Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter Newsletter 2011-12

Winter Newsletter 2011 - 2012

Dear Friends,

It’s almost the end of the year, so I’d better get this out quick!  Before I forget, Debbie and I would like to wish all of you a blessed Christmas and Jesus filled New Year.  He is the reason for any season and is worthy of all glory, honor, and praise.  Blessed be His wonderful name!

We’ve been busy since the last time you heard from us by official newsletter.  We arrived in Manila on September 30 and spent about 10 days in Manila before heading down to Legaspi City, our adopted hometown. We found a new house right away, thanks to Alan, our evangelistic team leader, who had been house hunting for us. It took us about a month to get unpacked and have some modifications made to the house, such as cutting holes in walls for air conditioners, which make life more comfortable for us in a tropical climate.

Once we got settled, the next step in our transition process was to reconnect with pastors throughout the Bicol region.  We also believe that God has spoken to us about reevaluating our entire ministry here with the intent of discovering areas that needed improvement.  Dave devised a couple of questionnaires that would accomplish this task and, over the last couple of months, has been travelling throughout the region to various minister’s meetings accomplish all of these goals.  We anticipate completing this process by the end of January.  We have also taken some preaching engagements along the way.

One highlights of our preaching times was Spiritual Emphasis Week at Evangel Bible College.  What a joy to minister on the baptism, the joy, and the historical waves of the Holy Spirit and to see the hunger in the students and faculty.  One lady student began speaking in tongues and was unable to stop for several days! This reminded us of the story of Agnes Ozman, a Bible School student who received the baptism in the Holy Spirit in 1901 in Topeka, Kansas. She spoke Chinese for three days straight and was also unable to speak her native tongue.  The testimony afterwards of our Bible School student was that she drew so much closer to the Lord during the days she could only speak with Him in the language of the Spirit.  Praise His Name.

Another glorious moment for us was a recent celebration service to rejoice in the results of our combined evangelistic outreach and Church Planting School ministry in one church.  The building was packed full of people, mostly children, whom the church was now ministering to in various locations as a result of these ministries.  Four Church Planting School graduates stood up and testified to the grace of God now in operation in their lives and new ministires as a result of their training.  We are rejoicing in the Lord.

One of our areas of research has been these Church Planting Schools that Debbie helped pioneer back in 2007. The goal has been to mobilize lay people to plant house churches.  Our research has confirmed that we now have around 208 house churches and continue to grow at a healthy rate. Added to the 200 or so traditional churches in the region, we now have around 400 churches altogether.  We praise God for each and every one of them, but we also cry out for more.  We need tens of thousands of them to achieve the goal of planting a church within walking distance of every person in our region.

Thank you for the prayers and financial support that make all of this possible. 

As we close the year, we are still about $400 a month short in monthly support.  If you can help us with a monthly pledge or even a one time, end of the year gift, we would deeply appreciate it.  You can give through our website, or send your check to AGWM 1445 Boonville Ave. Springfield MO 65802, marked for acct number 225600 Dave and Debbie Johnson—Philippines.  Thank you so much.

Prayer Points
1. Wisdom from God to understand the challenges facing us.
2. Open ears to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying.
3. For God to release the financial resources we need to carry on the work.
May the Lord give you His peace and joy and a great anticipation of His coming Kingdom, whatever 2012 brings us.  We so appreciate you all and we close this year with our love,

Dave and Debbie Johnson

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