John & Paula Oliver
Oliver Family Updates - 2017
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    Last Updated on January 13, 2018
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    December 2017

    Christmas Greetings from Sanford, Florida! Here's some of our latest Oliver family news & updates:
    • Paula finished her cancer treatment last month (yeah!) and had her IV port removed today,
    • Joy has been accepted to Nursing school (concurrently at Seminole State College and University of Central Florida) and is busy getting ready,
    • Hannah is now working both as a private math tutor and at SSC's Academic Success Center,
    • Paula was able to serve as a Little Pink Houses of Hope volunteer for their week-long beach retreat in New Smyrna Beach (for families going through breast cancer), and
    • At Ethnos360, I'm continuing to make enhancements to our NTMAA accounting & administrative system, to help our fellow Ethnos360 missionaries, both here in the U.S. and around the world.
    • We have much to be thankful for, starting with God's gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ His Son!

    We wish you a Joyous Christmas season and a Happy New Year!

    November 2017

    October was a special month here in Sanford, as Ethnos360 (formerly NTM) had a dedication for our new headquarters building, celebrated its 75th anniversary, and opened the new gift shop downstairs (which uses our NTMAA inventory/sales system). I also enhanced our system so that they can take a year-end inventory by scanning barcodes and entering actual counts into the inventory table.

    Meanwhile, we're glad to report that Paula continues to do well, with head & ear pains all gone! She, in fellowship with her oncologist, have decided to permanently discontinue the Letrozole aromatase inhibitor medicine, which likely was the cause of the debilitating pains.

    At home, our latest project was building and installing a unique new bathroom vanity (see our photos on Facebook). We''ve also been up on the roof, finding and sealing up some leaks from Hurricane Irma.

    October 2017

    September was a hard month - with Hurricane Irma, but especially with the head & ear pain Paula was dealing with for over two weeks.. We're thankful that Paula is doing much better now, and also that, though we lost power/phone/internet and water for a while, we had no serious damage from Irma.

    We suspect that Paula's pain was neuritis, likely a side effect either of the daily aromatase inhibitor (Letrozole) that Paula was on, or perhaps one of the chemo drugs she was on previously. In any case, Paula is off Letrozole (at least for the time being) and is thankful to have relief from the pain! Meanwhile Nicholas turned 24 on October 1; we celebrated his birthday with a nice dinner at LongHorn Steakhouse.

    September 2017

    In early August, Hannah served as a CIT (counselor in training) at Camp Kesem, a free summer camp for kids whose families have gone through cancer. Paula celebrated her birthday on Aug. 15 and is thankful to be alive! Fall semester has now started for both Hannah (at Seminole State College) and Nicholas (at Valencia College).

    In mid-August, a work team from Pennsylvania spent a day helping us with weeding, cleaning, pressure-washing, and painting - what a blessing! A co-worker also recently helped us replace our leak-prone copper kitchen drain pipe with PVC.

    At Ethnos360, I'm continuing to help setup our gift shop inventory/sales system and also have been working with our bookeepers (stateside and abroad) to fix some database issues that my new integrity programs recently uncovered.

    August 2017

    July brought some fun events for our family - a short stay-cation, which included a river cruise (down the intra-coastal waterway in New Smyrna Beach) on July 1 and an escape room in Daytona Beach on July 3 (both Groupon specials) - and yes, with a little help, we did manage to escape within the allotted hour!

    On July 3, we went clothes shopping at our favorite thrift store (City Thrift in Daytona Beach) for their 50% off holiday sale, then celebrated my birthday on Independence Day, and the following day rejoiced as Hannah passed her driving test (so now we're a five driver family)!

    At my Ethnos360 office, I've started setting up a copy of our NTMAA purchasing/inventory/sales module for use in the soon-to-be-opened Ethnos360 gift shop on the first floor of our new headquarters building. I've also started recording some additional training videos for our NTMAA month end procedures.

    Speaking of videos, our Ethnos360 media team has recently created a new video, which they've personalized for us. We've uploaded a copy to our website, so we invite you to visit our Videos page and watch this new three minute video. Thanks for being part of the team with us!

    July 2017

    June was a busy month for our family, and especially for our daughter, Joy. On June 8, Joy took and passed her TEAS nursing entrance exam with flying colors (scoring in the 98th percentile of all students!). She and Paula then spent ten days in Key West, volunteering with Little Pink Houses of Hope (a non-profit that provides free week-long beach retreats to families dealing with breast cancer) - returning on June 27 just in time to celebrate her 20th birthday on June 28!

    Hannah is doing very well in her summer semester Calculus II class at Seminole State College (SSC). Meanwhile, she's also tutoring an 8th grade math student a couple times a week, to help earn a little money.

    At Ethnos360, we've been helping folks upgrade to our latest version of our NTMAA system, and I've also been able to record some training videos for our query/report tool.

    We'd appreciate prayer for Paula, who's not sleeping well, and is also still having knee pain (despite her knee surgery last year). Pray for guidance as to which surgeon we should hire to perform the partial knee replacement. Hannah is also continuing to receive vision therapy for her double vision, so we would appreciate prayer for her as well. Thanks much!

    June 2017

    On Sunday afternoon, June 4, we're having a high school graduation open house for our youngest daughter, Hannah. During high school, she was able to complete (by dual enrollment - receiving both high school and college credit) 47 credits at SSC (Seminole State College) and is now taking Calculus II at SSC over the summer. She's working towards a Mathematics Education degree.

    Joy received her AA degree from Seminole State and is working several days a week at the jewelry store, while also studying for her TEAS nursing entrance exam.

    Paula and I had a fun opportunity last month. On May 17-18, we spent 24 hours camping at our local Chick-fil-A's First 100 campout. Whenever a new Chick-fil-A opens, they give 100 folks the opportunity to camp out in their parking lot (from 6 AM the day before until 6 AM opening day). They fed us breakfast (chicken biscuit), lunch (chicken sandwich), and dinner (chicken tenders), kept the water and sweet tea flowing all day, and even provided a chocolate chip cookie as our nighttime snack. We had our tent setup and even invited some friends to come and join us as part of the first 100. Then, the following morning, we all proceeded through the restaurant, shook hands with the owner, and received our prize - a promotional card for a year's worth of free Chick-fil-A meals!

    Meanwhile, we made some good progress at Ethnos360 (formerly NTM) headquarters this past month. I was able to record another training video for our bookkeepers, we released version 6.92 of our NTMAA system with a number of enhancements, and we also solved a difficult network connection problem that has been plaguing us for some time.

    May 2017

    This has been an exciting month! Hannah had her 18th birthday on the 18th (of April) and has now also completed her senior year of high school! We're planning to have an open house (at our home in Sanford) on June 4 to celebrate her high school graduation.

    Joy also just completed her AA degree at Seminole State College (SSC), summa cum laude! The commencement ceremony was May 2. The following morning both of our girls left on a three day SSC travel study trip to Cuba!

    Meanwhile, NTM also recently announced a name change - to better convey the goal of reaching the various ethnic groups all around our changing world. New Tribes Mission is now Ethnos360. The vision is the same - reaching the whole world with the good news of Christ. Thanks for being part of the team with us as we serve with NTM, now Ethnos360.

    April 2017

    We can hardly believe that our youngest daughter, Hannah, will turn 18 on April 18th and then graduate from high school next month! Joy also expects to complete her AA degree next month, then continue onward for a BSN Nursing degree. Nicholas is also thinking of taking some classes part-time to continue working toward an AA degree.

    At NTM, I continue to support and enhance our NTMAA accounting system, helping fellow missionaries in person, on the phone, and via the internet. At home, I would appreciate prayer (for guidance & decisions) as I continue working on my deceased father's financial affairs. Paula would appreciate prayer also, as she's been having some knee & hip pain.

    March 2017

    Paula is now done with chemo - yeah! She still has eight more months of IV Herceptin infusions, and has recently also started a new hormone blocker. Her neuropathy, a side effect of the chemo treatments, is also now getting better, for which we are thankful!

    Meanwhile, Hannah re-took the ACT test recently, and improved her score enough to now qualify for the best Florida Bright Futures scholarship! She's planning to attend Seminole State College, where she's already been taking classes as a dual enrollment student.

    At NTM, I just finished an enhancement to further automate processing of web credit card donations, hopefully saving our finance office personnel several hours each week.

    Last month also, NTM moved their U.S. headquarters down the street, from the older (1925) three story hotel at 1000 East 1st Street, to the newer six story tower at 312 West 1st Street. Several of us had already moved our offices down to the tower several months ago, so it's nice now to have some more folks around.

    We have two special prayer requests for you:

    • You may recall that Hannah has had difficulty with double-vision for a couple years now. She has recently started some vision therapy to help with this. We would appreciate prayer that it would be effective in eliminating her double vision.
    • Much of my spare time is now being spent in the various tasks relating to my father's estate and financial affairs. I would appreciate prayer for guidance in the various decisions and details.

    February 2017

    On Sunday, January 15, my brother and sister had loaded up my dad's earthly possessions, and were planning to drive him down to an ALF in Central Florida, where we had a room reserved for him. That morning, however, as my aunt was helping my dad get ready for the trip, he collapsed and was taken to the ER. The next day, surrounded by loved ones (including us, connected in by video), he passed away peaceably of end stage congestive heart failure.

    We were preparing a place for him down here, but God had a place reserved for him in Heaven. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).

    In honor of my dad, we've added a link to his obituary on our website menu (on the left).

    On Friday, January 20, we had a memorial service and buried my father's body a few feet away from his parent's graves in Pinellas Park, Florida. We will miss him; we miss him already.

    We appreciate your prayers for our extended family during this time, for me as I work toward wrapping up his financial affairs over the coming months, and for Paula as she continues to deal with some neuropathy side effects from her chemo.

    January 2017

    December 30 was our 27th wedding anniversary and Paula's 6th cancer-versary, six years since Paula's doctor found a cancerous lump in her left breast; unfortunately, this past year, a small lump was found in her remaining breast. Paula has since had another mastectomy, is now undergoing weekly chemo infusions, and has also started a year of IV Herceptin infusions every third week.

    At NTM, we're getting ready to send tax forms (W2s and 1095s) again, so I've been researching and updating our 1095 program for reporting medical insurance coverage.

    Nicholas is continuing to work full-time at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, renting a nearby condo with a couple other roommates.

    Joy and Hannah are both taking classes at Seminole State College - Joy as a full-time college student, Hannah as a dual-enrolled high school senior. Meanwhile, Joy also works part time at a family owned jewelry store here in Sanford.

    My dad's health has declined quite a bit recently. He's been living with his sister in South Carolina, but now we're planning to move him closer to us, to an assisted living facility here in nearby Lake Mary.

    Here are some of our praise and prayer requests for 2017:


    • Thank 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.
    • 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 Hannah, as she's still dealing with frequent double-vision. We've seen two new eye doctors this year and are looking at the possibility of some vision therapy to help reduce the double vision.
    • Pray for Paula, as she continues through breast cancer treatment - with the remaining weeks of chemo and then a year of Herceptin.
    • Pray for our children - for Nicholas as he's out on his own, and for Joy and Hannah as they seek the Lord's guidance and provision regarding colleges, scholarships, and direction in life.
    • Pray for my dad, as his health has been declining; we're looking to move him to an Assisted Living Facility down here closer to us.
    • Pray that God would give us humble hearts and make us a real blessing with family, friends, neighbors, believers, and unbelievers.

    Thanks for your love, prayers, and encouragement!