“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” –God’s Word for his people then.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” –God’s Word for his people today.
Jack and Janine Swanson’s
CHILE PRAYER LETTER – June 2012
We’ve all heard the expression “Out of sight, out of mind”. In thinking about our situations many of us might be saying, “Thank goodness for that!” ☺ When it comes to the Lord’s work and the extension of the church into the world, though, we must make the commitment to do and think exactly the opposite. Our expression becomes “Out of sight, even more in mind”. We so praise God for that this month—a lesson learned from the Apostle Paul early in our missionary service.
He was sent out from the Antioch church on three separate missionary trips and then sent by order of King Agrippa to stand trial in Rome. During the course of these travels God used him in profound ways, not the least of which has come about through the effective, straight-forward teachings and counsel contained in his many letters to local churches (sometimes region-wide) and to individuals. Did he know that his letters would come to make up thirteen of the other twenty-three letters that follow the four gospels in completing the New Testament? His letters live on today, having the same impact and weight for us as to those first recipients. (Whew!—a whole paragraph to set up our praise and appeal for continued prayers. ☺)
First, the praise:
Our connection to God through praise & prayer is perpetual and immediate. When he sends us out and/or leads us to send and pray for others, He personally takes on a special responsibility and burden of responding to the praises and petitions that come his way related to these purposes carried out through us. Just think of the endless examples of Paul giving thanks for and praying for and lifting up Jesus to churches and individuals through his letters and prayers……. all while not being physically there. It’s just one of the real and powerful ways that God will always work until Jesus comes back.
Paul’s letter to the Colossians is a good example and encouragement for us all. After first opening the letter with thanks for them and relating his and others’ prayers for them, he raises up the name of Christ. He then in chapter two relates his burden for them—especially while being physically apart from them. (Take time to look at Col.2:1-5) The praise again?
Communication and prayers from afar play an important part in God’s support of the work of his church!
This comes into play time and time again for us (and hopefully for you, as senders) when we are in Chile away from you and also now, when we are here away from our Chile work.
Please join us in praying for our work with children, our local church, and for Chile, in general—especially now, physically apart from them—and also for our U.S. visits & opportunities in churches and in family this year:
- Fabiola is coordinating well and Karen, our new social worker, continues to fit in well. Also pray for wisdom and success for Fabiola in trying to end the whole issue of any additional money being owed to our former employee, Marita.
- All of the children are in schools. Because of different behavior problems, some, like Jorshua, have had to attend school at home. While temper tantrums never seem to “disappear” completely, they are fewer and farther between.
- Please continue to pray for our two sets of house parents—especially for our two “house dads”, who have individual personal challenges to overcome.
- Our church leadership continues to look for adequate office space, which may in turn end up replacing our present Sunday-only location. Also pray for unity—in spirit, love, purpose. (Phil. 2:1-2)
- The U.S. dollar has been gaining strength again against the peso. This is a real blessing for us.
- Our visits to U.S. churches have just started and are going very well. May that continue—we’re excited to be with you!
Giving thanks, praying and fasting alongside Paul and you,
Jack & Janine