John & Paula Oliver
Oliver Family Updates - 2010
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    Last Updated on August 25, 2017
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    December 30, 2010

    We received some difficult health news today (December 30), which we would like to share with you in the form of a personal note (and prayer request) from Paula:

    I had some very hard news today that I would like to share as a prayer request. This morning I saw my gynecologist for an annual "well woman check up/PAP smear" and a follow up from the endometrial biopsy and uterine scope that I had about six weeks ago because of some dysfunctional uterine bleeding. All looks fine and stable now in the uterine department with no signs of cancer there but my doctor discovered a lump on my breast. I went for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound right after that appointment and the lump looks highly significant and very suspicious for cancer. There was no sign of this growth during my mammogram last December (2009), but apparently there have been some negative changes since then unfortunately that I haven't been aware of.

    I will be having a biopsy once that can get arranged and would appreciate prayer that I would completely trust in the Lord, rest in Him, and that He would be glorified and honored in my life; fully accomplishing His purposes in all He allows in His wisdom. He is the Great Physician and healing me is a "snap" for God if that's His will. I believe with all my heart that God is ALWAYS up to something good in our lives no matter our circumstances. I like this quote that a friend sent awhile back: "Some things are so important to God that they are worth interrupting the happiness and health of His children in order to accomplish them.”

    Anyway, even though I am an RN, and have a stomach of iron around very "gross stuff", ;) I never feel particularly strong or brave when it comes to my family or me dealing with illness. I've cried a bucket of tears today and honestly, I am afraid. And yet, I remember that even if this should be cancer and the worse case scenerio happens and I happen to die from this, then my future is still bright. Life on earth is but a blink of the eye compared to Eternity, even if you live to 101, and I am heading Home for Heaven when this life is over because of God's free gift which I could never earn or deserve--it's sheer grace :). That is a WONDERFUL thing to look forward to! He has numbered each of our days--may we live them to the fullest for Him.

    I've been going over verses like "God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind" and "Cast all your cares on the Lord for He cares for you", "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path", and many others. I know I can count on the fact that God keeps every single one of His promises--I can fully rely on Him and His Word.

    We would most definitely appreciate your prayers for our whole family when you think of us. :) Thanks!

    Gratefully His, Paula

    November 2010

    Paula just returned from a short trip to AZ to visit her mom & sisters. Nicholas was also gone for six days, helping as part of a Generation Joshua student action team, campaigning for Rick Scott and other Republican candidates. Most of his candidates won their elections, so that was a special bonus!

    We would appreciate your prayers for Paula, as she has been having some excessive uterine bleeding and may need a uterine biopsy and/or a hysteroscopy to figure out what’s going on. Please pray for wisdom, guidance, & healing.

    October 2010

    Have you seen the new TV program, Undercover Boss? In each episode, the CEO of a major corporation goes undercover as an entry-level worker in his organization, meeting a variety of co-workers and gaining a lot of insight. At the end, then, he reveals his true identity to his surprised “co-workers”.

    We’ve enjoyed this show, but it also reminds us of Jesus, who humbled himself and came to earth as the real Undercover Boss. He became like us and lived among us; someday soon He’s coming back and His identity as the true CEO will be obvious to all!

    In family news: Nicholas just turned 17 (Oct. 1) and soon Paula is planning to head to AZ for a short visit (Oct. 27 – Nov. 2) with her mom and sisters and other friends in the Tucson area.

    September 2010

    Here are some of our latest happenings from the Oliver family:
    • After my return from AZ (helping our co-workers at our NTM Aviation center), we were able to take a family vacation at our favorite resort in Daytona Beach (thanks to the Lord and eBay).
    • While in Daytona, we visited a chocolate factory, shopped at our favorite thrift shop, and even stopped by the Republican HQ, where Nicholas (who is very interested in politics) was able to pick up some signs for two of his favorite candidates.
    • At NTM, I've been working on some improvements to our NTMA Aircraft Billing subsystem - to enhance the user interface and also to track aircraft flight hours, landings, starts, and cycles - to help determine when aircraft parts are due for maintenance.
    • Last month also, some friends (and the Lord) blessed us with the gift of their 1997 Dodge Caravan (named Vincent Vinnie van Gogh), enabling us to sell our 1992 Honda Civic. Our Civic (which my brother & sister-in-law gave us in 1998) has been a great car for many years, but was showing some signs of its age and so we're very glad now to have Vinnie as part of our family.

    August 2010

    I recently returned from a ten day trip to our NTM Aviation center in McNeal, Arizona. Our co-workers there use our NTMAA system for their accounting and to supply parts for our NTM aircraft worldwide.

    Our time together was very profitable, as I was able to help set up a copy of our inventory/sales system for their book/video/shirt/cap sales, install and provide training for our NTMA Aircraft Billing system, and gather input on other functions and enhancements that could possibly be added to our NTMAA system to help even further.

    A special highlight of my time at McNeal was the opportunity to fly with one of our NTMA pilots on a (my first ever!) helicopter ride.

    Over the weekend, I was able to drive up to Tucson, take Paula's mom out for lunch, and spend the weekend with Paula's sister and brother-in-law, and share a ministry/family update during the Saturday evening and Sunday morning services at Desert Son Community Church.

    Our kids are back in school now (Nicholas - 11th grade, Joy - 8th grade, Hannah - 7th grade) and are each taking a couple of their homeschool classes online through the Florida Virtual School.

    July 2010

    We realize it's a little early for Christmas cards, but it's still a good time to remember Jesus! We are thankful for Jesus - for His birth, His death for our sins, His burial, His resurrection, and the eternal life He freely gives.

    We are reminded, though, that there are many folks who have not yet heard the good tidings of great joy. Thanks for your partnership with us in this mission to reach them with the good news of Christ and His free gift of salvation!

    Our kids have finished school for the year and are having some summer fun. Joy turned 13 on June 28 and celebrated with a fun pool party. As our reward for participating in the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program, we also enjoyed a free day at Disney World on June 10.

    June 17 was National Ride Public Transit day, with free rides on our local Lynx bus routes. Since I’ve been wanting to take our kids on a public bus excursion, we took a short bus trip over the lunch hour, and then that evening we rode the bus down to our Walmart plaza for dinner and shopping.

    Lord willing, I’m planning to head to McNeal, AZ on July 27, to help our NTM Aviation co-workers for a few days. While there, I’m planning to drive to Tucson to visit Paula’s family and to share a ministry update at Desert Son Community Church. Pray that I’ll be a blessing, both to our co-workers in McNeal and also to our family and friends in Tucson.

    June 2010

    Good News! Paula's recent abdominal ultrasound showed that her ovarian mass has remained stable (not grown). She also had a uterine biopsy and found that the pre-cancerous cells are now gone. We thank the Lord for these good and encouraging results!

    At NTM, I'm continuing to enhance our NTMAA system and to help fellow missionaries around the world. Here's a recent example of a day where I had requests to help folks in nine different countries:

    • U.S. - NTBI Jackson bookstore - gift certificates, receivables
    • Canada - missionary recommended support subsystem
    • Philippines - considering NTMAA, how to import spreadsheets
    • Paraguay - query/report enhancements, help using query tool
    • Indonesia - research problem with March/April transactions
    • Thailand - import diagnostic export to evaluate GL accounts
    • Papua New Guinea - intermittent bug when entering visas
    • Colombia - research problem with deleted transaction lines
    • Guinea - request for NTMAA personnel & accounting training
    We appreciate the opportunity to be part of the team, and we appreciate you being part of the team with us through your love, prayers, and encouragement.

    May 2010

    We recently had our annual strawberry picking day. A local farmer is so kind to allow us (NTM missionaries) to glean the remaining strawberries from his field when his U-Pick season is over, so we were blessed to pick, wash, bag, and freeze a lot of strawberries.

    Our kids have finished AWANA for the year. Nicholas was a helper with the Truth 'n Training group, Hannah received her 3rd book award, and Joy received the Timothy award for completing all four books. Joy & Hannah are also continuing to enjoy childrens choir.

    Healthwise, it's been a rather interesting month. In mid April, a few days before Hannah's 11th birthday, Joy came down with chicken pox; then, days later, Hannah also broke out. Needless to say, we had to postpone her birthday party, but we're glad the girls were able to get chicken pox over with at a young age.

    We’d appreciate your prayers for: Hannah, as she’s had some ear infections (perhaps due to chicken pox in the ears); Paula, for her ovarian mass and pre-cancerous uterine cells (she’s due for an ultrasound and biopsy soon); and myself, as a tick recently found its way onto/into my leg; we pulled the tick off, but a piece of its mouthpiece stuck in my leg. I'd appreciate prayer for no infection or lyme disease, etc., and that the mouthpiece would work its way out soon.

    March 2010

    We want to thank you for your prayers regarding our 2000 Honda Odyssey and its repair needs. We were trying to decide whether to replace the transmission or to sell the van "as is" and buy another vehicle with the repair money saved. In talking it over with my dad (thanks, Dad!), we realized that we would likely end with another vehicle of similar vintage, but it would be more of an "unknown" (i.e., it's transmission could go any time) than staying with our van.

    So, with those thoughts, we shelled out the $2,744 and had the transmission rebuilt and motor mounts replaced at AAMCO. Our van was also showing an OBD code (triggering the check engine light) for low catalytic converter efficiency, but we found that our catalytic converter (which we had replaced in August 2008) was still under warranty, so the muffler shop replaced that for free - PTL!

    At NTM, I've recently had opportunity to use our remote support tool to provide some additional query/report training to co-workers in Indonesia and at our Missionary Training Center in Missouri. I've also started working on a new time-saving program to help our bookkeepers by allowing them to create multiple batches at once.

    February 2010

    Here are some of the latest happenings from the Oliver family:
    • In January, we enjoyed a short visit from Paula's mom, Joan Mayshar, who we don't see often, as she lives in Tucson, AZ.
    • As part of their homeschooling, Nicholas and Joy recently started some online U.S. History classes through Florida Virtual School.
    • At NTM, I've recently finished some enhancements for our NTM Canada co-workers: EFT direct deposit of missionary monthly disbursements, and enhanced year end donor statements.
    • Our 2000 Honda Odyssey has started having some significant transmission problems. We have discovered, though, that a transmisson rebuild (plus some other repairs) is quite expensive, so we're not sure whether to repair the van, or to sell it "as is" and look for another vehicle. We would appreciate your prayers.
    • We're thankful that January was a good month health-wise. Paula is scheduled for an ultrasound (to check the ovarian mass) and uterine biopsy (to re-check for pre-cancerous cells) in April. We would appreciate your continued prayers for Paula's health.

    January 2010

    We hope you had a nice Christmas and New Years holiday. We were home for the holidays again this year and appreciated the extra time to relax and catch up a little. My mom & stepdad stopped by, though, on New Years Eve and took us out for "lupper" (our word for a late lunch, early supper), in celebration of Christmas and of our 20th wedding anniversary (on Dec. 30). In our NTM ministry, 2009 was a pretty busy year with two new NTMAA installations (Colombia in February/March, and Paraguay in May). I also spent a week in September at our New Tribes Bible Institute (in Waukesha, Wisconsin), providing some further NTMAA training to our co-workers there.

    At home, 2009 was a rather difficult year: with Hannah's OCD, Nicholas' skin cancer, and Paula's D & C and other health issues. We are very thankful for the progress that Hannah has made, that Nicholas skin cancer was removed, and that Paula's D & C was successful, and we are trusting God to continue to guide and heal. We would appreciate your continued prayers.

    We’ve recently put together a 2009 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 2010 praise and prayer requests from our annual report.


    • Praise God for His great salvation and the work He is doing around the world, reaching the lost with the Gospel of Christ. Pray that He would continue to raise up folks to partner with us in this important task - through going, giving, and praying.
    • Praise God for our three precious children, Nicholas, Joy, and Hannah. Pray that they will come to know, love, and serve God, develop in maturity, make good decisions, and walk with the Lord.
    • Pray for us in our relationships: with God, with each other, with our children, with others - that we would be the man & woman, husband & wife, Dad & Mom that God wants us to be.
    • Praise God for good progress with our NTMAA system. Pray for wisdom & guidance as we work on various enhancements.
    • Praise God for the excellent progress Hannah has made this past year in learning to deal with OCD. Pray that she would continue to grow in victory over OCD.
    • Pray for Paula and the issues with her ovary, uterus, and lower abdomen. Pray for good health for all of us.
    • Pray that God would give us humble hearts and make us a real blessing here at NTM Headquarters.

    We also wanted to include an update on Paula's health issues:

    Toward the end of December, Paula had another ultrasound of her lower abdomen, especially to determine whether the ovarian mass was growing and whether she would need surgery to remove it. We are encouraged that the mass was not any larger. The doctor is recommending periodic follow-up ultrasounds (the next one is scheduled for April 2010) to continue to monitor the ovarian mass. It is possible that it is cancer, but is more likely that it is not.

    Paula is using a progesterone cream to try to get her hormones back into balance and hopefully resolve the endometrial hyperplasia which caused her excessive uterine bleeding. The doctor will likely do a uterine biopsy in April to see if there are still pre-cancerous cells around.

    Paula has also been having some uncomfortable pressure (of unknown origin) in her lower left abdomen. It does not seem to be related to the issue with her ovary (which is on her right side) or uterus. In December, Paula had a colonoscopy, which showed some diverticulosis, which may or may not be related to this feeling of pressure.

    We would appreciate your prayers for guidance and healing for Paula, especially as relates to her ovary, uterus, and this abdominal pressure. Thanks much!