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July 2, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Abraham looked up and saw behind him a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So he went over and got the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.  And Abraham called the name of that place ‘The Lord provides.’  It is said to this day, ‘In the mountain of the Lord provision will be made.’”  Gen. 22:13-14 NET

Just a little while before the events in the verses above Abraham stated that God would provide the sacrifice.  Abraham knew God had given or provided him Isaac and everything else that he had.  He knew that if Isaac was to be killed that God could bring him back to life.  God had caused Abraham and Sarah’s old bodies to be able to produce life.  Why not give life back to his son?  He trusted in God to be faithful to His promise that Isaac was his heir through whom which his descendants would come, however He chose.  Abraham had learned to trust God even when he could not know how God would provide.  That is the crux of the question for each disciple.  Will we trust God even when we don’t know how He will accomplish His promises?  Join us in praying for faith to trust God to provide His promises.

We are trusting God to provide all that is needed to finish up preparations for S&E Camp.  This week will be a flurry of activity.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday our team has set aside as work days for camp.  Staff from the States begin to arrive today in order to help.  We continue to ask that you lift up all the preparations for camp and for the hearts and minds of the faculty and campers.

Tonight will be John’s last meeting with the Jang family until the end of the month.  Mr. Jang is getting to closer to making a decision concerning Christ.  He sees so many things clearly in scripture, but he is still allowing people and traditional religious practices concerning the recent deaths to control his decision.  Pray that he will give in to the influence of the Holy Spirit to trust God more than his traditions.

We are excited to tell you that God has provided us with a house to rent in Lotung within the budget that we had set.  We will be saving about $180.00 US a month on our rent over our present situation.  This will help with the dorm bill for Andrew & Moriah.  We are so glad to have this decision made before camp. Praise the Lord!

Thank you for praying with us concerning all of these matters.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we learn to trust God in all situations to provide what He has promised.

2.  Please pray all the preparations for S&E Camp and for everyone working at and attending camp.

3.  Please pray for Mr. Jang to choose Christ as His Lord and Savior.

4.  Join us in praising God for a place to live in Lotung.

June 25, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  Psalm 23:1

O’ to be able to actually live believing this is true!  Consider the implications for your life.  You would not be nearly as concerned about the size of your pay check.  You would not worry about how to come up with the money for tuition, or insurance payments.  You would not be finding yourself coveting what is sitting in your neighbor’s garage.  You would be much more generous.  You would fear so little.  You would be joyful!  It is possible that just living like you believe this one verse could so change your life, that the you actually draw people to God by your lifestyle.  Wow!  I think that is the point of many scriptures.  When we honor God with faith in Him to provide, people will notice and be drawn to us and then to God.  Pray with us to learn to believe this verse is true for all areas of life.

This past week at the Jang’s home we discussed the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus.  This story is particularly challenging for people who have not yet committed their lives to Jesus and have family that have already passed away.  Mr. Jang was thinking a lot about the meaning of the story.  He is so close to becoming a Christian, yet there are still some stumbling blocks.  Pray that Mr. Jang will be willing to trust Jesus so that these stumbling blocks can be moved away.

We ask that you continue to pray for Sports & English Camp.  The first week starts in just two weeks.  Continue to pray for the hearts of both campers and faculty as we prepare to live together for a week at a time.  May the campers be willing to learn from God’s Word.  May we as faculty be willing to allow the Spirit to guide what we say and do, so as to have the greatest impact on the lives of these youth.

We are continuing to look for a house to rent in Lotung.  We are challenged to trust God to provide a house that is suitable for us at the proper time.  We would prefer it to be sooner rather than later as we will be busy much of July and would like to find a house before camp begins.  Please pray with us as we wait on God and believe that we lack nothing!

Thank you for being with us in this ministry through prayer.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray that we learn to fully trust that as children of God, lacking nothing.

2.  Pray that Mr. Jang will be willing to trust Jesus with his life.

3.  Pray for all the campers and faculty of S&E Camp.

4.  Pray that we will trust God to provide the right house at the right time.

June 18, 2017 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

Distractions are often a problem.  Our world is full of them.  There are so many things that bide for our attention everyday.  We have to purposefully choose not to pay attention to or to become involved in many good things in order to accomplish what is most important.  While people will unintentionally distract us from our purpose, Satan will use anything to purposefully distract us.  Jesus commanded us to, “… go and make disciples of all nations, …”  How many of us are actually actively involved in making disciples?  How many of us get distracted doing good things that we never get to the best things?  We all have good intentions, but we need to act on those intentions and be purposeful to fulfill Christ’s command to every disciple to make disciples.  Pray with us not to be distracted by good things this summer.

Sports & English Camp begins on July 9th.  We have several items to finish up for camp as a team.  Some of them are time consuming and need to wait until closer to the start of camp.  Other items need to be completed sooner.  We ask that you cover our team in prayer as we complete all of these tasks.  We also ask that you continue to pray for the campers to be open to hear the truth in God’s Word.

Summer always brings special challenges to groups meeting together consistently.  This summer is the same.  Chad and John are assisting the church that meets at the Messimer’s home this summer, but many people are busy and not coming consistently.  The two weeks that we have S&E Camp will cause us not to be able to meet with some of our groups as well.  Pray with us that the times that we are unable to meet together will actually cause the members to desire that fellowship and actually seek the Lord on their own.  We hope that this summer will be a time that their faith will actually grow.

Because we will be moving in August to Lotung on the NE side of the island, we have been house hunting.  So far we have not found a place that we are really excited about.  We have increased expenses with Andrew & Moriah living in the dorm this fall, so this affects the amount of money available for rent.  Pray that God will lead us to the proper house soon.

Our family all enjoyed and grew through attending the conference earlier this month.  We so thankful for the opportunity to go.  We were challenged in several ways.  One specific area has to do with how to choose the people to evangelize and disciple that will be more resistant to persecution and easier to reach others in their community.  We are evaluating our present methods.

Thank you for your faithful prayer support.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we not be distracted by good things this summer.

2.  Please pray for our team as we finish up camp preparations.  Pray as well for all the campers to be open to the Word of truth.

3.  Please pray for all of our discipleship groups and house churches to continue to grow in faith throughout the summer.

4.  Please pray that we will find a suitable and affordable house.

5.  Thank you for making it possible for us to attend the conference earlier this month.

May 31, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works,  not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:24-25

The Word of God often mentions God’s people coming together for the purpose of worship, encouragement, counsel, or service.  All of us who claim to be followers of Christ need to meet together with others who are disciples of Christ, and with those that God is drawing to Himself.  We all need encouragement in this world to remain faithful in our worship and service to God.  We try to be good examples of to those we are leading here in Taiwan.

While our teammates, the Messimer family, are in the US this summer for home assignment, Chad Edwards and John are facilitating the house church that meets in their home.  The last two weeks no one has been able to attend.  This week two people came.  Please pray that others who have been meeting together at the Messimer’s home will be challenged by the Holy Spirit to meet together.

This past week there were no visitors at the Jang’s discipleship group.  Lucy gets really excited when people visit, but then feels low when they do not return.  Pray that the Jang family will continue to grow in faith and in knowledge.  Pray as well for people to be drawn by the love of Christ to return to the discipleship group.

This past Friday was graduation here at Morrison Academy.  Two young men from our mission here on Taiwan graduated, Zachery Pagel and Jack Widener.  Both are very godly young men.  We ask that you pray for them as they leave their homes here in Taiwan and move forward with God’s plan for their lives.

Next week we will be attending a Team Leaders Summit and then a conference that Team Expansion has arranged.  The conference is called Connect.  Part of the purpose is to build connections between Team Expansion missionaries.  We will also be fed from God’s Word and will have the opportunity to receive counseling.  Please pray for everyone traveling to the conference.  Pray as well for everyone to be encouraged and fed through the speakers and the fellowship.

Please pray for our Sports & English campers by name.  We have included their English names in the attachment with this e-mail.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray for those who gather to worship at the Messimer’s home.

2.  Pray for the Jang family as they continue to be faithful.

3.  Pray for Zach and Jack and other graduates that you know.

4.  Pray for the Team Leaders Summit and Connect Conference for Team Expansion missionaries that will be held next week.

5.  Pray daily for our S&E campers by name.


May 21, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“But Jesus called them and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them.  It must not be this way among you! Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’”  Matt. 20:25-28

There is quite a stark contrast between the leadership style of Jesus and that of most leaders in our world.  Jesus came to share the love, blessing, and truth of His Father in Heaven.  He came as a servant.  He served people through healing their sick, casting out demons, providing for needs, and teaching them truth that changed their lives for the better.  Doing these things drew people to Him.  The people followed Him willingly.  How different the world would be if we all would choose to serve first rather than demand obedience.  Pray that we would choose to be imitators of Jesus by first being servants.

Summer is approaching fast.  Our team is working to finish the camp booklet, arrange who will speak when, what will be the evening fun activities, ….  It is a busy time.  Even though these important details take a lot of our attention, we still take time to pray for the campers and staff.  We ask that you pray for each person that is a part of the staff to prepare their hearts to be a servant to the campers.  We desire that our staff will have the same attitude as Jesus.  He came to serve not to be served.  Pray with us that our hearts will certainly be focussed on serving Christ and others daily.

This past Sunday evening two neighbors visited the Jang’s discipleship group.  Neither of them had much knowledge about the Bible or Jesus.  Their names are Miss Yang and Miss Wang.  They asked several good questions concerning the story of the Samaritan woman at the well.  Lucy was very happy to have them come.  Pray with us that this is just the beginning of their journey to knowing Jesus as Lord and savior.

We were blessed to attend the wedding of Julie Wu and Josh Xiao yesterday afternoon.  Many of you may remember that Julie lived with us for about 5 years during her high school and college times.  It was a service that brought glory to God.  John was honored to have a small part in the service.  Pray for Josh and Julie as they follow God’s leading for their life together.

Thank you for praying for Cheryl as she travelled these past couple of weeks.  She had a good time as she visited with family and attended Nathanael’s graduation.  She was also grateful to be present for her dad’s surgery.  We are also grateful that he has done very well after surgery.

Thank you for your constant prayer support.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we learn to serve as Jesus.

2.  Please pray with us that the hearts of all our faculty will be prepared to be servants during each week of camp.

3.  Please pray that Miss Yang & Miss Wang will both desire to continue to learn about Jesus.

4.  Please pray for Josh & Julie as they begin living for God together as husband and wife.

5.  Thank you for praying for Cheryl during her travel back to Taiwan.

May 14, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”  Acts 20:22-24  NLT

Paul had an interesting view of the value of his life.  It is the view of one that has a singular purpose.  He was to follow the assignment given to Him by the Lord Jesus.  He was willing to use his life for that purpose even if it meant, suffering, pain, imprisonment, and even death.  All of those things were acceptable as long as he was being faithful to complete his assignment in sharing the Good News about God’s grace.  He was willing to submit his will to God’s concerning all things including his life.  That is quite the contrast to what we see in popular culture.  Everyone wants their voice to be heard, not for the sake of the Gospel or even others, but for themselves.  Very few are willing to sacrifice their time and effort let alone submit their will to God’s will.  Please pray that we are able to submit our will to to the Father’s will that we might be able to complete the task He has given to us in sharing His marvelous grace.

This week John took our field coordinator and his wife, Dana & Chris McCain, to visit Sam’s mom, Chiou Jie.  It was a nice visit.  Dana and Chris were able to share their own story of loss with her, which encouraged her greatly.  Chiou Jie testified how even though it is hard sometimes to think about Benjamin being gone; she had gained great strength through knowing Jesus and knowing that Benjamin is with Jesus now.  Please continue to pray for Sanford and Lin families as they still grieve over the loss of little Benjamin.

Please pray for the Home of God’s Love to be able to hire two social workers.  The desire of the home is to have Christian social workers.  This makes it doubly hard to find people for these roles.  These positions have already been vacated for some time, so it has become a burden on the other workers to keep up their reports as well.

Cheryl will be leaving to return to Taiwan on the 17th.  She will be arriving on the same flight as Peyton Farmer, who is coming to serve at Taiwan Xi En again this summer.  God placed a special burden on Peyton heart for the children of Taiwan when her little sister Mylee was adopted seven years ago.  Please pray for them as they travel.

We very grateful for your prayer support.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray that we are submissive to God’s purpose for our lives.

2.  Please pray for the Sanford and Lin families as they continue to grow through dealing with grief.

3.  Please pray for the Home of God’s Love to be able to hire two social workers.

4.  Please pray for Cheryl and Peyton as they fly on the 17th to Taiwan.

May 7, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1-2

What is it that entangles me and keeps me from focusing on Jesus during this life?  This is a question for each of us everyday.  There are those sins that we find ourselves fighting often or even daily.  Satan seems to know which buttons to push to cause us to lose control or what to do to cause us to put down our guard.  Often we try to find a scapegoat for these sins.  We want to push the blame off on a person or a situation, but the truth is; we took our eyes off of Jesus.  When temptation comes we did not first ask the Holy Spirit for help.  We did not ask ourselves how will Jesus look to others if I choose to give into this temptation.  We did not confront Satan with the truth of scripture.  Pray today that we remain faithful in the race that Jesus might be glorified because of us.

We are praising God for Nathanael’s graduation with a Master of Fine Arts in Film-Television from Regent University.  The front of the graduation program reads, “Equipped for the Race Hebrews 12:1.”  We are thankful that Nathanael continues to prepare himself to serve God as he prepares himself to work in his chosen field.  Please pray for Nathanael and all the many graduates that you know as they run the race.

Cheryl’s dad’s back surgery went very well.  The cyst was removed and he went home the same day.  He continues to improve and do well.  We are very thankful that Cheryl was able to be with mom & dad for the surgery.  Thank you for praying.

Sports and English camp is just over two months away.  Both weeks have filled-up with campers.  Our team is preparing the lessons, booklets, games, and so much more.  We ask that you pray for everyone that will be a part of each week.  Our faculty are so important.  Their attitude and faith can help make an eternal difference for these campers.  Please pray that our faculty prepares themselves through devoting themselves to God as camp approaches.

Our teammates Allen & Cherry Messimer with their four girls will be leaving Monday for the US for a three month home assignment.  They will be traveling lots of miles to see family & friends.  They will also be presenting in many congregations the work that God is doing through them and our team in Taiwan.  Please pray for their safety as they travel.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Please pray for us to run with endurance.

2.  Please pray for Nathanael and all of this year’s graduates.

3.  Thank you for praying for Cheryl’s dad’s surgery.

4.  Please pray for all the S&E Camp campers and faculty.

5.  Please pray for the Messimer family as they travel to the US on Monday for a three month home assignment.

April 30, 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.”  II Corinthians 5:4-5

The days of our lives vary as to what we may call them good, bad, happy, sad, enjoyable, painful, fruitful, barren or so many other things.  We should not be surprised.  We live in a world with people like us that hope for the best, but realize it does not always happen.  This because though our world was once declared, “… very good.”  It has since fallen.  There is still good in this world, but there is also evil.  We, who are disciples of Christ, all look forward to the day that we no longer have to live with the effects of sin on our lives.  We look forward to the day when this mortal life is done and our new eternal life takes over completely, but that day has not yet come.  We are still here trying to live as ones who know that God has created us for His purpose of worshipping Him for eternity in heaven.  Until that day comes, please join us in choosing to praise and thank Him for everyday no matter how you would describe it.

We continue to praise God for the work He is doing in Chiou Jie’s life.  The other day Cheryl was interrupted by several messages coming in on her cell phone.  She stood there texting continually.  When asked about what she was doing, she replied, “I am enjoying answering Sam’s mom’s questions!”  She was asking about how to pray.  We ask that you continue to pray for Chiou Jie as we work to disciple her.

This week on Thursday Dana & Chris McCain, our field coordinators, will arrive in Taiwan to spend some time with our team.  They will begin their time here in Taichung and then they will also go over to Lotung to visit with the Sanfords.  They have already been and will continue to travel these next several weeks visiting workers here in Asia.  We look forward to their encouraging conversations.

Friends and missionaries to Papua New Guinea, Wayne & Gail Chen, are dealing with some tough news.  They have been on home assignment for almost a year now.  They had planned to return to their people group in June for some final instruction and other work to fully establish the Church among the Biem people.  These plans have been postponed as Gail has has had a recurrence of her cancer.  It has returned in her bones.  She is undergoing treatment right now.  Medically speaking her situation is very serious.  We don’t know what God will choose to do, but we ask that you pray for Gail to have many more years on this earth serving God.  They have chosen to thank God for everyday they are given.

Cheryl left this morning on her way to the US and Canada.  Her first stop in Evansville, IN where she will be with her parents for a few days.  Her dad will be having back surgery this week.  Please pray for his surgery to go well.  She then will be attending Nathanael’s graduation for his masters degree from Regent University.  Following celebrating with Nathanael she will be go through Canada to visit Philip, Bethany, and our four princesses for a few days.  We ask that you pray for every aspect of her trip.

We appreciate your prayers.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray that we choose to be a witness by praise God and thanking Him for each day.

2.  Pray for Chiou Jie as she learns to talk with God.

3.  Pray our team’s time with our field coordinators, Dana & Chris.

4.  Pray for the Chen family as Gail fights cancer again.

5.  Praise God that Cheryl can spend this time in the US & Canada.

April 21, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” I Peter 1:3

We praise God for the new life and hope that we all as Christians have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We have continual evidence of this hope worked out in the lives of many during the time since little Benjamin’s death.  The Church in Taiwan has wrapped their arms around the family loving and encouraging them.  They themselves have testified as to the great support they have felt.  The faith of many Christians has been increased and many non-christians have been caused to consider the truth of Christianity.  Living out our faith in times of crisis is one of the strongest means of evangelism there is.  Remember, God will use all things for His glory and for the good of those who love Him.

We want you to rejoice with us this week as Samantha Sanford’s mom, Chiou Jie, is going to baptized into Christ on Sunday morning in Lotung.  Mr. Lin has yet to come to faith, but is not standing in her way.  We ask that you pray for Chiou Jie as she grows in her faith.  We will continue to disciple her and reach out to her husband, but there will certainly be challenges ahead for her.  Satan will cause disruptions in their lives and bring temptations to continue to worship other gods.

Registration for the upcoming Sports & English Camp opens today, Saturday.  We expect it to fill-up quickly.  We ask that you continually pray for the campers and the faculty that will be a part of each week.  We have had several of our stateside groups that have either reduced the size of their group or are not able to come.  Please pray that we will have adequate faculty for both weeks of camp.

Please pray for our kids as they have about five weeks of school left.  Andrew will be taking advanced placement tests and the SAT in early May.  Moriah has been very busy with school activities as well as homework.  Pray that they finish well.

Thank you for your faithful prayer support.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Let us live out the hope with have in our Savior Jesus as a testimony to those around us.

2.  Praise the Lord that Samantha Sanford’s mom is getting baptized on Sunday morning.

3.  Please pray for the campers and faculty that will be apart of each week of S&E Camp.

4.  Please pray for our children to finish the school year well.

April 16, 2017 Prayer Note

Dear Family & Friends,

“Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit.  Just then the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks were split apart.  And tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had died were raised.”  Matt. 27:50-52

This scripture is speaks of the power of the blood of the Lamb of God to take away sin.  When Jesus died our sins were taken from us.  That which separates one from God was removed; therefore, the earthly representation of that separation, the veil in the temple, was torn in two.  God tore it in two allowing us the opportunity to approach Him.  He wants there to be no barrier between us and Him.  Praise the Lord!  Pray with us to be able to share the marvelous story of the death and resurrection of Jesus with the people of Taiwan.  Praise be to God that Jesus is risen!

We ask that you continue to lift up the Sanford family daily in your prayers.  It is still hard for them in so many ways.  Sam has trouble sleeping.  Chris is able to sleep, but has his own troubles of dealing with the loss and pain of Benjamin’s death.  Please pray for them to be able to communicate well with each other and to support each other.

We ask that you also pray for Chris and Samantha as Chris has shoulder surgery on Monday.  A short time before Benjamin was born Chris was in a scooter accident that caused a tear in his rotator cup.  It is a difficult time to be less one arm, but God is providing help for them to care of the children.

We ask that you continue to pray for Sam’s parents as we teach them from God’s word about what it means to follow Jesus.  Sam’s mom is very willing to listen and to learn, but her dad is less interested.  Please pray for the spirit to convict them both of their need for Jesus and the futility of worshiping their ancestors.

Ted and Bev Skiles returned to Taiwan this past Thursday evening.  We spent part of this past week helping to clean, move furniture back into their house, and unpack boxes and other things in preparation for their return.  Pray for their adjustment back to living in Taiwan and the work God has given them to do.

All of the mission teams from Morrison are back on Taiwan now.  We helped to pick up Andrew’s team at the airport last night.  They were all excited to tell different parts of their experiences.  Thank you for your prayers and support for them while they were serving.

Thank you for praying.

God Bless,

John & Cheryl

1.  Pray that we will have opportunities to share the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus with the Taiwanese people.

2.  Pray for the Sanford family as they continue to grieve the loss of their son.

3.  Pray for Chris Sanford’s shoulder surgery on Monday.

4.  Pray for both of Sam’s parents to be convicted of their need to worship Jesus alone.

5.  Pray for Ted & Bev Skiles as they work through jet lag and begin working again at the Home of God’s Love.

6.  Praise God for the work the missions teams from Morrison accomplished and for their safe return.