February 1, 2015 Prayer Note

February 2nd, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for praying with us.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

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

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

3.  Please pray for Nelfa & her family.

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

5.  Please pray for the McCains as they travel.

January 25, 2015 Prayer Note

January 25th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

We appreciate your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

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

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

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

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

January 18, 2015 Prayer Note

January 18th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“For I tell you, unless your righteousness goes beyond that of the experts in the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Matt. 5:20

The attitude of the heart is so important to our relationship with God and others.  It was their own hearts that condemned the Pharisees.  They worked hard to keep the letter of the law, but did not do so out of love for God or others.  It becomes even more clear how important this is as Jesus talks about anger and murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, retaliation, and the list goes on.  We need to take a heart check often to ensure that we act out of love for God and others not just self.  Pray with us that our actions truly reflect the attitude of our hearts, and that our hearts reflect the attitude of Jesus!

We ask that you continue to pray for Ellinor and her family as well as our family as we all go through transitions.  Ellinor’s parents stayed with us about eight days.  We enjoyed really getting to know them and see her interact with them.  She took to them very quickly.  She has been doing very well since they returned to Canada.  God has truly blessed us by giving us the opportunity to care for Ellinor and several other babies through the years.

Shu Jen’s husband, Mr. Wang, passed away.  His funeral was Saturday.  He did recommit his life to Christ before he died.  He also told his sons that belonging to Jesus was the best thing in life.  Shu Jen was very comforted by the way everything happened.  He went very peacefully.  Pray for the family as they mourn and learn to face life without their husband and father.

Many of you know that Cheryl’s grandparents are still living, but have deteriorating health.  During the past three weeks they have both been in the hospital and are both now in nursing homes.  Due to Grandpa’s being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease they are not allowed to stay in the same unit.  This adds to some the stress on the family.  Please pray for everyone involved as they adjust to the situation and try to make the best decisions they can.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray that we will have the love of Jesus in our hearts.

2.  Pray that Ellinor and her family continue to grow together.

3.  Pray for comfort for Shu Jen & her sons.

4.  Pray for Cheryl’s Grandparents and family as they work out how to care best for them.

January 4, 2014 Prayer Note

January 4th, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ.  For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.”  Ephesisans 1:3-4

It is wonderful to know that God has chosen to give us all the spiritual blessings we need.  He determined before the creation of the world that He would give us these blessings and that has never changed.  He chose to do this because of His love for us.  He made this plan because of His great love.  You and I are unconditionally loved and have been before time began.  Concentrate on this fact as you enter each new day of this new year!

Ellinor’s parents arrived safely on Wednesday evening.  Ellinor has taken to them very well.  She has slept in their room every night without problems.  She calls them Mommy & Daddy and really enjoys being with them.  Continue pray for their transition especially as they return to Canada on Thursday of this week.

A faithful, Godly man and friend from Mt. Carmel, Bill Phebus, received his reward this past week.  He and his family have also been very supportive of our ministry as well.  We ask that you pray for the Phebus family as they mourn the passing of their husband, father, and grandfather.

This coming Saturday will be the dedication for the new building at the Home of God’s Love.  We will be going to celebrate the blessings and the ministry that has been and will continue to be done for these children, in this beautiful, new facility.  Ted & Bev Skiles, Anna Fletcher, and the rest of the staff are so deserving of praise for their faithful service and Godly witness on so many levels and to so many people.

Thank for serving God with us.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl Dunn

1.  Thank you God for your great love.

2.  Praise God that Ellinor is doing well and transitioning well to her parents’ care.

3.  Please pray for the Phebus family as they celebrate Bill’s life and yet mourn his passing.

4.  Praise God for the ministry to children that will happen at the Home of God’s Love in the new building.

December 28, 2014 Prayer Note

December 27th, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  I Peter 2:9-10

Thinking about the end of a year and the start of a new year brought this passage to mind.  There are always some things that end with a year and begin with a year, but there are those that remain as well.  As Christians the truths in this passage remain constant for each and every year.  We are blessed to be God’s own chosen people who have received His light and mercy in our lives.  We are also blessed to have the position as priests in His Kingdom.  We get to share the message of good news to others.  It is our work to introduce people to their Creator, God, Redeemer, and King.  Wow!  Just think about the important role God has given each of us in His Kingdom.  God has entrusted us to be His emissaries to this world.  Consider the fact that you are part of a royal priesthood as you begin this new year.

We are rejoicing today as we prepare to celebrate a new birth in Christ.  One of the college students at Eternal Light is going to be baptized today.  His name is Xue Yi.  Pray for him to be encouraged in his spirit as he begins his new life in Christ.  Pray as well for Jenny Yu as she was baptized on Christmas day.  May Wu has been a great influence on Jenny.  It is wonderful to see disciples making disciples.

The Sanfords moved up to their new home in Ilan this weekend.  They have had a tiring month getting ready to move as well as still participating in ministry.  We miss them already!  They have been wonderful teammates.  Pray for their family as they adjust to their new surroundings and responsibilities.

Ellinor’s adoptive parents will be arriving in Taiwan late on Wednesday, the 31st.  They will be leaving their five year old son in Canada with family.  We ask that you pray for their whole family as they have many changes coming with the addition of a two year old into their home.  Pray for the bonding between Ellinor and her parents to happen quickly and smoothly.  We have been truly blessed to care of her.

Thank you for being such a blessing to us through your prayers and support.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Let us rejoice together that we are a part of God’s chosen royal priesthood.

2.  Praise the Lord for Jenny’s & Xue Yi’s decisions to follow Christ.

3.  Please pray for the Sanford family as they adjust to life in a new place.

4.  Please pray for the Ellinor’s parents as they travel to Taiwan this week.

December 14, 2014 Prayer Note

December 14th, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

One of them said, “I will surely return to you when the season comes round again, and your wife Sarah will have a son!” … The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child when I am old?’ Is anything impossible for the Lord? I will return to you when the season comes round again and Sarah will have a son.” Gen. 17:10, 13-14

Our God is so awesome and faithful.  Not only is God able to use worn out bodies to produce a child, but He is willing to give this blessing in spite of Abraham and Sarah’s lack of belief.  God gave them Isaac because He is faithful to His covenant and His plan, not because Abraham was so perfect.  God is faithful to keep His promises to us as well.  Let rejoice in the knowledge that we have such an awesome God.

Praise the Lord!  Ellinor’s final decree came this week.  Her parents will be coming to Taiwan at the end of the month!  God is certainly faithful.  He does not work on our time schedule, but He does act for His people according to His will.

Thank you for praying for Shu Jen’s husband.  Mr. Wang is doing very well presently.  He is in good spirits and has less pain.  Please continue to pray for the salvation of many in this family.

Many congregations in Taiwan will be having outreaches connected to Christmas including the Eternal Light, Good News, True Vine congregations.  Please pray that many seeds will be planted through these activities.

Because we are going to be moving to Taichung next summer our teammates, Chris & Samantha Sanford will be moving to the city of Lo-tung.  They will be doing church planting work their and supporting the ministry of the Home of God’s Love.  They are going to be moving on Dec. 26th.  Please pray that all goes well.

We are also excited to share that Moriah’s softball team won their tournament yesterday.  John was blessed to be able to coach her team.  Three other teams from MAK also won there respective tournaments!  We praise God for the safety everyone received while traveling and playing.

We truly appreciate your prayer support.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Let us join together in praising God for His power and faithfulness.

2.  Praise the Lord that Ellinor’s final decree has arrived.  She can go home!!

3.  Please continue to pray for the Shu Jen’s husband’s health and the salvation of her husband and son.

4.  Please pray for God to use the many outreaches that are planned for this Christmas season.

5.  Please pray for the Sanford’s as they plan to move this month.

6.  Praise God that Moriah’s team enjoyed success at the softball tournament.

December 7, 2014 Prayer Note

December 7th, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

“Your obedience is known to all and thus I rejoice over you. But I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.  The God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”  Romans 16:19-20

God wants us to be to do what is right.  He wants us to excel at being good and to have no knowledge of evil.  That was His desire since the garden of Eden.  It is interesting that Paul chooses to use a similar image as is used by God in Genesis chapter three when the serpent’s head will be crushed by the woman’s offspring.  Jesus, because of His righteousness, was raised from the grave by the power of God, therefore crushing satan’s head.  We too, can walk all over satan by living a life pleasing to God by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Join us in praising God for the help of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

We praise God that Ted Skiles came through his second surgery very well.  When he got back to his room he was smiling, which if you know Ted is pretty normal for him.  Please pray that the rest of his recuperation will go well.  We are also glad to report that Chuck Johnston has been home and doing very well after surgery.

We are praising God that both of the Xi En babies who had surgery are doing well and are out of the hospital.  The one little guy had a fever off and on for a few days, but now all is well.  Please continue to pray for their recovery.

Shu Jen’s husband is stable at this time, but the doctors do not think he has much time left.  Please join us in praying that He will be willing to reaffirm his childhood faith in God.  Pray as well, that his sons will come to faith in God.

Thank for your prayers for our ministry.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1. Praise God for the Holy Spirit’s help in our lives to crush satan.

2. Please pray for Ted Skiles’ recuperation after his neck surgery.  Please pray for Chuck Johnston’s continuing recovery as well.

3. Praise the Lord that the Xi En babies are both out of the hospital and doing well.

4. Please pray for Shu Jen’s husband and her sons to come to know Christ as Lord and Savior.

November 23, 2014 Prayer Note

November 23rd, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

“In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the sovereign master seated on a high, elevated throne. The hem of his robe filled the temple.  Seraphs stood over him; each one had six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and they used the remaining two to fly.  They called out to one another, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord who commands armies!  His majestic splendor fills the entire earth!’  The sound of their voices shook the door frames, and the temple was filled with smoke.”  Isaiah 2:1-4 NET

Isaiah’s vision of the throne room of God certainly causes one to stop and consider the awesome majesty of our God.  He is sovereign of all.  He is “Holy.”  There is no other like Him.  He is not totally comprehendible by us, and yet He reveals Himself to us that we might learn to know Him.  This past week Vincent, from the Friday noon group, asked if God was just this highest level of wisdom and truth or was He a person?  He also asked about the reality of heaven.  Vincent is a buddhist.  He has a different world view than that of the Bible.  Pray that John and the other Christians in the group will be able to help Vincent come to truly know the one true God.

We ask that you pray for Chuck Johnston as he recuperates after having surgery on Friday to remove a small tumor in his abdomen.  He is progressing very well.  His son, Jeff, and daughter-in-law, Robin, are here with him to help during the recovery process.

Two babies that are in the care of Taiwan Xi En will be having surgery on Monday.  Our nannies will have to provide care for the babies after their surgeries in the hospital.  This will cause a disruption in the schedule, so all the nannies will have extra work this week.

The new discipleship groups are going well.  The Wednesday noon group met for the first time with 8 in attendance.  They were very willing to participate.  We began with the story of creation which leads to some interesting questions.    Please pray for all the discipleship groups as they discover more about God’s plan.

This week we will be heading to the Home of God’s Love for our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration.  This will be the first time for us to see the completed new facility for the children’s home.  We look forward every year to this time with our mission family.

We celebrated Moriah’s 14th birthday this weekend!  She had a party on Friday night with the girls in her class.  It was interesting to have so many teenage girls here in our apartment.  Moriah has changed a lot in the past 9 1/2 years.  We are so thankful that she loves Jesus!

 

Thank you for praying with us.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for Vincent to come to know the one true God.

2.  Please pray for Chuck Johnston’s recovery.

3.  Please pray for the two babies at Taiwan Xi En are having surgery.

4.  Please continue to pray for the new discipleship groups.

5.  Praise the Lord for the annual Thanksgiving/Christmas celebration.

6.  We are grateful for Moriah as she turns 14.

November 16, 2014

November 16th, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.’”  John 20:29

Recently my daily Bible reading brought me to the resurrection of Jesus.  While reading this passage I was convicted by these words.  The Spirit seemed to say, “But they can see you.”  My mind then went to James 1:22, “But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves.”  Immediately another verse came to mind from James 2:26, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”  John wrote about the life of Jesus that people might believe and be saved.  James reminds us that living out our faith proves that it is a saving faith.  There is two-fold truth here.  It is not only saving for you, but potentially for those that see how you live as well.  The witness of our lives can bring others to desire to know Jesus too.  Join us in praying that our lives can bring people to faith in Jesus.

We are so excited to share with you that Ellinor’s first decree came in the mail on Friday!  It is only a matter of time and she will be in the arms of her forever family.  Join us in praising God for the first decree and continuing to pray that the final decree will come as soon as possible.  It would be wonderful if her family could have her home for Christmas.

This Wednesday John will help start a new discipleship group in a business downtown.  We reported that this would happen, but it has taken several weeks for those he is partnering with to get everything arranged.  Miss Tsai, the owner, and three or four others are starting the group.  They hope to use this lunch time group to reach out to their co-workers as well as to provide a consistent time of fellowship and accountability for themselves.

The Christians in Andrew’s class are planning to start a bible study group at school.  Join us in praying for them to as they hope to have many of their non-Christian friends participate as well.

Thank you for being such great prayer warriors.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray with us that our lives will be a witness that will cause others to desire to believe in Jesus.

2.  Praise the Lord Ellinor’s first decree has arrived.  Pray that the final decree will come swiftly.

3.  Pray for the new discipleship group that begins this week.

4.  Pray for Andrew’s class as they desire to lead people to Christ.

November 9, 2014 Prayer Note

November 15th, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

Not to us, O Lord, not to us!  But to your name bring honor, for the sake of your loyal love and faithfulness.  Psalm 115:1

Why do you want to receive blessings from the Lord?  Because you want to feel loved & cared for?  Certainly, but is there more to it.  Do you want people to see the blessings of the Lord in your life so you can honor Him with your praise & thanksgiving before them?  I believe the psalmist wants the care of the Lord to become a witness to the nations around Israel.  He desires that the nations see the difference between the true God and their idols.  The Lord God is able to act on behalf of His people in contrast to the idols and false gods of the nations.  We need to remind ourselves that our blessings from the Lord are given to us for His glory not ours.

We ask that you keep praying for Ted Skiles.  He will be having his second neck surgery on Dec. 5th.  We hope that the surgery will enable Ted to be pain free and return to normal activity.

We have not yet heard anything more about Ellinor’s case.  Please keep praying that the judge will decide to issue a decree for the adoption to be finalized.

This past week was the second meeting of May’s new discipleship group.  Three of five she had invited returned.  Hopefully more will come this week.  The new lunch group will begin on November 19th.  There will be at least four in attendance, but possibly more.  Please pray for these and the other groups.

Thank you for praying each week.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Let’s try to use the blessings of God as a means of telling others of His greatness.

2.  Pray for Ted Skiles’ upcoming surgery on Dec. 5th.

3.  Continue to pray that we will receive a decree for Ellinor soon.

4.  Keep praying for all of our discipleship groups.