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McClung News Journal
Sept. '03
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Easter
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End of First Year
Back in 'Nam
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Better Sept
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Autumn '02
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January 2003
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April '03
May '03
Trinidad Trip
School's Out Again
Sept. '03
Sept. Part 2
Oct/Nov '03
Nov '03
Dec '03
Jan 2004
Feb/March '04
April/May '04
Leaving Suriname
FUN PAGE

Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2003 06:17:20 -0400

Greetings!
                                    
                                    Hello from hot and humid Suriname!  Patricia and I are back for our 
                                    THIRD year; and wow, time has flown by.  Well, my conscience has been 
                                    nagging me to write this update letter; however our schedules have kept  me 
                                    hopping but I finally have some quality time on my hands to churn this 
                                    thing out.  Okay, where do I being?
                                    
                                    First, we have added some new email recipients to our update 
                                    list--Welcome aboard.  I try to do an update once a month to keep everyone 
                                    informed of what God is doing here and what prayer needs we may have.  Thank 
                                    you to everyone who keeps us in prayer!  Okay, here's the latest...
                                    
                                    We enjoyed 8 wonderful weeks back in the states.  We got to spend time 
                                    with old friends and made some new ones along the way.  We tried to see 
                                    everyone that we possibly could and we were a little sad that we could 
                                    not see everyone.  I had the opportunity to share about our ministry 
                                    with several different churches and I thank God for those opportunities.  
                                    We also got to spend some much needed time with our families; and we 
                                    sold our home in North Carolina, so this summer break was a welcomed 
                                    respite.
                                    
                                    We arrived back in Suriname in the wee hours of the morning on August 
                                    19th and we haven't had time to slow down yet.  We had anticipated a 
                                    fruitful year for the Lord, so it seems that He has filled our plates--and 
                                    we are rejoicing with excitement.  Here's what's new and can be prayed 
                                    over:  We have a (full) new staff of 6 teachers--wow--which makes a 
                                    total of 12 full-time teachers on staff (that includes Patricia and 
                                    myself).  So, we need you to pray for this new staff as they settle into this 
                                    new environment and we ask prayer that the staff stays in harmony and 
                                    keeps Christ in the center of everything.  Pray for me, I am teaching 
                                    6th and 7th grades combined this year; which means that I am teaching 2 
                                    different curriculum levels at the same time (with no planning 
                                    period--UGH), but I am not complaining.  I have 13 wonderful students, which 
                                    gives me the largest class-size here at American Cooperative School.  I am 
                                    really excited because the majority of the kids do not know the 
                                    Lord---why am I excited over this?  Because, I understand the awesome 
                                    opportunities that lay ahead.  It thrills me to see young people come to know 
                                    the Lord as their Savior.  I have 2 kids from the Indian Embassy, so 
                                    they are Hindu; I have one Korean, so he is possibly Buddhist; and the 
                                    rest are from other places and their backgrounds are pretty much unknown 
                                    to me at this point; so please pray for me as I plant seeds as I share 
                                    the Gospel, and pray that I am the example that brings God the glory and 
                                    when the kids look at me, they don't just see me but see the Light 
                                    (what a run-on sentence!!).  Okay, do you get a vibe for my excitement?
                                    
                                    At this point, we do not have an 'official' administrator.   Dr. Frank 
                                    Martens and his wife, Ruth, are enjoying their retirement in the 
                                    states, so the interim administrator is Nick Tuit, one of our missionary 
                                    parents and school board chairman.  He's doing the best he can, so let's 
                                    keep Nick in prayer.  We have a scheduled visit for a possible 
                                    administrator in just 2 weeks.  Just pray that God leads in this situation and 
                                    that God puts the person that He wants in this position.  Chances are, 
                                    that this man will be our next administrator.
                                    
                                    Since I am teaching 6th and 7th grade, I am no longer in High School 
                                    Chapel.  And to be quite honest, I was rather upset about that (in the 
                                    beginning).  I couldn't understand why God would close that door, when I 
                                    felt that High School Chapel was a vital part of my ministry--then it 
                                    hit me--there I go again, getting in the way of God.  When God calls you 
                                    to His work, His direction may change--He is the potter, after all; and 
                                    if we are to be the clay, well then, we must be pliable like clay.  So 
                                    basically, it was like "Be quiet, John and just listen."  So, I did.  
                                    And something interesting happened...At a staff cook-out (right before 
                                    school started), I happened to be conversing with one of our school 
                                    board members (who is also the pastor of the Chinese church here).  Well, 
                                    through this conversation, God spoke to me.  This man was just inquiring 
                                    about my background and through the course of the conversation, he 
                                    asked if I could assist in training his youth pastor.  Well, I was blown 
                                    away by this (and humbled at the same time).  I am in no way qualified to 
                                    do any type of training and I admitted this, but I said that I would be 
                                    willing to help out in any way.  So God sort of showed me that His 
                                    direction had changed a bit for me.  Also God amazingly revealed and 
                                    confirmed something else in this particular conversation.  The man expressed 
                                    the need for a Sunday evening worship service at school--again, this 
                                    blew me away, because this validated to me that starting a service at 
                                    school is indeed in God's plan for this school year.  I shared with this 
                                    gentleman that the plans for the services were already in the works.  
                                    Our first Sunday night family church service will be held at the school 
                                    on September 21.  This will be opened to all students and their parents, 
                                    so this is another first for this ACS community.  Please pray for this 
                                    fledgling service.  Parents who do not attend an English-speaking 
                                    church have requested this need in the past.  I will be giving the message 
                                    this night, so please, please pray that God directs me in my speaking.  
                                    We are praying for a nice turn-out.
                                    
                                    I am now speaking at the Elementary Chapel instead of the High School 
                                    one.  I spoke at the first one this past Thursday.  I did the paintboard 
                                    of "The Good Shepard" and presented the Gospel to the first through 
                                    seventh grades.  Using the paintboard is an effective way of getting the 
                                    message across.  I learned to use this particular method back in New 
                                    Bern, NC when we took our youth group to Philly for a short term missions 
                                    trip.  I had some really encouraging feedback from some of the 
                                    elementary teachers.  They told me that the paintboard really opened up 
                                    discussion in their classrooms because some of the little kids didn't even 
                                    know who God was or what sin was.  I was only given 15 minutes to do the 
                                    presentation (imagine that, me, speaking for ONLY 15 minutes!) and as I 
                                    concluded, I told the kids that they could ask their teachers more 
                                    about the free gift of salvation which God has provided us--and the kids 
                                    did!!  I told the teachers that that was a true praise!  We have new kids 
                                    this year, who have never heard the Gospel--so what awesome 
                                    opportunities lie ahead!
                                    
                                    I am speaking this Sunday at our local Guyanese church, as I did last 
                                    year.  We've been back for three Sundays and they've already worked me 
                                    back into the rotation.  Please pray that I can still bring honor and 
                                    glory to God through this opportunity of speaking from the pulpit.  The 
                                    people were warm and welcoming as usual and it was a real joy to worship 
                                    with them again.
                                    
                                    Patricia and myself, along with Adam (co-teacher), have begun a weekly 
                                    bible study in our home.  Last Saturday evening, we had 7 high school 
                                    students to attend our first study.  This is a discipleship class, with 
                                    the main objective being that the kids get bold enough to share the 
                                    gospel with others.  Please pray hard (wear holes in your knees) about 
                                    this study.  Our main priority will be this bible study.  Pray for the 
                                    kid's spiritual growth, pray for understanding and boldness on their part.  
                                    Pray for us who are leading this study, that God can equip us for this 
                                    important task at hand.  I foresee this study having a dynamic 
                                    influence on these kids and the school as a whole.  Pray for revival to begin 
                                    in the school through is small group of students.
                                    
                                    Patricia has a different and new dynamic for her school bible study 
                                    this year.  Instead of having an "all girl" bible study, she now has the 
                                    entire co-ed senior class.  Pray for her, as these students have diverse 
                                    beliefs.  Patricia only has one student who professes Christ as their 
                                    Savior.  Be praying as she shares God's truths to the other six 
                                    students.  Also, being praying--Patricia very much wants to attend her Ladies 
                                    Meeting this school year; however transportation may be a problem.  With 
                                    so many new staff people and only one school van, transportation can 
                                    easily become an issue.
                                    
                                    This school year (as each school year) has a lot of new variables, so 
                                    we look forward to the challenges ahead.  This promises to be an 
                                    interesting year.  I would like to share a few prayer requests about  a couple 
                                    things down the road.  Please pray about the possibility of having a 
                                    youth retreat over the Christmas break.  We ask prayer that several of 
                                    our stateside friends will have the ability to join us in Suriname over 
                                    the Christmas break.  Rob and Amy Krieg are planning to come down and 
                                    join us over break.  Just lift up in prayer that their employment 
                                    schedules can work out so they can join us.  Also, something exciting--a young 
                                    lady, Ashley Luper, was the person to suggest the idea for a youth 
                                    retreat.  Please pray that if it's God's will, that Ashley will be able to 
                                    come down during the break also.  She has really encouraged us by 
                                    expressing her willingness and excitement to come down and assist us in 
                                    running this youth retreat.  Ashley is in the eleventh grade at New Bern 
                                    High School; and it is SO encouraging to see a young person excited about 
                                    being a tool for God.  She would be an excellent model for our own 
                                    youth here in Suriname.  We just pray that she can raise the money for 
                                    airfare and can get an available flight.  Two others who would like to join 
                                    us over the break are Richard Jones and Sarah Pharr.  These 2 young 
                                    people are in college and are former Youth Group kids of ours.  We are 
                                    also excited about the possibility of their attendance.  Just pray that 
                                    there are enough airline seats available (we've heard that it is 
                                    difficult at that time of the year) and that funds can be raised for them to do 
                                    a short term missions trip here.
                                    
                                    Our final request is for my paternal grandmother, Barbara Dunlap.  Her 
                                    health is failing quickly and we actually thought that she would die 
                                    while we where home in the states.  She knows and loves the Lord and has 
                                    expressed to my dad that she was ready to go home to Jesus.  I just ask 
                                    you to lift up my family in prayer (my dad and his sister, Ellen) as 
                                    they face the inevitable.  I probably will not get the chance to return 
                                    home until next June, but I know that I will see my grandmother again 
                                    someday.
                                    
                                    Thank you for reading and praying for us.  If you have any specific 
                                    prayer needs, please do not hesitate to share them with us via email.  We 
                                    love you and think of you often.  Take care.
                                    
                                    More than Conquerors,
                                    
                                    John and Patricia 
                                    
                                    

Sept. Part 2