John & Paula Oliver
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Oliver Family Updates - 2012
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    Last Updated on July 30, 2017
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    December 2012

    We celebrated Thanksgiving with family (my sister and her family, my father, and my aunt and uncle) at my sister's home in Howey-in-the-Hills. We have much to be thankful for - starting with the Lord Jesus, the good news of His death on the cross (for our sins), burial, and resurrection, and His so great salvation, offered freely to us undeserving sinners. On top of that, God has given us "all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:3) and many earthly blessings as well.

    We're thankful that Paula is doing so well after all she has been through in the past two years (cancer, mastectomy, chemo, radiation). At present (Dec. 3-8), Paula is in San Antonio, serving as a breast cancer advocate at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

    We thank God for the new part-time job that Nicholas has started at one of our local Goodwill retail stores. He's working as a part-time processor, helping to sort, process, and price incoming donations. Nicholas also works at NTM a few hours each week, helping to clean our NTM Communications building (where my office is located), and is continuing to take classes at Seminole State College (SSC), working toward an A.S. degree in Business Management, Marketing, and Administration.

    We're thankful for the opportunity to (hopefully) purchase a home in the Sanford area. We're still waiting to hear if the short sale offer we made (in mid-September) on a nice 4/2 home will be approved by the seller's lender.

    At NTM, we just recently released version 6.65 of our NTM Accounting & Administrative (NTMAA) system, which is used at our U.S. and Canadian headquarters, our U.S. branches, and at various NTM locations around the world. As part of that recent release, I was able to include some enhancements to our query/report tool - to allow special “outer join” queries (of related database tables), and also to give users an option to filter queries by keyword or user ID.

    Joy is continuing to enjoy (and make good progress in) her weekly piano lessons. In early December, she had the opportunity to play (and sing) "Silent Night" during the morning service at our local church; she'll also be playing as part of a Christmas recital here at NTM on December 11. Joy is also looking to dual-enroll at Seminole State College, taking some classes that will count both toward her high school diploma and a college degree.

    We wish you a Joyous Christmas season and an excellent New Year!

    The John & Paula Oliver family at the Little Pink 
      Houses of Hope beach retreat in Oak Island, NC

    November 2012

    Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
    • We were delighted to have my Dad, John G. Oliver, visit us for a few days in mid-October. We had some good fellowship and were also able to give him a tour of our possible future home. By the way, we're still waiting to hear if the seller's lender will accept our short sale offer; we hope to hear from their bank sometime between mid-November and mid-December.
    • Joy has started piano lessons again (it's been several years now since our girls had some initial lessons) and is really enjoying it! She has a real ear for music and has composed her own song, which she calls "The Fullness of Joy" (Psalm 16:11).
    • At NTM, I've been helping with various projects - two page printed receipts (which are now in use), email receipts (primarily for folks who give via EFT or credit card), and electronic annual W2 statements (for our missionaries and other employees).
    • Paula is continuing to do well health-wise and is very thankful to be done with the mastectomy, chemo, and radiation; she's also encouraged by the things that God has been teaching her.

    October 2012

    Paula and Nicholas had a great trip to Washington, DC, in mid-September, staying with a family we met through the Friends in Action hospitality network. The main purpose of their trip was to attend the Value Voters Summit, but they also had the opportunity to tour the White House and Capitol building and visit many of the memorials.

    Then, a week later, our whole family had a special opportunity to spend a week at a little pink house in Oak Island, NC. Actually, our little pink beach house was bright yellow, but was arranged through Little Pink Houses of Hope, which provides week-long beach retreats for breast cancer families.

    Our bright yellow little pink house during our Little 
      Pink Houses of Hope beach retreat at Oak Island, NC

    It was an excellent week, full of fun activities (paddle-boarding, kayaking, beach time, fishing, golfing, games, ferry ride, date night, aquarium visit); we also had a nice visit with my Dad in Columbia, SC, on the way home.

    Meanwhile, we've found another possible future home in Sanford (4/2, 1653 SF, block construction, nice older neighborhood, no HOA, some repairs needed); the seller has agreed to our offer, but it's a short sale, so we're waiting to see if the seller's lender will approve. We appreciate your prayers for the Lord to work on our behalf, according to His will.

    September 2012

    Greetings! August was a busy month for our daughter, Joy, as she finished her online drivers education course and received her Florida learner's permit (which also serves as her official picture ID). Then, on August 28, she flew (by herself - well, there were other folks on the plane) up north and had a fantastic week with her Aunt Kathy and her housemate, Pris, in lovely Chester, Vermont.

    As a special high school graduation gift for Nicholas, he and Paula are planning a trip to Washington, DC to attend the Value Voters Summit (with many conservative speakers, including Rep. Paul Ryan, who Nicholas would really like to meet). Thanks to Rep. John Mica, it looks like they will also be able to tour the White House and the Capitol building. As you can imagine, Nicholas (who is very interested in politics) is looking forward to this trip!

    Meanwhile, we're continuing to look for a suitable home; we found one house recently with a lot of potential (4/2 + bonus room, 1935 SF, block construction, newer subdivision) and made an above list price offer, but we were still outbid. We've also been looking for a newer car (as our 1997 Grand Caravan has been having some problems) and were able to purchase a nice 2003 Honda Civic.

    August 2012

    Greetings! In mid-July, Paula and Joy enjoyed a special retreat with other ladies from our local church here. Then, two days later, Paula flew to San Diego for a week of breast cancer advocacy training (sponsored by the National Breast Cancer Coalition). On the way home, she was able to enjoy a few days with family and friends in Tucson.

    It seems that Paula caught something while she was on our trip, as she's currently fighting a respiratory tract infection or something, so we would appreciate your prayer for a swift recovery. She just saw the doctor today and he prescribed some antibiotics.

    Meanwhile, our kids are all getting back to school. Our girls have started their online classes with Florida Virtual School (FLVS) and Nicholas has registered for the fall semester at Seminole State College (SSC), majoring in Business Management, Marketing, and Administration. Nicholas has also started working part-time - helping to list books on Amazon.com for a friend who is an online bookseller, and also helping to clean our NTM Communications building (where my office is also) here at NTM headquarters.

    At NTM, I’ve been helping our finance office with a couple new projects: ensuring that W9 forms are received before vendors are paid for various services (that must be reported on 1099 forms); and preparing to email some donation receipts, especially for supporters who give electronically (by EFT or credit card) and thus don’t normally need to mail a check and the return copy of their donation slip back to NTM each month.

    I'm also on security duty this week, which means that I'm on call (and thus need to be here on campus) evenings and over the weekend, to assist with any emergencies or security issues, and to assist any after-hours guests who arrive (to stay in our guest facility here).

    I've also been working on our van quite a bit lately, as it had a problem first with the ignition switch, then a transmission output sensor, and now with a power window regulator. This has been quite a stretch for me, as these are not exactly within the scope of my computer expertise. Nonetheless, it is a good learning experience and there is a great sense of accomplishment when I'm actually able to fix it (and save the $75/hour mechanics labor charge!).

    July 2012

    Christmas (in July) Greetings! We realize it's a little early for Christmas greetings, 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!

    We celebrated July 4 (the birthday of our country and also my personal birthday) at the Daytona Beach Regency resort, thanks to my mom & stepdad sharing some vacation club points with us. We enjoyed the pool, jacuzzis, and the beach, and made our usual visits to the chocolate factory, the library, a Mongolian BBQ, the farmers market, and the special July 4 half-off sale at our favorite clothing thrift store.

    Back in Sanford, we're continuing to look for the right house at the right time, and Nicholas is also continuing to fill out applications and look for a part-time job. Our girls have enjoyed being part of a special week-long summer basketball camp at a local church. I'm continuing to provide support for our fellow missionaries (here and around the world) who use our NTM Accounting & Administrative (NTMAA) system.

    Paula has a special opportunity coming up; she's planning to head to San Diego, CA later this month to be part of ProjectLEAD (sponsored by the National Breast Cancer Coalition). She'll receive a week of special breast cancer advocacy training and is looking forward to a few days in Tucson, AZ on her way home to visit family & friends.

    June 2012

    Greetings! We just returned from a relaxing family vacation on Satellite Beach; some friends were unable to use their timeshare week and kindly allowed us to stay there.

    Paula is encouraged, nearing the end of her cancer treatment. She's back on her normal diet & exercise plan and has lost 40 lbs that she gained during the treatment!

    Nicholas is now our first High School graduate! He plans to continue at SSC (Seminole State College) in the fall, studying Business Management, Marketing, and Administration; meanwhile, he's looking for a part-time job (or full-time during the summer).

    We appreciate your continued prayers for Paula (the tourniquet pain is much better, but still there), for Nicholas, and for guidance and provision of a nice home.

    May 2012

    Greetings! My April highlight was flying up to South Carolina to spend some time with my dad & stepmom; while there, I was also able to share an exciting missions video, EE-TAOW, with their Sunday School class at First Baptist Church of Newberry.

    Paula is continuing to recovery nicely. She's excited to have a head of hair again (and it's coming in curly). The last weekend in April, she was invited to be part of a Casting for Recovery group that treated 14 ladies (who've been dealing with cancer) to a weekend retreat - to learn how to fly fish!

    Meanwhile, Nicholas has finished his two SSC (Seminole State College) dual-enrollment classes for the semester, our girls have enjoyed some weekly gymnastics classes, and we're continuing to look at possible houses around Sanford, as we prepare for the eventual sale of our current NTM headquarters building (where we live).

    April 2012

    Greetings from the Olivers! Here's a brief update on our ministry and family:

    NTM is planning to move their www.ntm.org website to a new platform (a new content management system) later this month. Since this will also affect the giving portion of the website (where folks can make credit card donations for NTM projects and missionaries), I've been helping to verify that the new website will work properly.

    We also recently released a new version (6.60) of our NTM Accounting & Administrative (NTMAA) system for our stateside branches (Bible institutes, Missionary Training Center, and NTM Aviation center) and our overseas fields. This new version includes enhancements especially for NTM Canada, NTM Bolivia, NTM Aviation, and our Missionary Training Center.

    Paula is continuing to regain her energy and stamina - thanks very much for your continued prayers! She continues with her (every three week) Herceptin IV infusions for two more months, and a daily anti-hormone drug (pill), Tamoxifen, for five years.

    We're also continuing to look at homes and condos in the Sanford area, and praying that God will guide us to the right one at a good price.

    Thanks for being part of the team with us - through your love, prayers, encouragement, and support.

    March 2012

    Here's some of our latest news & updates from the Oliver family:
    • On the health front, Paula is done with chemo & radiation and on the road to recovery! She continues with Herceptin IV infusions every three weeks (until June), and an anti-hormone drug for five years. Her arm still bothers her (tourniquet type feeling), but the feeling is less intense than it was - PTL!
    • The girls are nearly done with their first year of Upwards basketball, a great experience which they really enjoyed. They also had fun recently, tent camping with Paula for two nights.
    • Nicholas is keeping busy with homeschool and SSC classes, as he finishes his senior year of high school. He also volunteers twice a week for our state representative, Jason Brodeur.
    • In early February, I spent a week with our Senegal/Guinea bookkeeper, providing him with some further NTMAA training. Meanwhile, I keep busy with various enhancements & projects.
    • We're also looking at houses & condos for sale around Sanford, as NTM plans to sell our building within the next couple years. We appreciate your prayers for guidance in this decision.

    February 18, 2012

    Just a quick praise update to let you know that Paula has been feeling much better recently and is very encouraged:
    • Her cough and sinus-related symptoms have improved significantly.
    • She still has the tourniquet-type pain feeling in her left arm (from the mastectomy), but the level of the pain is lower than it used to be (so she can sometimes even forget about it).
    • She's back on her normal diet and has lost 10 lbs already, and
    • She's getting her strength and energy back, and is able to take longer walks and exercise more.
    Thanks very much for your prayers on our behalf!

    February 6, 2012

    Greetings! January was quite a busy month for our family. Paula was able to fly out to Arizona to spend a week with family and friends, and also to share an update with the church family at Desert Son Community Church. We’re encouraged that Paula’s radiation burns are healing nicely; she’s been having some laryngeal or pulmonary symptoms, though (coughing, possible sinus infection), so we'd appreciate your prayers for continued healing.

    Paula returned on the 17th and then I left on the 21st for NTM’s missionary base in Chihuahua, Mexico. I was last down there in 2005, installing our NTMAA Accounting system and providing training for our co-workers there. Now, seven years later, though, there are all new missionary bookkeepers, and so I was able to provide them with some additional training to help them be more efficient and proficient with our NTMAA Accounting system.

    Nicholas is taking two dual-enrollment classes (English II and Introduction to Management) at Seminole State College this semester, as he finishes out his senior year of high school; he’s also started volunteering for our local state representative. Joy and Hannah are busy with their classes and have also recently joined an Upwards basketball team at a local church.

    January 2012

    Greetings! We hope you had a nice Christmas and New Years holiday; we were able to get together with family and friends several times during the past month.

    Paula had a couple special gifts just in time for Christmas this year. On Dec. 22, she completed her 30th (of 30) radiation treatment! Then, the next day, we received the good news that her recent biopsy (of a suspicious spot on her remaining right breast) did not show any cancer. That was very encouraging, as she certainly didn’t relish going through the whole treatment process all over again.

    2011 was a hard year, but by God’s grace - and lots of help, encouragement, and support from friends and family – we made it through. As we head into 2012, we appreciate your continued prayers - for healing from any remaining cancer, as well as the side effects of the cancer treatments (including the latest radiation burns).

    At the moment, Paula is spending a week with family and friends in the Tucson, Arizona, area. A few days after she returns, I’m then planning to travel to our NTM base in Chihuahua, Mexico, to provide our co-workers there with some further training in our NTM Accounting & Administrative (NTMAA) system.

    Here are some of our praise and prayer requests for 2012:

    PRAISE & PRAYER REQUESTS

    • 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, 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.

    • Pray for Paula, for healing from her breast cancer, as well as from the side effects of the cancer treatments (tourniquet-type nerve pain in her arm; neuropathy – numbness and pain in her fingers and toes from the chemo; and radiation burns), and to rest in the Lord and His sovereign care.

    • NTM is planning to sell their older (built in 1925) headquarters building (where we live). Pray for wisdom and guidance as we consider possibly buying a home in the local area here.

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

    Thanks for your love, prayers, and encouragement!