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December 3, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus.  He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is translated Christ).  Andrew brought Simon to Jesus.”  John 1:40-42a

Andrew is not mentioned as often in the scriptures as Peter, John, or a few of the other apostles, but think of what he did.  Andrew gives us an example that is worth following.  After meeting Jesus, he tells his brother about Him and introduces Peter to Jesus.  Such a simple act, but so important.  This is what we as disciples of Jesus are to do as well.  We are to introduce our family, friends, or anyone we meet to Jesus so that they too may come to be His disciples.  Join us in following Andrew’s example of introducing Jesus our savior to someone that has not met Him yet.

This past Sunday afternoon we assisted the Sanfords with an outreach in the park next to our community.  We set up a table with drinks and kites and handed them out to those who came by.  Many people were willing to enjoy flying a kite and talking with us for a while.  The purpose was to meet people and let them know that the Sanfords were beginning a Sunday worship service in their home.  There were a few people who seemed interested and some interesting responses by some as well.  One lady asked Samantha, “Is this a safe place?”  Later she showed Sam bruises on her arms from being beaten.  Please pray for this lady and others that were invited to accept the invitation to hear about the true and living God.

We ask that you pray for another outreach that is being planned.  We don’t know exactly how it will happen, but Chris would like to rent a space in the night market area for a week or so before Christmas to share about the coming of Jesus to the earth.  He is investigating the logistical possibilities presently.  Pray for us to receive wisdom from God concerning the night market outreach.

We continue to ask you to pray for the McGill family as they grieve over Sharon.  We also ask that you pray for Moriah’s dorm family as they try to find a new normal without Sharon’s presence.  We also hope that the dorm family will be a source of encouragement and strength for Terry & his son, Josh!

Jon Ralls, our former Taiwan co-worker, just recently finished his last round of chemotherapy.  He is waiting to see how tests come back to know the present situation.  He has been fighting through fatigue, so pray for strength and endurance.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray with us to be active in introducing others to Jesus.

2.  Pray for those who came to last week’s outreach to desire to know more about Jesus!

3.  Pray for us to know God’s will concerning the night market outreach.

4.  Pray for the McGill family as they continue to grieve.

5.  Pray for Jon Ralls and his family as he continues to battle cancer.

November 19, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“For we groan while we are in this tent, since we are weighed down, because we do not want to be unclothed, but clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.  Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord – for we live by faith, not by sight.  Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So then whether we are alive or away, we make it our ambition to please him.”  II Cor. 5:4-9  NET

Life is filled with joys and hardships.  This is the reality of life.  When we compare what we experience here on earth to what we believe heaven will be like we all long to be in heaven.  We think of verses such as above when our loved ones are ill or pass away.  We sing about heaven in our songs.  We want to make sure our loved ones know Jesus so that they can be with us one day in heaven with the Lord.  These are all true, but there is another truth.  When our loved ones do put on their spiritual bodies and leave us for heaven, we cry.  We hurt.  We have pain.  We stand as Jesus did before the tomb of Lazarus and weep.  Why?  We know they have gone to be with Jesus.  We know they will not suffer from the hardships and troubles of this life, but we cry.  We cry because we miss them.  We hurt because their blessing has become a hole in our lives for a period of time.  We are in pain because we are still in this tent that is burdened and mortal.  So what shall we do?  We will continue to live by faith and not by sight.  We will make it our ambition to please Him everyday.  We will continue to hope for the day of our homecoming as well.  Pray with us to learn to live everyday with a desire to please Him!

Our dear friend Sharon McGill has gone to be with the Lord.  She gained her heavenly reward on the evening of the 16th with several of her family and some friends around her.  Please pray for her family, friends, & all of her dorm students, of which Moriah is one.  She has left an amazing legacy behind in her family as well as all those who called her Aunt Sharon through the dorm.

We ask that you pray for our friend and fellow minister, Nate Schnautz, who lives in southern Illinois.  He has been fighting cancer and was told that treatment will only extend his days here on earth, but not cure him.  Please pray for his healing whether through God’s hand on his body, or through taking him home to heaven.

We ask that you pray for our mission family here on island.  Everyone needs encouragement at times.  Holidays, like Thanksgiving that is coming this week, are fun and happy, but we also miss our family and friends who are not here with us.  Satan can use this and so much more to put stress in our lives or discourage us.

Thank you!

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we learn to live each day for Jesus.

2.  Please pray for the McGill family as well as all of the dorm students.

3.  Please pray for Nate Schnautz and family as he fights cancer.

4.  Please pray for our mission family’s strength and encouragement.

November 11, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you ill? He should summon the elders of the church, and they should pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up – and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness.”

James 5:13-16

Prayers of the righteous as pronounced here are having great effectiveness in the lives of those who believe.  It seems that everything is covered whether it be emotional, physical, or spiritual need.  We are called to pray.  We are also told to set people apart for God as we pray.  It seems that when we come together as God’s people setting ourselves on His purposes not our own He will act according to His will.  We want to set ourselves apart for His purposes to do His will.  We also want to pray with this same attitude.  Will you join us in committing yourselves in the same way that God might be glorified and that our prayers might be effective.

Please pray for Moriah’s dorm mom, Sharon McGill, and her family; Sharon is also the wife of Andrew’s soccer coach.  She is in the States now continuing to fight cancer that she has been taking chemo treatments for these past 8 months.  Barring God’s intervention she will most likely go home to heaven before being able to return to Taiwan.  We ask that you pray for God to remove the cancer from her body.  We also ask that you lift up her family and the Morrison school community for strength and encouragement.  This is a link to a blog about Sharon’s condition.  https://carinforsharon.blogspot.com

We ask that you pray for John as he preaches on Sunday and leads the youth Sunday school class.  John also continues to lead devotions on Monday evenings at The Home of God’s Love.

The HoGL also just went through another semi annual inspection.  We are praying for a high score.  A high score is needed in order to be able to eventually apply for the international adoption license again.

We thank you for praying for our ministry and our family.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.   Please pray for us to set ourselves apart to God’s will and purposes as we serve and pray.

2.  Please pray for Sharon McGill as she fights cancer.  Pray for the family and the school community too.

3.  Please pray for John as he preaches and teaches this week.

4.  Please pray for The HoGL as she strives to serve God through serving children and families.

October 14, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.  At the same time pray for us too, that God may open a door for the message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may make it known as I should.”  Co. 4:2-4

Paul is seen by many as the premier evangelist in the scriptures.  One of the major reasons might be found in these verses.  He asks for prayer for two specifics items.  First, that God would provide opportunities to proclaim Christ.  Second, he asks for prayer that he would present the Gospel message as he should.  These two prayer requests show both his recognition of the need for God’s help in evangelism and his personal need to speak it forth properly.  This could mean that his method and tone are both received well by his audience.  It could also mean something else, but it certainly gives us reason to consider whether we are as concerned about how we present the Gospel as Paul.  Pray with us that God would open doors of opportunity for the Gospel and that we would present the Gospel as we ought.

John hopes to be able to visit Mr. Jiang in at his home this coming week.  John and he talked the past week and the previous week.  God continues to work on Mr. Jiang’s heart.  Please pray that God will provide an opportunity for both John & Cheryl to build trust with the whole Jiang family.

We are slowly building stronger relationships with the children and staff at the Home of God’s Love.  Some of the youth have very soft hearts, while others have built up larger walls to protect themselves from hurt.  Please pray that God will give wisdom to everyone involved a the HoGL as to how to help all the children to realize the love of God.

Thank you for praying for our family.  Cheryl had a good and safe trip with the school board to Cambodia.  God provided and opportunity for her to conect a staff person at the hotel with a young Chinese believer there.  Please pray that his interest in Christianity will grow.

We just had a few days of R&R at the beach with Andrew & Moriah.  We had two days of great beach weather and a day of game playing while it rained.  PTL!

Thank you for praying for the ministry in Taiwan.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for an open door for the Gospel and that we will speak the truth well.

2.  Please pray for an opportunity to visit the Jiang family in their home.

3.  Please pray for wisdom for everyone working at the HoGL.

4.  Thank you for praying for Cheryl’s travel to Cambodia.  Pray as well for the gentleman she met at hotel.

5.  Praise the Lord for the opportunity to spend time with Andrew & Moriah.

 

September 30, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

And when Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, because I must stay at your house today.” So he came down quickly and welcomed Jesus joyfully. And when the people saw it, they all complained, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, half of my possessions I now give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone of anything, I am paying back four times as much!” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this household, because he too is a son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:5-10

Most of us like the story of Zaccheus.  Most of us have our own idea of how it all unfolded.  Did Jesus walk right up under the tree stop and then look up at Zaccheus for the first time?  Did Jesus make eye contact while he was still a little distance away from the tree allowing Zaccheus the opportunity to run if he wanted?  It does not really matter, what does matter is that Jesus accepted Zacchues as he was.  That unconditional acceptance changed Zaccheus from the inside out.  His heart was changed, therefore he made a plan to act righteously and generously to those around him.  What difference might we make in someone if we just accept them as they are unconditionally?  Pray with us to be accepting of others as Jesus was.

We are asking God to direct us concerning how we should use our time in ministry here in Luodong.  We plan to give The Home of God’s Love, THOGL, a portion of our time each week, but still use the larger portion for church planting.  Actually, we do see some areas where these two overlap, but we still need God’s help making the best choices with our time.  People have lots of good suggestions for us to consider, but we want to choose what is best and not be satisfied with just what is good.  Please pray with us as we consider our ministry plans for this season.

Cheryl is with the Morrison Academy School Board this week in Cambodia for an international school conference.  She left on Friday and will return next Friday.  They have a busy schedule this coming week.  Please pray that much will be accomplished and for their safety.

Tomorrow morning John will be leading the youth Sunday school class at THOGL.  Please pray that John will be attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as he directs this time.

Our former co-worker here in Taiwan, Jon Raals is finishing his fourth round of chemotherapy.  The plan is for a total of 6 rounds of treatment.  Jon has done well so far.  Please pray that the next test will show that the cancer is already completely gone.

1.  Please pray that God would work on our heats to be accepting of others as Jesus was.

2.  Please pray that we will listen to God’s guidance as we make ministry choices.

3.  Please pray for Cheryl as she is in Cambodia this week.

4.  Please pray for John as he leads the jr. & sr. high Sunday school class at THOGL tomorrow.

5.  Please continue to pray for Jon Ralls as he continues taking chemotherapy and that his cancer will be completely gone.

September 17, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Therefore do not let what you consider good be spoken of as evil.  For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.  For the one who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by people.”  Romans 14:17 NET

The Kingdom of God is more concerned with the salvation of men than it is me preferences.  We need to learn to discern whether what we choose to eat, or how we choose to dress is offensive to those around us.  This has application to both evangelism and discipleship.  I need to learn not to offend people to whom I am trying to witness with my cultural habits.  If how I choose to dress or the way I address people offends them, then they will not hear the words of truth I say to them.  In the same way, my habits of dress or things I say may seem disrespectful to a brother or sister in Christ.  This might cause a disruption in a congregation.  I should be willing to sacrifice my preference or freedom for the sake of the peace in a congregation.  Pray with us as we consider again how our being different from those around us can both draw people toward Christ or turn them away.

We ask that you continue to pray as we make ministry plans with the Sanfords and the Skiles.  We are getting a few things in place in our schedule, but people are starting to ask us about Bible studies and serving at schools.  We need to take time to pray and make a plan that helps us choose the best opportunities to serve.

Please pray for Grace Lin, a college age girl, at the Gospel Christian Church in Luodong.  She has something in the her upper jaw bone that is causing the bone to disintegrate.  She is to have a biopsy on Monday morning around 8:00.  She and her mom are both Christians, but her father is not.  Please lift Grace and her family up before the Lord.

We, like you, are praying hard for the people in the US & Canada who have lost so much due to the fires and the storms.  We also have been praying for people in India & Bangladesh where terrible flooding has happened as well.  Join us in praying that God’s people will not only share their possessions and time, but also the hope they have in Jesus.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we seek God’s wisdom as we enter into this community as His ambassadors.

2.  Please continue to pray as we seek to make ministry plans that will provide the most growth for the Kingdom of God.

3.  Please pray for Grace Lin and her family as she has a biopsy Monday morning.

4.  We join you in praying for all those around the world who have lost so much from natural disasters in recent weeks.

August 27, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“But above all pursue his kingdom  and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.”  Matt. 6:33-34

Sometimes it is necessary to remind ourselves of certain truths that we have known for a long time.  When our lives are in the midst of transition and change it is easy to concentrate more on what is changing instead of what is certain and unchanging.  God’s Word and promises never change and they never fail.  We have the idea that because our circumstances are changing we need to concentrate the most on these circumstances.  Actually, when we choose to focus on God and His truth first then our circumstances that are changing come into perspective.  Afterwards they do not seem as big or difficult.  Pray with us to learn to always focus on God’s unchanging truth and Word first and foremost.

We are just getting settled into our house in Lotung, but God is already providing opportunities for potential ministry.  Mr. Jiang came over to help us install cabinets that we brought with us.  We have known his family for several years. He shared about his son having a type of depression and afraid of being in public.  The Jiang family started attending worship at a local church seeking help.  He feels like it has helped their family some, but his son still has a long way to go.  He invited us to come to his home and is considering hosting a small group there.

We need to work out what our responsibilities will be at the Home of God’s Love.  We also need to make plans with the Sanford family concerning our ministry plans to continue making disciples that make disciples.  We ask that you join us in seeking God’s direction with these plans.

We are getting close to having our house set-up.  Andrew and Moriah are beginning to get into a routine at school and in the dorm.  Andrew is very busy already with school and soccer, and Moriah is pretty busy with volleyball practice and her classes as well.  Please continue to pray with us as we finish setting up our new home and our children settle into school.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we learn to focus on God’s unchanging truth, His Word.

2.  Please pray for the Jiang family as they seek to know God and desire healing for their family.

3.  Please pray for us, the Skiles, & the Sanfords as we make ministry plans.

4.  Please pray for our family as Andrew & Moriah settle into new school and dorm routines and as we continue setting up our home.

August 6, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“I look up toward the hills. From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth! … The Lord will protect you in all you do, now and forevermore.”  Ps. 121:1-2, 8

We, like the psalmist, know from where our help comes.  Our great and awesome God is the source of all our help.  He is the One who gives us all good things!  He is our Redeemer.  When we have problems He is the one who gives us wisdom or sends someone to help.  He is faithful.  Here in Taiwan we see people looking everywhere for help, but they don’t even know from where the good things of this life come.  They look to Buddha, a myriad of Taoist gods, their ancestors, the government, their family & friends, or just themselves.  Everyone of these fail them at some point.  They have no real and true hope.  Join us in praying for the people of Taiwan to come to know the true source of hope and help for now and for eternity.

We are excited to know that several campers from the Taichung area are choosing to meet each week for worship.  Others are taking up the daily Bible reading challenge from the S&E Camp FB page as well.  Please keep praying for all of these precious people.

Our co-worker, Chuck Johnston, was married this summer after being widowed three years ago.  He and his new bride Darla arrived on Taiwan this week.  It is her first time here.  He will be preaching at the Community Church of Taichung, where he serves, today.  They still have a lot to work through visa wise, and just adjustments in life.  Please pray for them as they seek the Lord’s direction.

Summer brings a lot of good time as our mission youth return from being at college, but even this good thing must end.  Plus often another one heads off to college.  Bethanie & Zackary Pagel both left this past week for college.  Zack will be a freshman and Bethanie a senior.  Caitlyn Edwards will leave this week as well.  She will be a junior.  Jack Widener moved to the US in June to begin college as well.  Please pray for each of these families as they experience the changes that go along with their children going off to college.

We continue to ask for your prayers concerning our move.  We still have things to pack up before the moving truck comes this Wednesday.  We will be taking two van loads of things over on Monday.  We hope that it will not rain as there is a long walk between the house and the parking area for the truck.  We also pray that no one will get hurt while moving anything.

Thank you for always lifting us up in prayer.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for the people of Taiwan to learn of the source of true hope and help in this life and for eternity.

2.  Please pray for the campers to remain faithful to their commitments.

3.  Please pray for our co-worker Chuck Johnston and his new wife Darla.

4.  Please pray for our mission’s college age children as they start college soon.

5.  Please pray for a good and safe moving day on Wednesday.

July 23, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“If you love me, you will obey my commandments.  Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever –  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in 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 14:15-17, 27

Jesus asks His followers to be committed to him by keeping His commandments.  He also promised them to send the Holy Spirit who would help His followers.  One specific benefit of having the Holy Spirit is the peace that He brings.  It is a peace that only God can give.  It is a peace that remains even when times are difficult and scary.  It is a peace that is tied to our being secure in the arms of our God.  He will not let us go.  He will protect us in the fiercest storms and from the strongest of enemies.  Why then do we live without courage to face sickness, death, stressful situations, lack of friends or support, ….  The peace that Jesus gives cannot be destroyed by anyone or anything.  Join us in praying for courage as we love Jesus and obey His commands.

Thank you for praying for this past week of camp.  There were 20 campers that  stayed at the decision time to ask questions and learn more about becoming disciples of Jesus.  No one was baptized yet.  We know that some desire to be baptized, but their parents are not willing to allow them at this time.  Our team is seeking to connect as many of our campers as possible with our missionaries and Taiwanese co-workers through out the island. Please continue to pray for these youth as they continue to seek God.

Some of our US staff from camp is leaving today, but most will fly back to the US on Monday and Tuesday.  Please pray for their safety as they travel on island and as they return to the US.  They all came with an attitude to serve the youth at camp.  We are so grateful for them!

Our family has the annual Taiwan Missionary Fellowship conference this coming week.  After the conference we will be packing up our house and moving things to our new house in Lo-tung.  We hope to have all of our stuff moved by August 9th or 10th.  Please pray for us during this busy time.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray that we have courage to be obedient to all of Jesus commands.

2.  Pray that the campers will continue to seek God.

3.  Pray for the staff from the States as they travel home over the next few days.

4.  Pray for our family as we pack-up our belongings and move over the next few weeks.

July 16, 2017 Prayer Note

July 16, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“O Lord, my sheltering rock and my redeemer.”  Psalm 19:14c

The Lord is the only One that can truly protect and redeem us.  During the storms of life He is the one that can keep us from being destroyed for eternity.  He is the only One that can save my soul from the effects of my sinful actions.  He is the only One that can keep me safe for eternity.

Rejoice with us and the angels over three baptisms at camp, Jevons, Eric, & Charlie.  Charlie & Eric are brothers.  Kevin continues to desire to be baptized, but his parents are unwilling to allow him. These young men desire to make God their rock and redeemer.  About 20 others at decision time stayed to ask lots of questions and are still seeking to understand who God is.  Please continue to pray for these precious young people.

We praise God for a very good first week of camp.  Many of these youth were 8th, 9th, & 10th graders.  They had very little knowledge about God, Jesus, or the Bible.  It was slow going at first, but by the end of the week many of them were asking good questions.  Please pray that they continue to seek God.

We are also grateful that all of our staff of the second week are here safe and sound.  With just a little rest we start another week Sunday afternoon.  Please pray for all of us to have the strength and stamina necessary to invest in the lives of these students.

Thanks for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Rejoice with us over the decisions made at camp this past week.

2.  Praise God for the first week of camp going very well.  Pray that the students will continue to seek God.

3.  Praise God that all of our staff arrived safely.  Pray that we all will have the strength needed for the week.