Easter Newsletter (Sunday, March 24, 2002)
We pray that this message finds you well. Things have kept us hopping
in Suriname lately. Spring Break has begun and I am happy to say that
it crept up on us. Teachers usually count the days down to the next
major vacation. I am pleased to report that God has blessed us with a
such a wonderful school year that I was not counting days (for once). I
guess the old saying IS true-"Time flies when your having fun."
Having fun is not the reason we are here. We are here because of our
Lord. I am excited to tell you that 36 bibles have been delivered from
the request that we sent out in January. We will place each student's
name in their own bible and we will present these bibles on behalf of
the sponsor who purchased the bibles. I believe that a couple more
bibles are on their way on this month's freighter. We thank you so much in
helping out in this effort.
The bible studies are going well. The students are attending regularly
and are seeking out the Lord. Please continue to pray that God uses
this time for His glory and purpose. Patricia gives praises to the Lord
for the "Pray Request Jar" that she has started in the High School
classroom. It has opened up many opportunities to share the Gospel, to
help the students grow in their walk with Christ, and to open their eyes
when they see God answering their prayers. Please pray for Patricia as
she begins an "in classroom" bible study at the end of April; due to the
current bible teacher leaving for the States for 5 weeks. Pray that
God reveals to her which study to use.
Being that it is Spring Break, I am taking this opportunity to travel
into the interior with fellow missionary Terry Lassiter. Terry's
ministry is with the Aukan people. We will be flying into the interior on
Wednesday, then travelling on a river by dugout canoe. We will be
staying in an Aukan village where Terry has a little cabin. The Aukan
outreach has been very successful. I was informed that about a week ago, a
new church was being started in another Aukan village, and 45 villagers
showed up for the first meeting. I am excited to see firsthand how God
is working in the interior. This will be a short trip--I return on
Saturday. I ask prayer for safety during this trip.
Please continue to keep our school, students, staff, and leadership in
your prayers. We ask that you pray that the school's direction and
leading continues to stay in the center of God's will. We ask you to pray
for the staff changes that occur at theend of the school year . We
pray that God provides teachers to fill the available positions that will
be open. We have began looking forward to next school year with
Please keep Patricia and me in your prayers--we have just been informed
that we will become parents--that's right--we will become parents of
four young men (ages 5 to 14) for 3 weeks due to their parents flying to
Holland for ministry research. This is a huge leap for us (however, we
will FINALLY have hot water!!). Our parental duties begin April 1st
through April 17th. Please pray for travel mercy for the parents (the
Davises) and pray that God gives us the insight and patience that it
takes in rearing 4 boys!
Other news of note...we have our airline tickets and we will be
returning to the States in mid-June. Our schedule is filling up fast-- it
appears that we will be speaking in 4 different churches and may have room
for one more speaking engagement. Email us if you are interested.
Also, the website has been updated with photos and a 'behind-the-scenes'
journal of how God placed us here (please overlook the anti-bin Laden
propaganda-my emotions got the best of me).
In closing, I would like to share these thoughts...being Palm Sunday
and Easter week ahead of us, I challenge you to reflect upon Christ's
final week as Man upon this earth. Christ took the full brunt of God's
wrath for each of us as he hung there on that cross, dying for our sins.
When His Father turned away from Him, I imagine that it was more
painful than the torture and crucifixion itself. Jesus paid it all.
"Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" [John 1:29].
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were
still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been
justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."[Rom. 5:8-9].
After witnessing the events surrounding His arrest, torture, and
murder, the Roman centurion summed it up best by exclaiming "Truly this was
the Son of God!" And our Savior did not stay dead for long, but He
conquered Death, Hell, and the Grave. After disappointment at the empty
tomb and sudden joy at speaking with the Risen Savior, Mary Magdalene ran
away to tell everyone the good news. Jesus then appeared to over 500
men before He ascended to the Father. But the good news does not end
there...He is coming back for His bride. His coming is closer today than
yesterday. I must challenge myself on daily basis to live in light of
His return. In Revelation, the Risen Savior warns several times "he
who has ears, let him hear". How is your relationship? Are you asleep
in the Light? or are you like the servant, awake and at the door
waiting? Behold, He comes quickly!
In Christ's Love,
John and Patricia