Thursday, January 7, 2016

Christmas Greetings for 2015



Warmest Greetings to our family and friends!


 We would have liked to complete this before Christmas. We hope you had a Blessed Christmas and a Wonderful New Year.  We trust you had the opportunity to spend time with friends and family to reflect on the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 



  
For easy skimming, we have posted USA/personal topics in Blue and have used Pink for Threads of Hope News/PI.
CHRISTMAS NEWS HERE IN THE PI AND THERE IN THE USA

We are especially thankful for technology this time of year.  Using Skype or Facebook to talk to some of you has helped us to erase the 8000 miles between here and the U.S.  We did get a chance to Skype with both Ben and Will at the same time.  That was a family first.  We decided to make it a regular event.

We were not alone for Christmas here.  We, in fact, had dinner for 20 at midnight on Christmas Eve, complete with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cheese cake, pumpkin bread, salads, carrot cake and…and….and.  How we acquired the food is a story in itself.  I will include it in a blog post sometime if you want to hear it.  Just know that no one went hungry. 


Fourteen of our guests were World Racers.  They travel to 11 countries in 11 months.  The next stop for them is Viet Nam.  Many of them have sold Threads of Hope products to raise the money for their trip, which makes coming here especially meaningful for them. 


 Also, we want to thank you for your love and support; whether that support was conveyed through finances, prayer, encouragement through your Facebook posts or taking the time for Skype conversations.  It can get pretty lonely here at times even though we are surrounded by people.  Hearing from you helps us a lot.  We are also thankful that as of yesterday, we are no longer the only Americans living here.  More about that later.

KIDS NEWS

Ben just finished his first semester of being a residential full-time student at Liberty University with a bang.  All A’s.  He made the Dean's List!  He had been taking only online Liberty courses for over a year already.  He decided to speed up the process by going there and taking a full load each semester to hopefully finish up in two years.  He had a double Associates degree in Digital Design and Animation, and Web Design complete in June of 2011.  Then he lived at Lighthouse Christian Camp and worked there for 9 months, then worked for a few different companies while taking online courses one at a time.  Now he is working on a Criminal Justice-Strategic Intelligence Degree and would like to be an attorney after some time in the military.  He hopes to graduate from Liberty in May of 2017.

Will moved to Nashville in April of this year to pursue a drumming career.  He is now living with my brother Joe and sister-in-law Karen who are/were empty nesters.  They happened to live next to a professional drummer as well.  The move has proven to be very beneficial for Will so far.  He has met MANY people from big bands in the Nashville music industry.  One person, whom he is good friends with, he met in a Smoke and Ale shop.  Which is humorous because he was a couple days from being 21 the day he met him and doesn’t smoke.  He had a little time to kill, looked around, picked that shop, walked in, asked God what he was supposed to be doing there, and then met the founder of a big award winning country band.  That same guy introduced him to a gal who won an award for New Artist of the Year in Georgia.  He is now her drummer and they are planning to start touring in March.  He still has the band he moved there with, but will quit when the tour begins.  Jim is extremely excited for him.  He is living vicariously through his son’s music career.  If you would like to see Will drumming you can go out to YouTube and search for Lauren Ashley and the Train Wreckers at the Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville.  The whole set they did that night is out there for public viewing.

SUPPORT PRAYER REQUEST

When we finally moved in March of 2014 we had raised 75% of our monthly support.  We hoped to be able to raise the other 25% while we were serving Threads of Hope in the Philippines.  We knew we could cover the remaining amount for a period of time with the reserve money we had saved over the previous two years from selling Threads of Hope at festivals and previous donations.  As of November, that reserve money has been used up because we are still at 75%.  So now instead of getting 100% of our budgeted salary, we will get whatever amount is available in our account at the beginning of each month.  That could be 20%, or 75%, or anywhere in between based on the previous month’s giving.

This is where the prayer request comes in.  Almost all missionaries need to raise support to go to the field.  It is a part of the process.  For us, receiving support is a concrete way to see God’s will at work.  The amount and the source of the support is usually surprising and unpredictable. 

If you have thought about giving a year-end donation, there are still a few days left to get the tax deduction for this year.   If you have been thinking about supporting us monthly, but have not gotten around to setting it up, we would greatly appreciate your help.  If you work for a company that has matching funds for donations, please contact us if you would like to multiply your support that way.  We thoroughly believe that we are where God wants us to be.  We don’t want to have to return to the States due to lack of funds.  There is much to do here to help Threads of Hope as you will see by the blog posts.  We thank you in advance for your prayer and assistance.

PREVIOUS BLOG POSTS

If you are on Facebook you may have seen the two posts from October that review the events from the majority of the year.  We forgot to send an email letting everyone know about those.  They covered the events from January to October.  God has been answering prayers for Threads of Hope in very big ways recently.    He is answering prayers for us personally as well, although I must admit I would like different answers to some prayers.  BUT, we are certain He has everything under control and I am forever thankful for that.
 
PHILIPPINES/THREADS OF HOPE-NEW NEWS

The information below is listed in reverse chronological order from the most recent to the oldest information.  So much is going on at the same time it was hard to decide where to begin.  Each topic has a caption and a link to the blog where you can see pictures and get more detail when you have time for a “cuppa”.

TYPHOON

We have now experienced our 3rd typhoon. 
On December 15th we knew that another typhoon was coming. This time we stayed in our apartment and went about our business UNTIL we noticed that water was coming in the window in our office….on the 2nd floor. 

Click here for the rest of the story.

BIRTHING CENTER

What would you do if you had been praying about starting a clinic for years and suddenly you receive an email from an old missionary friend and she asks you if you would accept her donation of all of the necessary equipment and funded staff to run a birthing clinic?  All we need to supply is the building.  

Click here for the rest of the story.

HIGH SCHOOL

A few years ago Threads of Hope had been praying about building a school in the community.  Our initial thought was to build an elementary school.  But after visiting the schools in the area it became clear that we were to build a high school instead.  We built the school and God gave us two teachers, one of which will be the administrator for the school.  The other is his wife.  They arrived two days ago.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

BUILDING BIRTHING CENTER AND BEYOND

Our previous construction list is incomplete. Next we will add living quarters for the Coltrane family.  We have a spot on the hill picked out for that building already.  That building would include quarters for guests who come for a month at a time, like our World Racers.  We also eventually will build a new store and storage room for Threads of Hope thread, finished goods, components, etc.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

A NEW FACE FOR THE WEBSITE AND NEW LOGO

For those of you who use the website to follow the latest Threads of Hope news, you will see some changes made there soon.  Unseen Ministries, a ministry that helps other ministries have a better online presence has been working with us for many months to rebrand and give us a new fresh look to our website.  They will also help us behind the scenes in the future to handle our business functions more efficiently. 

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Thanks for taking the time to review the updates.
Again, blessings to you all for the New Year!

Julie and Jim
jijumarsh@gmail.com
julie@threadsofhope.com.ph
marshmissionmemos.blogspot.com


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