Jim and Stacie have been missionaries in various countries since the early 1990s. Based in the eastern port town of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Jim and Stacie have two daughters still at home, Lauren and Marlene.
The Bowers will be away from their home and ministries in Fajardo for at least one year (summer 2021- summer 2022) to care for Stacie’s parents in Tennessee. Several Puerto Rico ministries use a large cruising sailboat in the waters between PR and the nearby Virgin Islands. Retreats, cruises, fishing trips, and sailing training are part of outreach and Discipleship among teens and
The hospitality ministry which hosts pastors and missionaries continues during the Bowers’ year-long absence because God provided excellent hosts to relieve them. Guests facing a crisis or burn-out are treated to a tranquil place to regroup. They can unwind aboard the sailing vessel “Renewal,” an ocean-capable, three cabin sailboat ideally suited for soul care ministry.
Day trips and youth sailing training take place in the bay in front of the port town of Fajardo. They anchor at small
islands 3-5 miles offshore like Icacos, Palominos, and Piñeros. Their more distant destinations are islands rather
than places along the mainland coast. They often sail to the Culebra and Vieques, populated islands of the Spanish
Virgin chain about 20 from our marina in Fajardo. We occasionally make the passage to the US Virgin Islands, which
begin about 40 miles away, and sometimes to the BVI’s, which start just past the last USVI island.
Some specifics about their current sailing-related ministries:
1. In connection with their hospitality ministry, there are overnight sailing excursions for visiting pastors
and missionary couples/families. During the past few years, most guests have opted for a sailing getaway.
2. Men’s overnight fishing trips aboard S/V Renewal take place about once a month, where 6-10 men spend quality
hours together offshore and at anchor in a remote fishing spot.
3. In partnership with a local high school for a few years, there has been a two-semester sailing training course.
4. God has opened doors for various opportunities that are not part of an organized ministry program. Among
various land-based ministries, Jim and Stacie (and their teen girls) have spent time at sea and at anchor (often
overnight) with Puerto Rican families, groups of teens, father/son retreats, and visiting “mission trip” groups, etc.
Prospective Sailing Related Ministries:
1. Couples retreats – The Bowers plan to schedule regular small-group retreats where hurting couples can be
encouraged by short sailing getaways with other couples needing marriage enrichment.
2. Missions trips to neighboring Spanish Virgin Islands – They can partner with visiting missions teams by anchoring
in front of villages where small church plants can use some help and encouragement.
3. Jim sometimes hangs out with some old guys at the American Legion. There is the opportunity to take them
occasionally sailing since they’ve shown interest in that and can hop aboard just a few blocks from where many of
them hang out on Wednesday afternoons.
4. They hope to share S/V Renewal with other ministry sailors, specifically our Maritime Ministry team, who need
time away from their hectic routine.
5. Gap-Year high school or college students training for foreign missions are welcome to come to Puerto Rico to
learn to sail and liveaboard Renewal as they learn about and experience cross-cultural ministry.