Tom and Leslie Johnson – Global Scholars – April/May 2020

News from Tom and Leslie Johnson

April Update – Leslie

First, THANK YOU!! We would not be where we are without your prayers. We are full of gratitude to the Lord and to you!

Financial Update
Donations are down a couple percent this year from last fiscal year, but we do not have the large costs of an international move this year. With your continued generosity, we are optimistic about finishing our fiscal year in the black at the end of June.

Ministry during the stay-at-home orders…
As you have heard from our March adventures, all but one speaking engagement for me and one meeting (on Zoom) for Tom, were cancelled. I spoke to four classes of middle school students (about 100 total) in the Netherlands. After getting to Prague, we were there only 8 days before we had the mad dash to get back to the US so we would not get stuck in Europe. (If you did not have opportunity to read about our crazy race to get home before borders closed, you can read about that adventure here.)

After two weeks of self-isolating in an RV in a campground, we moved home to be with Aimee and her son. Then our son-in-law got an exception and was able to return from a military deployment early. After his two weeks of quarantine, he, too, returned home. Since early April, we have been together in the house, keeping the physical distance from other people while trying to continue our work and ministry. In other words, we do not want to have “social distance” from people but just “physical distance.”

Besides continuing our work from home, our son-in-law and I have done a lot of gardening. The yard, both front and back, had been neglected. The front had not been weeded since last summer. The back yard had turned into a jungle due to about four years of neglect.

Ministry during the stay-at-home orders…
During the time at home, we have still been working. For Tom, his life has not changed much since a lot of his work is from his computer at his desk. Praying, thinking, writing – all have continued without much change. You can see his update below.

My work has changed some. Before the trip to Europe in March, I was working on my speaking preparations; now there is nothing in sight. However, our ACSI Europe staff have been working on a big project. So, I have spent time reading and editing that project, as well as having online meetings with my ACSI Europe colleagues one or two times a week.

After a lot of that work is done, I want to develop lesson plans for teachers to use to help children and students discuss and develop cultural intelligence. My blog on cultural intelligence has been sorely neglected and I would like to pick that up again, too. I need to be reading more, though, and that is proving a bit more challenging these days. In Prague, a lot of my reading was while I was going from one place to another on public transportation. Now, I don’t have that carved out time to read. And as I live with a busy young family, I find myself doing other things than sit and read. 🙂

Thank you for your continued support in prayer and with finances! We cannot do what the Lord has called us to do without your help.

Major Report on Evangelical/Muslim Relations – Tom

During the last year I have invested thousands of pages of reading, some 40,000 miles of travel to meetings, dozens of emails, and many hours of phone and video calls in response to a request I received about a week after last year’s Easter bombings in Sri Lanka. The world’s largest Muslim organization wanted Christians to know that they were appalled by violence committed by Muslims against Christians. Now the World Evangelical Alliance and the Humanitarian Islam movement have announced a long-term joint working group to respond to both religious extremism and secular extremism. I was asked to lead the Christian team in this joint effort. Below is the summary of a press release from the WEA, followed by links to reports in the Muslim and Christian press.

Global Evangelical and Muslim organizations
launch major joint religious freedom project

(Bonn, 21.04.2020) Leaders from the world’s largest independent Muslim organization and the world’s largest Evangelical Christian organization are beginning a joint effort to respond globally to threats to religious freedom coming from religious extremism and secular extremism. They have appointed top-level theologians, human rights theorists, and religious freedom activists from both religions to a Humanitarian Islam/World Evangelical Alliance joint working group to reshape the global discussions and interactions of religions in academia, public life, education, conflict resolution, and humanitarian needs. This comes in direct response to terrible levels of religious persecution and religiously motivated violence seen in the twenty-first century.

This is a press release on a Muslim website.

This is the press release on the WEA website.

Click HERE for the link to get to Tom’s academic website.
Click HERE for the link to get to Leslie’s website and blog.

Thank you so much!

We appreciate you all and are thankful for the Lord’s work through you!

Join us in thanking the Lord for:

  • Overall, continued good health for both of us.
  • Leslie’s opportunity to speak to students in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
  • Safe return from Europe back in March, as well as no contact with the COVID-19 virus in our travels.
  • Tom’s opportunity to write a report on Jakarta.


Please join us in praying for:

  • Our work from home to be encouraging and helpful from afar.
  • Leslie to make time to read the books which are important for her work.
  • For her work to develop the lesson plans for cultural intelligence that would be helpful examples for teachers.
  • The Lord to bless the ACSI Europe project Leslie is helping with.
  • Continued wisdom for Tom as he (on behalf of the WEA) engages the world’s largest Muslim group about religious freedom. What are the next steps? He is reading constantly about these questions.
  • Wise next steps for WEA-Vatican relations.
  • The project Komensky 2020, celebrating the Christian life and teaching of Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius), has launched in public schools, libraries, and churches across the Czech Republic. This has been challenging to keep going with the closing of schools in the Czech Republic. Pray for wisdom and opportunity for teachers to access and use this project in their classrooms.
  • Creative ideas to help persecuted Christians around the world.

Global Scholars:
PO Box 12147
Overland Park KS 66282-2147