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February 19, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight – the only thing that matters is faith working through love.”  Gal. 5:6

There are so many things that we as people try to set up as being important: 1.  The name on your church door

2.  Do you have a church building?

3.  The extent of your education

4.  The size of your gathering

5.  Style of worship

The list could go on and on.  Anything on this list has some importance until you compare it to what we are called as Christians to do.  Paul says that we are called to work out our faith in love.  We are to be loving as we live faithfully for our Savior.  Jesus said that love would be the mark of our discipleship to the world.  Pray with us that me remember to practice what really matters, “Love.”

A group from our team is heading to the Home of God’s Love on Monday morning to help move boxes and furniture out of the old building so that it can be remodeled.  Please pray for safety as we work.

Ministry to families in crisis is always challenging.  The Home of God’s Love, Ray of Hope, Taiwan Xi En, and Pregnancy Support Center are all ministries that we have connections to here in Taiwan that serve some aspect of families being in crisis.  The point that unites them all is ministry to children.  Taiwan regulations make it difficult to serve them easily, but they are persevering.  We ask that you pray for these ministries and others like them that show their faith in Christ through acts of love.  Pray specifically that their acts of love will have an enduring impact on the families they touch.

The I Will Follow You Tube channel and accompanying social media pages are slowly building interest.  We are learning how to use social media better to reach people that are interested in learning about spiritual things.  Our hope is that the social media pages and videos will bring us into personal contact with people that God is preparing to hear the gospel.  Pray with us that we will be wise and discerning as we move forward seeking out people God is calling to himself.

The Jang family will begin a set of stories tonight from the book of John on the miracles of Jesus.  Each member of the family is learning as we read and discuss the scripture, but it has yet to make an eternal difference in Mr. Jang.  Pray for Mr. Jang to be changed by work of God and the witness of his wife and son.

Thank you for praying with us.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray that we are seen as followers of Christ through our acts of love.

2.  Pray for our team as we work at the Home of God’s Love on Monday.

3.  Pray for ministries in Taiwan that work to show the love of God to families in crisis.

4.  Pray for wisdom and discernment for our team as we use social media to seek out those God is calling to himself.

5.  Pray for the Jang family to be impacted eternally by the word of God.

February 12, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“From Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, wrapped in the love of God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.”  Jude 1:1

The salutation of Jude’s letter provides a glimpse into the person Jude.  He was a humble servant of Jesus.  He actually calls himself a slave of Jesus.  He was actually a half brother of Jesus just like James.  He was not willing to place himself on a level equal with his Savior so he does not lay claim to be family instead he humbles himself.  This humble attitude probably causes the readers of his letter to receive with open hearts the challenges and exhortations he gives.  May we all learn to have a humble spirit that causes those around us to listen to the wisdom God gives to us and therefore draws men to God.

Please be praying for the disciple group John has with the Jang family.  They will finish the first set of stories tonight.  Mr. Jang has yet to make any comment that shows he is really beginning to have saving faith.  John is asking for wisdom concerning how to speak to Mr. Jang regarding his faith so as to draw him closer to a decision of making Christ his Lord.

Our co-workers continue to work hard to produce material for the I Will Follow Youtube channel.  They are trying many different ways to attract people as well as to communicate the truth.  Please pray for God to provide encouragement to them as they persevere.

Chris & Samantha Sanford are preparing for their fourth child to arrive within the next month.  We praise God that their home is in pretty good shape after moving in only 2 1/2 weeks ago.   We ask that you pray for their family as the time approaches.

Thank you for being our prayer support team.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray that we learn to be  humble in the sight of all men.

2.  Pray that Mr. Jang will come to faith in Jesus.

3.  Pray that the I Will Follow Youtube channel will reach many people for Christ

4.  Pray for the Sanford family as they prepare for their 4th child.

February 5, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“‘Take an offering for the Lord. Let everyone who has a willing heart bring an offering to the Lord:’  … Everyone whose heart stirred him to action and everyone whose spirit was willing came and brought the offering for the Lord for the work of the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.  Every woman who was skilled spun with her hands and brought what she had spun, blue, purple, or scarlet yarn, or fine linen, and all the women whose heart stirred them to action and who were skilled spun goats’ hair.”  

Exodus 35:5b, 21, 25 – 26

Willingness of heart is wonderful feeling.  When you honestly are completely willing to give of what you have whether money, time, skill, or energy it feels really good.  It is also contagious.  That is what happened with the Israelites and the giving for the Tabernacle.  The people were instructed to give as their heart was willing and they did.  It is recorded in chapter 36 of Exodus that they gave so much they had to be told to stop.  That is what happens when people really desire give.  Imagine today if we fully gave our hearts to the work God has put before each of us what would be accomplished.  People would hear the truth of God’s word and then they would see it lived out before them as a testimony to its truth.  Lives would be changed for eternity and God would be glorified.  Join us in praying for a more willing heart to serve as God desires.

The S&E Chinese New Year event went very well.  There were approximately 25 youth who attended the event.  Some of them were brought by friends for the first time.  We were encouraged by their willingness to participate in worship and small group prayer.  Please continue to pray for all of these youth to continue to grow in Christ.

We are beginning to put a lot of effort into the planning of this summer’s S&E camp.  This Tuesday will be a planning meeting that will lay the foundation for much of what will happen during camp.  We will have two weeks again this summer:  July 9-15 & 16-22.  The theme for camp will be “No Fear”.  Join us in prayer for all the preparations and those who be both campers and faculty.

The I Will Follow Youtube is up and running.  Our hope is that the channel will help our campers and graduates and other Christians as they desire to follow Jesus.  Please pray for the channel to be effective.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hckw4S_bSc4

Thank you for praying with us!

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we will have hearts that are completely willing to serve as God desires.

2.  Please pray for all the youth that are connected to S&E camp to continue to grow in Christ.

3.  Please pray for our preparations for S&E camp.

4.  Please pray for the I Will Follow Youtube channel to help people grow in their relationship with Christ.

January 29, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does.  Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.”  John 14:26-27

We are in the midst of celebrating Chinese New Year.  People send cards and say, “Happy New Year!”  They take gifts of food to people they visit, and often give red envelopes with money in them to children an other special people in their lives.  Bosses often give out a year end bonus in a red envelope as well.  A friend sent this message yesterday.  “Peace is the best year-end bonus of all.  Without peace, any red envelope which is packed with banknotes is nothing but an empty envelope without significance.”  This quote reminded me of several scriptures two of which are above.  Jesus knew how important peace is to the human soul and spirit, therefore, he provided a way for us to have peace at all times.  He gave us the Holy Spirit, our advocate, to live inside of us at all times.  When we are willing to quiet our spirit and give our cares over to Him the Spirit will bring the peace we so desire.  Join us in learning each day to surrender everything to the Spirit and enjoying the peace He brings.

We appreciate the prayers you have offered up for our dinner with the Lin family.  We are always made to feel very welcome by their family.  We have an open invitation to visit with them.  Pray with us for direction as to how to move  our relationship forward with the Lin family.  Pray specifically that when in conversation with them the Holy Spirit will guide us how to move the conversation to spiritual matters.

This Wednesday afternoon is the Chinese New Year activity with the youth from Sports & English Camp.  We will also be kicking off the I Will Follow You Tube channel.  We are praying that God will bring the youth to the event who are being drawn to be His disciples.  We want to invest in those who desire a relationship with God and to help others know God as well.  Pray that this event and the I Will Follow channel will bring glory to God.

Thank you for praying for Jenny McBride, Cheryl’s sister-law.  She continues to take medicine to help with her symptoms.  Her next appointment with the doctor is February 20th.  Please pray for her healing.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we learn to surrender to the Spirit and enjoy His peace.

2.  Please pray for us to be able to have spiritual conversations with the Lin family.

3.  Please pray for the Chinese New Year youth event to bring glory to God.

4.  Thank you for praying for Jenny McBride as she waits for her next doctor visit.

January 22, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“This is the disciple who testifies about these things and has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.  There are many other things that Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”  John 21:24-25

While in Israel we traveled to many places where Jesus performed miracles and taught people.  There were times when our guide would say something like, “As far as we know Jesus went to this city for ministry.”  He also mentioned the verses above that are from John’s Gospel.  This caused me, John, to wonder what might have happened in other places.  One day it dawned on me as the guide was explaining connections to the Old Testament and the culture that I had a lot more to learn about what was recorded of Jesus’ ministry.  I had no need of knowing what might fill those other books.  God had already provided all that is necessary to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and to keep me busy learning all my life.  Join us in committing to learning more about the Savior’s life and ministry everyday.

Our team is hosting an event over Chinese New Year break for students that have been a part of S&E Camp before.  It will be on Feb. 1st.  We hope to encourage the youth in their faith as well as to launch the I Will Follow Youtube channel that day.  We ask that you pray that God knowing the hearts of us all will draw the right students to this event.

Chris & Samantha Sanford returned from a short home assignment in the States on January 15th.  They returned needing to find a different house to rent and move by the 25th.  God has provided a house.  Now they are trying to move.  Chris has been sick.  They all have jet-lag.  They have three children 5 and under and Sam is almost 8 months pregnant.  Please pray for them as they continue through these transitions.

We have received an invitation to go to the Lin’s home for Chinese New Year for a meal again this year.  This is Samantha Sanford’s family.  We ask that you pray we will recognize ways to be light to their family while we are with them that evening.  Please pray as well for all Christians in Taiwan to use this as an opportunity to witness to their families.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray with us to dedicate ourselves to learning more about our Savior daily.

2.  Please pray for the God draw the right students to the Chinese New Year event.

3.  Please pray for the Sanford family as they adjust to being back in Taiwan and move to a new home.

4.  Please pray for opportunities to continue to share the gospel with the Lin family.

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.