First News Update from Suriname..(Wed. Oct. 17, 01)
Greetings from Suriname!
Praise the Lord! God is so good! He is our strength and refuge in
times of despair, and His mercy and grace flows upon us. Patricia and I
want you to know that we have been praying for you and thinking of you.
With all that has happened in the United States, and all that continues
to happen, we take comfort in knowing that our God, the Lord Jesus
Christ, is our shield, our protector, and our comforter. I know that the
Lord is using you mightily to share the Gospel during this time in the
States. We have heard wonderful reports of bible studies in schools,
prayer in schools, and individuals seeking God's guidance during this
God has provided many opportunities for us to share His Word in
Suriname. We ask that you continue to pray for us. In the past few weeks, I,
(John) was able to join a fellow missionary in his ministry at the
Suriname prison. What an experience! The young man (murderer) that we
shared with, requested bible study materials in order to preach the Gospel
behind bars. Patricia and I continue to work as youth leaders with the
local youth group here. Please keep this in your prayers. On average,
there are 30-40 kids who attend the bi-monthly services. God provided
me the opportunity to give His message at the last event. I am, by no
means, a preacher--just a tool in God's toolbox; and I was humbled and
excited to share in this way. Pray that these kids will hunger to
increase their walk in Christ, and grow. I will begin a bible study on
October 22nd with the young men. Please, PLEASE pray over this. Pray
that the Holy Spirit would lead them to this study. Unfortunately, some
have the false belief that simply being a missionary's kid is enough.
Patricia has been participating in a women's bible study group once a
month. This has been a wonderful opportunity for the women in the
missionary community to bond. She has also been attending a Japanese art
class and has been able to share her faith with several of the students'
We continue enjoying our work at the American Cooperative School. The
students are so delightful!! Patricia continues working with the
10th-12th grade Independent Study Program. This program will be going
through transition next year to a more traditional high school setting.
Please pray God will provide the needed teachers as the school program
continues to grow (inquire with me if you are interested in teaching for
the Lord!). I continue teaching the middle-school social studies
classes. Pray for our students. Some of our students come from different
religious backgrounds--Muslim or Hindu--and they are hearing the Gospel
daily. Pray for our American teacher friends in Indonesia. They
teaching at a NICS school in Bandung (outside of Jakarta). Unlike so many
other expatriate schools that have shut down in the midst of this crisis,
they continue to teach daily. We also covet your prayers regarding our
staff of the school. Please pray for Audra Buckley. She is a new
teacher to the school, and she has contracted Dengue Fever, a disease
carried by mosquitoes. Her body is wracked with pain and fever. The fever
drains the body, causing severe joint and muscle pain. The doctors
indicated that her body may need 4 weeks to heal. Pray for strength,
comfort, and healing during this time. Also pray for Susan Conrad. She,
too, is a new teacher at the school struggling with medical concerns.
Pray for wisdom and discernment for her physicians and a time of healing
for her. This has made Patricia and I very thankful and we feel blessed
as God continues to protect us from illness and disease.
Regarding daily life activities, our Lord has answered so many prayers.
We have been attending a wonderful church on Sundays. The sermons have
challenged and fed us. Other people have displayed Christ's love to us
by inviting us over for meals, picking up groceries, providing rides to
church, and giving me driving lessons!! I feel like I'm sixteen again!
In Suriname, people drive the opposite way (like in a British colony,
which Suriname once was). So, everything that I have learned about
driving, I have to disregard and do the opposite of! Bicycles continue to
be the main mode of transportation, and God has quickly answered our
prayers when EVEN these have broken down!
We thank you for your love, prayers, and support. We want to encourage
you during this time. We rely on God's strength and power. Thank you
for diligently praying for us. We feel the prayers being lifted up.
Please continue to email us your prayer needs and praises. We apologize
if it takes a long time to respond. Unfortunately, the internet
service is VERY slow and unpredictable. It has been a blessing that I have
not lost connection while composing this letter. Also feel free to
continue to write us letters as well. We miss you, love you, and continue
to pray for you!
Warmly, In Christ,
John and Patricia McClung
PS...I am having success with the Missionary Diet and I have lost 20
pounds! I did cheat however, on October 7th--my 33rd birthday, I got my
ONE b'day wish--We ate at McDonald's!
Then, I suddenly get the
dreaded Dengue Fever...
Oct. 18, 01)
Greetings Once Again!
I have an urgent prayer need. I was awakened at 4 am this morning from
tremendous body pain and diarreah. As it turns out, I have all
symptoms of Dengue Fever! I have been to the local Medical Clinic where 2
doctors checked me over and were very certain of this prognosis. I've got
blood work in the lab and I will get the results Friday morning. As it
turns out, another teacher, Mae Reilly, has also been diagnosed with
Dengue. Mae is Audra Buckley's roommate. Please pray for us. Dengue is
not fun; however, there seems to be no long-lasting, chronic effects.
Pray that Patricia does not come down with it--she is presently showing
no ill effects of it. We all know that God is in control. "For in
time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in secret of His
tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock," Psalm 27:5.
Please continue to pray for the school staff and students. Since the 3
of us have come down with Dengue, the Health Deptment has ordered our
school closed on Friday and Monday to spray for mosquitoes; although I do
not feel that I was bitten during the school day. For more on Dengue
Fever, go to www.cdc.gov
Thank you for your prayers in our time of need.
Your brother in Christ,