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May 2018 Gratutudes & Prayer Needs

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  –Prov. 3: 5-6

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur first photo to share entering May is of Jayme & Malia, daughter Havalah and their newest addition to the family, Matthias James Swanson.  He was born April 15th, just over one week before Havi turned 2 years old.  Both Malia and Matthias are healthy and we are very grateful.  As a quick update, Malia finished medical school and is now entering her three-year residency in Birmingham, AL.  They are moving there this month.  She will be working, and Jayme, who is by profession a nurse, will basically be a “stay-at-home” dad. Residencies are normally very demanding.  We are excited for their new adventure!

The work in SantiagoAs you know, ministry partners Ross & Raquel live in one of the houses on our Santiago mission property.  Raquel is the “hands-on person” who meets with and relates to mothers and fathers of sick children who come to our mission property for housing, often accompanied by their child being treated for a long-term illness in children’s hospitals in Santiago. (Cases similar to that of Millarai, who we worked with a couple years ago.)

Their photo and May’s Bible verses go hand in hand.  We very recently met with Andrea and husband Ellier, learning of their decision that she will not be continuing as director of our ministries conducted on the mission property.  Between her full-time teaching job and Ellier’s not having a job, she feels that she cannot give the time necessary to develop the current and future use of the mission site and vision of the Foundation.  We are grateful for her role in being an initial part the work of the Foundation.  Raquel’s role in the meantime will now be broadened to encompass visiting more hospitals and making contact with other institutions having a similar focus on children and families.  Raquel is very personable and capable, and we feel that she can handle the job well.  Janine will be accompanying her on these visits at first.  Please pray for all of us in this transition.  We give thanks for Raquel’s willingness and commitment to go forward with new responsibilities.

Also please continue to pray for the legal process already in motion to make needed changes to our Foundation’s statutes—mainly to broaden the types of ministries that the Foundation can encompass and also to increase the number of directors of the board from 4 to 5.  These legal processes can take a long time.

The middle-Chile camp & retreat center:  In terms of priority, we will continue to work with Domingo to first define and legalize the Foundation “Luz en el Campo” as we continue to identify the exact land that we can purchase to augment or replace his property.  Domingo did hear back from his cousin that at this time he is only interested in selling his land for a high price.  Please continue praying for these important issues.  We are in a position to buy and we know that God already has in mind the exact property for us.  Prov.3: 5-6!!

Last, but not least, in early April Janine fell in the bedroom and broke both bones near her wrist.  Ay yay yay!  She is doing fine, with a metal plate installed to aid in the placement and healing of the arm.  Wouldn’t you know it, it had to be her right arm on top of it. ☹  Her attitude is great, and she lacks roughly 3 weeks to have the stitches and 3 pins removed.  We appreciate your prayers on her arm’s behalf, and TYL! that our car is an automatic. 😊

Praising, praying, and fasting in our ONE, TRUE, TRUSTWORTHY & LEANED-ON GOD,

Jack & Janine

April CHILE prayer requests and praises

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives BY BELIEVING IN ME will never die.  Do you believe this?”

What appropriate Easter verses John 11: 25-26 make!  God’s mission through his son Jesus is now complete and through Jesus’ resurrection, death for the Christian is also overcome.  Jesus’ above answer to Martha should make perfect sense to us, as through our baptisms we Christians join in both Jesus’ death and resurrection to carry on his work in the world.  The question, as it was to Martha, is “Do WE believe?”  In the meantime, in this short physical life we get to share him with the world.  Thanks so much for your prayers both for us and for God’s work through us in Chile!

With regards to our Santiago ministry property, it is good to have Andrea back from vacation.  It does look as if she will continue her full-time teaching job, so please continue to pray that the already-in-place constraints on her time will allow her to give the energy and time necessary in the development of the Foundation’s work.  Our mission houses are still not being utilized by area children’s hospitals for housing of parents of children in long-term treatments as we have hoped they would be, which means that visits are in order.  We would also like to become a facilitating source for social issues such as foster care and adoptions, in addition to being involved in other areas of child and family-related needs.  There are so many social needs in Chile, and Andrea’s time in addressing all of the above is crucial.

We have initiated legal steps to make necessary changes to the statutes of the Foundation in order to pursue a broader vision.  Included in those changes is the change to increase the number of board members from four to five, as we voted to take Tamara on as a fifth board member.  Please join us in praying for the successful and timely termination of these legal steps.

The middle-Chile camp & retreat center: With Domingo & Sandra back in Chile after vacationing in Brazil (where Sandra is from) we will be able to follow through with the possibility of purchasing additional land—a significant step needing the attention and agreement of all of us involved.  Thank you for your continuing prayers, as this year’s fervent hope and prayer is to finalize identifying the exact land we can plan on developing!  This new good work, LUZ EN EL CAMPO (Light in the Countryside) also needs it own legal structure to go forward.

It probably seems like we keep asking for the same prayers 😊, but in Chile and other South American countries what might be more straight forward and timely in accomplishing in the United States is anything but that here.  Now with the new president taking office this past month, for example, Chile’s adoption laws might very well change once again.  Thank you for your prayers, as God is the One we serve and look to.

Praising, praying, and fasting in Jesus, OUR SOURCE OF ETERNAL JOY AND PURPOSE,

Jack & Janine

March 2018 CHILE praises and prayer requests update

The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.  But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.  Psalms 33: 10-11

This month Christians throughout the world re-live and commemorate the completion of Jesus’ mission to liberate and reconcile the world to God through his own death on the cross–the grand purpose of God in sending his Son into the world (John 3:16-17).  We humans can’t begin to fathom the full extent to which Jesus needed to empty himself and rely on prayer to his Father in order to complete his overwhelming task and mission.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit needed to be ONE in complete unity and purpose.

Your continuing prayers for us and for God’s work through us in Chile speak of the same oneness in unity and purpose.  We so appreciate you all and your ongoing prayers!  Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with 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 purpose.  –Phil. 2: 1-2

 

MARCH IN CHILE:  You probably aren’t aware in the U.S. of the “grand re-awakening” that takes place annually in Chile during the first week of March.  While we will technically be in the last weeks of summer here (until the 21st, when we enter fall), everyone is back in Santiago for the beginning of school year.   Many Chileans, including the majority of lawyers, doctors, and small businesses go “out-of-town” in February, so March in many ways represents the return to normal life 😊 for many.  Andrea, the director of the Mission Foundation’s work on our ministry site in Santiago, is also back from vacation this first weekend of the month.  She and husband Ellier had the blessing of being in the U.S. during all of Feb. to see family & friends and be part of a Marriage Encounter hosted by the Spanish church in Texas where Marcelo & Cecily Landeros work.  Cecily was a year-long intern in 2009.  A few years later they were married and then assisted our mission in various ways until leaving to live in Texas, where they continue to serve the Lord.

MISSION FOUNDATION:  For Andrea, March will mean visits to more hospitals and other institutions, as the Mission continues to offer housing to parents of hospitalized children, as well as expand its horizons with regards to other ministry possibilities.  At present, she plans to continue working full-time as a teacher, so this represents a significant prayer issue for us all.  Please pray for us as a board as we sort out Andreas’s time commitment with her.  Likewise, her working relationship with Raquel in approaching Raquel’s & Ross’s work on the mission site needs to be personal and active.  Lastly, as a separate issue, we will be voting this month on the induction of Tamara as a fifth board member.  She has a big heart for children in need, as well as an outward focus as a Christian, and represents the type of young person we will need on the Foundation board if we are to complete and enlarge the vision of the Foundation well into the future.  Please pray for this step forward on the part of the board.

THE CAMP & RETREAT CENTER DEVELOPMENT:  We and Domingo & Sandra are hoping to purchase additional property this year to either augment Domingo’s & Sandra’s land (roughly 8 acres) or replace it with a different, larger site in that area.  Domingo’s cousin just recently communicated that he is willing to sell some of his land to our team.  It adjoins Domingo’s property in the hills above his.  Although less accessible, it would be ideal for tent camping and for hiking and other outdoor activities.  Domingo & Sandra will be gone for the month of March, but on their return the team will talk to his cousin about the purchase and about the availability of more of his property nearer the main highway as well.  Please join us in prayer about these recent developments.  We know that God WILL SEE his purposes accomplished.

JULIAN & DEVYN:  We will be flying to Peru early this month to visit Julian & Devyn in Curahuasi, where Julian works at the hospital.  Curahuasi is located roughly two hours outside of Cusco.  We are packing a “seemingly short” 😊 list of items they are asking us to bring that includes a ceiling light/fan combination for their main living space.  Their adjustment is going well, as God blesses their going forward inside of his good purposes for both them and for the people they serve.  Thanks for continuing to pray for them.  Here below are photos of the town of Curahuasi and of the Diospi Hospital where Julian works.

                                     

Praising, praying, and fasting in our THREE-PERSON GOD, COMPLETELY ONE IN UNITY AND PURPOSE,

 Jack & Janine

FEBRUARY 2018 CHILE Praises & Prayer Requests

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

The above verse from Col. 1:16 is found in a group of verses that talk about the supremacy of Christ.  The verse was also the theme text of our recent two 3-day camps for children conducted in Ñipas—a very appropriate verse, as we used the terrain and woods of our partners Domingo & Sandra in development of a camp & retreat center in middle Chile.  The title of the camp was Jesús, El Creador!

The setting was perfect in the woods as we went through the six days of creation, man’s fall, and restoration through Jesus.  Lessons and discussions were tied to the lives of the children.  Choosing Jesus, they become points of light now, and one day will know again the same perfect harmony with a good, loving God that Adam & Eve experienced in the Garden.  We used puppets to portray Adam & Eve, the snake, and Cain & Abel.  We also were awed at night with clear view and presentation of the stars.  We had an attendance of 16, with 7 sleeping in tents in Camp 1 and a second week attendance of other children of 19, with 11 sleeping in tents.  THANK YOU, LORD!  Here below are some photos taken during the camps.  Please keep praying for these children.  While they all live in the countryside, none had been through teachings about things created or knew that Jesus was in the middle of it all.

        

As you know, this Praises & Prayer Requests letter that you are reading is a type of blog found in our http://www.chilemission.org website.  In the category “Ministry Opportunities outside of Santiago” we have posted more photos taken during this year’s camps held January 24-27 and 29-31.  Please take a look at them and also feel free to look inside of any other categories that interest you.  The information is up-to-date, with photos to go with much of it.

MEANWHILE, two more families arrived to spend some nights in the Santiago mission property—both here with their children to be hospitalized in area children’s hospitals.  Their arrival represents a step forward in helping the new ministry to such needs grow and become known.  Thank you for giving thanks with us and for praying this ministry forward.  While we won’t normally be posting photos of the families, we did this time again.

                  

Julian & Devyn continue to adjust and get their feet on the ground in Peru.  They now have just two more we   eks of language learning (Julian-Quechua and Devyn-Spanish) before relocating to their apartment near the hospital where Julian will be working these next two years.  God continues to bless them with good new friends—Peruvian, German, & North American. Thanks for your prayers for them.

Pray also for Janine as she and Raquel continue to organize the ministry site.

Praising, praying, and fasting in our Creator, Sacrificed, Rescuing, Reconciling, & Restoring Jesus,

 Jack & Janine

January 2018 Praises & Prayer Requests with THANKSGIVING

ENTER HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING!!!

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.  –Psalm 100

There is no better way to enter anything than with Thanksgiving & Praise to our Faithful, Good, Loving, Creator Father Savior God.  There is also no better way to “enter” each year than to keep doing our part, planning, praying, and partnering with him in carrying out his work in the world.  Speaking of partnering, Janine & I are very thankful for you, who regularly pray for us and for God’s work through us.  Thanks for staying with us as we enter this new year.

Attaching PRAYERS to PRAISES

<<<December saw the arrival of the first mother/family to stay at our Santiago mission property.  Her oldest son who came with her will be having a surgery to correct his advanced scoliosis.  They did see the doctor, who sent them home to await an available surgery date this month of January.  They represented one family for one night, but it was good to receive and support them.  They are pictured in the below photo, along with Ellier & Andrea (our director of the work of the Foundation) and Ross & Raquel, who live on the mission site.

1st family received2     Please keep praying as Andrea and the Foundation continue to reach out to serve area children’s hospitals and look to expand the use of the mission site and its houses to include other outreaches to serve children in need, along with their families.  The Foundation’s goal is to have the ministry site fully-utilized!

 

 

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<<<We give thanks for our partnership with Domingo & Sandra in developing the future children’s camp & retreat center in Ñipas, Chile, and also give thanks for our partnership with OASIS in carrying out the summer camps these past two years and this year.  OASIS is a U.S. mission dedicated to working with university students.  Pictured to the left is one of the planning meetings held at their campus house in December to get ready for this year’s 3-day camps to be held in Ñipas January 24-27 and again January 29-31.  We will be using tents and doing daily teachings on Domingo’s land, using nature to bring to life the creation story, man’s fall, and Jesus’ mission to restore it for all persons.

Please pray this month for this year’s camp experience for all the children who participate.  Please also pray for the building of an ongoing Chilean leadership structure as the camps grow and develop in these coming years.  It goes hand in hand with the final forming of the directing board for the Luz en el Campo Foundation being put in place.  We know that God leads in all of it and we ask for wisdom in these next steps.

<<<Thank you for also praying this month for Julian’s & Devyn’s good arrival and beginning in Peru.  Arriving January 3rd, they will spend their first month concentrating on the Quechua Indian language and on their orientation to new culture.

<<<Pray also for Janine as she and Raquel continue to organize the ministry site.

 Praising, praying, and fasting WITH THANKSGIVING,

Jack & Janine

DECEMBER Praises & Prayer Requests

For God SO LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  –John 3: 16-17

A VERY BLESSED JESUS-CHRIST-MAS TO YOU ALL!!  Many Christians throughout the world know John 3:16 by memory and verse 17 is just as important.  Jesus Christ IS the most remarkable, wonderful LOVE gift of all time from God to the entire world!  One well-known hymn begins, “Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free.”  We cannot let complacency dull our response in how we live him and share him.  Rather, let this month of December reconnect us all to the above GOOD NEWS as never before!

Thank you all again for your steady prayers for us and for the work of Chile Mission!  We have much to praise God for and look to him for as we enter December.  We praise and thank him for this year’s ICOM, our November missions conference in Peoria, IL.  Every facet of the conference plays a part in directing our focus as churches and individuals outside of ourselves.  Here below are two  good photos of Chilean Patricio Curinao singing at the conference.  He was able to get connected with other Hispanic outreaches while in the U.S.

                                          

 

We also praise and thank God for our recent time in family with all of us present.  Our family photo is a Christmas greeting to you all from the growing Swanson family!  Thirdly, we are grateful and expectant as our son Julian & wife Devyn get ready to begin a two-year commitment in January with World Medical Mission Samaritan’s Purse in Cusco, Peru.  He is a doctor and she will work with young people in their small town in other ways.  A large Quechua Indian population comes to that hospital for treatment.

This month’s PRAYER REQUESTS center around our entering 2018.  “Transition” is a key word.  Please pray for the following:

  • As mentioned last month, we meet in mid-December with the older youth and young adults that will help guide this coming summer’s camp experience for children in middle Chile in January, using Domingo’s & Sandra’s property. Please pray that the transition from the summer VBS format we have used these past two summers to a true “camp” experience will be understood and embraced by those in leadership roles.  We already have tents purchased.
  • Please also keep praying for the transition taking place on the Santiago mission property into a ministry to house and support mothers coming to Santiago to be near their hospitalized children in long-term medical treatments. The vast majority of Chilean men and women do not know a real Jesus.  At present, the main children’s hospital near us still does not have a procedure in place to send us mothers needing housing.
  • We hope to transition out of living in our rented house by mid-year into the remaining house on our Santiago mission property. Three of the four houses on the property are ministry related and the fourth house has been set apart for extra living purposes whenever they arise (us now, visitors, and those in training, etc.).

Please pray for this huge transition as it will require the redirection of furniture, supplies, and extra children’s clothing currently stored in the fourth house.  Secondly, our own furniture and extra belongings will need to be sold.  The move itself will leave us more mobile and able to travel in and out of Chile more frequently in the coming years.

You have heard of “Pay it forward”.  We are Praying all of the above transitions forward”.

Praising, praying, and fasting in our “Jesus-Christ-mas” GOD,

Jack & Janine

NOVEMBER 2017 Praises & Prayer Requests

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  –Hebrews 10: 23-25

And not only all of the above, but 1 Tess. 5:16 reads,  Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  And in our relationship with one another in Eph. 6:18 and the first words of verse 19…  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.  Pray also for me….

Our visits to churches in the States have been full & blessed in all these ways.  Thank you and thank you for your steady prayers for us and for God’s work in Chile!  There is much to be said about our unshakeable faith, steady prayers, and powerful “one another” relationship, from the time of the first church forward.  It’s God’s charge to us!  Keep it up!!

**This month contains this year’s ICOM (Int’l Conference on Missions), to be held in Peoria, IL Nov. 16-18, ending on the morning of the 19th with a church service.  We annually have a booth at this excellent, Great Commission conference, and as was mentioned in our Oct. letter, we will have two special Chilean guests with us.  We encourage all to attend, with its great general sessions, useful workshops and interesting booths (like ours! 😊), and special programming for adults, teens, and children.  If you can’t attend, mark those days on your calendar to pray for it.  What a great, needed “One another” experience.

                                    

**Jack’s 92 year old mother passed away at the very end of Oct. and an uplifting testimony of her life was shared in Asheville, NC where she had lived for these many years.  (His dad passed 9 ½ years ago.)  She loved Jesus, and taught us two boys about him with her example and with the Bible.  She was a good mom and we rejoice with her now.  She, too, was an encourager and doer of good deeds.  She and Dad were always active in their church, where she taught Sunday School.  Their life in Jesus is a praise!

**We continue to ask for your prayers that we will now be able to begin receiving mothers at our mission property, now that the move of the children’s hospital is largely completed. We give God thanks for this new ministry in which He will encourage and support those mothers in their very difficult circumstance.  Raquel is waiting to receive the first of the mothers at any time.

**We will arrive back in Chile on Dec. 7th after the ICOM and spending Thanksgiving as a family.  We are thankful and excited that our daughter Jordan and their 4 young children will be traveling with us and that they and her husband Rob (who will arrive in mid Dec.) will spend Christmas with us.  TYL!

**We also look forward to meeting in mid Dec. with the older youth and young adults that will help guide this coming summer’s camp experience for children in middle Chile in January, using Domingo’s & Sandra’s property.  It will be great to sleep in tents and use nature and the stars to teach Jesus.  When you stop to think about it, Christian camps are another prime example of “One Another” experiences… they take prayer and are an extension of the church, all to the raising up of God’s next generation of believers.  Thanks for praying ahead of time for this!

Praising, praying, and fasting with our Faithful, “One Another” God,

Jack & Janine