August 16, 2015

August 16th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.’  You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like?  For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes.  You ought to say instead, ‘If the Lord is willing, then we will live and do this or that.’”  James 4:13-15

James calls us to look at our lives as instruments of God.  We should make plans only after having asked God for direction.  Too many times we just take off doing what we want without asking God what He wants us to do.  This is setting ourselves up for disappointment.  Without having God as part of the plan there is no way for us to have the abundant life He desires for us to have.  Join us in praying for God’s direction in the plans we make.

We are in the midst of making plans for our ministry here in Taichung.  Our team has a ministry plan that all of us need to evaluate.  We have individual ministry plans to evaluate and formulate.  We, John & Cheryl, have a lot to do in this area since we just moved here to Taichung.  We realize that it is easy to fill our schedule with good things to do, but we want to do what is best.  We want to be busy doing what God wants us to do now.  Pray with us as we ask God to direct us as we plan our schedules.

Our team continues to connect with youth from Sports & English Camp.  We ask that you pray for Michael & Mindy.  They are both very interested in worshipping God and learning more about Him.  Michael became good friends with Andrew at camp.  Mindy was on John & Cheryl’s family one week.  Mindy wants her whole family to be able to worship God.  Pray that we will be able to find the right time to have a worship and discipleship time that allows them to participate.

The big government inspection for Taiwan Xi En is this Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 – 6:00.  They will be interviewing staff, looking at paperwork, and inspecting the facilities.  John will need to be present for at least part of the inspection.  We pray that God will give us favor in the eyes of those that carry out the inspection and those that will review the inspectors’ report.  This inspection will determine Xi En’s ability to continue serving as an orphanage as well as whether the organization can apply to become an adoption agency.

We have asked for you to pray for Zi Chang, Wan Ting and their children before.  They are a young couple that we met through Taiwan Xi En.  They now have two little girls.  They continue to have financial problems.  They currently are being sued by a past landlord for back rent.  We don’t believe that giving them the money is the answer.  They need to learn how to keep a job and to budget what they earn.  We may have more opportunities to speak into their lives during the next month.  Pray that we will have wisdom as we speak to them about their financial and spiritual conditions.

Nathanael arrived safely back in Knoxville on Tuesday.  On Monday he will drive to Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA where he will move into his apartment and prepare to begin his master’s studies.  Pray that his move goes well and that he and his roommate will also be able to become good friends.  Andrew is getting along well starting school and made the varsity soccer team as a sophomore!  Moriah’s knee is getting stronger.  She is working on flexibility at this time.  She still has several weeks before she will be allowed to play sports, but she is getting there and excited to start volleyball soon.

We appreciate you praying for our family & ministry.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we will first give our planning to God as we make our ministry schedule.

2.  Please pray for our team as we continue to connect youth.  Pray that we can worship with Michael & Mindy.

3.  Please pray for the inspection at Taiwan Xi En this Wednesday.

4.  Please pray for us to have wisdom as we try to help Zi Chang & Wan Ting.

5.  Thank you for praying for family as we continue to make adjustments and transitions.

August 9, 2015 Prayer Note

August 9th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“They were overwhelmed by fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this? Even the wind and sea obey him!’”   Mark 4:41

Having just experienced a typhoon many passages dealing with storms have come to mind.  This passage always makes me stop and consider who God is and what my response to Him should be.  A few minutes before this statement those in the boat with Jesus are afraid because of the storm, but now that the storm is over they are afraid because of the power they see Jesus exhibit over the storm.  They were considering the fact that they were in the presence of the creator.  They feared because Moses was told that he could not see God’s face or he would die.  They were sharing life with the man that truly held their lives in His hand.  Do we reverence God enough?  Do we keep in perspective that not only is our God a protector and redeemer, but is righteous and just?  Join us in learning to worship God for all of His character.

Thanks to everyone who has prayed for Taiwan during the storm.  We are all fine.  We were protected from the worst of the storm by the mountains.  We did not get the worst of the rain or wind.  There is some storm damage, but nothing like in Taipei or on the NE coast.  All of our missionaries on island are safe as well.  Please continue to pray for Taiwan as there will be a lot of work to be done to clean-up the debris left in the wake of the storm.

Our team continues to contact campers that have a desire to continue to seek a relationship with God.  We hope to get them gathered together into discipleship groups that will help them to grow in Christ.  It is a challenge to find times when they can meet together especially after school begins.  Pray that God will give us wisdom and energy to accomplish the task.

We ask that you continue to pray for Taiwan Xi En as the organization prepares for a government inspection on the 19th of August.  Hopefully Taiwan Xi En will receive an A rating so that application can be made to become an adoption agency.

This week will bring some changes for our family again.  School starts on Monday.  This will be Andrew & Moriah’s first day at their new school.  Pray for them to make the adjustment well to new teachers and classmates.  Moriah also has the challenge of still being on crutches.  Her knee is improving, but is not fully healed yet.  Nathanael will fly back to the US on Tuesday.  He will be moving to Virginia Beach next week to begin a masters program at Regent University.  Pray for Nathanael as he travels and moves to a new city.

Thank you for the blessing of your partnership in ministry through prayer.

Go Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Let us worship our righteous redeemer together.

2.  Thank you for prayers for our safety through the storm.

3.  Please continue to pray for the follow-up after S&E Camp.

4.  Please pray for the inspection for Taiwan Xi En on Aug. 19th.

5.  Please pray for our family as school starts Monday & Nathanael leaves Tuesday.

July 26, 2015 Prayer Note

July 26th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.  I John 4:10

This verse is so full of the Gospel message.  We are told that God loves us.  We are told that we are sinners in need of a savior.  We are told who that savior is.  We need to try to live out a sacrificial love for others as our Father God has for us.  Then we can share this verse with those we have loved and see how it can change their lives.

We appreciate your prayers for the follow-up with campers.  Some of our missionaries met with a group of campers yesterday.  They are going to begin meeting today to worship and study God’s Word!  Praise the Lord!  Keep praying for these and other campers.

Champ, one of the babies at Xi En, has been in the hospital after suffering from fever and then seizures which often happen when his body is weaker.  He will be there another day or two.  Pray that Champ will get completely well soon.

Ethan White, our son-in-law’s brother, is getting married this coming Friday.  Join us in praying blessings upon Ethan & Jill as they begin their life together serving God.  Bethany and Philip will be traveling to Halifax for the big event, but they are leaving their girls in the hands of some very capable babysitters for the the first time, and it’s an extended time.  Please pray for all of them as they are apart.

John’s mom, Judy, is feeling better, but still has the shingles.  Pray that she can get over them soon.

Our team’s interns: Alexandra, Anthony, Hee Jae, and Travis will be leaving on Tuesday to return to the US.  Our team has been very blessed by their service this summer. Pray for them as they reenter the US and have many things to process about their summer, and pray as well that God will continue to prepare them for future service in His kingdom.

1.  Join us in praying for a heart to love sacrificially.

2.  Please pray for the follow-up after camp and more discipleship groups to begin.

3.  Please pray for Champ as he stays in the hospital.

4.  Please pray for Ethan & Jillian as they get married soon, and pray for Philip and Bethany as they are away from their girls for 5 days straight.

5.  Please pray for Judy Dunn as she continues to heal from shingles.

6.  Praise God for our summer interns and pray for them as they leave on Tuesday.

July 19, 2015 Prayer Note

July 26th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.  For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection.”  Romans 6:4-5

These verses speak of our hope in Jesus Christ.  We can have a new life through the death & resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Without Jesus’ sacrifice and God’s glorious power through the raising of Jesus from the dead we would still be dead in our sins.  Praise the Lord that we can, through faith and baptism, be united with Christ in his death and resurrection.  Join us in praying that the hope of the resurrection of Jesus be made known to all in Taiwan.

We are rejoicing for the several youth that made public decisions this past week at camp.  Five of those students were baptized in Christ’s death and resurrection.  Their names are Aaron, Frank, Michael, Scott, and Yvonne.  Pray that each of these youth that have decided to follow Jesus will be given strength through the Holy Spirit to grow and be faithful.

We are grateful for the staff that came from the US & the Philippines, our Taiwanese co-workers, and our summer interns for all their hard work and effort.  We, the missionaries, could not run this camp without them.  We are also very grateful for all the prayer support that was received as well.

Thank you for the prayers and concern for Cheryl & her family since the death of her grandfather.  Everyone was blessed by the service that was held on Friday.  Cheryl has been able to speak to some of her family, which has helped her as well.  We do ask that you continue to pray for all of the family, but especially her grandmother.

The staff of Taiwan Xi En is working hard to prepare for the big inspection that is just a month away.  Many files have to be checked, the building needs to be in good repair and up to code, and everyone has to be briefed on how to answer questions that deal with their particular role in the ministry.  John too, will have to answer questions as the chairman of the board.  We ask that you pray for everyone as we prepare for this important inspection.

Thank you for your prayers!

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that the Taiwanese will have opportunity to hear of the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2.  Please pray for all of the youth that made decisions at camp this past week.

3.  Praise God with us for the workers He provided for both weeks of camp.

4.  Praise God for the prayers for Cheryl and her family since her grandfather’s funeral.

5.  Please pray for everyone in the Xi En ministry as they prepare for the government inspection.

July 12, 2015 Prayer Note

July 12th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“He saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.”  Titus 3:5

Paul writes to Titus about the human tendency to try to make ourselves righteous by our good works.  Satan is really good at using this against us as well.  The Taiwanese society has this concept built into it through Taoism and Buddhism.  Some of our teaching at Sports and English camp has to deal with this problem.  Pray with us as we present this to the youth, this truth of accepting Christ’s righteousness as the means to salvation.

We are excited to share with you that three young men made decisions to follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  Two were able to be baptized on Saturday morning, Alen & Charlie.  The third, Kevin, is not able to be baptized at this time.  Please pray for these young men as well as others that were impacted by this past week of camp.

The second week of Sports & English Camp starts today.  We will have another 120 campers attend.  The first week went very well with little disturbance by the weather.  Most of the faculty are coming into this week a little tired from the first week.  Please pray that we all remain healthy and able to invest in the lives of the campers as we need to during this week.

Thank you for praying for the babies from the Home of God’s Love that were in the hospital.  They all are out of the hospital now.  They are not completely well, but are much improved.

Please pray for Judy Dunn, John’s mom.  She has shingles.  She is not in too much discomfort at this time.  She is missing the annual family reunion though since she is possibly contagious.  Pray that her blisters will dry up quickly so that she won’t be contagious.

Thank you for praying!

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for the faculty this coming week as we share the truth of Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins with the campers.

2.  Please pray for Alen, Charlie, and Kevin as they learn to follow Jesus more.

3.  Please pray for this second week of camp that starts today the 12th.

4.  Thank you for praying for the babies at the Home of God’s Love as they continue to get better.

5.  Please pray that John’s mom will get over the shingles quickly.

July 5, 2015 Prayer Note

July 5th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“For since I am free from all I can make myself a slave to all, in order to gain even more people.   I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some.  I do all these things because of the gospel, so that I can be a participant in it.”  I Cor. 9:20, 22b-23

Paul was willing to submit himself to the culture around him in order to win people for Christ.  He did not want to offend people or put unnecessary distinctions between he and others that would hinder the gospel. This week starts our annual Sports & English Camp.  Some of those participating as faculty from the US just arrived a day ago.  They are already asking what are some things they should and shouldn’t do in order not to offend the students at camp.  They want to be the best example for Christ that they can be.  Pray with us this week that our differences will not hinder the gospel and that many of these youth will choose Christ as their savior.

Wendy Huang, one of our long-time friends here in Taiwan, is going on an missions internship this summer in Cambodia.  She leaves on Monday morning.  Wendy desires to serve the Lord in cross-cultural missions full-time.  Pray for Wendy this summer as she reaches out to the people in Cambodia and strives to hear God’s leading for her life.

Four babies from the Home of God’s Love have respiratory problems that caused them to have to be in the hospital.  Bev Skiles is staying with them in the hospital leaving the home short a person.  Pray that the babies will get well soon and that Bev and the other workers will have the strength to care for the babies well.

Interns always have the opportunity to have many different experiences.  Peyton Farmer has learned a lot while at Taiwan Xi En.  This week she will be helping out at Sports & English Camp.  She is going from babies to teenagers.  Out team in Taichung has four interns this summer through Team Expansion.  They too have had many different experiences, and now they too get to work with Taiwanese teens.  Pray that they will be humble and will have the heart of a servant this week so they can have the greatest impact possible on the lives of these teens.  Pray as well that these amazing young adults will learn to submit to Christ in all areas of their lives.

Moriah went back to the doctor on Thursday.  He said it is healing, but she still needs to be very careful as the tear heals these next few weeks.  She will have to wear the brace another 6 weeks.  That means she will start school wearing her brace.  Please pray that she will do her best to follow the doctor’s instructions and that God will heal her completely

Thank you for support through all your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that all of faculty at Sports & English camp will desire to be the best witness for Christ possible.

2.  Please pray for Wendy Huang as she leaves for a mission’s internship in Cambodia this summer.

3.  Please pray for health of the babies at the Home of God’s Love.

4.  Please pray for Peyton and the Team Expansion interns as they seek to be servants this summer and learn to follow Christ’s will in their lives.

5.  Please continue to pray for Moriah’s knee to heal well.

June 7, 2015 Prayer Note

June 8th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“‘Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’  Then the Levites quieted all the people saying, ‘Be quiet, for this day is holy. Do not grieve.’  So all the people departed to eat and drink and to share their food with others and to enjoy tremendous joy, for they had gained insight in the matters that had been made known to them.  Nehemiah 8:10d-12

The way the Lord moves on a person’s heart is amazing.  We read God’s word and are challenged, encouraged, reprimanded, and more.  The people at the time of Nehemiah were grieved by the reading of the Law when the realized that they had not been observing so much of it.  They were told by their leaders not to grieve during the festival, but it is actually the insight they gained from the Word that gave them joy.  This joy then gave them strength to  be obedient to God’s Word in many areas of their lives.  Join us in relying on the joy of being in the Lord to gain strength for obedience in this life as a disciple.

Thank you for praying for us as we packed and moved this past week.  We made it!  Everything is in our new apartment and so our we.  Now we just have to get everything organized.  Please pray that we will be able to settle in quickly to our new surroundings.  Pray as well for the Andrew & Moriah as they try to find a new normal.

Our new landline phone number is 886-4-2422-4510.  Our cell phone numbers are the same.

Sports and English camp starts in less than a month!  We are excited for the opportunity to touch the lives of so many youth.  Pray for all the youth that attend to be have an attitude to learn about spiritual things.  Pray for all the staff to have a heart to serve all those that attend.

Peyton Farmer is doing great.  She helps out at Xi En wherever is needed.  She is getting out on her own to buy things for herself as well as the nursery.  She really has a servant’s heart.  Pray for God to speak to her heart about His plans for her as she serves others this summer.

There are three summer interns here in Taichung this summer.  We were able to meet them for a short time on Friday.  They are very willing to be used as God wants them to be this summer.  Pray God’s blessings on them of safety and health as well as to be changed through how God uses them.

Chris and Samantha Sanford are expecting their third child, a boy, in July.  They doctor thinks that he may come early.  Pray for the family as they prepare for the baby to come as well as a safe delivery.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please continue to pray for us as we unpack and settle into life in Taichung.

2.  Please pray for God to prepare the hearts of the youth and staff for Sports & English Camp.

3.  Please pray for Peyton as she serves at Xi En this summer.

4.  Please pray for the three interns with Team Expansion this summer.

5.  Please pray for the Sanford family as they prepare for the arrival of their son.

June 2, 2015 Prayer Note

June 2nd, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“‘Now obey the Lord and worship him with integrity and loyalty. Put aside the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt and worship the Lord.  If you have no desire to worship the Lord, choose today whom you will worship, whether it be the gods whom your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living.  But I and my family will worship the Lord!’  The people responded, ‘Far be it from us to abandon the Lord so we can worship other gods!  …  So we too will worship the Lord, for he is our God!’”  Joshua 24:14-16, 18c

This passage always brings a challenge and hope to mind.  There is a challenge for all us to remain faithful to God no matter our background.  Those of us that have a long Christian heritage must continue to develop our own relationship with God through worshipping Him with our lives.  Those who are the first in their families to worship the one true God must continually reject the gods of their ancestors.  Even though at times it will be difficult and costly, a relationship with God is worth it.  The blessings of a relationship with the one true God stretch from now to eternity.

Join us in praying for all of our Christian brothers and sisters in Kaohsiung to remain faithful and to lead others to faith in the one true God.

This past Sunday was our last Sunday in Kaohsiung before our official move date.  We had a joint worship service with our the three sister churches.  They wanted to bless us as we move to Taichung.  We also gave them a blessing and challenged them to continue to be faithful in making disciples.  Pray with us for these three churches to be supportive of each other as they shine the light of the Gospel in Kaohsiung.

This week we have special meals planned with some of our discipleship groups.  We hope that each of these groups will continue to grow and multiply.  Join us in praying that they will be able to win their families, friends, and co-workers to Jesus Christ.

We appreciate you praying for Jin Shing as she was suffering from cancer.  She passed away last week.  Her sister Jin Pen remains very solid in her faith and is grateful that she passed peacefully.  Pray that Jin Pen’s faith will have a great affect on her sister’s family.

Thank you as well for praying for the sale of John’s mom’s house.  The closing was this past weekend.  She is now hurriedly packing as she looks for a suitable house.  Pray that she can the find the right house for her quickly.

Thank you for praying for Peyton Farmer.  Peyton arrived safely Friday morning.  She has already begun helping out some in the nursery at Taiwan Xi En.  Pray that she adjusts quickly to the time change and to living at the House of Hope.

We are grateful as well for all the prayers that you have said for our family.  Moving to another city is a big adjustment for a family.  Andrew & Moriah have done well saying goodbye to their friends, but they will certainly miss them, as we will miss our friends here too.  Remember to pray for us all as we adjust to life in Taichung.

Our new address is No. 11 Lane 238 Si Ping Road 9F-2, Beitun District, Taichung City 406 Taiwan

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for all of your Christian brothers & sisters in Kaohsiung to be faithful.

2.  Please pray for our three churches in Kaohsiung to support each other in the work of spreading the Gospel.

3.  Please pray that the discipleship groups will continue to grow in faith and numbers.

4.  Please continue pray for Jin Pen’s family as the grieve the loss of her sister Jin Shing.

5.  Thank you for praying for the sale of John’s mom’s house.  Praise the Lord it is sold.

6.  Please continue to pray for Peyton as she volunteers at Taiwan Xi En this summer.

7.  Thank you for your prayers concerning our move to Taichung.

May 17, 2015 Prayer Note

May 18th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

Now many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the report of the woman who testified, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’  So when the Samaritans came to him, they began asking him to stay with them.  He stayed there two days, and because of his word many more believed.  They said to the woman, ‘No longer do we believe because of your words, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this one really is the Savior of the world.’”  John 4:39-42

When the Samaritans heard of Jesus from one of their own they were challenged to believe and did at a certain level, but after seeing and hearing Jesus this changed.  They eventually believed not just because of the witness of the woman that Jesus met at the well, but because of their personal encounter with Jesus.  This is the way that it is even with people today.  We as Jesus disciples must tell others of Jesus and show them His love, but eventually they come to encounter Him at a different level just as we have through our own relationship with Him.  Please join us in praying for those we have introduced to Jesus to come to know Him more deeply through a relationship with Him not just us.

We continue to ask for prayers for the discipleship groups as we try to transition them to being able to continue on their own.  We will continue to have contact with them through e-mail and phone calls, but not meeting with them weekly.  This is a very important time for them to as they transfer more reliance on Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Word.

Pray for Jin Shing.  Her sister, Jin Pun, is part of May Wu’s discipleship group.  Jing Shing has colon cancer that is very progressed.  She may not have much time left.  She has said that she believes in Jesus, but has not yet been baptized.  Other people also keep trying to get her to keep reading Buddhist scriptures.  Pray for May and Jin Pun as they continue to witness to Jin Shing and her family.

We are excited to have Peyton Farmer coming to Taiwan in less than two weeks now.  She will be coming to help out at Xi En this summer and will also attend Sports and English camp with us.  Please pray for her as she gets everything ready to come, that she will have safe travels from door to door, and that she will be able to adapt quickly to this different climate and new culture.

Thank you for praying for Marc & Marsha Ryninger after Marc’s stroke.  They are back at their own home now.  Please keep praying for Marc and the family as he works to regain strength.

The closing on John’s Mom’s house has been backed up again, but it still looks promising.  The buyers are wanting to close as soon as possible and are working to satisfy the lending institution as well.

Thank you for praying for us consistently during this hectic time for us.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for those that we have introduced to Christ to truly choose to have a saving relationship with Him.

2.  Please pray for the discipleship groups as they learn to rely more on Christ and less on us.

3.  Please pray for May and Jin Pun as they witness to Jin Shing and her family.

4.  Please pray for Peyton Farmer as she comes to Taiwan for the summer.

5.  Please continue to pray for Marc & Marsha as he recuperates at home.

6.  Please continue to pray for the closing of John’s Mom’s house closing.

May 3, 2015 Prayer Note

May 2nd, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“God looks down from heaven at the human race, to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God.”  Ps. 53:2

Our world talks about wisdom and finding people who are wise to be leaders, but do they consider what God says makes a person wise?  The truly wise desire a relationship with God.  A wise person places God first in their life.  They are wise because they let God direct their steps.  Pray with us that we would let God direct our steps everyday.

Thank you for praying for Thunder.  God has blessed him with a wonderful medical team.  He is staying with a family in Taipei while he is being treated at a hospital there.  The pediatric kidney specialist said that he believes that Thunder’s kidney can be helped, but even if not, the second one is healthy and he should have no shortened lifespan because of it.  They are continuing to do other test that hopefully will bring clarity to his whole situation.  Please continue to pray for Thunder to get the help he needs and also a family that will adopt him.

God continues to bless the discipleship groups.  Many of them are asking God to help them be obedient to the lessons God is teaching them in His Word.  They are praying for God to change the lives of others like He is changing theirs.

The closing on John’s mom’s house was extended to May 15th.  The realtor did not expect it to close by the end of April.  Please continue to pray that all goes according to God’s will.

A good friend of ours, Marc Ryninger, who used to work in Taiwan just had a stroke on Friday.  It has affected his right side and his speech.  His wife Marsha has asked that we pray for complete restoration.  Pray as well for his wife and family as they are concerned for Marc.

Thank you for being a part of our ministry through prayer.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray for us to let God direct out steps daily.

2.  Please pray for Thunder as the doctors seek to understand his condition and for an adoptive family.

3.  Please pray for our discipleship groups to continue to grow in obedience and faith.

4.  Please continue to pray for the closing of John’s mom’s house.

5.  Please pray for our friends Marc & Marsha Ryninger as Marc recuperates from a stroke.