Monday, December 22, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
It has just about been 24 hours since we have arrived and so far we have been recruited to run the sound system for the Christmas play on Saturday. We are also helping setup the paintings that the kids did. Jeff has already fixed the internet and a few other problems like a printer issue. So now we are taking time to unpack and organize.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Here is a drive around the area in La Plata Argentina.
Friday, December 12, 2008
We have just been relaxing with the Dunlevey fam. or in the empty duplex they rent behind their house. More of their team will join them in a few months, so they are renting this amazing two bedroom duplex. It is sort of serving as a guesthouse, so for now we have all to ourselves. I'll try to get a few pictures posted later... after nap time. :)
We went to the zoo yesterday with the family and had a good time until we visited the last animal of the day. Elle, their four year old, got a boo-boo from slipping on some metal bleachers. She had a pretty sizable gash above her eyebrow, so they spent the rest of the day getting stitches. She's fine now.
"I'll go back to the zoo again, but I'm not going to go back to that other place," she told us.
We hung out with their two year old, Scott and the puppy back at the house while they spend the day at the children's hospital.
We had some major accomplishments yesterday:
playing with dinosaurs
watching the movie Evita
I even had a few spare minutes to work on our budget for bedtime. God is so good, we're really having a great time.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
So we went out for Argentine steak, a lovely way to celebrate. Our host showed gratitude that I was no longer a vegetarian.
We are so blessed. Especially to have such a seriously wonderful family, the Dunlevy fam, (thanks Tim for the hook up!) to stay with here in Argentina. God is such a ninja. He's always pulling off the most amazing moves when we least expect him to. Everything going crazy up to the time we left. This week of downtime is really what we need while we wait for our visa to go through. And we thought it was a mistake that our visa was sent here. Ha!
Monday, October 27, 2008
This is going out to everyone! It’s been a while since our last correspondence (again). We wait and wait for something definite to happen, but it never does. We hate to confuse everyone with the long and complicated story (especially before we know how it ends), but it’s definitely time, past time, to share what’s happening.
We are going to Argentina.
Argentina. You read right. We have been trying for 2 ½ years or so to stay in Brazil long term, but now we’re going to Argentina... to get our Temporary Work Visa for Brazil! It is a weird story. Here’s the big picture: six months ago, when we were still in Brazil, we asked the Brazilian Ministry of Labor to send our work permit to the Brazilian Consulate in Argentina. It was going to be easier and cheaper to pick it up there since we were already in South America. Well, we had to come back to the US when our Tourist Visas expired after the last 6 months stay. As Jeff was leaving to pick up the Visa in Chicago last week we discovered some interesting news. The Visa was sent to Argentina. We thought we had changed the pickup location (to Chicago), but there had been a recent change of policy with the Ministry of Labor and they said it couldn’t be done.
Part of the change in policy means that we need to pick up the Visa and be in Brazil before 90 days. Even though there is more paper work to fill out, a work permit is a visa authorization in the eyes of the Ministry of Labor. Our work permit was issued a month ago. That means we have until the 16th of December to be in Brazil with visa stamped passports. That’s less than two months away!
Woah. It is now going to be more expensive and difficult to get these visas since we are starting out in the US, not Brazil, but, Lord willing, when it’s all done we will have our Temporary Work Visa, which is what we have been working to get for so long.
When it’s all over we can stay in Brazil for 2 years straight, then when the first two years are up, take a 45 minute trip to the Federal Police in Recife and get it renewed for another 2 years. That is 4 years without needing to leave Brazil! Lindsay and I are so very excited about finally being able to settle in at the World Renewal Ministry in Northeast Brazil.
This time around both of us will be teaching at the International School. Lindsay will be teaching English and Jeff will be teaching computers and technology. On top of that Jeff will be keeping up on the WRBrazil.blogspot.com blog site and finding new ways to get the word out about all the amazing things God is doing in this church planting ministry. We also hope to rent an apartment away from the main ministry headquarters in downtown Carpina to learn the language better and be more immersed in the culture. If it works out this will be the first time in 2 ½ years that we will be away from communal living, not in the ministry headquarters “hotel room” and not with family or friends.
We are finally going into FULL-time ministry so we need your help. Our budget needs a kick in the pants with all the new expenses we are expecting. And we have a lot of new startup costs again. It almost feels like we are fundraising for the first time. We are extremely thankful for our supporters that have stayed with us even when we have been back and forth so many times and have been poor communicators with our situation (it’s been tough enough for us to keep up with all the changes). Your support (especially the prayer support) has allowed us to get through this crazy, crazy process of getting our Work Visa. Included in this letter is a copy of our monthly needs and a list of startup expenses that we will mostly be purchasing in Brazil. Please pray about supporting us monthly or giving a one-time gift to help launch us full-time in Brazil.
Jeff & Lindsay Turner
PS Please keep reading our blog – jlbrasil.blogspot.com or find Lindsay on Facebook to keep in contact with us!
Plane Tickets to Argentina then Brazil
Total needed after taxes & WRI fees $1,870.00
Amount needed more
To give send a check to World Renewal earmarked Jeff & Lindsay Turner or you can give online at https://www.usaepay.com/ make sure to put Jeff & Lindsay Turner under the Description section.
P.O. Box 399
Greenfield, IN 46140
fax: (317) 467-4615
Monday, October 13, 2008
This was a very weird look into my life through a simple personality test.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
We were able to get the reference documents legalized by the Brazil consulate and off it went to Brazil. Then we got a bill for all of the translations that they had to do for all of our documents. Shortly after that we heard that all the documents were in the right hands. I just got off the phone with Emily Taylor who is in Brazil and the rumor is, that we will hear on the 16th of this month if we get the Work Permit. Then all we would need is to take that document to the consulate in Chicago and get the Visa.
What we are doing now:
Lindsay is at IUPUI going for an English major. This was always part of our backup plan if we came back to the US this time around. Lindsay is also working at Maria's Pizza part time.
Jeff has been doing odd jobs and helping his parents. He has been applying for I.T. jobs like mad, mainly places in Indianapolis. He has applied for 3 positions at IUPUI and 1 at UofI. So far no one has gotten back to him.
Please pray for the outcome on the 16th and that God will provide a job for Jeff if that is His will.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I don’t really know what to think. Things change so drastically so fast. Last week we didn’t know what we were doing next. Now we know we have to go back to the US. We'll be going back next week thanks to an awesome flight deal from my cousin. I’m heartbroken, nervous, a little excited (about seeing loved ones), and trying hard to remain a hopeful. We’re going back a little more visa savvy this time. We know that it might still be a while before we get this work visa. We know there are still mounds of red tape. We aren’t even sure that this work visa will go through. We’ll be living out our contingency plan (see the post on July 06, 2008), meeting up with family, visiting our supporters, and trying to recruit some new English teachers for the school.
We do still believe that God wants us to serve Brazilians. We feel like we fit in here more and more. We feel like we have a place here and that they need us. We’ll be back. It might be one month. It might be one year, but we’ll be back.
So, see you soon.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Etc. (The Beach)
A couple of weeks ago was a holiday called São João (St. John the Baptist day). Saint John festivals are a big deal around here; they’re a country-style harvest party where dishes made with corn are served. The best part is school is out for two days. Perfect time for a road trip to the beach, right? We thought so. Tele let us (Roberto, David, Alyssa, Emily, Jeff and I) visit his parent’s beach house for a few days.
When we arrived the electricity was out. We were fine with our food situation; the neighbors let us keep food in their fridge and stoves in Brazil are all propane. We bought candles and made a fire on the beach at night. We might have had more fun because there was no electricity. Jeff and I slept out on the beach beneath the stars each night and I got up to watch the sunrise each morning. One of the highlights of the trip for me was watching monkeys in the wild! We saw them at the neighbor’s house two doors down. It was pretty cool, until they came to watch me…
The last day of our trip, while everyone else was at the beach, I stayed back to take a shower. I was almost finished when I heard some mysterious scratching. I looked up to see a monkey looking back at me. I screamed grabbed my towel and belongings, and ran to the next room, where there were two more monkeys in the rafters watching me. I finally found a room that was monkey free, so I locked the door (monkeys can totally open unlocked doors) and changed quickly. It was on my list of things to do before I die. See monkeys in the wild. Check.
I really like the reaction from my good friend Jon when I told him the news. He said "it seems like you probably should have everything legalized, notarized, blood sealed and consecrated to several different gods in order to make sure everything is setup ok". We have in no way given up on staying in Brazil and we will be coming back here as soon as we get this visa. But, it is nice to have an answer from God about where we should be right now. Even though this answer is frustrating we are looking forward to see how God uses us back in the USA for a while.
We don't have tickets yet but we should be coming back early August.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
July is a busy, busy month for the ministry. There are a lot of outreaches that happen through out the year, but July is the biggest month because of the short-term mission groups that come from the states. The first of the three groups have already arrived two woodworkers and Jeff’s dad. The second trip arrived on the fourth, a medical team, and the third group (40 some teens and adults) will arrive on July 15th. Jeff’s dad comes every summer to coordinate the groups. We have really been enjoying having him around. If you want more info on what’s going on in ministry you can always check out the ministry blog, wrbrazil.blogspot.com.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Jeff and I are gypsies. Ok, maybe we’re not real gypsies, but we are really starting to feel like we can’t stay in one place for more than a year or so. Here six months. There a year. Here six months again. Living with my parents, his parents, my brother, at the ministry building, in a tree, on the moon. Where are we going next? What are we doing next? What are we even doing for dinner tonight?
We still don’t know. We still don’t have a permanent/semi-permanent visa to stay in Brazil. We’re trying every avenue we can. We are still working with the same lawyer. He still says it will happen soon. He says that the judge has all info he needs now, hopefully. We’re also trying to pull some strings with some political connections Tele has. In Brazil sometimes it is all about “who you know” to get things done. We’re also going to give the case number for our visa to a friend who’s in law school. He’s studying international law, labor law, and immigration law and he thinks he might be able to help work things out. It’s all still taking time. If things pan out soon we’ll go to the Brazilian Consulate in Argentina to pick the visa up, because we found out for sure that we have to be out of the country to get the work visa.
If things don’t pan out before August 10 (the date our tourist visa runs out for the year) we’ll be headed back to the States. I applied to go to school at IUPUI as a contingency plan if all of our visa arrangements fail and Jeff has some possible job prospects back in Indiana, too. Whatever happens we know that God is with us and that he has a plan for us. No matter how mysterious and nomadic our life seems to be, we continue to trust him with our future.
Friday, July 04, 2008
In the next few posts will hopefully catch you up to speed with school, life, ministry, etc.
There were two end of the semester programs to prepare for and present the last two weeks of school. Since I mainly work with the preschoolers the last two weeks were filled with repeating the same songs and dance moves, over and over again. The first program’s theme was focused on Pernambuco (the state where we live here). The international school kids presented special projects, sang songs, and performed skits. I learned my first full song in Portuguese as a result of helping the preschoolers with their presentation!
The second program was a fund raiser event called “Nations’ Celebration.” The children performed dances from around the world and then sampled international food with their parents. We even held an “art auction,” selling the paintings the children made in their art classes this semester. The event raised around R$1,800 for a children’s hospital in Recife. I contributed by helping guide the preschoolers in their South African dance and by making chocolate chip cookies for the American food booth.
We completely wrapped up the semester with parent-teacher conferences last Friday and a teachers’ meeting on Monday. At the teachers’ meeting Emily Taylor and I presented a new English program that we formed to create a bridge between Portuguese subjects (ex. Math, Science, History) and the English language. We’re really excited about starting the program next semester!
Emily & I being awesome at the beach
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
We still don’t know much about the status of our work visa and our Tourist Visa only lasts until August 10th. We currently don’t have tickets back to the US or to anywhere. These things have been stressing us out like crazy. But, it has been becoming very obvious that God wants us to wait and trust in Him.
The past couple of weeks have been busy for me (Jeff) because I have had to help out with the Learning Centers in the afternoons. I usually help out with that one or two days a week, but recently I have had to do it every afternoon. I really haven’t minded it that much. Most of the time I am in Learning center with Lindsay which is nice and I think we work well together in those situations. I have been struggling a little with trying to figure out what else I should be doing here to keep people informed and it has been a slow month. I think with the start of Summer in the US that not as many people check the blog site and such. Plus up until a few days ago we didn’t have a memory card for our camera. Ours broke about 3 weeks ago. Thanks to Roberto’s friend we have a temporary card until my dad arrives with some new cards.
I think the whole theme behind this post is that Lindsay and I need prayer for guidance and that we will not just do what we think is best but wait on God for direction. I am really thinking the smart thing for me to do is go ahead and buy plane tickets now because they will be more expensive the longer we wait. The problem is, I don’t think that is from God. I just think that is the best choice in my head.
We have been able to do some fun things while we are here. We went to the beach with Roberto and Emily Taylor because Emily had yet to go. It was a good time even though it is starting to become the rainy session.
Friday, May 23, 2008
We still don't know anything with our Visa and Tele is sick right now. We need to have Tele call the lawyer and see about going to Brasilia to get this taken care of. At this point I don't see anything else we can do to speed up the process. I am finally at peace about the whole thing. If we end up going back to the US I will be fine with that and I know God has something for us there. I think if we go back to the US we will stay for a while and Lindsay will go back to school. If that is God's will that is. We have thought about a lot of things. We just want to do what God wants us to do.
Monday, May 12, 2008
The Work Visa situation is still really up in the air. We are in Brazil for another 3 months for sure but are uncertain what will happen after that time. We got a call from our lawyer telling us that we would have to leave the country in order to get the work visa and we told him to send it to Argentina if it comes. That way we only have to spend about $300 on plane tickets to leave the country get our visa and come back. But that is only practical if it comes in the next 3 months. So, we still need a ton of prayer about this.
Also, because of this stress and being in ministry we are getting attacked emotionally at lot by Satan. Please pray for Lindsay and I's emotional states and stress. Even though we had a fantastic Thursday the weekend was the most depressing and emotional weekends for us. Maybe it was because it was Mother's Day weekend, who knows. We just could really use your prayers about stress.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
To celebrate the 15 years the Churches held a Forum where several Pastors talked about different areas of ministry and everyone shared about their experiences. The last one was Pastor Ricardo Silva and he was talking about the Unity of the Community Churches. The example he used was getting all the strong, big guys to circle up.
The whole forum was amazing to be apart of and was so uplifting to have so many of the Church Pastors around to share about their Churches and experiences. Gary Wright came from Indiana for the celebration and he started it off with a sermon on Jesus movements.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Lindsay and Emily were still able to go to Lagoa De Itaenga. They were 20 mins late so they only had 4 kids at the English class, but the class went really well and they have decided to do it every Saturday now.
At the end of this month Gary Wright the president of World Renewal Intl. will be coming to Brazil. The month marks the 15 year anniversary of the Ministry in Brazil so Gary is coming down to be apart of the celebration. He is also bring some things down for us, which will help a lot. The current internet here is really bad with only 15kps download speeds which is about 3x faster than dial up. Then there is usually about 5 or so people online at one time which makes the internet nearly impossible to navigate. So after talking with Tele we are hopefully getting better internet this week. It should be going to about 60kps download speeds and then Gary will be bringing down a Bandwidth control router with him. Basically it will be able to set programs on a priority list and gives more speed to the things higher on the list. So I will be putting things like Skype on super high priority and downloads as a low priority. This should solve most of our internet problems.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
We will be going back to Lagoa de Itaenga this Saturday to teach an English class and help with the youth group. This time I will bring the camera! Pray for this time, that God will bless it.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I have been working on the Brazil website and it is pretty much done for now with the content part. I just need to get the outreach section complete which is actually going to be called Church Planting Strategy... section. This last Saturday Lindsay, Emily Taylor, and I went with Ricardo to Lagoa de Itaenga (The town which has one of the newest church plants in it) and we had an English class for the youth there. We also helped with the youth group later on that night. It was awesome to finally be able to use my Nintendo Wii for the ministry again. We really tried to get the youth group going with the Acacias church here at the Alcance but only one kid ever showed up. Anyway, the weekend went really well and the kids loved both the English class and youth group. We had one kid that was new who was very interested in the Wii and then came the next day to help out with a street market sale the Church was participating in. He also showed up to Church that evening.
It was good to see the Church raising money to make it a more Church like building. Right now the Church is a house that they are renting and it is pretty small. The Church sold about R$85 worth of clothes and items at the Street market, which is a huge deal for them because most of the Church members are not employed and they only give about R$6 a month in tithe.
Monday, March 17, 2008
We had a big scare with the graphic design computer on saturday. The power in the graphica dropped a little which made the converter not put out enough volts and shut off the computer. When we turned it back on, it said it had shut down because it overheated. It also wouldn't boot into windows from there. So, we opened the computer up to see the fan that keeps the processor cool completely caked in dust. It was really bad. We did our best to clean it out without having a can of compressed air. When we went to turn it back on the picture wouldn't come back up. So, through all of this Roberto was freaking out a little that he had lost all of the graphic design data. Which despite me reassuring him that the data was fine, he still was worried. Anyway, I basically let the computer sit over night and cool down some more, then in the morning I turned on the computer and got into the bios and from there everything was fine. This morning Roberto came back to the graphica was a PC that is working like normal.
This weekend we also stopped at a new grocery store that I hadn't been to. It is called Tudo Dia which just means "all day". It is the newest grocery store in Carpina and also just so happens to be owned by non other than WALMART. Thats right walmart of all places have invaded Brazil. It was creepy walking into that place because it really felt like a mini walmart. I guess it is good for that town a little, since they do offer lower prices on a lot of their stuff. But, Lindsay and I really can't stand walmarts business practices. I doubt we will be shopping there much if at all. The good news is they have a atm at there store that I bet we will be able to get money from. The other banks in town used to have an atm that worked internationally and we would get the official exchange rate which is better than the underground rate right now. But, this trip we couldn't find any atms that would work. That meant we were giving Tele a check to exchange for us and that is just one more thing Tele had to do. We are all about helping him and not adding more things to his plate.
Ok, I have gone on for too long now. This week is a holiday week because of Easter. That means we only have two days of school!! Happy Easter.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
At 4pm things slow down for me. I do some lesson planning on Saturdays and prep a little in the afternoons. Unless Jeff and I are practicing Portuguese that day, I have my evenings free. There isn't a lot of paper grading for babies and preschoolers. I feel pretty lazy (especially since we got our hammock put up).
I'm really blessed with the opportunity (and free time) I have, but like most jobs or ministries it has ups and downs. Some days I think my students are the most gifted and brilliant little toddlers on the planet. There are also days I daydream about tying them to their chairs.
Alright, enough gibber-jabber. Here are some pictures from yesterday. We talked about healthy foods with the younger kids and shared a fruit salad snack. Here they are with their fruit masks.
Adorable aren't they?
Keep them in your prayers. Especially this last one:
She's got a major problem with biting! She's bitten everyone in the class (including me twice) and bites every new kid who comes in the class. It seems to be a security thing half of the time and jealousy/anger issues the other half. She bites pretty hard.
Please be praying for change in her and for the safety of the rest of us!
I'll write more on school and the kids some other time.
Monday, March 03, 2008
We ended up rearranging our room again. Also, when they put in the air conditioner, they saw we had a hammock and hooks for the hammock, so they went ahead and put up the hammock for us. Hammocks are awesome!! To have one in our room is even more awesome. I feel so spoiled now with these two things.
Here is our little kitchen area that we setup. There is a stove just down the hall from us that we can use. They also have a microwave in the main kitchen. All in all we really like how we have things setup now. We could use some kind of surface with maybe shelfs or drawers below but we are really happy about our room. God is really blessing us here. Now I just need to get Lindsay to tell you about her classes and the biting kid.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Here is our huge hole in our room that is ready for an air conditioner. The funny thing about this is that the type of air conditioner that we are getting installed won't actually use this hole. We bought an expensive air conditioner that is super energy efficient and silent. I am all about saving money for the ministry even if that means we spend a nice sum up front. One of the Alcance's biggest expenses is the electricity bill, mainly due to old air conditioners in the classrooms. Currently there are two other energy efficient air conditioners in the two learning center classrooms. I think there are at least 4 maybe 5 other classrooms with normal electricty hog air conditioners. The ultimate plan is to replace them all.
So, in the middle of writing this post our network went down and I spent about an hour fixing it. I feel like I haven't gotten much done today because of all the little things that keep happening. Maybe I shouldn't always be in the grafica (graphic design shop) because so much happens here. This way I also get to practice my Portuguese.
Well, I should conclude now and maybe in a few days I can get Lindsay to tell you about teaching at the school and how the school is going.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Lindsay and I have arrived safely to Brasil with our entire luggage. Thank you for all the prayers. Going through customs was easy because all they did was take our "nothing to declare" paperwork and waved us on.
It has been a bit overwhelming being here and seeing the ministry again, because it has grown so much this past year. It is a huge difference going from 15 students at the International school to 57. That also means that the Alcance (where we live) seems so much busier. The ministry has a whole has grown because of the money that the school is bringing in, but it is still difficult to pay for the upkeep of the Alcance. They still make sure they are supporting other parts of the ministry though.
Well, I really feel good about being here and I have had assurance from God that this is truly where He wants us to be. Please pray for Lindsay right now, she is sick with some stomach problems. I think she got it before she came, but the transition hasn't helped. She has begun to feel better this afternoon. I have been doing fairly well, but I know I internalize things. I had some problems with stomachaches and acid reflux on the airplane. They only real time I almost lost it and cried my eyes out was when I gave Nathan (my brother in-law) a hug goodbye. Nathan and his wife, Joanna, have been amazing and have let us live with them at their house these last 6 months or so. We only had one vehicle and so did they, so we were really able to help each other out a lot with rides. I am so thankful for them.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
This past year was so very different than what we expected. We thought we would be back in Brazil before March. It feels like we spent a year waiting in anticipation for our return to that country! It’s not until we’ve sat down and really looked at what God has done this past year that we have seen a purpose for us being in the US. God has given us innumerable blessings through unusual and trying circumstances. We can’t give ourselves any credit at all for how He has provided. We want to give Him the glory by sharing a glimpse of what He has done for us with you, our friends and family.
• November/December ’06 – We returned from Brazil and stayed with Jeff’s parents for the month of November while we shared our experiences at various Community Church mission conferences. We then began living with Lindsay’s parents while we applied for a visa through Lindsay’s credentials. A good friend recommended Lindsay for a seasonal job working part time at Go Fish (a missions based clothing and jewelry store).
• January/February - Lindsay’s work permit (a precursor to the visa) was denied. Jeff was offered a job by an another good friend to work at Roche Diagnostics in their IT department. Lindsay started working full time at Go Fish as the assistant store manager.
• March/April/May- We decided to apply for a visa through Jeff’s credentials. Jeff studied for the A+ test (which was paid for by Roche). Roche began donating laptop and desktop computers to World Renewal. Jeff had a rough bout with the flu that landed him in the emergency room and added to his stomach problems for the following months.
• June –After Jeff took the A+ test in May we began to apply for a visa on our own with Jeff’s credentials. We moved in with Lindsay’s brother & his wife. Lindsay quit her job at Go Fish – in anticipation of returning to Brazil shortly.
• July/August – After having no success getting visas on our own we hired a Brazilian lawyer to help us with the process. The lawyer told us it would take 30 days to produce a visa. When Jeff was hired at Roche it was as a temp; his contract was up so we headed to California for a vacation to visit Jeff’s grandparents.
• September/October/November/December – September rolled around and still no word from the lawyer on the visa. Jeff was offered another position at Roche and Lindsay was offered an administrative assistant job at Hugabug Family Entertainment (a friend’s entertainment business) in November. Jeff went to the doctor after continued problems with an upset stomach and was diagnosed with acid reflux. His insurance at Roche paid for medication to treat it.
We can’t thank God enough for all He has done for us. We have been able to encourage some of our friends through some rough times this past year and they’ve helped us immeasurably through this confusing time as well. We continue to pray about our return to Brazil and we do have confidence in this:
“… I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11