Posted by: johnsons2dr | May 8, 2017

 

Reinforcements

In recent days we have been hoping and praying that the Lord would send another couple to our ministry to help with the increased work load. As we  now are beginning our 2nd and 3rd church plants in the city, our need for help in these endeavors has also multiplied. Since the departure of our last teammates, due to a serious health issue, the youth have also been in great need of a leader and mentor. We praise the Lord that the Schepers family has been sensitive to the Lord’s leading and has chosen to join the ministry here in San Francisco de Macorís. Stew and Donna will be vital members in all areas of the church planting efforts, and will add many years of experience to our ministry. We praise the Lord for this new chapter in both of our lives!

Help from Home!

In March we had the great pleasure of hosting a work group from our home church, Temple Baptist of Herndon, VA. The group came to help continue the construction of the new church plant and Community Center in Vista del Valle. In just one week, these dedicated laborers did an amazing amount of work, laying over 2500 block, and building various pieces of furniture for the new church. What a  great encouragement it was to have our friends come help in the work of the Lord!

Increased faith

Every April we take time as a church to concentrate on World Missions. This year we had the great privilege of hosting church planting missionaries from Honduras, Matt and Dallita Goins. Through the challenging messages from Bro. Matt, our church nearly doubled their faith-promise commitments. Please pray that God would continue to provide for those who have increased their faith!

Posted by: johnsons2dr | February 25, 2017

January / February 2017

Welcome Back!

A little over 4 years ago our first congregation was given an incredible opportunity to worship in an unused church building rent-free for 2 years. This was very beneficial to us as we were able to save money for the construction of our first building. Recently, a Haitian man in our church, Marco Laurencier, was burdened to start a Bible study in his native language, Creole. It is estimated that there are over 1 million Haitian immigrants here in the DR due to the lack of jobs and poor standard of living in Haiti. There are few Haitian churches here, and even fewer that clearly preach the Gospel. So, Marco asked the caretaker of this church if he could begin a weekly Bible study there. She readily agreed and has not only given him free access to the church, but she has also provided a sound system and projector. In just a few short months of studies, this group has flourished, and has about 25 adults attending each week. Please pray for the continued growth of this needed ministry!

Purposeful Progress!

During January and February we made amazing progress on the new church and Community Center in Vista del Valle. A few months of relatively dry weather enabled us to put full efforts into the construction. We recently received a generous donation that will allow us to complete about 75% of the construction. Please pray that the remaining 25% ($20,000) will come in according to God’s perfect timing. Thank you for your  continued prayers and support for this new ministry!

Prayer Requests:

*Salvation of visitors and spiritual growth of believers

*New church plant / Community Center – provision and construction

Posted by: johnsons2dr | February 25, 2017

November / December 2016

A Christ centered Christmas! 

This Christmas season saw us once again very busy with many outreach opportunities in our community as we celebrated the birth of the Savior. Our church celebrated the season with a Christmas craft night, our annual presentation of the “The Nativity” movie, and church-wide caroling to our neighbors, during which we invited them to our Family Christmas Photo Day and Kids’ Christmas Presentation. We had many visitors during the season, and we believe many heard the Gospel for the first time. Pray with us as we seek to follow up with those who have visited and need to be saved. Thank you so much for praying for us and partnering with us this year as we have sought to make Him known! God bless you all in 2017 as you seek to please Him!

Breaking through! 

In mid-November we had the privilege to break ground on the new church building and Community Center for the work in Vista del Valle. The new work has had some exciting growth in the last 6 months as 2 of the men from our church continue to reach their neighbors for Christ in an area that has never had a Gospel-preaching church. God has provided in incredible ways up to this point. Please pray for the project as we have all but exhausted the current savings and donations for the project.

Prayer Requests:

*Salvation of visitors (Victor, Samuel, Joey, Felix)

*Continued good health and spiritual growth of our family

*Spiritual growth of believers in the upcoming year

*New church plant / Community Center – provision and construction

Posted by: johnsons2dr | November 11, 2016

September / October 2016

Unified for the Unreached

In October we began preparing for our Fall Revival with fervent prayer for those family members, neighbors,  and co-workers that had not yet trusted in Christ as their Savior. It was thrilling to see the church family draw close in unifying prayer as these special meetings approached. We were also encouraged by the faithfulness  and hard work displayed by the church family. God gave us three amazing nights, with many visitors, in which many heard the Gospel for the first time. Please pray for us as we follow up with the visitors, and the decisions that were made for Christ!

ABC’s and 123’s

Recently we officially opened our Community Center in the new church plant in Vista del Valle. Holly is teaching our first ESL class (English as a Second Language) to a growing group of people. The students are very excited about the opportunity to learn English from a native speaker for “free”! Please be in prayer for these classes that they not only provide a practical educational need to the very poor, but also open the doors to the families in the community as we seek to share the love of Jesus with them.

Construction 

We have received permission to build from the city and will be breaking ground next month! Please be in prayer for protection and provision of necessary funds for this project. If your church has a desire to come help us build, there are still open dates.

Prayer Requests 

*Follow up on visitors from the Fall Revival.

*Training and preparation of men in the church.

*New church plant / Community Center – provision, and construction

Posted by: johnsons2dr | July 13, 2016

May / June 2016

 

A Beautiful Beginning

After many months of dreaming, planning, and preparing, Vista del Valle Baptist Church opened its doors and held their first Bible study. We were thrilled to have over 35 in attendance, some of whom had never attended a Bible preaching church before. God blessed the special music, testimonies, and preaching of Brother Ari; and we had the thrill of seeing a man named Cristino place his faith in Jesus Christ. It was overwhelming to see the reception and enthusiasm of the visitors. We are praying that the Lord will also bless the opening of our Education Center later this fall, and that both the church and center would provide open doors for the preaching of the Gospel.

Fond Farewell

Tragically, a man from our church named Juan passed away at the age of 32 due to various health issues. He received Christ as Savior less than a year ago and was growing in the Lord.  His brother, Victor, who was instrumental in his salvation, desired to have a memorial service in our church. We had over 65 visitors for this service, in which many professed that they received Christ as their Savior. We will miss our friend, but we are comforted by the fact that through his death many were brought to life!

Construction Update

We will be building a new auditorium in Vista del Valle, starting in January 2017.  If you or your church have interest in being part of this project, please let us know!

Prayer Requests

*Provision of a new church van or bus.

*Training and preparation of Ari and Wilfreddy.

*New church plant / Education Center -plans, provisión, and construction

*Discipleship of new converts:  Estefany, Abel, Brenda

Posted by: johnsons2dr | May 12, 2016

March / April 2016

Fixer Upper! 

We know a lot of you in the US enjoy watching shows in which people purchase properties that are rundown and in need of dramatic renovations. People always love seeing how dirty and dingy the property is before the renovation begins, and everyone loves seeing how the property transforms. Well, we get to do the same here in the DR, but instead of transforming a small family home, our renovation will be a future church building and education center. It will be our joy to share with you the pictures of the renovations, showing the progress; but the the real “fixer upper” will take place in the hearts of those who come to the church and allow Jesus Christ to change, and completely transform their lives!

Never too late! 

Just a few weeks ago we had something amazing take place in our church.   A 97 year old man named Felix Ventura, the father of one of our faithful church members, came forward to be baptized.  Felix had received the Lord a number of years ago, but had never followed the Lord in believers’ baptism.  Erik asked Elias, his son, if he would like the opportunity to baptize his father; and he readily agreed. This testimony encouraged us all that it is never too late to follow the Lord and obey His commands!

Construction Update! 

We have purchased the new church building and are in the middle of renovation right now. However, we  also plan to build a new auditorium starting this January.  If you have interest in being part of this project, please let us know!

Prayer Requests

*Provision of a new church van or bus.

*Training and preparation of Ari and Wilfreddy.

*New church plant / Education Center – plans and renovations

*Discipleship of new converts:  Estefany, Abel, Brenda

Posted by: johnsons2dr | March 23, 2016

January / February 2016

The “Next” Big Step

Almost two years ago, two men in our congregation approached me about  pastoral training. They had been a part of a Pentecostal church and saw much doctrinal error and desired to receive a biblical education so that they could go back into their impoverished, and dangerous neighborhood to start a Baptist church. The Lord has worked in a mighty way, and we have begun to take those steps of faith to commission  these men and begin our second church plant in San Francisco de Macorís. Not only has God providentially provided the laborers, but it appears that He is miraculously providing the land!  This week, Lord-willing, we will be making an offer on a building that will serve as the future home of Viste del Valle  Baptist Church.

Construction

Some have already begun to ask about possible construction trips. Yes, we will be renovating and expanding the new building after the purchase. If you have interest in being part of this project please let us know!

Hoop it up!

This February we had the great privilege of hosting a work group from Bluegrass Baptist of Georgetown, KY. In addition to completing many projects,  they made a significant donation which enabled us to pave our parking lot and install a basketball court. We desire to use this court as a tool to reach the nearby youth and to share the Gospel with them. Recently we began our Monday night Basketball Outreach.  We have already seen many young people show interest, whose lives we hope to impact!  Please continue to pray!

Prayer Requests 

*Brianna Fluegge – clean bill of health as she recovers from brain cancer

*Training and preparation of Ari and Wilfreddy.

*New church plant / Education Center

*Salvation of friends, family, and recent church visitors

Posted by: johnsons2dr | March 23, 2016

November / December 2015

A season with the Savior! 

This Christmas season we wanted to help encourage our church members to focus on the Savior and the true meaning of His birth, instead of  getting bogged down with the worldly traditions of Christmas that sometimes permeate our lives.  Thus, we attempted some new types of outreach: buying small gifts for those in our  neighborhood to be given during a night of Christmas caroling, and a Christmas Family Photo Sunday.   Our church family loved the caroling, and the Family Photo day was a hit, drawing in many first time visitors. For our annual Christmas Banquet one of our supported missionaries gave a strong Gospel message, challenging many lost visitors to consider receiving the greatest Gift of all.  This Christmas season it was thrilling to have many opportunities to reach out and offer true joy and hope that is only found through a personal relationship with our dear Savior, Jesus Christ. We hope and pray that your celebration this year was just as fruitful and blessed. Happy New Year!

Christmas blessing!

This year we unexpectedly received some very generous Christmas gifts that enabled us to visit our family in the States. This was only the second Christmas of seven that we had been back in the US; so as you can imagine, it was greatly enjoyed by both us and our families. We had the privilege of visiting a few of our supporting churches while back and had the great joy of sharing with them what wonderful things the Lord is doing in the DR! From our family to yours, thank you so much for your continued support and prayers!

Prayer Requests

*Brianna Fluegge’s full recovery from malignant brain tumor surgery, especially as she is finishing a long chemotherapy and radiation treatment

*Fluegge family as they transition back to life in the US

*Salvation of friends, family, and recent church visitors

Posted by: johnsons2dr | November 5, 2015

September / October 2015

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Happy 6th!

In August we celebrated the 6th anniversary of our church, and the first in the new church building.  It was a wonderful day, filled with Christ-honoring music, special testimonies, and a convicting Gospel message by our friend Henry Montes, a local Baptist pastor.  It was truly an encouraging day to be reminded how much God has blessed us in these last 6 years!

Revive our heart!

Psalm 80:19 – Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

This verse served as our theme verse during our annual revival. As a church we have been especially burdened by the need of salvation of so many of our  friends and loved ones.  It was extraordinary to see how many new visitors came during this 3 day revival resulting from the burdened hearts of the church members.  We saw a couple of people make decisions to follow Christ; however, we believe that are yet still many considering their need for salvation.  Please pray for those who have yet to be saved that they would accept and follow Jesus.

Relaxing Retreat

Taking our first ever men’s retreat was a highlight in September.  We traveled to a rustic campground in the mountains, which provided a great chance for the church men to bond and encourage each other.  Erik and two other men from the church took turns giving challenges from God’s Word.  It was exciting to see the group of men, many who had not spent much time together, build new relationships.  Please pray for these men that the Lord would continue to help them be faithful to Him, their families, and the church.

Prayer Requests

*Brianna Fluegge’s full recovery from malignant brain tumor surgery, especially as she is continuing a long chemotherapy and radiation treatment

*Upcoming Christmas activities and evangelistic outreaches

*Salvation of friends, family, and recent church visitors

Posted by: johnsons2dr | September 2, 2015

July / August 2015

Teen Week Wesson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Greater Love

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

We have read this verse many times in the past, but on August 7, 2015, those words became a reality. Our dear friend and fellow missionary, Josh Wesson, drowned while attempting to save the life of a young Dominican boy. Josh and a group from his church were on the North Coast finishing up  a VBS and had gone to the beach for a swim. Very quickly a number of the youth were caught up in a current and began to drown. Josh dove in and began bringing them to safety.  According to those who were present, Josh was able to save 3 young men; however, he and the 4th young man did not survive. Josh was a great servant of the Lord, a physically strong man, yet very meek and humble. Those who knew him well would testify of his excellent character and kindness, and his devotion to the Lord. He is survived by his wife Joy, and their four children. Josh had spent his last 15 years serving the Lord here in the Dominican. At his funeral literally hundreds waited outside of a full church just to get an opportunity to say thank you to the family of a man who had greatly impacted their lives. Although we are still greatly saddened by the death of our friend, we also see how the Lord has already begun to work in a mighty way through his heroic sacrifice. May we like Josh, one day hear the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”

Frisbees, Fun, and Freedom

With the help of the teens from Valley Forge Baptist, we recently completed our first week long teen conference. What an amazing week it was! We saw a record number of visitors and professions of faith in Christ. This year’s theme was, “Be Free in Christ,” which became a reality for many young people.  A highlight of the week was when Tim Fluegge was able to visit and preach the final two nights of the conference. Please pray for those who professed Christ that they would begin to grow in their new faith and that we will be able help them along this new journey.

 

Prayer Requests

*Pray for Brianna Fluegge’s full recovery from malignant brain tumor surgery, especially as she is continuing a long chemotherapy treatment.

*Joy Wesson and children and Lighthouse Baptist Church in the DR

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