Thank you for praying! Our trip to Torreón was a blessing to us, and we trust to the brothers and sisters we were with there! Eric was able to preach 3 times, and we both gave workshops all day on Saturday the 11th of January, and the response was very positive!
Last Saturday (Jan. 18), we had a fellowship time with the 5 Cosecha teams we have been working with..a sweet time. Please continue to pray for these churches as they implement changes and continue to look to improve their health so that they can bear much fruit!!
Eric will be preaching at our home church from Acts 5 this Sunday. Please pray for God’s Spirit to anoint him as he speaks, and for hearts to be receptive. Please also continue to pray for our church as there continues to be a campaign “under the water” to sow discontent. Please pray for Eric and various of our leaders to be able talk with the man who is instigating this. We are concerned for the state of his heart…and long to see God do a powerful redemptive and reconciling work in him! Please pray with us to see the King of Kings reign in power and love in this situation!!
Thanks for your faithful praying. Please continue to pray for us to know where to stay when we return to live in the States for a year beginning this June. If you have any suggestions or know of possibilities where we might live, we would love to hear from you. We would like to be in DeKalb or Rockford or the western suburban area of Chicago.
For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (PHILLIPS)
What an amazing gift God gives us in our new life with Him! And our prayer for you that you will love God in a Fresh and New Way every day!
We had a delightful time with the pastor’s wives in December here in Monterrey. We had asked the women in our previous meeting to describe in 4 words what LeadNet means to them. Here are a few of the adjectives they used:
fellowship, blessing, refreshment, friendship, learning, love! That is exactly what we hope for them to receive!
Please pray as we travel to Torreón, Coahuila this weekend (about 4 hours west of Monterrey). On Saturday Janet will lead a mini-retreat to launch Leadnet for pastor’s wives in this regional district and Eric will present Jesus’ strategy for forming disciples to the pastors. Janet is struggling a bit with a cough, so please pray for good health for us both as we do our presentations and for safe travels!
Thanks for your faithful praying! We are grateful for you, and look forward to seeing many of you this year! We are planning to return in mid-June and will be contacting your churches to organize our visits.
Thank you to each of you who faithfully intercede on our behalf!! As we approach my favorite holiday of all, join us in thanking God for:
1. His amazing love and the privilege we all have of serving Him, you where you are and us where we are!
2. A precious family: our small family “in the flesh”; and our large family of brothers and sisters “in Christ”!
3. A wonderful trip to Mexico City from Nov. 6-16! God used Jerry and Dee Sheveland powerfully, and all were so grateful for their Spirit-led presentations! After hearing Dee’s presentation to the women at the conference, one pastor’s wife came to me and said: ”I was not going to come to this conference, because we did not have money for my bus ticket. However, a sister from our church gave us a donation to fix the roof on our house. We decided to use that money for my ticket to come to this conference. After listening to Sister Dee share, I can say that God used the money that was supposed to fix my roof to fix my heart!”
4. A precious time last Friday to launch LeadNet (ministry for pastor’s wives) in southern Mexico City! We had 23 attend, with the potential for 3 new groups!! Please pray that God will raise up just the right leaders to guide these new groups!!
5. The opportunity to work with the 5 churches who have been participating in the Cosecha (Cultivating Healthy Churches) process. Tomorrow is the last official joint meeting of the leadership teams of the 5 participating churches. We will be talking about implementing healthy church functions, which launches the next phase of the Cosecha process in each church. Thanks for your continued prayers for these churches. As we have mentioned before, the challenges of the enemy are great, but our God is Greater still!!!
6. The opportunity for Eric to preach this Sunday at our home church. Thanks for praying for God to use Ephesians 4 powerfully to speak to our congregation!
Thank you for praying with us for our Cosecha (Cultivating Healthy Churches) churches and pastors and their families! We are seeing some answers but are very aware of the continued need to see the intervention of our powerful God!
Tomorrow (Wednesday, November 6), we leave for an 11 day trip to Mexico City! Jerry and Dee Sheveland are also traveling to Mexico City tomorrow to participate in CRECE which is a church growth conference sponsored by Iglesia Bautista Horeb on the far south side of the city. The pastor there, Gilberto Gutierrez met Jerry several years ago, and has invited he and Dee to be the main speakers at the event. Please pray with us for the ministry opportunities during these days:
Nov. 7-9: For God to anoint Jerry and Dee with His Spirit as they participate multiple times in the conference. Eric will have a workshop during the conference, and Janet will be promoting the LeadNet ministry with pastor’s wives. Ask God to use us all for His glory and to be instruments of His grace and truth.
Nov. 10: Jerry will be preaching at the worship services of the Horeb church.
Nov. 11: Pastor Gilberto and his wife Yanina are planning to take Jerry, Dee and us sightseeing!
Nov. 12-13 Eric and I will go up to the north side of the city and be with Angela and family! Eric will attend the board meetings of the Mexican Baptist Convention on those days. Pray with us for God to create a holy unrest in the leaders of the convention to break out of traditional molds of “doing church” and plant a desire to see Him work in new and powerful ways in their churches!
Nov. 13 and 14: Janet will have meetings with a couple of gals on the LeadNet team for pastors’ wives which was started last year at the Lomas Verdes Seminary. There has not been the follow through for continued meetings of that LeadNet we had hoped to see. Pray that God will use the time with these young women to “re-start” that group!
Nov. 15: Janet will go back to the Horeb church and do a mini-retreat with about 14 pastor’s wives to start a new LeadNet group on the south side of the city. Please pray for all the details to come together and for God to give us a sweet time! Pray that even in that short time the seeds for the ministry will fall on “good soil” and will bear much fruit as pastor’s wives are encouraged in their walk with Jesus and service for Him!
Nov. 16: time with the family to celebrate Alec and Valerie’s November birthdays, and then travel back to Monterrey!
If you feel we are bombarding you with prayer requests, it is because we are in the middle of a spiritual battle for these pastors and churches who are participating in Cosecha (cultivating healthy churches).
Quite frankly, the battle is intensifying on all fronts, and we are calling you to pray and fast (if God leads you) with us over the next 2 days. Please lift up Elias and Susi and Iglesia Bautista El Divino Salvador; Ezekiel and Paty, Primera Iglesia Bautista de Saltillo; Mario and Elisa, Iglesia Bautista Bethel; Pepe and Karen, Iglesia Bautista Bethania; and Samuel and Neria, Iglesia Bautista Emmanuel. If you click on the following link, http://johnsonsmex.wordpress.com/ and scroll down to the September 12 post, you will see their pictures and more details about their churches.
Thank you for praying for the mission trip our church, Iglesia Bautista El Divino Salvador, made this past weekend to Reynosa. There were 50 members of our church ministering to the needy, and the response was amazing! This is the first Mexican Baptist church to minister at the border! Usually American churches have done ministry there, but with the security issues, they have not gone for 3 years.
Thanks for praying for Eric’s sermon “Gripped by Grace” based on Matt. 10:5-8 and Luke 7:36-50. Pray that God’s grace will break the chains that bind!
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matt. 16:18-19
Our Cosecha pastor and wives retreat was a true blessing. God answered your prayers, and we are grateful! We had a wonderful time together and made good progress on refining the Cosecha (cultivating healthy churches) process.
However, the day after we returned, there was a very difficult business meeting at our home church. Without going into details, we just ask that you would lift up Iglesia Bautista El Divino Salvador and their pastor and wife, Elias and Susi. We are not surprised that conflict has arisen, but that does not make it easy to face. Please pray with us that God’s Holy Spirit will bring victory, understanding and reconciliation. We want to see the church freed from some bad patterns of control so that it can bear much Kingdom fruit!
In the midst of the conflict, a group of about 40 from the church are going to Reynosa, a border town about 2 1/2 hours away. They will be ministering to the needy and evangelizing in a difficult neighborhood, so please pray for God to use them powerfully.
Eric will be preaching this Sunday in our home church. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to anoint him to speak in truth and love.
Thank you for holding us up in prayer!
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.