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January 1, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“You prepare a feast before me in plain sight of my enemies.  You refresh my head with oil; my cup is completely full.  Surely your goodness and faithfulness  will pursue  me all my days, and I will live in the Lord’s house for the rest of my life.”   Psalm 23:5-6

As this new year begins and we look backward, upward, and forward the words of King David in this psalm came to mind.  God has certainly blessed us in many ways even when times were difficult.  Satan has tried to make life difficult by bringing discouragement and telling lies and yet God gives reason to push onward.  We finally have a discipleship group started in Taichung and others on our team are seeing God move in lives of people that they have been working with for years.  When we look to God for direction He continues to tell us to be faithful to make disciples in Taiwan.  While looking forward to what God has planned for the future in Taiwan we are sure that His word will not return void.  We are also sure that His blessing will pursue us as we seek to do His will.  Join us in following the Father during the new year and sharing his blessings as we go.

Pray for the discipleship of the Jang family.  Pray for Mr. Jang to open his heart up to the meaning of the Word of God.  He uses his head to understand what is being said and often has very good understanding, but actually using what he has understood in his life rarely happens.  Pray for Lucy to have perseverance as she reaches out to many people.  Pray for Jack as he learns to walk that difficult line of learning to be independent and still be a respectful child to his parents.

Thank you for praying for Jenny, Cheryl’s sister-in-law.  The tests that she has taken so far have not provided a certain diagnosis, but have ruled several things out.  She is taking steroids, which are making it easier to get around.  There is still a possibility that she has MS.  Keep praying for Jenny’s healing and for God to be glorified.

John and Cheryl will be leaving for a trip to Israel on January 7th and will return to Taiwan on the 19th of January.  We were given the opportunity to attend a teaching tour led by Michael Card.  Our expenses while in Israel will be paid.  We had to pay for our airfare.  We are looking forward to both teaching about the life of Christ and seeing the places we have read about so many times.  Andrew & Moriah will be staying in Taiwan with friends that are teachers at their school.  We appreciate your prayers while we are away from home.

We are thankful for all of our family and friends.  We are grateful for all the  blessings you bring to our lives, and we are very grateful for having Nathanael with us during the holidays.  We hope you have a very blessed new year!

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray that we follow God’s leading faithfully in 2017.

2.  Pray for the Jang family to learn to follow Christ more this year.

3.  Pray for Jenny McBride to be healed of the numbness she has in her body.

4.  Pray for our family as John & Cheryl travel to Israel.

December 25, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David.  He is Christ the Lord.”  Matthew 2:10b-11 

Noel!  Good News!  Have you ever wondered what might happen if we greeted people at Christmas by saying, “Noel to you! or Good News to you!”?  That is certainly what we are saying with our usual greeting of, “Merry Christmas!”  We are joyfully announcing the good news that Jesus has been born.  There is no greater news for all the world to hear than that the savior of world has come and desires to save us from our sins.  Why then do we not think of ways to greet people everyday that would communicate the hope or good news of Jesus?  Let’s try to think of ways to draw attention or announce the good news of Jesus everyday throughout the new year.

Lucy and John did go to visit her friend, Mrs. Chen, whose husband had died this past week.  The funeral was on Christmas eve.  The family was handling everything well.  One burden they all felt was that Mr. Chen’s mother is still living.  They did not tell her he had died.  Please pray for more opportunities to visit with and share the gospel with the Chen family.

We ask that you pray for Cheryl’s family this year.  This the first Christmas without Grandma Jackson.  All the traditions are changing for the family this year.  This is one year that being in the US with family would be a great blessing.

We ask for prayer for Cheryl’s sister-in-law Jenny McBride.  She has been having numbness in her the lower half of her body.  She does not have a diagnosis yet.  It is possible she as MS, multiple sclerosis.  Pray for the whole family as they wait for a diagnosis.

Thank you for all your prayer.  Merry Christmas and Good News to you!

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray for the Mr. Chen’s family as they grieve his unexpected death.

2.  Pray for Cheryl’s family and others that are adjusting to life without loved ones.

3.  Pray for Jenny McBride as she waits to hear a diagnosis.

 

December 18, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow toward us, so also our comfort through Christ overflows to you.”  II Corinthians 1:3-5

Our God is a compassionate God.  He does comfort us in many ways.  His Word has many passages to comfort us in our times of affliction and loss.  His Spirit fills us with His presence never letting us feel completely alone or despairing.  His people come along beside us and give strength through walking with us through our troubles, sorrows, and difficulties.  Our family has received these comforts many times.  We also try to share these comforts with others.  Here in Taiwan we see them as a means of showing that our God is real and truly cares for everyone.  Pray with us that the comfort that we show to people in Taiwan speaks boldly of God’s love for them.

John has been able to share some comfort from God’s Word and through prayer with the Jang family over the past few weeks.  Now a friend of Lucy’s has had her own loss.  Her husband died in a car accident this past week.  John had the opportunity to meet this friend a couple of months ago.  Lucy wants to share the love and comfort of God with her friend at this time.  Please pray for Lucy and John as they go to comfort Lucy’s friend today and in the future.  Pray for Lucy to become confident to share such comfort herself.

This past Friday our family and several others from the Morrison Academy community participated in an outreach to the Taichung Harbor High School.  Approximately 300 students had the opportunity to hear the Christmas story.  Several of these students took Bibles home to read.  Others on our team have other opportunities this week to share at schools and with families.  Pray for the seeds that were or will be planted and watered to grow into faith in Jesus.

Allen & Cherry Messimer have been reaching out to A-Chuan, a sanitation worker in their community, for several years.  He recently was diagnosed with a type of mouth cancer.  He has been very concerned.  He has called or gone to Allen & Cherry’s home almost everyday for over a week asking for prayer.  The night before he was to have an appointment with a mouth cancer specialist A-Chuan asked that Allen pray that God would heal him.  The next day the specialist said that the cancer in his mouth was not there!  A-Chuan is still clinging to some of his Buddhist beliefs.  He says he believes in God, but he is having a hard time letting go of his belief in Buddha.  Pray for A-Chuan to recognize that God is all he needs.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for our witness to people in times of hardship and sorrow to be a witness to God’s love for them.

2.  Please pray for Lucy’s friend during her time of loss and for Lucy as she learns to comfort others with God’s Word.

3.  Please continue to pray for the effects of the Christmas outreaches that our team participates in this week.

4.  Praise God for the healing he has done in A-Chuan’s life. Pray for A-Chuan to believe that there is only one true God.

December 11, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“So as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen and priceless in God’s sight, you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  I Peter 2:4-5

We that do not stumble over Jesus, but instead see His priceless value as our Lord and savior, become like Him.  We become a living part of the Church of God just as He is.  We are a part of the “temple” that is used to offer spiritual sacrifices to God.  We show that we are a part of the Church when we are offering up sacrifices to God.  These can be sacrifices of praise with our mouths when, living holy lives, or giving to those in need from blessing God has given to us.  This is is how we live a life that is marked as a priest of God, a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Pray that we may live as living stones today.

The funeral for Jang Mama will be Monday morning here in Taiwan.  This past week has been a struggle for Mr. Jang, Lucy, and Jack.  Trying to deal with the differences of two religions in how you handle a funeral is not always easy.  John will have the opportunity to be a witness at the funeral through scripture reading and prayer.  Please pray for Lucy & Jack’s witness during the time leading up to and through the service.

One of the families that works in local market selling vegetables has a prayer need.  Mrs. Dzao told Angie Pagel about a week ago that her husband has stomach cancer.  We don’t know much more yet.  This past Saturday they were supposed to find out more about they cancer.  Angie has not been able to be in contact with them to find out more.  Pray for Mr. Dzao to be healed of his cancer and for God to use this as an opportunity to bring about their salvation.

We continue to make plans for our Christmas outreaches.  This Friday we will be going to Chung Gang High School to help with an outreach to the students and faculty.  Pray for the students and faculty to be able to hear the truth of God’s love within the Christmas story.

We are blessed that Nathanael was able to travel here and be here for a little over three weeks.  This is a surprise to Andrew and Moriah, and it will be a wonderful Christmas gift to have their older brother here with them over the Christmas season!! We are thankful that he arrived safely and on-time last evening.  The secret of his coming will be revealed in just a few minutes!  We look forward to spending time with him.

Thank you for being involved in our lives and ministry through prayer.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we may live as living stones in Taiwan today.

2.  Please pray for Lucy & Jack to have a strong witness in the family.

3.  Please pray for Mr. Dzao and his family as he waits to see about cancer treatment.

4.  Please pray for all of our Christmas outreaches.

5.  We praise God for Nathanael being able to spend 3 weeks with us.

December 4, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

My confident hope is that I will in no way be ashamed but that with complete boldness, even now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether I live or die.   For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.  Phil. 1:20-21

Paul once again challenges and encourages at the same time.  He is a prisoner and yet finds ways to be a witness for Jesus Christ, and therefore to be encouraged.  Is it too difficult for us to find ways in our daily lives to be a witness for Jesus?  Are our problems too big to for us to see through the eyes of faith how God can use them for His glory and our good?  Paul being faced with the possibility of a death sentence was not overcome with grief or fear, but instead was pushed forward to be a greater witness.  He was an excellent example of a true disciple.  He realized that His daily life was to be lived Christ, and that when death did come it would be a great blessing.  Oh what a challenge to live each day without regret with an eye on future glory.  Join us in praying for the the strength and wisdom to live as Christ.

We found out last Sunday evening that Mr. Jang’s mom was in intensive care after having a stroke.  John went to the hospital with the family this week spending time praying with the family and Jang Mama.  Jang Mama had been bedridden for sometime.  She also was baptized, we don’t know the extent of her faith.  She is in God’s hands.  We are taking this opportunity to bring some comfort to the family and provide a good witness.  Pray that the words we say and the attitude we, Lucy, and Jack have toward the family at this time will draw the Jang family to God.

Our family like last year will be participating in an outreach to the Chung Gang High School.  A wife of one of the Morrison teachers teaches at this high school.  The group will have the opportunity to touch the lives of 700-800 students and teachers.  The outreach is centered around how we celebrate Christmas.  We will play games, share a presentation about the history and traditions of Christmas, and share the story of Christ’s birth.  Join us in praising God for this opportunity.

Our team families will have several opportunities to share the love of Christ during this season.  Many of our families will invite people into our homes to share a meal and a gospel presentation as well as some of our Christmas traditions.  We are in the process of planning a few outreaches such as this.  Pray with us as we plan and invite people to come and share in the blessings of a meal, fellowship, and the love of Christ.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please join us in praying for strength and wisdom to live as Christ.

2.  Please pray for the witness that Lucy, Jack, and we can have toward the Jang family at this time.

3.  Please join us in praising God for the Christmas outreach at the Chung Gang High School.

4.  Please pray for the Christmas outreaches that our team will have in their homes this season.

November 27, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Now God who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your supply of seed and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow.  You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God, …”  II Cor. 9:10-11

Having just celebrated Thanksgiving, we have had an opportunity to think about how God has blessed us in so many ways.  He uses our gratefulness for His faithfulness to encourage and challenge us to pass the blessings on to others.  What is extremely challenging to me in this passage is that Paul writes that God will always provide sufficiently for us that we can in all situations be generous to others.  Not just sometimes, but on every occasion!  Why do we sometimes get concerned about giving to others if God has already given to us what He wants us to give?  Join us in giving thanksgiving to God through being generous in every opportunity.

We praise God for the wonderful fellowship and food that we enjoyed this past week as we met with our mission family at the Home of God’s Love.  We give thanks for our family that support us and love us sacrificially.  We also give thanks for each of you that God uses to provide for needs and our ministry.  It is your generosity that makes it possible for us to be a blessing to people here in Taiwan.

Tonight John will meet with the Jang family for discipleship.  John has been praying that during the past two weeks Mr. Jang will have missed our meeting together, therefore producing a greater desire to know God.  Tonight we will be discussing the death and burial of Jesus.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to be working on everyone’s heart.

During the next few weeks our team will have different opportunities to share about the birth of Jesus and the gospel.  Some of these opportunities will be with people we know and meet with regularly.  We often will have opportunities to share about Christmas at schools with students and teachers as well.  Join us in praying for the Holy Spirit to guide us as we use these opportunities to witness about Jesus.

Thank you for praying with us.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Praise God for blessings of life and that He gives for us to share generously with others.

2.  We praise God for all of you who provide us with blessings that we are able to share with others.

3.  Please pray for the discipleship meeting with the Jang family tonight to provide a break through with Mr. Jang.

4.  Please pray for all of the opportunities our team will have to share about Christ during the Christmas season.

November 20, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.”  Romans 1:1

Paul starts out his letter to the Romans establishing the fact that he is a bondservant of Jesus Christ.  He like many of those living in Rome are not free, but instead slaves.  Those who were at the Saturday evening session of the International Conference on Missions were reminded by Kyle Idleman that as a slave we committed to serving the will of our Master.  We are not to just take it as a consideration as we make plans, instead His will is our plan.  His plan is that we serve Him through sharing the life changing message of the gospel to the world.  How are you doing at being a bondservant to Jesus Christ?  Join us in praying to follow the will of our Savior and Lord completely everyday.

Josie went to live with her birth family on Friday.  We believe this is good.  We ask that you pray for the family as they adjust to having this new little life in their family.  We also ask that you pray for opportunities for us to share the gospel with Josie’s family.

John was blessed by both the team leader training and ICoM this past week.  The training he received will be put to good use.  Visiting with good friends and past teammates was encouraging as well. John and many others will be traveling to many different places in the US and around the world over the next few days.  Pray for safety as people travel as well as opportunities to witness along the way.

Our mission family will be traveling to the Home of God’s Love for our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration this week.  We ask that you pray for the ministry of the Home of God’s Love.  We are praising God that the HoGL’s domestic adoption license has been reinstated.  There are still challenges with the government as ministry continues to children that live at the home for a period of time and those that are adoptable.

Thank you for lifting us up to the Father in prayer.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we all will live as bondservants of Jesus Christ completely following His will.

2.  Please pray for Josie and her family to adjust to each other quickly and for opportunities to witness to her family.

3.  Please for John and others as they will be traveling to their fields of service and homes.

4.  Please continue to pray for the ministry of the Home of God’s Love as they seek to serve children and work with the Taiwanese government.

November 6, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned … Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression,  so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people.”  Romans 5:12 & 18

Many times in life we try to find a way to even the field of play or adjust it to our advantage.  Sometimes we play 3 on 2 in basketball or give the other team an extra strike in baseball.  We try to make things even, because we know that we don’t have the same skills, or are of different ages, or have different backgrounds or coaching.  There is one area of life where people are viewed the same and are treated the same, salvation.  God’s sees all people as the same before coming to faith in Christ.  He sees us as sinners condemned to death and in need of a savior.  We are all in need of His mercy and grace.  When we recognize that there is nothing we can do to win our salvation or even adjust the play field to our advantage, then salvation becomes possible.  It is at that time we are able to see the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ that can make each person, no matter who they are, righteous in the eyes of God.  Join us in praying for the Taiwanese to realize that God has made it possible only through Jesus for them to be saved.

We ask that you continue to pray for Josie’s situation.  Please pray for her birth mom to make the best decision for Josie quickly.

Please continue to pray for the discipleship group at the Jang’s.  Miss Chen has not returned and others have been asked, but at the last minute say they are unable.  Even so Lucy is being faithful to reach out to people and ask them to come.  The Jang family is studying God’s Word together and making small strides in spiritual growth.  Pray that the Jang’s will all truly to desire to become disciples of Christ.

John met again with the leaders of the North Taichung Church this past week.  There was nothing decided for certain.  Pray that the leaders will see the opportunities for growth within their present congregation and the opportunity to plant a new congregation with the DNA built in for growth and maturity.

Andrew and Moriah both are busy with school work and sports.  This coming week Andrew’s class is especially busy with the addition of the annual Jr. Carnival.  It is an event hosted by the Jr. Class each fall for the community and to raise money for a few special events.  Pray that the students will be able to handle the added stress this week.

John will be traveling this coming Saturday to the US for about 10 days.  He will be attending a special leadership training next week.  Following the training He will also take part in the International Conference on Missions.  We ask that you pray for John and the family as he travels.

Thank you for supporting us through prayer.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for the Taiwanese people to realize that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

2.  Please pray for Josie’s birth mom to make the best decision quickly.

3.  Please pray that each member of the Jang family will desire to be a disciple of Christ.

4.  Please pray for the North Taichung Church leadership to hear from God concerning how to proceed with discipleship in their congregation.

5.  Please pray for the Jr. Class as they have a lot to do this coming week.

6.  Please pray for our family as John travels from Nov. 12th to the 22nd.

October 30, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“There is no one righteous, not even one, … there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.” … But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ  for all who believe. For there is no distinction,  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  But they are justified  freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  Romans 3:10b, 12c, 21-24

Passages like Romans 3 are not very popular to talk about today, because these passages remind people of their sin.  Romans refers to a God that is righteous and holy and contrasts that with mankind, which in comparison to God is wicked and depraved.  What people miss in Romans often is that God is also loving, forgiving, merciful, and full of grace.  That is why God has provided a way for all mankind to have an opportunity to be redeemed and made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul realized without first recognizing our need to be redeemed we would never accept God’s grace and mercy.  Join us praying for the Taiwanese people to come to faith in our God.  Who is righteous, holy, loving, forgiving, merciful, and full of grace.

Thank you for praying for the board meetings that John had this past week.  This was John’s last board meeting for Taiwan Xi En.  His term will end this January.  We ask that you continue to pray that the ministry be led by the Holy Spirit as it continues to seek to serve babies, moms, and families in crisis.  The ministry is working toward gaining an adoption license in the future.

John has been given the opportunity to possibly work with a local Taiwanese congregation that wants to plant a new church.  They realize the need to develop a better way of discipling people.  John met with two church leaders this past week and will meet with them again on Wednesday of this week.  Pray that God will direct these leaders as well as John as to whether working together is God’s will.

The ministry at PSC is continuing to affect many lives.  Today was the ministry’s annual meeting to report to its members & supporters.  There have been several babies, women, and families helped over the past year.  Little Josie is still with us.  We are not certain how long she will be with us, but we will give her love and care until it is time for her to move to another place of love.

This weekend Andrew played in their final tournament of the season.  They won all of their games taking home the first place trophy!

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray for the Taiwanese to come to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

2.  Thank you for praying for John’s meetings and for the future of Taiwan Xi En.

3.  Pray for John as he prays about working with this congregation on discipleship.

4.  Pray for Josie and the others being served through PSC.

5.  Thank you for praying for our children.

October 23, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“If one member suffers, everyone suffers with it. If a member is honored, all rejoice with it.”  I Cor. 12:26

This week we were able to enjoy watching Andrew’s team play in several games during their tournament.  We witnessed this idea of when one member suffers everyone suffers.  We also witnessed rejoicing for the accomplishments on the field.  When someone was scored a goal the team and crowd alike responded with cheers.  When a goal was called back for some reason everyone sighed.  When someone was knocked down and did not get back up quickly, everyone was concerned for the one injured.  This happens because everyone understands that it takes a team to score.  The players had to pass the ball and block to get everything set-up for the one player to score.  We also realize that when one person on the team is hurt it affects the team as a whole.  Even having or not having people cheering in the crowd can affect how a team plays.  If this is the way it is in sports how much more in the life of the Church.  Remember to encourage, challenge, exhort, praise, and assist your fellow believers so that we may rejoice with them in joys and triumphs.  Remember as well to show empathy with those that are struggling as well as to cry and suffer with those in pain.  This is what builds a strong body of believers.

We reached the birth of the Messiah story this past week in the discipleship group at the Jang home.  Jack was very involved in the discussion as well as Lucy, but Mr. Jang was more quiet than usual.  I believe that the Holy Spirit is working on him greatly.  Miss Chen did not return.  Continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will convict her of her need for fellowship in the body of Christ.

Ministry at the Pregnancy Support Center continues to be blessed.  One of the mom’s staying at the home has been greatly affected by the devotions they have and the witness of the staff.  She wants to become a Christian!  We are now fostering an infant girl named Josie.  She is 12 days old.  The situation is very difficult for the birth mom.  Please pray that she will listen to good counsel as she makes decisions.

John has two board meetings this week.  One is today for Taiwan Xi En.  This should be John’s last meeting on this board.  The ministry is working toward receiving an adoption license.  Please pray that the new board as well as the director will listen to God’s direction as they move forward.  John also is on the board for the Taiwan Missionary Fellowship.  This meeting will be on Wednesday afternoon.  Please pray for this group as they work to benefit the missionary community in Taiwan.

Thank you for praying for Andrew & Moriah as they both had tournaments this past week.  They both played well and came through without major injury.  Andrew’s team did not place as high as they had hoped in the tournament, but having 20 shots on goal in a game that you lose shows that you are doing many things well.  Moriah’s JV volleyball team won their tournament of 12 teams.  We praise God for their opportunities to learn through sports.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray with us as we strive to suffer with those who suffer and rejoice with those that rejoice.

2.  Continue to pray that Mr. Jang with grow in faith and that God will work on Miss Chen’s heart to desire to be in fellowship.

3.  Please pray for God to continue to use PSC to draw people to Christ and for little Josie as we care for her.

4.  Please pray for the board meetings that John has today and Wednesday.

5.  Thank you for praying for Andrew & Moriah as they played in their tournaments.