October “Chile visit” prayers & gratitude

“It’s God who makes things grow!”

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.  1Cor. 3:6-9

In 1 Corinthians we find Paul rebuking the church in Corinth for being divided between different leaders instead of being united in serving Christ together, recognizing God as the one totally responsible for the results.  We must keep both our focus and purpose clear, as God truly IS the one to look to, in and between ourselves and with others.

Thank you for your prayers for Chile Mission and especially for our current trip to Chile, ending October 7!  It’s been an excellent trip and we apologize that this Prayer letter in coming to you a little late, but it does include all progress made in our time in Chile.

In entering this prayer and gratitude letter we have a special prayer request.  Janine has still not received the “mobility pass” issued by the Chilean government that allows people to leave the country.  Thus, we pray that she’ll be issued it today or tomorrow so that she can leave Chile tomorrow on our scheduled flight.  A government failure to be sure, that we’ve been addressing since we entered the country in mid Sept.  Thank you for praying with us about this technicality!   

We arrived in Santiago on Sunday, Sept. 12 and went immediately into our 7-day quarantine—Jack in our house on the mission property and Janine in a hotel approved by the Chilean government, because she had not received their official “mobility pass” designation.  She could not leave her small room, but instead received food daily, including some food that Jack was able to send with Joherlit, one of our mission property workers.  It was what it was and we were all glad to have her with us one week later!  After quarantine we spent two days in Santiago in meetings and then left for the camp property in middle Chile and several days more in southern Chile with Abraham & Catalina.  Paola also joined us there for three days.

We’ve had specific purposes and goals for this trip (please see September’s prayer letter J), and God has blessed our time in various ways….

The camp land in middle Chile

It’s amazing to think that exactly two years ago we closed on the purchase of the camp land!  It’s a beautiful property that we are all too happy to be now ready to develop.  The future camps and retreats will all be key in extending our creator Jesus to children, youth, and adults.  Please give thanks and pray for the following:

  • Jack signed the final contract required by Coelcha, now enabling them to connect the new electric lines installed for us and for our neighbor’s property. We hope that they will soon finish this last step. It has been over a year since this process started.
  • Matías, the architect, came to the land to spend an afternoon with us, walking most of the entire property with Abraham looking at all possibilities and ideas for timing & placement of the upcoming construction of structures. He also joined us in southern Chile for a day to further discuss initial plans so that when we return to Chile at the end of December we can move forward with construction.  **  Note—Chile is experiencing much higher prices of building materials , and most think that prices will not come down!
  • We talked with Abraham & Catalina about the purchase of chickens, cows, and some other animals and the placement and planting of additional fruit trees, grapes, & vegetables.
  • We also discussed having some young adult work teams to come and help complete specific projects this coming Chilean summer (Jan. – Mar.). As always, those time periods will also focus on spiritual growth.
  • Lastly, we visited another Christian camp in southern Chile to gain information and exchange ideas. It is interesting to us that we have a better handle on networking with others than our Chilean counterparts.

walking the land2  walking the land1  chile camp 2021 visits

These photos picture the above, with the last photo being of our visit to the other Christian camp in southern Chile.

In Santiago

  • High on our Santiago action list was to meet with the other board members Juan and Tamara to discuss the Foundation’s direction & priorities, and sign needed legal documents. We resubmitted our request to change the name of the Foundation to “Fundación Misión Chile”.  The new name will better reflect the various ways we work in the country of Chile.  The last year and one half of covid pandemia slowed down Chile’s legal system even more than normal.
  • Once we have a new name we will enlarge the board from four to five members. In terms of our present board, Tamara is resigning, as she has little free time to continue with outside responsibilities.  We are pleased to announce that Patricio Curinao, pastor, song writer, & singer, will be taking her place.  We have a long-standing friendship with “Pato” and he and his wife Johanna are involved in various ministries that blend well with those of our Foundation.
  • We are scheduled to return to Chile on December 31 to continue helping make progress in all of the above areas, both in Santiago and in rural Chile.

Thank you again to YOU ALL for your prayer support.  Looking ahead to November, we are looking forward to this year’s ICOM mission conference to be held in Richmond, VA November 18-21.  We will be there with our “Chile” exhibit booth and would love to see you there.

Praising, praying, and fasting to our All-enabling, True God,

Jack & Janine 

September Chile Mission Prayers/Praises

The timing is the Lord’s – stay praying!

 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will we will live and do this or that.”  James 4:13-15

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:8-9

Our job??  Stay faithful in serving God, trust him & leave his timing to him, and stay praying!  May we also continue to encourage and pray for each other, as Scripture instructs.  Thank you all so much for your prayers for Chile Mission!  In the end, the Kingdom timing of all things is the Lord’s call and we can trust him, knowing his heart to see all people come to him through Jesus.

                                                       

September CHILE MISSION prayers & praises

We were due to fly to Chile on Saturday, August 28th, but didn’t for two reasons:  One, Chile requires that those entering the country spend 10 days in quarantine which we expected, but we learned that those without an issued “mobility pass” must do so in an approved hotel at their own expense (roughly $1,500 to $2,000 per person).  Those with the pass can quarantine in their own home.  Janine and I applied for that pass, sending in documentation of getting vaccinated in the U.S., along with photos of certain pages of our passports to prove that we are in the States.  We received the answer that it would take two weeks more to receive a temporary mobility pass and wanting to be good stewards we decided to bump our flights forward two weeks to allow extra time in receiving the pass.

Secondly and incidentally, we went on Thursday morning to have the pcr test within 72 hours of our Saturday afternoon flight and did not receive the pcr results (both negative 😊) until Sunday, August 29th in the afternoon.  Needless to say, we will be choosing a different pcr testing site this next time around.

Please join us in praying for no complications for our new flight, set for Saturday, September 11th.  As mentioned in last month’s prayer letter, we plan on staying in Chile roughly 4 to 5 weeks, splitting time between Santiago and middle Chile.  Another blessing will be that as of September 1, Chile just announced that the required length of quarantine time for people coming into the country will go from 10 days to 7.  

Other September prayer points & praises:

  • In Santiago we need to meet with the other two board members of our Chilean Foundation, regarding vision and structural changes to our legal bylaws and then sign more documents related to changes in process for over a year.
  • We will as a board also decide on short and long-term goals and take a fresh look at individual areas of responsibility.  We do expect some change in board members and are praying for the Holy Spirit’s leading.
  • We are planning on spending over a week at the camp property in middle Chile to meet together with Matías the architect and Abraham.  Matías will present design and placement ideas for the property.
  • We will also sign final documents with Coelcha to enable them to (hopefully!!) connect our new electric lines and disconnect and remove the old ones.  We pray that this will truly be the last of their documents to sign. 😊

the new fam 1Finally, we have been praying with others for a safe pregnancy & birthing process for Julian’s wife Devyn, due September 6.  Great news one week early, Lyon (pronounced Lion) Jacobi Swanson was born in the afternoon on August 30th!  Both baby and Devyn are healthy and we are grateful to God and excited for them.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to YOU ALL for your prayer support.  AMEN AND PTL!!

Praising, praying, and fasting to our LORD OF KINGDOM TIMING,

Jack & Janine 

August CHILE MISSION Prayer Letter update

“Missionaries one and all!”

1 Peter 1:18-20         Christ was chosen by God before creation

John 3:16-17           Christ was sent by God

Matt. 28:18-20        The disciples were chosen and sent by Christ

1 Peter 2:9-10          WE ALL are chosen by God

2 Cor.5:18-20a         WE ALL are sent by God

All of the above verses define LOVE God’s way.  We know that missionaries are sent out from churches to other countries, cultures and languages, willing to give their all.  At the same time, God’s grand mission to rescue and reconcile the world is even much bigger, as WE ALL have been chosen and sent to take the Good News of Jesus Christ to all places near and far.  A good place to start may be inviting someone to a church service, and as always, on-going prayer for that person needs to be right in the middle of it all!   No wonder we are encouraged in Eph.6:18-20 to continually pray for one another!

To ALL you prayer-partnering fellow missionaries we give thanks!  We so need each other’s prayers. AMEN AND PTL!!

August CHILE prayers and praises:

  • Last month we celebrated the re-location of the electric poles and lines on the camp property.  We now look forward to and pray for their final connection with the transformer and the electric meters.  As usual, Coelcha isn’t naming a date. 😊¿? (the Spanish version of question marks)
  • The Google Meet visual call on July 6th between us in Indiana, Paola in Santiago, Abraham in middle Chile, and Matías, the potential architect in southern Chile, went very well!  We want to hire Matías to help us with the placement and final design of what we construct.  We are still so grateful for the initial visit of EMI (Engineering Ministries International) in Feb. 2020, in which they walked the land and planned and designed structures and systems with us in the development of our camp property.  Matías has their final report in hand, which will help immensely with his actual work with us.  His masters degree is in landscape architecture, emphasizing country settings, so we think he will be a good fit.  He will be coming to Bodeuca in the coming weeks to meet with Abraham and go forward with us from there.                                                                                                               
  • We, too, look forward to meeting with Matías and Abraham when we return to Chile at the end of August.  We are grateful that Chile seems to be relaxing their control of the entrance and exit of citizens and permanent residents (like us).  They now require those entering and leaving to be fully vaccinated and there is a catch….  while we both will have a scan code on our cellphones documenting that we have indeed been vaccinated, the Chilean government has not concluded that they will recognize such scans from other countries.  We hope to be able to enter, move around, and leave within about a month.  We already know that we will have to quarantine for 10 days, with daily governmental visits to insure we are complying.  Thank you, Lord, for looking after such details. 😊                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Paola, our paid onsite manager in Chile, is Columbian and has just left for six weeks to visit her family there.  It’s been over one year that she’s seen them due to covid, and we pray for a safe and blessed time for her visit with her family and newly born niece.                                                                                                                                   
  • We have a new “guest” member of the Chile camp team.  Her photo is here below.  A Christian friend not far from our land bought the horse for his granddaughter and, due to his final days of battling brain cancer (Thank you Lord for our eternal home!!), he preferred to have the horse with us.  Interestingly, both of his sons-in-law were schoolmates of Abraham and our son Jayme in Santiago and they have remained friends.

Horse1    Horse2

August Stateside prayers and praises:

  • As we wait for our flights to Chile we will be spending time in continuing work on our house in California to get it ready to live in.  We haven’t been there for six weeks and are looking forward to making more progress.  We are very grateful for attentive and helpful neighbors!

Praising, praying, and fasting to our CHOOSING AND SENDING ONE, TRUE GOD,

Jack & Janine

July CHILE MISSION Praises & Prayer Needs

“EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!”

 16 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. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  –John 3:16-18

This month we join all of you in celebrating and commemorating the United States independence as a sovereign country, as originally penned in the Declaration of Independence and then won through SEVEN YEARS OF WAR AND LOSS OF SO MANY LIVES.  While the United States will always be evolving into that country described in the Declaration of Independence, it continues to be a beacon of light and freedom to the rest of the world.  Our prayers for our country and testimony as Christians are so needed!

The bigger question remains.  Is it possible to be “free and independent” and yet still live in chains?  The answer, of course, is YES.  So many today will not know TRUE freedom simply because they do not believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord.  We Christians have that most important REAL freedom living inside of us to share with an unbelieving “free” world.  Let’s keep praying for, encouraging, and giving thanks for each other as we celebrate THIS July 4th!!  ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE need The Best News of Jesus, as their forever life and future depend on it.  There are so many ways to share him, and we so appreciate your prayers for God’s work through us in Chile!

July CHILE Prayers and praises:

  • We have a HUGE PRAISE to share about Coelcha, the electric company responsible for moving of our electric lines.  They arrived at our camp property the last week of June to announce that they would be returning to remove and re-locate the electric lines from the middle of our planned lake area, and TODAY, JUNE 30TH, they did arrive to begin installing the new posts in their new location!!  TYL!!  This also means that our next building steps can go forward.  THANK YOU FOR PRAYING WITH US these many months!!  We have been waiting a long time for them to respond—especially since we had to prepay the $9,000 cost of the project this past February.  Below are two photos and next month we’ll have more to show.  
  • We will be doing a Google Meet visual call on July 6th between us in Indiana, Paola in Santiago, Abraham in middle Chile, and the architect in southern Chile that will be helping us with the final designs of what we will be constructing on our camp property.  Please pray with us for a fruitful meeting.  
  • We continue to pray for a final agreement with Rosa on the location of the border between our properties. She has refused to work with Abraham, preferring to wait for our arrival.
  • Thank you, Lord, that the renewal of Janine’s permanent residency was approved by the Chilean consulate in Los Angeles!  She was scheduled to return to Chile in May, but the country’s tight covid restrictions and lockdowns prevented that.  Praying for the relaxation of those restrictions, we both now hope to return to Chile this August or September.
  • Thank you as well, Lord, that in the meantime we can continue our weekly meetings via WhatsApp with both Paola in Santiago and Abraham on the rural camp property.

           Coelcha 2021 1    Coelcha 2021 2

July Stateside Prayers and praises:

  • We are grateful for continuing progress made on the house in California.  Finishing the grouting of the floors, texturing & painting walls and ceilings, and the installation of kitchen cabinets and appliances are our three main areas to concentrate on.  TYL!
  • We shared last month about Devyn’s (due Sept. 6th) pregnancy in Houston.  We just learned that Jayme and Malia in Birmingham, AL are expecting their third child one week before Christmas!  She did recently graduate from her 3-year “Family Practice” medical residency and we give God many thanks.  It is important to include pregnancies in our prayers.  In this photo taken at her graduation, Malia’s father, Patrick, is on the left.  Havalah is 5 and Matthias is 3.

                                             Malia's graduation   

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Returning to our July focus on Spiritual Liberty, did you know that almost one third of Chileans doubt the existence of God and over one third of Chileans consider themselves to be un-affiliated with religion in general?  At the same time, according to Barna and Gallup polls, only two thirds of U.S. adults and 40% of U.S. teens believe in God with absolute certainty, only half of Americans consider themselves Christians, and less than half of Americans belong to a “house of worship”.  The above photo shows where we can find people today as they pursue life outside of the church.  Sadly, physical life is all too short and so often ends abruptly without warning.

It would seem that the “EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT”  headline really does apply to the GOOD NEWS OF JESUS in the U.S., in Chile, and in all the world!!  We, the Church, are the hope of the world!

Praising, praying, and fasting to and through our John 3:16-18, True Independence JESUS,

Jack & Janine

June’s CHILE update, with praises and prayer needs

PRAYER-POWERED Kingdom Work”

 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.  We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.     –1 Thess. 1:11-12

Paul’s New Testament letters to churches and individuals contain both his prayers for them and many reminders that he regularly prays for them.  He exhorts them to pray for each other and also asks for their prayers for himself.  Paul knew that God was their source of power and results.  In his letters Paul prays both as an individual and as part of a “team”, often using the pronouns we and us, as he does in the above letter to the Thessalonians.  (A great hint for us churches.) 😊

We also now pray to the same One, True God as our source of power and results.  Without him, we are “on our own” and with him in the middle, we are able to live as Christians and do his work.  Both God’s Word and prayer will always be essential components of Christian living and Kingdom work (Eph.6:10ff).  You churches and individuals are in our prayers and we SO thank you for your steady prayers for Chile Mission and for us!  Thank you!!

ADVANCEMENTS IN PROCESS

At our camp property:

  • Abraham continues to communicate with Coelcha, the electric company responsible for moving of our electric lines.  We paid them in full for the project in February but they say that they are quite behind because of Chilean governmental quarantine lock-downs.  In the meantime the winter rainy season in middle and southern Chile is about to begin later this month which could quite possibly put the project off until September.  Thank you for praying. The relocation of the electric lines is essential for our future projects, so we are doing some more investigative work with getting an architect, talking with the governmental entities to set the stage for future development.  He and Paola are in communication about permits and other requirements applying to construction out in rural areas.
  • We are no closer to coming to an agreement with Rosa regarding the border between our properties.  Abraham is handling the situation well, and we pray for a resolution of the disagreement.
  • Abraham has finished the construction of the covered parking area behind their house, complete with a covered deck to enjoy in nice weather.  He is also in June having a winch installed on his pick-up truck.  This will be a blessing in freeing himself and others from deep mud on the country roads.  We’re grateful for the improvement of road trouble spots completed by the municipality.

Parking finished

In Santiago:

  • Our Foundation’s legal changes continue in process, but we have good news in other areas:  the Foundation now has its own checking account and Paola has contracted with an accountant to complete the necessary steps to comply with all associated government reporting requirements for foundations and their finances.  In addition, Paola applied for and received government funding of the three Foundation salaries we pay monthly—hers, Joherlit’s and Abraham’s.  We will receive this subsidy benefit through the end of the year.  TYL!!
  • We asked for prayer for the young Venezuelan pregnant woman staying at our ministry site while waiting for her flight back to Venezuela to be with her family.  We’re happy to report that she did return to her country, as we continue to pray for her pregnancy.  She is due in July.

In the U.S.:

Julian & Devyn recent picSpeaking of praying for pregnancies we have one more to add to your list.  Julian and Devyn are expecting the birth of their first child, a boy, due September 6th.  We are excited for them, as we pray for a safe pregnancy and birth.  Here is a recent photo:

We are working on the house we purchased in CA and will continue to do so until mid-June, when Jayme’s wife Malia finishes her three-year medical residency. Congrats, Malia!!  After attending that special event in Alabama we are scheduled to fly to Chicago to begin readying our IN house for sale.

Due to the current lockdown situation in Chile, Janine is in the process of renewing her resident visa.  This has entailed having documents sent from Chile as well as providing copies of other documentation.  We are waiting to hear the outcome—hopefully, good news.  That will give her up to a year to return.  At the same time, we look forward to returning to Chile as soon as the Chilean government relaxes its strict entrance and exiting restrictions for Chileans and permanent residents.  We pray that they would do so in the coming months.

We again thank you for all your steady prayers–they are greatly appreciated!

 Praising, praying, and fasting to our PRAYER-EMPOWERED Kingdom God,

Jack & Janine

May CHILE Update & Prayer needs

“JESUS-led and SPIRIT-empowered

“If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him or knows him.  But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.  Because I live, you also will live.” -John 14:15-19

We know that there is only one God, made up of three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each with their own roles in perfect union & harmony with each other in reconciling mankind back to God himself.  In the days prior to his betrayal and crucifixion, Jesus promised in both John 14 and 16 to send his disciples the Holy Spirit to lead and empower them forward.  Just prior to his ascension into heaven Jesus then tells his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for this gift of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit—a gift now given to all Christians who choose to obey and follow Jesus through repentance and baptism. (Acts 2:38)

May 13th commemorates the ascension of Jesus after 40 days of his appearing to his disciples and others, and Sunday May 23rd commemorates Pentecost (fiftieth), 50 days beginning with Jesus’ resurrection on which the Holy Spirit did come to those disciples and Jesus’ Church was birthed.  God’s Spirit continues to guide and empower us today, if we do not allow Satan to deceive us in thinking that Jesus is an “add-on blessing” to our lives instead of the center of our purpose in life.  He helps us in our living and decisions, and in teaching our children and in sharing the Good News of Jesus with others.  (We’re never too young or too old to do the right thing and live for Jesus!) The Holy Spirit opens doors and even helps us pray. (see Romans 8)  We are SO APPRECIATIVE of your ongoing prayers for us and for God’s working in Chile.  Thank you!!

At our camp property:

  • The electric company Coelcha is now ready to commence its moving of our electric lines and we’re still praying that the work is completed by June. 😊  In the meantime, Abraham continues burning the piles of trees and brush left over from the clearing of that same low-lying lake area and concentrating on finishing the roofed parking behind their house.
  • Rosa came and removed items that were located on our property.  The exact property borders are still not resolved, as we continue to pray for final agreement on our borderline with her.  She has her mind set on a certain amount of property and is moving the lines to accommodate this—even to the point of curving the line outward to add more footage.
  • We are also grateful for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and protection of Abraham & Catalina.  They remain steady in both their work and life on the camp land.  We’re grateful to be able to be in WhatsApp communication with them in all these matters.  Please pray with us for the arrival of all others needed to help their work and possibly also live on the grounds.  God’s Holy Spirit opens doors and relationships.      

In Santiago:

  • Paola has had to re-submit our Foundation legal changes to the municipality in which we were incorporated.  Have we ever mentioned that all legal matters take time, if not years, in Chile?! 😊
  • We currently have two parents/families staying at our mission property.  One is a young pregnant Venezuelan woman needing to return to her home country sometime in May and the others are the parents of a newborn girl, Esperanza (Hope), with serious heart problems.  Thank you for praying with us for both of these situations.
  • Regarding our car in the shop waiting for a replacement air conditioning compressor, we are now planning on sending the needed part with Janine (see below) when she hopefully is able to return to Chile later this month or in June.

            Abraham & dogs    Cata & Abril

              Abraham, with Sunny & Summer                      Catalina & Abril

In the U.S.:

  • Thanks so much for the congrats and good messages of many of you regarding our 50th wedding anniversary this past month.  Our special week with our whole family was also exceptionally good.  To say that the marriage examples of many of you, along with the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit over our marriage have played a HUGE part in our longevity would be a total understatement!!  TYL!!
  • We continue to make slow but steady progress continues to be made in renovating and repairing the house we purchased in CA.  With God’s blessing, the house will be our new residence when not in Chile.  We likewise have had to postpone our work on readying our Indiana house for sale, but hope to be able to do so sometime in May or in June.
  • As mentioned above, Janine is planning on traveling to Chile this month or in June.  At present, Chile’s strict covid restrictions continue in place, with tourists not allowed to enter or leave the country.  As residents, we can enter but cannot leave without special permission (??).  Under the present restrictions, she would also have to pay for 5 required quarantine days in a Chilean hotel upon arrival—about $150.00 per night.  We are investigating her ability to leave Chile, once there, too with the present restrictions.

                                        Us in Cabo - 50 years

                                         Our most recent photo, going forward in the Lord

We again thank you for all your steady prayers–they are greatly appreciated! 

Praising, praying, and fasting to our Jesus-led, Holy Spirit-empowered God,

Jack & Janine

April’s CHILE MISSION prayer letter update

Our PAID IN FULL, beautiful “second opportunities

 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.  Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  –2 Cor. 5: 14-21

This month marks the Christian world’s commemoration and celebration of the fulfillment of Jesus’ mission on earth—his suffering and death to pay in full the penalty of our sin, followed by his glorious resurrection giving us victory over death and eternal life through him.  All who believe in him and follow him in turn become God’s children and his ambassadors to the world.  This INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF GOD represents a totally undeserved second opportunity that would not otherwise be possible for anyone.  Who among us does NOT need such a second opportunity??

Our own PAID IN FULL, beautiful “second opportunity” becomes our message to all those around us and to all the world.  It calls all who would believe and accept it to repent (change) their lives to follow our Perfect, Loving God who showed us how to live through Jesus.  God wants no one to perish outside of true relationship with him through Jesus!  (2 Peter 3:9)

                                             Jorge & Eva1

In Chile people are legally married via a civil ceremony conducted by a government representative.  Christians can then opt to also be married by a pastor.  In February Jack had the honor of marrying Jorge and Eva, both previously married and divorced and now living outside of God’s design for couples and families.  They called their new marriage their “second opportunity” to put their lives and union in agreement with God and his design for marriage and family.  It was a beautiful ceremony and a fresh step forward for them both.  We continue to strive to extend a REAL Jesus in Chile.

We, too, are celebrating God’s grace, mercy, and blessing this month in our own marriage, as on April 17th we will have been married 50 years.  Exactly how did those years go by so fast??!! 😊  Seriously, all longevity of God’s designs for life and family are a genuine tribute to him and to his glory, in addition to being an encouragement to us all!  Thank you all for praying for us and for God’s message through Chile Mission!!

CHILE PRAISES, PROGRESS, AND PRAYER NEEDS

Chile has a high % of the population that have contracted covid—especially in its urban centers.  A new report has put the number of Chileans with covid at over 1,000,000 (out of approximately 18,000,000 total Chilean population).  Churches, schools, other organizations, and restaurants, etc. are not permitted to meet normally and many people cannot work at all.  Chile has again closed its borders to non-residents and non-Chileans and the entire country is on “lock down”, with nightly and all-weekend curfews throughout the country.  Janine has a planned trip to Chile next month, but new covid measures could change those plans.

At our camp property:

  • The electric company Coelcha has sent a team of engineers to our land to make final measurements in the relocating their electric lines to an area outside of our planned lake.  Paid for in advance, we pray that the work will be completed in April.
  • Abraham’s and our nearest neighbors met with the mayor about the poor condition of the public road that allows access to our properties during the rainy winters (June-mid Sept.) and it paid off!  Pictured are the heavy equipment sent to improve the road.  Thank you for your prayers!
  • Abraham has made more progress in the construction of a roofed parking area behind their house.
  • The surveyor hired by Rosa (see other recent month prayer letters) did come back to remeasure his points marking the borders of her property bordering ours.  The exact borders are still not resolved, though, and Janine is working with Abraham to provide clear definition of those borders.  Rosa is still not totally cooperative.

    Road1   Road2   Parking1

In Santiago:

  • Several government offices have been closed to the public, due to covid.  This in turn impacts progress made in legal changes in process regarding our Foundation.
  • We’ve also had fewer parents/families staying at our mission property lately for medical reasons.
  • More progress has been made in the outfitting of a second Chile Mission website in Spanish.
  • Our car is still in the shop, due to not being able to find a used air conditioning compressor to install.

In the U.S.:

  • Steady progress continues to be made in renovating and repairing the house we purchased in CA.  With God’s blessing, the house will be our new residence when not in Chile.
  • We travel to Chicago in mid-April to work at preparing our northwest Indiana “furlough” house for sale.

We again thank you for all your steady prayers–they are greatly appreciated!  

Praising, praying, and fasting to God, the Jesus-Source of real, PAID-IN-FULL second opportunities,

Jack & Janine

March 2021 Prayer Requests, with Thanksgiving

Faithfully doing our work

From him (Christ) the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  –Eph. 4:16

In Chile we extend Jesus in different ways as missionaries.  What a privilege!  Wherever this prayer letter finds you, you do the same in carrying out your part of the work of Jesus’ church.  In all cases we are all called to FAITHFULLY DO our respective parts.  We have lots to report on this month for you to continue to pray for.  We so appreciate your prayers, as prayer is one “part of the work of the church” that we ALL share in!  Thanks so much!! 😊  All of the below-mentioned works need prayer, giving God gratitude for all progress made already.

First, news from the camp property in middle Chile:

–relocating the electric lines.  Good progress has been made.  The electric company Coelcha has given final approval to the project and has even agreed to reduce the cost from $11,500 US (see our last month’s prayer letter for more detail) to just under $9,000 US. TYL!!  In addition, it’s a requirement with such projects to hire an electrical engineer to represent us and we were able to find a well-recommended man with experience to do that for a reasonable price.  All in all, this project should be complete before winter rains arrive in mid-June.  Here is a photo of the large area that will be developed into a lake, once the electric poles are removed.  The area in question comprises roughly 20 acres and the lines of dead trees and brush that you see will be burned as winter nears.

Abraham has made good headway in the construction of a covered parking area directly behind their house.  Many different types of wood are involved, but it is starting to all come together.  He hopes to have it completed soon.

Friend and fellow missionary Mike Blackless visited the property to begin investigating methods of construction, growing plants, and devising cost-effective water systems and alternative energy sources.  God may be calling Mike to join the team living and working on the property. 

The issue of re-surveying Rosa’s property to correctly mark it’s dividing line with ours, although seemingly already agreed upon, seems far from over.  We will see what March brings, but please continue to pray for an amicable final solution.  We will keep you posted, as we’d love to put this behind us.

Abraham & Cata continue to build good relationships with those that live near.  Pictured are Pedro and Raquel, having a meal with us. Left to right are Cata, her brother Isaac, Jack, Pedro, Raquel, and Abraham.  They are hard workers and have been able to take some of Abraham’s wood to use as firewood in the coming winter. They, too, have helped Abraham & Cata in different ways.  Raquel and Abraham have an appointment to talk with the mayor of Quillón, the town responsible for public road access for residents living where we do, to improve the public road in certain key trouble spots.  Pedro and Raquel are long-time residents of the area and both are definitely doers and not just talkers! 😊

                                                     

We hope you also enjoy the photo of some of the produce taken from Abraham’s homemade greenhouse.

In Santiago other good headway is being made:

Change of ministry site personnelValentina, one of the two young women living on our mission site and coordinating our Santiago-based ministries, is moving to Valparaiso near the west coast of Chile to take on a new teaching position.  Paola, whom we pay to supervise and help our Chile Mission work go forward, is taking Valentina’s place, adding to her other duties. We will miss Valentina, but are blessed to have Joherlit and Paola in this position.  We will evaluate everything again at the end of 2021.  Pictured from left to right are Valentina, Paola, and Joherlit.  All three are “Kingdom gems”.

We are still waiting to hear from the government regarding our Foundation’s name change to Misión Chile (Chile Mission in Spanish).  They have told Paola to expect their answer in March.  Regarding the Foundation please also pray for our upcoming director meeting this month.  We need to meet to go over the direction of Chile Mission’s ministries in 2021 and ask Tamara and Juan if they will be willing and able to continue on the board with us. Although Janine is in the States, she will participate via Google Meet.

A friend of Paola familiar with the development of websites is now helping with the final development of our website in Spanish. This is a praise and we hope to have more news at the end of this month.

As mentioned in February’s Prayer Letter, APEM, the Christian pregnancy center that has an office on our ministry site, is still waiting to hear if they will be able to occupy a building of the Presbyterian Church very near us as housing for pregnant women.

Our car has been with our mechanic for one full month, as he and others look for the replacement air conditioning compressor needed for repair.  Due in part to covid, used car parts are hard to come by in Santiago.

Lastly, covid19 restrictions and lockdowns in Chile are much more restrictive than in the States.  Churches don’t have “in person” services, most restaurants only offer take out and outdoor seating, and schools are just now opening to student-present classes (it’s fall in Chile) and all on-site school personnel must have been vaccinated.  All travel from one region of the country to another requires a government permission downloaded by cell phone, and each town and city receive lockdown ratings dependent on their new number of covid19 cases.  Interesting to say the least for everyone and of course, masks are required outside of one’s residence.

Jack returns to the States in mid-March to work with Janine to finish readying our Indiana house for sale.  She in turn is planning a trip to Chile this U.S. spring.  We will keep you posted.

In the U.S., between two houses:

Janine has had quite a job on her hands renovating and repairing the house we purchased in CA.  It’s in a good area and the necessary repairs and changes will be well worth it.  She’s also gotten to know and employ some area homeless men and some great neighbors who work construction, etc.  As a BIG PLUS she took three of the men to church services with her recently.  Definitely worth praying about.  With God’s blessing, the house will be our new residence when not in Chile.

Beginning in mid-March we hope to work to finish readying our Cedar Lake, IN house for sale.  This will include selling and giving away furniture and other items and shipping other furniture, etc. to CA.

As written at the outset of this Prayer Letter, all prayers are greatly appreciated!  Thanks so much!

Praising, praying, and fasting with Jesus’ Church as they all faithfully do their part,

Jack & Janine

February update & new prayer requests

“WON’T YOU BE MINE??”

valentines day1  valentines day2  Millarai version of love

February brings with it a focus on love and relationship—both of which that God himself first brought to us all and has demonstrated in the hugest way possible…. on a cross.  Which of the above valentines would you choose in your heart to follow?  Many of you remember Millarai, who died from bone cancer here in Chile at the age of fifteen, but not before she was baptized and had reproduced our son Julian’s tattoo on her own arm in the hospital with a permanent marker.  

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  1 John 4:7-10

How can we Christians not fully serve him who sacrificed it all for us? 😊  We so appreciate your ongoing prayers for us and for Chile Mission!  Here below is our February update.

IN CHILE

Thanks again for your continuing prayers for the following:

  • Jack spent a week with Abraham & family on our land in middle Chile.  First “steps” are going forward.  New inner roads have been completed by the excavator and we now have received from the electric company the price of roughly $11,500 U.S. for increasing our voltage with a larger transformer and for relocating the electric poles currently in place in the middle of the area that we will develop into a lake.  All in all, the cost is very worth it.  The construction of a roofed parking area is also underway and Abraham continues to clear more land of trees and thick brush.
  • Jack & Abraham met with Rosa about re-surveying the borders of her property located at the entrance to ours.  Progress was made and she shared that the surveyor she had hired admitted to making some mistakes in his points of reference.  She will schedule him to come out again as soon as possible to correct those mistakes.  That is good!  The only hitch is that towns and cities in Chile continue to comply with changing covid-19 restrictions and his small town is now newly in full quarantine.  Ai yai yai!  😊
  • Jack, Domingo & Sandra, Renata, & Paola were able to have a good meeting regarding the best Foundations structure for the future focus and approach to our combined works in rural Chile.  They already have the Luz en el Campo (Light in Rural Chile) board of directors formed, along with how they want to approach the work of their Foundation.  We had talked about one of us being on their board of directors and one of them being on ours in what we do in the country.  It was decided to keep the two Foundations separate and to not directly be a part of each other’s work.  This in the short and long run will be better for us all, and allow us to help each other when needed and also allow us to approach our works as each group sees fit.  We remain close friends and we all are at peace with our decision to not combine the directing of the two groups.
  • Paola & Jack are making good progress toward an up & running Spanish web site for Chile Mission.
  • Related to this effort, Paola has just now submitted the necessary paper work to the government to change the name of our Foundation Residencia Familia Cristiana (Christian Family Residence) to Misión Chile (Chile Mission).  The name change reflects our intention to add further Christian works to the current works of which we are a part.  The change also includes making changes to our board of directors to better enable the Foundation’s effectiveness and impact to grow.  We are excited by the name change and are praying that it is approved.
  • APEM, the Christian pregnancy center that operates in our Santiago mission property, has the opportunity to present a project to the Presbyterian church one block away to use their next door building as a house where pregnant women can stay, if necessary.  This would be a great addition to the center’s ability to help such women in need.  This is the same building that used to house the children’s home that Janine directed in 2000-2002.  The main denominational board of the Presbyterian churches is now the owner of the property.   Please pray with us that this opportunity is approved by them.
  • Jack will spend another week on the camp property beginning February 1.

Here are some photos of God at work at the camp land:

wide open view  Estacionamiento3  the greenhouse works

IN THE U.S.

We are grateful that Janine was able to locate and purchase a house two hours outside of Los Angeles.  This will still leave us relatively close to Jonathan’s & Jordan’s families.  The prices of homes farther away from Los Angeles are also quite a bit lower!  The purchase means that we will be able to complete the sale of our Indiana house and have a place to ship furniture, etc.  Thus, Jack will return to the U.S. in March to help with the whole “moving project”, and the goal will be to return to Chile in May.

Praising, praying, and fasting with you in the Eternal love of God,

 Jack & Janine

JANUARY 2021 Prayer Requests & Praise

“WE are new…. from now to eternity”

New Year’s resolutions can be good, giving us a fresh and new, or renewed commitment to change habits and achieve goals.  On the other hand, I (Jack)  had some very unfulfilled results doing the above at different times in my life.😊😊  Most of us can say the same.

Are we perhaps missing out on the TRUE new beginning that God has already given us to live?  It was Jesus’ sacrifice of his life to pay the penalty for every one of our and others’ sins that already makes our lives completely new and we now have the opportunity to serve that same Jesus and share God’s precious gift of forgiveness with all others, because it is WE who have been made new.  It is our motivation that makes the difference and it begins with gratitude, not sheer will power!  We truly are Christ’s ambassadors  in this world, as without him there is no hope or salvation—only separation from God and the penalty of death for sin.

With and without resolutions, let’s all be his ambassadors in 2021… out of gratitude, of course.  Thank you so much for your on-going prayers that help us in CHILE MISSON do exactly that!!  Jesus promised that piercing the darkness comes with obstacles and persecution, but the results are totally worth it.   

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  2 Cor. 5:14-19, living the newness of our Christianity! A page in Jack’s prayer journal:

January 4th Jack returns to Chile for roughly two months, amid quarantines and covid restrictions.  Please pray for the following:

  • His good health during the trip.
  • We’ve been asking for prayer in recent Prayer Letters regarding our on-going conflict with Rosa over the boundaries of her 2 ½ acre of land at the entrance to our own property.  She is still unwilling to accept the correctly done survey to identify the boundary of the line that divides our property from hers.  Jack & Domingo will again meet with her to agree to divide the cost of a new survey that we and she will accept as accurate.
  • Jack will spend time with Abraham to outline 2021 goals for further development of the land, including the improvement of the public road that always floods during the rainy winter season.  We hope to obtain municipal cooperation and financial help in diverting the flow of water off of the road.
  • Jack will meet with Domingo & Sandra regarding the camp’s vision and our approach to its structure that includes its all-important underlying Christian tenets, sources of financial support, and make-up and role of the board of directors.  Complete unity on the above issues is fundamental in our partnership as we go forward together with the camp.  Your prayers for this issue are very much appreciated!
  • Jack and Paola will work together on setting up a Spanish version of the Chile Mission website, as well as reassess the priorities of her work with us.

In the meantime please continue praying for Janine as she prepares our Indiana house for sale.  The young family renting the first floor of our house hope to be able to move to their new location by the end of January.  Janine is also hunting via the internet for a house for us to buy in California, so that in future years we will be able to live near two of our children in Los Angeles. 

Praising, praying, and fasting with you in Christ, The Source of our Newness and message of reconciliation,

Jack & Janine