Sunday, August 20, 2017

August 2017 Update

It is with great excitement and joy for what the Lord has done that we can report to you that we are SO close to being able to deploy to Honduras and begin serving the Lord there.  We have raised all of our monthly support and lack just $8,500 in one time deployment needs!!  

That may seem like a lot to you but to us it seems so close.  We just need 9 people who would give us a one-time gift of $1,000 or just 17 people who would give a one-time gift of $500 or 34 people who would give a one-time gift of $250 or a one-time gift of whatever the Lord leads you to give!  

Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us as we raise the last $8,500 so we can deploy to Honduras and begin our ministry there?  Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated!



June 27-July 5 - Gretta and I went to Roatan again to do more ministry and spend time with the people there. The Lord blessed us with a wonderful trip and we saw Him work in many ways during our time there.  We attended the associational conference in Coxen Hole.  I was blessed to have the opportunity to preach 3 times during the conference.  During one of the messages, a man came forward and received Christ as his Savior and we saw numerous people come forward to repent and ask for prayers.  It was beautiful to see the Lord at work during this conference.

Each night, during the evening worship service, we taught a children's class for those ages 3-12 years old.  First Baptist Church of Los Fresnos had donated their 2016 leftover CaveQuest VBS materials for us to use with the children in Roatan.  We used the Bible stories from this material and did oral Bible storying and used flannel-graphs to help tell the stories.  Then we did the crafts that went along with each Bible story and did LOTS of songs and games with the children also.  We had such fun with these children each night and love being able to share the gospel with them in new and exciting ways.  If your church has leftover children's ministry materials of any kind (VBS, old Sunday school materials, special events, etc.) that we could use on the field, we would love to take them off your hands!  You can email us (johnsfamily@reachingandteaching.org) if you would like to donate to our children's ministry in Roatan.

After spending a week in Coxen Hole, we came back to Oak Ridge (the village we will live in on the island) and got to spend several days there.  The Lord has blessed us with an amazing house there in the village and that is absolutely perfect for our family.  We got to stay in this home and it will be such a blessing to our family while we serve in Roatan.  We got to visit with lots of people in Oak Ridge and we got to spend some time with some of the youth there too.  One night we invited the youth to come to our house for a time of fellowship.  We watched a movie together, ate snacks, and then taught them how to play the game of Spoons.  We had such a great time with these youth and look forward to many more times of fellowship together soon!


July 23-27, we went to Underwood, Indiana to attend missionary orientation with Reaching & Teaching. This was a very valuable and informative week for us as we were able to meet all the staff of Reaching & Teaching in person and meet fellow missionaries. We were in class all day every day but learned so much that will be useful on the field. We enjoyed class sessions such as “The Missionary Call”, “History of Catholicism in Latin America”, “Biblical Peacemaking”, “Health Care on the Field”, “Culture Shock”, “Ministry in Oral Cultures”, and much more. To learn more about the discipleship/training material we will be using on the field, you can visit www.heartsheadsandhands.com.


THANK YOU....for your prayers, encouragement, & support! 








Wednesday, April 5, 2017

March 2017 Update

"This is the grand purpose for which we were created; to enjoy the grace of Christ as we spread the gospel of Christ from wherever we live to the ends of the earth."  - David Platt

As you know, we are currently building our ministry partnership team.  God is faithful and continues to provide opportunities for us to share about our calling to Honduras and He is providing new ministry partners in His timing.  God is at work in our season of deputation and He is continuing to encourage us through this process.  Our biggest need right now is for monthly ministry partners.  We need to be at 100% support by May. If you would like to learn how to become a monthly ministry partner, please email us (johnsfamily@reachingandteaching.org) or call/text (956-254-3344) and we can share ways you can partner with us if you sense the Lord burdening your heart to possibly be involved with our work in Honduras.  You can give online by clicking here.


Hearts, Heads & Hands
The Lord is also allowing us to introduce the book “Hearts, Heads, & Hands” by Dr. M. David Sills to pastors and ministry leaders in our area. This book is the training material that we will be using on the field. It is a fabulous book of 9 modules and it can be used in so many different ways and not just on the mission field. We have already given away 12 copies of this book and have 14 more ordered and already spoken for. We encourage you to learn more about this book too as it is a valuable tool in discipleship and leadership training.

To learn more about this book, visit www.heartsheadsandhands.com


The Ark Encounter
We are also spending lots of time with our families. Since we will be gone for 3 years before returning to the States, we are soaking in as much time with them as we can. We continue to be so blessed by Gretta's parents who are allowing us to live with them until we move to Honduras. We are so thankful for them and the sacrifices they are making for our family during this season. They took us all with them on a road trip to The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, KY last month.

The Ark Encounter is a full-size Noah’s Ark built according to the dimensions given in the Bible - spanning 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. It was amazing to see and the exhibits were wonderful too. We had been to the Creation Museum 6 years ago so it was a joy to get to see the Ark Encounter too.

Family Highlights
Last month, Gretta was invited to go to the elementary school where her sister teachers for Dr. Seuss Day and read stories to the students there. Not only did she read Dr. Seuss stories to them but they also made “oobleck” (slime) for the students to take home and Dr. Seuss created much excitement in the classroom too. One of the cutest parts was watching the kids ask for Dr. Seuss to “autograph” their notebooks.

Our family also celebrated 2 special birthdays in March.  Abbey turned "sweet 16" on March 8 and Gretta turned 40 years old on March 24.  They both enjoyed their special days and had lots of fun.

PRAISES
 - We have received an official letter of invitation from Honduras to serve as missionaries there.
 - The Lord is continuing to open doors and give us opportunities to share about our calling to Honduras
 - Our family has started a Spanish curriculum to hopefully improve our language skills and ability to communicate more fluently in Spanish

PRAYERS
 - That we will not miss opportunities to serve others right here during this season of deputation
 - For new monthly ministry partners so we can reach 100% by May
 - That we would continue to seek Christ and put Him forefront in everything we are doing.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

February Missions Update

"Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."   Francis Chan
We are on Deputation

We are currently on deputation fully focusing on support raising over the next few months as we prepare to move to Roatan, Honduras.  Gretta's parents have graciously allowed us to move in with them during this time of deputation and we are so thankful for them.  The first few weeks were quite challenging as we were unpacking boxes, settling in, and trying to find a new "normal".  February was much smoother as we are adjusting and settling into all the changes. We thank all of you for your prayers and encouragement over the last few weeks as we transitioned.  
Departure Date
We had initially set a goal of being in Roatan, Honduras by May 2017. However, we recently found out that we will need to attend a mandatory orientation course with our sending agency, Reaching & Teaching, before we can move overseas. This orientation will happen at the end of July.  We do not believe we would be good stewards of our support money to move to Roatan in May and then return as a family in July for the orientation meeting and then have to fly back to Roatan.  So, we have chosen to delay our departure for Roatan until after the orientation. Therefore, our new departure date for Roatan is set in early August.  While that may seem like a setback, God knows exactly when we need to arrive and we are trusting Him. 
Associational Meeting in Roatan
Gretta & I will be making a trip to Roatan, Honduras June 27-July 4 to attend the associational meeting of Baptist churches.  This is a time when the Baptist churches on the island come together for a few days of worship, meetings, and fellowship. This trip will allow us to not only meet the members of the churches and begin to form relationships with them but it will also afford us the opportunity to learn more about how we can best serve them once we move to Roatan in August.   
Family Update

Abbey has attended two different youth conferences since we have been back.  One was a weekend in Orange Beach, AL for 10th-12th graders and last weekend she went to one for 6th-12th graders in Gatlinburg, TN.  She will also turn 16 years old next week (March 8).  Sidney is currently spending a week with fellow missionary friends of ours who are now living in Kentucky.  She is having a blast with their family and even getting to go to private school each day with her friends while she is there.  We will be traveling to Kentucky this weekend to pick her up. Wyatt is enjoying Bible study classes with the 6th-8th grade boys class at church and beginning to make new friends here too. 
Prayer Request & Praises  
  • Pray that the Lord will continue to grow our ministry partnership team and that we will stay focused and encouraged through this time of support raising.  Pray that the Lord will give us open doors and open hearts as we share about our calling to Honduras. 
  • We thank God for our current financial supporters and pray that the Lord will bless their sacrificial giving as they help send us out.  
  • Pray for our sending church, First Baptist Church of Los Fresnos, as Pastor Joe has retired and they are currently seeking a new pastor and going through a season of change.
  • We are praying specifically for the Lord to raise up financial partners in our mission work who would be willing to support us on a monthly basis.  
  • Praise - On Valentine's Day, we were blessed to attend the final adoption hearing for our niece, Marlee Marie. We are so thankful to the Lord for adding her to our family. Gretta and her sister were both adopted so the love of adoption runs deep in our family.  
  • Praise - One of our friends from Canada came to spend a week with us in Alabama last month. He has recently accepted Christ so please keep him in prayers as he begins his walk with the Lord and continues learning and growing. 
  • Praise - I (David) celebrated my 40th birthday last month! Thank you to each of you who took time to send me a birthday card too. They were such a surprise and a blessing to receive.  Dear friends blessed us with a cabin in the Smoky Mountains for 4 days and Gretta and I had a sweet time of being in God's beautiful creation  and enjoying some alone time together. 
Our niece, Marlee Marie 
 Baking Valentine's Day cupcakes
with our nephew, Marshall 
 Enjoying the Smoky Mountains
The kids enjoying a gift certificate
they received to go see a movie
Partner With Us

As full-time missionaries to Honduras, we must raise our own support.  We have both one time mobilization needs ($25,957.35) and monthly support ($3500 per month) that we must raise before we can move to Honduras. If you would like to join us as a financial ministry partner, you may give online (see link below) or mail donations to Reaching & Teaching. Please include a note with your donation and place our names "David & Gretta Johns" on it to indicate your preference that funds be placed in our account.  All donations are tax-deductible.

You may mail donations to:
Reaching & Teaching International Ministries
P.O. Box 122
Wheaton, IL 60187

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

November 2016 Missions Update

Some of us are senders and some are goers. Neither is more important than the other. Neither is possible without the other" 

The month of December will be our last month in South Texas and it is bittersweet for us. We have called South Texas "home" for the last 4 1/2 years.  The difficulty of leaving comes not in saying "yes" to the Lord but in saying goodbye to all of the wonderful friends we have here in our church and local community.  The blessings of God have been abundant here and we know that our time here was ordained by the Lord. On January 3, we will leave South Texas and return to Alabama to fully focus on ministry partnerships from January-April. Lord willing, we will deploy to Roatan, Honduras in May 2017.    

On Sunday, December 18, at 10:55AM at First Baptist Church of Los Fresnos, we will have our "Commissioning Service".  If you would like to come join us for this special day, we would love to have you there! 
Youth Geocaching Trip
We took the 6th-12th graders on a Geocaching trip to a local State Park. Geocaching is a fun, outdoor sport that can be enjoyed around the world. It is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Most of them had never geocached before and it was fun to teach them how to do it and then walk all over the park finding caches together. We even saw a coral snake but thankfully he wasn't as interested in them as they were in him!  We enjoyed a picnic lunch in the park together too.  
To learn more about geocaching
visit www.geocaching.com

Sidney's Baptism
When Sidney was little, she was saved and baptized. In June, she started talking to us about her salvation and baptism. She shared with us that she felt like she had only done it because Abbey had and she wanted to be just like her big sister. She was full of questions and wanted to study more. So, we began talking to her about it and studying with her. Then at Alto Frio Youth Camp in July, Pastor Andy gave messages each night that were so relevant to where she was at spiritually and what she was dealing with in her heart. God used her camp experience to be a catalyst for her walk with the Lord.  
We came home from camp and continued studying and talking with her. She recently made a profession of faith and accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior because she knew this was what needed to be done in her life. On Sunday, Nov. 20, I had the privilege to baptize our daughter into the family of God.  
Thanksgiving 2016
We were invited to the home of friends from church along with a few other families to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving lunch together.  It was such a sweet time of fellowship, thanksgiving, yummy food, fun, and laughter.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September 2016 Missions Update

STUDENT MINISTRY - We are excited to be back with our students at church after our extended vacation last month.  We have begun two new studies with our youth class.  I am teaching the 6th-12th grade boys on a topic called "Real Warriors".  This class will teach them what it means to be a man after God's own heart and equip them to fight spiritual battles they may encounter.  Gretta is teaching the 6th-12th grade girls and is using Angie Smith's "Seamless for Teen Girls". This curriculum shows them how the whole Bible - Genesis to Revelation - connects as one beautiful, seamless thread that all points to Jesus.
On September 28, we will be at our local high school at 7:30AM joining students for 2016 "See You at the Pole".  Students across the nation will gather that morning to unite themselves in prayer before God interceding for their generation. The theme verse for this year's "See You at the Pole" is Psalm 24:3-6.  Please be praying for students across the nation that morning as they stand united in prayer at their school campuses.
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GREEN GHOST HERO ACADEMY 
I have been blessed to help teach Jiu-Jitsu classes to students ages 5-14 at Green Ghost Hero Academy, a local Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu dojo. At the end of every class, the students gather up in a circle and we pray together. Recently, I had the opportunity to share the gospel with the students and 12 of them asked for their own Bible. We were able to give each of them a Bible and we are praying that the seeds that have been sown will continue to grow. Will you join us in praying for these students and their families?
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FAMILY NEWS - We praise God for His hand of protection and His faithfulness to our family as we spent the whole month of August traveling. We traveled over 8 states and over 4,000 miles during the month of August  We got to go back to Alabama and see our families (we had not been home in a year), we were blessed with the opportunity to speak at some churches and share about our calling to Honduras, and I attended Support Raising Solutions Bootcamp in Rogers, Arkansas too. Since our return, the kids have started back to homeschooling and we are all settling back into our daily routines and ministries.
L to R: I got to preach at the first church Gretta's grandfather pastored during his 40+ years of being a Baptist preacher.  The kids in front of Bryant Denney Stadium...ROLL TIDE!  We all enjoyed our ice cream cones in Garfield, AR at the famous Short Stop Conoco...and yes, those were the small size!
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PRAYER REQUESTS 
 Pray for all the students in our Student Ministry - that they will come to have a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that they will desire His Word.
Pray for the families and students I get to work with 3 times a week at Green Ghost Hero Academy.  Pray that we will be the light of Jesus to them and that the Lord will give us more opportunities to share the gospel.
Pray for us as we begin building our team of ministry partners for Honduras here in South Texas.
Pray for us as we lead and guide our children (who are 11, 13, & 15) that in everything, we will help them remain Christ-focused.

PARTNER WITH US
You may GIVE ONLINE  or donations may be sent to Reaching & Teaching on our behalf.  Please include a note with your check and place our names "David & Gretta Johns" on it to indicate your preference that funds be placed in our account.  All donations are tax-deductible.

You may mail donations to:
Reaching & Teaching International Ministries
P.O. Box 122
Wheaton, IL 60187

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

We've Been Appointed!!

We are SO excited to announce that we have been appointed as official field missionaries of Reaching & Teaching and will be serving in Roatan, Honduras!  We will be sharing more information soon about our heart for Honduras and how you can become a ministry partner with our family.  

We were first introduced to Reaching & Teaching International Ministries (RTIM) during our training at To Every Tribe.  Dr. David Sills was one of our guest instructors on several occasions and we had the opportunity to sit under his teaching and leadership and we learned so much from him during his class times.  We have also been blessed to have him in our home recently and enjoyed sharing a meal and fellowship with him while discussing our heart for Hondruas and the goals of Reaching & Teaching.  


About Reaching & Teaching International Ministries (RTIM)
Reaching & Teaching International Ministries exists to reach the peoples of the world through evangelism and by meeting the great need for deep discipleship, pastoral preparation, leadership training, and theological education around the world. Reaching & Teaching was founded by David Sills, born out of the deep needs for discipleship and ministry training that he has seen in countries all around the world.

Reaching & Teaching operates within the bounds of two statements of belief, with all aspects of the ministry being in accordance with both documents — the Abstract of Principles and the Baptist Faith & Message (2000).

RTIM is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations (whether to the general ministry fund or a specific missionary account) are tax deductible.

Next Steps
We will officially go back to Alabama on August for our yearly visit and to speak at some churches while we are there to share our calling to Honduras.  We will also be sending out more information about how you can become a prayer partner or a financial partner of our family's mission work over the next few months also.  We ask that you would pray for us as we begin our next steps in ministry.  In September, we will return to Los Fresnos and continue serving with First Baptist Church.







Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer Update

HONDURAS
We are excited to be moving forward in our call to do full-time mission work in Roatan, Honduras.  We have applied with the missions organization, Reaching & Teaching and have completed the application process and final interview with them.  We are awaiting to hear from them in early July if we have been appointed with them as missionaries or not.  Our church here in Los Fresnos has also agreed to be our sending church which is a huge blessing to our family.  We will also be going back to Alabama in August to spend a month as we start our deputation (support raising).  We look forward to connecting with churches, pastors, and family/friends while we are there to share about our heart for Honduras.  We covet your prayers over the decision of Reaching & Teaching and also for our family as we begin support raising.  


SUMMER MINISTRY
Summer is always a very busy time in Student Ministry and July is going to be a "firecracker" of a month for us.  We could use some extra prayers in July as we are going to be extremely busy.  

July 3 - 8:  We are taking a group of 19 to church youth camp!  We are going to Alto Frio Camp in Leakey, TX (about 6 hours away) and we are looking forward to a great week at camp with our students.  Wyatt will be staying with friends from church while we are at this camp too so pray for him as we are separated this week.  

July 11-15:  Vacation Bible School (VBS) Prep Week!  After a full week of youth camp, we come home and jump right into VBS. We are co-directing VBS this year and will spend this week finalizing everything, decorating rooms, stage area, hallways, and more.  Also on July 16 we are hosting a "VBS Family Fun Fest" where families can come and pre-register their kids for VBS as well as enjoy food, inflatables, and more!  

July 18-22:  Cave Quest VBS each night from 5:30-8:30PM!  David will be teaching "Imagination Station" where kids will get to enjoy Sciency-fun gizmos that reinforce the Bible point each night.  Gretta will be the stage host for opening and closing ceremonies.  Abbey and Sidney will both be Crew Leaders each leading around a group of kids ages 5-11 years old from station to station.  Wyatt is looking forward to enjoying his last year as a participant at VBS. 

July 25-29:  Kids Church Camp!  We are taking our 3rd-5th graders to camp at Big Red Ministries.  They will get to enjoy a week of camp together along with our children's ministries from churches right here in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  Abbey and Sidney will be staying with our Pastor and his wife this week while we are at camp.  

Then, 2 days later we leave to go to Alabama for a month to start our deputation/support raising! 

PRAYER REQUESTS
* That we would continue to be patient and wait on God's timing in each step of our plans.
* For us as we shepherd and raise our children who are 11, 12, and 15.  These years are some of the toughest and most formative and we need God leading us every step of the way.  
* Many of our missionary friends are facing illnesses, wars have broken out in their area, and some are facing times of uncertainty. Pray that the Lord will reveal Himself to them in big ways through these trials and that they can give God all the glory through them too.  

PARTNER WITH US

We are so grateful to each of you who are literally "holding the rope" for us to be here serving in missions and ministry.  We appreciate both our faithful prayer partners and our financial partners.  If you would like to help support our family's mission work (all donations are tax-deductible), you may send donations or correspondence to:  
First Baptist Church
RE:  David & Gretta Johns
300 E. Ocean Blvd.
Los Fresnos, TX 78566