Friday, July 13, 2012

2012 Summer Newsletter

Dave and Debbie Johnson
Missionaries to the Philippines
2012 Summer Newsletter

Pain, Prophecy, and Outpouring
By Debbie

      During our Assemblies of God Missionary Fellowship annual missionary meeting in June, the Lord gave to me a word of encouragement about the future of the church.  
      The context of this prophecy is two important matters:  We as missionaries are going through a time of great pain in the Philippines because of a split in the national church.  But at the same time, the missionary body is being unusually blessed with a three babies who have either just been born or are just about to be born. In this context, here is part of the word, based on John 16:21-24:
      “The Lord is giving to all of us a great birth announcement.  He is about to birth something new in the body of Christ and in the Assemblies of God.  These precious babies about to be born among us are a symbol of God’s great new birth for the church.
      Do not focus on the pain and struggle of child birth. When the baby comes, when this new thing that God will do breaks into reality, your sorrow and heartbreak, your pain and anguish will be swallowed up by dancing, singing joy. You are like the mother in labor now. But when the birth comes, you will forget this time of pain because of the joy of new life which will sweep the church, the country, and the world….”

Launching the Advanced Training for our Church Planting Schools
By Dave

      The new birth we believe God is planning for the church encourages us as we begin advanced Church Planting School (CPS) training for house church planters and pastors.  Our dream is to strengthen our leaders and also strengthen the fishing net that God is preparing so that thousands upon thousands can come into the kingdom and have a place to worship, whether in a traditional or house church.
      To strengthen this fishing net, our CPS 2 training will include instruction on becoming strong in love and respect for one another in the body of Christ.
      Our burden for the pastors’ and leaders’ all around spiritual, emotional, and physical health is reflected in the first subject that Dave is teaching: spiritual disciplines and becoming the person that God wants you to be, which focuses on living life in proper balance. We believe that healthy pastors lead to healthy churches which naturally result in multiplication of Christians and churches. Since churches are organic, healthy pastors and churches will result in the multiplication of churches and new converts. 
      We launched four level 2 CPSes four pastors’ sections in June and will launch the others in either September or October which allows our pastors to benefit as well as our CPS grads.

      In the minister’s meetings we also have the opportunity to recast the vision of the CPS program which is to plant a church within walking distance of every Filipino in our region.
      While CPS 2 is beginning to roll, CPS 1, for new house church planters is also being launched again for the 6th year around the district. We praise God for His faithfulness and the fruit of the training in the lives of our Assemblies of God people.  To date, we have more than 207 house churches.

New Evangelistic Team Vision
      After a number of months of research and prayer, we have now launched a new format – from a three-night evangelistic rally to a one-night revival meeting, trainings, and a one-night evangelistic rally with follow-up training and follow-up on new believers afterward. The focus of the one-night revival is to encourage counselors and other church members to be filled or refilled with the Holy Spirit.
      We also instituted a greater accountability system. Not all pastors have been open to the change but for those that have, the results have been encouraging. We made these changes, in part, because of all the people with whom we prayed a sinner’s prayer, less than ten percent were being added to the churches. This is unsatisfactory! We believe that we could be getting at least fifteen percent and have made these changes with this goal in mind. In case this seems low, a large evangelistic ministry in the States reports that they get only two to three percent.     

New Opportunities
      Sometime ago we were approached by Dr. Kay Fountain, the academic dean of the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary (APTS) in Baguio City, Philippines, about teaching on a part time basis. APTS is the graduate level school of the Assemblies of God that serves the Asia Pacific and Pacific Oceana regions of the world. We prayed about this and felt the Lord was leading us this way, so we accepted.      As a result, we will spend part of each year on campus, beginning in January, 2013.
      Dave will teach in the missions program, and Debbie will train those who will be teaching English in Bible Schools or as a missions outreach in various parts of the region. Additionally, Dr. Fountain asked Dave to become the new editor for the Asia Journal of Pentecostal Studies, the school’s academic journal which is published twice a year. He was also appointed as the new director for APTS Press, the school’s book publishing arm, although he will not begin this role immediately. Both the Journal and the Press can be handled by email and phone from Bicol. For more information on the school, please visit   

Prayer Points
·        That God would accomplish the vision he has given us for the Bicol Region
·        That God would release the finances necessary to achieve his purposes
·        That God would heal the major controversy currently raging in the national church (thank God that the churches in our region have not been greatly affected)
·        That God would continue to help us to live in a balanced manner.

With great appreciation to the sacrifice of all our partners in missions,

Dave and Debbie Johnson
Assemblies of God Missionaries to the Philippines