Dear friends and supporters:
Greetings to each and every one of you from Bolivia! Starr and I are so glad to be back in Sucre after an extended stay in the U.S. during this recent visit.
When we last wrote to you we were at my (John’s) father’s house near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We continued with him throughout most of the month of August and then through September. Besides helping get his house and property ready for putting it on the market for sale, I was helping my father in sailboat racing! Even at 90 he still competes in a class of small sailboats at a nearby yacht club. It turned out that he won the whole summer season’s series in that class of boats!
My brother Scott, with his wife and daughter, flew up early in August to visit us and our father. My brother was obviously interested in the progress being made to get the house ready to put on the market for sale. My other brother, Gary, lives just a few miles away, so he was over to see Scott and his family, our father and us.
Throughout most of the summer Starr and I were able to attend The New Testament Church in Plymouth county (located just a few miles from the bridge going over to Cape Cod). This is always a blessing every time we can do it while visiting my father. We have known Paul Jehle, the Senior Pastor, and his wife for many years. We also have great times of getting together with David (Paul’s brother) and Annalou Jehle while in the area. Annalou is a caregiver for mothers and older people, so she always wants to know how my father is doing and offers to help him if needed. David has his own studio where he shoots videos for people and their businesses. This year he shot and put together a great video in DVD form about our ministry and what we are doing in Bolivia–for which we are very grateful.
On the 22nd of August Starr and I started our drive down to Jacksonville, Florida to take a week there and try to get rid of most of the furniture we have had in storage for nearly nine years since being in Bolivia. We want to thank all of you who prayed for this (one of our prayer requests in the last report we wrote you), because we succeeded in emptying out almost all the furniture in our storage unit, giving it to the Salvation Army and selling other assorted things in a garage sale that our friends Quentin and Docia Miller in Jacksonville let us have on their premises– for which we were very thankful.
We moved whatever else was left (mostly books and other things) into a smaller storage unit and thereby look forward to saving almost half our monthly rent for the facility! What a relief to us. We are so grateful for the use of Tommy Hasty’s pickup truck to move around our belongings in storage, take them to the Millers’ for the garage sale, and drive whatever was left over to the Salvation Army.
Following all this activity in Jacksonville, Starr and I got back into our car on Wednesday, September 4 to drive back up and arrive at my father’s by Friday On Saturday and Sunday, September 7 and 8, I crewed for my father in the national championship races in his class of sailboats. There were 28 boats in all that were in the competition. Racing against so many younger sailors, my dad figured we didn’t do too badly in finishing 11th overall. (I must admit that I was hoping to have done better than that.)
Beginning in August and continuing in September my father had realtors come by to see his house and property and give him ideas on how best to market it. In September he also had several auctioneers and people who do estate sales come over to discuss how best to sell the furniture he would not be taking over to his apartment. (By the way, over the summer he had bought a small apartment in a retirement center and was having work done on it to get it ready for him to move in by the fall.)
Starr and I had wanted to be around to help my father move into his apartment. The move had been tentatively set for October 1st or 2nd. However, my dad decided to postpone the move until later, so we decided to leave on the 1st and start our drive back to Jacksonville, Florida in preparation to fly back to Bolivia. Our first stop was at Starr’s brother’s house in Connecticut. There we spent the night on October 1st. We visited with him most of the morning on the 2nd and then started our drive down to arrive at Pastor Steve and Carol Burton’s home in southern New Jersey by late in the afternoon for dinner. We had met them at the MorningStar Fellowship of Ministries’ retreat in the beginning of June this year and had agreed to try to stop by and visit them at the end of summer or beginning of fall on our way back to Jacksonville . They had moved their usual night meeting back to Wednesday night for us to be able to share what we are doing in Bolivia. It was a wonderful evening of fellowship and a great blessing for Starr and me! Back in Jacksonville by Saturday evening, we then had only three full days to finish getting last minute things done before flying back to Bolivia over the night of Wednesday, October 9. When in town, Starr and I fellowship at NewDay JAX, a precious group of people, some of whom we have known for over 30 years! Our last time with them on this trip was in their morning meeting on October 6. As is often done before we fly out to Bolivia, they prayed for us and there were some very encouraging prayers and prophetic words given, for which we are very grateful.
We arrived back in Bolivia on Thursday morning, October 10. We were able to get on another local airline and fly to Sucre the same morning. We were (and are) so glad to be back because we know this is where the Lord wants us.
A couple of days later Starr and I attended the last couple of meetings in a Christian women’s conference in Sucre (women’s husbands could attend that day). The theme was about passing the torch on to the next generation. It was inspiring. I was asked to pray for a group of women intercessors, of which Starr is a member, toward the end of the conference. These intercessors have made a strong commitment to the Lord to continue praying for revival in Sucre and throughout all of Bolivia and beyond.
It always takes a few days to get back in the routine here. Sucre’s elevation is over 9,000 feet above sea level. Although it is not as high as La Paz, where we used to live and minister, it still is quite high, so we had to take it a little easy the first few days we were back.
By the following Thursday, October 17 we had our first meetings in our home again. Whereas before we had gone to the U.S. on this trip, we had focused on teaching Biblical truths for the Christian life and ministry, now we are moving into a phase of not only teaching such truths but of spending considerable time in prayer and intercession for what we believe the Lord wants to do among His people here in Sucre and all over Bolivia. I had planned to get this report out to you before this, but some unexpected problems came up with our computer.
We want to thank all of you for your prayers and interest in what we are doing. Some of you are contributing to our ministry on a regular basis, as well, for which we are very grateful. Thank you very, very much!!
We have one continuing prayer request that we included in our last newsletter:
For my father’s salvation (as mentioned previously, he is ninety years old, is in amazingly good health, but still has not come to the Lord).
We love each of you and pray that the Lord’s blessing continue to rest upon you and upon each of the members of your family.
With much love,
John & Starr