Saturday, December 27, 2014

DAYS 28-32 – December 28, 2014 - "Pray For Missionary Adjustments."

First off let me say Thank You for joining us in this very special Season of Prayer. It has been several days since I wrote an update for you and I wanted to give you just a brief explanation. The last few days have been filled with Christmas and family activities. As I write this update, Hope and I are sitting in the “Tree Top” restaurant in Hua Hin, Thailand. It has been many years since we have been able to take a “beach” type vacation so on Friday at 6:00A.M., we loaded up our truck and began our trip from the far Northern part of Thailand and drove 16 hours straight South with our two teenage boys and two of their friends. We will be spending a few days here and then on Tuesday we will load up the truck again and head back with another 16 hour drive, but this time straight North. So let’s consider this PRAYER DAYS 28-32.
Today we want to shed a little light on some of the struggles that most missionaries face so that you will know a little better how to pray for us/them.
The first struggle I want to ask you to pray about is the struggle I call “Missionary Church Life Adjustment.” Most of the people that come out as missionaries have been very active in local church life in their home churches in their home country. However, when they arrive on the field, because of language and cultural challenges, many do not make the transition well and instead of trying to assist current local churches in evangelism and discipleship, many loose heart and begin to form what some have called “Club House Churches” which are almost if not in completely and exclusively made up of native English speakers and they never really make the transition to genuinely serving and reaching out to the native people who need these Christian relationships in order to grow  and mature.
Please join us in praying that missionaries – especially new ones – would realize the importance of being intentionally involved and serving in a local church in the country in which they serve and love the nationals enough to be involved in local church life in that country.
Many of these missionaries for example serve as a “missionary in Thailand” without any genuine connection with a local church and do not see the value of “church life” on the field with nationals and there are so many ways in which they could assist and serve and strengthen these local churches even if they do not know the language or if they are only going to serve in those countries for only one or two years.

Prayer Example: “Oh, Heavenly Father, we thank you for raising up and sending out missionaries all over the world. We pray that You would bless them and help them through their adjustments and help them to make the right adjustments to “church life” as they serve you in a foreign country. Help them to be intentional and make the “local church” a priority in their lives. Help them to provide not only the right example for national believers but also help them to be intentional about making disciples and joining you as You have declared Your intention to “Build your church” all over the world. We pray in Jesus name.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

DAY 27 – "God Is Looking For A Few More Ordinary People." - December 23, 2014

As I shared with you in our update on Day 2, God is in the business of using ordinary people. When God is about to do something extra ordinary, He looks to see if He can find some ordinary person or people whose heart belongs to God and who will be obedient and do the thing God wants to be done. We see this when we look at the life of Abraham, or the life of Noah, or the life of Moses, and the lives of many men and women God used in the Bible.
God’s Word says, “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His....” 2 Chronicles 16:9.
When God finds someone who is willing to do what God wants to get done, God extends an invitation to that person to join Him in what God is doing. God extended that invitation to our family some 17 years ago on a business trip to Thailand.

After many confirmations that God wanted us to move to Thailand and serve the Thai people, our family sold our home, cars, etc. and boarded a plane bound for Thailand. We landed in Thailand on January 13, 1999 and have served the Lord here since that time. Here is a picture of our family around that time. Our oldest, Jessica (now Jessica Davenport), was 9, Elizabeth (now Liz Vaughn) was 6, Joshua was 1&1/2 and Hope was 7 months pregnant with Caleb. The journey God has brought us on has been an awesome journey. If we had to do it again, we would choose to follow God’s plans for our lives again with no regrets. We are truly ordinary people but let me say very clearly to you today that we serve an extra ordinary God who has great plans for our lives. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Has God been speaking to you about coming to serve the Lord here with us? We could use some long term people as well as some folks who would be willing to commit to serving for 2 years or more. If God is extending an invitation to your heart, then the best thing you can do is answer His invitation with “here I am Lord, send me.” If that is not what the Lord is saying to you, would you pray that the Lord of the Harvest would send out laborers for His harvest fields here. The fields are ripe for the harvest. Please take a moment and watch this short 4 minute clip on “Go into the World.” 

There are many roles and “ministry” opportunities but the first step is saying “Yes, Lord, if you want me to go, I will go.” A second step would then be to write a personal note to NTIM at Let’s go to the Lord in prayer together.

Prayer Example: “Oh, Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity you give ordinary people like us to serve you for your extra ordinary purposes. We see, Lord, where you are at work in and around Northern Thailand reaching many of the least reached peoples in the world but we also recognize that the laborers are few. We ask that you would raise up people who will go and serve You. We pray for those reading these updates that you might call out some to go and that you might use them to tell others about this great need. May you be pleased to call out others to go and serve You through NTIM who are willing to let You use them in extra ordinary ways to reflect your love and mercy to millions who have never heard your message. We pray this in the name of our Lord Jesus. Amen.”

Monday, December 22, 2014

DAY 26 – Lighting Up the Darkness BEACH HEAD Vision - December 22, 2014

As we have shared many times before. We are seeing God’s hand at work in the heart of South East Asia changing peoples’ lives like never before. As you have joined us in this Season of Prayer these last 25 days and some of you joined us last year during this Season of Prayer, you have seen God responding to those prayers. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not be able to stand against it.” One of the places God is building his church is in Chiang Rai, Thailand, right in the heart of dozens of unreached people groups and among millions and millions of people who do not know Jesus as their personal Savior.
God has chosen to use a small group of people living in Chiang Rai to make disciples of hundreds of people, most of whom are 1st generation believers. 1st generation believers are normally the first people in their entire families to become followers of Jesus. What started as a small group of 8 believers in the Johnson home some 13 years ago has blossomed into a growing, thriving, community focused church made up of people from over 23 identifiable people groups and involved in outreach/evangelistic ministries related to teaching English, caring for those affected by HIV/AIDS, caring and ministering to various children’s homes, reaching out to the community and neighboring countries, and most importantly very committed to making disciples of all the nations God brings across our path.

We are very grateful for the partners and friends that God has surrounded us with including our partnership with various churches, and individuals all over the world who support the Johnson family and their team of partners in God’s work here in Northern Thailand.

We have been very intentional these past 13 years to focus upon evangelism, discipleship and building the people of God into a family and have yet to purchase a piece of property and put up a physical structure of our own. We have spent the last 13 years investing our people and resources in making disciples, building a flock and creating various outreach platforms and ministries. 

As I shared with our prayer partners last year and want to repeat that again this year, we sense that it is God’s timing to now say to the darkness that ‘we are here to stay’ through the purchase of land and then by building a multi-purpose facility that will facilitate a greater ability to reach the nations for Jesus and will strengthen the integrity of the outreach platforms we have created already and will create in the days ahead as God leads.”
We have been using rented property for the last 13 years and we sense that it is time to tell the darkness we are here to stay by raising enough funds to purchase land and complete phase 1. God has planted the “church body” in a place in Northern Thailand that is strategically located between two major universities in Chiang Rai – Mae Fah Luang University and Rajabhat University where there are approximately 30,000 students between the two campuses. We are anticipating the need to purchase between 2-3 rai of land (2.5 rai = 1 acre) for this specific project and estimate the cost of land to be somewhere around $166,666 U.S. dollars. I am pleased to say that God has given us more than we asked of Him. I am reminded of the passage in Ephesians 3:20 that says, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.”

We are also pleased to say that God burdened the heart of a very sweet Thai lady that we met a little over a year ago and she “donated” a piece of land to us where we had every intention of building this multi-purpose facility but God has prevented us from building in this location where this land was “donated.” I must confess that we have only once before in our history of serving here in Thailand experienced what I would call clearly demonic opposition to God’s work. The past year has been filled with confirmation after confirmation that we are to move forward with building this Beach head for Jesus but the part that is still not clear is “where.” We are fully committed to seeing this vision from God take physical form but we do want to make sure it is in the location where God’s work can flourish and not be hindered. Without going into the details, let us just say it has been clear that this “donated” piece of property cannot be transferred to us and that we are now looking for another piece of property that will allow us to complete the work God has called us to do.

Please pray for us as we seek to follow the leadership of our Lord in finding and purchasing the piece of property God wants us to have. We also anticipate partnering with good friends from another mission agency (ABWE) to purchase additional connecting land for them to build a “sports complex/student Center” they will call the “CLAY CENTER (Changing Lives Among Youth) as a ministry outreach that will partner with our ministry and we will share our facilities and resources for the expansion of God’s kingdom in this part of God’s world.

PROJECT NEEDSThe first phase (PHASE 1) of this project is related to the purchase of land.

The second phase (PHASE 2) of this project is related to partnering with construction type teams from the U.S. and Australia and wherever God raises up partners to build a multi -purpose facility that will house Grace Language School, Baan Athitaan Church, NTIM/Channel of Blessing Foundation Office, and partner offices like Hearts & Hands Foundation. This will tremendously cut our overhead expenses and move us greatly down the path to more self sufficiency.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT– WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR ALL THE GENEROUS DONATIONS THAT HAVE COME IN OVER THE PAST YEAR. If you have not given and would like to give, we are still taking donations because we will still have building expenses to think about. We are asking all of our friends and partners who have not given to this project to please pray about giving to this very strategic cause. We are requesting that all funding from the U.S.A. or other countries outside of Thailand for this specific project be routed through NTIM. All of your donations to NTIM are tax deductible. Checks can be made out to NTIM, P.O. Box 26115, Birmingham, AL 35260 or you may donate online at

Prayer Example: “Lord, we have been reminded today of how You are at work building Your church in Northern Thailand. We thank You for allowing us who have been praying to be a part of seeing young people give their heart to Jesus. We thank You for allowing us to see how You are using 1st generation believers to reach and disciple other 1st generation believers. We thank You for Grace Language School and how you are using them to reach out not only to Thai people but to Chinese people and Laotian people, and Burmese people and many others.  We do sense that it is Your time for them to establish a more permanent beach head and to say to the forces of darkness that God’s work through NTIM is there to stay. We ask that You would open the storehouses of heaven and provide NTIM with the needed resources in money and personnel to do all that You have put in their hearts to do. Please guide them as they seek for the piece of property that can best be utilized for Your purposes in that part of Your world. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.”

Sunday, December 21, 2014


As I write this update, it is Sunday evening in Thailand and we are all very pleased with your partnership with us through your prayers this past weekend. As you know we put on our single largest evangelistic event this past Friday night at Baan Athitaan Church. We had skits and performances from our university students, from several of the Children’s homes that are vital part of our church family (like Baan Eden, Happy Home, and CFPM) and from several others who wanted to participate. I don’t know how many people were here but we estimate somewhere around 400. Here are a few pictures for you and a video link below.

It was a great time of celebrating the Birth of our Lord Jesus with our community. At the beginning of the program, I shared a very brief message on the real meaning of Christmas and how Jesus loved so much that He gave. If you would like to see some of our pictures and you have Facebook, you can click on the following link and see lots of them.

Most of you prayed for Garn yesterday and I asked him to put together a video clip of our Christmas program for you. He did a great job. Here is a clip that will encourage your heart.

Prayer Example: “Lord, We thank You for all those who are in Northern Thailand serving You and working together for the expansion of Your kingdom and to make the name of Jesus famous in that part of Your world. We pray for all those who heard the message of Jesus this past weekend for the first time that they would consider the truth that You love them and have a wonderful plan for their life if they will only embrace and receive Your gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Help them to understand that Jesus is “The Prince of Peace.” We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.”