Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas letter time!

This year we were so proud of ourselves because we wrote the Christmas letter at the beginning of November. It felt like the book "A Series of Unfortunate Events"  or Alanis Morissette's song "Ironic" (which btw isn't about irony, just unfortunate circumstanceswhen things like the computer that had the Christmas letter on it stopped working for 2 weeks. Then after we got it temporarily fixed it still wasn't really usable and would freeze on us when we tried to open the letter. Anyway, our computer just decided to start working again. A Christmas Miracle! Time to get the letter up quick! You can see our Christmas letter at the link below:

If it does not display for you please download (for free) the latest Adobe Reader.

Monday, November 22, 2010

WARNING: This post is all about baby stuff.

Well, if you don’t know already from Facebook or from talking to our folks – surprise! I’m pregnant!  I am around 16 weeks, so we are expecting little baby T to show up around May 9, 2011.

Want see a picture? This is the baby at about 13 weeks. We got to hear the heart. Very exciting. 

So everything has been healthy with the baby, but I have missed a lot of school recently due to sickness, a few minor health issues, and doctor’s appointments.  Emily and I have agreed to “fire me” for next semester.  We originally came up with a plan for me to teach the first bimester and then leave the responsibilities to other teachers, but since my absences have been too unpredictable we have decided that we are going to enact operation “Lindsay-Baby” earlier, starting in February.   I will be working for the first 2 weeks of school full-time training other teachers, but then only three days a week in more of an administration role with the preschool.  I’m excited about this change and look forward working with the preschool English department from a different position.
During the time I have had to be at home I’ve been able to focus on homework for my online classes and catch up on some important work, like watching the TV series Bones.  And of course there’s thinking about baby names!   Anyone who knows me well knows I love coming up with names, but this baby naming business is tough. I need a name that works in two cultures that my mother can pronounce and, for me, it needs to have some significant meaning (or be named for someone). So far (and it really changes about every week) we like Anabelle, Matilda, Lydia, Levi, Liam, Obie – but none of them have felt like “the perfect” name.   Any suggestions for little baby T?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday = Full

From Reunitaria 2010

Sundays are a little bit busier these days. I have wanted to start teaching a technology class for adults for a while now and it looks like it will finally happen. I really enjoy helping out at our church in Lagoa de Itaenga and of course I enjoy being around Pastor Ricardo. We are already doing an English class on Sunday afternoons at the church and now I will be teaching a technology class, starting with Photoshop, right before the English class. So, from 1-5 we will be ministering in Lagoa de Itaenga. Then, it’s back to Lagoa for the service at 7. Ricardo is talking about starting a Portuguese class for us during that 5-7 time slot before church. It seems like a busy Sunday schedule, but I think it will be fun.
I am also in the process of raising money to purchase a Power Point type program called ProPresenter. I am always looking for new ways to be professional and improve the technology in the churches. This ProPresenter program was designed by North Point Community Church and lets you use videos for the backgrounds of the slides. It also has easy Bible verse lookup and count down timers. I have never seen anything quite like the professional style of software for the worship time here in Brazil. I will start using the software at our church first. Then after I learn the program we will train all the other community churches here that have a computer and projector. The site license upgrade is about $450 which is enough to cover all the churches here. Please consider giving toward the purchase of this software.

Please go to: to donate online for the purchase of ProPresenter.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cooking with Jeff

                When Lindsay is busy with school (studying for her online class or working on projects for her preschoolers) I often volunteer to make dinner. Lindsay tends to be more of a comfort food cook: chicken n’ noodles, mac n’ cheese, tacos (Mexican food is a comfort food for us, ok). I tend to be a little more experimental. So when we decided to have guests over in the middle of a busy week I started brainstorming.
                We recently bought a new Brazilian food cookbook. I really like it and went to it first for ideas. I have already learned to make Galinha Assada com Farinha de Rosca (a baked and breaded chicken dish). I saw a recipe for pumpkin stuffed with beef and thought I would try that, but Lindsay didn’t really take to the idea for guests we don’t have over so often. So I turned to the internet for inspiration, I usually talk to Minh (a friend who is in Iraq) over Skype in the afternoons. He suggested the Spanish Paella dish. While we were in Barcelona we saw the dish everywhere. You would think that we would have tried it when we were there, but no. We really only ate Tapas in Barcelona. Even though we saw this dish everywhere we just couldn’t stomach (excuse the pun) the 12-18 euro price tag.
             To make Paella you start by cooking sausage, onion and red pepper with some oil. Then you add chicken broth and uncooked rice and bring everything to a boil. Add some spice and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Then you cook shrimp with it for another 6 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and bon appetite! Basically you can put anything you want in, but normally it has at least two types of meat in it. I really like the idea of cooking the rice together with everything.
            All in all it was a wonderful evening. Cris and Ilzo (our friends from church) loved the dish. They scraped the pot clean! I am happy to have gotten to know some friends better and add one more dish to my cooking repertoire.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

New Life & Updates

New Baby
If you follow us or World Renewal Brazil on Facebook you probably already know that Pastor Ricardo & his wife Kattia had a baby. His name is Eric Ricardo. They had the baby early Monday morning, August 30th in Recife. Originally they planned to have him in a town nearby, but there were no doctors at the hospital early in the morning. When they arrived at the hospital in Recife the baby was born within an hour! There was no time to get settled in a room, so Eric was born in the ER.  Praise God everything went smooth and fine.

Mission Conference 2010
We are approaching mission conference time for the Community Churches in the US, which means it's time to hand in updates about our ministry. It is sometimes difficult to try to describe what our roles are here in Brazil. It would be too long-winded to send them our previous blog post about what we have been doing lately. So, I need to start thinking on how to summarize everything. They also want pictures of us in ministry, I was thinking of using the following pictures. Let me know what you guys think!

From Ministry as a whole
From Ministry as a whole
From Ministry as a whole
From Ministry as a whole
From Ministry as a whole

The Graphic Design Shop is closed to the public, at least until Roberto comes back to Brazil (he is studying at Word of Life Hungry). But recently I was asked to do a special project for one of the teachers at the Intl. School. It was fun to do an outside project again. I think it will be a busy time when he returns. The project I did for the teacher was a CD cover invitation for a party, she designed it and I "digitized" it. 

-post by Jeff

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A whole lot of catching up

Giant vacation and then slam back to teaching, helping with the church, and doing various graphic design and communication stuff for World Renewal Brazil as a whole. If you are interested in hearing more about our vacation to Europe well you might just need to wait a little longer considering we haven't even told our parents that much about it yet. I haven't even gotten through all the pictures yet. That is mainly because we had about 2 days before everything started again when we got back from vacation. I have felt like the priorities of the ministry are more important than gathering our vacation pictures.

Things we/I have been working on:
  1. Of course the Intl School is in full swing and has been for about a month now. It is a slightly more intense schedule for Lindsay and Emily because we were not able to get any short term teachers this semester.(we are looking for teachers for February!) But, it has been a blessing the Seth and Kari Bartal has joined the team and they teaching also.
  2. Our home church is Lagoa de Itaenga. As many of you know we attend this church because it is the latest church plant that Ricardo Silva is pastoring. He is like my brother and it is hard for me to say no to him when he asks for things, which makes me stretch myself and get out of my comfort zone a lot. I am an elder at the church and responsible for running the powerpoint for the worship. Most recently (because I/we offered to run the youth group night alone when his wife would have the baby) I was given the responsibility of youth leader. Since Ricardo has started calling me a pastor of sorts, he also has asked me to preach at the church every other month. Again it is difficult for me to say no to Ricardo! It is a stretch for me to be comfortable preaching, but I think is a good thing and I know God can work through even me.
  3. On October ninth World Renewal Brazil will have a booth in Greenfield, IN for the Riley Days festival. I was asked to design the banner for the booth. They also needed a T-shirt design (a very simple one) and an update to most of our brochures and such. I am also working on a business card for Tele to give out when he is in the US (in October/November). I am not used to so many projects all at once, especially when my wonderful design partner Roberto is at World of Life Hungary.  *Below is how the banner will look
  4. We record most of the plays and special events for the Intl. school. I am currently behind on editing the videos for some of the past events. I am also creating some DVDs of the events to sell parents. I already provide all of the events free to watch online, but not everybody has internet acess and many want a copy for home. There are some big school field trips right now, so I am getting those pictures up online also. You can see the field trip of 1st -3rd grade at: (the Charles Darwin Reserve - no evolution being taught - just the name of the place).
  5. Finally, we have been making some "home improvements." We installed some new cabinets/ shelves. I was able to borrow Ricardo's drill and put up our new shelves myself. I am very proud of this because the way things are put on walls here is very different than the US. First you drill a hole in the concrete wall. Then a plastic guard the nail is installed. Then you take a screw and hand crank it in.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Airport Trips

For a while I started to think I was living at the airport. By mid-June we had been to the airport four times within one week. Two of the times we were there for more than five hours because of flight delays or cancelations. As you can imagine, I have been happy to let my Dad and Tele pick up the short-term summer groups from the airport.
A lot has happened in a short time including flooding that has caused a lot of people to be displaced in our state of Pernambuco. None of that has affected the areas that the community churches are at though and besides trying to navigate the flooded streets of Recife to pick Doug Hood up at the airport, it has not effected us either. Speaking of Doug, he is Pat and Harold’s son. If you keep up with our blog you will know that Pat and Harold are the wonderful teachers that helped the school a few semesters back and left a huge impression on everybody here. Doug came to speak at a conference and help counsel some members of the church. It was a big blessing to have him here and I saw a lot of people get the help that they needed from his counseling sessions. We also picked up Seth and Kari Bartal from the airport in June. They are the newest missionaries to join us in Brazil. They will be teaching at the school while they are learning the language and transitioning over to help start a church plant in Recife. Last, but not least, we have Roland who is from Greenfield, Indiana. I invited him down as a general discovery trip and to see if he fit into the ministry here. It has been super awesome to have him here and he has been a huge help in many areas. He will be here until July 19th. We are trying to convince him to stay for to teach this semester, but we also want him to listen to God about that decision and not just us.
With the influx of people that speak English here, it has been a little different for Lindsay and I. Most of our time has been spent helping people adapt and get things that they might need. I spent some time helping Emily get her apartment furnished for her parents to stay with her. We did most of the shopping at just one store because they consistently had the best prices. I think they really love us at that store now.

From Jeff & Lindsay
Roland & Doug with Paul & Ruth Jessup in the background.

The big groups are here now and they are doing Medical Clinics and a VBS for the next 3 days. But on Wednesday we are taking our big trip, which I think I will let Lindsay write about.

Like Jeff said things are hectic with the short-term groups right now, but that will all mostly slow down again after this week. This year’s big July mission trips have actually been more June mission trips. With exception of a couple stragglers, all the short-termers will be gone by the end of next week. This gives us and the other full-timers here a much needed break. This is especially exciting for Tele’s family. While having groups down in July is extremely beneficial, trying to find other vacation during the school year is difficult.
Jeff and I are taking this rare break from responsibilities to take a dream vacation. We are going to Europe. How can we as missionaries take such a huge vacation? We were blessed last year in a way that we didn’t really want to be blessed. My Aunt Pat passed away last year in June and she left us an inheritance. As most people who receive inheritances can attest, we would much rather have her than a penny of her money. God knows best and we are thankful that we know she is with him right now. It was a substantial amount (especially for poor missionaries) and so we have determined to use the money wisely. We purchased our car with some of the money, put aside money into retirement accounts, tithed, and now with some of the money we are taking our vacation. The best part about this trip is all the good friends we will be seeing/staying with! We are going to meet up with my cousin Amber Cart and also Joanna Cart from the US, a former exchange student, a Dutch friend and her family, and also Roberto and Karine (friends from here who are at Bible College in Europe). We just feel so blessed to be taking this opportunity!!

We may not be in contact much until after the 28th of July, but if you need to get a hold of us the best bet may be emailing Jeff.
Até então!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This is for you, Mom.

      I usually call my mother on Sundays, but recently we have been out of touch.  I finally spoke to her this week, but I couldn’t find much to talk about. A lot has happened since our last conversation and she was probably expecting to hear details. All that she got from me was an impassive and jumbled summary.
     You see, I don’t feel like I can properly share the emotions or energy of a week of my life. I don’t think anyone really can over the phone (or internet).  You have to live life with people. I think that’s the hardest part about living far away –I miss out on the lives of people I love.  On the flip side, now that I know and love people here I would miss living life with them!

     Emily said that is why she likes Facebook. Specifically, that’s why she likes status updates.

     “But not the stupid updates,” she said, “the ones that tell me about people’s lives.”

      I agree with her and it makes me want to try harder to share life with those I love. Here or there.

      Pray with me that I can be more active in sharing the moments that bring me joy with those in the US. Pray that I share more and more of myself despite a cultural barrier.

       So speaking of impassive and jumbled summaries, I need to give one. Ironic? We have begun to receive the other Americans. Seth and Kari are our most recent additions, but before them came Roland.  He came all the way from Brandywine Community Church in Greenfield to join us for a couple of months. Last Sunday he preached at our church in Lagoa de Itaenga. He gave his testimony and two people decided to follow Christ! We have struggled a lot to reach people in this community so Sunday was a great encouragement and we are thankful for two new believers.

School’s out soon. The World Cup is on. Jeff and I also have a very exciting trip that we want to share about. So stay tuned.

No, it’s not back to the States. Nor to an obstetrician, Mom. 
Post by Lindsay

Monday, June 07, 2010

The calm before the short-term trips

From Blogger Pictures

There was a big rash of sickness this last month, Lindsay and I were down with some kind of virus for 7 days. It started on a Saturday and we tried to go into school on Wednesday but I think that just set us back a few days. We didn't start feeling better until the next Saturday. Thinks seem to be back on track now. We have gone through a full week without being sick but this week is the last week to do tests and such because we need to turn in grades by next Monday. So it feels like just as we got better school is over.

From Blogger Pictures

The last week of school we are going to have a group from Lifepoint Community Church do an English/ Music camp for the kids at the International School. So, we are looking forward to that. June and July is the big time for Short-term groups so we are preparing for the influx of Americans coming in. First we have a guy from Brandywine Community Church coming in on the 9th, then we have Pat and Harold's son (teachers from a few semesters ago) come to teach a counseling seminar, then we have Seth and Kari Bartal. They are still working on getting their work visa, but they are coming for 6 months to start learning the language and teaching at the school. They are praying that their work visa will come in during this time. So, that is just the people coming in before the actual short term trips. The trips will be early July with a Medical team and then a VBS team. Kenny's faithful crew will be here in July also to make some amazing furniture and such for the ministry. We are so very thankful for Kenny and this year he said that he would be willing to make something for our apartment.

From Blogger Pictures

We took Emily, Paul, and Ruth for a tourist day on the town this last weekend. We visited the old prison turned into a shopping center and we also went to the Ricardo Brennand Castle Museum that has a huge collection of medieval weapons and armor. It also has art from all over Brazil and Frans Post art works. It was a very good time. Lindsay and I have been putting together a list of must take people to, places. This museum is definitely on the list.


From Blogger Pictures

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hello Normal

I’ve lost my sense of wonderment of this place. I no longer marvel at the open air market, now it’s just where I buy my vegetables. I don’t sigh in contentment looking at the walls of my apartment because I see spider webs in the corners that need to be knocked down. When a child repeats her first full phrase in English I am not astonished by her ability to communicate. I don’t see the adventure any more, no more conquest, only tasks to be done and things to check off my list. I am in a safe place and I am in a dangerous place.

Welcome to the land of ordinary.
We’ve been married for six years now. When we first got together discovering more about each other was full of emotional highs and lows. I remember crying on our honeymoon and telling Jeff it was because, “I was just so happy.” Ha! I was terrified! Everything was new. It was exciting and scary all at once.
We are still learning about each other every day, but now our marriage feels like a warm snuggly bed, safe and comfortable.

The first time we came here was the same. I was torn between the adventure and the nightmare. I felt so lonely and nervous some days, excited and courageous the next. But just like my love for my husband didn’t remain puppy love neither did my relationship with Brazil. It grew up and grew ordinary.
This is a safe place to be. I am no longer motivated by my emotions. I can buy my groceries without fear that I am committing some grave cultural faux pas. I objectively evaluate my students instead of thinking they are all brilliant for learning to repeat basic phrases. I am no longer a visitor, I am at home.
This is a dangerous place to be. I don’t look for new ways to serve God. It is easier to just maintain what I am doing now rather than seek out new things to do for God. I have a circle of friends that I know well enough. Why make new ones? Why get closer to people? Why work harder? I go to work. Come home, housework, study, lesson plan. Turn off. I close out the outside world because I know there is so much more that God wants me to see and do.

I’m tired and I don’t want to!
I want to stay in the ordinary and do just enough.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Easter Preaching

It was Easter Sunday and guess who was standing at the pulpit preaching at the small church in Lagoa de Itaenga. Yep, it was I, Jeff Turner.
I really don't consider myself a preacher at all nor do I jump at the chance to preach. I am normally completely content being the Director of communications and Technology even though I feel like I have been doing much more technology stuff than communication stuff. Lets just say that I am getting pretty sick of reformatting computers because people keep putting viruses on them. Anyway, it seems that when Pastor Ricardo asks me to do something I have a difficult time saying no. This was my first true time to preach. All the other times I usually shared an expanded version of my testimony and how God lead me to Brazil. I actually was suppose to preach the week after Easter but I thought I was scheduled for Easter, so my sermon was all about the Easter holiday and the origins of it. But luckily the pastor that was going to guest preach for Easter could not do it until the week after Easter, leaving me free to preach on Easter day. I think it went well, I started preaching in Portuguese and did about 10% of the sermon in Portuguese but once I had a difficult sentence and switched back to English it was hard to try to go back to Portuguese. Ricardo said that next time we will work on the sermon enough in advance that he will couch me to preach in Portuguese. So, we shall see.

From Lagoa De Itaenga

This is a picture from the Sunday afternoon English class in Lagoa de Itaenga.
I still help Ricardo out with the beginners class, but Ricardo does most of the work and I just help with pronouncing the words correctly.

For Easter the International School put on some really cool plays for the kids. They were like mini plays, because there were stations that the kids went around to and listened to the actors talk about themselves. There was Judas, Peter, Harod, Mary, and a few others.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Welcomed Help

The international school finally feels like it is in full swing. It took a while (like everything does in Brazil) but we finally have all of our English teachers here and the kids planner books finally came back from the printers yesterday. Our two new more than welcomed teachers are Ruth and Paul Jessup.

I can't find a picture of Paul right now. He was sick for a couple days as his body adjusted to the food, so I think he missed the picture times.
Ruth has been helping Lindsay with the 2nd grade and below kids while Paul has been helping Emily with 3rd grade-8th grade. They have already been a huge help and this semester looks like it will go pretty smoothly. 
As for our church in Lagoa de Itaenga (Ricardo's church) it has been going really well. We have started the English classes on Sunday afternoons again and we have about 22 in the beginner class, 11 in the 2nd level class and I think around 9 in the advanced 3rd level class. Last semester we were able to get 2 different people from those classes to start coming to church, so this semester we are praying for at least 2 more.
We do a youth outreach every other Saturday night and this year we are going to try to turn every other event into a community outreach. So once a month we will have an outdoor worship service or movie or food event, to try to bring in more people to the church.
I (Jeff) have been bringing a projector to the church and running a powerpoint for the worship service. Having the words for the songs has been helping out tone deaf church a lot. It also helps Lindsay and I remember and understand the songs better. I am not joking about our church being tone deaf either. Lindsay and I feel like we fit right in because we don't have any musical ability. Some people sing the songs too slow and others sing too fast. I have also never seen everybody stay on the same beat when we are clapping.But everybody still worships with all their heart and we love the church.

From Lagoa De Itaenga

From Lagoa De Itaenga

From Lagoa De Itaenga

From Lagoa De Itaenga

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vacation again?

From Vacation JAN- FEB 2010

The school semester finally started in early Febuary and quickly stopped for a week vacation. With only two weeks of school in we are on vacation for Carnaval (Marti Grau). We have been blessed to have Betsy with us helping teach this semester. She is from Brandywine Community Church and we will soon be joined by Ruth and Paul Jessup. They will also be helping teach at the international school this semester. We had a bit of a panic moment when a teacher that was suppose to come from Great Britain backed out at the last minute. But, God has been very faithful to bring wonderful teachers to help us. We are looking forward to getting to know the Jessups. They are a young married couple so it will be nice to have a couple to hang out with. I think we are slightly older than they are and married longer.

From Vacation JAN- FEB 2010
From Vacation JAN- FEB 2010
From Vacation JAN- FEB 2010

We went with the Community church of Amexias to a camp for this vacation. We stayed with them for 2 days and played soccer, swam, and had devotions together. It was a great time and next year Pastor Ricardo wants to start a camp for his church (Lagoa de Itaenga where we go to church). So, this was most likely the last year we will be going with Amexias.

We will upload a video here in the next week that shows both Lindsay's classroom and kids and Jeff's classroom and kids.(well at least one grade of kids) Until then, thank you everyone for your prayers and support. We have been spiritually attacked already a few times this year so please keep praying for us as we are doing God's work here in NE Brazil.
From Vacation JAN- FEB 2010

-Jeff & Lindsay

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Christmas Letter of sorts

The holidays are finally over and the mass amount of food that we have consumed is still lingering in our stomachs. We have never gone to so many banquets before in such a short amount of time. I think the total count was 6 banquets/ lunches. It was such a huge difference from last Christmas in Brazil vs this Christmas in Brazil. We are so very thankful and blessed for our friends here and having a car now so that we can get to these banquets and spend time with our friends.

For us and for most Brazilians the month of January is vacation time. We are off of school until Feb 1st. This holiday season was super busy and exciting for Lindsay and I. We had been preparing for the arrival of Lindsay's parents since the beginning of December. They arrived on December 30th but before they came we had another visitor come from Tennessee. His name was Ben and at the time we did not know Ben at all. He is a friend of a former Word of Life student that was part of Tele's home group when Tele was still involved with Word of Life. Tati (the Word of Life student) was visiting her parents in the near by region and had invited Ben to come see Brazil. We picked Ben up at the airport on Christmas day. We held up a homemade sign with just his first name on it because we never heard what his last name was. Every single guy we say we would say to ourselves, "Maybe that is Ben". Then that guy would come out and head right towards the arms of a women. Some of the other people we thought were Ben would pick up their child that we couldn't see through the baggage claim door. But, finally Ben came out looked at our silly homemade sign and greeted us.

Ben turned out to be a wonderful guy that happened to have an allergy to gluten. Being a person that can eat all of the wheat products I want I did not realize that the US does not label any food items with gluten free or contains gluten. But, Brazil does label absolutely everything with a label saying does not contain gluten. Even the water here has it written on the bottle. Needless to say this made Ben's trip just amazing. Ben also really enjoyed the Manioc root here because they make it almost just like a flour. So he yet again was able to taste a wheat like substance without the fear of getting sick. It was a great time getting to know Ben and seeing his joy for the food in Brazil. He used to be a professional chef until having the allergy to gluten became too difficult for him. So, he really respected food and knew a lot about food preparation.

The day we took Ben to the airport to leave was also the same day we picked up Lindsay's parents. Ben was going to be able to meet Lindsay's parents until they had a 5 hour layover in Salvador (the town right before they came to Recife). But as it turned out about 30 minutes after we said goodbye to Ben, we said hello to Lindsay's parents, Jim and Jan.

Now we are spending time being tour guides for Jim and Jan. It has been wonderful having them stay with us. On December 31st we had Christmas part 2 and opened gifts sent from the US for us. We also were celebrating our 6 year anniversary and of course New Years Eve. I (Jeff) am getting even more confident about driving here and finding my way around Recife, mostly thanks to Emily Taylor passing on a map of Recife that she received. Jim came to Brazil with a cold and cough and we think he might have given it to Lindsay and Jan also. Please be praying for their fast recovery. We are suppose to be going to the beach on Monday for a few days, so hopefully that will be a relaxing/recovery time.

We hope all of your holidays were wonderful full of thankfulness to God for what he has done in your lives.

Jeff & Lindsay Turner