Tom & Leslie Johnson News – May 2021

Refugee Special Request Update

Thank you to the many who responded so quickly to our request to help our refugee friends! The story is developing. I (Tom) had started the process of helping them move in two directions. One of those options has closed. The other has continued to move forward. A new Christian ministry in another country is managing much of the paperwork, and a church in another city of that country, one which has extensive experience receiving refugees, has agreed to host this family, if we can get them there and arrange the needed financial support.

Because we now know the destination city, we have a more accurate budget estimate. That is $27,000 (USD), a little more than our earlier number. Our church office reports they have already received $15,650 toward the budget, almost 60%. We are grateful for your wonderful response!

A big thank you to all who donated so far.

I am grieved that I cannot do anything to help the millions of Christians who are refugees, but maybe, with God’s grace, this family can get a new start.

Because this budget is not appropriate for Global Scholars, our church in North Carolina is overseeing donations. If you can send a donation within the US, please send a check to:

Cross Creek Presbyterian Church
430 S McPherson Church Rd,
Fayetteville, NC 28303

You should mention in a note “Refugee Ministry.”  If you feel comfortable doing so, please send an email to Tom, so he knows about funds coming. His email is

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.

Please pray for the people doing the paperwork in the receiving country, that God give them endurance and precision. Pray for the refugee family; I know the dad gets overwhelmed when he thinks about getting sent home to a Muslim-extremist country to be executed because he believed in Christ.

First Joint Book

Our Humanitarian Islam/WEA religious freedom joint working group is in the final stages of our first joint book. The book should be published in Indonesia in a few weeks to celebrate some special events in Jakarta. I wrote two chapters of the book. This project is a demonstration that some Christians and some Muslims can work together to promote religious freedom. Our hope is that projects of this type can slowly convince more Muslims to embrace freedom of religion, since so much persecution of Christians originates in Muslim extremism.

Leslie’s Update

My ACSI Europe colleagues and I have started looking forward to the Student Leadership Conference held in September each year. We are praying it can be face-to-face this year and are planning accordingly. Last year’s was online. Europe is starting to open up now, so we are hopeful. Please pray for wisdom as we work out the details.

I have started work on revamping my series of workshops on “Teaching with Cultural Intelligence.” Pray for me to have wisdom to make this helpful for teachers so that children grow in their cultural sensitivity.

ICCM Cohort
I continue to grow and learn as I study and meet with my cohort, sub-cohort, and mentor. Pray for me to manage time well so I can continue to delve into books and webinars about topics of cultural sensitivity. (I am sure you can see the connection between my cohort and ACSI work right now.  🙂

An Undefined Process (by Tom)

For the last few months I have been participating in Zoom meetings with an informal group of Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant leaders and scholars to talk about the genocide unrolling in the western Sahel. Many of the victims are Christians in Nigeria and neighboring countries. The participants in this group agree that any real solutions will have to be partly independent of governments. Please pray that God would give this group good ideas. Many of these people met at US State Department meetings on religious freedom; now we meet both with and without the State Dept. Our hope is that leaders of ISIS and Boko Haram would meet with Muslim leaders from other countries to be held accountable according to Muslim teachings. This might stop the bloodshed, and we cannot be sure it is impossible until we try.

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:

  • For 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. They are working on a jointly authored book.
  • Wise next steps for WEA-Vatican relations.
  • Tom as he considers which books to write next.
  • Wisdom for Leslie as she develops her series of workshops on “Teaching with Cultural Intelligence.”
  • 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.
  • The refugee family who will need tremendous courage to face huge challenges in their up-coming transition. Pray for protection from discouragement.

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.