John & Paula Oliver
2008 Oliver Family News Summary
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  • Copyright © 2017, J & P Oliver
    Last Updated on August 25, 2017
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    Christmas Greetings!

    First of all, we want to thank you for stopping by, and a special thanks to those of you who pray for us or help support our ministry with New Tribes Mission.

    2008 has been a busy year for us. Here are some of our 2008 highlights:

    • January - We began the year with a new addition to our family, a pet turtle named Squirt (or at least, that's what we called him). A red-eared slider aquatic turtle, Squirt lives in our 20 gallon aquarium; initially, we had some fish in there with him, but over time he must have forgotten that "fish are friends, not food!"

    • January/February - I had been tentatively planning to travel to Mozambique, Africa in January to install our NTM Accounting & Administrative (NTMAA) system there and provide training for their bookkeeper.

      As I started to prepare, though, I determined that the travel costs to Mozambique would be high (both in terms of time and money) compared to the size of the task (our Mozambique field has a single bookkeeper with a single computer), so with the use of some discount phone cards and our internet remote control program, I was able to spend a number of days working remotely with our bookkeeper there, helping to install our system and providing him with the needed training for our NTMAA system.

    • February - I was finally able to merge our HTR (Hold the Ropes) system, a read-only subset of NTM Personnel Records system, into our NTMAA system and release a long awaited new version of our HTR System, version 6.03. (Our previous version 5.10 of the HTR system had been released in October 2004).

    • March - In preparation for my upcoming trip to Indonesia, I made a number of enhancements to our NTMA Aircraft Billing subsystem, so that the system could help our NTM Indonesia pilots even further, calculating flight charges for both primary customers (who has chartered the flight) or additional customers (who pay according to passengers and cargo).

    • April - My mom & stepdad, having recently purchased a newer Honda Odyssey, sold their 2000 Honda Odyssey van to us for a great price. We then sold our 1994 Chevy Astro van, so now we are a Honda family, using our 1992 Honda Civic for most local travel (it gets great gas mileage and we can still squeeze all five of us into it) and our 2000 Honda Odyssey for longer trips, when we need to use both vehicles, or when the Civic is under the weather.

      At NTM, I was able to spend some time enhancing the encryption routines that we use for encrypting credit card numbers (for donations and bookstore sales). I also was able to update our NTM Personnel Records system to use some of the enhanced synchronization routines that I had included in the HTR system.

    • May/June - I traveled with co-worker, Nathan Whatley, to our NTM Indonesia headquarters in Pontianak, Indonesia to help them transition to our NTMAA system. In addition to providing training to their finance office and regional bookkeepers with training, we also spent time training their personnel administrators in the use of our NTM Personnel Records system and our NTM Indonesia pilots on our aircraft billing module.

      While I was in Indonesia, Paula and the kids were able to drive to Greenville, SC, to visit some friends and to spend some time with my dad & stepmom along the way.

    • July - We found a good deal on eBay, so we were able to take a week long family vacation at the Royal Floridian resort in Ormond Beach during July 4 week.

    • September - We found another great deal on eBay - an auction for a gift certificate for a week long stay in a two bedroom unit at the Daytona Resort & Club for $100. We were able to use the gift certificate Labor Day week, spending some family time together just a couple weeks before my trip to Guinea.

      While we were on vacation, we received an email from my co-worker, Nathan, who was taking care of our acquatic turtle. He indicated that everything was fine, except that the turtle requested that the TV be moved closer to the tank and apparently asked for a remote that would work underwater. Otherwise, the turtle, which apparently indicated that its name was Shelley (we had been calling him Squirt) was doing well, but was pretty close mouthed.

      In September, our kids also signed up for SAINTS, a Christian homeschool athletic program in Florida. They are part of a group of kids who get together every Tuesday morning to have fun learning different sports.

    • September/October - I spent 3.5 weeks (my longest trip yet away from my family) helping our missionaries in Guinea, West Africa with our NTMAA system. In addition to providing training for the main bookkeepers and outstations bookkeepers, I also helped install our purchasing/inventory/sales system for their supply buyer for use at their store on the missionary base.

      Spending time at NTM's field headquarters in Hamdallaye, Guinea was quite an experience, as they have no electricity or running water. In fact, they use solar panels and generators to charge 12V batteries, which then power 12V lights and 12V refrigerators; they use DC to AC inverters to power laptop computers. They pump water out of a well and then gravity feed the water to the various homes, where it must again be pumped to to reservoirs on roofs; to make it safe for drinking, it must also be filtered.

      While there, I was also invited by one of the missionary families to spend a weekend with them at their tribal station. That was a special experience also, as I was able to meet a number of tribal folks, join the tribal believers for their Sunday morning service, and be reminded again that this is what our objective in New Tribes Mission is, to reach these tribal folks with the good news of Christ.

    • October - As much of an interesting experience as Guinea was, I was glad to return home in mid-October. Thanks to my mom & stepdad, who shared some of their timeshare points with us, we were able to spend some family time together at Daytona Beach.

    • November - Even though my co-workers were covering for me, after having been out of the office for five weeks, there was quite a bit waiting for me, including a number of high priority problems. I've spent most of November trying to catch up, providing support to our fellow missionaries around the world who rely on our NTMAA system.

      We enjoyed a special opportunity when some friends of ours (who work at Walt Disney World) shared some of their guest passes with us, so we were able to spend a fun day at Walt Disney World.

    • December - December is looking to be a busy month also. I have two overseas trips tentatively planned for next year (Colombia in February and Paraguay in April). We are planning to add some multi-lingual capabilities to our NTMAA system, as some of our NTM Colombia missionaries (who will be using our system for their bookkeeping) are Spanish speakers.

      During December, we also planning to spend part of the month preparing our 2008 Annual Report. (See below if you would like a copy).

    To read more of our news and updates for 2008, we would invite you to visit our news and updates page.

    Before you leave, would you please take a minute to drop us an email using our quick form below (or you can email us at

    It would be a blessing to us to know that you received our Christmas postcard ok and that you took the time to visit our website. We would also appreciate hearing what's been happening with you. If you have any special prayer requests, please include them, so that we can pray for you as well.

    We are preparing a 2008 Annual Report with updates on our family, our ministry, and our finances, as well as praise and prayer requests for 2009. If you would like us to mail you a copy of our 2008 Annual Report, our new 2009 prayer card, or one of our 2009 magnetic calendars (for your refrigerator), please let us know.

    Since our newsletter service (which served us well for sixteen years) ceased operation in 2007, we have started sending monthly email updates instead. If you would like to be added to our Oliver Family Update monthly email list, please let us know.

    Thanks again for stopping by! If you are ever planning to visit the Sanford/Orlando area, please let us know, as we would love to see you.

    Have a Joyous Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

    John & Paula & Family :)