December 2012 - Update

Singing "Jesus Loves Me" with International Community Church

Dear Support Team,

Merry Christmas!! What a blessing to celebrate the birth of Christ—God with us! There is no better gift.

Already the Advent season has been filled with joy as we continue to seek out supporting partners for our future ministry in Japan. Last weekend we had the honor of visiting International Community Church in Columbia, MO. The pastor of this church and his wife, Bill & Lori Younker, graciously welcomed us, practically strangers, into their home. Bill & Lori fed us more good food, hot drinks, and apple pie than we could hold. Beyond such warmhearted offerings, they brought us into their church ministry on Sunday morning to worship with and minister to people of various tribes, tongues & nations. What a tremendous foreshadowing of Heaven!

The morning started out with donuts & fellowship with Lori’s 5th & 6th grade girls’ class—including girls from China, India, S. Korea, & Tanzania. Mostly we giggled (Jo Beth and the girls –John guffawed) and got to know each other. John asked each girl when she first heard about Jesus, and we delighted to hear a wide range of testimonies. After that, all the kids in the church gathered around, and together with the congregation we practiced singing “Jesus Loves Me” in Japanese. Ironically, the church currently has no Japanese attendees—so God received our praise in the Japanese language, accepting our funny American, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern accents! After that, John shared a sermon from Philippians 2, a Gospel message of Christ’s humble sacrifice and model for us.

We are grateful to the Younkers and ALL of you dear people who have shown such grace to us and obedience to Christ during our time of ministry partnership development! Christmas means a little more to us this year, as God has shown love and provision in a great variety of ways and through many different people. As the body of Christ-followers, filled with the Holy Spirit, Christ really is here among us!

With love & affection for you, John & Jo Beth

• One-Time Need support level: 91% (oops-made a previous calculation error)
• Monthly Support Level: 37%