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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

MID-MONTH UPDATE on February Prayer Requests

UPDATE ON FEBRUARY’S PRAYER REQUESTS

Many thanks for your prayers this month for the VBS’s we conducted in middle Chile and for the control and extinguishing of the many wild fires burning in different areas of Chile in January and February.  We have “update praises” to share on them both!

First, the VBS’s

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Above from left to right are 2 photos of our first week VBS in San Ignacio (part of Ñipas), Chile and 2 more photos taken during the second week VBS in the municipality of Ñipas.  All four photos were taken on the last day of each VBS with parents of the children present.  Approximately 1/4 of the children came from non-Christian families and the publicized age range for the VBS’s was 6 to 10 years of age.  This year’s theme was La Vida es Valiosa (Life is Valuable).  The program was well-run and fun, with the central teaching being Jesus in our life.  All children received either Illustrated New Testaments or “The Story” for children.

The area of Ñipas is located roughly 6 hours south of Santiago between Chillán, Chile on the east and Concepción, Chile on the west coast.  It is also the specific area where the Children’s Camp/Christian Center LUZ EN EL CAMPO is to be constructed.  The long-term vision of the Camp and Center includes this whole central region of the country, where nothing of this type of Christian influence exists.  Concepción, on the coast, is Chile’s second largest city.

Week 1:  Monday through Wed. (January 30-February 1) mornings.  We had use of the same school we used last year and roughly 26 children participated with seven of those over 10 years old. 16 children professed faith in Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

Week 2:  Monday through Wed. (February 6-8) mornings.  Due to the threat of wild fires in the general area, the site of the second VBS switched from Coelemu to the municipality of Ñipas and roughly 30 children participated with seven of those over 10 years old.  21 children professed faith in Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

We were able to greatly deepen our relationships with two local churches, as well as visit with some of the families of the VBS children in their homes.  Both local churches are Pentecostal, which is the identity of almost all non-Catholic churches in this part of Chile, and none of the Pentecostal churches have Sunday School programs for their children. The pastors of these two churches, however, are very open to working with children—theirs and others, so please pray with us that such a new beginning for these churches becomes a reality.  Please also pray for continued progress in being able to actually start developing the land set aside for the camp/center in Ñipas this year.  It will mark a significant step forward for Luz en el Campo!

WILD FIRES IN CHILE

Thank you for praying for families and towns most affected by out of control wild fires mostly burning in mid and southern parts of the country.  This year has set a record for the number of wild/forest fires in Chile, mostly due to this year’s unusually hot and dry summer.  As mentioned in this month’s Praise & Prayer Letter, in Constitución a large part of the town was burned to the ground.  In the port city of Valparaiso, roughly 100 homes were destroyed.

The good news is that all fires are out or almost out!  TYL!  One day during the VBS’s, a steady, strong rain in middle Chile was a most welcomed sight.  Now the construction and re-building begins.  Many have lost their jobs as well.  News sources list the number of acres burned as over 500,000 and the number of homes lost as somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000.  Loss of life was minimal.

For our part we will continue to work through some churches in the Ñipas area to see how we might help in one way or another with recovery efforts.  Should a particular need arise, we will share it with you.

Praising, praying, and fasting as we all serve THE ONE, TRUE GOD THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!

Jack & Janine

February 2017 PRAISE & PRAYER LETTER

As mentioned last month, we as a mission team are set in these last days of January to travel to middle Chile to initiate two 3-day VBS programs to children between the ages of 6 and 10 in two towns—Ñipas and Coelemu.  We will be in Ñipas the first week of February and in Coelemu the second week.  We are excited to be part of a larger team of almost 20 youth and adults, using puppets, music, puzzles, lessons, and games to teach and impact the children who participate.  We also hope to meet and talk with their parents, and the children will be given copies of a relatively new book The Story for Kids written specifically for children.  We cannot overestimate the value of teaching children about Jesus.  It matters a great deal to God as well, as we can see from both the following verses written to the Israelites in Deut. 11: 13-15 & 18-21 and Jesus’ own words in Mark 10: 13-16.  Thank you so much for praying for what God will do through these VBS’s!

13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.  18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

We have a second combined prayer petition and praise to share:  We, the Board for the children’s work in Santiago, did meet with Andrea and her husband about her becoming the first director of our newly designed and formed work with small abandoned children.  They are on vacation through most of February (remember that we are in summer here J), but she is very interested and hopes to be able to start part-time until a time when she can leave her present job as a teacher of developmentally-challenged children.  Her husband Elier is also a very capable person with supervisory experience and he is also interested in helping.  We thus hope to have good things to confirm and report on soon.

In the meantime, Janine is working with our worker Carlos continuing to take out un-needed supplies and tools from the children’s residence mission property and do necessary repairs to the homes.

LASTLY, WE HAVE AN URGENT REQUEST FOR PRAYER FOR THE 7TH AND 8TH REGIONS OF CHILE, along with many living in Valparaiso—west of Santiago on the coast.  As we write this Praise & Prayer Letter (on January 26) there are many forest fires burning in the above regions of the country.  Over 80 separate forest fires are reported, with most of them not contained.  Many people have lost their homes and today the town of Constitución, located on the coast roughly 3 ½ hours south of Santiago, had an area of 1200 homes destroyed by fire.  So far, it’s been an abnormally hot, dry summer with temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s.  Even some major roads in those parts of Chile have been closed.  At this point the fires should not suspend the upcoming VBS’s, but that can change at any time.  Again, thank you for praying!

Praising, praying, and fasting as we all serve The One True Jesus of children & of all of us together,

Jack & Janine