Friday, August 31, 2012

Many Baptized in the Holy Spirit in the Bicol Region of the Philippines

God continues to move in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. In the last three weeks, about 500 or so people have been filled or refilled with the Holy Spirit. People speaking in tongues have filled the sanctuaries of the places we have visited, and we are grateful because Jesus is been glorified.

We believe that we are on the cusp of the greatest move of God this region has ever seen. Is this the beginning? We do not know. A more important question we are asking is, "What do we do next to fan the flame of what God is doing?" This is uncharted territory for Debbie and me, so we would appreciate your prayers and feedback.

For the moment, we have one more Sunday service with our friends, Bill and Beth Juoni, and they will leave on Tuesday. Debbie and I will take a breather for a couple of days and rest at a nearby resort. The schedule has been unrelenting for the last three weeks, and we need a break.

By the way, if you feel led of the Lord to help us out, we would appreciate some financial help. You can donate online at 

Drop us a line when you can. We're always glad to hear from you.

Many blessings,

Dave and Debbie Johnson

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tips For Foreign Speakers and Their Interpreters or Translators

Tips for Foreign Speakers and Their Interpreters
By Dave Johnson

[If you are hosting someone who will speak through an interpreter, you may wish to provide these to the speakers and their interpreters in advance. An ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure.—Ben Franklin]

Over the years I have had the opportunity to observe many foreign speakers and those who interpret for them. I have also served as the interpreter on numerous occasions. Most speakers work well with interpreters and most interpreters are good. But I have noticed a number of things that, if done, will help make the process better for all concerned. My communication goal has always been that everyone understands everything that is said.

For the Foreign Speakers

1. Remember that interpretation is a difficult art. Please purpose to make the process as easy for your interpreter as possible.

2. Meet with the interpreter before the service if possible to discuss your message and how you wish to conduct the altar call or question and answer period. If you can, offer them a copy of your notes. If you have a question and answer period and a question offered in English, it should still be translated in respect to those present who do not speak English.

3. Remember that interpretation is not an exact science. Tagalog, like many other languages, is somewhat longer than English and can take a bit more time to express.

4. Remember to maintain eye contact with the listeners, not your interpreter. It is sufficient to see them just out of the corner of your eye.

5. Pause every one or two sentences for the interpretation. Going longer than this without stopping increases the possibility that the interpreter will forget part of what you say.

6. Reduce or eliminate figures of speech or idiomatic expressions as these often get lost in interpretation.

7. Use smaller words. For example, “Try” is better than “Endeavor.”

8. Avoid the use of the double negative as Filipinos are not accustomed to this form of speaking and may not hear the second negative, making the interpretation exactly the opposite of what you intend. For example, if you say “I did not say that I would not go to church, it might be translated as “I said I’m not going to church!!” It’s far better to say, “I will go to church.”

9. Filipinos consider the word “stupid” as borderline profane, so please try to avoid it. On the other hand, the word “dumb” is fine!!

10. Beware of being overly dependent on alliteration, acrostics, or any type of word play, as they normally don’t translate well into other languages. Having an alliterative outline might work, but if your message is overly dependent on these things, the force of your message will most likely be lost in translation.

11. Remember that humor doesn’t cross cultural boundaries well and, generally speaking, is best avoided unless you know the cultural situation well or you don’t mind your jokes falling flat in front of you.

12. If only one microphone is available, please swallow your pride and give it to your interpreter. Remember, your message is being interpreted for a reason, and that reason means it’s more important for people to hear the translator. As long as the interpreter can hear you, your message will be communicated.

13. Ministering cross culturally is a wonderful journey, so ENJOY THE TRIP!!

For Interpreters

1. Try to meet with the speaker before the service to discuss their message. Don’t be afraid to request a copy of their notes if you need them.

2. Remember that some speakers are not used to using interpreters, so please be patient.

3. Stand next to the speaker, not off to the side.

4. Maintain eye with the audience, not the speaker. You need to hear him or her, not look at them. If it’s a man, he probably isn’t that handsome anyway!!

5. Remember that you are the speaker’s mouthpiece, and you should speak as that person. For example, if they say “I’m glad to be here,” don’t say “he says he is glad to be here.” Instead say, “I am glad to be here.”

6. If the speaker gets excited, you get excited!

7. As much as possible, moderate your voice to match that of the speaker. If they shout, you shout!! If they whisper, you whisper, etc.

8. Do not feel that you have to translate for word. Speak naturally using idioms and figures of speech that are a part of your language.

9. Preach the same message as the speaker. To do otherwise is unethical and bears a false witness (Exodus 20:16). If you don’t understand something the speaker says, please stop them and ask them to repeat themselves. If you still cannot understand them, you might consider humbling yourself and asking to be replaced.

10. Have fun!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

God is Touching Bicolanos

Yesterday, we continued our seminars with Bill and Beth Juoni on the person and work on the Holy Spirit, and God continues to move. Last night there were about 50 people in the service and probably most of them were baptized or refilled with the Spirit in the altar call as one could hear many of them speaking in other tongues. It's a wonder to behold.

In the seminars, we always do a question and answer time in between each segment. The questions suggest that much confusion exists in the minds of our pastors regarding the Holy Spirit. Bill and I have been discussing co-authoring a book on the subject that will be designed to address these issues.

Meanwhile, we have another revival meeting tonight, another tomorrow, and throughout the coming week. Please pray for us!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

God is Moving in Bicol!!

We have now completed five meetings in four different locations with Bill and Beth Juoni. About 8 more to go, depending on how you count them. To date, about 250-260 people have attended and dozens appear to have been baptized in the Holy Spirit or refilled in these meetings so far. We long to see our region ablaze for God and rejoice in what God has been doing.

We've also been selling my book "Led by the Spirit: the History of the American Assemblies of God Missionaries in the Philippines" at a much lower rate and are carrying it with us on this tour. Sales are encouraging, and I have contacted the publisher to send more copies down! We are also selling the Ganap na Buhay Biblia, the Tagalog version of the Fire Bible, at 50% off the original price, and these are going out the door as well.

Please pray with us that the fire of the Holy Spirit will ignite the Bicol Region.

More later,


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dave's Musings

Last night evangelists Bill and Beth Juoni began a series of revival meetings in our region of the Philippines. We actually began with a truncated seminar that afternoon. It was a small gathering, but the people were intensely interested in what Bill had to say about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. In the altar service about 10-12 were gloriously filled or refilled!! Praise the Lord!

For the next couple of weeks we will be taking Bill and Beth to various places throughout the region for day long seminars and revival services on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We believe that God is soon going to send a revival to the Bicol region, and we want to be ready when he does.

If anyone would want to understand why the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements have now spread all over the globe, one must understand what we believe and teach about the Holy Spirit. We believe that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is primarily an enduement of power to be Christ's witness, both at home and abroad. We believe that any believer can and must be filled with the Spirit.

The Spirit of God is the great equalizer. In a sense, believing that every believer can and should be filled with the Spirit is Pentecostalism's to contribution to the priesthood of all believers. While Luther, I think, intended this to mean that all believers have access to God, I would add that, through the Holy Spirit baptism, God has access to all believers, regardless of social rank, economic status, or educational level.

Our desire is that every believer in our region would be filled with Spirit and used by God to reach people for Christ in their locale and wherever the will of God may take them. We believe that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in other tongues, is a critical part of the discipleship, spiritual formation, and preparation process to be used of God to the maximum.

I remember the words to the old hymn, Showers of Blessing, especially the part that goes "mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead." Oh God, we pray for a mighty outpouring of your Spirit in the Bicol region of the Philippines and around the world!