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MISSION MESSAGES From the Fowlers

Ongoing witness to the work of God in Puerto Rico

PUT ON, THEN, LOWLINESS. MEEKNESS. PATIENCE... (Col. 3:12)

How strange it seems to spend the day studying Spani^, instead of mostly teaching, counseling, and preaching. Occa

sionally, r^nnants of my old "salvation by production"


syndrome creep into my thinking again. Then I have to remind myself that, for now, anyway, our main ministry is to leam Spani^. ~FoIId11ng the Spirit's leading into the less sensational ministries is easy to justify to God's people...to feel the need to justify it is the problem. I find that my old prideful nature would rather be

r"

t^ching people than having people teach me. Paul planted, ApoUos watered, God gave fte growth (I Cor. 3:6), but the

Fowlers are having a good time (to follow the anal(^)


studying The Manual and repairing the "farming" equipment.
And PRAISING our Lord Jesus.
JUST LIFTING UP JESUS

Once a Christiki really understands and experiences the Go^l, he doesn't have to "LOOK FOR" a ministry. That's been our experience here in Costa Rica during these
months in language school. Anyone who followsJesus WILL

become a filter of men. (Mk. l:17...That's a promise of productivity, not a command to evangelize!
Here's what I mean:

The other day, Curtis, our eldest (13 years old, in the seventh grade) delivered a sermon that blessed us: in a school assignment. A non-Christian Englidi teacher who wanted the kids to write about friendship got introduced to the Greatest Friend of All, when the Holy Spirit anointed Curtis to outline the Gospel clearly, precisely, and power fully in his Engli^ theme. Curtis isn't worried about converts, succeeding in his ministry, or what gifts he has

been given. He just follows the Holy Spirit's leading, stays


in close contact with Jesus; and God blesses it with fruit

Seems to me chat's an elective basis for Christian

missions: in humility lifting up Jesus, who lifted up you.

PRISON DOORS OPENING AGAIN...

Attempts to minister to prisoners in the penitentiary here iii ^sta Rica have so far met with a closed door. Recently, the influence of a Catholic priest has been suffi cient to officially bar all evangelicals from ministering inside
the walls.

BUT... WeVe been praying. We have in hand an official document from the Top Authority here stating in black and white that Christ has been raised far above all rule and authority and power (Eph. 1:21) including the political power controlling the

prison system here. Not only that, but it hasbeen promised to me in writing that this same Qower of immeasurable

greatness has been invested in us who believe (verse 19).


That's where you come in. Will you believe and claim with me an effective ministry in &e prison during the
months well be here?

. . . that guys in jail heie will come to know Jesus? . . . that they*ll accept forgiveness and a new life in
Christ?

Jesus says we have a right to do that: "If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask^ it will be donejor

them bymy Father inheaven." (Mt. 18;19)


YAHOO! By faith, I see it happening. Two days ago 1
heard about a Christian official in the U.S. embassy here

whom God may use to bring it about 111 keep youposted.


YOU KEEP PRAYING!

In the meantime, remember, this is exactly the same thing that happened four years ago in Puerto Rico. Satan tried to Roman Catholic pressure and official government pro

hibition to keep me from ministering in the prison. But PRAYER POWER of the saints plugged into Christ'sauthor
ity, and a Jesus revival began in the prisons there. Do it again, Jesus!

THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME BECAUSE HE HATH ANOEmom.. TO PREACHDELIVERANCE TO THE CAPTIVES....

REPORT ON PRISONERS YOU'VE BEEN PRAYING FOR;


RICHARD HOUSER: Released in January without parole. Decided to stay in Puerto Rico to finish his college

degree in preparation for full-time ministry. He's minist ering both to prisoners and classmates with a pastor's heart and gifts of teaching. Hold him up in prayer: the
first few months on the street are terribly hard for a new

Christian right out of prison. Don't let him dov\m. He'll


be helping us start the Christian House for ex-prisoners
when we retmti-to Puerto Rico ip August.
GEORGE BELL POUND: Released several months ago to

a half-way house...but succumbed to Satanic attack, and is back in the pen again. Sobered. Somewhat discouraged, but stronger in the Lord for his experience. Please send
encouragement and spiritual support with your prayers. Box. A.F., Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico 00928
DAVID DONOVAN: What a beautiful new brother! Trans ferred to Massachusetts but healed of two terminal

diseases: one physical, the other spiritual. He writes: "All the (formerly) important things are now meaningless to me compared to staying true and firm in the love and

stren^K of Jesus Christ..." He asks prayer for direction


for future ministry and strength to prove worthy in his
current imprisonment. ED SCHUPPE: Transferred to California.

Bitter, discour

aged.

Decided last month to deny his faith and reject

his Savior, when he wasn't released by the date he prayed for. Pray for softening of his heart, solid Bible teaching,
and a return to the Lord.

RAPHAEL CARBONELL DIAZ: Recommended to take over Richard Houser's ministry inside the P R. Peniten

tiary. Raphael is in a key position to win many inmates to the Lord. Pray for strength, faithfulness, spiritual in sight, submission to HolySpirit's guidance.
CARLOS CEBALLO VALLS: Brand new in Jesus. Having a productive ministry in the penitentiary. GEORGIE TORRES MELENDEZ: Same situation as

George B. Pound, above.

Shows how desperately we

need a Christian half-way house!

QMS

sha

be made

OUR SPIRITUAL COVERING...

...IS YOU...the elders and leaders of Ae congr^ations

of Christ*8 Body. The Lord has been reminding us again of

the importance of submission to this covering...and of the covering's responsibility to reaUy take the spiritual author
ity that has been assigned to you.
For us on the mission field, assurance of your constant

intercesaon for us is not just a happy extra. It's a life-or-

death, indispensable necessity. It's tiie critical prerequisite for our being able to serve on a foreign field, e^ecially one as spirituallyvolatile as the prisonministry. As simple as this: without your spiritualoveHiead in the
form of teal concern, your blessing, communication, con firmation, admonishment, and constant prayer-intercession, WE JUST COULDN'T BE HERE! We sense a need to have confirmation and Spirit-guided advice from you on the following matters:

1. TEAM MINISTRY with Fowlers, Joe Prenevost family,

and Greg Combs family. Currently. Pj-ienevosts are back in the'Statespraying for God's direction about their place

on the team in Puerto Rico. Cq]^ are here in Costa Rica studying Spanish with us. "fey aspects seek prayerdirection: arrival dates for each ^mily, respective respon sibilities of each team member, guidance toward good

communication (one with another and with home churches), etc.


2. Possibility of a SURVEY TRIP TO PUERTO RICO for a

week or so before language study is finished. Purpose: to establish Greg and Joe in the ministry there, secure hous ing, re-establish ties with prisoners I haven't seen for over a year, and provide on-the-spot support for several prison ers who are having a really hard time right now. We need direction on IF, WHEN, HOW (it'll cost about $400 a person), and PRIORITIES on times for the few days we'll
be there.

(Continued...)

3.

Possibility of OBSERVING ESTABLISHED PRISON

Ministries (Chuck Colson, chaplain Ray, etc.) in the


States, on our way back to Puerto Rico next July or
August.
4. Confirmation and direction for PLANS OF MINISTRY after our return to P.R.:

a.
b.

Continuation of prison ministry (new approaches? directions?)


Christian House for parolees. Should we accept gov ernment financing if available? or have "strings" only to the Body of Christ? Intercession needed for much
money.

c.

Leadership training programs in churches in Puerto


Rico.

d. Establishing a Christian Community Counseling Center.

(How? Personnel? Financing?)


5. Possibility of SHORT-TERM PRISON MINISTRY HERE

in Costa Rica during language study. (See article above)


We feel need for confirmation of priorities.

PRAISE-WAYS; (Raising Praise Pays)

YOUR PRAYER ANSWERED: God raised up^^eJQfeergh


to take over the prison ministry in Puerto'TtiTO while
we're gone.

BRUCE'S DAD is healing exceptionally well from a serious burn accident in December that kept the folks from

visiting us here on Christmas. GOD IS BLESSING OUR SPANISH. But keep praying... Ours seems to be an exceptional case of natural inability. THANK YOU, JESUS, for each person who shares with us in this letter. Convey our love and Yours to them through a special blessing today.

We sure do love you!

The Fowler Family: Bruce, Judy, Curtis, Christy, Craig, Cathy

Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Fowler

Apartado 10240 San Jose, Costa Rica

MISSION MESSAGES
From the Fowlers

May-June, 1977

BACK TO PUERTO RICO!)

In the last days of the language-study-stage of our ministry,


our schedule looks like this:

June 1-17

Final lessons in Spanish

June 17-23

Get Central American visas, say good-byes in

the prison and church here, and watch God perform some healing miracles on our car.
Leave Costa Rica

June 24
June 25July 9

Drive through Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salva dor, and Mexico to the West Coast of USA

July 10

In Boise, Idaho, for visit with Judy's family

July 16
July 22

In Salem, Oregon, for visit with Bruce's


family

Drive to Washington, DC, to visit Chuck


Colson's prison ministry.

August 1

Ship our car and fly to Puerto Rico from


lew York.

Through the middle of July, 1977, contact us through Judy's


mother:

c/o Mrs. Eunice McFarland


400 Bacon Drive

Boise, Idaho 83702

Phone: (208) 342-6476

After August, i977, our temporary Puerto Rico address will


be-

P. O. Box 50048

Levittown, Puerto Rico 00950

News Flash! Costa Ricans say that Spanish is going to be the

official language in heaven. Will some of you Bible scholars


please check that out and let me know?

ANOTHER RESURRECTION FROM THEJPEAD!

It haai*t happened yet . . but it will have happened by the time you read this: OUR CAR, RAISED FROM THE DEAD! During much of our time here in Costa Rico, our Ford van has been sitting in front of our apartment "terminally ill"; and finally has been pronounced "dead" from natural causes of
200,000 miles, affecting such vital functions as carbeurator,

electrical system, front end, transmission, tires, etc. Some necessiti^ parts are either unavailable in Costa Rica, or are too

expensive for us to buy. SO. . . it seems like the command in


apply to Fords too.

Matthew 10:8 ("Heal the sick, raise the dead. . .") ou^t to

them move. (Mark 11:23) Just think what He can do with our
car!

Don't laugh. He told us to talk to mountains and make

I nOKING BACK AT I ANGUAGE SCHOOL

The other day, I broke a cardinal rule

of good preaching ("Never start a


sermon with an apology"), and paid the consequences. Intending to say to the congregation that I was em barrassed by my frequent mistakes

in the Spanish language, I inadvert

antly said that I was PREGNANT


("embarazada") instead. Sometimes the words of my mouth don't fit with the meditations of my heart!

Axlihefipirt
99veth^ iflferance

We praise God for several opportunities lately to use our new

language in preaching, both to church groups and to nonChristian business groups, to counsel and pray with people
with serious needs, and in one-to-one witnessing.

We have been getting some insight into Moses' feelings ofverbal

inadequacy. (Exodus 4:10~that's his eloquent "I'm slow of speech" speech.) But we've taken comfort in God's answer:
(Revised Fowjer Version).

"Quit whining, Man! I made your mouth and Pm going to use it. Your inadequacy doesn't hinder My adequacy a bit!*'

m
OUR FINANCES

Since we first came to the mission field five years ago, we

have felt God's leading not to directly adi the Omrch to meet

specific financial or physical needs, nor to use our newsletter to ask for money. Nor were our visits to stateside churches
used to "raise support"

God has promised to "meet every need of (ours) according / / to His riches. . and in the same chapter (Phil. 4) tells us to / let our requests be made known to GOD (not to ^^ple) with

/ thanksgiving, and without anxiety. Most of the time we've


' tried to do that God has been faithful in touching the hearts

of many of you to help meet our needs.


Most of our financial support comes from individuals, not

from congregations, nor in specified or pledged amounts. As


far as we know, after this month, we receive no set amount

from any church budget, nor have we ever, as missionaries,


had a bank account to draw from "in case...." God has asked

/ / us to trust Him to "give us this day our daily bread." Excit-

'/ edly enough, that has been avery literal promise lately-often just enough for one day. As for bank accounts, there have been
sake."

' too many immediate needs tojustify our saving for "security's
JESUS is our security, Philippians 4:19 is our only bank

'

account His promise to heal (I Pet 2:24, etc.) is our only


health insurance policy, and the rapture is our only retirement
plan.

Other missionaries have a^ed in amazement, "But who is

financially responable for you?"


God is.

I hope that answer doesn't sound super-spiritual because 1


have to plead guilty to conunitting the sins ofanxiety, whining, and questioning God's promises more often than you might sus

pect a misfflonary should. But in our better moments, it's a

very simple matter of recognizing that it'sfinancially realistic


to take God at His Word. Simply. And that's not"great faith." It's finanrial dependence. . . representing one more area that,

little by little, is being committed to COMPLETE DEPEND


ENCE on the Lord. Easy words to say. . . tooeasy, in view of the magnitude of the goal they represent,
ReaUy, this is no more of a "faith ministry" than getting a salary from a company, or a congregation, or a misaon board. Besides, His promise of providing us with sufficient money to have enough to be able to GIVE in abimdance to every good
work (II Gor. 9:8) is not even conditional upon our faith but

upon God's faithfulness. . . and upon our giving to others,


according to the context of II Cor. 9.
God is faithful to His anxious kids.

We generally publish a financial report once a year to inform


those whose interest in our work is expressed financially. Here's a simplified veraon:

This year's total income (from May, 1976, to May, 1977) ,,wa8 $12,088.21. (Average: $1,007.35 a month.) Ourliving

expenses this next ye^ in Puerto Rico will be about $1,500


a month.

Halfway House for parolees in Puerto Rico. After th> mitial

We are feeling called of the Lord .tc^lidp'stai^^ilhrista^.

"rostsTprope^ and furnishings) we expect operating expenses


of the home to exceed $2,000 a month beyond our own sup-

port. We are starting on this project with not one penny finan cially allotted, but with all the riches in Glory in our faith
accotmt according to Phil. 4:19.

Will you pray for our wisdom and sensitivity to His direc
tion in this?
(

One of the first projects after our return to

Puerto Rico will

to find five or Sx Spirit-led people whom

God has chosen to constitute a board of directors for the Home.

Bcept, .tfe The ^ HoI!56 3


but

M
iiwaln it

Overheard at our house: "I must be making progress. . . I'm forgetting my English!"

THANKS FOR PRAYING... GOD ANSWERED!

Remember our main prayer request in the last newsletterthat God would cut through opposition and allow me to min
ister in the penitentiary here?
WeU, He did iti

Of course. He promises it (Mt. 18:19, etc.), you pray, and I walk right inlike ason ofthe King! I've had freedom to roam
around and share the Gospel with all the prisoners God leads me to. Now I'm taking other missionaries in with me to carry
- on after we leave in June.

Isn't it justlike God! He didn't use the political weight of

any influential person to open the door as I expected. Instead


He used the need of a poor slum family with whom I was coun

seling. In one session the mother accepted Jesus as Lord and


asked me to share also with her son in the prison.

So I did! Simple asthat... because you paved theway with


prayer.

I really want you to realize the difference it makes in our

ministry when you pray! You don't even need to "pray hard" . . . (His power works the same if you "pray soft")... because
it's not your prayer force that does it. It's the
. . . immeasurable greatness of HISpower in us who believe, according to the working of HISgreat might, which HE accomplished. . . (Eph. 1:19)
THANK YOU, each one, for praying for us so faithfully.
THANK YOU for your solid expressions of love and support.
newsletters for us.

THANK YOU, Court St^hijrtl^Church, for printing these


THANK YOU, Bev Lebold& committee, for typing and arrang
ing them so beautifully.

THANK YOU, Jesus, for giving us suchsupportive brotherhood


with your people.
... And for freedom from all guilt.

And for a job too big to do on our own power.


We love you!

you

Bruce&Judy Fowlerand Family

MISSION MESSAGES From the Fowlers

1*

ad^

September, 1977

Crisalida No. 54, (Urb. MutToz Rivera)

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico 00657


PRAISE GOD! YAHOO! HE IS FAITHFUL!

Our car was resurrected from the dead. . .

... by the laying on of hands (and wrenches), anointing with

oil (Havoline Motor oil, type lOw-40), and prayer. But it


wasnH the hands, the wrenches, the oil OR the prayer that got that old Ford from Costa Rica to U.S.A. It was the faith fulness of His Sovereign Majesty, Jehovah, the Lord of lords (also of mechanics). Through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Hondur
as, El Salvador, and Guatamala we drove, praised, and fellow-

shipped with God's people along the way. But in southern Mexico the car (let's call it "Lazarus," O.K?) died again. Just like Jesus' resurrected friend Lazarus eventually died again. The autopsy reported that death was due to a massive cor onary of the water pump resulting in fatal inflamation of the radiator. During the eight or ten hours it took to make a Chevy part the right shape to fit a Ford, I passed out tracts in the little town and watched several fellows accept J esus as Lord. They were as joyful as Satan was mad. On the road again that same evening, the transmission went out. One point for Satan. The next day, the transmission specialist shook his head over the damaged part and said a new one would be expensive and almost impossible to get in
Mexico. We consulted The Boss, who assured us again of His

Royal Faithfulness in all situations. The mechanic agreed to put the broken part back into the transmission if we thought
God would fix it.

He put it back together. . . We prayed. . .


Held our breath. . . AND. . . It didn't woik.

mwfMiL,

(The suspenseful saga of "Lazarus" continues on page 2.)

Page 2
Our faith fizzled! But His faithfulness didn't! The Father's

unfailing faithfulness is fizzle-less! He let us sit in that car five more minutes praying and praising-Him-anyway. THEN He healed it. Completely. . .instantly. . .perfectly.
As we drove off a few minutes later, the Lord told us that the

five-minute period He waited to heal the car was not only to


test our faith, but also so that the mechanic would know

Whose work had really fixed the car.

As we drove to Oregon and Idaho (where we sold the car) we KNEW that even unbelief doesn't nullify God's faithfulness
(Rom. 3:3).

Some trust in chariots, and some in horsesfpower): but we will remember the name of the Lord our Cod. (Psalms 20:7)
WHATAIOYFUN...

. . . to see our families again in Salem, Oregon, and Boise,


Idaho.

How many of you have had the blessing of seeing your parents off at the airport as they left for the foreign mission field? Ken and Ruth Fowler flew west for a year of mission work In Japan, a few days before we headed east toward
Puerto Rico.

We think we Ve done a marvelous job of raising our parents! Join us in praying for their success and spiritual sensitivity in that difficult country, will you? They know no Japanese and will be ministering in a non-English-speaking community. How? By the power of God % Holy Spirit.

Let your expectations be United only by God's omnipotence.

"%s-

Page 3
OUR MISSIONARY JOURNEY
BY MOTORCYCLE

<0
Philip traveled from his mission field by Holy Spirit Power (Acts 8:39), Paul settled for a ship, and Elijah sported a fiery chariot; but Bruce and Curtis took a father-son missionary journey 3000 miles across the U.S. on a sanctified motor cycle. . . and have hardly been able to sit down since.

Judy and the kids flew from Boise and met them in New York where we all caught the same plane to Puerto Rico.

What fun blessings God inserts into His missionary con tracts with His people! I can promise you one thing: If you say "YES" to His call to a mission, you can be assured He'll take care of you. . .and make it fun in the meantime!
I'm sorry that we didn't have time to stop and fellowship with most of you or visit in any churches on our way back through the States. We just felt an urgency to get back to our
field of service in P.R. as soon as possible.

AND HERE WE ARE!

God supplied a perfect house for our family.. .with enough room for YOUR family when you come to visit us! And He used some brothers and sisters in Springfield, Oregon, to fill it with all kinds of nice and needed things.
Thank you, thank you, you who were used to fulfill His

promise,

. .No good thing will He withhold..(Ps. 84:11)

Editor's Note:

Here in Salem, Oregon, we have sought to find a way to unite our prayer support of Bruce and Judy and their family. We have set aside Thursdays as a day of fasting and prayer for the Fowlers. Would you like to storm the gates of heaven with xis? Clip this picture and place it in a prominent place-perhaps on your refrigerator-cis your reminder to pray. The Lord bless you!

Page 4
OUR MISSION STRATEGY

(PRAYERS PRODUCE PLANS. . .)

The plan immediately is to reestablish and expand the ministry. (Prayer groups, Bible studies, drug therapy by Jesuspower, evangelistic teams among the prisoners, etc.) Satan's influence in the prison has taken advantage of our 1-1/2-year absence to take away our office and scatter (transfer, parole, etc.) many of the newborn brothers. However, the church in the prison still meets daily for praise and preaching, and the promise God is giving is Psalms 68:9: "Thou didst restore thy heritage as it languished," He assures us He is Faithful and "able to keep that which has been committed to Him."

I have been taking advantage of many requestsfor speaking


engagements in churches and other groups already in this first
week we've returned. We'll continue to minister in the free

community as God opens doors.


(. . .PLANS PRODUCE PROBLEMS. . .;

As we have prayed together about our plans and direc tions, God seems to be confirming the following needs: 1. The need for DISCIPLING of the prison converts. In addition to the more sensational evangelistic ministries, to give deliberate, careful attention to the slow, patient process of maturing the new Christians. Too little em phasis has been given to this in the past. 2. Our need for a local eldership under which to submit our ministry. The men we are askingGod for would need to be

a) indigenous to the Puerto Rican culture (preferably Spanish-speaking or bilingual), b) Spirit-filled men of God with gifts of eldership, and c) able to share the vision and
responsibility of the prison (& other) ministries.
(. . .PROBLEMS PRODUCE PRAYERS. . .)

3.

The need for a Community Ministry Center that would

provide Body-of-Christ fellowship and a center of opera tions for the Christian parolees who need constant support in adjusting to the free conmiunity. It would be a center of support for these new Christians (by helping find jobs, provide room and board, provide spiritual counsel and "Body-support") as well as providea means by which these
new Christians could minister to the community around them through our cassette tape ministry. Community Counseling Center, prayer ministries, etc.

(Continued on page 5)

Page 5

4. The need for a Christian Community Counseling Center. The initials (4 c*s) make an ear~(that*s our part of the body; see I Cor. 12:16-20)~tuned both to listen to people's
needs, and to God^s direction.

Hopefully, such a Community Counseling Center would provide counseling services in the name of Jesus to the million and a half people in the San Juan area, using pas
tors and counselors who have been given pastoral gifts and
ministries.

(. . .PRAYERS PRODUCE PRAISE .

5. The need for a large multipurpose building to house the

^ operation of these ministries. We have already found a ten(yes, 10!) bedroom house with separate office and laige meeting area. Located ideally, it would provide for the counseling center, church meetings, parolee housing and support, tape ministry and in general, be the centerof oper ation for the Christian Ministry Center in this area. Since we have no set income and no employer other than Jesus who can guarantee payments, we don't qualify for conven
tional bank loans. We need some way either to get a loan

or to come up with
direction or insight?

Would you hold

this up in prayer and contact us wheiTtlTe Lord gives you


(. . .AND PRAISE PRODUCES!)

Thank you again for your love and support!


Much love in Jesus,

Bruce & Judy Fowler and Family

HERE'S OUR NEW ADDRESS AGAIN:

Crisalida No. 54, (Urb. Murvaz Rivera) Guaynabo, Puerto Rico 00657

(Note: We are^losmOur_^Levittovvn P.O. Box)