Chtistmas Greetings...(Wed. Dec. 19, 2001)
Holy days Greetings!
"And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of
the Lord shone around around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then
the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good
tidings of great joy which will be to ALL people. For there is born to
you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:9-11 NKJV. Thus the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and
the genuine reason of why we are here in Suriname. Thank God for what He
has done, what He is doing, and what He will do. Patricia and I hope
that this finds you well during this holiday season.
We have been extremely busy since we last wrote. We are both in good
health and are enjoying the cooler temps that the rainy season brings
(in the mid-to-high 80's). We have many praises that we would like to
share with you as this year draws to a close...we find ourselves in our
fourth month in Suriname and we praise God for the comfort and
protection that He has provided. We are extremely thankful for every young
person that has entered our lives. God has shown us that they are the
reason that He has us here.
I teach Bible to the sixth graders. Well, I have asked that you pray
for these students, and finally the prayers are being answered. I have
put aside the regular curriculum and just opened up for their
questioning. Through this, I have been able to share the Gospel on a daily
basis (the curriculum was moving TOO slowly for me--I guess I need to work
on my patience). The students have really opened up and have shown
real interest in learning. I have one Muslim, Sally; and one Hindu,
Piyush; that I pray for daily. I realize that God is using me to "plant"
and "water" and that He is the one that harvests. I am excited and
encouraged by their questions. This is a unique and sensitive situation, I
pray that one day that Sally and Piyush accept the fact that Jesus is
the ONLY way for salvation. Another praise, some of my sixth graders are
actually volunteering to pray when we close in prayer! Please continue
to pray for all of my sixth grade students.
Another praise is Monday afternoon Bible study. Eleven different young
men have attended regularly during the first month. This has been very
exciting. The missionary kids here, have never really been active in a
true Bible study. At first, they were apprehensive to answer aloud;
but now, they are getting comfortable and beginning to participate more
openly. We have been studying the Book of James. All of these young
men profess to be Christians. I just ask God to challenge them to walk
in His light. I request your prayers that God continues to use me in
this capacity, giving me the right words and wisdom to invoke spiritual
growth in these students.
Tomorrow, (Thursday, December 20th), is the last school day before
Christmas break. Patricia is busily preparing to take over the high school
Independent Study Program. Joyce Park, the former supervisor, and her
husband Jim, are preparing to move back to Arizona. We covet prayer
for their son, Michael, who will be graduating from the program on
January 10th. He will be starting life in the States, which will be a huge
adjustment for him. He is bottling up his emotions during this big
transition phase. I have grown very close to Michael and I will miss him.
I just pray that God grants him a smooth transition into college and
that he is comforted by God during this time. Please pray for Patricia
as she tackles this high school program head-on...the high schoolers are
not all angels. Not all of her students are Christians. Pray for her
and the students as she will be starting regular devotions during class
Over the break, we will be travelling to French Guiana to re-stamp our
visa and passport for residency purposes. We ask for travel mercy.
Also, please pray for us during this holiday time, since we are away from
our families. Patricia is in the holiday spirit, but it really does
seem like August to me! I plan to work on my tan and get some serious
fishing done during the break! Patricia will get caught up on some rest
and get the classroom prepared for the students' return.
We are praying for you and we thank you for your continued prayers and
support. We were able to buy a much-needed refridgerator this past
week. I have also purchased some much-needed Teen Bible Study materials
off of the internet, so we thank you for helping us in this regard.
As I close, I would like to share Phillipians 2:5-11, something Paul
wrote that defines the True reason for this season: "Let this mind be in
you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did
not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no
reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness
of men. And be found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and
became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is
above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of
those in heaven, and those on earth, and those under the earth, and that
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of
God the Father." Amen.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
John and Patricia
"We're Sick" Prayer Request...(Jan. 16, 2002)
We hope that you are doing well. Patricia and I have a couple of
prayer needs....and we do NOT want to sound any alarms...
I was ill for most of the Christmas break. I had a fever accompanied
with body ache. I felt better for a few days, as we returned back to
school from break, however my fever returned. I did go to the doctor and
they ran some blood tests. I received the results today. It seems
that I have a liver infection. I am returning to the doctor tomorrow
morning and I will be seeing a specialist who wants to run some more tests.
I have been vaccinated against Hepatitis A & B, so I feel confident
that it is not Hepatitis. I am just praying that it is nothing serious
and I ask that you pray the same. It seems that the enemy is doing his
best to attack my health right I after I give glory to God for good
health. So, after this, I don't think I will mention our good health in
future letters (ha ha ha).
Patricia is ill now. She has fever and diarreah, so we will probably
get her to the doctor too. I ask that you lift her up in your prayers
and I'm trusting God to heal her, too. This makes being a missionary
exciting! We are in good spirits, and again (for parents' sake) we are
not trying to alarm anyone.
Thanks for your prayers,
With more prayers being lifted up, God
healed us again,
there was nothing wrong with my liver.