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!

 

 

IMG_0710

<<<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

CHILE MISSION October Praises & Prayer Requests

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  –Ephesians 2: 8-10

In the New Living Translation verse 10 reads, “so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  These verses from Paul’s letter to the Christians in Ephesus are full of important truths—about salvation and grace, our own existence, and God’s pre-planned purposes through each and every one of us as Christians.  Regarding God’s good “prepared in advance” purposes, in my prayer journal I have written, “Put in play, kept in play—expect results!”  Let’s all celebrate that truth this month as we carry out God’s good purposes together in our own settings, as he takes them forward to fruition.

SANTIAGO MISSION PROPERTY  We fully expected to already be housing mothers coming from other parts of the country with their child now hospitalized in a Santiago children’s hospital to undergo long-term treatments.  The construction of the new nearby children’s hospital has been completed and we were notified that the last days of September and first days of October are being used to transfer all the children in treatment from the old building to the new one.  The new hospital has a bed capacity for 300 patients—roughly double that of the old one.  We thus now look forward to beginning this new ministry in the first days of October.  Please pray for a successful move of the hospital and for our good reception of those mothers.  God has prepared us for this new ministry and will see it through.

Another facet of this new work needing prayer has to do with our Foundation make-up of people of different cultures.  There is nothing automatic in our ability to understand each other and work single-mindedly together, something difficult with people from the same culture! 😊   Please pray for us as a unit.

CHILDREN’S CAMP & RETREAT CENTER  We have new developments to share regarding the establishment of the children’s camp & retreat center in middle Chile.  We are partners in this with Domingo and wife Sandra.  The large amount of land originally owned by his father was divided between Domingo and a brother and sister.  All three have a house built on their particular parcel, although only Domingo’s brother Rodrigo actually lived in his house there.  Domingo & family live in Santiago and his sister lives in Concepción, roughly 40 minutes from the property.  In our trips to the land these last years we have thus become accustomed to visiting with Rodrigo.  Donald and Glenn, visiting in late August, also met Rodrigo.

On August 31 Rodrigo had a hip replaced and in the morning of the day he was to go home from the hospital, September 7th, a blood clot formed on his lung and he died.  He was well-known and well-liked, both as a professor and active in the political representation of the people for years.  He also became a Christian roughly three years ago.  His parcel of land now goes to his wife and children (now grown).  Since all three parcels of land are adjoined, with none of his family wanting to live on his parcel of property, this could mean additional land available for purchase for the camp & retreat center.  We pray first and foremost that their family is able to work together and come to unified decisions.  We know that if the Lord would want us to have access to any of the additional land that he will make it available.  Regardless, he has a pre-determined purpose and plan for the new children’s camp & retreat center and that he will see it through.  Thank you for praying with us for this family and toward the future of this important outreach & ministry.  We will be hosting some three-day tent-camping experiences on Domingo’s property this next summer during the months of January and February.

TIME IN THE STATES  This month of October also includes the beginning of Janine’s and my time in the U.S. to visit supporting churches and participate in the annual Int’l Conference on Missions (ICOM), this year held in Peoria, IL the weekend before Thanksgiving.  We will also have Thanksgiving together as family with our children and grandchildren (What a treat!)  We will have with us at ICOM two special guests—Karina, who with her husband make the marble figures we sell in the States, and gifted Chilean pastor and singer of the Psalms, Patricio Curinao.  (More on the ICOM in November’s Praise and Prayer Letter.)  Please pray for our travels and for all facets of the ministry in Chile during our absence.  May God be honored throughout as he takes us and it forward to fruition, along with his work through you all as well.

Praising, praying, and fasting with our “Prepared in Advance” God,

Jack & Janine

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