Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Concise Update

Annual Report to the Assemblies of God Missionary Fellowship June 2011-May 2012
Dave and Debbie Johnson
Assemblies of God Missionary to the Philippines
www.drdavejohnson.blogspot.com

[Every year the missionaries on our field write an annual report to our colleagues, in preparation for our annual field meeting, to keep them abreast of what’s happening in our ministry. I thought I’d send ours along in case you missed some of our newsletters, are new to our mailing list, or would just enjoy a concise report of the last 12 months of our ministry. Hope you enjoy it. Dave]

Dear Friends,

This is the first time in quite awhile that we have had to file a report for Annual Meeting, and we are thrilled to do it!

Last September we completed our fourth itineration cycle and, one more time, bade our families a heartrending goodbye. When I was a new missionary I (Dave) was na├»ve enough to think this would get easier as time went on. Like many of you, we are dealing with aging parents issues, mostly on Debbie’s side of the family.

We took all of October just to get well settled in before beginning ministry. If you’ve been here awhile, you know the drill. Find a good house, spend a small fortune getting a zillion things fixed or modified to suit your needs and tastes, move in, set up house, and bring the dog home from where he had been staying with friends. We had a lot of fun getting reacquainted with our Filipino friends, many of whom pitched in to help.

While in the States, God spoke to Dave that we needed to “get better before getting bigger.” In response we spent November, part of December, and most of January, thoroughly reviewing every aspect of our evangelistic ministry and church planting program and making sweeping changes. All of this was done in concert with our evangelistic team and the district leadership.  After all, we aren’t in this alone. We spent February and March preparing to make these changes, which we rolled out to the pastors at the district council in early April and are now just beginning to implement them.

Regarding our evangelistic ministry, our research revealed a need to shore up the spiritual vitality of the churches as well as our follow up program. Therefore, we switched from a three night outreach format to a one night revival meeting at the host church, then an afternoon training session followed by a one night outreach at an outdoor venue, and then a one day strategy session and follow-up kickoff. We are also moving towards greater accountability and ongoing training, hopefully expanding our churches and resulting in more church plants.

Researching regarding our house church planting program revealed that while we have planted 207 house churches in the last five years, the multiplication rate is not as high as it could be. The research also demonstrated that more training and better oversight of the workers is needed. In response, this June we will implement a second tier of training that will be built around a long term mentoring program.   

We love Filipinos and are so privileged to serve with you!!  Dave and Debbie


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Juvy is With Jesus

Dear Friends,
 
Debbie and I are saddened to report that last Friday, Jesus whispered in the ear of Juvy Sumayao, our dear friend and pastor's wife for whom we have asked your help, and she went to be with him. We attended her beautiful funeral service in their church yesterday. Her husband and all three of her children, though heartbroken, took part in the service.
 
Today, we have received about $800.00 in cash and commitments to help with the medical expenses. Coupled with the funeral costs, the total bill around $5,500.00. Thank you so much for your love and help. We advanced some of the funds and brought them with us, and this meant a lot to the family. If you have not yet given and would like to do so, you can give through the ways I mentioned in my previous post or you can give through our website, http://www.daveanddebbiejohnson.com/. Again, please let us know by return email how much you will be giving so that we can watch for the funds.
 
Thank you for your continued prayers and gifts at this time.
 
On behalf of the Sumayao family,
 
Dave and Debbie Johnson
Assemblies of God Missionaries to the Philippines

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Emergency Medical Situation of a Dear Friend

Dear Precious Friends,
 
For about 20 days our former District Superintendent’s wife, Juvy, has been struggling for her life in the north part of the Bicol region where we live. Juvy entered a hospital before our recent district convention for surgery on a perforated gallbladder and a perforated intestine, but there were complications and the surgery was not successful. The family transferred her to another hospital where she might receive better treatment, but after a second surgery she is still in ICU. Yesterday we received word that the infections from the perforations are going down, and she no longer has a fever. 
 
Juvy's husband, Pastor Rudy Sumayao, was unable to attend our district council and, therefore, was unable to stand for reelection.  But his concern is for her.  We are still praying and trusting God for a full recovery.  What we are appealing to you for us both your prayers and for a love gift to pastor Rudy and his family.  He has asked us to help him raise money for a medical bill that has grown to over $4,700 and increases at the rate of about $300 per day.  This is an extremely big amount in a region where most families only earn about $850 a year or less. The family has used up all their money in the medical expenses so far, but we believe the Lord is going to take beautiful care of both Sister Juvy and the family.  If the Lord is putting it in your heart to be part of God’s loving care to this family, would you send any amount that is on your heart?  Here is what you can do ...
 
Email us at dave.johnson@hqmail.agmd.org and tell us how much you are sending.
 
For those in the USA, please send your gift to
 
AGWM
1445 Boonville Ave
Springfield MO 65802
designated for Dave and Debbie Johnson, missionaries to the Philippines, account 2256006
 
If you are in the Philippines and know the Sumayaos, please contact them directly. Otherwise, you can send it to Dave through SMART.  Dave's SMART cellphone number is (0921) 252-5794.
 
If you live somewhere other than the Philippines or the USA, please contact me by email, and we will figure out something!
 
Again, please contact me by email to let me know how much you are sending so that we can inform the Sumayaos of what to expect.
 
Thanks for considering this,
 
Dave and Debbie Johnson
Missionaries to the Bicol region of the Philippines
 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Allegiance: The Heart of Discipleship

Allegiance: The Heart of Discipleship
By Dr. Dave Johnson
Assemblies of God Missionary to the Philippines
www.drdavejohnson.blogspot.com


[This blog was first published in March, 2012, in Call To Prayer, the online prayer magazine of Assemblies of God World Missions, and can be seen at www.ag.org.]

While we were home on itineration, I visited a convenience store where I saw a woman wearing a beautiful T-shirt that described the reality and necessity of Christ’s death on the Cross.  Both the theology it expressed and the artwork truly glorified God.  But before I could compliment her on it, she stepped up to the cashier, bought lottery tickets, and left the store.  I stood there wondering if she had any idea that the message she wore on her body totally contradicted the one she held in her hand. 
What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ—a true disciple worthy of his name?  The apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:17 calls for a change of allegiance, renouncing the past in terms of its worldview, which lies at the core of our being.  Worldview can simply be explained as a pair of eyeglasses through which we perceive reality, define values, and decide actions.  Since our worldview begins to develop the day we are born and is strongly conditioned by the environment in which we live, we seldom question it.  Asking the average person to describe their worldview is like asking a fish to describe water. It’s hard to explain it when it’s all you have ever known.
A good example would be our cultural concept of “rugged individualism,” no doubt born out our westward frontier expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries. This can be seen in everything from Frank Sinatra’s hit song I Did it My Way to abortion and the right to die movement. We rightfully cry out against these immoral practices, but do we examine our own lives and see how deeply this attitude is ingrained in us and how often our insistence on our rights runs contrary to the biblical model of interdependence within the body of Christ and the scriptural examples of close knit families? 
Proverbs 4:23 speaks to clearly to the need to examine our own worldview under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As this passage suggests, our values and actions flow out of who we really are. Having a biblical worldview, then, is a vital component of discipleship. Without it, our cultural environment will define our values and actions.
Allegiance is the heart of the issue (Proverbs 4:20-23). Since what we do flows out of who we really are, a good way find out what’s really important to us might be to take a look at our checkbooks. Does having a nice car or designer jeans get in the way of tithing, supporting missions, and caring for the poor? Does watching TV or working more hours to make more money interfere with taking appropriate time for our family and church?
A true change of allegiance must result in a change of worldview in order to bringing lasting impact on our daily lives. 2 Corinthians 5:17 teaches us that being a new creation in Christ involves leaving behind the old ways of thinking, with its selfish (and ultimately self-destructing) pursuits, and taking on a biblical worldview that weighs all things in this life by what the Bible teaches, calling for new values, attitudes and actions. In other words, discipleship means that our allegiance is to Christ, not to ourselves. . 

*All Scripture references are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

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Copyright 2012 Dr. Dave Johnson