Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall 2012 Newsletter

Fall 2012 Newsletter
Assemblies of God Missionary to the Philippines

Hello Friends,

First, we want to wish all of you a blessed holiday season. May you know the presence, power and peace of Jesus!

Pentecost in Bicol For the last two weeks of August and the first week of September we hosted our good friends, Bill and Beth Juoni who are American AG evangelists from Wisconsin (junoib@cni-usa.com), for a series of meetings here. Over a three week period we traveled to ten places throughout the Bicol region of the Philippines, where we are based, doing seminars and revival meetings focused on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The aggregate attendance was about 1,200 people and about one half, as best as we could tell, either received the Baptism or refilled with the Spirit during these meetings. It was a wonderful moving of the Holy Spirit. We also loved having the Juonis with us! God has obviously anointed them to lead people into the Baptism and they are really good to work with (that’s missionary parlance for being joyously willing to live and minister in challenging situations that we can’t always control)!

Is this the opening showers of the coming revival that God spoke to Debbie about several years ago?  We don’t know, but we certainly want to be prepared when revival comes.

In response to these meetings we found ourselves praying “Lord, what next?” In other words, what can and should we be doing to help our people continue to walk in the burning fire of the Spirit. To date, God’s response to us has been twofold. One, we are to continue offering seminars and revival meetings to provide an opportunity for people become refreshed in the Spirit. We started the next round of meetings last week and will continue into mid December.

Second, the Holy Spirit has impressed upon Dave the need to do more writing. His newest book, Theology in Context: A Case Study in the Philippines, was in the works before the Juonis came and will be released by APTS Press in January. As a direct result of the Juoni meetings, Bill and Dave will be writing a book under the tentative title, The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Answering Questions Filipino Ask. We don’t have a publication date yet, but Bill has already done a lot of the work on it and Dave will start soon. Other books will likely follow in due course.

An Appeal for Help We have some wonderful opportunities for ministry, but our account has run dry. Over the last six months we have accrued a deficit of $2,700.00. We cannot continue to do deficit spending. Would you please help us erase the deficit? Here’s how it can be done: (1) One, if you have pledged to support and are not up to date, we would appreciate it you could bring your giving up to date, (2) Perhaps you could increase your giving just a little bit, (3) if you are not currently supporting us, perhaps you would consider doing so or, (4) you could give a one time cash offering in any amount to help us make this up. On our part, we are doing our best to trim expenses. If you are already supporting us, you already know how to send the funds. Otherwise, you can give on our website, www.daveanddebbiejohnson.com, or the Assemblies of God website www.ag.org (just follow the links and look us up), or send your offering designated for us, AGWM account 225600, to 1445 Boonville Ave. Springfield MO 65802.

We would especially like to appeal to our friends and acquaintances outside of America to help at this time. Our American friends are doing their best in difficult economic times. Could you lend a hand as well? Giving through our website is easy.

While we do need to make this appeal because our situation is challenging, we refuse to be negative or defeatist about it! The future is as bright as the promises of God, and we are as excited as ever about what God is doing to bring in the harvest in the Philippines! So, let’s go on to more good news!

A New Edition of the Fire Bible! (See www.lifepublishers.org) We are both passionate about training workers for the harvest. Part of that vision includes making the Fire Bible, aka the Full Life Study Bible, available to as many of our pastors as possible. As far as I know, this is the only study Bible in print together written for Pentecostals. This study tool, with its commentary on much of the Scripture text, 77 articles, cross-referencing system, concordance, and many other features make it an ideal tool, especially for pastors and lay leaders who can’t get to Bible school or afford a large library.

Just a few months ago, in partnership with the Philippine Bible Society, we completed the translation into the Cebuano language of the Philippines. Cebuano is the dominant language of the central and southern part of the country, and we have more than a thousand AG churches in those regions. About two weeks ago, with officials from LIFE Publishers, the publishing arm of AGWM, and the Bible Society in attendance, we presented the Bible to a total of about 468 pastors and church leaders from across the evangelical community in public launches both in Cebu City and Davao. In every respect the launches were highly successful. The Fire Bible is not just an AG Bible; we believe it is for all Christians. The Bible Society is well positioned to make this Bible available across denominational lines and they will market the Bible in stores and at various events throughout the region next year and have asked Dave to travel with them to promote it.

Prayer Points (No particular order of priority. Just let the Spirit guide you!)
  • For the financial situation mentioned above.
  • For the Holy Spirit to be poured out on our region.
  • For more people to be reached for Christ and more churches to be planted.
  • For a serious situation in the national church here.
  • For our missionary friends from other groups who also labor in this region.
  • For God to show us more ways that we can care for the poor.
  • For God to reveal ways we can reach out to the Muslims in our local areas.
  • For the success of the Cebuano Fire Bible

We are joyfully yours because we are joyfully HIS!!
Dave and Debbie Johnson

PLEASE NOTE: Permission is hereby given to forward, print, and post this as long as it is done as a complete blog, and its authorship is acknowledged. Thank you for your cooperation.  For automatic notification of future blogs please visit www.drdavejohnson.blogspot.com and click on “join this site.”

Copyright 2012 Dr. Dave Johnson 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Judith and The Fire Bible

Judith and the Fire Bible
By Dr. Dave Johnson
Assemblies of God Missionary to the Philippines

Judith* was an avowed atheist and worked for a printing company that printed literature parroting this worldview. After a number of years, Judith’s printing press was sold to a new Christian publisher in the same town. In her country, the law required the Christian publisher to employ all of the employees of the press that they had purchased, so Judith the atheist began publishing Christian literature. She apparently didn’t mind. After all, a job was a job!
One day she was asked to proofread a new of the Fire Bible, also known as the Full Life Study Bible (www.biblealliance.org), in her own language that her company was printing under contract with LIFE Publishers (www.lifepublishers.org), the publishing arm of Assemblies of God World Missions. To do this job correctly, Judith had to read the Bible that she had been taught to despise! While she was carefully checking the grammar, punctuation and spelling, the Holy Spirit began to move in her heart, revealing God’s truth through the written Word and exposing the lies of atheism. She was convicted of her sin, acknowledged Jesus Christ as her new Lord and her life was radically transformed.
After completing the Russian Fire Bible, Judith’s company was asked to print other editions of the same study Bible in other languages. Since she couldn’t read these other languages, she became responsible for quality control, making sure that the pages were printed correctly and other jobs that did not actually require needing to read the text.
As she grew her faith, she grew in her passion to publish the Word of God. Today, Judith oversees the entire printing operation and has printed thousands and thousands of copies of the Fire Bible in the various languages of the world. The most recent edition she printed was 10,000 copies in Cebuano, one of the major languages in the Philippines.
This Bible was translated from the original English into Cebuano right here in the Philippines in a partnership between LIFE Publishers, which has now printed over 7 million copies of this Bible in 38 languages, the Assemblies of God missionaries in the Philippines (Dave was the managing editor for the project) and the Philippine Bible Society (www.bible.org.ph), who did the actual translation. They have been faithfully translating and printing the Word of God in this country for 113 years! LIFE put it in layout form in the United States and was printed and bound by Judith’s company and shipped to the Philippines.
This Bible will be used by our pastors and church members for the glory of God to grow in their faith and deepen the quality of their ministries throughout the Cebuano speaking region of the Philippines in anticipation of a greater harvest. We are believing that, because of this Bible, tens of thousands of lives, like Judith’s will be transformed by the power of God.
Thanks, Judith!
Thanks, LIFE Publishers!
Thanks, Philippine Bible Society!
And, especially, thank you Jesus!

*Not her real name

PLEASE NOTE: Permission is hereby given to forward, print, and post this as long as it is done as a complete blog, and its authorship is acknowledged. Thank you for your cooperation. For automatic notification of future blogs please visit www.drdavejohnson.blogspot.com and click on “join this site.”

Copyright 2012 Dr. Dave Johnson