News from Tom & Leslie Johnson
Refugee Special Request Update
I (Tom) try to pray daily for the Christian refugee family with whom we are working. Sometimes they get overwhelmed with the uncertainty of their situation. When we first met in early 2020, we set up a system of encrypted text messaging on our phones; I get regular reports in this way.
Initially we worked on plans A (America), B (Brazil), and C (Canada). Plan C is working, thanks to a small number of dedicated Christians in Ontario. The extensive legal and financial paperwork is ready to go the Canadian government, and a church is ready to receive the family and accompany them through the transition. Our church in North Carolina just sent a first check to Canada toward the family’s transition costs.
- That the family will experience comfort and courage from the Holy Spirit. They are paying a large price for accepting Christ. The risk of being sent back to a Muslim country is still hanging over them; they could face execution if sent back.
- That the paperwork would be approved by the government. We had a specialist in immigration law review the papers before submission.
- That the budget bucket gets filled to the top. So far, our church has received $19,000 of the needed $27,000. Please consider what you can do. To avoid delays we should have the budget donated or pledged before the end of June. If you can, please tell me about donations or pledges, firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently the father wrote that every night before bed they read a chapter from the Old Testament, a Psalm, and a chapter from the New Testament, before praying for many people. I would like them to get a new opportunity to serve in the church and in society, and I am grateful that they mention me in their prayers.
Checks should mention “Refugee Ministry” and be sent to:
Cross Creek Presbyterian Church
430 S McPherson Church Rd.
Fayetteville, NC 28303
If you cannot send a US check, write to Tom or Leslie to arrange donations. Several friends sent donations in other ways; we have transferred those funds to our church.
International Religious Freedom Summit
n 2018 and 2019 I (Tom) participated in the US Ministerial in Support of Religious Freedom held by the US State Department in Washington during the summer. That is not happening this year. In its place, without the State Department, former Ambassador Sam Brownback has called an International Religious Freedom Summit, https://irfsummit.com/. Many organizations that participated in the former “Ministerials” are participating in this Summit, including the WEA. Some of the individual sessions are still being planned, so I cannot say much about what I have to do, but I expect it to be a busy week for me.
US State Department Meetings
After a short break, the US State Department is restarting zoom meetings with religious leaders, scholars, and diplomats. Though I am unsure of the results, I am happy to participate. In some of the meetings I have been the only Christian spokesperson; in others the only Protestant. At every step I try to earn the right to communicate part of the biblical message by means of the quality of what I say about religious freedom. Because I am not paid by the State Department, I have freedom to say what I believe; and because the WEA represents such a large body of Christians, it is hard for the State Department to reject a WEA spokesperson. It is a strange role, but I am glad for the opportunity to bring both serious research and the Christian message into these meetings.
I am still working on ACSI projects, though because of summer, it has slowed down considerably. I have finished some of the work revamping the “Teaching with Cultural Intelligence,” and just have to finalize a few things.
My ICCM Cohort will continue throughout the summer months. One thing hanging is my practicum. It got put on hold in January due to COVID. Please pray we can pick it up again this summer. Pray for me to also manage time well so I can continue to delve into books and webinars about topics of cultural sensitivity.
We thank the Lord for:
- Fantastic progress in helping the refugee family!
- Tom’s opportunity to coordinate a team of Evangelicals and Indonesian Muslims.
- Opportunities for Tom to advise the State Department.
- Leslie’s opportunity to continue working with her ACSI EU and Global colleagues to strengthen Christian teachers, administrators, and schools.
- Leslie’s opportunity to study theology and intercultural competence to contextualize her training and experience to the US setting.
Please join us in praying for:
- The rest of the money needed to come in for the refugee family.
- The refugee family’s transition to a new culture. They will need tremendous courage to face huge challenges in their up-coming transition. Pray for protection from discouragement.
- The Lord’s purposes for COVID-19 to be accomplished around the world and that he would end it. Soon. Lord willing, by the end of 2021.
- Creative ideas to help persecuted Christians around the world and safe places for them to go.
- Leslie’s work with ACSI Europe as the team plans the Student Leadership Conference for September 2021.
- Continued wisdom for Tom as he (on behalf of the WEA) engages the world’s largest Muslim group about religious freedom. Their jointly authored book should be released soon.
- Wise next steps for WEA-Vatican relations.
- Tom as he considers which books to write next.
- For Christians around the world to be strengthened to serve God and others in their communities, whether those “others” are different in beliefs, color of skin, nationalities, etc.
Thank you for your faithful prayer for us as well as your financial gifts that allow us to do the work He has called us to.
Tom & Leslie Johnson
Update from Grace Covenant Ministries
Blessed to be a blessing. Serving our risen Savior and Lord is a blessing. We were blessed to host a community Easter Egg Hunt. Some of the activities had to be held inside the gym because of rain. However, the smiles of the children brightened our day. A local pastor shared the story of Easter and talked about the love of God, which is the best blessing of all.
Rain forced some activities inside.
Easter Egg Hunt
The meaning of Easter explained
Paul Smith, a retired professor from Auburn University, who has spent several years on the mission field, led some classes on bird identification. How blessed we are to be able to enjoy the work of our Creator, who has made a vast variety of creatures for us to enjoy.
Looking at the beauty of God’s creation
Learning to identify some of God’s creatures
Throughout our history, we have been blessed to receive financial gifts from churches and individuals. Your support has helped us share the love of our Creator and Lord with those we have been called to serve in Appalachia. Some of you have asked how you can support our efforts through gifts of property, corporate shares, IRA distributions, and crop shares. We urge you to talk to your financial/tax advisor. If you have general questions, you can contact Jake Moss at 712-360-5249. To those give online, you can use the link below.
RCA Global Mission does not receive denominational assessments or covenant shares. We depend on the faithful generosity of churches and individuals.
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Grand Rapids, MI 49512
We want to thank you for your prayers for our family, specifically regarding all our medical issues over the past few months. Here’s a quick update on all that and a note about what lies ahead.
In April, Krystiana broke her arm in 3 places and had to have pins put in it. She has made a good recovery. Her pins were removed the middle of May and her final cast/brace removed last week. She’s learned to write quite well with her left hand over the last month.
Robyn had a follow-up appointment with a doctor at the University of Michigan hospital regarding some nodules growing on her vocal cords which keep her in a constant state similar to that of laryngitis. The vocal cords have been stressed and are misshapen, which causes further stress. She has been assigned some vocal therapy to retrain the vocal cords and, eventually, as the vocal cords heal the nodules should go away.
I, Levi, had a cardiac ablation on May 18. Unfortunately, the doctor was unable to ablate the target area that is responsible for the tachycardia as it is close to other important structures of the heart; the AV node. If the AV node were damaged during the process of ablating, I could have come home with a pacemaker so the decision was made to leave well-enough alone. However, in the process of seeking out the area to be ablated, another issue did present itself and was able to be ablated. I will presumably be on medication for the tachycardia and arrhythmia until God gives me a new body. I hear there will likely be many other things that will break down on this body in the meantime as well.
The good news is that we have received the go-ahead from my cardiologist and our doctor in Papua New Guinea to return mid-July so preparations are being made for that. We cannot express enough our gratitude for Wakeshma Community Church providing us with a house for the last 5 months. We are working to pack up, again, for our return. Our mission is seeking the government’s approval for us to be able to re-enter PNG (a new requirement thanks to COVID) and once that is granted, we will begin looking for tickets. Your prayers are appreciated for all the details in this upcoming transition; paperwork, reasonable plane fares, negative covid tests, etc. This is a very hard transition for some of our kids, so be praying for them as well.
Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, and support,
Levi & Robyn Lenz
Serving the North Wahgi people of Papua New Guinea
Facebook: Lenz’s View
June 1, 2021
Dear praying friend,
“And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life…“ Deuteronomy 17:9
It was great to teach once again! Thanks for your prayers as the InDesign course went on these past three weeks. Teaching via Zoom, while having several advantages, proved a little difficult at times, but we’re thankful for patient students! One of the difficulties was juggling five different time zones. For some of the students, the course interrupted their dinner. For others, they would normally be going to bed when the course started.
We’re hoping God will mightily use what was taught to bring the Gospel to many more children in Europe and Asia—that the children will take hold of the Word of God and read it all the days of their lives!
The office continues to take shape. We’re grateful for the mudding and taping, which was done by a gentleman we got in contact with through one of our supporting churches.
- The InDesign course went very well, and for the nine students and an interpreter who took part.
- Our office is nearly completed—thank God for the help we got mudding and taping!
- Amy is really enjoying her job at Sweet Treats—a candy and ice cream parlor in town.
- For the students who took the InDesign course, that they will be able to effectively use what they’ve learned.
- Pray we can finish the office soon!
- Tomorrow (Tuesday, June 1), Brent is traveling to upstate NY to help with final packing and drive his parents down to central PA. Please pray for:
- Safety traveling up June 1.
- All the details of the sale of the house in NY and the purchase of the one in PA.
- We’re having difficulty getting a U-haul truck. We’re specifically wanting to go with U-haul as there’s a drop-off location minutes away from here. Please pray we can get that nailed down by Thursday.
- The loading of the truck on Thursday night.
- The drive down to PA on Friday.
- Closing on Monday, June 7
- Safety unloading that afternoon/evening.
- June 19–24 we are taking part in CEF of Pennsylvania’s Christian Youth in Action® training school. Please pray we will be a blessing to the teens and staff!
Thank you! We greatly covet your prayers!
Copyright © 2021 Brent and Jen Hautle, All rights reserved.
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