We Got A Job To Do.

600+ Teens Listening to the Gospel
600+ Teens Listening to the Gospel

In Panama, there is such a tremendous openness to the Gospel.  Our friends have been working their for years sharing and teaching about Jesus Christ. The day this photo was taken we were with them at a public High School delivering the Gospel through a 90 minute presentation. That day many of the students gave their lives to Christ and I even remember teachers coming up and asking for our materials to take home and pass out to their friends and neighbors. There is so much to get excited about with this kind of openness but there is also a tremendous responsibility.

Over our years in Youth Ministry, I have seen many teens commit their lives to Jesus Christ, but I have also noticed that the days and weeks following that decision are vital.  I have learned through this, that if people aren’t brought into an unconditionally loving community that holds to the Word of God with uncompromising conviction soon after their decision, many of those people fizzle out spiritually and never grow or may even begin to question if their salvation is real. According to David Garrison, “there is a 50-80%  attrition rate among new believers who do not become integrated into a church fellowship.”  We have a responsibility.  Our desire is to be fishers of men in Panama and encourage the start of more of these critical communities that will help with the growth of these believers! We want to see an explosion of church starts all over the country of Panama in the days ahead!!!  Please pray with us toward that goal and consider supporting us to make this happen.

Praying for World-Wide, Heavenly Advance,

Jon & Bianca Fowler

Fixing Your Eyes

focusHeb. 12:2 (NIV)

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

It all starts and ends with Jesus.  It’s that simple.  He is the only one that deserves the consistent focus of our eyes.  That seems more and more critical these days for us.  During this season of support raising and running in multiple directions at once, for work, ministry and all the other family circumstances we have going on, fixing our eyes on any one thing seems impossible sometimes.

We are tempted to focus on our support numbers; or on the waiting or other times we want to focus on our family and friends that we’re around here in Pittsburgh for at least another 7 months.  However this verse… this verse… reminds my heart to come back home.  Jesus wants my eyes.  Jesus deserves my eyes.  He wants me to set my heart focus on him as my true north in the midst of other competing circumstances.  Ironically though, He is the ONLY ONE worthy of that kind of focus in my life and when I do that, I find that the other things that I was so concerned about, he takes care of anyway. The true test is whether or not I am willing to trust Him to handle all those other things for me as I learn to fix my eyes on Him.

Refreshed by Friendship!

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Philemon 1:7

“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement,
because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.”
Allow me to introduce you all to some of our friends from Brazil or I mean Chicago, well actually both. You see the Lopes Family were our downstairs neighbors for 4 years while we were in Seminary at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) and we couldn’t have had better.  Just recently they began their trip East to sight-see and they made our place the first stop.  How blessed and refreshed we were by their visit. We love these guys so much and they are precious to our family.  Cesar, Amanda and their daughters Louisa and Giovanna were great friends with our boys and they share many memories together. Cesar is completing his Doctorates this Fall and then the family will be moving back to South America in December.  His focus has largely been on Missions and appropriately so. Over the years, we have learned so much from our friends and we expect to keep learning from them.  We praise God for this family and we’re thankful to have been encouraged by them as we work and pray toward going to Latin America ourselves
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Pittsburgh had an effect on our friends as well! (:

A Quick Praise!

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Well we are now up to (59% of Start-Up & 42% of On-Going) but the coolest part about our recent praise is about how we see God writing this story for us!  

I can honestly say, that through my eleven years of youth ministry at my two churches in Pittsburgh and Chicago, I never imagined that several of our former students would end up being some of the supporters that God would gather around us to send us out to the mission field!  What a cool and peculiar testimony of God’s grace!

God is marshaling His people to support us from a variety of places and each one of them has been a precious blessing to us in unique ways.   If only we could tell you what it does to our spirits every time we see one more behind us as a part of Team Fowler. What a solemn joy it is to be carried and cradled in the hollow of His hands! – Glory to God!

 Compelled & Convinced (2 Cor. 5:14-15), 

– Jon Fowler

She’s MY Sister!

Two of the women that God has used most to shape me into a clearer reflection of his Son, Jesus!
Two women God has used regularly in my life to shape me into a more clear reflection of Christ, for His Glory! – Jon Fowler

Typically you get permission to write something public about someone other than yourself but I figure bragging about your sister serves as an exception to the rule and besides, I’ve been in trouble with her before – it’s not so bad! (:

Let me start by saying, my sister Esther (Fowler) Theonugraha and I are almost 2 years apart in age. Most of our lives people have assumed she is older than me because of how much more mature she often acts but in fact I am the oldest – don’t be easily fooled (: For reasons like this and because of our close ages I will admit that for many years we have had a somewhat “turbulent” relationship at times, (I.E. we haven’t always gotten along!).

It hasn’t been until our adult years that I have really begun to appreciate who my sister is and who she is becoming. Our families living near each other in Chicago and attending the same great church for our 4 years of seminary greatly helped with this. I had the chance to observe the capable, loving wife and mother that she is. I watched her be a leader in our church full of passion for the Word of God and developing others with a similar passion. I also personally benefitted, tremendously from her help and insights through my Seminary class work since she was my best proofreader and academic advisor without question. I can say with absolute confidence that Jesus Christ is using her and will continue to use her to do powerful things for the Kingdom of God.

Most recently Esther was one of just a few people asked to help with a Theology conference held just for women at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. I am not surprised that they would ask her to play a part in this but I am glad that others had the chance to see and hear for themselves how much she has to offer the Body of Christ with all that she has learned and lived for the Lord. I am not writing this to embarrass her or to call undue attention to my sister, although I know she will probably read (or proofread) this eventually and want to kill me!  I just want to acknowledge the work that I see the Lord accomplishing in and through her because what she does is valuable and critical for the Church. Praise the Lord.

Esther on the Panel at the Women's Theology Conference...clearly in thought (:
Esther on the Panel at the Women’s Theology Conference…clearly in thought (:

As Bianca and I get closer and closer to serving the Lord again in a full-time ministry capacity with every bit of support that comes in to get us to Panama, I see the Lord doing a lot of other great things all around us and often even inside our own family. The glory is God’s and it’s always worth pointing out the good things He does!  AMEN.

– Jon Fowler

Just Sayin’!

Thank You

We are so thankful for all of you and we just felt this was overdue!  We are so thankful for all your prayers and your sacrifices and gifts.  It is difficult to express how grateful we are to the churches and people who have gotten behind us so far and encouraged us. We could not do all that we are doing now or hope to do in the future without each of you holding us up and being wiling to invest Kingdom resources to make this happen.  It is an honor to have you all as partners in this.  – Jon & Bianca

PHIL. 1:3-4

3 “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy”