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June 5, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Make the path for your feet level, so that all your ways may be established.  Do not turn to the right or to the left; turn yourself away from evil.”  

Proverbs 4:26-27

These words come after being challenged to find wisdom and to allow wisdom to direct your life.  It is wise to not make life difficult for yourself, but it is even wiser not to choose evil over good.  In the end it brings destruction to your life.  The life which God intended for good becomes a curse instead.  A curse upon yourself and those around you.  Join us in praying for wisdom to stay the course of righteousness all our lives that be might be bring a blessing to all those around us.

We ask that you continue to pray for Sports & English camp this summer.  The DeVries and the Messimer families are leading the two weeks of camp.  Pray that they will be able to determine what yet needs to be finished over the next few weeks.  Pray for all the students that will attend to be prepared to receive the truth of God.

Thank you for praying for our family as we travelled from Taiwan to the US.  Everything went very smoothly.  We are grateful to have already seen several of our family members.  This Sunday we are reporting at the Woodlawn Christian Church in Knoxville, TN.  John’s sister and her family are a part of this congregation.  During the coming week we will be at Team Expansion’s home office for debriefing.  Andrew is at church camp this week at Oil Belt Christian Service Camp this week as well.  The following week we will be reporting at the Latona Church of Christ in Wheeler, IL and will be the missionaries for their VBS as well.

Thank you for praying continuously.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for us to use wisdom in our choices so that we are always a blessing to others.

2.  Please pray for the DeVries and Messimer families as they prepare for S&E Camp.  Please pray for the students that will attend.

3.  Thank you for praying for our family as we travelled to the US.  Please continue to pray for us as we travel and report each week.

May 29, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1

This verse gets quoted at many different occasions in life.  Some are pleasant and others are difficult.  There is one that is the same for each of these occasions.  Each separate occasion gives us the opportunity to recognize God’s sovereignty in our lives and therefore give Him the honor that is due Him.  We need to learn to praise God in all circumstances.  We need to learn to be grateful in all circumstances as well.  When we do these two things our lives become a blessing to God and all those around us.  This allows God to use all our circumstances to draw others to Himself.  Pray with us to learn to be grateful and to praise God in all circumstances.

We are thankful for the blessing that the Morrison Academy has been in the lives of our children.  On Saturday we shared in the first commencement exercises for the Kaohsiung campus.  The student body, family members, faculty, & staff all rejoiced together and gave thanks to God for the blessing of a high school campus in Kaohsiung.  Please remember to pray for all the graduates that you know as they transition to college, work, or future studies.  May they remain faithful to God and do great things in His name.

We ask that you pray for the family of Dorothy Elmore of the Latona Church of Christ.  Dorothy passed away due to a stroke this past Friday.  Her family has loved us as if we were a part of their family since we moved to serve at Latona in 1988.

Please pray for Augi as he has just moved to Ilan for the next month to assist Chris & Samantha Sanford as well as the Home of God’s Love.  We hope this time in Ilan will give a fuller experience for his internship.  Augi will return to Taichung to help with Sports and English camp before heading back to the US in late July.

We will be flying out on our Monday morning to begin our Home Assignment time in the US for the summer.  We will be visiting with Nathanael first for a couple of days.  Please remember to pray for the Edwards and Pagel families as they travel to the US this week as well.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray with us to honor God in our lives in ALL situations!

2.  Pray for all the graduates to bring praise and honor to God with their lives.

3.  Pray for comfort for Marvin Elmore and his family as they grieve and honor Dorothy after her passing.

4.  Pray for Augi as he serves in Ilan this next few weeks.

5.  Pray for all us from our team who will be traveling to the US this week.

May 22, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

When you spread out your hands in prayer, I look the other way;  when you offer your many prayers, I do not listen, because your hands are covered with blood.  Wash! Cleanse yourselves!  Remove your sinful deeds  from my sight. Stop sinning! Learn to do what is right!  Promote justice!  Give the oppressed reason to celebrate!  Take up the cause of the orphan!  Defend the rights of the widow!  Isa. 1:15-17

There are times that it seems like prayers get stuck somewhere between here and the throne room of God.  We pray for important matters that we know God cares about, yet things stay the same.  There could be more than one answer, but sometimes I wonder if it is our own lack of sincerity or our unwillingness to be changed by God that hinders our prayers.  It is a little like the announcement on the airplane to put your air mask on first before helping someone else.  We need to confess our sins and start walking humbly with our God.  This will clear the path for our prayers to the throne room of God.  Join us in confession and submission as we seek God’s heart to change the world around us.

Since being in Taichung this past year we have not written much about Taiwan Xi En.  Today we ask that you pray for Taiwan Xi En and consider how you might support the ministry financially.  We are including a link to an appeal from the ministry that explains the situation.  Please take the time to read it.  Thank you!

http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/?u=b6f68f0c7e368a0224fcfb19d&id=147b591e14&e=f6c405b5e6

Thank you for praying for Sports & English Camp.  We are attaching lists of the campers that will be attending this summer during both weeks.  Please do not post these lists on the internet.  You may certainly share them at your church and with family and friends who will pray for the hearts of these youth to be changed for eternity.

We are grateful for all your prayers for our team here in Taiwan.  Three of our families are preparing for home assignment this summer.  Those families not going on home assignment are preparing for S&E camp.  Each family has children that are finishing their school year.  Add into all of this the life challenges that come up with health and other things.  Life is not easy.  We all need prayer to finish well whether it be our children or us the adults.

We are very grateful for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please join us in confession and submission as we seek God’s heart to change the world around us.

2.  Please pray for Taiwan Xi En and consider supporting the ministry financially today.

3.  Please continue to pray for S&E camp and all those students and faculty who will attend.

4.  Please continue to pray for our team as we prepare for the summer.

CampPrayerCard2016-Week1 CampPrayerCard2016-Week2

May 15, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“The expert in the law said to him, ‘That is true, Teacher; you are right to say that he is one, and there is no one else besides him.   And to love him with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength and to love your neighbor as yourself  is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.’”  Mark 12:32-33

This passage was one that our family looked at recently in devotions.  We recognized that this story teaches us that God prefers love and obedience over asking for forgiveness of our sins.  We also saw that God places the value of man as extremely high.  He never tells us to love the rest of creation in the same way as we love ourselves.  Popular thinking tells us that anything could be more important than our neighbor.  We could choose our own rights over the good of our neighbor.  We could choose our own desires over the good of our neighbor.  We could choose to value animals or trees over the good of our neighbor.  When we choose to lower the value of mankind violence, intolerance, hatred, selfishness, and discord begin to rise.  It affects every part of society including the Church.  I wonder why have we not told our neighbors about the saving grace of Jesus?  Pray with us to have hearts that love our neighbors as ourselves.

Our team is concentrating on finding key people to train as disciple makers that will make a great difference in their communities.  We have been asking God to give our team 10 people this year that we can identify as those we want to invest our time and energy into training.  We met together as a team to discuss how many people in our present ministries could possibly be these key disciple makers.  We were encouraged to see that God had already provide 6-7 that are certainly these key people.  God has also provided 2 or 3 more that we believe are very strong possibilities.  God is great!  Pray for these key people as our team invests in them and searches them out.

Summer is coming quickly.  That means camp is coming quickly too.  We ask that you pray for the hearts and minds of the youth and faculty that will be a part of Sports & English Camp, S&E Camp.  There are two weeks this summer July 3-9 and 10-16.  Some of our faculty will be leading for both weeks.  Pray especially for the Messimer and DeVries families as they will have a lot of the responsibility to keep camp running smoothly.  Pray for many young lives to be changed.

Thank you for praying for Mr. Chen’s recovery from back surgery.  He is recovering very well.  He will be coming home Wed. or Thursday.  Jared Burris was released from the hospital on Friday.  He left with oxygen, and still in discomfort from the affects of the blood clots that had been in his lungs.  Pray for the pain to diminish quickly and for his therapy to go well at home.

Thank you for praying for Taiwan.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that our lives exemplify loving God first and loving others as ourselves.

2.  Please pray for our teams key people as we invest in them and search them out.

3.  Please pray for all the students and faculty for S&E camp.

4.  Thank you for praying for Mr. Chen & Jared Burris as they recover.

May 8, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“I recall your sincere faith that was alive first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am sure is in you.”  II Tim. 1:5

As a parent, this has to be one of the greatest compliments you could ever hear.  Knowing that people have seen your faith and then have seen that your child is living faithfully as well.  Today is Mother’s Day.  It is great to be together and celebrate the love and sacrifice of your mom!  I believe mom’s are appreciative, but they get more joy from knowing that their children are following in their footsteps of being a disciple of Christ.

We want to say thank you to our mothers and grandmothers for giving us faithful examples of being a disciple of Christ.  We love you!

We are in Kaohsiung this weekend.  One reason we came is to honor Gabe Choi, the principal at Morrison Academy Kaohsiung, and his family as they prepare to move back to Canada.  We are grateful for the leadership provided by Gabe and his wife of the past 11 years.  Please pray for the Choi family as they relocate their family of 6.

While in Kaohsiung we also sat with a friend, Bao Gwei, at the hospital while her husband had back surgery.  They had to put rods in his lower back in order to keep the vertebrae in place.  Please pray for Mr. Chen as he recovers from this surgery.  Pray as well for him to recognize God’s love for him.

We continue to pray for Jared Burris.  He progressed a lot this past week and was about to be released when blood clots developed in his legs and lungs.  Please pray as the doctors work to eliminate the blood clots.

We will be worshipping with the Eternal Light congregation today.  We ask that you continue to pray for all of the churches and Christians in Kaohsiung that we have worked with since being in Taiwan.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray a blessing upon all the moms and grandmothers in your life.

2.  Pray for the Choi family as they return to Taiwan.

3.  Pray for Mr. Chen’s recovery from back surgery and for him to recognize that God loves him.

4.  Pray for all the blood clots that Jared has to be dissolved without any issues.

5.  Pray for the churches and Christians in Kaohsiung.

May 1, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king and he reigned for twenty-five years in Jerusalem.  …  He followed in his father Asa’s footsteps and was careful to do what the Lord approved. … Ahab’s son Ahaziah became king over Israel in Samaria.  He ruled for two years over Israel.  He did evil in the sight of  the Lord and followed in the footsteps of his father and mother; like Jeroboam son of Nebat, he encouraged Israel to sin.”  I Kings 22:42a, 43, 51b-52

These scriptures say so much about these two men’s lives.  They made a choice.  Jehoshaphat chose to do what the Lord approved.  Ahaziah chose to sin and encourage others to sin.  Their lives were very different, yet there was an important similarity.  They both followed the example given them by their parents.  How important our roles as both physical and spiritual parents are.  We impress upon the hearts and minds of those that look to us for guidance so much that it affects their lives.  The consistency and inconsistency of our lives is often what is seen the most.  Children tend to follow our choices when we are consistent whether bad or good.  The one time children tend not to follow is when there is an inconsistency in what we as parents say and do.  When we are inconsistent they are confused and often end up choosing poorly.  Pray with us to be consistent at following our Lord both in word deed so our physical and spiritual children will have good examples to follow.

Following up with Mrs. Tina Lin situation.  She is a Christian.  She enjoys the simple church structure that we are using to disciple people.  We hope that with God’s help and wisdom she will continue to grow in Christ and will begin discipling people herself.

Augi continues to do well on his internship.  He is building relationships with several of the students that we have met through the Discovery English ministry in the schools.  Hopefully, our team can continue these relationships even after Augi’s internship is over.  Please pray that God continues to use Augi to draw people to Himself.

We are praising the Lord for Mindy Hong’s decision to be baptized.  She was a part of one of John’s discipleship groups in Kaohsiung.  Before that she was a part of an English Bible Storying group John led as well.  We are so thankful for faithful Christians such as Jocelyn Wu and Ashley Wu that have continued to disciple Mindy.

Mindy Baptism

 

Thank you for praying for those we mention who need healing .  Chris Sandford’s shoulder is healing well.  Jared Burris’ lungs are growing stronger, but he is confused about what is happening and why he is being restrained.  This is hard on his family.  Pray for Chris’ continued recovery.  Pray for Jared to continue to heal and to be able to work through the confusion he has about his situation.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we will be good examples, living out what we teach.

2.  Please pray for Mrs. Tina Lin as she grows in her walk with Christ.

3.  Please pray for Augi to continue to draw people into a relationship with Christ.

4.  Praise the Lord for Mindy’s decision to follow Christ fully.

5.  Praise the Lord that Chris’ shoulder is healing.  Please pray for Jared to be able to work through the confusion about his situation.

April 24, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”   I John 5:21  NET

The translation above is the usual translation and very literal.  Most of us think of something carved or molded into an image to represent a deity as an idol.  We would next include things like money, position, or power in our definition.  The New Living Translation has chosen to define what an idol does instead of just using the noun.  “Little children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your heart.”  This just makes it so clear, too, that almost anything could become an idol in a person’s heart.  Yes, it might be a false deity or a false representation of whom Jesus is.  It might also be our time, job, family, life plans, … There are so many good things that we as people allow to be more important than our relationship with our Lord and Savior.  Anything that we desire more than Him is an idol in our heart.  This week join us in looking truthfully at your life to see if you are giving Jesus first place in your heart.  If Jesus really is first place then your life will be drawing people to Him!

While visiting the Home of God’s Love recently, a Christian lady gave us the name of her niece, Tina Lai, who lives in Taichung.  While growing up she often attended Sunday school and church services with her aunt.  We have made an initial contact with Tina.  She is willing to meet with us and possibly study the Bible.  We ask that you pray for us to have wisdom as how to proceed and for Tina to have a desire to know God personally.

Cheryl was asked by friends who will be returning to the US this summer to help disciple a mom of one the boys in Andrew’s class.  Her name is Tina.  Her son is Jonathan Lin.  Jonathan is a part of a Christian and a part of a student led group on campus.  Tina will be joining the Pagel family and us for worship today.  Join us in praying that the Holy Spirit will give us wisdom how to continue to disciple Tina to a life changing relationship with Jesus.

Our friends, Jeff & Charlotte Burris, in the States who have supported us in many ways through the years have a son named Jared who is now on life support, fighting pneumonia and a very drug resistant super-bug.  Jared’s wife’s name is Chantelle.  The last update we have is that his vital signs were improving, but he is still on a ventilator.  Pray for God to strengthen Jared’s body to be able to overcome the pneumonia and whatever else is attacking his body.  Pray as well for his family, especially his wife, parents, and Grandma.

We ask that you continue to pray for Sports & English Camp.  Everything is coming together for a great week.  Pray for the students to have open hearts and minds to receive the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we will truly guard ourselves from anything that would take God’s place in our hearts.

2.  Please pray for us to have wisdom as we begin to seek to disciple Tina Lai.

3.  Please pray for Cheryl and our simple church as we begin discipling Mrs. Tina Lin.

4.  Please pray for Jared Burris as he fights pneumonia and a drug resistant type of flu super-bug.

5.  Please pray for the hearts and minds of the students who will attend Sports & English Camp this summer.

April 3, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.  For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, just as you are living according to the truth.  I have no greater joy than this: to hear   that my children are living according to the truth.”  III John 2-4 NET

John is the constantly bringing life into the spiritual realm.  He prays for his friend, Gaius, to have a prosperous life and to be in good health, but John puts these in relation to Gaius’ spiritual health.  Gaius’ spiritual health is the standard that is used to measure his physical health and life in general.  The spiritual is most important.  Knowing that his spiritual children are faithful to the truth brings great joy to John just as it does to our Father God.  Is the spiritual life of our spiritual and physical families most important to us?  Take a look at your prayers to see.  Many times our prayer lists show that physical life takes precedence over the spiritual.  Pray with us that we will be examples of living according to the truth.

Last Sunday was the day that the world celebrates as Resurrection Sunday or Easter.  This week the Chinese world observes Tombing Sweeping Day.  The first day celebrates an empty tomb and the other is a day of honoring and worshipping dead ancestors.  There is much that can be said about the differences of these two observances.  Join with us in praying that Christians will use the opportunity to witness to their families about the empty tomb of Jesus that represents the conquering of sin and death.

Registration for Sports and English Camp (S&E) is starting very soon.  Please pray for the students who will choose to register to be willing to hear the Word of truth and be obedient to it.  This can happen if all of us will pray with faith believing that God can change their hearts.

John, Cheryl, & Moriah have been with Chris & Samantha Sanford since last Thursday night.  Chris had shoulder surgery on Friday.  They have been helping with Chris at the hospital and with the kids.  Chris is still in some pain, but is getting along well.  Pray that he will be able to gain full range of motion and strength in his shoulder.  Augi also went with them and helped out with the babies at the Home of God’s Love, an experience to remember for sure!

We ask that you continue to pray for our home service this summer.  We have a very packed schedule visiting family & friends, and reporting to churches.  We also have a week of VBS and church camp.  We are also looking for a mini-van that we can drive this summer while we are in the US.  Please contact us if you know of a vehicle that might work for us.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we will live so that the Taiwanese see the truth in us.

2.  Please pray for Taiwanese Christians to be bold witnesses to their families.

3.  Please pray for all the students who will register for S&E camp.

4.  Please pray for Chris Sanford to be a light to those around him as he recuperates from shoulder surgery.

5.  Please pray for our home service time to bring glory to God and for a vehicle to use this summer.

March 20, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper  and be successful.”  Joshua 1:8

There is a lot more scripture for us to meditate on and memorize than just the Law now that we have the whole Bible.  It seems a daunting task to memorize the whole Bible, yet some do.  What we need to realize is that God called Joshua to always be thinking about the law and trying to remember it so that message of the law would impact his life.  Knowing the Law and understanding it would bring a blessing to his life.  This principle is true today as well for us as we read, study, memorize, and obey scripture.  This is being a disciple.  It is also what brings the most blessings to our lives.  Join us in committing to making the Word of God so much a part of your life that everyday is blessed.

Augi continues to be part of almost all aspects of our team’s ministry.  He is also helping Lucy, whose family hosts Augi, to start an English Bible study in the family’s apartment building.  Pray for opportunities to come for Lucy & Augi to share to Word more deeply with people in their building.

Please continue to pray for development of leaders on island.  The installation of elders in Taipei is on hold at the moment.  Only one man is willing to accept the position at this time.  Our team will continue to be in communication with the congregation about biblical eldership and especially with a certain individual that presently is leading like an elder, but feels unable to accept the title.

Chris Sanford is need of surgery on his shoulder to repair damage from a scooter accident.  His surgery is scheduled for April 1st.  He will be in the hospital for three days.  Pray for his healing and for the family as he will be limited on what he can do for a period of time.

We thank you for praying for Moriah.  Her stress test came back showing no abnormalities.  The doctor suggested that she continue her normal activities, and learn to regulate her intensity if she has symptoms again.  Please pray that we have wisdom how to help her if her previous symptoms return.

Thank you for all your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

 

1.  Pray that we will all make God’s Word an integral part of our daily lives.

2.  Pray for Augi and Lucy as the begin an English Bible study in their building.

3.  Continue to pray for the development of leaders especially those in Taipei.

4.  Pray for Chris Sanford as he prepares for shoulder surgery.

5.  Thank you for the prayers for Moriah.  Continue to pray that her symptoms do not return.

March 13, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk.  Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.”  Eph. 4:31-32 NET

The difference that is seen in a life that characterizes verse 32 rather than verse 31 is vast and amazing.  In the world we live in today there always seems to be people fighting amongst themselves.  Words filled with hate are exchanged and kindness is in short order.  Imagine the difference of a life that always chooses kindness, compassion, and forgiveness first instead of last.  Oh, how that life would shine as a beacon among the community.  I suppose that is what God has had in mind all along for His people.  He desires for us to be a lighthouse, beckoning people to come to Him for forgiveness and hope.  Today, let us all make a conscience choice to be a beacon of hope to our communities by showing kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.

We ask that you pray for leadership development among the Taiwanese Christians in our churches.  The church in Taipei has recently asked about installing elders.  We are rejoicing that they are seeing a need for these leaders.  Chad Edwards is teaching, training, and encouraging those who are already doing the work of an elder to be willing to accept this position.  We see the need for more such leaders in all of our churches on island.

The planning for Sports & English Camp is well on its way.  The lessons are being written, the booklets are being prepared, the staff is being recruited, and the facilities are being arranged.  We praise the Lord that this is all going well.  We ask that you pray for each of these areas we continue to work on each one of them.  We also ask that you begin praying now for the youth that will attend.  We desire for God to send those youth that He is already preparing to hear the message and receive it.

Our family will be in the US this summer for the months of June and July.  It is a very short time.  We hope to see as many of you as we can, but with only 8 Sundays it will be difficult to report at many congregations.  We are in need of a vehicle to drive this summer, hopefully a minivan.  If you know of a vehicle we could possible borrow for the summer please contact us.  Please be in prayer for our summer plans.

Please pray for a few family items.  Moriah did have a stress test on Friday, but will not receive the results until this coming Friday.  Cheryl has a school board strategic planning retreat beginning Sunday evening and running until Wednesday.  Cheryl has been responsible to plan the logistics of the retreat.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we will be a beacon of hope on our communities through showing kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.

2.  Please pray for the development of leaders among our churches.

3.  Please pray for the planning of Sports and English camp and for the youth that will attend.

4.  Please pray for our summer home service plans and that we can find a vehicle to drive.

5.  Please pray for Moriah as we wait for results of her stress test.  Please pray for Cheryl and the school board as they plan for the future.