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September 18, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Sanballat and Geshem sent word to me saying, ‘Come on! Let’s set up a time to meet together at Kephirim in the plain of Ono.’  Now they intended to do me harm.  So I sent messengers to them saying, ‘I am engaged in an important work, and I am unable to come down. Why should the work come to a halt when I leave it to come down to you?’  They contacted me four times in this way, and I responded the same way each time.”  Nehemiah 6:2-4

Distraction is one of Satan’s most often used tactics against Christians and those seeking God.  He tries to get us away from the work God has given us to do with something that seems good or beneficial.  He does the same to those we are evangelizing or discipling.  He tries to get everyone to fill their time with other things such as charity work, family outings, and extra work.  When that does not work then he uses scare tactics and doubt.  All these and more are seen in the book of Nehemiah.  Nehemiah won’t allow himself to be distracted.  He continually keeps the work God had given him and the Jewish people as the first priority.  When times became difficult Nehemiah prayed.  We need to do the same.  This week ask join us in asking God to reveal to us what in our lives is an unneeded distraction or how should we reprioritize our lives.

The first teaching time at Taiping Elem. School went very well last week.  The first lesson was about creation.  The ladies mentioned that one of the three classroom teachers that they are working with did not seem to be real excited about the whole situation.  On a positive note, several of the children were very interested in the story and wanted to ask questions.  Continue to pray for the hearts of and minds of the students and teachers at the Taiping Elem. school.

The Jang family continues to show interest in learning more about God’s plan for mankind from the scriptures.  Last weeks discipleship group went very well, with lots of good discussion and discovery from God’s word about our being made in God’s image.  This week’s story is the fall of man, which will certainly bring up questions about good and evil in our world.   Pray for John to have wisdom in leading them how to discover the truth that is in God’s Word.

Cheryl continues to volunteer at PSC, a crisis pregnancy center that was begun by two friends, Gloria and Lana.  There are four Taiwanese ladies working in the office:  Lillian, Monica, Jane, and Sherry.  Pray for Cheryl to have wisdom as she tries to learn more about PSC and how to encourage the workers there in their faith.

Thank you for all your prayers on behalf of us and Taiwan because of the recent typhoon.  We had no bad weather in our area, but typhoons went both south of us and then north.  We only had a little rain.  We have had reports from friends in Kaohsiung about the extent of the damage.  Taiwan Xi En was still without water as of Saturday evening.  The Eternal Light Christian Ministry Center had a lot of water leak into the first floor.  Fortunately, loss of life both in Taiwan and China have been very low.  The amount of crop damage is very high.  We will certainly see higher vegetable and fruit prices for several weeks.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray with us to have wisdom not be distracted by satan, but to stay committed to the work of the Lord.

2.  Please pray for the hearts and minds of the students and teachers at the Taiping Elementary School.

3.  Please pray for John and the Jang family as they study about the fall of mankind.

4.  Please pray for Cheryl and the staff of PSC as they work together.

5.  Thank you for praying for Taiwan during and after the typhoon.

September 11, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family and Friends,

“Make me understand your ways, O Lord!  Teach me your paths!  Guide me into your truth and teach me.  For you are the God who delivers me; on you I rely all day long.”  Ps. 25:4-5

The attitude of David in this psalm is one that we should all seek to have daily.  We need to humbly call out to God to help us understand His Word in order that we might learn truth and gain wisdom for life.  Too many times we only ask God to show us His ways after we have already made a mess of things.  What we really want is for Him to come and clean up our mess.  Pray with us to learn to seek God, that we can rely on everyday.

This Tuesday Angie Pagel, Cherry Messimer, and Gail Chen will begin teaching at Taiping Elementary school.  They will teach each Tuesday morning during this semester.  They will also be partnering with a Taiwanese lady, Amanda, who has a son at this school.  Pray that God will use the time to impact families and individuals with truth from His Word.

Thank you for praying for Cheryl as she began working at the Pregnancy Support Center, PSC, some this past week.  She needs wisdom as she helps them minister to develop their policies and procedures.  She also is helping them to develop pamphlets that inform the expectant moms as to their choices concerning their unborn child.   She is also developing relationships with the staff of the center.  Join us in praying for the affect this ministry will have on the community for Christ.

John met again with the Jang family for their second discipleship group.  Mr. Jang has some definite questions about Christianity and the Bible.  Last week the questions were asked about the meaning of being created in God’s image.  This week they were able to discover answers from God’s word to these questions.  PTL!  Pray that the Jang family will learn to discover the truth in God’s Word for themselves.

Yesterday we attended a dinner and celebration for the engagement of Sam Sanford’s sister.  John had the privilege to speak to everyone in attendance about God’s purpose for marriage.  The majority of the people in the Tsai and Lin families are not Christians.  Pray that our and the Sandford’s presence was a witness to these families of God’s love and truth.

Last night was the first meeting of a youth group for Morrison students called “Ignite.”  Andrew and Moriah both attended.  We hope that this will be a great addition to their spiritual development.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for the the ladies that will begin Tuesday teaching at the Taiping Elementary School.

2.  Please pray for Cheryl and the ministry of PSC.

3.  Please pray for John as he and the Jang family continue to meet on Sunday evenings.

4.  Please pray for our witness to the Tsai & Lin families and the new couple as they get married soon.

5.  Please pray for the Morrison Youth Group, Ignite.

September 4, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.’  God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.”  Gen. 1:26-27

The account of the creation teaches us so much about God.  He is all powerful.  He is creative and sequential at the same time.  He is wise and so much more.  The account of God creating mankind is revealing.  We see how much God has invested in mankind.  He chose to place His image in us to make us in His likeness.  He does not say that about the rest of creation, only mankind.  God values mankind.  Reading this account also reveals something of about us as individuals, too, if we reflect about how we view our fellow man.  Each person is valued by God.  Each person is created in His image.  As people we may choose to mar the image of God through our choices, but we are still made in God’s image.  The investment God made is still the same.  God still values, loves, each person.  Are we able to say the same?  Join us in praying to be able to value each person because they are made in the image, the likeness of God.

Thank you for praying for the youth of S&E Camp.  There were about 40 campers in attendance for this past Sunday’s reunion activity.  They were challenged to stay connected to the “Vine.”  We have a daily reading plan set up for them that sends reminders to them through their Facebook accounts.  We are also planning other regular reunions.  A few of the campers brought friends that had not been to camp before.  Our team is excited about these campers’ willingness to want to share their experience and hopefully faith with others.  Pray for these campers to continue their relationships with Christ and for our plans to help them.

Fall plans for our team’s work with local schools are starting to form.  Two of our ladies are committing to working with the Tai Ping Elementary School for this semester.  They will be teaching character traits found in scripture with either first or second grade.  The guys are planning to be involved in at least two high schools again using our Discovery English Videos and lessons.  There is the possibility to work with more schools.  Pray for our team to develop relationships that will affect people for eternity.

Cheryl is beginning this week to work with PSC, Pregnancy Support Center.  She will be evaluating policy and procedures of other agencies to be adopted for use at PSC.  She will be helping in other ways as needs arise.  Pray for Cheryl to have wisdom as she helps with the development of these policies and procedures.

This past week John met for the first time with the Jang family for a discipleship group in their home.  The Jang family hosted Augi, our intern, this past spring.  Mr. Jang goes to worship each week, but is not yet a Christian.  Mrs. Jang, Lucy, and their son Jack are both Christians.  Lucy hopes to invite a few of their neighbors to be a part of their discipleship group as well.  Pray for this new group as it begins.

Thank you for all the prayers that you say on our behalf.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray with us to be able to value each person as God does.

2.  Please pray for the campers to stay connected to Jesus and for our plans to assist them.

3.  Please pray for our team’s plans to continue to invest in some area schools.

4.  Please pray for Cheryl as she begins working with PSC.

5.  Please pray for the Jang family and John as they begin a discipleship group.

August 28, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“When they heard this, they raised their voices to God with one mind and said, … When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God courageously.”  

Acts 4:24a, 31

It is amazing what happens when people come together with the same mind glorifying God and seeking to be used according to His will.  We as Christians have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  When we are willing to submit ourselves to be used according to God’s will amazing things will happen still.  We believe that if God’s people will come together in one mind seeking God to act in Taiwan that the people of this island can come to know Christ.  Please join with us in one mind praying that the people of Taiwan will be open to the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that all Christians here will be bold and courageous in word and deed.

This Sunday afternoon our team will host the first 2016 Sports & English Camp Reunion.  We hope several youth will come to be encouraged in their walk with Christ.  We are presently making plans concerning how to help them to continue to grow in their faith and how to reach out to their friends.  We will share some of those ideas with them today.  Pray with us that God will use this group of students to lead many in their generation to Christ.

Cheryl will be attending the Pregnancy Support Center’s staff meeting this Tuesday.  She has been asked by the director Gloria to come and meet the staff and to set up some office hours.  This will be the first time Cheryl has met with the staff of PSC.  Pray that God will direct Cheryl as to how much she should be involved with PSC and what work He would have her do there.

Thank you for praying for Andrew & Moriah as they begin the school year.  They are both getting a good start.  We hope the good start leads to a great semester.  Andrew has a strenuous schedule with several tough classes and soccer season.  Moriah is enjoying many aspects of being a high school student, especially the feeling of a little more freedom.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray in one mind with us that the Taiwanese people will be open to the Gospel and that all Christians on Taiwan will be bold in their faith.

2.  Please pray that many youth will come to the S&E Camp Reunion today and they will be used by God in great ways for His Kingdom.

3.  Please pray with us as Cheryl meets with the staff of PSC for the first time this Tuesday.

August 21, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“I kept thinking, ’Experience will tell. The longer you live, the wiser you become.’ But I see I was wrong-it’s God’s Spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty One, that makes wise human insight possible.”  Job 32:7-8 MSG

These words are from Elihu, Job’s youngest friend.  Where as in general we believe that years bring about a certain amount of wisdom, there certainly is no guarantee that a person will gain much wisdom during life on his or her own.  Things change greatly in life when we add God into the picture.  James reminds us that when we ask God in faith He will generously give us wisdom.  Wisdom does not really come through the school of hard knocks, but instead through the Spirit of God.  We all have need of God’s wisdom to handle whatever life brings our way.  We might be challenged greatly like Job losing so much, or we might be blessed so greatly like Solomon.  Either way we need God’s wisdom to discern how to face each situation.  Pray with us for the wisdom to face each day’s challenges.

We ask that you continue to pray for the Home of God’s Love and other such agencies on island that work with children and youth.  This is taken from a post by Bev Skiles at the Home of God’s Love.  “We are very short staffed. We need at least one licensed nanny,, one for the 2 and up kids and one social worker. I have three volunteers coming from the USA to help for a period of time. One of our nannies just had knee surgery and she will be off for three months. She is doing well. We have had a volunteer for a couple of weeks and she has been a blessing. It is good to have Show Hwa back after her trip to the USA.”  Besides the staffing needs, please continue to pray for the results of the inspections in July and August.

Cheryl has been asked by Gloria Hsu, the director of the Pregnancy Support Center (PSC), to help her prepare policy and procedures for the ministry.  This is one of the items that is needed to be completed for the ministry to receive licensing as a baby home.  The ministry hopes to be able to serve both moms and babies that are in crisis.  Pray with us for God to provide Cheryl with the wisdom and resources to help PSC in this area.

This Tuesday many of our missionary family on island will gather for a meal and a time of prayer.  We will be praying for our families and our ministries.  Chris Sanford from Ilan, Ted & Bev Skiles and possibly others from the Home of God’s Love will be traveling over to Taichung to meet with us.  We realize that many of you will already be in bed by the time we begin praying at mid-day here.  We ask that you take some time between now and Tuesday to pray that we will be able to both express ourselves to God, but also hear from Him.

Thank you for your prayers and your support.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we seek God for the wisdom to face each day’s challenges.

2.  Please pray for the staffing needs and the results of the inspections at the Home of God’s Love.

3.  Please pray for the Pregnancy Support Center as they work to be licensed by the government.

4.  Please join our missionaries on island as we pray for our families and ministries this week.

August 14, 2016 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Like obedient children, do not comply with the evil urges you used to follow in your ignorance, but, like the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in all of your conduct, for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, because I am holy.’”  I Peter 1:14-16

God’s Word continually points to the fact that so much of my life should be based upon my obedient relationship to God as my father.  This passage is calling me to choose to live a holy life by choice.  It is not specifically referring to the holiness that is placed upon us at salvation.  It referring to my daily choices.  Am I seen as living a life that is holy by those who watch me?  My motivation to make holy choices is that God, my father, is holy.  I choose to live a holy life because of my desire to be like Him and to please Him.  Join us in praying to live so that people know whose child we are.

The Home of God’s Love underwent an inspection in July dealing largely with the paperwork process, files, and staff.  Just this past week the home went through another inspection that included facilities as well as other elements.  We hope to hear the results of the first inspection by the end of August.  Join us in praying for the results of these two inspections to be favorable.  We also ask that you pray for the home to be able to hire the needed staff to satisfy the government as well.

Our team is seeking direction from God and looking for opportunities to minister in the coming months.  We will seeking opportunities with schools to use our Discovery English Studio videos.  We also continue to seek out key disciples that we will invest time and effort for them to become effective disciple makers.

Thank you for praying for our family as we transitioned back to Taiwan.  Andrew & Moriah are both playing sports again.  Moriah is getting used to being in high school.  Thank you for praying for Cheryl’s eye that has been affected by uveitis.  Her treatment is almost finished and is healing well.  We continue to pray that her eyesight will not be affected at all.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John

1.  Pray for us to live holy lives as obedient children of God.

2.  Pray for the Home of God’s Love as we wait for the inspection results and for the hiring of needed staff.

3.  Pray for our team as we seek God’s direction for ministry during the coming school year and beyond.

4.  Thank you for praying for our family’s health and transition.

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.