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