John & Paula Oliver
|News & Prayer Requests|
Copyright © 2020, J & P Oliver
Last Updated on March 31, 2020
To help keep folks updated with news and prayer requests for our family and ministry, we try to write up a short news and/or prayer update each month; below are our latest Oliver Family Updates:
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April 2020March was perhaps the most unusual month we've ever been through. It started out pretty normally, but then progressively transitioned to what seems like a prelude to the end times - with restrictions on restaurants, travel, and social distancing, and shortages of sanitizer, TP, disinfecting wipes, and even some food items. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
With the college campuses essentially closed down, we helped our daughter, Hannah, move back home from Daytona Beach, where she had been renting a room from a Christian family. She's continuing her Daytona State College studies remotely, while also continuing to work for them as a math tutor, now also online.
At Ethnos360, most of our home office staff, including myself, are working remotely. Our team just successfully transitioned our personnel records system to Dynamics HR - a major accomplishment. I'm continuing to support our NTMAA system, while also helping some with our new Paylocity payroll system.
March 2020We're excited that our daughter,Joy, having completed her two nursing degrees (ASN & BSN), has recently started training in her new nursing job at a local Advent Health hospital, where she'll be working on a transplant unit!
Last weekend, Paula and I were able to participate in a Marriage Encounter weekend in Tampa. It was a special opportunity for us to take some time to improve our communication, share and discuss our thoughts and feelings on various topics, and take a fresh start on toward turning our good marriage into a great marriage!
Meanwhile, I had my tooth #30 extracted last month. It was quite traumatic, as the roots had to be dug and pried out, but the healing process is underway. Unfortunately, though, ever since then, an adjacent tooth (#29) has been in a state of aggravated discomfort. It may end up needing a root canal, but for now, I'm giving it a little more time to see if it returns to normal. Your prayers for God's care, guidance, and healing are appreciated!
February 2020Allegiant flies from Sanford to San Juan, so while Joy was still enjoying a break before starting her RN job later this month, we spent a long weekend in Puerto Rico last month. We stayed in an AirBnB (a first for us), traveled around via Uber, bus, and train, practiced our Spanish, and enjoyed a walking tour of Old San Juan.
Thanks for praying for the pain/irritation in my right ear; it's not completely back to normal, but it's much better! I still don't know if it was caused by TMJ, a viral infection, or may even relate to a tooth (#30) that was going to need a crown (and possible root canal), but I've now been given the sad news that it needs to be extracted. :-(
At Ethnos360, we spent much of January transitioning our missionary benefits (medical, life, AD&D, evacuation insurance) to Paylocity. It did not go smoothly or easily, but Paylocity is now tracking those benefits for our members. Meanwhile, we plan to continue making payroll changes in preparation for our new accounting system.
January 2020Happy New Year! Paula and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on December 30th! We took our bicyles on the SunRail train down to Winter Park, then rode a mile to the Winter Park Village, where Paula enjoyed a manicure/pedicure, then we had a nice meal together at the Cheesecake Factory.
At Ethnos360, we successfully ran our third external payroll on Dec. 27, as we continue our transition to Paylocity. For January, our challenges are to compile appropriate data for our 2019 ACA 1095 forms and to transition our various missionary benefits (medical, life, AD&D, and evacuation insurance) to Paylocity.
We've been enjoying having Hannah home with us here over her winter break. However, for the past couple weeks, I've been dealing with some ongoing ear pain/irritation in or around my right ear. It does not appear to be an ear infection, but I'm finding it distracting and wearing, so I would appreciate your prayers for guidance and healing.
December 2019Christmas Greetings from the Oliver family!
Here's some of our latest news & updates:
November 2019At Ethnos360 headquarters, my main project for the past several months (in addition to supporting our NTMAA accounting system) has been to help transition our monthly payroll process to Paylocity.
I'm happy to report that we successfully ran our first "live" payroll with Paylocity on October 30! We had some glitches and mistakes, as expected - but overall, it went well, pretty smoothly. Thanks for praying! Now we start preparing for phase 2 (in January 2020) - for Paylocity to also start administering our missionary insurance plans (medical, life, evacuation).
Paula is over in New Smyrna Beach for the week, volunteering with Little Pink Houses of Hope (LittlePink.org). Back in 2012, when we were going through Paula's first breast cancer, our family was treated to a special week-long beach retreat (in Oak Island, NC), so now Paula volunteers each year to serve other families dealing with breast cancer. While there, she also looks for opportunities to plant seeds and share the love of Christ - with families who realize, more than most, that our remaining time on earth can be very short.
October 2019Our Nicholas celebrated his 26th birthday October 1, Hannah continues her Secondary Math Education studies at Daytona State, and Joy is now in her final semester at UCF, working toward her BSN degree.
At Ethnos360 headquarters, final preparations and testing are underway, as we hope to run our first "live" payroll with Paylocity this month or next. Our payroll process routes the donations (received throughout the month) to our fellow missionaries around the world, deducting various fees, taxes, insurance premiums, parsonage allowance, retirement, and HSA contributions. We've had to make several process changes to conform to a more standard payroll system, so we appreciate your prayers that all will go well.
September 2019Joy took and passed her NCLEX board exam and is now officially a Registered Nurse! One semester left now to receive her BSN from UCF. Hannah's fall semester at Daytona State has started also, with math and teaching classes, while she also continues working as a math tutor at their academic support center.
A friend and missionary co-worker, Teresa Holmgren, passed away this past month, after a 4 year battle with breast cancer, that eventually spread to her brain and other areas. We're thankful that Teresa is with the Lord, and appreciate prayer for her husband, Tim, and six children, two of which are still at home.
We appreciate your prayers also for: finding a good, reasonably priced shop to find & fix a leak where rain water is soaking the carpet in Hannah's 2003 Civic, and guidance for our payroll team at Ethnos360 as we learn the Paylocity platform and figure out how best to implement or modify our existing processes.
August 2019After years of hard work, we're excited that Joy has just completed her Associate Degree in Nursing through Seminole State College and received her nursing pin on August 1! Later this year, she expects to receive her Bachelors Degree in Nursing in her concurrent program with University of Central Florida.
Meanwhile, Hannah is making good progress toward her Bachelor degree in Math Education at Daytona State College. This summer, she's also been working as a math tutor at their Academic Support Center and providing supplemental review sessions for students enrolled in one of the summer math courses.
At Ethnos360, my main project currently, along with supporting our NTMAA accounting system, is helping transition our month-end payroll processing to an external service. We've successfully loaded our payroll data (deductions, tax status, disbursements, etc.) into Paylocity and plan to start testing later this month.
July 2019Toward the end of June, Paula and I flew to New York, then drove over to New Hampshire for her sister's June 22 wedding. The following weekend, with Hannah home for the weekend, we met Nicholas and his girlfriend down in Orlando, for some fun & pizza, to celebrate Joy's birthday (June 28) and mine (July 4).
As part of her nursing curriculum, Joy has started a summer practicum in the pediatrics department of a local hospital. Meanwhile, Hannah is helping this summer as a math tutor at Daytona State College. Nicholas is continuing to work for both Disney World and Universal Studios down in Orlando.
At Ethnos360, we're continuing to prepare for our transition to an external payroll service, Paylocity, later this year. We have most of the programming completed for phase 1, and are starting to think through some complexities of phase 2, when Paylocity will also handle our medical & life insurance benefits.
June 2019At Ethnos360, we've started having weekly meetings with Paylocity, as we look toward transitioning our monthly payroll process to their service later this year. We've also been evaluating cloud-based software packages to keep track of donations, and have selected software (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations) to use for the general ledger accounting.
Meanwhile, I continue to support our existing NTMAA accounting system, which is used at our U.S. headquarters, stateside branches, and many of our overseas locations. This past month, I was able to provide some special assistance to our Bolivia and Philippines field bookkeepers.
May 2019During Joy's break between her Spring and Summer semesters at nursing school, we took a few days off to enjoy a nice family vacation, along with my mom & stepdad, at a resort in Ormond Beach. Hannah was not able to join us, as her semester had not ended yet, but we were able to spend a little time with her, as she rents a room in nearby Daytona Beach while attending Daytona State. Later in the week, we spent a day at Volcano Bay water park in Orlando and were able to meet our son, Nicholas, there also.
At Ethnos360, we're working toward outsourcing our monthly payroll process to a payroll company (Paylocity) later this year. I've started working on the programs to do an initial export of employee data and a monthly export of payroll data, and also programs to process the post-payroll data received from Paylocity each month. We're also looking forward to watching their training videos over the weeks ahead, to learn more about how to best utilize their payroll system and services here at Ethnos360.
April 2019In March, our daughters both enjoyed a week long Spring Break from their college classes. Joy had a special treat of accompanying Paula on a fun two night cruise from Palm Beach, FL, to Freeport in the Bahamas.
At home, Paula has been enjoying working in her garden areas - pulling weeds, putting down more pine bark nuggets (with cardboard and weed block underneath) and planting beautiful flowers! Inside our home, we continue working on minor projects. This past month, one of our toilets started leaking under the base, so we ended up replacing the wax seal underneath, and then later the fill valve in the tank also.
At Ethnos360, we've now selected a Payroll services company to help with our monthly payroll process. In preparation for that, I've written up a tentative Payroll Transition Plan with various phases and to clarify what NTMAA programming changes will be needed to outsource our payroll processing later this year.
March 2019We're happy to report that, after six months of on and off looking, we finally found and purchased a 2012 Honda Civic (to replace our 2003 Honda Civic, which we passed on to Hannah in August). Our new Civic does have rust on some engine components (from spending the first three years of its life in New York) and could use a new paint job, but is running well and we are once again enjoying the nice gas mileage!
At Ethnos360, Paula and I were able to participate in a week-long SYIS (Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills) workshop, which included sessions such as Relationship Killers, Loving Listening, Resolving Conflicts, Managing Stress, Maintaining Margin, and Being an Encourager. We learned a lot and hope to apply some of these tools now in our marriage and other relationships.
Meanwhile, I'm continuing to support our NTMAA accounting & administrative system, helping as part of our EIS (Enterprise Information Systems) core team, and serving as technical lead on our Payroll outsourcing project.
February 2019At Ethnos360, we're looking to move our payroll processing from our NTMAA accounting system to a cloud-based payroll service over the next few months, so I've been busy researching various payroll services. (As missionaries funded via ministry support donations through Ethnos360, the IRS considers us employees; thus, Ethnos360 utilizes a monthly payroll process, provides year-end W2s & 1095s, etc.)
In family news, Paula had a special surprise last month: Two of her sisters flew in from Arizona and joined Paula and Kathy (the fourth sister, who winters in Florida) for a sisters week together in Ft. Pierce.
Joy and Hannah enjoyed their winter break, and are now back in their busy school routines. Nicholas was recently able to purchase a nice 2005 Ford Focus from one of our retired missionaries. His older 1998 Toyota Corolla had been having some issues and then actually died just a few days after purchasing the Ford - so that was a blessing to be able to purchase this newer vehicle from a fellow missionary.
Meanwhile, Paula and I are also still looking for a nice used small car to replace our 2003 Honda Civic, which we passed on to Hannah - so we'd appreciate your prayers for guidance and provision of a nice replacement vehicle at a good price.
January 2019December 30 was our 29th wedding anniversary and Paula's 8th cancer-versary, eight years since Paula's doctor found a cancerous lump in her left breast. We're thankful that, after her more recent second cancer in 2016 (this last time in her right breast), Paula is doing very well, with a status of NED (No Evidence of Disease)!
We finished 2018 off quietly, enjoying some family time over the holidays. It's been especially nice having Hannah back home with us for a month, as both girls have been enjoying their winter break.
Nicholas is continuing to work full-time at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, renting a nearby condo with a couple other roommates.
Joy received her AA degree in 2017 and has now completed three additional semesters, working toward her ASN (from SSC) and BSN (from UCF) Nursing degrees.
Hannah completed her AA degree at Seminole State in 2018, and is currently renting a room from a Christian family in Daytona, as she works toward a BS in Secondary Math Education at Daytona State.
At Ethnos360, I'm continuing to support our NTMAA accounting system, while also helping in a consultative role as we look to migrate to cloud-based CRM, HR, and Finance systems in the years ahead.
Here are some of our praise and prayer requests for 2019:
PRAISE & PRAYER REQUESTS
Thanks for your love, prayers, and encouragement!
For our News & Prayer Requests for previous years (2007 and later) :
Oliver Family Updates - 2018
From 2007-2009, we also summarized our monthly updates into a year-end Oliver Family news summary:
To review News & Prayer Requests from 2000-2009,
For a number of years (prior to sending our monthly Oliver Family Update emails), we periodically sent an Oliver Family Newsletter (by snail mail) to keep folks updated on our family & ministry news, praises, and prayer requests, so here are links to those:
(These newsletters are in PDF format and can be viewed using the free Adobe® Reader®. If you don't yet have the Adobe Reader installed, you can download it for free).
Newsletter 44 - Aug 2007