John & Paula Oliver
Oliver Family Updates - 2008
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    Last Updated on August 25, 2017
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    November 2008

    Thanks for your prayers during my recent 3.5 week trip to Guinea, West Africa. It was a successful trip, as I was able to help our fellow missionaries with the installation & training for our NTMAA system for their accounting, personnel records, and supply store. I spent most of my time at our mission base near the village of Hamdallaye, working with the bookkeepers and supply buyers. They have no electricity there, but instead use solar panels and a generator to charge batteries, which then power 12V lighting and 12V refrigerators and even laptops (through DC to AC inverters).

    A special highlight was the opportunity to spend a weekend with a missionary family in a Landuma tribal village (named Kimiya). On Sunday, we joined the tribal believers for their worship & teaching time, followed by a fellowship meal of rice with sauce & chicken. Since my return, we have mostly been in catch-up mode here at home and at NTM. We were able, though, to spend some family time together at the beach, and Nicholas and I also had a special father/son outing - attending a McCain rally in Ormond Beach.

    September 2008

    On Sept. 22 I'm planning to head to Guinea (West Africa) to install our NTMAA system for our co-workers there. This will be my longest trip yet (3.5 weeks) away from my family, as I provide training for all three of our major NTMAA subsystems: accounting, personnel, and purchasing/inventory/sales.

    Most of my time will be spent at the field headquarters, which is located in the tribal village of Hamdallaye. I would appreciate your prayers for safety, health, a smooth transition, and that I will be a blessing to our fellow missionaries in Guinea.

    At home here, recent events include Paula's 50th birthday (but she feels like she's still in her 20's), a visit from tropical storm Fay (with much rain and some flooding), and our kids have joined a homeschool athletic program (

    We've enclosed a copy of a new NTM DVD, entitled Flight, which spotlights NTM Aviation and the Kodiak aircraft, but also includes four other NTM films. We trust that you'll enjoy it.

    As I have spent time with some of our NTM pilots who use our NTMAA system, I feel a special kinship with them, as they also serve in a specialized support ministry. As we serve with our fellow NTM missionaries, we also appreciate very much your support and encouragement as part of the team with us.

    August 2008

    Here are some of our latest happenings from the Oliver family:

    " In early July, we enjoyed a vacation at Ormond Beach, having found a great deal through eBay. Arriving on July 4, we were able to celebrate John's birthday and the birthday of our nation.

    " While in Ormond Beach, we planted our first letterbox; since returning home, we've planted a couple more in Sanford. For more info about letterboxing, you can visit

    " The kids have been able to continue with weekly piano lessons though the summer; Joy & Hannah have also enjoyed working on their gymnastics routines with one of the students here who has some experience teaching gymnastics. Nicholas is not into gymnastics, but enjoys keeping up with the latest political news.

    " At NTM, I've started coordinating with some of our missionaries in Guinea, West Africa, and preparing for my upcoming trip there in late September. I'm planning to install and provide training for our NTMAA accounting and personnel systems, as well as our purchasing/inventory/sales system (for their supply buyer store).

    July 2008

    Have you ever driven in a foreign country? It can be interesting. In Indonesia, for example, most folks don't drive on the right side of the road; if they do, it can be risky because of all the oncoming traffic. I also noticed that while there are indeed quite a few cars on the road, the roads seem to really belong to the motorbikes. Most families can't afford a car, so the 100-125 cc motorbike is the family transportation; literally, you can see a family of 3, 4, or even 5 people squeezed onto a motorbike seat. For some humorous tips on driving in Indonesia, please visit our ministry website ( and click on How to Drive in Indonesia.

    Back on the home front, while I was in Indonesia, there were two major used homeschool curriculum sales in the Orlando area. Through Paula's contacts with the sale coordinators, we (and other missionaries) had opportunity to look through a large number of donated books. It's been a blessing, as we found many useful and interesting books; for example, Paula found a Rapid Math book which we've all been using to learn some techniques to quickly calculate certain types of practical math problems in your head.

    June 2008

    I just returned from an 18 day trip to Pontianak, Indonesia, on the other side of the world. My co-worker, Nathan Whatley, and I were there to install our NTMAA accounting and personnel records systems and to provide training for our NTM Indonesia bookkeepers & personnel administrators.

    From Orlando, it took us four airplane flights (the longest was over 14 hours) and 36 hours of travelling to reach Pontianak. While there, we also had opportunity to visit the Equator marker, eat at local restaurants, learn a few words of Indonesian, share our testimony (via a translator) at a local church, and explore a local fruit/vegetable/fish/meat market early one morning.

    Indonesia is a large island country, predominantly Muslim, with many people who need the Lord. We appreciated the opportunity to travel there, work with our fellow missionaries, and learn more about Indonesia - its people and culture. Thanks for being part of the team with us.

    P.S. - Some notes about the Indonesian Rupiah

    Our NTMAA accounting system is designed to handle multiple currencies - US dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds, Euros, and local currencies, like the Indonesian Rupiah. We found that the Indonesian Rupiah, unlike the US Dollar and most other popular currencies, has no fractional units (i.e., no cents).

    When you park at a shop or restaurant, you typically give a 1000 Rupiah note to a parking attendant as you leave (as a customary tip for watching your car and helping you get back out into the busy traffic as you exit).

    1 US Dollar equals approximately 9300 Rupiah. With transactions potentially in the 100's of millions or even billions of Rupiah, we had to enhance our system for use in Indonesia by expanding some of our numeric data fields to accommodate these large transaction amounts.

    May 2008

    Lord willing, I'll be heading to Indonesia (with one of my fellow missionaries, Nathan Whatley) from May 26 - June 13 to install our NTMAA accounting and personnel records systems and provide training for their bookkeepers & personnel administrators. We would appreciate your prayers for safety, good health, a smooth transition, and that we'll be a blessing. Meanwhile, I've also started corresponding with our missionaries in Guinea, Africa, as I'm planning a September trip to install our systems there as well.

    On the home front, we've been busy with various activities, as usual. Nicholas and I had the opportunity to join Joy & Hannah for a camping night with their AWANA Truth 'n Training group. Our 3 kids all received awards for completing their AWANA books and Joy received their special Honor Award for girl clubber of the year!

    We're also happy to be the new owners of a 2000 Honda Odyssey van that my mom & stepdad recently sold us (at a great price). While I'm in Indonesia, Paula and the kids are planning to drive it to SC to visit my dad & stepmom and some friends in Greenville.

    April 2008

    In early March, I was finally able to release a new version of our NTM Hold the Ropes system. Our HTR system, a subset of our personnel system, was designed to help our Bible Institute and Missionary Training Center students "Hold the Ropes" in prayer for NTM missionaries around the world. We appreciate their prayers and we appreciate you "holding the ropes" in prayer for us also.

    Since then, I've been working (in preparation for our upcoming May 26 - June 13 trip to Indonesia) on some enhancements to our NTM Aviation aircraft billing subsystem, to be used by our missionary pilots in Indonesia. It's been challenging, but fun, as I've had to consider origins & destinations, primary & auxiliary customers, cargo & passengers, HOBBS clocks and flight times. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes to help our fellow missionaries reach tribal folks around the world. Thanks for being part of the team with us.

    March 2008

    Here are some of our latest happenings from the Oliver family:

    " Feb. 2: Hannah's and Joy's little cars won 1st and 2nd place in their Truth 'n Training division in our AWANA Grand Prix race.

    " Feb. 12-15: We enjoyed a short vacation in Daytona Beach, having found a great last-minute deal on a 1 day eBay auction.

    " Feb. 16: Nicholas and his two teammates won 1st place in the Central Florida AWANA Bible Bowl quiz.

    " Feb. 20-22: We enjoyed spending a couple days with Paula's mom, Joan Mayshar, who was visiting from Tucson, Arizona.

    " Have you heard of letterboxing? It's a new hobby that we've started enjoying. Find out more at

    " At NTM, I've been working on some enhancements to our Hold the Ropes system, which is used by various folks around the world. A co-worker and I are planning to head to Indonesia in late May, with possible trips to Panama or Guinea later this year.

    February 2008

    I've been working with our NTM Mozambique bookkeeper this past month, as we transition their field accounting to our NTMAA system. It's been interesting, as I've been helping him remotely (via phone and internet), using a remote support tool which allows me to view his screen and to share keyboard and mouse control.

    We also spent some time in early January training two of our NTM Indonesia bookkeepers who were here in Sanford. My co-worker, Nathan Whatley, and I are planning to head to Indonesia in late May to help the field transition to our NTMAA accounting system and also to our NTM Personnel Records system.

    Meanwhile, at home, Paula and the kids have been keeping busy with homeschooling. I've been helping the girls get their little cars ready for an AWANA Grand Prix race and Nicholas has been preparing for an upcoming AWANA Bible Bowl quiz. We've also added a new member to our family - Squirt, a red-eared slider turtle; he's fun to watch and has added variety to our aquarium.

    January 2008

    We hope you had a nice Christmas and New Years holiday. We were home for the holidays this year and appreciated the extra time to relax and catch up a little. My brother & sister-in-law, Mark & Susan Oliver (and their two sons, Daniel and Matthew) were able to stop by, though, as they were down in Florida (from North Carolina) for Christmas and so we appreciated the opportunity to visit with them a bit.

    Meanwhile, we've been keeping busy in our Computer Services department here at NTM headquarters. I've been working with our Tech Center team at our Missionary Training Center in Camdenton, Missouri and also with our field bookkeeper in Mozambique. The Tech Center is starting to use our purchasing/inventory/sales system and our Mozambique field is getting ready to start using our NTM Accounting System.

    We've recently put together a 2007 Annual Report and thought you might like a copy. It includes an update on our family, our ministry, and our finances, as well as some praise and prayer requests for the new year.