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January 2020 CHILE Prayer Letter

Jesus making ALL THINGS new!!!

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” –Luke 4: 18-21

Jesus was (AND IS) everything he claimed to be.  As we enter 2020, he continues to make ALL THINGS new in all who come to him in earnest.  We, his brothers & sisters, are his New Creations and his Ambassadors of Reconciliation in this world. (see 2 Cor. 5:14-21).  May he, in all of his love, hope, and power, shine through and bless each of you this new year!  And thank you so much for your steady, continuing prayers for us and for Chile Mission in 2020.

December Updates

December ended with good news, mixed with some bitter-sweet. Jack’s blood tests remain the same with a very low white blood cell count—steady as she goes.  BUT, as a result of two different bone marrow biopsies (six months apart), his doctors have determined that he does not have leukemia (CMML).  PTL!!  The original bone marrow test in early 2015 clearly seemed to reflect the sickness, but it’s no longer there, so we are very grateful to God!  We are also so grateful for your on-going prayers for our health!

Chile is returning to productive life, now with its new on-going process of addressing the significant social issues and challenges of the people.  Please pray with us that Jesus would be more known and real throughout the country!

One other special end of the year blessing came in the form of being with our children & families.  The only ones missing were Julian & Devyn, who are completing their 2-year commitment in Peru, to return to Houston to live and work in February.  Please join us in praying for their re-entry and adjustment to “States” living.  Here are our two end-of-year family pictures.  (left photo, from left to right:  Jonathan & Christina family, Janine & Jack, Rob & Jordan family, Malia & Jayme family)

2020 fam pic1 Julian & Devyn Dec. 2019

Our bitter-sweet news is that the twin baby Colomba in Chile died during the month.  The sweet news is that God’s grace and eternal home received her.  At the same time, it’s so hard for her mother, Marisa, and sad that Colomba’s twin, Maria Jesus, will never know her sister.  Thank you for your prayers for them!  Maria Jesus is doing well and gaining weight, and she and Marisa are back in southern Chile.

The New Year

We return to Santiago on January 9th, and the month is set to be a “God-on-the-Move” month for several reasons.  Thank you for praying ALL the below prayer points forward!!

  • We will be preparing for this year’s children’s camp and a retreat for teens, due to begin on February 1.  This year’s camp is again being planned and coordinated by Viky & Renata Aguayo.  Preparations include special training of the young adult counselors and presenters of themes.  This is the first year of offering a special weekend camp/retreat for the teens of the area.  We will use tents and it will be located on the banks of a river.
  • Amanda, a new acquaintance from the States, will be with us in all of the above, with plans to stay until March.  She completed part of her studies in Santiago and has led mission trips to Central America.  It will be a blessing to have her with us for that time, as God continues to guide her forward.
  • We will be spending time on and near the new camp property in Bodeuca, Chile, in January, getting the house ready for occupancy. (The windows, kitchen and bathroom sinks, and toilet are in storage to prevent them from being stolen). Janine hopes to make all necessary repairs to the house on the property to have it ready to use and stay at.  We will also use the coming weeks to make all necessary arrangements for the EMI’s upcoming February work trip to the property, that we wrote about last month.  We will have more on this in next month’s letter to you.  There are roughly thirteen professionals coming as part of their team.  Our Chilean partner, Domingo Aguayo, will use the time searching for a Chilean architect and engineer that can be a part of the development of the property, working alongside of the EMI team.
  • Thank you, too, for your ongoing prayers for the ministries carried out on the Santiago mission property and for Cesar & Camila, as a family. The APEM pregnancy center that uses one our mission houses continues to gain momentum in terms of clients and help.

Praising, praying, and fasting with you in our ALWAYS MAKING ALL THINGS NEW SAVIOR & LORD,

Jack & Janine

DECEMBER Gratitudes and Prayer Needs

MERRY CHRISTMAS !!

Chosen BEFORE creation was created THROUGH HIM, and born as a baby, GOD and HUMAN through an obedient and believing virgin named Mary, he grew as A TENDER SHOOT AND ROOT OUT OF DRY GROUND into manhood.  He showed us HOW to live as extensions of the GOD ALMIGHTY, even rejected by men as he was, living and proclaiming his HOPE FOR THE WORLD.  He EVEN DIED FOR ALL OF US, in order to GIVE US LIFE THROUGH ETERNITY, RECONCILING BACK TO GOD ALL WHO BELIEVE IN HIM.  He ROSE FROM THE DEAD, defeating death itself and now LIVES INSIDE OF CHRISTIANS through the Holy Spirit.  God told both Mary and Joseph separately that his name would be JESUS (The Lord Saves)!

WHAT AN INCREDIBLE “BIRTH” ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!

In the end, “at the name of Jesus, EVERY knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and EVERY tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the glory of God the Father.  –Philippians 2: 10-11

Giving thanks entering December

  • We give thanks once again for this year’s ICOM (Int’l Conference on Missions) of the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ.  The speakers were incredible and challenging—both to churches and to individual Christians.  We saw many missionary and church friends, and sold many Chile marble “creations”, as usual.  As you can see in the below photo, children LOVE sifting through them!
  • EMI (Engineering Ministry Int’l) will be helping us evaluate and plan the development of our new land in middle Chile.  They are set to arrive around March 2020 with a team of approximately 12 engineers, architects, surveyors, and other professionals to study the large property’s terrain and other characteristics with relation to our vision and hopes for the property’s purposes!  Below is a photo of the signature page of our agreement with EMI.  PTL!!
  • Camila continues to do a good job on our Santiago mission property of connecting to the mothers staying on our Santiago mission property.

ICOM 2019 main session3  ICOM 2019 kids love our Chile marbles  EMI signatures on agreement

Praying in December

Colomba        20 Chile unrest2

  • The health of Colomba, one of the twin girls born prematurely two months ago at just over 1 pound each is in a very precarious health situation, having survived several operations to this point.  Camila prays with the mom, Marisa.  Please join us all in praying for little Colomba and Marisa.  Colomba’s twin sister, María Jesús, is due to be released from the hospital before year-end.  
  • Also pictured above is a photo of the television report in mid October of the protests and destruction of property in different major Chilean cities this past month.  Since, several nationwide strikes and looting of stores   CONTINUE TO basically immobilize the country, as the government seeks ways to restore peace.  A revision of Chile’s constitution is set for 2020, but the protests and destruction continue.  Please pray for CHILE and ALL countries, including the United States!
  • ALL OF US have relatives and friends that do not know and follow Jesus and do not have his LIVING HOPE in their lives.  Let us pray together for the rescue, hope, and re-birth that comes with a born and real Jesus, AS WE OURSELVES CLAIM IT, LIVE IT, AND SHARE IT!!

Thank you for your GIFT of prayer and fasting for our work in Chile and the work of all Christian churches and missionaries!

Praising, praying, and fasting with you in our JESUS IS ALWAYS THE REASON GOD,

 Jack & Janine

NOVEMBER CHILE GRATITUDES & PRAYER REQUESTS

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him.  For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.  10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.  11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.  –Psalm 33: 8-12

GRATITUDES

We hope you saw our mid-October update with photos giving thanks for the successful final closing on our purchase of the large tract of land in middle Chile.  As last month’s photo showed, try to imagine a room full of nine brothers & sisters and other relatives, none of those siblings with more than a sixth-grade education and one not knowing how to read or write, present with a witness on his behalf.  Some of them asked about the necessity of opening a bank account in order to cash their check!  The property will be developed into a camp for children & youth, as well as be equipped as a year-round retreat center and more.  We remain so extremely grateful to the Lord!

We have already applied to EMI, an international ministry of retired Christian architects, engineers, & surveyors who help plan and layout mission projects in countries outside of the U.S.  The application process has gone well and we now await a formal agreement letter from them to put their team of 8-12 persons on alert, hopefully coming to Chile in or around March 2020 to spend one to two weeks on our land in order to produce site plans, etc. to use in the staged development of the property.  Please pray this step forward with us.

PLEASE ALSO PRAY

We have two photos to show you of a massive protest in Plaza Italia in Santiago two weeks ago and of what was on all Chilean newscasts a couple days later:

19 Plaza Italia    20 Chile unrest2

Some of you may be familiar with the vast unrest affecting almost all of the country of Chile at this time.  Street protests (now mostly peaceful), store ransacking, closed banks and schools, and wide-spread military presence are all reality, as enforced curfews and states of emergency in many cities continue, with new lows in the value of the Chilean peso in world markets.  …… this all initiated by an announced increase in metro fares on or about October 16th, from 770 pesos a ride to 800 pesos a ride—roughly a 4% hike (4 U.S. cents).  Youth and delinquents quickly reacted, destroying metro stations and even burning train cars they could get to, causing hundreds of millions of pesos damage.

On the surface, the small fare increase may not seems like much, but to the huge number of lower middle and lower class of Chileans (perhaps close to 80% of the country) who rely solely on public transportation, it was the “last straw” in their struggle to meet daily needs out of a salary of around $550 per month, less the cost of public health insurance and retirement benefits( app. 25%).  The discontent has been long in brewing for a variety of reasons concerning the imbalance between the “haves” and “have nots” in Chile.

The state of peace throughout all major cities of the country can at best be described as fragile.  While we look at promised reforms and changes in the president’s cabinet and in congress, we are reminded by the above Bible passage that only the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.  Please join us in praying for Chile and for all countries.  NO country (not even Rome in its day) is immune to Chile’s current circumstance.  In the middle of it all, Jesus remains the LIGHT OF THE WORLD!

ICOM 2018 booth

In ending, we would also like to again invite you all to attend this year’s missionary conference (ICOM) for the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ.  The conference will be held in Kansas City MO. this year between Nov. 14-17, and is definitely worth attending!!  We will be at our “CHILE MISSION” booth and would love to see you there!

OUR BIGGIST GRATITUDE OF THE MONTH??  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and we are called to be his ambassadors to this world!!

Praising, praying, and fasting to our God AS LORD through Jesus, the LIGHT OF THE WORLD,

In his love and GOD unity,

Jack & Janine

OCTOBER UPDATE – PTL!!!

“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”  –Jer. 32:17

There is a saying, “God is never late; He’s seldom early; He’s always right on time.”  Together with Jeremiah 32:17, they make an ALL POWERFUL combination for the Christian in every circumstance! 

 We began this month’s Praise & Prayer Needs letter with the above.

 

We are sending this update to GIVE GOD THANKS AND PRAISE!!!  WE CLOSED ON THE PURCHASE OF THE 90-ACRE PLOT OF LAND YESTERDAY, OCTOBER 4TH , and yes, we now have in our possession the land that God opened up and brought us to for the future permanent children’s camp & related other important ministries to families in Chile!!

We are so used to every significant process and purpose in Chile taking months and months, if not years and years.  Our search for land has itself taken more than 8 years, so you can only imagine how we look at time.  We agreed on price one week ago and we have closed on the purchase only nine days later.

We, the realtor, and all nine living children (originally 14 in total) of the mother’s inheritance (their father had died years ago) were present this week – Oct. 4 – for the closing of our purchase of the property.  The closing took almost 2 hours and all of the inheritors needed to be there to complete the sale to us.  What was particularly incredible to us is that all of these details were put in place in only one week.  Only God could pull that off!! 😊  None of the 9 siblings had completed more than 6th grade in school and one needed a witness to his presence because he didn’t know how to write.  This has certainly been a large step for the camping ministry—now begins the work!  We are starting with a small frame three-bedroom house—not sure if we will have enough pressure for a hot water heater or not!  We also have a potential lake on the property, which we hope to deepen and extend for swimming and water sports!  We have lots of hills and valleys to fill with future projects!  God is good!  Here is a panoramic photo of the whole group, with Jack included:

land closing 11.2119a

Humberto & Rachel 10.2019We’re also including a photo of Rachel, her husband Humberto, and their two girls Josefina (5) and Maddie (5 mo.).  You’ve been praying for them for three months, and she continues to recover from her AVM (similar to a stroke) several months ago.  She was hospitalized roughly three months, including her surgery and recovery.  As you can see in the photo, she is now home (PTL!), and we want to say thanks for all of your prayers.  It has been a difficult situation for the family, with extended family helping with the two girls and the challenge of the complicated surgery and recovery along with language difficulties!

As always, God is the power and our source of help.  He is the only true God of the universe and it is he who rescues us through his son.  May all of us always look to him first, not last.

Praising, praying, and fasting, to our “OUTSTRETCHED ARM” God,

In his love and unity,

Jack & Janine

OUR “EXTENDED ARM” GOD – October’s Gratitudes and peticiones for prayer

“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”  –Jer. 32:17

There is a saying, “God is never late; He’s seldom early; He’s always right on time.”  Combined with Jeremiah 32:17, they make an ALL POWERFUL twosome for the Christian in every circumstance!  All of this to say that through the Lord we have located land to purchase for the development of a permanent children’s camp & Christian retreat center in middle Chile, agreed to a price with the owners, and all necessary legal documents are being gathered to complete the purchase and close on it in the coming week!!  To say that we are VERY grateful to the Lord would be a gross understatement.  Thank you to many of you for your faithful prayers these past years!  Please join us in giving God thanks and join us in praying for the impending closing!!!  There are many details to be thought out.  We will be sure to let you all know as soon as we have finished the purchase process.

We wrote in September’s letter of a contact with Leo, a Christian man (and friend of our dentist’s assistant) in middle Chile that wanted to sell his five acres on a river, purchased by him and his wife to use for a church retreats.  His wife died a few years ago, and he didn’t feel that he could continue with the project.  While his property would not be ideal pricewise and “sizewise”, our new relationship with him will be very beneficial in many ways.  This trip to middle and southern Chile turned out to be 2 ½ weeks.  At the beginning of the trip we called a realtor and he showed us a property of 90 acres.  While quite large, it held much promise.  We then continued south to pass out our information to hospitals about our housing ministry to mothers coming to Santiago for special medical care of their children.  Afterward we returned to middle Chile to again look at land.  Making contact with the realtor and Leo we were able to see the 90-acre property once again, this time with the sibling “inheritor” coordinating the sale of the land on behalf of her eight brothers and sisters.  The date was Sept. 25 and on that same date we agreed to a price with her to put in motion the processing of all needed documents.  Leo himself was quite taken by the property and its potential, along with its price of $3,000,000 pesos per hectar (2.4 acres), which corresponds to $1,700 (U.S.) per acre.  All other properties we’ve seen are being sold for much higher prices, while this land is also ideal for our purposes.  Again, we ask for your prayers as we approach the closing.  Here are three photos:  one with Janine, Rosa (the sibling owner), Jack, and Leo; one including the small house they used to live in; and a third of some of the land.

Bodeuca with Rosa & Leo Bodeuca2 Bodeuca overview from hill

While on the trip we were also able to meet with the coordinators of two other ministries, “FAMILIA ROYALE” (Royal Family) which is a ministry to abused children, and “PEPE”, which is a pre-school ministry to children at risk and poor children, many of them not knowing Jesus, providing them with basic Biblical concepts about Jesus and Christianity.  Both ministries are international and both are Christian-based, with Jesus in the middle.  Some of those we work with are looking to develop these exact kinds of ministries.  Please pray toward the possibility of putting one or both ministries into practice here in Santiago in the future.

Thirdly, Rachel continues to make excellent rehab progress. She is home and is regaining coordination and her speech ability!  TYL!!  Pray that her good therapy continues through the Chilean system, as Rachel’s U.S. family helpers will, in the end, return to the USA.  In a similar situation, Ursula, a friend from a church in northern Chile, has been just released from a clinic here in Santiago after spending 67 days hospitalized to solve the bleeding from her intestines.  In the end, she was able to undergo the necessary treatment using the necessary medical equipment and it appears that she will now heal and go forward.  TYL!!

While Chile is perhaps the most advanced, stable country in South America, so many such treatments seem to rely on opportunity “in the moment”.  We know that God was with her in all of this, and we are grateful!

ICOM 2018 boothFourthly, we will be heading to the States before the end of Oct. to visit churches and participate, as always, in this year’s missionary conference (ICOM) for the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ.  The conference will be held in Kansas City MO. this year between Nov. 14-17, and is definitely worth attending!  We will be at our “CHILE MISSION” booth and would love to see you there!

 

 

Praising, praying, and fasting, to our “OUTSTRETCHED ARM” God,

In his love and unity,

Jack & Janine

SEPTEMBER’S Gratitudes & Prayer Points

Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

The above verses from Philippians 2:1-2 have a special meaning for us this month, mainly because of what is possible when we partner with other Christians that we are united with in Christ, and all of us are of one mind and love and spirit.  We experienced all of the above this U.S. summer in the four camps for children carried out by three supporting churches and a fourth group of camps in Texas.  What if this kind of “divine synergy” between Christians were common throughout the whole world?  We are SO GRATEFUL entering September for our partnership with you.  The like-mindedness mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Philippian Church is woven into each of this month’s prayer points.

Speaking of gratitude, thank you Lord for your response to our two special prayer requests from last month.  Cesar, Camila, & baby boy Santiago are all much better health-wise and Rachel Gallardo continues to make steady progress in re-covering her motor skills and speech after her surgery and her Chilean doctors are working to eliminate all remaining blood clots.  Thank you for your continuing prayers for Rachel.

SEPTEMBER PRAYER POINTS

FIRSTLY, as a result of our U.S. trip together with Renata, we now have a better way to build a good approach to our own summer camps in Chile.  Please pray for our camp leadership team that includes Renata and her sister Viky as we work together in looking at every facet of our approach to children’s camps.  Our planning starts this first week of September.  One of the key ingredients to the camps in Texas was their intensive training of their camp counselors and others in direct contact with the children.  One love, one spirit, and of one mind was so evident throughout.

A special blessing resulting from our visits to camps near Tyler, Texas, was our introduction to “Camp in the City”.  It was children’s church camp, held in schools or churches, but mobile in nature.  They moved their camp equipment in a trailer to different churches and other settings in the city, and did “camp.” The Camp in the City staff arrived several days beforehand with their own nucleus counselor team to train older youth from that particular church to be counselors with them in the camp.  As an extra blessing the children that attended the camp would still have those older youth with them afterwards.  This type of camp will also work in SantiagoPlease pray for this new future dimension of our camps.

SECONDLY, we received a call from our dentist’s assistant yesterday to confirm Jack’s up-coming appointment.  She asked if we were still looking for land for our camps and retreat center and we responded, “YES!”  A man in her church has land in the town next to where we have been doing our own camps in middle Chile and it is located on a river.  He and his wife had purchased the land to develop a Christian camp for children and retreat center, but she subsequently died and he just doesn’t have the heart to do it himself.  We will be down in that part of Chile this month to meet him, see the property, and hopefully talk purchase terms.  It’s pretty incredible how God works, as he links together “like-minded Christians having the same love and being one in spirit”!  Thank you for helping pray this opportunity forward!

Retiro de Pastores 2019THIRDLY, at the very end of August Jack attended the annual retreat for Chilean Christian Church/Church of Christ pastors (and gringo missionaries 😊).  The theme verse for the retreat was 2 Timothy 2:2, where Paul reminds Timothy of the importance to equipping others to teach and carry on the work.  The weekend truly was a “one in spirit and of one mind” time in the Lord.  Please join us in giving God praise and in praying that this kind of unity between the pastors would grow and be strong.

Praising, praying, and fasting, to our perfectly joined and deeply loving Three-in-One God,

In his love and unity,

Jack & Janine

August 2019 Gratitudes & Prayer Points

Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  Eph. 4:15-16

Several New Testament Bible passages in Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, and Colossians speak of the Church as Jesus’ body in the world, and the importance of its work and unity of all of its parts.  We are so appreciative that we can work together with others in Chile and for your prayers for us and for your own work where God has you.  It’s so true that all Christians everywhere in the world have a part to play in the Body of Christ in reaching, teaching, and restoring children, youth, adults, and whole families throughout the world back to himself through Jesus.  We’re grateful for all Christian camps and retreat centers and for being able to participate in some this summer.  Our experiences together with Renata this U.S. summer has been all we three had hoped for as we go forward with children in Chile.  Janine & I now head to our fourth and final camp week at Pine Cove Christian Camp in Tyler, Texas, the first full week of August.  Again, thank you for praying for the first three camps and please pray for this final week.  We need to be back in California Aug. 21 & 22 for some final medical appointments for me (Jack) and then fly back to Chile.

Our third camp was in July in Park Springs, NC.  Roughly 52 ten and eleven-year-old children participated, and one boy made a decision to be baptized in his home church.  The camp’s theme was ‘Rise Above’, dealing with things that can keep us down, such as insecurity, fear, condemnation, & discouragement.

Park Springs6   Park Springs1   Park Springs4   Park Springs8

Janine flew to Detroit the first weekend of August for her 50th high school class reunion (BOY is she old!! 😊 , but look whose talking! Ha Ha), while I traveled to Memphis to visit the campus of Mid South Christian College on my way to Texas.  The school, now getting ready to celebrate 60 years of existence, teaches both in English and in Spanish.  We have recommended the school to Chileans interested in studying the Bible in a cross-cultural setting and will continue to do so.  There are presently three Chileans studying at Mid South.  Please give thanks for and pray for Mid South in its going forward—another example of “each part doing its work”.  All Bible colleges and Bible institutes need all the support they can get.

Mid South2   Jayme & Malia 2019b

Many of you know our youngest son, Jayme.  We had the blessing of being able to visit special friends in our travels toward Texas and Jayme’s family, too. Jayme, Malia, Havalah(3), & Matthias(1) live in Birmingham, AL where Malia is in her medical residency program.  They are pictured above.

We have two very special, timely prayer requests as we enter August:

  1. Please pray for Cesar & Camila and infant son Santiago, living on our ministry property in Santiago as they continue to manage our ministry to house parents who arrive from other parts of Chile with children now hospitalized in Santiago.  She gave birth to their first child, Santiago, in mid March.  The three of them are sick, with Santiago fighting a bronchial infection as well.  Chile is in winter, which can be cold and wet.
  2. Please pray for Humberto & Rachel Gallardo. Rachel (from IL) was a two-month intern of ours in 2012.  She and Humberto were subsequently married and have a daughter just turned 4 in mid July.  She gave birth to their second girl roughly three months ago and then in mid June, she fell unconscious in their home in Santiago, the result of a type of AVM (like a stroke).  Her condition is extremely serious, and she has been hospitalized since, also in Santiago.  She has been improving slow but sure and still faces another surgery.  It’s also been hard, as her family from the States takes turns going to Chile in shifts to help with the two girls and visit Rachel.

God, we know, is very much a part of both of these two above situations.  TYL!!

Praising, praying, and fasting, as each one of us “do our part”,

In his love and unity,

Jack & Janine