John & Paula Oliver
New Tribes Mission
Oliver Family Updates - 2009
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    Last Updated on February 1, 2017
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    December 2009

    November was a very difficult month for our family, especially for Paula.

    When Paula had excessive uterine bleeding, we saw our family doctor, then a GYN doctor who was kind enough to fit us into her schedule that very morning. Once she saw how much blood Paula was losing, she sent her right to the hospital for a D & C; that was Nov. 4. The D & C went well. By this time, Paula was quite anemic with all the blood loss, very low on her hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. We knew it would take some time to get her strength and energy back and for her body to rebuild her blood supply.

    At the hospital, they also did an ultrasound and a follow-up MRI, and, of course, there is a pathology test on the uterine contents. Through all this, we learned that Paula has issues with her uterus (abnormal pre-cancerous cells) and an ovary (a mass which could be cancerous, but hopefully not).

    Paula had to lay low for most of November (as she was pretty weak), trying to get her energy and blood levels back; we recently received some very positive blood results, though; her blood levels are still below normal, but up significantly from the very low levels seen on her last blood test in the hospital (Nov. 5). PTL!

    November 2009

    It's been quite a month for our family, but especially for Nicholas:
    • Nicholas turned 16 on October 1, obtained his learner's permit, and is now learning to drive (with Dad as his main teacher).
    • He's also been seeing a dermatologist lately, taking Accutane to help with some cystic acne on his face. In the process, however, we discovered that he had a squamous cell skin cancer on his face, uncommon for someone so young (with little sun exposure).
    • We had the cancerous growth removed, but it did involve a two inch incision across his cheek. We would appreciate your prayer for healing, for minimal scarring, and for no futher cancer.
    • Nicholas is very interested in politics and current events and has recently joined a Young Conservatives of Central Florida group and has been helping collect donations and items to send to our U.S. troops abroad through Give2theTroops.org.
    • He also joined Generation Joshua, a Christian political group for teens, and is currently on a week-long Student Action Team in Virginia, helping campaign for 3 pro-life, pro-family candidates.

    October 2009

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

    - We recently returned from an NTM HQ annual beach retreat at Daytona Beach. It was a nice time to get away, visit with co-workers, enjoy pizza & donuts, and have a praise & sharing time.

    - I've been helping our NTM Medical department as they prepare to switch our medical plan to Blue Cross Blue Shield. The plan will continue to be self-insured, but BCBS will process our claims and provide access to their PPO discount provider network.

    - The kids are keeping busy with their OFHS homeschool classes, AWANA, children's choir (girls), and MKs youth group (Nicholas).

    - Nicholas turned 16 on October 1 and has completed his online drivers education class through Florida Virtual School; soon he should be ready to take his written learner's permit tests.

    - Meanwhile, Hannah is nearing the end of her 17 week OCD research study at Univ. of FL in Gainesville. She has made great progress, for which we are very thankful! We would appreciate your prayers for guidance as we seek to go forward from here.

    September 2009

    On August 31, I was able to make a short trip to our New Tribes Bible Institute in Waukesha, WI, where I spent a week with our co-workers in the finance office and bookstore, providing them with additional training for our NTM Accounting & Administrative system.

    I ate most of my meals in the school cafeteria with the students and staff. It was encouraging and fun to see the excitement & energy of the young adults; among the students were six MKs from Sanford - whose parents serve with us here at NTM Headquarters.

    You may recall that Paula and I met at our other Bible Institute (in Jackson, MI) in 1988 and then were engaged and married in 1989. While in the cafeteria I met two young men, sons of two couples who Paula and I knew years ago in Bible School. Now, 21 years later, their kids have grown and are in Bible School themselves.

    It's a privilege to be part of God's work around the world, reaching tribal groups with the Gospel of Christ, but also helping to provide Bible training to young men and women (and some a tad older too, as Paula and I were). Thanks for being part of the team with us!

    August 2009

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

    · We celebrated Joy’s 12th birthday on June 28 and then John became the newest member of the half-century club on July 4. Paula’s birthday is coming up this month on August 15.

    · Our kids are finishing up their old school year and getting ready to start the new one. Nicholas, now 15, has also started taking a drivers education class through the online Florida Virtual School.

    · Good news: Hannah was eligible to be part of a 17 week OCD research study at the Univ. of FL, so we’ve been driving 3 hours to Gainesville every Wed. She’s started receiving special OCD therapy and we are seeing some significant improvement! PTL!

    · We woke up recently to find that one of our gerbils had babies! This was a surprise, since we thought we had two female gerbils. It’s been fun, though, watching the mommy and her little babies.

    · I’m planning to head up to our Bible Institute in Waukesha, WI on Aug. 31 to provide our finance office there with NTMAA training.

    July 2009

    In our ministry here at NTM headquarters, we are privileged to work with fellow NTM missionaries in many countries. One day last month (June 17) was an interesting example:

    I was in my office, planning to revise a program our U.S. finance office is using to import donations from the U.K. office. I also had a letter on my desk from a missionary family in Paraguay, an email from a programmer in Brazil, and another email from an NTM Indonesia leader, asking about the possibility of using our NTMAA system for our co-workers in NTM Malaysia.

    As I was replying to these emails, I received a phone call from a Bolivia bookkeeper needing some assistance, and during that, another call came in, from our NTM Canada treasurer. I was able to help them both and reply to the letter and emails, but the U.K. import program had to wait until the next day!


    In May, I was able to make a two week trip to Asuncion, Paraguay (via Sao Paulo, Brazil) to install our NTMAA accounting and personnel records systems and to work with our NTM Paraguay bookkeeper & personnel administrator.

    I appreciated the opportunity to meet and help some of our fellow NTM missionaries, learn more about Paraguay, and even practice my Spanish a bit. Our missionaries there use the local Paraguayan currency, the Guarani, which used to be worth 1/126th of a dollar, but is now, because of inflation, only worth 1/5000th of a U.S. dollar; fractional Guarani (centimos) are no longer even in use.

    Through this trip, I am reminded once again of how missions is a team effort, with tribal missionaries on the front lines, overseas support missionaries in places like Asuncion, stateside support missionaries like ourselves at NTM U.S. headquarters, and folks like yourselves, churches and individuals, backing us up with prayer, financial support, love, and encouragement. Thanks for being part of the team with us!

    May 2009

    Greetings! On May 4, Lord willing, I expect to leave for Paraguay, to install our NTMAA accounting and personnel records systems for our fellow missionaries there. I plan to spend two weeks helping them with the transition and providing them with training for the new systems. I would appreciate your prayers for safety, good health, a smooth transition, that I will be a blessing to our co-workers there, and for Paula and the kids back at home here.

    Joy and Hannah are part of a local children’s choir this year and are looking forward to May 17, when their group will perform a musical, Down by the Creekbank; our two girls are excited to each have a solo part in the musical!

    Nicholas has been enjoying his MKs & Friends youth group on Friday nights. He is interested in politics also and had opportunity recently to attend two TEA (Taxed Enough Already) party rallies on April 15, one in downtown Orlando and one in another nearby city; I was able to join Nicholas at the Orlando TEA party.

    We would appreciate your continued prayers also for Hannah and the OCD (or whatever else) she is dealing with. We realize that this is probably a long term issue. We have seen improvement in some areas, but at times, it is very difficult. But God is still in control!

    Thanks for your love, prayers, and encouragement!

    March 2009

    Thanks for praying during our time in Colombia, where we installed our NTMAA systems (accounting, personnel records, and purchasing/inventory/sales) for our co-workers there. It was a good time, but very busy, as Colombia has more accounting requirements than normal, and also, since our Colombian accountant does not speak English, it took extra time for English/Spanish translation.

    While in Colombia, we were able to take a little time for sight-seeing also. We visited Mount Monserrate, the Museo de Oro (Gold museum), and also drove to the city of Fusagasuga (where, on a short mission trip 22 years ago, I had helped with some building projects at NTM’s training center).

    During my time there, though, we also had quite a health scare back home. After Hannah came down with a high fever, we found that her white blood & platelet counts were very low. Our doctor was concerned and had Paula take her to a pediatric hematologist the next day. The hematologist suspected leukemia and ordered a bone marrow test for the next morning. Thank the Lord - it was not leukemia, probably just a virus, and Hannah seems to be recovering well now.

    We would appreciate your continued prayers, though, for Hannah's ongoing difficulties with OCD, and also for Paula, who has been under a lot of stress and fighting discouragement.

    February 2009

    On February 23, my co-worker, Nathan Whatley, and I are planning to head down to Colombia for three weeks. Our goal is to install our NTMAA system (accounting, personnel records, and purchasing/inventory/sales subsystems) and to provide our fellow missionaries there with appropriate training. We would appreciate your prayers for safety, good health, and that we will be a blessing.

    We would appreciate your prayers on the home front also. In our 2008 Annual Report we mentioned that our youngest daughter, Hannah (age 9), has recently been having some difficulties.

    After observing Hannah’s recent behaviors, we saw our family doctor and then had an evaluation with a specialist; he concluded that Hannah is dealing with a neurobiological disorder referred to as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive disorder). For more information about OCD, please visit www.JPOliver.com/ocd.

    We would appreciate your prayers that God, the Great Healer, would provide healing for our precious Hannah, and guide us as we seek to help Hannah (through medication and/or therapy).

    January 2009

    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 & nephew, Mark & Matthew Oliver, were able to stop by, though, as they were down in Florida (from North Carolina) for Christmas (and a soccer tournament) 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. 2008 was a busy year with four new NTMAA installations; I helped remotely with our Mozambique installation and then had opportunity later in the year to travel to Indonesia and Guinea (West Africa).

    More recently, I’ve been adding multi-lingual capability to our NTMAA system, in preparation for our installation trip to Colombia at the end of February. I’m also working with our NTM Paraguay bookkeeper, in preparation for an NTMAA installation there in late April or May.

    We’ve recently put together a 2008 Annual Report, which includes an update on our family, our ministry, and our finances, as well as some praise and prayer requests for the new year. If you would like an electronic copy, please let us know and we will be glad to email you a PDF copy (1.1 MB).

    In any case, we wanted to share our 2009 praise and prayer requests from our annual report. We would appreciate especially your prayers for Hannah (and our whole family), as she has been dealing with some anxiety issues that have become quite problematic and time-consuming. These issues have become more pronounced over the past couple months and are at a point where they are quite difficult on our whole family.

    PRAISE & PRAYER REQUESTS

    Praise God for the good health we have enjoyed this past year! Pray for continued good health.

    Praise God for the great progress Paula has made in her diet & lifestyle. Pray for her as she tries to continue maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

    Praise God for our three precious children, Nicholas, Joy, and Hannah. Pray that they will come to know, love, and serve God. Pray that they will develop in maturity, make good decisions, and walk with the Lord.

    Praise God for the BJU HomeSat program that we have been using for the kids home school. Pray for wisdom and time management as we teach our kids.

    Pray for us in our relationships: with God, with each other, with our children, with others - that we would be the man and woman, husband and wife, Dad and Mom that God wants us to be.

    Praise God for good progress with our NTMAA system. Pray for wisdom, guidance, and unity as we work on our various NTM programming projects.

    Praise God for the successful installations of our NTMAA system in 2008 (in Mozambique, Indonesia, Panama, and Guinea). Pray for safety, good health, and for John to be a blessing, as he travels to Colombia (in February) and Paraguay (in April or May) to install the NTMAA there.

    Praise God for the progress that Hannah has made in her speech. Pray for Hannah (and really our whole family) as we seek to understand and help her through the difficulties that she has recently begun dealing with.

    Pray that God would give us humble hearts and make us a real blessing here at NTM Headquarters.

    Praise God for the work He is doing around the world, reaching the unreached with the Gospel of Christ. Pray that He would continue to raise up folks to be partners with us in this important task - through going, giving, and praying.