
Then came January and "vacation". That is, we don't have classes at ALPHA until the 29th, but there is lot's of preparation going on to get ready for the new school year. This year we are adding 5th grade and the school administration decided how many students each room could handle. I think they decided we'd be "maxed out" with 152 students. At present we have more than 145 registered! Joe, together with some help from one of the teens from church has a desk factory going and has made almost enough desks to accommodate the increase in students. He's over at school right now to see what other furniture he needs to make, such as computer tables, teacher's desks, book cases etc.
We are working on having everything in readiness as classes begin on the 29th. We will be cozy or comfortably crowded in most of the classrooms. (I hope not uncomfortably crowded). There is a lot yet to be worked out with regards to the scheduling for classes, recesses, lunch break and more details than I even want to think about. Ken and Ron are responsible to get these things worked out and my part is to pray for them. Would you join me in praying?
We have already received the books (more than 700). We will have to pay about $6,000 US money for them. Pray for the Lord to provide these funds as well as funds for the school uniforms, and other expenses.
Several of our Sunday school teachers are away this week at Priscila School. This is a one week per year school offered by our mission to help prepare women and girls to serve more effectively in their local churches. The course has 3 levels, with 3 years of work in each level so it takes 9 years to complete the entire course.
We took a week off from the daily routine to attend our mission retreat in the mountains of our state about 2 hours from here. We had a beautiful view of the valley from our room and also from the dining room. The meals were wonderful (too good, in fact). We enjoyed some hikes and exploring in the area. It was great to visit with the other missionaries and get caught up on what is going on with each of them. We were blessed to have 2 speakers from the United Indian Mission International. They encouraged us with their messages and their lives and we were challenged to a deeper prayer life and to walk along side of the people we are working with - to train them to train others to keep the good news going out.
We hope you are enjoying the new year! Thanks for praying for us and be sure to let us know your prayer needs so we can pray for you too.
In His Service,
Joe and Jeanie

 


More

Dear family and friends,

If you wrote to us recently and the letter got bounced back to you, it's because we were having a bit of trouble with our e-mail server, but that is resolved now, so try again. And if you didn't write to us, go ahead and write because we'd love to hear from all of you and know what's going on in your life!
We are now in our third week of school at ALPHA. I don't know the exact number of students, but I believe there are more than 140. I'm still trying to learn the names of the 59 students in my English classes. Continue to pray for us as we become adjusted to everything that has to do with a big increase in students - more students per room, more teachers, more helpers, more parents to deal with, more desks etc. etc. Right now the work crew is diligently working at building a music room on the property next door. We have run out of space where we are and not quite ready to start on the new campus. Most of the music classes are being held in a small room right now and we English teachers are dreaming of using that for English classes once the music room is completed
We are making plans for retreats during Carnival Time. (Mardi Gras) While the world is celebrating a festival to the flesh and "living it up" prior to lent, we will be using the time to enjoy each other in a relaxed atmosphere and to honor the Lord. Most of the youth group will be traveling to the Fortaleza area for a retreat and Ken will also be going as sponsor and speaker. I'm sure he would appreciate your prayers. Some of the rest of us couples and families who are staying will be getting together for a couple of days to have fun and fellowship together. I think the young peoples' retreat begins on Feb. 20 and goes through the 24th. The family retreat begins after church the 22nd and goes through the 24th.
We are thankful that the rains have started and everything has greened up and the dust is settled. We have gotten more rain already this year than we usually get in the whole rainy season. This has caused a few problems. We have a river running right through our town and houses near the river have been flooded out. Quite a few people have been left homeless. Some are staying in some of the public schools. We now know where all the leaks are in our roof and things are musty smelling and some of the walls as school are moldy. Today it was sunny almost all day.
Please continue to pray for God to meet the financial needs at ALPHA both for the day to day expenses of running the school and for the construction project that we must start in June.
Busy In His Service,
Jeanie and Joe


Keeping On

 

Dear family,

No, we haven't dropped off the face of the earth, our computer hasn't been broken down, our e-mail provider hasn't dropped us, we haven't been sick and we haven't forgotten you. Our only reason for not writing is that we've been busy. Is that anything new?
Both of us are involved in a number of classes with different groups at church including a class for people who are preparing for membership, a Sunday school teachers' training course, and an enrichment course for those who are presently teaching. We are planning to launch a new program for small groups, starting after Easter. Which reminds me we will be having a special speaker for an evangelistic campaign beginning on Good Friday and ending on Easter. Pray that we will all invite our unsaved friends and that they will come to hear the message of salvation and for many to be saved.
Last Sunday night Joe preached in one of the Baptist churches in town whose pastor was injured in a motor cycle accident several weeks ago. He is recuperating quite well and was able to be at church Sunday and will begin preaching again next Sunday
In between other projects, Joe built me a cabinet for the kitchen. I have been using an old cabinet that he made in 1967 while we were in language school. It was made to hold our records. It would be nice to listen to those old records again - Sixteen Singing Men, Harmonicats, etc. but we don't have a record player that works any more. I really do like the new cabinet in my kitchen!
I did say we haven't been sick but yesterday morning I woke up with a cough and by the time I finished teaching my 4 English classes at Alpha, I was so hoarse I could hardly talk. Hopefully I will be back to normal and able to teach again on Friday. In the meantime, I'm glad I can communicate with you by e-mail just as well if I have a voice or not. Please take time to drop us a line and let us know what's going on in your life. We'd love to hear from you.
In His Love,
Joe and Jeanie


More Rain

Greetings from Mossoró

In February the rains started in heavy and quite a few people in Mossoró lost their homes but after a few weeks the rains quit. Now this week it has been raining again. We had several nice slow rains resulting in about 2 inches of moisture. We've eaten radishes and parsley from our garden, there are some pea sized tomatoes on our plants and the pepper plants are blooming. This is a joint effort between Jessica, Alicia, Joe and me.
Deb and Sam are in the United States at this time on an unexpected medical leave. Early this month they discovered that Andrew, their 7 year old son has diabetes 1. The sugar level in his blood and urine was very high and he was hospitalized in Mali but they were counseled to take him to the states as soon as possible to get him stabilized and to get educated on how to care for him. God worked out all the details for them to get on a flight the very next week and best of all the US embassy Dr. was already booked on that same flight and he went all the way to Kansas City, which was also their destination. They were able to get in for an appointment the day after they arrived and he was also in the hospital for observation in KC. They would appreciate your prayers during this time and we will let you know how things are going when we have more details. Last we talked to them, they didn't have their e-mail up and running yet but are working on it.
Thank you for praying for our evangelistic campaign over the Easter week end. Luciana, a 20 year old girl made a profession of salvation. Pray for her spiritual growth.
We have begun 3 small groups for our church people at 3 different times during the week. Each of us 3 Stucky couples are leading one of the groups. Pray with us that through these times of Bible study, sharing and praying we will be drawn closer to one another, grow spiritually and reach out to others.
Saturday is a holiday in Brazil - Labor Day. We are planning an outing for all the members of our church and their families. It will include a trip, traveling a little more than an hour down the road and joining another church for the activities of the day. We are looking forward to a relaxing time of fun, food and fellowship.
Have a good week,
Joe and Jeanie


Mini-Vacation

Dear Family and Other Friends,

Tuesday, June 8th was our 41st wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we took a couple days off and went to a resort village on the beach. The village called Canoa Quebrada (broken canoe) consists of hotels, inns, restaurants, and souvenir shops. It is situated on a cliff, high above the beach. We stayed in a hotel near the top and from our window we could look down on the layers of hotels, and inns below us and we could see the beach and the ocean. It was beautiful.
We walked on the beach, went shopping, and tried out some of the restaurants - great sea food! We also spent some time enjoying the view from our room, reading a book together, playing games, watching a DVD, and just relaxing and enjoying each other.
We took time to reflect on our years together and especially on the past year. We were encouraged by what the Lord had allowed us to accomplish and the goals that had been fulfilled. Then we took some time to set goals and make plans for the coming year. We do appreciate that we can count on you to pray for us. This is a great encouragement. We desire that more than any year so far, we would be used by the Lord this year to help people know Jesus as their Savior. We also desire to help believers grow.
A view of the ocean and the coconut palms taken from a look-out point in one of the towns on our way to Canoa Quebrada
How does the green stuff grow on the sand dune?This was the view from the breakfast table. That's the ocean in the background. Breakfast is included with the daily room rate. It consisted of a buffet of several kinds of fruits, several kinds of fruit juices, café com leite, hot chocolate, cereal, corn pudding, cakes, bread, eggs made to order, crepes, cold cuts, cheese and soup, wieners in tomato sauce, and some other things. They serve breakfast until 10, so we ate late and then didn't need lunch.
The break was great but this weekend we'll be back to our regular church activities and next week, classes at Alpha, discipleship classes, visitation and all the rest of our normal tasks.
Drop us a line and let us know what you've been up to,
In His Love,
Jeanie and Joe


ALPHA

Dear Friends,
Instead of writing my own letter this week, I will just send you a letter written by Ken, our son who is the director of the ALPHA school. Since we are very much involved in this project, it is very close to our hearts. If you are on Ken's mailing list, you have already received this letter. If you are not, then read on to find out about our current project.
Next week, I'll send more news. Thanks for praying for this project and if the Lord lays it on your heart to participate with a gift, we will be very grateful.
Yours for Christian Education in Mossoró,
Joe and Jeanie

JUNE 28, 2004DEAR FAMILY & FRIENDS,

Strategic steps take part in the story of every project and ministry. The ALPHA School is no exception. We have signed an intent to buy 20,000 square meters (approximately 5.5 acres) to expand the ALPHA campus; the title house is preparing the new deed this week.
Here is a summary of the happenings that bring us to this exciting juncture. Three years ago ALPHA purchased 11 acres on which to build its permanent campus. At that time an additional 5.5 acres was available but the price was prohibitive. In 2003 we were once again offered this land but the price was still too high. In May of this year, we became aware of a developer making plans to build a “MOTEL” on this property. (In Brazil, a Motel is a brothel or a house of prostitution.) We decided to attempt to negotiate a deal, rescuing this property from such dishonorable use. Exactly three year after buying the 11 acres, we closed on the 5.5 acres. The price? Precisely 10% lower than the 11 acres. This is a work of God, as the whole community has developed and land values have gone up over these three years!
We invite you to participate in this blessing as He burdens your heart. Each square meter can be sponsored for 99 cents. (the first piece was $1.10 per square meter) The down payment of 32% is due one week from today. Your gift will be key in helping us meet this deadline. We are procuring short term loans to cover this payment and at the same time we are trusting Him to raise the funds in a timely way. If you would like to make a pledge for any date in the next 10 months, that would be great! The contract was negotiated to spread the payment out, the last one coming due in April of 2005.
Some suggestions are:
A. Pick a number of meters to sponsor at $0.99 each
B. Make a donation for 1% of the project at $198.00
C. Pledge any dollar value as a one time gift.
D. Send monthly contributions toward this land purchase or any other aspect of the ALPHA ministry.
Thanks for your interest in reaching ALPHA students and their families with the Good News. Even if you are not able to give toward this project, join us in prayer for God’s provision.
Please reply to this message with your pledge so we can tally the response and report on the progress. No matter what, rejoice with us for the mile stone in the life of the ALPHA School Ministry!
Humbly yours – Ken for the ALPHA kids
Checks should be made out to: BGFM
Mail your donation to: P.O. Box 355, Springfield, IL 62705-0355
Attach a sticky note stating: “For ALPHA Property”

 


Absolutely 100% of your gift will go to the project!
Outlined in yellow is Alpha's propety
The red circle is the Christ Is Life Church property
The red diamond is the 5.5 acres being purchased now


Family Reunion

Dear Friends,

Deb, Sam, Brian and Andrew arrived in Fortaleza right on schedule on the 22nd. Thank you for praying for their trip. Ken, Lori and family were in Fortaleza and picked them up at the airport and brought them out to Mossoró. Ron, Ranelle and Caleb were at our house waiting for them when they arrived and our family reunion officially began with supper shortly after 6 o'clock. This week the whole gang is planning to get away for a couple of days to just relax, visit, eat, play games and enjoy each other.
Thursday, it's back to work as we have meetings with the Alpha staff and second semester classes begin on Monday, August 2nd. We are also looking forward to Renee Lipka's arrival later this week. She is coming to work at Alpha this semester. She will be teaching English, among other things. We have her apartment almost all ready.
Thank you to each of you who responded to the Alpha Land Purchase Project. We were able to make the down payment. Pray with us for sufficient funds to come in for the next payment.
Last week one day we got 2 1/2 inches of rain in less than an hour. Since the rainy season usually ends in May, this was rather unusual. We have been having showers 2 or 3 times a week all through June and July. We appreciate that the weather has been cooler than usual, things have stayed green and there has been less dust than usual at this time of year.
Thank you for your prayers and notes. Let us know how we can pray for you.
Love,
Joe and Jeanie

PS. If you would like to participate in the Land Purchase project. It's not too late.
Checks should be made out to: BGFM
Mail your donation to: P.O. Box 355, Springfield, IL 62705-0355
Attach a sticky note stating: “For ALPHA Property”
Absolutely 100% of your gift will go to the project!


New Team Member

Dear Family and Other Friends,
Less than a week has gone by since our last update, but I'm writing for 2 reasons. The first reason is because we want to let you know that on Sunday, August 29th, shortly before midnight our 7th grandchild was born. Ron and Ranelle and Silas Michael came home from the hospital early Monday evening. Mommy, Daddy, Baby and Brig Brother are all doing fine!

Caleb senses that the responsibility of being a big brother is not to be taken lightly!
The second reason that we're writing is because we had some problems sending our update last week. You may have received it once, twice, or not at all. The letter told some about our family reunion last month and had a couple of pictures. If you received it twice, please accept our apologies. If you didn't receive it at all but would like to, just reply to this letter and let us know and we'll try again.
Thank you for standing with us. We appreciate your prayers, notes, and support.
Joe and Jeanie


Visits

Dear Family of Friends,

Many of you have been praying with us for Evaristo for some time. First we prayed for his salvation and the Lord answered that prayer about 3 years ago when he accepted God's free gift and received eternal life. Then more recently we have been praying for his ongoing battle with cancer. On September 19th the Lord took him home. We grieve with the family because of their loss and yet we rejoice because he is now free from his suffering.
Just this afternoon I was visiting with his wife. She said sometimes I miss him so much and I get so sad, I break down and cry, but then when I think of how happy he is now and how he isn't suffering any more, it takes away my sadness. What a blessed hope, and what a joy that we can know that our loved ones are with the Lord.
Last week I went to visit Nadir, one of the ladies from church, but when I got there she wasn't home. Her husband was home, however, so I sat down and had a good talk with him. We have also been praying for Antonio's salvation for years. Perhaps you have prayed for him too. I've never really had an opportunity to visit with him before because whenever we would stop in there, he would greet us and then excuse himself and go to the kitchen or bedroom while we visited with his wife.
He told me it was their 44th wedding anniversary that day. He shared that his wife had been so patient with him even when he used to drink a lot. I told him we had prayed for him to quit drinking and were thankful that he had. So he told me he had also quit smoking. I shared with him that that was very good but that he still needed to have a personal relationship with Jesus and receive the free gift of salvation. He listened very attentively and when I asked him if I could pray for him he said it would be fine. When I finished praying, I noticed he was crying. Please pray for Antonio to understand the plan of salvation and to accept Jesus.
We've enjoyed visiting in these homes and others also in recent days. We'd enjoy visiting with you too but since we can't stop in at your house to do so, why don't you drop us a line and let us know the latest in your life.
Love,
Jeanie and Joe


NewsLetter

Dear Friends and Family,

I am sending you an attached file of our news letter. Many of you will be receiving a hard copy of this letter in the mail in a few days. Please let us know which you prefer receiving in the future. The e-mail version is more economical, quicker and we could also include pictues in it.
Next Friday this school year officially ends for the students at ALPHA. The teachers have a few more days after that before they finish. Next week we have 2 closing programs. The one done by the younger children Monday includes kindergarten graduation. The one done by the 1st-5th grade will be Tuesday night. Wed. and Thur. we have parent teacher conferences and Friday school ending parties.
Please pray with us for all the parents to pay their outstanding bills and for some extra donations to come in to cover all of our expenses at this time. Pray also for wisdom to be selective as we register students for the new year. We do not have enough room to accept everyone who wants to come. It's hard to turn students down but we are bursting at the seams and MUST begin construction on the new property as soon as possible.
May you and yours have a joyous Christmas season as you celebrate the birth of our Wonderful Savior!
Drop us a line,
Joe and Jeanie