February 18, 2019

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The pictures above are from six year’s ago when we left Los Angeles and arrived on the mission field. It was nearly six years ago (March 13, 2013), that my wife and I left the United States and arrived in Southeast Asia. We will never forget the day we said goodbye to our family and left Los Angeles. When we left the States, we had nine grandchildren. We have 21 today!

It has been a blessing to be able to serve the people of Asia. It’s been a joy to see people saved, baptized, discipled, churches planted, and present and future church leaders trained for ministry among their own people. God has been so good and gracious to us over these past six years. We thank God for His favor, and we thank God’s people for their prayers and faithful financial support these past six years!

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR GOD’S FAVOR AND FRUITFULNESS AS MY WIFE AND I SERVE THE PEOPLE OF ASIA!

For Christians, in this part of the world, there is a little emphasis upon the family – at least the biblical concept of the family. For the past five years, the Lord has allowed our Team to have a Family Camp that has been a tremendous blessing to our married couples, our families, and our young people who, in most cases, are the only Christians in their home. This year, as in the years past, we were blessed to have our dear friend, missionary Dave Board, and his wife with us. Brother Board and I worked on staff together at Pacific Baptist of Long Beach for many years, and he has now headed up our Team in Cambodia for about eight years, as well as overseeing our three teams in Southeast Asia.

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This year, we did something a little bit different than in year’s past. We had Four General Sessions with Dave Board preaching for us. We were also blessed to have four Split Sessions with Dave Board teaching the Men, his wife teaching the married women, and my wife and I  were privileged to teach the singles and the teenagers!

IMG_9480We had well over 100 attending this year’s Family Camp, including people from eight different People Groups. We even had seven couples take a bus (Third World conditions)  30 hours to attend the Camp. The preaching, worship, fellowship, and food was tremendous. And, we even had 18 of our Hmong brothers and sisters baptized after the Sunday morning service!IMG_9479

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IMG_9477PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILIES IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD AND THE SEEDS THAT WERE SOWN DURING OUR FAMILY CAMP, AS WELL AS FOR THE NEW BAPTIZED BELIEVERS TO GROW IN THEIR FAITH!

It’s always a special blessing to spend a weekend in one of our village ministries with Kong and Lilee. They are doing a wonderful job. In the past two years, they have seen some fifty people trust Christ as their Savior and many have or are being discipled to follow Christ as committed followers of the Lord Jesus. I had a wonderful Sunday with them. I taught a lesson during the Sunday school hour, “Being Thankful” from Luke 17, and preached for the main worship service on “Living a Holy Life in an Unholy Village.” As always, the response to the messages was great!

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IMG_8942PLEASE PRAY FOR KONG, LILEE, AND THIS VILLAGE MINISTRY!

One of the real blessings of the weekend was to watch our “adopted daughter,” Mai teach the children. She did a wonderful job! Mai has been living with my wife and me for about six months now and is one of our students in the School of Ministry. She is a sweet girl with a real heart for the Lord and for her people. Mai is one of those fifty people, I mentioned above, who has trusted Christ in the past two years!

IMG_8767PLEASE PRAY FOR MAI TO CONTINUE TO GROW IN HER FAITH IN CHRIST, HER LOVE FOR CHRIST, AND HER LOVE FOR HER PEOPLE!

Our English school has three primary purposes: First of all, it gives us a reason to be in the country (no missionaries allowed here). Secondly, it gives us an opportunity to build relationships with the locals that we never could have had without the school. Thirdly, and most importantly, it opens the door for us to share the Gospel in a country where proselytizing is against the law.

With that in mind, school activities are important. As a school, we try to have two activities each term, but we also ask the teachers to have some type of activity monthly, if not more often. My wife recently had one of her two classes over for Mexican food and a few games of UNO. Oh boy, the girls (the male students weren’t able to make it) had a wonderful time. Actually, it was a “crazy time,” and it definitely accomplished the goal of getting to know each other a little better!

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My wife is also very good at remembering her student’s birthdays and doing what she can to make special days like Valentine’s Day special for her students!

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IMG_7013PLEASE PRAY FOR MY WIFE AND OUR OTHER TEACHERS AS THEY ATTEMPT TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR STUDENTS THAT WILL RESULT IN THEIR TRUSTING CHRIST!

It is such a blessing to watch our young people grow in Christ, their commitment to Christ, and their service for Christ. Jui is just one of many examples. Jui, one of our former English students, got saved about five years ago. Almost immediately he was baptized, started to grow, and about a year ago he left a really good job to join our Team full-time. Along with being my personal assistant, Jui oversees one of our Village Ministries. He works with our teenagers. He does our Ministry Finances. And this term, Jui started teaching in our English school. We are so proud of Jui and look forward to seeing what God has in store for him!

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IMG_0325PLEASE PRAY FOR JUI’S CONTINUAL GROWTH AND SERVICE FOR CHRIST!

It was a special blessing to have two of the young ladies (Cubie & Christine), who were a part of our church family in China, visit with us for a few days. While their time with us was short, we kept them fairly busy. They had the opportunity to visit our School of Ministry classes, our English classes, our Midweek Bible Study/Prayer Meeting, and one of our Village Ministries, along with having some down/fun time!

IMG_8945PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHINA THAT ARE SERVING UNDER EXTREMELY STRESSFUL CIRCUMSTANCES!

One of my priorities and favorite responsibilities here in Southeast Asia is the discipling of the Nationals, especially future National leaders. I love spending time with our men. I loved spending time with the men in Cambodia, in China, and, once again, here in the “Creative Access Nation” that we’re, once again, serving in. Of course, discipleship has many different “faces.” There’s One-on-One discipleship, there’s discipleship in Small Groups and, in our case here, our School of Ministry is just another way to disciple our folks.

IMG_8953PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR YOUNG MEN (JUI, KONG, & LAMPHAN) WHO I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE FOR CHRIST AND THE CAUSE OF CHRIST ON ALMOST A DAILY BASIS! 

My wife and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your loving prayers, your faithful, generous, and sacrificial giving, which for the past six years has enabled us to do what God has led us to this part of the world to do, while you continue to do what God has called you to do in the States!

Johnny and Denise

“I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done for China… I don’t know who it was… It must have been a man… a well-educated man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing… and God looked down… and saw Gladys Aylward… And God said – “Well, she’s willing.”
                                                        – Gladys Aylward

 

2 thoughts on “February 18, 2019

  1. Happy Anniversary! Love the whole letter. Especially the quote by Gladys Alyward. That has to be what happened with me too. Surely God’s first choice was not an old used up former pastor!

    Love you brother

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