Posted by: The Jewell Family | July 29, 2011

Prayer letters

I just wanted to remind you that we have prayer letters under the same title on this blog.  All you have to do is click the month you want to read, and it will come up.  Don’t forget to hit the back button on your browser to keep reading the blog.

Roger

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Posted by: The Jewell Family | July 29, 2011

Furlough and Meetings

We will be in the states on furlough from September, 2011 – March, 2012 (6 months).  We are trying to fill our schedule for those months.  If you would like us to visit your church, please email me at jewellsinthedr@cleaninter.net to schedule a meeting with us.  We would love to show you what the Lord is doing, and what remains to be accomplished here in the Dominican Republic.  Thank you.

Roger

Posted by: The Jewell Family | June 30, 2011

Response to a request for personal information/prayer requests

My wife and I have been married for 25 years.  We have five children.  They are: Amber (20), Hannah (19), Jesse (15), Samuel (12) and David (11).  Amber and Hannah were born in Lebanon, MO before we went to Bible college at Oklahoma Baptist College and Institute, Jesse was born during our time at college, Samuel was born while we were on deputation, and David was born in Mexico while learning the Spanish language.  Amber and Hannah are with us now, but will be staying in the states when we come home on furlough.  Hannah will be living in Lebanon, Missouri with an aunt while she studies to be a certified nurse’s assistant.  She is hoping to go on to study nursing.  Amber will be attending Fair Haven Baptist College, and wants to be a missionary or a missionary’s wife (I would prefer the later).

We have been here in the Dominican Republic for 10 years.  In that time we have started two churches.  The first church is completely autonomous, and the second is getting to that point now.  We have purchased a piece of land, and are ready to build our church building for the second church.  We have a Dominican assistant pastor who will most likely become the pastor of the church.  He is doing a great job, and the call of God is obvious to all.  His name is Paul Ramirez, and I would ask you to please pray for him and his family.  He still has a lot to learn, and I am glad to say that he is very teachable, soaking up everything I can give him.

The Dominican Republic is a third-world country, and we live in the poorest of the large cities in the country.  There is no industry here, and very little work for the amount of people that live here.  Most of the people ride motorcycles in our city, or walk to where they want to go.  We have cars, trucks and buses, but the majority of people don’t purchase those types of vehicles (in our city).

The country has a lot of corruption, from the president all the way down to local law authority.  There is a lot of drug trafficking throughout the country.  There are a lot of thieves and troublemakers also.  Most of the parents and couples here in our city are not legally married, and many of the men have more than one family.  That is a sad part of the culture.  Most of the children are allowed to do whatever they want, and go wherever they desire during the day (when not in school).  Speaking of school, it only lasts for about three and a half hours each day.  School is held in two sessions.  One group of children go in the morning from about 8:30am until 12:00pm, and a different group will go in the afternoon from about 2:30pm until 6:00pm.

Music is played all day long, and there are trucks that are completely loaded down with speakers and a generator that play VERY loud music while going up and down the streets.  It is not uncommon to have someone stop in front of your house and play the loud music for hours at a time, and there is nothing that anyone can do about it.  The wicked Dominican music is very much a part of the culture, and I believe it is one of the reasons why the country is in such a bad state of affairs.

Despite these problems, the Dominican people are some of the friendliest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  They take care of the children and their parents.  Family members will often get together (or send money) to help another family member to build a home.  The elderly live with their children or grandchildren, and many times, adult singles stay at home with mom and dad until they can get out on their own.

Everyone is ready to great you with a smile.  They will open their home to strangers, and are ready to give a couple of pesos, or a little bit of food, to just about anyone in need.  When soul winning, they will invite you in, offer you a chair and a cup of coffee (or something else to drink), and want to hear what you have to say.  They are, however, very slow to make a real decision for Christ, or to change their lifestyle.  When handed a gospel tract, they respect them, read them and, many times, pass them on to others.  They are curious about strangers, or anything new.  They are not, in any way, shy about checking out something new, or about stating the obvious.

The next observations are not true throughout the country, but it is true in our city:  They are a little bit backwards or crude in many ways.  For example, when swimming, many do so in the underwear.  I have seen boys up to about 12 years old swimming in public places completely nude.  It is not uncommon to see a mother breast-feeding a baby in the street, in her home or even in the church without making any attempt to cover herself up from the view of others.  People will urinate in the streets, and some do so facing the public.  People will dance in the streets in a very lewd manner with no shame whatsoever.  The women try very hard to be as sexy as possible, and the men try very hard to be as macho as they can.  This results in a lot of foolishness at times.

Our current church is the Mount Calvary Baptist Church.  The first church we started in the Good Shepherd Baptist Church.   I ask that you pray for these two churches and their pastors.  Please pray that we will be able to get our building up quickly, inexpensively, and that we will make it as honoring to the Lord as we can.  Please pray for spiritual strength for us, and for our church members.  Please pray for our protection from thieves, and for the influences that will affect my children.

I often worry about what affect this life will have on them.  They have seen, and experienced things that I wish they would not have.  They have also missed out on a lot that would have benefited them if we lived in the states, and were in a good church like yours.  I am sure that the same could be said about children who aren’t raised on the mission field since there are a great many temptations and problems in the states also.  I am, however, constantly concerned about my children’s welfare, and their future.  Please pray for my children.

Our desire is to honor the Lord with our lives, and be true to His calling.  I want to see as many people saved and serving the Lord as I can in my lifetime.  I am called to be a minister of God.  To me, that means that I am to teach His Word, and be an example.  Please pray that I will do these things faithfully until the Lord calls me home.  One of my greatest fears is that I will dishonor my Lord in some way.  I want to be found faithful, and carrying the torch when the Lord returns or takes me home through death.

Please pray for my dear wife also.  She has been my constant companion, and I would not be here if it were not for her.  She has sacrificed much to be the wife of a missionary, and particularly my wife.  I thank God for her encouragement, and her willingness to sacrifice.  She is my minister, and takes care of me and the children.  She does not have many friends, and really no one here with whom she is close to.  She can speak Spanish, but her language abilities are limited.  That prevents her from being able to freely express herself, and feel comfortable during conversations.  I don’t think she will ever get the language completely, but she is fine with that, and has no desire to go back to the states.  I am thankful for her help and support.  Please pray for her also.

As always pray that the Lord will open up doors for us to minister to as many people as we can.  Pray that He will give me wisdom and guidance as to what I should do, and where I should minister.  There is no shortage of places that need the gospel.  Please pray that we will have the money that we need and the resources to do the work.  Unfortunately, buildings, materials, Bibles, tracts, vehicles, speakers, tents, and gasoline all cost money and are needed to minister.  We also need workers.  It would be great to have groups come down, but even better to have one or two other missionaries come to work with us.  I believe that, with another family or two, we could do great things in this region of the country.  The laborers are still few, and we need them here.

We have one bus that we use to pick up people for church.  This past weekend, we brought in more than 200 people.  We don’t have the space to minister to this many people at once, so we have to split up our services on the weekends.  Last Saturday morning, we brought in 68 children for a Children’s church.  Then on Sunday morning, we are able to hold a combined adult/teen Sunday school in the morning.  That is followed by another children’s church with a different group of children.  We had about 25 in our adult/teen SS and 75 children in the following service last Sunday morning.  Then we hold a later Sunday afternoon church service for everyone.  This is our main church service.  We do not bring in the children that we have in the two children’s church services because we don’t have enough room for everyone.  Yesterday, we had about 80 people in our afternoon church service (almost all adults and teenagers).  We are very much looking forward to getting a larger building where we can better minister to our people.

I would like to end this by thanking you for all that you do for us.  Your prayers and support are such a blessing, and allow us to do what we are doing.  We thank God for the partnership we have made with you to do the work here in the Dominican Republic that the Lord has called us to do.  The fruit that we are seeing here is the result of your efforts and sacrifices as much as it is our own.  We are so thankful for you.  I know that you are doing the same work where you are that we are doing here.  That is such an encouragement to us.  Thank you for holding high the banner of the Lord, and for holding the ropes for us to do the work He has called us to.  We pray for God’s richest blessings to be upon you all.

Your friend and servant for Christ,

Roger Jewell

Mt. 28:18-20

Barahona, Dominican Republic

Posted by: The Jewell Family | February 14, 2011

Family Picture

We realize that it has been a long time since we have sent out a family picture to our supporters, and decided to try to take a good picture.  Two weeks ago, before going to the church on Sunday afternoon, we went up on our roof (yes our roof) to take the picture.  David had a hard time ‘just’ smiling for the camera, and this picture was the result.

Always the clown

We did keep at it though, and David worked extra hard to just smile the next time, and we got a picture we like.

Posted by: The Jewell Family | February 14, 2011

The Need for Long Term Missionaries

Dear Friends and Colaborers,

I just received an email, today, concerning a missionary family that is leaving the field to return to the states. They are selling all of their possessions that they own here in the DR, and are moving back to the states. They have been here less than eight years now (but I am not sure of the exact time).

We have been missionaries here in the Dominican Republic for the past 10 years, and I feel like our ministry here is only just beginning. I have seen many missionaries come and go during the past 10 years, and I am always saddened to see them leave. We need men and women who are willing to pay the price to serve their Lord on foreign fields, winning the lost and establishing solid churches along the way. We need people who will “stick and stay, and make it pay,” as one of my Bible college professors would always say.

Being a missionary is not easy work, nor does it bring glory or riches. Most faithful missionaries will never become famous, much appreciated or seen as capable preachers. I don’t know how many times I have heard pastors say that, “Missionaries can’t preach”. Many pastors won’t allow missionaries to preach in their missions conferences, or when they come home on furlough to report back to the church because they see the missionary as “less” of a preacher.

We are sometimes seen as more of a burden than a blessing by some, and the difficulties can be great at times. Many pastors do not understand to hardships, trials and burdens of the missionaries they support. Every missionary should understand these things when they set out to follow the call that God has placed upon their lives. We need missionaries who will “count the cost” and keep their eyes on “Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.”

I’d like to end this thought with a quote from one of my heros, Adoniram Judson. He wrote this over his concern that a mission board was beginning to accept and send out short term missionaries. I hope you will take his letter to heart.

January 12, 1833

It is with regret and consternation that we have just learned that a new missionary has come out for a limited term of years. I much fear that this will occasion a breach in our mission. How can we, who are devoted for life, cordially take to our hearts and counsels one who is a mere hireling? On this subject, all my brethren and sisters are united in sentiment. We should perhaps address a joint letter to the board, but such a measure may not appear sufficiently respectful. May I earnestly and humbly entreat the board to reconsider this matter, and not follow implicitly in the wake of other societies (I beg pardon) whether right or wrong.

I have seen the beginning, middle and end of several limited term missionaries. They are all good for nothing. Though brilliant in an English pulpit, they are incompetent to any real missionary work. They come out for a few years with the view of acquiring a stock of credit on which they may vegetate the rest of their days, in the congenial climate of their native land. Do not a man and woman who cohabit for a time quarrel and part the first opportunity? And is not one end of the marriage tie for life to promote harmony and love? Just so in the case before us. As to lessening the trials of the candidate for missions, and making the way smooth before him, it is just what ought not to be done. Missionaries need more trials on their first setting out instead of less.

The motto of every missionary, whether preacher, printer or schoolmaster ought to be, ‘Devoted for life.’ A few days ago, Brother Kincaid was asked by a Burmese officer of government how long he intended to stay. ‘Until all Burmah worships the eternal God,’ was the prompt reply. If the limited term system which begins to be fashionable in some quarters gain the ascendency, it will be the death blow of missions, and retard the conversion of the world 100 years.

“Excuse my freedom of speech, and believe me to be

With all faithfulness and respect.”

Your ‘devoted for life’,

“A. Judson.”

Quoted from:

“The Earnest Man (Life and Labors of Dr. Judson)”

By H.C. Conant

Your friend and servant for Christ,

Roger Jewell

Posted by: The Jewell Family | March 28, 2009

A Current Need

Our van broke down in October, 2008.  Since that time, we have been without a vehicle to use as a family.  We do have a small scooter that I use to get around town in.

Getting groceries is another matter.  Kathy prefers to go with at least one of the girls, so they walk down to our outdoor market, but some things there, then walk over to a fruit stand where she generally gets a couple of other things.  Then she calls me from the fruit stand, and I ride down on my scooter to pick up the bags that she has.  From there, the girls walk to a store to get other grocery items.  When they finish, they call me again to come pick up those bags.  From there, they walk to the place where we get our meat, buy something and walk back home.  It usually takes a couple of hours to do the shopping (and a lot of walking for Kathy and the girls).

We have not been able to go anywhere as a family since last October.  We do need a reliable vehicle, and are praying that the Lord will supply something quickly.  Three churches and one family have sacrificed to help us get a vehicle.  We currently have $3,363.00 to use toward a vehicle.  We need between $7,000.00 and $10,000.00 to get our vehicle.

We would appreciate you praying with us about this need.  If you would like to help us get a van, you can send a check to Tabernacle Baptist Church, P.O. Box 369, Lebanon, MO 65536.  Please make the check payable to Roger Jewell and indicate that it is for our “vehicle fund”.  Thank you.

Posted by: The Jewell Family | March 3, 2009

Thank you!

We would like to thank everyone for praying for Kathy and the family at this difficult time.  The notes and cards were a great encouragement and blessing.  We especially appreciate all of the prayers for Kathy and the family.  The Lord really gave Kathy grace during this time.  Her dad was buried last Friday.  I was told that the funeral was very nice, and that the gospel was given.  Kathy is staying with her mother until she comes back home on March 12.  I have placed a copy of the obituary below…

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Posted by: The Jewell Family | February 24, 2009

Family Emergency (Update)

Thank you all for your prayers.  I just received a call from Kathy’s sister.  She said that their dad passed away about an hour ago.  He died as Kathy’s plane was landing in St. Louis.  Kathy was delayed several hours in Miami because of aircraft problems.  I am sure that the Lord delayed that plane for whatever reason.  Our Heavenly Father was very merciful to Kathy’s dad in allowing him to pass so quickly, and with so little pain.

I have spoken with Kathy, and she is handling it well.  We have the joy of knowing, by his own testimony, that her dad was saved and ready to go to Heaven.  He is seeing things that we cannot imagine at this time: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 ).  Please stay in prayer for Kathy and the family.  Thank you.

Roger

Posted by: The Jewell Family | February 23, 2009

Family Emergency

I would like to ask you to pray for Kathy and her family.  We found out last month that Kathy’s dad has lung cancer that has spread to other parts of his body.  When we arrived home from church Sunday afternoon, we received a phone call from Kathy’s family stating that her dad was in the hospital, and that they are calling for the family.

Today (Monday), we found out that they have given him six or seven pints of blood, and that he is not improving.  The doctors said that there was nothing they could do for him, and that they were going to release him to go home where he can be as comfortable as possible for the time that he has left.

We made arrangements for Kathy to fly home.  I don’t have a working vehicle, so Kathy took a bus to the capitol.  She then took a taxi to a friends house where she will spend the night before leaving for Missouri in the morning (Tuesday).  Once she arrives in St. Louis, she will have a three hour trip to get home to see her dad.

I am praying that she will be able to see him before he dies.  I would like to ask you to do the same, and to pray for the family during this difficult time.  Thank you.

Roger

Posted by: The Jewell Family | February 15, 2009

Please Pray For Your Missionaries

My wife, Kathy, walks two teenage girls home after every evening church service that we hold.  She does so to help protect them from any dangers that might be in the street, plus it gives her a chance to talk with them personally.  They live about a mile from the church.  After I get everything locked up at the church, and our children get home, I go pick Kathy up on my scooter.  We would just do all of this in a car or van if we had one, but at this time we do not have a working vehicle.

Anyway, Kathy and I were headed home on the scooter, when a man with no lights on his bike (and flying down the road) hit us broadside in the street.  Kathy went off our scooter backwards and…

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