"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.
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.
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
" 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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
____________________________________________________________________ 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.