Archive | April 2015

May 2015 Praise & Prayer Letter

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

These first two verses of Romans 12 are very appropriate for two ministries we are privileged to be a part of: the Marriage Encounter and the Casa del Alfarero (House of the Potter), a Christian live-in drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.  We ask for your prayers and thanks this month for both of these ministries.

Every one of us has known God’s mercy and great love.  That mercy and love come back to him ten-fold  (and more) every time a person responds by giving themselves back to him in accordance with his good will and hope for them.  Paul, in Romans 12, calls it our true and proper worship.  The pattern of this world is formed through self-indulgence, pride, justification, hurt, and separation.  Thus the urgent need for a complete transformation (or overhaul J) of the mind.  Without it we simply can’t know and live reconciliation, renewal, and restoration—especially in marriages and in breaking free of real addictions of any kind.  Makes us all think, doesn’t it, and how worth it the results that really do change lives.

In 1994, still quite new to Chile, we began working with La Iglesia de Cristo Metropolitana  (The Metropolitan Christian Church).  They, for years, have undertaken the huge task of carrying out a Marriage Encounter twice a year.  After participating in the weekend event, a couple can then sponsor others.  Janine & I have participated, as well as sponsoring couples for the weekend.  We helped at April’s encounter and look forward to sponsoring a couple and helping again this September.  The big key to success for couples participating?  The giving of themselves to each other in honesty, forgiveness, healing, & re-building “God-style”—i.e., a complete transformation of the mind.  Please pray and give thanks for the many couples who just participated and for those that God is working to include in Sept.

Jack also participates monthly in the important ministry of the Casa del Alfarero (House of the Potter) Christian live-in drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for men.  Between their two sites, they treat roughly 40 men at a time through a nine-month program that includes the men’s marriage and family whenever possible.  Ivan and Paola head up the center and coordinate the teams of men and women who assist in one way or another.  They have recently instituted a new post-graduate discipling course that makes use of many of the methods employed by the Christian Coaching ministry mentioned in some of our recent monthly Praise & Prayer Letters.  Again though, especially in talking about victory over addictions, a big key to success is a complete renewal of the mind.  The men need to know that they are being made new in the Lord and will not be the same as before.  Thanks again for your prayers with thanksgiving!

Lastly, thanks again for your prayers for Millarai and for Jack’s going forward health-wise.  Milla has been okayed to fly April 30 to northern Chile (after over a year and one-half in medical treatments in Santiago) to live with her sister and family there.  She will make one-week trips each month to Santiago for medical appointments.  In addition, her left foot has been healing nicely after having a portion of the toes on that foot removed (dead tissue) and doctors are pleased.  What a great praise and answer to prayer this is!  Thank you as well for praying for Jack’s health.  He has regained almost all of his energy, and his white blood cell count remains stable.  PTL!

Praising, praying, and fasting with you in our Good, Pleasing, & Perfect Will God,

Jack & Janine

April 2015 Praise & Prayer Letter

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”  Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”  Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.  Do you believe this?” John 11: 21-26

Thank you all for joining us in praise and prayer for God’s leading and working through Chile Mission.  Summarizing March, two additional minor adjustments were submitted toward the final approval of our legal foundation for the children’s residence.  We’ll LOVE to inform you all of that final approval!  We’re still working on drawing in another main person to help get the residence started; our planned trip and meeting in March at the property of the children’s camp/Christian center was postponed to April, due to an incredibly complicated tooth pulling (involving three additional trips to the dentist for cleaning and re-stitching) for Janine; the Christian drug center’s leaders were very receptive to including Christian coaching with participants in the 9-month program as those men prepare to finish and return to their families.  Four leaders will work through part one of the coaching method with Jack and then decide on who else to include as coaches from among those men that have graduated and since lived as testimonies of Jesus’ renewing presence and power.  The coaches’ job is to stay alongside and encourage others as they continue forward, achieving goals that they set for themselves.  Milla is with us for two weeks, as Gilda (her “adopted” mom) needs to be home in northern Chile for this time.  Milla’s doctors are planning her foot surgery for necrosis in April and then will evaluate her condition toward a long-term, milder treatment.  For now they’ve decided to eliminate further heavier chemo treatments, giving her instead a continuing mild dose of chemo pills to take at home.

The victory in Jesus’ imminent death and resurrection is prophesied in his words to Martha in John 11.  Here below are photos of three girls who live and share a severe challenge and yet live within the greatest dynamic of all time…. God’s response to the praises and prayers of his children made possible by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Milla2April     Maggie     Willa1

Milla (whom you already know) has osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and is 14 years old.  Maggie, 4 years old, has neuroblastoma cancer, and Willa, 2 months old, has retinoblastoma (so far only in her right eye, already being removed).  We all know children, youth, and adults in difficult circumstances.  In northern Chile right now there is serious flooding in the 2nd and 3rd regions, with loss of life and much destruction.

There is only ONE Reason for the power and victory in Christian praise, prayer, and life:  God’s great love sent his Son Jesus to die and pay the price for our sin in order to reconcile us back into relationship with him so that we can praise, pray, and live.  He accepts us as his children because in Jesus, we are!  We can have full faith that He will listen, guide, and answer as He knows best.  We praise, pray, live, and extend him and his love, because it makes a difference for every Milla, Maggie, & Willa and for so many others.  It’s our real response to the One, True God through our real Lord and Savior.  Keep givng thanks and praying and have a very blessed Good Friday remembrance and Risen Easter Sunday!!

 Praising, praying, and fasting with you in our “Cross and Resurrection JESUS”,

Jack & Janine