April 26, 2015 Prayer Note

April 25th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“As he approached the road leading down from the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’  But some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’  He answered, ‘I tell you, if they keep silent, the very stones will cry out!’”  Luke 19:27-40

This passage always brings a challenge too, since Jesus, our King, is always worthy of our praise.  He is always worthy of our declaring to those around us the mighty works that He has done for us.  Is it our habit to encourage our fellow Christians by sharing how God has blessed you lately?  Is it our habit to witness to the non-Christians around us how God has worked in our lives to bring us blessings?  Are we guilty of being silent when we should be shouting God’s praise?  Pray with us to always be willing to share with others the blessing of God in our lives.

We are thankful to God for caring for us last weekend.  Our vehicle overheated on our way up to Taichung.  Actually, we were within 20 minutes of our destination when we realized we had a problem.  It was already getting late and we did not know the area where we exited the freeway, but not far from the exit was a brand new garage that was still open.  Praise the Lord for His care!

We ask that you continue to pray for the discipleship groups that John leads.  We are able to see growth happening in several people.  This week Irene shared how she had been praying that God would provide an opportunity for her to share God’s Word with someone in a natural way.  God brought someone to her office that she was able to share two different passages of scripture with that brought comfort to him.  She was so encouraged to have God answer her prayer, and she be was able to be obedient.

We were able to see Tiffanie Lin this weekend.  She is doing very well, but will need to have a procedure performed this summer.  This surgery will be to remove a lesion on her brain that has caused the seizures if God does not choose to heal her with His hand.  She is concerned about the potential affects of the procedure as well as the long period following the surgery that she will not be able to be active playing sports and doing other activities.

Thunder did have the kidney procedure, but it did not help.  We are now waiting on the results of genetic testing and other tests that were performed this past week.  Pray with us that the results will help everyone to understand his condition better so that we are more equipped to help him.

We thank you for praying with us.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we will be in a habit of sharing the blessing God brings into our lives daily.

2.  Join us in praising God for His care for us while traveling.

3.  Please pray for the discipleship groups as people like Irene learn to be obedient.

4.  Please continue to pray for Tiffanie Lin as she waits to see how God will choose to heal her.

5.  Please pray for the results of Thunder’s tests to provide understanding concerning his condition.

April 11, 2015 Prayer Note

April 11th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

The women were terribly frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has been raised!  Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,  that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified,  and on the third day rise again.”  Luke 24:5-7

We as Christians have mixed emotions as we read passages about the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.  We have hope because of the knowledge that Jesus has conquered sin and death for us.  We also are saddened as we realize that it is because of our sin that Jesus had to die.  At times when people hear the gospel message the mix of emotions that they feel causes them to be confused.  It takes time for them to come to grips with all they feel and what it all means.  Please pray for all those who are trying to decide whether they can believe that Jesus could really take their sins away.  One such person is Vincent from the Friday noon discipleship group.

We have been blessed to witness three baptisms this past week.  One, Mr. Lu, was baptized at the Eternal Light Christian Church.  He started coming to faith while living and working in China.  After returning to Taiwan he sought out a church near his home.  Paul has continued to lead Mr. Lu on his journey to becoming a disciple of Christ.  The other two are Evan & Grace Hsu.  They are classmates of Andrew & Moriah.  Their parents are also missionaries in Kaohsiung.  We were honored to help in their baptisms.  They asked to use the pool and other facilities in our building for the service.  John was also asked to assist with the baptisms.  It was wonderful to hear their testimonies about who Jesus is.

Thank you for your prayers for our move to Taichung.  We are getting things done little by little at the new apartment.  We have been able to go up on a couple of weekends to clean and paint allowing Andrew & Moriah to connect with some future classmates and make friends with others from the Taichung campus.

We are grateful for all your prayers for Thunder.  He is presently in Taipei waiting to undergo a special procedure on his kidney next week.  We are excited to tell you that he has one good kidney and we are hoping that after the procedure the other kidney will function better.  They will be doing other testing to help to determine more precisely what his other problems are as well.  Please continue to pray for him as we also seek the right family for Thunder.

After many years of trying to sell her house, John’s mom will hopefully close on the sale of her house at the end of this month.  Please pray that everything goes smoothly with the closing.  Pray as well that she finds the right place to buy as well.

Pray for Tiffanie Lin, a daughter of some of our Taiwanese friends.  Tiffanie has been having seizures for the past several years.  Recently she underwent a procedure that seems to have relieved her seizures.  We hope that this will continue to be the case.  Her parents ask not only that she be healed, but that Tiffanie will feel God’s loving presence in her life.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for Vincent and others who are trying to decide whether they can place their faith in Jesus as their Savior.

2.  Please pray for Mr. Lu as well as Evan & Grace Hsu as they learn to be disciples of Christ.

3.  Thank you for continuing to lift us up in prayer as we work toward our move to Taichung.

4.  Please pray for Thunder as the doctors work to determine more about his condition as we look for a forever family for him.

5.  Please pray for the closing of the sale of John’s mom’s house.

6.  Please pray for Tiffanie to be healed completely from her seizures.

March 22, 2015 Prayer Note

March 22nd, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“Consequently a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God.  For the one who enters God’s rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works.  Thus we must make every effort to enter that rest, …” 

Hebrews 4:9-11a

We as Christians should always be looking forward to entering God’s rest.  This is something that is described as being in the future after this life on earth is through for those that have chosen a life of faith and obedience to God instead of reliance on self therefore, leading to disobedience.  Yesterday, we attended Wu Ba Ba’s memorial service.  It was a beautiful experience of family and friends celebrating his life and giving glory to God.  Wu Ba Ba came to Christ later in life, but he is now enjoying the blessings of being in Christ.  He is resting from His work in the presence of God.  Join us in making every effort to enter His rest.  Pray for the Wu family as well as they continue to work through their grief.

Last week we asked you to pray for Thunder’s health especially his kidneys.  Xi En is still considering what all needs to be done for Thunder.  He is going to go to a hospital in Taipei to get a second opinion about his kidneys, but there is more to consider.  Taiwan has no pediatric urologists.  Pray that God will provide what is best for Thunder including doctors, and an adoptive family.

This past week the noon Wednesday discipleship group did not meet, so John will share with them the story of the crucifixion this week.  His Wednesday evening discipleship group did meet.  He shared with them the account of Jesus’ resurrection.  There was one particular person that had a marked response, Wu Lau Shr or Teacher Wu.  Her two sisters and her mom are all three Christians.  They have prayed for her for years.  She expressed that over the past year or more she has been coming to faith.  She has not yet chosen to be immersed, but she is close.  Pray that Wu Lau Shr and others will choose to act on their faith and be obedient to Christ Jesus through Christian baptism.

Our annual Sports & English Camp will begin registration very soon.  We are excited as this summer their will be two weeks of camp offered.  We will be able to serve more students and turn less away.  We ask that you be praying for all those who will attend and everyone who will be serving as faculty during the weeks.

Thank you for praying for us as we prepare to move to Taichung this June.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we live lives of obedience based on faith in Jesus and for Wu Ba Ba’s family.

2.  Please pray that God will give guidance concerning Thunder’s treatment and for an adoptive family.

3.  Please continue pray for the discipleship groups as they are presented with the truth.

4.  Please pray for the our annual Sports and English Camp.

March 16, 2015 Prayer Note

March 16th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”  Eph. 3:20-21

When you read this verse how do you feel?  What do you think about?  Do you feel like God is great and powerful, able to do anything?  Do you think about the miracles in the Bible or something that He has done in your own life or in your family?  These things come to mind for most of us, but when we pray and plan do we have these things in mind?  Are we praying with God’s power in mind or our own limitations?  If God can do more than we ask or think, then why not ask; go all out and ask God to do what is impossible with us?  Why not ask God to change the heart of a nation by starting a church planting movement or a disciple making movement?  Why not ask God to provide the needed funds to build an orphanage?  Why not ask God to give you the strength, words, & actions to lead your best friend to Christ?  These are the prayers that represent a faith that glorifies God.

We praise God that little Nelfa is now at home.  They still owe over $2,400 to the hospital, for which they have signed a two week promissory note.  Please continue to pray for her recovery and the final portion of the bill.

Pray for little Thunder at Taiwan Xi En.  He is one year old, but is still very small.  He has several health problems that his doctors don’t know how to correct.  He may need to see a pediatric urologist to help with his kidneys, but there are none in Taiwan.  Xi En needs guidance about how to proceed for Thunder’s care.  Pray for God to provide the right doctors in the right place at the right time to help this little guy.

We received news that a dear old gentlemen passed this week.  He became a Christian later in life largely due to the influence of his children and grandchildren.  His big smile and meek manner will be greatly missed here on earth, but greatly appreciated in heaven.  Please pray for the Wu family as they both mourn and rejoice at his passing.

John will be sharing the story of the crucifixion with the Wednesday noon discipleship group.  Pray that those present will understand what Jesus did for them on the cross.  Pray that they will be confronted with their need for His sacrifice.

Thank you for your prayers.

1.  Praise God that Nelfa is home.  Ask God to provide the remainder of the needed funds.

2.  Please pray for Yi Xiang as Xi En seeks God’s guidance as to his care.

3.  Please pray for the Wu family as they mourn the loss of Wu Baba and rejoice that he has gained his reward.

4.  Please pray for the Wednesday noon discipleship group as they hear the story of the crucifixion.

March 8, 2015 Prayer Note

March 8th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“Then, after he went into the house, his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why couldn’t we cast it out?’ He told them, ‘This kind can come out only by prayer.’”  Mark 9:28-29 NET

Jesus’s disciples were concerned as to why they could not cast out a demon and yet the Lord could.  Jesus’s reply seems simplistic, and yet it is so important.   Certainly Jesus would give the same answer as to many of our why questions.  We often think that praying for something before meals and bedtime is sufficient to acquire the answer we desire.  Many times this is not the case.  We need to spend large amounts of time and effort speaking and listening to God in prayer in order to receive an answer.  We have been challenged lately to again devote ourselves to much time spent in prayer as we prepare to move to a new place of ministry here in Taiwan.  Join with us in praying for our next stage of ministry here in Taiwan.

Thank you for praying for Jing Shing.  She was able to go home from the hospital.  They are hoping that she will gain strength in order to have a surgery in the near future.  Please pray that Jing Shing will continue to desire to know the Lord and that her faith will grow.

During this week three new babies came to live at Xi En and one returned who had previously lived there for about 6 months.  There is a possibility of two more coming as well.  That would fill up all the places at Xi En.  Please pray that God will help the adoption process for the babies to go more quickly. Please pray for all the Christian organizations who are advocating for children to have clarity on how to work within the guidelines that the government is putting into law. Please pray as well for more Christian Taiwanese families to be willing to adopt.

Thank you for praying with us about a place to rent in Taichung.  We looked a few places this past week, some old and some new.  We decided on an older place where the apartment will provide the space we need and is very close to the school.  The money we save on fuel driving to and from school will help offset the difference in the rent.  We have some work to do to get it ready, but we have some time to get it done.  Praise the Lord that we have a major item scratched off our to do list.

Thank you for praying with us.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please join us in devoting ourselves to prayer for our next stage of ministry in Taiwan.

2.  Please pray for Jing Shing as her faith in Christ grows and she battles cancer.

3.  Please pray for the adoption process to begin to move more quickly, for clarity, and for more Taiwanese Christians to adopt.

4.  Praise the Lord we found a place to rent in Taichung.

March 1, 2015 Prayer Note

March 1st, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith.  Now who is the person who has conquered the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”  I John 5:4-5 NET

The object of our faith is so important.  If I were the object of my faith then there would be so little that I could accomplish, but faith in Jesus means that all things are possible.  We can live in the knowledge that through Jesus we will overcome the problems and pressures of this life.  We can live in the knowledge of the victory over sin and death.  We can live victoriously, because Jesus has already won the victory for us through His death, burial, and resurrection.  Please pray that we will be able to communicate clearly to the people of Taiwan about the victory that is already ours in Jesus.

May Wu took John to visit a lady in the hospital with colon cancer.  He sister is a Christian and attends May’s discipleship group.  Her name is Jing Shing.  She has begun to place her faith in Jesus, but so many people around her keep encouraging her to rely on their traditional gods.  They bring her charms and things to bless her.  Pray that May will have the words to express to Jing Shing that Jesus is all she needs.

Nelfa continues to slowly improve.  She started speaking this past week.  She very simply expressed that she had some discomfort.  She also tried to sing her favorite song.  The translated title is “The Glory Is Yours Alone”.  Continue to lift Nelfa and her family up in prayer.

We ask that you continue to lift of the adoption situation here in Taiwan.  The process has really slowed down.  Where as Taiwan Xi En has had three babies go to their forever families during the past two months, all these babies were over a year old with two of them nearing two years of age.  The other ministries that Xi En partners with, the Home of God’s Love and Ray of Hope, are experiencing the same issues.  The available spaces for babies are being used up even with several being cared for by Christian foster families.  Pray that the adoption process will move more quickly and that more families will be  willing to care for babies.

We have begun our search for an apartment in Taichung.  We ask that you pray we will find the place that God has prepared for us.  After a little investigation we have found that housing will be much more expensive than here in Kaohsiung.  We will probably have to double what we spend now.

Thank you for praying for us as we transition to a new place of ministry.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we speak clearly the message of the victory we have in Jesus.

2.  Please pray for Jing Shing as she fights cancer and builds her faith in Jesus.

3.  Please pray for Nelfa and her family as she recovers.

4.  Please pray for the adoption process to move more quickly in Taiwan.

5.  Please pray for us to find the place God has prepared for us to live in Taichung.

February 22, 2015 Prayer Note

February 22nd, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“A whole generation will serve him; they will tell the next generation about the sovereign Lord.  They will come and tell about his saving deeds; they will tell a future generation what he has accomplished.”  Psalm 22:30-31

It is necessary for each of us as Christ’s disciples to recognize our responsibility to tell the next generation about the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We must share our faith with them in order that they too may choose to have a relationship with Jesus.  If we don’t share what our God has done for us, then who will?  Pray with us that each day we take seriously our responsibility to share the gospel.

Nelfa continues to improve.  She is following simple commands and has been able to sit up while eating.  This gives hope that her brain is slowly healing.  The hospital is beginning the process to allow her to go home.  This will be difficult for the family as they will be responsible for all of her care.  There home is 3-4 hour car ride from the hospital.  They are still in need of help with paying the hospital bill.  You can follow Nelfa’s situation at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1564643630441688/

The discipleship groups will start back up this week after being off for Chinese New Year.  Please pray that everyone will be excited to share how God has been faithful during the past couple of weeks.  Pray as well that they will have a deeper desire to know God and share His love with their family and friends.

We ask that you pray for our family as we make preparations to move to Taichung.  We hope to find an apartment this spring so that we can get it ready for us to move into right after school gets out.  We also ask that you pray for us to have wisdom as we prepare our family, churches, friends, and others for our move.

During the Chinese New Year break the Xi En nannies were all on vacation.  Cheryl arranged for volunteers to fill in for the nannies.  We are very grateful for everyone that was willing to take time out of their break to care for the babies.  Some people even came from Taichung to help out.  Praise the Lord for these servants.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please join us in prayer as we desire to share the gospel daily.

2.  Please pray for Nelfa as she slowly improves.

3.  Please pray for the discipleship groups as they begin meeting again this week.

4.  Please pray for God to direct us as we prepare to move to Taichung.

5.  We praise God for all the people that helped care for the babies at Xi En while the nannies were off for Chinese New Year.

February 16, 2015 Prayer Note

February 16th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“But I am doing just what the Father commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.  John 14:31a  “For this is the love of God:  that we keep his commandments. And his commandments do not weigh us down.”

I John 5:3

Jesus obeyed His father to show His love for God to us.  He asks us to do the same.  Obedience is the call of the disciple.  It expresses our love for God and our love for people.  When we are obedient people see Jesus in us and that draws them to God.  Pray that we learn to choose obedience to Christ’s commands so that people may know that we love God.

We had a good visit with the McCains while they were here in spite of our children coming down sick for a few days.  The McCains are now visiting in the Philippines and will continue to travel for several weeks yet.  Please continue to pray for them as they seek to encourage many others serving in Asia.

Little Nelfa is still in great need of prayer.  She still has a bad cough due to chest congestion.  She has a long way to go before getting out of the hospital.  Her bills are adding up as well, and if you feel led you can give through God’s Kids at https://www.godskids.org/donate .  You can follow her at Pray for Nelfa https://www.facebook.com/groups/1564643630441688/ .

We spent this past weekend traveling with the True Vine congregation.  They invited their non-Christian friends and family to go on a retreat/trip for Chinese New Year.  It was a great opportunity to have fun with some non-Christian friends and witness to them as well.

Taiwanese families will gather together to celebrate Chinese New Year this week beginning on Wednesday evening.  Some families will worship their ancestors during this time.  Christians will be in a position to witness to their families.  Please pray for them to be faithful to God and yet honoring to their families.

1.  Pray for us to be obedient to Christ in all ways.

2.  Please pray for the McCains as they travel through Asia.

3.  Please continue to pray for Nelfa as she recovers.

4.  Praise the Lord for the encouraging trip with the True Vine congregation.

5.  Please pray for Taiwanese Christians as they have opportunities to share their faith during Chinese New Year.

February 1, 2015 Prayer Note

February 2nd, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“And each one must be careful how he builds.  For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ.  If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw,  each builder’s work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done.”  I Cor. 3:10d -13

As we serve Christ through teaching others whether by word or through deed, we must be careful to teach clearly and correctly.  Otherwise, we may lead them astray and what was built will not last.  We must also be careful to check our heart’s purpose as we build.  Are we building for God’s glory or for our own?  Pray with us that we desire to always honor God with the way we build in His kingdom.

Thank you for praying for May’s mother.  Her test on her colon came back good.  There is an area that they will keep an eye on, but nothing that needs any attention.  They are still waiting for the results from tests that were run on her liver.  Pray that this test will come back clear as well.

We ask that you pray for a little girl named Nelfa.  She is the daughter of two workers at a children’s home in the Philippines directed by Team Expansion missionaries.  Nelfa was hit by a van driven by a person that was texting on his phone.  You can read her story on Facebook at this link                           https://www.facebook.com/groups/1564643630441688/

She was injured severely, but is God is faithful.  She is improving.  Pray for God to continue to heal her and to support her family.

Andrew will be traveling to Malaysia this week with his basketball team.  They will leave on the 4th and return on the 8th.  Pray for the team to have a safe journey and opportunities to witness as well.

Our field co-ordinator and his wife, Dana & Chris McCain, are here in Taiwan for the next week & half.  They will be visiting with all of the Team Expansion missionaries here on island.  We ask that you pray for their health and safety as they travel not only here, but many other destinations in Asia.  We ask that you pray as well for the time spent with each missionary to provide encouragement in their individual situation.

Thank you for praying with us.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we will build in such a way as to honor God.

2.  Please continue to pray for May’s mom as she waits for the test results on her liver.

3.  Please pray for Nelfa & her family.

4.  Please pray for Andrew & his team as they travel.

5.  Please pray for the McCains as they travel.

January 25, 2015 Prayer Note

January 25th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened.”  Romans 1:20 – 21  

Recently John has been discussing this passage and others with the Friday noon discipleship group.  It has been challenging for him and for all those in the group as they wrestle with what they believe they know about God or don’t know.  Some desire to know God and others really don’t care.  The problem for everyone is that in the end God says, “So people are without excuse.”  He will act as the righteous judge for all men.  Please pray with us that our words & actions will both cause people to realize their need to know God as Savior and Lord.

This past week we worshipped with the Eternal Light congregation at a ministry center for mentally handicapped people called the Ark.  The director of the Ark wants to bring the light of the gospel into the families of these people.  He also hopes to partner with local congregations to accomplish this purpose.  Part of the ministry is to provide work for those they serve, thus giving them a sense of purpose and accomplishment.  Pray that the Ark and congregations like Eternal Light will be able to work together to help these people and glorify God.

May Wu’s mother had a colonoscopy and a biopsy done this past week.  She is 82 years old.  She was very nervous when she went to see the doctor to begin with, but after giving it all over to God in prayer she was calm and able to handle the procedure without any problem.  The family is very concerned that Mrs. Wu has cancer.  Pray for God to comfort and prepare their hearts for results that should be back by the 30th.

It has been a difficult year for Chuck Johnston, one our fellow missionaries here in Taiwan, and his family.  Chuck’s wife, of many years, died last year in January.  Chuck also had health issues that required surgery this past year.  Chuck would be the first to say that God has been very faithful this past year, but still it has been difficult too.  Pray for him and his family as they continue to grieve, yet faithfully serve our God.

We appreciate your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for our words and actions to help lead people to a saving knowledge of God and His son, Jesus.

2.  Please pray for the ministry of “the Ark” to the mentally handicapped.

3.  Please pray for May Wu’s mom as she waits to see the results of her colonoscopy and biopsy.

4.  Please pray for Chuck Johnston & his family as they continue to work through the loss of Molly, Chuck’s wife and our faithful co-worker here.