Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Youth of the Church

These are some of the young adults of the church.  Gabrieli (far left) and Andre (far right) are brother and sister.  Gabrieli and her father live in our neighborhood.  This is the community pool where they spent the day Saturday.  
Jonah was excited to see them.  They are very good with the kids.The church has been fasting and praying all week for this Saturday evening.  The young adults have invited all their friends to a program designed to introduce them to Jesus.  We pray that it will be a success and that many will return after Saturday.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Few Photos of Our New Church

Here are a few photos of our new church.  This is the women's class:
The men's class:
Here are some of the kids playing after their class:
And this is during the service:
Class starts at 5:00pm on Sunday evening and the service is 6:00 - 7:30pm.

We went to a plant nursery today and I chatted with one of the guys that works there.  I asked him the names of several plants and when I didn't understand one, I asked him to spell it.  He said the letters in English so I asked him if he spoke English.  He said he is learning and would like to know it better.  I told him that we just moved here to work with a church that teaches English.  LST (Let's Start Talking) is very active here.  When I told him the classes are free, he looked perplexed and asked why.  I shot straight with him and explained that we think it's very important for a person to have a relationship with God.  I told him we know that people want to learn English so we teach the Bible in English, hoping they will become more interested in the Bible than the language.  Ironically, he asked me what the catch was.

We invited him to the church and to the language classes and we invite you to pray for him.  His name is Paulo.   

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Uninvited House Guest

Remember when I said we were evicting the lizards from the house?  Well, that didn't go so well and we still have lots of these running around:
I would say they average about a foot in length.  However, after experiencing the bug population around here for a week now, each lizard is less of a nuisance and more of a welcome guest.  It's a beautiful sight to see one run around scooping up bugs.  Besides, the kids love to chase them.

Two days ago John's mom came running into the house yelling, "Crocodile!  I just saw a baby crocodile!  It went under the stairs!"  She was convinced it was not related to the other lizards that run up and down the garden wall.  We remembered a friend saying he had spotted the largest lizard he had ever seen in our yard.  We called him to ask more about it.  From Mom's description and that of our friend's, we deduced that they both must have seen the same thing.  Our friend assured us that the lizard was harmless.

John saw him yesterday and described something I knew I had to see first hand.  Finally I caught a glimpse of him today and took his picture from the upstairs balcony.  I included part of our rental car in the background to give you an idea of his size.  Each block in the pavement is 20" by 20".  From head to tail that makes our house guest well over two feet.  
Oh, and one more thing.  We have no idea what he is.  If you do, please give us a clue.  

Friday, March 21, 2008

Our Contact Information

We have spent a few nights in our house and even have cell phones.  The country code is 55, our area code is 84, and John's number is 8809-0224.  Mine is 8808-0224.  If you download SKYPE at, you can call our cell phones from your computer at any time for pennies per minute.  (Make sure you have a microphone connected to your computer.)  If you happen to catch us on line you can call computer to computer for free.  (If you have a Webcam we can talk to each other with video.)  It's very neat.  You should try it.

We will not be using our physical address for mail, but instead will use the church's address. We live in the country and hear the mail is not dependable out here.  The road in front of our house is red, sandy dirt with lots of little gullies that deepen with each rain shower.  This guy was out there yesterday leveling the road by hand: 
The address we will be using is 

Comunidade de Cristo
John and Samantha Jewell
Rua da Aurora, 58, esquina Av. Antonio Basilio
Bairro Lagoa Nova - Natal
RN - CEP: 59054 680

We also hear that we are not allowed to receive anything used or over $50 in value through the postal service here.  I'm sure it has something to do with protecting the economy but we have yet to confirm the details.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Greetings from Brazil

We are in Natal and doing well. We have very limited Internet access so please bear with us. We've been to our new house and are in the process of buying appliances and furniture and evicting the many bats, lizards, and frogs that live there. John's mom is less than thrilled but the kids love it. In the meantime, we are staying at a hotel with lots of European guests. Apparently, very few Americans visit here. It's hot, humid, and windy but very beautiful. I promise to post lots of photos as soon as possible.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

One Step Closer to the Goal

We're in Miami today.  The kids were happy to make it to the hotel:
We chose to spend the night to break up the long, long trip a bit.  Here we are in the La Quinta lobby, waiting for our taxi: 
We spent the afternoon walking down Ocean Drive:
and feeding seagulls on the beach:
Our plane leaves tomorrow at 8:00 am.  It's an 8-hour flight to Sao Paolo, then a 4-hour layover, and another 3-hour flight to Natal.  You'll see us there soon.