Sunday, September 13, 2009

John's Weekend Adventure

This weekend was John's second trip to a town called Currais Novos, about three hours outside of Natal. His first trip was in December with Mike and Jerry Hall from our sponsoring church in Springtown, Texas. They traveled there because Geraldo, the second man John baptized in Natal, told them about his hometown where there are no churches.

Upon their arrival, the men discovered a rustic town where there were indeed no churches and, more importantly, no Biblical teaching. Geraldo introduced them to his family and friends and John taught them from the Bible. At the end of their stay, they invited John back to hear more.

Since then, we have had Ben, spent two months in the States on furlough, and battled the swine flu for about a month. This weekend was John's first opportunity to revisit Currais Novos. He and Geraldo drove there on Friday morning and returned on Saturday morning. They decided to take Geraldo's jeep to handle the dilapidated road conditions. Here's Geraldo driving in the rain without windshield wipers:
Here's John afraid for his life:
Here's Geraldo's bumper sticker reminding John "I'm following the footsteps of Jesus":
And here's the broken-down jeep reminding them both that the footsteps of Jesus are not easy to follow:
They made it as far as Santa Cruz or Holy Cross, where they ditched the jeep and caught a ride to make the rest of the trip. A statue of Mary holding a cross and a sword overlooks this little town:
When they finally arrived in Currais Novos six hours later, they were greeted by Geraldo's in laws:
You may remember that Socorro is Geraldo's wife. These are her parents. Her dad offered John a fresh coconut:
Then they spent some time hanging out together while Geraldo walked around town inviting people to a Bible study that evening:
Socorro's dad had no interest in what John was there to teach during his first visit, but when John was leaving he promised to come to a study if John would return. During this visit he was hospitable to John and even gave him a hammock to sleep in on his porch but he didn't go to the study. Again, he said maybe next time.

These guys did show up:
As did these women:
And these kids:
In all, about thirty people were present for the study that evening:
John offered this DVD on the Gospel of John to anyone who would agree to share it with others in town. This lady was clearly thrilled to accept the offer:
John read and commented on John 3 where Jesus discusses with Nicodemus what it means to be born again. He spoke for almost thirty minutes without any participation from the group. When he asked them why nobody was answering his questions, one man revealed that the group had never heard these Scriptures and had no idea what they meant or how to comment on them. John then read 1 Corintians 2 and explained that nobody can understand the things of God without the Holy Spirit. It seemed that they had enough information to chew on so he called it a night. Again they invited him back.

The next morning, Geraldo and John caught a ride with Geraldo's cousin (the guy in pink) who is employed taking the kids of the neighborhood to school - a thirty-minute drive. The kids were on their way to extra-curricular, Saturday activities so the guys took advantage and jumped on board.
They ended up on the side of the road halfway back to Natal, where the truck ride ended, and caught another ride home.
Friday morning, which should have been a three-hour drive, turned out to be a six-hour ordeal of heavy rain and a broken-down car. Friday night was a sleepless one spent in a hammock where giant mosquitos snacked on exposed flesh. John was tired and had caught a cold by the time he made it home. I asked him if all the travel, rain, mosquitos, poor sleep, and sickness were worth it. He said without a doubt, and he plans to return to Currais Novos in the future to water the spiritual seeds that have been planted.


  1. I'm pretty sure this is the best post ever published on this blog...yes, for the exciting stories about Currais Novos...but more importantly for classic Samantha Jewell commentary. Yes and yes.

  2. AMEN! That is what it is all about! No doubt those little sacrifices of comfort are worth it! God bless those planted seeds!

  3. Love it.... God is obviously using your family to accomplish His will. Never doubt it!

  4. Oh, Samantha, that really was a great post! I wonder what would happen if John, Geraldo and more people of the church could stay there for at least one month... I'm sure God would do great things for these people! I hope he really can go back to water the seeds he planted, as you said!
    God bless your family!

  5. Loved the pictures, especially the one of "terrified" John! It was a wonderful post. Charles liked it too! To think that people who had no opportunity to know God at all now have the gospel opening up to them.