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September 2017 CHILE Praises & Prayer Requests

…. the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  –Romans 8: 26-28

Sometimes we forget that prayer is mandatory if one is to have a real relationship with God, and even more we forget that God himself is totally a part of our prayers in every way, that He might receive and respond to them in seeing his good and perfect will and purposes accomplished.  We chose the above passage this month as a reminder of the hugely important part that you play with us in praying to the One & Only True God of All Time as all of us, his children, connect to his will and to his good purposes.  What a privilege for all of us to be his hands and feet in this world!  Janine and I thank you for your prayers!

We have several praises to share:

Both our mission property and two of the four houses on it are totally ready to receive parents of children in long-term care in one of the children’s hospitals here in Santiago.  As explained last month, they come from other parts of the country to be with their child being treated for cancer or serious burns or are here for organ transplants.  Raquel & Ross are ready as well to be the hands-on coordinator of this work, receiving the mothers (sometimes with young children with them that they can’t leave with others).  We and others on the directing board of this work have been working non-stop to make this happen and we thank you for your on-going prayers for its impact and success in the Lord for years to come.  (PHOTO 1)  We are looking at opening the first house for mothers inside of the first weeks of September!  A second house dedicated to serving fathers may also open in the next several weeks.

Our visit to Carlos & Nena and family in northern Chile in August went very well.  They are interested in helping with the camp/center in central Chile, but another opportunity seems to be opening beforehand…  Mid-south Christian College in Tenn. teaches in both English and in Spanish and they accept students from other countries and make every attempt to help foreign students afford the cost.  Through preliminary inquiries, it very well be possible for Carlos, Nena, and Daniela (18 years old) to study in the college and Javiera (15) and twin sisters Gabriela & Mariela (6) to study in very nearby schools.  What an incredible answer to prayer for their family!  (PHOTO 2)  Please continue to pray for them and also for the right Chilean couple or family to connect to the work in middle Chile as we begin summer camps in January.  We hope that Carlos and family will return to Chile at some point, as our working together would be a tribute to our God of purpose.

Donald’s (Director of Park Spring Christian Camp in NC) and Glenn’s (Pastor of First Christian Church in King, NC) visit in Aug. went very well.  They saw and walked land with me (Jack) and gave valuable insights. (PHOTOS 3 & 4)  Both want to continue to be part of the development of land going forward.  We already have Domingo’s & Sandra’s property of roughly 8 acres available for use and are looking for additional land to supplement it.  This month’s goal is to settle on the exact portion of Domingo’s property that will be available for development and also to identify any additional land available for purchase.  Land prices in the area have been climbing, but we know that God moves people according to his purposes.

Glenn, Donald, and I ended our central Chile trip at the annual conference of Chilean Christian Church/Church of Christ pastors.  The conference plays a valuable role in promoting communication and relationship between churches and pastors.  Fellow missionary Mike Boyce shared about the new Bible Institute for the training of Chilean pastors and workers that he coordinates.  (PHOTO 5)  Please pray for its going forward.

Lastly, thank you for continuing to pray for my health.  August blood tests show my white blood cell count as holding low but steady as God keeps me quite able and “in play” (TYL!!)  Romans 8: 26-28 is true today.

        

Praising, praying, and fasting with our Totally Connected, Prayer Responding God of Purpose,

Jack & Janine

August Praises and Prayer Petitions

Last month we used a text from Psalm 33, where in verse 11 the Psalmist says, But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.  It’s important to note that when we follow and serve him in faith, love, and hope in our work, we play an important part in helping shape his purposes, that the name of his Son Jesus might be glorified.  Here are two short excerpts from Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians:

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.  We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. –1 Thess. 1: 2-3

…we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. –2 Thess. 1:11-12

 

First, a BIG THANK YOU LORD!!! that one of the four houses on the mission property is set to open this month to receive mothers of children in long-term care in one of the children’s hospitals here in Santiago.  These mothers come from other parts of the country to be with their child being treated for cancer or serious burns or are here for organ transplants.  You might remember Millarai who died from bone cancer almost exactly one year ago.  She was living in northern Chile.  Raquel (she and Ross already live on the mission property), will be the hands-on coordinator of this work, receiving the mothers (sometimes with young children with them that they can’t leave with others).  The ministry will include good housing and care, emotional and spiritual support and “God love”, accompaniment to hospitals and child care when needed, meals,  and relationship with the hospitalized children themselves.  Give God thanks with us and also pray for a good start to fill a long-term need!

We are already also preparing another of the houses for fathers.  Presently, none of the hospital houses allow men to stay, basically because it’s not wise to let men and women stay in the same house.  We have the added advantage of having separate houses on the same property, instead of just one house shared by all.  Please pray that this other house for men will also be in use very soon!

In the past, our work with children involved children under government care living in one of our houses with a house father and mother.  God has guided us in how to keep the work focused on children, meeting real needs for both them and their families.  We continue to initiate contacts with ADRA, the Adventist organization that places children with foster families (something that we did for one year as a family with Ariel (4) and Ghisleine (1) in 1995).  So far, ADRA has not responded, but God instead has opened a way to help families of children in serious health situations.  Once our feet are on the ground with this ministry, we pray that God would open the “foster” door as well on the mission property.  Thank you for praying our path forward.

We will be traveling this month to northern Chile to meet with a family who might want to relocate to mid-Chile to be a part of the Christian camp & center.  Also with regards to the camp, Donald and Glenn from the States will be here for a week this month to accompany us to mid-Chile to look at additional land and help evaluate next steps.  Donald is the director of a camp in North Carolina and Glenn is the pastor of a church in King, North Carolina that supports us.  He and a group of nine others from the church came to Chile in 2007 to visit and help in different ways.

Perhaps the most important lesson and point in all of this is how God takes us forward according to his will, while also honoring our faith in him, prompted by his love, and inspired by our hope in Jesus.

Thank you for your ongoing prayer support!

Praising, praying, and fasting as we all complete the work to which God has called us,

Jack & Janine

JULY 2017 PRAISES & PRAYER REQUESTS

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. 13 From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; 14 from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— 15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. 16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. 18 BUT THE EYES OF THE LORD are on those who fear him, on those WHOSE HOPE is in his unfailing love,19 to deliver them from death  and keep them alive in famine. 20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.  –Psalm 33: 10-22

The first ten verses of Psalm 33 are also worth reading, as they set the stage for the rest, shown above. The hope open to nations and individuals alike is very clear—the plans, purposes, and strength of God vs. the plans, purposes, and strength of kings, nations, and man.  Only God can overcome our true enemy and make an eternal difference in lives through Jesus, the one hope of both our broken world and of brokenness and needs of all types.  July 4th marks Independence Day in the U.S.  Let’s say YES TO LIBERTY AND YES TO GOD as we all keep praying that the United States of America would continue to live out its heritage of putting its hope and faith in the Lord.

ISAIAH 40:28-31     vs…..

                                                         

We took the above photo on the beach in middle Chile the weekend after the strong earthquake and resulting tsunamis in Feb. 2010 when we and many others went to help.  The God of Psalm 33 and of Isaiah is the same God that takes us and the development of our two main ministries forward in Chile, together with all other ministries in the world.  As you enter this summer, please keep your prayers coming for our Chile Mission boards and for July progress made.

There are on-going meetings, information gathering, and trips in motion weekly with regards to the Children’s residence and the development of the Christian Center & camp in middle Chile.  We and Domingo recently met an owner of more property in Ñipas and look forward to talking specifics with him this month. In Santiago our meetings with regard to the best “child- focused” use of our mission property are bearing fruit as well, especially in investigating the use of one or more of our ministry homes for parents from outside of Santiago that need housing and support while visiting their child in long-term hospital care situations.  Our plans, purposes, and strength ARE based in the Lord.  Thanks so much for the part you play!

Praising, praying, and fasting as we all serve our “Hope of the World”, LORD AND CREATOR of all,

Jack & Janine

JUNE 2017 Chile Praises & Prayer Requests

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.  –Prov. 15: 22

The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.  –Titus 1:5

The counsel of others and the plurality of church leadership are very biblical in both the Old and New Testaments.  Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 is a fantastic passage on the value of close relationships and teamwork, and the book of Acts has many accounts of the direction and decisions of the Church Council in Jerusalem.

We meet weekly as a Chile Mission team on Monday mornings with a devotional time and to plan the week and in our past work with children at the ministry site we met weekly for devotions and regular planning with house “moms” and other staff.  A plurality of Chilean leadership through boards of directors is also a key element already in motion for the good going forward of both the children’s work in Santiago and the development of the Christian center & camp in middle Chile.

The Foundation for our work with children was formed over one and one-half years ago and its board has been meeting and functioning ever since.  We recognize that the re-forming of the work in Santiago is taking time, but most important to keep in mind is that this new beginning is taking place under the leadership and direction of a board and not just the two of us.  The Chilean work laws governing the employment of live-in staff have changed in significant ways, making it necessary for us to consider other ways and designs to keep our emphasis on children intact.  Our new director for the work, Andrea Guzman, has been gathering information these past months on to how to move forward in the best way with the right design, and the board continues to play an integral part in this process.

We have also been working for over a year with Domingo & Sandra on the development of the new Christian center & camp south of Santiago, as well as investigating the purchase of additional land.  We again are needing to take steps in their necessary order as we work on forming a foundation for the camp and seek further guidance from others with camp development experience.  We have visited Christian camp & retreat centers in the U.S. and Donald Davis, director of Park Springs Christian Camp & Center in Providence, N.C., will be making a visit to Chile in August to see our land and make suggestions.  Pictured here below is a photo of this week’s board meeting with Ross & Raquel, and also one of us with Domingo & Sandra.

     

PLEASE JOIN US in praying this month for the successful going forward of both these boards!  God put both groups together to provide a solid base and framework for his work through us.  We’ve been counseled to keep the boards themselves small, even those there are several others involved on different levels.

In the meantime, our involvement with the live-in Christian drug and alcohol rehab center for men actively remains in place through Jack, Todd, and Ross and the weekly English Club in which they also work together under Todd’s leadership has a growing group of participants.  Each week we together choose a theme for the English Club time in line with what is happening during the month.  The themes for May included the U.S. Day of Prayer, Mothers’ Day, Armed Forces Day, and Memorial Day—all with a Christian “twist”, and the May 31st theme centered on Pentecost and the birth of the Christian Church.  Todd continues building personal relationships with English Club participants.

Praising, praying, and fasting as we all serve our “Cord of three strands” Jesus,

Jack & Janine

MAY 2017 Praises & Prayer Needs

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.  –Mark 1: 35

May 4th is the yearly National Day of Prayer in the United States.  This special day in its early years in the 1770s was declared as a day of prayer and fasting.  In 1952 it was permanently placed on the first Thursday of May as an officially recognized day for prayer and meditation in the United States.

Jesus knew well the need to pray by himself to stay connected to his Father and receive the strength he needed to carry out his work and mission in the world, especially after giving of himself so completely that day or the night before.  The above reference occurred after Jesus had spent the whole evening before healing many sick and demon-possessed brought to him in Capernaum.  In Matt. 14:23 Jesus withdrew by himself to pray in the evening after being followed by large crowds to a very “remote place” and then healing their sick during the day.  That afternoon he had converted 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread into enough food to feed 5,000 men, plus all women and children present.  Luke 5: 16 tells us that he often withdrew by himself to pray.

If we are to complete our mission work in Chile and if Christians around the world are doing the same where they live, we all MUST follow Jesus’ example.  Miss Clara (in the movie, The War Room) had a prayer closet with written notes posted to the walls.  I, Jack, keep and use an on-going journal and use it wherever I find myself.  Whatever the method and wherever the place, this is an encouragement to stay “prayered-up”—connected and strong.

RESIDENCIA FAMILIA CRISTIANA

Our new director Andrea continues meeting with representatives of different agencies and government departments dealing with the care of and adoption of children.  As mentioned last month, her work includes the design of the internal regulations we will follow at every level of our work.  We are meeting regularly to monitor and set goals for progress.  In view of steadily changing government policies, we are currently strongly considering available and good options in the broader scope and design of how we can receive and work with children and better help families.  Thank you for continuing to pray for all these important steps.

Yesterday, May 1st,, was Chile’s Labor Day.  We took advantage of a beautiful day to come together with special friends and with those involved in our work with children in Santiago.  Building relationship with those we work with is also important in teamwork.  Also pictured are 2 photos of our team “walking” land in Ñipas.

         

DEVELOPMENT OF FUTURE CHRISTIAN CHILDREN’S CAMP & CENTER

Our trip to Ñipas to see additional land to be used in the development of the children’s camp went well.  Three other persons went with us to “walk” Domingo’s property and the other larger tract of land for sale in the same area to help visualize potential and design.  We will see another tract with them later this month and the legal recording of Domingo’s property is also in its final stage.  It is key that we as a Board with Domingo and Sandra stay focused on specific, possible progress and on how to achieve it.  We still have a trip to northern Chile pending to meet with Carlos and wife Nena, who are interested in being a part of the project.  Living on the land, he would serve as hands-on administrator of the project.  Thanks for praying with us.

Praising, praying, and fasting as we all serve our Praying and Connected Jesus,

Jack & Janine

APRIL Praises and Prayer requests

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. –1 Cor. 13:13

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  –1 Thess. 1: 2-3

What a blessing to accompany our son Julian and fiancé Devyn in their wedding on March 24th.  Not only does the above verse from 1 Cor. 13 apply to marriages, but the “triad” of faith, hope, and love can be found in several other N.T. passage such as 1 Thess 1: 2-3 and should always undergird our relationship with God and others, not to mention the carrying out of his will and work wherever we find ourselves.  May Julian and Devyn (and we all 😊) keep these three essential components of Christian life strong in their going forward together.  Here are three photos we’d like to share with you from their wedding:  From left to right are Julian & Devyn, Janine & Julian having a special mother-son dance, and Jack “line dancing” with 5-month-old grandson Tiago.

              

Faith in God is an end in and of itself, not merely the “means to an end”.  He has proven himself faithful to all generations.  Jesus Christ is the Key to hope and without him, hope remains unconnected.  How tragic the many suicides for the lack of real hope.  Lastly, the source of love is God himself—what we extend is his love for us, in us, and through us—so much deeper and unfailing than our own.  We can do no better in our work in Chile than live out and model faith in God, hope through Jesus, and the love of God.

RESIDENCIA FAMILIA CRISTIANA

Our new director Andrea has begun familiarizing herself with the different agencies and government departments having authority over adoptions of children and over organizations such as ourselves involved in the care of “wards of the government” children.  She in addition has begun to develop the internal regulations we will follow at every level of our work.  Thank you for praying for all initial, necessary steps taken in these immediate months.

DEVELOPMENT OF FUTURE CHRISTIAN CHILDREN’S CAMP & CENTER

In addition to finishing legalizing the new Foundation LUZ EN EL CAMPO (Light in the Countryside), two trips are planned for April/early May:  1. A trip to Ñipas to investigate the availability of additional land to be used in the development of the children’s camp, and to give the church where this year’s second VBS was held some special materials to use in their Easter Week presentation to area children.  2. A trip to northern Chile to meet with Carlos and wife Nena, who are interested in being a part of the project.  This would mean their eventual move to the Ñipas area with their three children when the time comes.  God continues to direct our steps.  Thanks for praying.

ENGLISH CLUB

Thank you for praying for this year’s growth in the group—both numerical and spiritual.  Several new participants began with us in March–all of them brand new to English.  Our relationship with people in the Club gives us opportunities to encourage them in their faith and this month of April also includes Holy Week and Easter, another great opportunity to present Christ.

Praising, Praying, & Fasting, as we all serve our FAITH, HOPE, & LOVE  Lord & Savior,

Jack & Janine

Our MARCH 2017 Praise & Prayer Letter

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  –John 15: 5,16

We have much to be thankful for this month, as we together with you pray everything forward.  Chile Mission’s efforts and work are bearing fruit, and additionally, our son Julian will be wed this month to his fiancé, Devyn.  They both know and love the Lord and look forward to bearing much fruit through their life together.  Jesus truly is the vine out of which good fruit that lasts is produced in and through Christians.

Residencia Familia Cristiana

We are excited to announce that the Foundation “Residencia Familia Cristiana” directing board has voted to hire Andrea Guerman as the director of our work with abandoned children in Santiago!  She will begin this month working part-time, familiarizing herself with the laws and agencies that govern the placement and eventual adoption of abandoned, legally adoptable children who are “wards of the government”.  She will also, with Janine’s help, be developing our internal guidelines for the work of the residence with both the children that come to live in our houses at Chile Mission’s site and all employees hired by the Foundation to help in specific areas, i.e., house mothers whom we employ full-time, etc.

In the meantime, steady work continues to ready the property and houses to receive children.  The site will need to pass inspection to be officially done with all construction.  Our goal, with the Lord’s blessing, is to be ready to receive new children by mid-year, although changing Chilean governmental guidelines and laws can be overwhelming at times.  Thank you for joining us in praising God and in praying for these next steps!  Pictured here below are Andrea, Ellier, and fellow board member Miguel.

andrea-y-otros

DEVELOPMENT OF FUTURE CHRISTIAN CHILDREN’S CAMP & CENTER

Project partners, Domingo & Sandra, hope to be completely done this month with the legal sub-division of their land being given to the Christian children’s camp & center in middle Chile.  There are related legal steps also in process to 1) finish legalizing the new Foundation LUZ EN EL CAMPO (Light in the Countryside) and 2) officially title the tract of land into the control of the Foundation.  Please continue to pray with us for all issues and stages related to these necessary steps.  In the meantime, we as a director board with Domingo & Sandra continue to meet about our steps and progress.

 

ENGLISH CLUB

This year’s English Club got off to a good start March 1st.  Todd coordinates the club with the help of Ross and Jack.  March marks the fall beginning of school in Chile.  Being a pre-evangelistic outreach, our relationships with participants continues to deepen and we also include Christian teachings in the sessions in different ways.  It is a praise to have a good location to meet in and a core group of participants.  Please pray for this year’s growth in the group—both numerical and spiritual.

 

JULIAN-DEVYN WEDDING

Both Julian and Devyn are specially gifted and make a great team together.  What a blessing for Jack to be able to officiate their wedding ceremony.  Julian finishes his 4-year medical residency in June and then takes two board exams in the fall to be able to practice medicine on his own.  Devyn’s college degree is in art.  They are set to go for two years with “Samaritan’s Purse” medical mission to an area outside of Machu Picchu, Peru going into 2018, where Julian will be the doctor in a small out-lying hospital.  Please pray for God’s blessing of their and all other new marriages, remembering that Jesus’ first miracle was at the wedding in Canaan.

Praising, praying, and fasting as we all serve Jesus, the One, True Vine & Source of Lasting Fruit

Jack & Janine