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Here We Come!

Tonight at 10:30 EST (12:30am for us) Fritha, Dani & Petra head for the airport! We will be arriving in Tampa at 10:45 pm EST. So please cover our journey in prayer. We are traveling with Jeff’s sister, Jane, who is a phenomenal help with the girls. We want to visit with as many people as possible during our almost 2 month visit to the Eastern Seaboard (apologies to you folks in Israel, Canada, AZ, TX, LA and MI). Here’s our itinerary so far:

March 11-23 – Tampa, FL
~March 13 – Sharing at Quail Hollow Chapel
~March 20 – Visiting Ruskin United Methodist Church

March 24-April 2 – McDonough, GA
~March 27 – Sharing at Open Door Chapel

April 7-9 – Southern NH
~April 7 – Sharing at Chestnut Hill Chapel (evening service)

April 11-17 – Lancaster, PA

April 18-30 – Tampa, FL

I will update our itinerary as more information becomes available. See you all soon, Lord Willing!

Gloria Deus

This morning as I write, Jeff is at the airport welcoming our first team. Before he left I asked him, “How does it feel to be living your dream?” In other words, WE HAVE ARRIVED! God has brought us all the way from the stirring in our hearts, to the enabling, through the suffering of this past year and to this moment: where we commence the work He has called us to.

Psalm 111

Hallelujah! I give thanks to God with everything I’ve got—
Wherever good people gather, and in the congregation.
God’s works are so great, worth
A lifetime of study—endless enjoyment!
Splendor and beauty mark his craft;
His generosity never gives out.
His miracles are his memorial—
This God of Grace, this God of Love.
He gave food to those who fear him,
He remembered to keep his ancient promise.
He proved to his people that he could do what he said:
Hand them the nations on a platter—a gift!
He manufactures truth and justice;
All his products are guaranteed to last—
Never out-of-date, never obsolete, rust-proof.
All that he makes and does is honest and true:
He paid the ransom for his people,
He ordered his Covenant kept forever.
He’s so personal and holy, worthy of our respect.
The good life begins in the fear of God—
Do that and you’ll know the blessing of God.
His Hallelujah lasts forever!

United Worship
Oh worship God above!
Of heav’n and earth the King;
The King of glory, God of love–
Let heav’n and nature sing
Of all His wondrous works;
His great salvation plan;
Of Jesus Christ, His Son;
His priceless Gift to man–
Oh, hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Oh worship God above!
The Father, and the Son,
The blessed Holy Ghost of love–
United Three in One.
This is the God we love;
United, let us sing;
One voice to raise above,
One heart to crown Him King–
Oh, hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Let all bow before Him,
Hallelujah!

Our Cup Overflows

God granted us the unexpected gift of a break from language studies for the entire month of December. At first this gift was difficult to accept, since our job right now is learning Portuguese and my depression was already causing me to feel guilty about not doing enough. But God confirmed to my heart that this schedule was from him, so we embraced it and rested. Oh what a blessing from our Father!

Just before Christmas I began to feel better every day. Your prayers have been answered above and beyond all we could ask or think. Christmas was delightful. We started the day with a sleepy-eyed toddler staggering out of her room. The realization that the long awaited day had finally arrived broke across her face like a radiant sunrise. We enjoyed yummy food, dear framily (friends who are like family) and fun opening presents. Even losing power for most of the afternoon was not enough to dampen our spirits!

New Years Eve we hosted a small, quiet party at our house. We watched a movie, put the girls to bed and visited. We ate yummy food. Watched another movie and rang in the new year. We enjoyed a sweet time of prayer and sharing, where our hearts were drawn closer to Christ and each other.

I have been feeling better and stronger than I have felt since before Dani was born! That’s right, Dani. I am throwing myself into life with gusto. At the end of the day, I feel tired and ready to sleep. But it is the fatigue of a productive day, no longer the desperation of a respite from life. I am ENJOYING being a mommy again. And I no longer take that for granted. Nor do I the fact that I can do things. I understand more fully that I can do all things through Christ and only through Christ. I learned that “all things” includes getting out of bed.

We are also so grateful for the leadership conference we attended at PAZ’s Shalom campground. Although we could not understand the speakers’ messages, we enjoyed the worship times and fellowship with precious people of faith. We got to practice our conversational Portuguese all week and made some new friends. Petra was a magnet for people wanting to hold her, which was a blessing to our arms! She is weighing in at almost 19 lbs these days. Jeff helped with concessions all week and I think Dani’s favorite part was helping him. The whole time reminded me of a feast at Fairwood. And I felt closer to all of you somehow too.

Thank you all for your powerful prayers, encouraging emails, cheering packages and every precious penny. We rely on you. We are strengthened and enabled by your support. We value each one of you keenly. May God bless you in return as you have blessed us.

A Letter To You

Dear Supporters, Prayer Warriors, Family, and Friends

I am so sorry I have not been updating you all. We are so grateful for your prayers and you giving. I hope no one feels neglected. We love each one of you dearly and are trying our best to be real and honest during these hard times.

The last month has been very hard for our young family. The weather here is very hot and different members of the family have been sick with colds and fevers. Also, Fritha has been diagnosed with postpartum depression This has been affecting her ability to continue adapting to the culture and learn the language. Somedays she has been unable to get out of bed at all. The is has left quite a load of work on my shoulders but God has been helping and we are trusting in Him to bring us through. Fritha has begun taking some medication that we believe is helping and the past few days have been remarkably better.

It is hard sometimes for us to keep our eyes on the bigger picture. The language training has slowed as we move away from the basics and dig deeper into the language. Though this is a good thing it’s easy to become discouraged when I don’t see the same progress i did before.

This month we are celebrating the Birth of Christ in this foreign land. In an effort to adapt to our surroundings we purchased a small palm tree to decorate. We were also able to bring a taste of home by setting us the Nativity set we receiver as newlyweds during our first Christmas. We hope to post some pictures soon of our home decorated for the season.

Looking ahead to next year we are expecting my sister Jane to come and visit for two months near the beginning of the year and then we will be thrown into the work fully as teams begin to arrive to help with the church building projects.

God is giving us grace sufficient for each day. Sometimes all we can see is just to the end of this day. But other times we catch a glimpse of His bigger picture and are so grateful He has called us here. This holiday season away from friends and family will be hard so please pray that we will find Joy in Christ and being with new friends here and not be too discouraged by the things we do not have.

Thank you for your letters and notes. We will try to do a better job of keeping in touch in the future. Please know you are loved and we pray for you often.

Celebrating Christ’s birth,

Jeff (for all of us)

Picture of the week

Petra catching some Z'ssss in true brazilian fashion

We are thinking to trying to post a picture a week here on world turners. We hope it will help give you a taste of our life here as well as give us am opportunity to share in picture the beauty we see everyday.

Upcoming events,  praises, and prayer topics

- Jeff was able to travel on a day trip to a close vilage and help with a dental clinic

- a church wide conference on discipleship and cell based church planting starts next week with many special speakers

- we are still working on language, God’s blessing is always needed

-_

Muito Obrigado! Many Thanks!

Today I sat down and got caught up on our financials. My bookwork surprised me by being a pure delight. How often can you say that?! Repeatedly your love and support overwhelmed me with joy. I know times are tight and here you all are showering us with your generosity so that we can live out our dreams. Thank you! You give out of what little (or much) you have… May the One who sees what is done in secret reward you exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all you can ask or think, after all the Lord loves a cheerful giver.

Recently I stumbled across a passage in the Message (I Cor 2:1-5) which touched my heart. Here it is with how it struck my heart in brackets:

“You’ll remember friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke [His call on us to go to Brazil], I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple…
I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate–I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it–and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message [His heart of love for the Amazon] came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith [your beautiful, amazing, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping life of faith] is a response to God’s power [definitely! has to be!], not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.”

So thank you for all you have given. Thank you for each prayer. Thank you for every dollar. Thank you for each encouraging note. Thank you for each facebook comment. Thank you for each “like it” on facebook. Thank you for each gift. Thank you for standing with us while we waited for Petra’s arrival. Thank you for rejoicing when she came. Thank you for coming along side us through the difficult days. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being you.

Happy Sunday!

Dear praying friends,

Just wanted to let you know that we are doing well. Last Thursday & Friday we made our first overnight trip with the whole family. We visited some missionary friends (Jennifer & Josiah Huber) of ours who live in a more remote area and supervise river village missions. We spent time at a beautiful cold water creek and a lovely beach both near their home. They are delightful hosts and we shared rich fellowship, deep laughs, yummy food and exciting adventures. Jeff & Josiah even went skin diving/spear fishing. Dani played and played and played and played and played and played and played in all the water and sand and sun, and loved every moment of it all. Petra slept and ate and smiled. We came home feeling content and sore from lugging babies over sand :)

This week holds a big transition for us: Mom leaves for home Friday evening at 8 pm (7 EST). She is excited to go back to her life and we are ready to dive into our life here. Friday marks Petra’s 6 week birthday and the end of Fritha’s recommended recovery period. God’s timing proves to be impeccable once again. Fritha is feeling both physically and emotionally ready to dive into the complexities of life with more manual labor, two babies, learning a new language and making Brazilian friends. Jeff is progressing well in his language studies and ready to dive in deeper. Dani will miss her Momo.

BUT, we’re going to miss my mom and she will miss us. Mom and I have already discussed giving ourselves space to fall apart a little after she departs.

So please pray for:
~protection on mom’s travel (her itinerary includes stops in 3 Brazilian cities and 2 American ones)
~for the Comforter to minister just what our hearts need
~for this week to hold all it should as we try to do last minute stuff and enjoy each other!
~for Jeff & I to have wisdom as we take some time to plan our family schedule

Thank you for caring, sharing and daring to believe with us. We love you all!

Petra Elizabeth Turners first hours

Our New Car!

Pics of the house

living room