Just another Teamexpansion.org Blogs weblog

August 7, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”  Proverbs 13:10

Our “old” teammate and team leader, Chuck Foreman, wrote a book entitled, The Deadliest Sin: A Penetrating Look At The Poison Of Pride In A Leader.  He says that many of us never reach our potential as leaders because we become slaves to our own pride.  He is correct, because the Bible teaches this is true through verses such as the one above and stories such as Samson.  Everyone of us as Christians are leaders in many different relationships.  As parents, co-workers, bosses, siblings, exercise partners, and friends God gives us opportunities to speak into people’s lives through our actions and deeds.  If we live humbly before people they will see God in our lives, but if we are prideful then all they see is us.  What they often see is not that pretty or desirable.  Pray that we all will desire to live humbly and not pridefully before others so that we will not cause strife or contention.  Pray as well that we learn to hear from others around us that God is using to direct our lives.

We are praising the Lord for the safety He gave us as we traveled to Canada and on to Taiwan.  We really enjoyed our time visiting a few days with Philip & Bethany’s family.  John’s mom and Nathanael were able to join us there as well.

We are also grateful to be able to see so many family members and friends this summer.  We cannot begin to mention everyone who blessed us in some way.  Your kind words, gifts, hugs, and smiles helped make our Home Service a wonderful time.  Thank you so much for investing in us.

Pray with us as we begin to plan our schedules for the fall. Cheryl already has a training for working with a crisis pregnancy center on her schedule for this week.  Andrew and Moriah begin school  this week.  John needs to visit with team members and people that we have begun building relationships with here in Taichung.

Pray that God will use our team and all the other missionaries & Christians here on island to bring about a true spiritual awakening and a discipleship movement in Taiwan.

Thank you always for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we learn to live humbly before God and others.

2.  Praise the Lord for all our safe travels.

3.  Praise the Lord for people like each of you who invested in us this summer.

4.  Please pray for our family as we begin life & ministry again in Taiwan.

5.  Please pray for a spiritual awakening and a discipleship movement to take off in Taiwan.

July 24, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“For you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light – for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth – trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.”  Eph. 5:8-10

All of us have travelled from darkness to light as we have been introduced to Jesus Christ.  We are all continually trying to learn what is pleasing to God as we try to produce fruit that is consistent with the light.  We that have been blessed to be in the light for a long time need to remember that those who are just learning to walk in the light need encouragement along the way.  We need to not look down on them for the areas of life that have not yet been changed, but instead live in such a way as to give them a good example.  Letting them see our good deeds and inviting them to participate with us as we try to walk as children of the light will help them greatly.  Join us in trying to walk as children of the light before those around us.

The second week of Sports & English Camp saw God do some great things.  Several campers committed themselves to starting discipleship groups.  There were four baptisms and several others that said that they now believe in God.  God worked in the lives of some of the faculty in special ways as well.  Pray for all those who made a decision regarding their walk with Jesus Christ.

We have enjoyed our time here in the US, but it is almost over.  We finished up reporting today at the Scott Ave. Christian Church in Newton, IL.  We will fly to the west coast on Tuesday to spend some time with Bethany’s family before leaving for Taiwan on August 4.  We ask that you continue to pray for us as we travel and prepare to return to Taiwan.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we will be a witness and encouragement to those around us as we try to live pleasing lives to God.

2.  Please pray for all those who made a decision regarding their walk with Jesus Christ during S&E Camp.

3.  Thank you for your continued prayers for us as we travel and prepare to return to Taiwan.

July 3, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”  Isa. 6:8

Isaiah was confronted with a vision of the throne room of God.  He was also confronted with with his own unholiness and the realization that he was not able to stand before such a holy and powerful God.  After God cleansed Isaiah of his unrighteousness, God called him into service of His kingdom.  Isaiah could do nothing, but accept the call.  I wonder if the reason so many Christians don’t answer God’s call on their lives for service in His kingdom is that they don’t realize the holiness of God.  They have not come face to face with their own unholiness either.  Pray that we continually seek to know the holiness of God and to realize our own need for Him to cleanse us of our sin.

This past week we were the missionaries at Music Camp at Oil Belt Christian Service Camp.  It was a great week with two baptisms and at least three others going home planning to be baptized.  There were also several decisions made concerning entering Christian service.  Pray for these youth as they begin a new stage in their walk with Christ.

Today the first week of Sports & English Camp began in Taiwan.  Please be praying all week for the faculty and youth.  Pray that the hearts of the youth will be open to hear the truth of Jesus.  There is the potential for heavy rain later in the week due to a typhoon in the area.

We have an interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services this week concerning Moriah’s citizenship.  She does not have citizenship at this time.  We have applied for her citizenship and hope that this interview will settle any outstanding questions.  We ask that you pray that the interview will go smoothly and that she will be awarded her citizenship.

Today we will report at the Parkview Christian Church in Mt. Carmel, IL.  Next week we will be with John’s family for worship and then a family reunion.  We ask that you continue to lift us up in prayer as we pray and report.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we allow the Holy Spirit to continually keep before us the holiness of God and our own need for His cleansing in our lives.

2.  Please pray for the campers that made decisions during Music Camp.

3.  Please pray for both weeks of Sports & English Camp.

4.  Please pray for the interview at USCIS for Moriah’s citizenship.

5.  We appreciate your continued prayers as we travel and report this summer.

June 15, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“I continually think about this, and I am depressed. But this I call to mind; therefore I have hope: The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end.  They are fresh every morning; your faithfulness is abundant!  ‘My portion is the Lord,’ I have said to myself, so I will put my hope in him.  The Lord is good to those who trust  in him, to the one who seeks him.”  Lamentations 3:20-25

Times of mourning and possibly depression come to all of us.  When we feel a loss whether from death or from someone moving away. It is common for us to have a time of feeling low.  These feelings may come and go or they may stay for a period of time.  This is normal and even useful for us as we work through the transition, but these feelings should not control us or bring us down to despair.  Jeremiah reminds us that God is always with us sending us his compassions everyday.  He never runs out of faithfulness and compassion.  When we are down we need to seek the Lord even more and trust that He will provide all we need for He is our hope!

We are sorry for being slow this week sending out the prayer note.  Our schedule is not nearly as consistent while traveling.

We ask that you pray for Cheryl’s family.  Her grandmother, Bessie Jackson, died this past Sunday morning.  She has been getting slowly weaker these past few months, but it was still a little bit of a surprise.  We and some other family members had visited her at different times on Friday and Saturday.  She seemed to be doing very well.  During the night her heart started giving her problems and not too long after she passed.  When we left for Taiwan we had seven living grandparents.  Grandma Jackson was the last to pass.  This is the only funeral of the seven we have been able to attend.  The services will be on Thursday morning in Centralia, IL.  We are grateful to know that all of you will be praying for the whole family.

This week we are enjoying being with our Latona church family.  This is VBS week.  We are serving as the missionaries.  Latona has been a great blessing to us through the years.  We are thankful for their continual support and love.  Pray for all the young lives that are being touched this week.

We will be reporting at the Old Union Church of Christ in Poseyville, IN this coming Sunday.  We will also spend the weekend with Cheryl’s family as we celebrate Father’s day.

Sports and English Camp is coming up soon in Taiwan.  Please remember to pray everyday for the youth and faculty.

John & Cheryl both have cell phone numbers here in the US, but we don’t always have good coverage in southern IL.  If you try our cell phones and don’t reach us send us an e-mail.  John – 217-343-0745  Cheryl 217-343-9513

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for Cheryl’s family as they mourn the loss of her grandmother, Bessie Jackson.

2.  Please pray for the VBS at the Latona Church of Christ this week.

3.  Please pray for our continued travels and reporting.

4.  Please join us in praying for the campers and faculty of both weeks of S&E Camp.

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!


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.