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 on "deputation" (support raising) August 1.  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 too.  We ask that you would pray for us as we begin support raising.  In September, we will return to Los Fresnos and continue serving with First Baptist Church until we raise 100% of our support to go to Honduras.







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

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

FEBRUARY MISSIONS UPDATE

The Lord gave our family an incredible opportunity to all go to Roatan, Honduras (one of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras) on a mission trip Jan. 23-30th.  We worked in the community of OakRidge on the island during our time there. We served the children in Oak Ridge through a mini Vacation Bible School each morning and I taught the youth in the afternoon using David Platt's Bible study for students called "Follow Me". I also preached on Sunday morning at Oak Ridge First Baptist and on Sunday night we got to enjoy a joint worship service there with members from all the churches on the island.  Tuesday night Gretta and I were asked to share our testimonies with the people there and on Thursday night we experienced a wonderful prayer service.  God blessed us through the people as they cared for our team. We enjoyed our time with the believers in OakRidge and on the island of Roatan so much. 

We have been aware of the needs on the island of Roatan as well as needs at the OakRidge church for quite awhile.  We have been praying and seeking the Lord's will for direction for our family as well as praying for the church there.  A few weeks ago, an invitation was extended to our family to return to Roatan and serve as full-time missionaries specifically in the area of OakRidge.  After praying about this and talking with leadership at our church we are excited to announce that we have decided to pursue this door that the Lord has opened for our family.  Our missions emphasis in Roatan will be preaching, pastoral training, and discipleship/evangelism.

Over the next few months, we will communicate more details about our plans, time frame and share how you can pray for our family and financially partner with us to make it possible for our family to get on the mission field in Roatan, Honduras.

"Gladly would I leave behind me, all the pleasure I have known
To pursue surpassing treasures at the throne of God the Son.
Worthy of unending worship, love and loveliness is He
By His precious death were millions, from the jaws of death set free.

Gladly would I give to Jesus, all affection, everything
For the washing of His mercy, makes my ransomed heart to sing.
"Holy, holy" is the chorus, rising up from those who see
Christ exalted, bright, and burning, full of pow'r and purity.

 (Chorus) Where else can I go?
Jesus you're the one, that I was made to know
What else can I do?
Jesus you're my all, I gladly run to you."

"Gladly Would I Leave Behind" song by Sovereign Grace

PRAISE & PRAYER

  • I was ordained into ministry on Sunday, February 7 in a very special worship and ordination service.  I thank God for what He has done and continues to do in my life and in our family.   
  • Gretta had MOHS surgery in San Antonio to remove skin cancer on her nose on February 10. The area of cancer was so deep it ended up needing a skin graft to close it. Thankfully they were able to get all the cancer though and she is cancer free on her nose now.  She has recovered well and the Lord is continuing to heal her nose and collarbone where the graft was taken.  
  • We have been blessed to receive a wonderful ministry gift from Children's Ministry Deals!  They gave us 18 children's ministry curriculum series that we will be able to use in Roatan to reach children there with the gospel of Jesus Christ in fun and exciting studies and methods.
  • Saturday, March 19 our church is hosting a "Block Party" for the neighborhood behind our church.  We are having food, games, and a family movie to reach out to the families and individuals who live around our church.  Pray for good weather, a good turnout, and lots of opportunities to share the gospel and encourage our neighbors that day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

January 2016 Missions Update

Children's Ministry
We were blessed with an opportunity to attend the Texas Baptist Preschool & Children's Ministry Retreat in Granbury, TX on January 17-19th.  We were encouraged by a wonderful keynote speaker, Dr. Michael A. Evans, Sr. of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, TX.  We enjoyed the various breakout classes that were offered such as how to balance family and ministry and our favorite class "Growing in God's Word" that was presented by Lifeway Kids and taught us the levels of Biblical learning for children.  We were able to meet many different children's ministry vendors and see the latest products and curriculums as well.  It was a great time of spiritual renewal for us personally, for our ministry to children, and it gave us renewed vision for reaching the children in our local community with the gospel message.
(the Baptist church in Oak Ridge, Roatan, Honduras)

Roatan, Honduras Mission Trip 
The Lord gave us an incredible opportunity for our family to go to Roatan, Honduras (one of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras) on a mission trip Jan. 23-30th.  Our team was able to come alongside the believers at Oak Ridge First Baptist Church.  We served the children in Oak Ridge through a mini Vacation Bible School each morning and David taught the youth group in the afternoon using David Platt's Bible study for students called "Follow Me". David preached on Sunday morning at Oak Ridge First Baptist and on Sunday night we got to enjoy a joint worship service there with all the churches on the island.  Tuesday night we were asked to share our testimonies with the people there and on Thursday night we experienced a wonderful prayer service.  God blessed us through the people as they cared for our team.  There is a great need for a pastor at the church, for male leadership, and for discipleship on the island. Please join us in prayer as we seek God's will for our family as the people of Oak Ridge have asked that we would come be missionaries on the island to help meet these needs.

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 to:
First Baptist Church
RE:  David & Gretta Johns
300 E. Ocean Blvd.
Los Fresnos, TX 78566



We thank each of you for your continued partnership in our mission work and for keeping us lifted up to the Lord in prayers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Looking Back & Looking Ahead

Looking Back......2015 Ministry Highlights:

  • Started a new outreach ministry called "Hands & Feet" that helps meet physical and spiritual needs of families in our local community.
  • Partnered with the local high school Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) for various events.  David has also been working with Coaches Outreach for the high school sport coaches as well.
  • Hosting monthly events designed to reach the middle school and high school age youth of our church and local community. 
  • Abbey started a weekly time of fellowship for ladies of all ages and this fellowship time is open to church members and those in our local community. 
  • In July, we hosted a missions team from Decatur, AL that helped us in so many ways in our community evangelism and outreach and they did many projects at our church as well. 
Looking Ahead.......
On February 7 (which also happens to be David's birthday) he will be ordained in an official ordination service at First Baptist Church of Los Fresnos at 11:00AM.  We covet your prayers for him and our family over this very important step in our mission work and ministry.

On January 17-20, we will be attending the Texas Baptist Children's Ministry Retreat in Granbury, TX (about an 8 hour drive away).  This is a conference for those who work in Children's Ministry and we are looking forward to learning how to be more effective in reaching children with the gospel, getting new ideas for ministry, and seeing the latest children's ministry materials too.  Our pastor and his wife graciously volunteered to keep our kids so we can attend this conference and we greatly appreciate their help with the kids so we can attend this conference.  


January 22-31we will all 5 be going on a mission trip to Roatan, Honduras. This
will be the kids first international trip. We will be working specifically in the area of Oak Ridge, Roatan with a church there that currently has no pastor. They are also in great need of training of the nationals there, discipleship, and they are asking for a missionary family to come live in Oak Ridge to pastor the church and do mission work in the area and on the island. Each morning during our trip, will be doing a mini-VBS and then working with the youth in the afternoons. The evenings will be spent in the community with the people getting to know more about the daily life and specific needs of this area. We ask you to pray specifically for our family as we travel and serve there and more specifically, that the Lord will show us His will for our family and our future.

On February 10, Gretta will have surgery in San Antonio. She has a basal cell skin cancer on the side of her nose that continues to come back and MOHS surgery is now the only option to get it completely removed. We will be in San Antonio February 9 & 10 for her surgery. We are thankful to have caught it in the early stages but we still do not know how extensive the actual procedure will be. Please pray that it will not be a very complex procedure, that it will heal well with minimal scaring (she is not a candidate for plastic surgery like some patients have to repair the area), and that her recovery will go smoothly and quickly so she can continue to be active in our home & ministry.

To learn how you can partner with us in our mission work or how you can bless our family, click the "Partner With Us" tab at the top of this page.  Thank you and God bless you!  

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Looking back at 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, we look back over the last year and once again stand in amazement of who God is and how He continues to work in our lives.  The doors the Lord has opened for us to serve Him and spread the gospel have been amazing.  The new ministries He has given us the opportunity to start this year to reach people here locally with the love of God and the gospel have been wonderful and the chance to serve Him each and every day right here at the Texas-Mexico border is a blessing!

We knew when we made the decision to become full-time missionaries that there would be sacrifices, some easy and others hard.  We counted the costs and knew that we could lose our lives, lose our children, we would lose precious time and memories with our families, etc. but we also knew that following the Lord's calling in our lives was worth all the risks.  Over the past year, there have been mountaintops and valleys in our mission work.  This journey has not always led us where we thought we were going and outcomes weren't always what we anticipated or expected but there have been blessings amidst the curves life can throw us. There is no way to tell what's coming around the corner so you simply move forward in full faith trusting God for whatever lies ahead.   God has been SO faithful to us and He has revealed Himself to us so clearly over the past year. The God that you read about in the Bible (the healer, the comforter, the faithful one, the sustainer, the omnipresent, etc.) is still the same God today!  So it is with excitement and anticipation, that we look forward to 2016.

One song has really spoke to us the past few months as we think about what all the Lord has done and allowed us to do in 2015.  It is the song "Never Once" by Matt Redman and the words say:

Standing on this mountaintop, look at just how far we've come
knowing that for every step, you were with us
kneeling on this battleground, seeing just how much you've done
knowing every victory, was your power in us
scars and struggles on our way, but with joy our hearts can say
yes, our hearts can say...

Never once did we ever walk alone
never once did you leave us on our own
you are faithful, God you are faithful

Kneeling on this battleground, seeing just how much you've done
knowing every victory was your power in us
scars and struggles on our way, but with joy our hearts can say
yes, our hearts can say...

Never once did we ever walk alone
never once did you leave us on our own
you are faithful, God you are faithful.  

We want to say a huge "THANK YOU" to each of you who so faithfully keep us lifted up in prayers each day too. Prayer is one of our most important weapons against Satan and we covet your prayers for our mission work, our ministries, our outreach to the people here, and for our family.  To those of you who are "holding the rope" financially, THANK YOU because we couldn't be here doing what the Lord has called us to do without our financial ministry partners.  We pray that 2016 will be a blessed year for you and your family too.  We look forward to continuing to serve the Lord in 2016 and appreciate each of you who make it possible for us to be here.  To God be the glory! 


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Family Update - October

The seasons change, and you change, but your Lord abides evermore the
same, and the streams of His love are as deep, as broad, and as full as ever.”
~ Charles Spurgeon

October was a very busy month for our family with multiple ministry opportunities to our students, our local community, and an evangelism outreach event too (you can read about those in other posts below). Our weekdays are busy too with youth band practice on Monday nights, Knitted Together (a ladies fellowship started by Abbey) on Tuesday nights, we both teach a class on Wednesday nights, Nursing Home Ministry on Thursdays, and on Fridays we try to spend time with the kids and do something as a family. Of course, Saturdays are often filled with ministry activities and we both teach on Sundays. Oh, and we homeschool in the midst of all that and the kids recently started mixed martial arts classes two days a week to learn self-defense too!

You may be thinking "busy" but BLESSED is what we call it. Blessed to have the opportunity to be so active and involved in our church, our community, and in the spread of the gospel in this
area. 

We have some fun moments that we've been blessed to share recently too. 
 Wyatt found a live eel at the beach! We got pictures of it and then moved away.
The kids all got good reports at their yearly checkups.
Alabama beat Texas A&M ....in Texas! (ROLL TIDE)

We watched the entire super moon lunar eclipse from start to finish.

We thank God for our faithful family and friends who are “holding the rope for us through both prayer and financial partnerships.  We could not be here doing what we are called to do without each of you who so faithfully lift us up in prayers and give financially to our family.  We thank God for each of you everyday in our family worship time!