Why Plant Churches in the US

Why Plant Churches in the US   The mission of Every Nation Ministries work, which Cindy and I have served with for more than 15 years, is to make disciples and establish Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, socially-responsible churches and campus ministries in Read more

Why Reach International Students in the US for Jesus?

Reaching the Nations from Your Doorstep   With world evangelism as a priority, Christians have moved all over the world taking the Gospel to every nation of the earth.  Personally, Cindy and I have spent the last seven years starting Read more

Every Nation in Our Generation

Every Nation Ministries is part of a worldwide movement that exists to honor God and advance His Kingdom through church planting, campus ministry and world missions. Since its inception in 1994, Every Nation Ministries has grown from a handful of Read more

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

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  An early Emperor of the Xia Dynasty in China about 4,000 years ago first said “a picture speaks a thousand words”.  If this is true, we would like to share with you 9000 words this month.  Enjoy the photos below and the story they tell.

  And John, thanks so much for being a part of this awesome work in Malaysia.  Because you have helped send us to this mission field, we are able to freely pour our lives into these amazing young people and this thriving new church.  Cindy and I and our family are incredibly grateful for you.  God bless you!

Firebombs, Funerals and Faith in Malaysia

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   Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year) from the Simpsons!  We hope 2010 will be your greatest year ever.  We believe as we have dedicated this year unto the Lord, He will do amazing things in our midst.

It has been an action packed month here in Malaysia.  In December, there was a court ruling that allowed Christian churches here to use the word “Allah”.  This simple ruling has literally started a firestorm that has seen many churches all over this nation fire bombedin protest.  Although a serious situation, Cindy and I do not feel in any danger from these random acts of violence and we know the Lord is refining His church here.

Also this month, we are saddened to share with you about a young girl at Eagle Point who died suddenly of brain cancer at the age of 28.  One day Joo Hwa was feeling perfectly well, and within one month she died of brain cancer.  This was an absolute shock to her husband and the church.  But we know that in times of trial the Lord does His greatest work.

Also, we set in Pastor Jonathon, a local Chinese/Malaysian as the senior pastor of Eagle Point on January 10.  This was a wonderful occasion.  But that very week Jonathon’s sisterGeok Hin, a leader in our church, was diagnosed with breast cancer and needed to have an emergency double mastectomy. The surgery went well last week, but they are continuing tests and preparing for chemotherapy.  Thank you for keeping Geok Hin in your prayers.

And on a more joyous note, we have a wonderful praise report.  Cindy has been meeting with a new believer Vivian for the last few months.  When Vivian’s sister Sharon saw the transformation in Vivian’s life, she asked if she could meet with Cindy.  Thankfully Cindy speaks Mandarin Chinese, as this is the only language Sharon speaks.

She was very open to the gospel and gave her heart to Christ at their first meeting.  This began an almost overnight transformation in her life which is remarkable.  Sharon’s lived a very painful life and shared that she would cry herself to sleep most nights. Sharon told Cindy that she was so tormented at night and had not fallen asleep before 4 AM in many years.  Her mind was filled with negative thoughts and a heavy heart.

But at the second meeting Sharon was thrilled to tell Cindy she was sleeping like a baby by midnight each night and she had peace like she had never experienced.  Sharon’s husband noticed she had totally changed and he said he wanted to meet with Cindy and I.  Finally, Sharon shared that how she would weep every time she began to read the Scriptures, and every time she spoke the words “I forgive my mother”.  What a glorious work the Lord is doing in her life.

We can’t say it enough.  Thank you for your faithful partnership with us and sending us to this fruitful harvest field.  Your support of our ministry is reaping eternal fruit in the lives of real people.

Reaching the Next Generation Here in Penang

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Merry Christmas! We wish you abundant blessings this holiday season.  We wanted you to know how truly honored Cindy and I are to serve on your behalf on the mission field in Malaysia.

As you know this has been a very challenging financial year for so many around the world.  And we are humbled and so thankful for your prayer, your faith, your financial support and your unwavering commitment to spread the Gospel around the world.

This year may have been a challenging year, but God has shown Himself faithful by meeting our every need.  We pray He’ll exceed your expectations this season and this coming year of 2010.

It was great connecting with so many friends during our visit to the United States this summer, along with seeing dear friends from New Zealand during an Every Nation Conference in Singapore.  Our last Christmas in the United States was in 2003, and during the holidays there is a longing for me to be back in the US for a white Christmas.  But knowing we are in your thoughts and prayers is a real encouragement to our family.

Great things are continuing to happen here.  Last month we saw over 500 youth attend Eaglepoint’s “Change Your World” event here in Penang. Hundreds of youth have embraced the call to live radically for Christ and make a huge impact for Christ in this city.  It was an amazing event.

Eaglepoint Christian Fellowship has grown greatly spiritually and in numbers, solid foundations have been laid in the lives of those in our church family, and we are preparing to set in a new lead pastor on January 10th.  This has been the goal of this church plant when it began 3 years ago.  Another great church has been established for the glory of God and the advancement of the Gospel.

Cindy and I are planning be seeking Him through prayer and fasting January 10-20, 2010.  We’d like to ask you to keep our family in your prayers from now until this time.  We are seeking the Lord about our long term role here in Penang, Malaysia, a possible relocation to a new location in Asia or a return to the United States to start a new church.  Thanks so much for your prayers.

We would also love to pray for your family.  Please send us your prayer requests via Twitter (@johnbsimpson) or e-mail (john.simpson@everynation.org).

Thanks you again for being such a blessing this year.

You Make Disciples and I Will Build My Church

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“I Have Fallen So Far and I Don’t Know How to Pick Myself Up”

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“I have fallen so far and I don’t know how to pick myself up. Everything I have in life is gone.  My marriage, my job and my corner office on Madison Avenue. Everything!”  This is what a 62 year old businessman and complete stranger came up and shared with me in the first minute today while I was having a meeting at Panera Bread café.

As I was sharing my testimony and how God transformed my life with a potential new ministry partner, this man overheard our conversation, “interrupted” me, poured out his heart out and asked if we could meet later today.  He must not have known what an “important” meeting which I was having.  What an amazing moment!

This may have been the only reason the Lord had our family remain in the United States until October 5th.  Of course, we are continuing to meet with people and share what God is doing in Malaysia and ask them to partner with us.  But these are the moments where you drop everything, put your agenda on hold and rescue the person who is drowning before your very eyes.

On another note, we are eager to return to Malaysia and get back to the people and place that we love so much. Since our absence, we were told that the church has grown more then twenty percent.  We are thrilled to hear that many new students have come to Christ this summer and have been added to the church.

As I shared with so many this summer, the world is waiting to hear and receive the great news of Jesus Christ.  There are broken and fractured lives everywhere. At Panera Bread in Hudson, OH and along the streets of Penang, Malaysia.  And nothing can restore the soul of men and women like a restored relationship with their Savior Jesus Christ.

Because of you, your prayer, your encouragement and your support, Cindy and I have been able to give our lives away to make God’s love known near and far.  Every life we have been able to reach for Christ has been because of you.

Because of you, our family has been able to return to the US.  Because of you, this broken man’s life will take a dramatic turn at our 3PM meeting today!

Thank you again for being such a blessing to the Simpsons. God bless you!


Home is in the Middle of God’s Will, So Goodbye America

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God bless America! As a citizen of the United States, this is a phrase we said and heard over and over.  But after living on the mission field and in a nation with very little religious freedom, and seeing the incredible poverty in Asia, we’ve come to realize how much God HAS already blessed America.

Our time in the states this summer has been wonderful, but we have faced a bit of “reverse culture shock”.  Everything seems to be bigger, faster, louder, more high tech and life is so incredibly comfortable in America.  But what stands out to us most is the total freedom Americans have to worship God with all their hearts and serve Him completely.

On most every city street a church can be found. All over the radio dial we find stations playing Christian music.  As we surf the television we find a dozen different Christian stations broadcasting in multiple languages.  And finally, we’ve visited bookstores with every possible Christian book and resource you can imagine.  God truly has blessed America!

All these freedoms confirm in our hearts our call to serve Jesus and make Him known in Malaysia.  This is a nation where 60% percent of the population (Malay people) will be imprisoned for declaring faith in Christ.  This is a nation where the other 40% of the population risks imprisonment for sharing their faith in Christ to the Malay.  This is a place that is incredibly darkened spiritually, but where the light of Christ will shine the brightest.

We have loved our time in the US this summer, but we look forward to returning and making Christ known in Malaysia.  Our planned departure is September 10, but we are considering extending our stay a bit longer.  This will give us more time to develop new ministry support and will allow us to return to the mission field fully funded. We will keep you updated on this item.

Together, we are bringing the liberating and life changing message of Jesus Christ to the nations. And it’s our honor to be partnering with you to fulfill the Great Commission. We look forward to sharing great news of what God is doing in Malaysia. Be blessed!

 

“There is No Place Like Home!”

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Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz once said “There is no place like home!”, then clicked her heels and she was back in her home in Kansas. For our family, there is no place like home (the United States).  However, for us it took 23.5 hours on the airplane to make the journey back home.

But we are so glad to share that we arrived safely home and have just finished a wonderful holiday at the beach with our extended family. It was wonderful to connect with them after not seeing them for several years.  They were amazed to see the how much the kids had grown and how little hair I had.

We are now in North Carolina and looking forward to visiting with our friends and all those who make our missions work possible. There are so many people we hope to thank personally for standing with us while on the mission field.  We are doing our best to contact everyone, but if you are free to meet please give us a call at 843-597-2517.

We continue to hear great things from Penang, Malaysia and there is a new wave of students that are visiting the church, especially students from the medical college.  It is wonderful to be back in the US, but we are already missing our adopted nation Malaysia.

We wanted to share an amazing story that took place yesterday as we visited our home church King’s Park International Church in Durham, NC.  After service a young Chinese girl approached Cindy and asked if she remembered her.  It seems “Alice” had taken an international student trip with us to Washington DC five years ago.

“Alice” was an unbeliever then, but has recently become a follower of Jesus.  Remembering Cindy and I worked with KPIC, she visited the church two weeks ago hoping to find us and share with us the good news.  Alice returned again yesterday still searching for Cindy and “her big American husband”.  Although Cindy has not been back to KPIC in 5 years, Alice and her met in a remarkable divine appointment. What a moment we will both treasure!

Never underestimate the impact you can make as you share the Gospel and Christ’s love to those the Lord brings before you.  Thank you for helping share the Gospel and Christ’s love in Malaysia. There is a great story you are helping write in the lives of so many.

We love you all. Thank you again for keeping our family in your prayers! Be blessed today!

Beachside Baptisms and a Trip to America

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 What an amazing Easter service we had last month.  We were joined by a crowd near 100 people, our biggest yet.  And to finish the day off, we baptized 9 brand new believers in the Straits of Malacca.

So many great things are happening here in Penang.  Before our eyes we are seeing an awesome church filled with the next generation being established in a Muslim nation.  And we are seeing lives totally transformed through their new found faith in Christ.

Only three years ago, EaglePoint was a handful of Penang Medical College students studying the Bible, praying for a pastor and carrying a vision that the Lord would use them to start a church in Penang.

Thanks to the courage of Pastor Jojo and Ida to leave their comfortable life in the Philippines to pastor eight college students at PMC, EaglePoint Christian Fellowship was born.

And now for some unseen reason, (in our eyes, not God’s) Cindy and I have found ourselves here in Penang to help grow and establish this church.  Church planting is not for the faint of heart, as trials and spiritual warfare lay before us everyday.

But we believe, the greatest long term impact we can have in Malaysia is establishing a church that is passionate about reaching the lost, training young leaders and making disciples of all the nations.

Thanks so much for being a part of this awesome work.  Because you have helped send us to this mission field, we are able to freely pour our lives into these amazing young people and this thriving new church.  And we are so grateful to you!

We look forward to seeing you soon in the states.  Please drop us a note and let us know if you will be available to meet during our time home.  Thank you again for keeping our family in your prayers!

“Arise and Shine, Your Light has Come”

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As we labour on your behalf here in SE Asia, there are days that Cindy and I are overwhelmed by the task at hand. The sheer number of people and people groups in SE Asia who do not know Christ and have NEVER heard His name is staggering. Most staggering is the statistic that AMONG THE 7 MILLION MALAY (MUSLIM) PEOPLE OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA, THERE ARE VERY FEW KNOWN followers of Isa al Masih. (Jesus the Messiah)

We pray this statistic breaks you heart like it breaks ours. Of all the incredibly diverse people groups here, we find the Malay to be the warmest, most outgoing, humble, quick with a smile, and hospitable. However, because of Malaysian law and Islamic entrenchment, those who evangelize and those Malay who choose to follow Isa al Masih face imprisonment. The minimum sentence is 6 months “re-education”.

Yet like every man and woman, God has placed on this earth, there is a longing in their heart that does not find rest until they come to know the love and grace we find in Jesus. And our hope is they would come to know that love and grace. Please pray with us that the Lord would make Himself known to these precious people.

Along with the Malay, there is a large number of Indian (Hindu) where we live. This past week was one of their highest religious festivals, Thaipusam. The center piece of Thaipusam is the pilgrimage to a Hindu Temple near our home where the “God of War” resides. They believe their sacrifices of food, milk and self-mutilation they will be protect from calamity in the coming year. It’s understood the”greater the pain, the more God earned merit they receive”.

What an amazing and saddening sight it was to see. But we are glad to be here proclaiming the sacrifice has been paid by Jesus and through Him blessing not calamity is ours to enjoy.

Our prayer is this “God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us. That your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples…” Psalm 67:1-3

Please make that your prayer as you think of our family and our missions work. Your prayers are so critical to our effectiveness. And together, we have the chance to proclaim the Gospel to people who have NEVER HEARD.   What an amazing task to which we have been called to accomplish together.

Thanks so much for being a blessing to our family. We could not imagine life without friends like you. God bless you and your family!

You and Your Family Will Be Saved

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Greetings from Malaysia. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years.  We’re preparing for our big holiday as we speak. Here in Malaysia, the holiday centers around Chinese New Year (January 29) and we are so looking forward to the festivities.  Let the fireworks, lion dances, Hong Bao (red envelopes full of money), family visits and Chinese food feasts begin.

Our New Year will begin with 7 days of prayer and fasting (starting tomorrow).  Our greatest prayer is that many Malay, Chinese and Indian in Penang would come to know Jesus in 2009.  Would you please take some time over the next week to pray for Penang, our church plant and our family?  Your prayers play such an important role in our work here in Malaysia.

We are thrilled to share with you some great news.  After many years of prayer, Cindy’s brother Eric gave his heart to Jesus and amazing things are happening in his life.  Eric is a very talented graphic artist in London with so much going for him.  He has a high paying job, beautiful girlfriend, stylish flat, he’s living in “the greatest city in the world”, but there was a real emptiness in his life.

Due to immigration issues, Eric returned back to Malaysia in July.  When his work visa application was DENIED, he realized how everything he so valued in life can be gone in a moment.  Like never before in his life, Eric began to cry out to God for help.  He also began visiting an Every Nation church in Kuala Lumpur.  Then just last week, during a visit to Penang, Eric shared with me how he has totally surrendered his life to Jesus and his life is being transformed from the inside out. Praise God!

In the midst of Eric becoming a Christian, there is a new openness of Cindy’s Buddhist and Taoist parents to the Gospel.  They now know all 3 of their children are Christians and there will be no child to care for them in their “afterlife”.  We ask you to keep Cindy’s parents in your prayers when we visit them for Chinese New Years.

On another note, we had a house filled on Christmas day with people we have been reaching out to in Penang.  We had over 30 visitors of an incredibly diverse background.  We had Myanmar, Filipino, Indian, Malay, and Chinese friends.  It was awesome time of fellowship, and has really opened many of their hearts to future ministry.  We will keep you updated on the praise reports to come!

Finally, Cindy and I just wanted to thank you again for your role in this church plant in Malaysia.  We are totally committed to proclaiming Jesus everyday in this nation, and we are so grateful for our ministry partners who stand with us in this work.  Many days the challenges seem too overwhelming, but knowing the Lord has called us here and you are standing with us keeps us pressing on.

Thank you again. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. God bless!


 

Our Little Missionaries: Hannah, John Jr, Christian and Daniel

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Selamat datang and Merry Christmas to you and your family!  We hope you are having a great holiday.  This past year has been an amazing year of transition for our family from New Zealand to Malaysia.  But the goodness and grace of God has followed us to this new land. We home that goodness and grace is all over your life also.

When the Lord called us to New Zealand and now Malaysia, our family came as a team and we knew we all would have to make sacrifices, even the children.  So we wanted to dedicate this newsletter to our littlest missionaries, Hannah, John Jr., Christian and Daniel.

Let’s start with Daniel, our little guy with the handsome smile.  Look out for him in a GAP Kids catalog coming soon!  Daniel’s 3 years old and is an action packed boy, always trying to keep up with his big brothers.  He is the family comedian, always laughing and making the family laugh.

This year has been a year of transition for Daniel also.  He moved from diapers to “Spiderman underwears” and from a small bed to sharing a “big boy” bunk bed with Christian.  A few of his loves are watching “Kung Fu Panda” (he prefers Viper), having water fights in the side yard (as long as he has the hose), snuggling with Mom and Dad and eating anything Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican! Let’s just say this boy eats a lot.

Christian also loves reading his children’s Bible, performing “freestyle” on the piano, playing with his Fisher/Price “Little People” (just like Dad 35 years ago) and building forts out of the couch pillows.

And next is John Jr who is now 6 years old.  He is such a thoughtful soft spoken boy with a sensitive heart.  Johnny as call him is in kindergarten at Dalat International School and absolutely loves it.  He’s made many new friends from Korea, USA, New Zealand and Malaysia.  The other day I asked Johnny his favorite classes at school and he said “Lunch, playtime and nap”! Amazing, those were my favorite subjects in school.

Some of Johnny’s passions are kicking the soccer ball, playing Sonics on the computer, baking with Mom (seriously!) and smimming at our friend’s pool.  Watch out Michael Phelps, Johnny swims like a fish!

And last but not least is Hannah who is 6 years old.  What an amazing, beautiful and GROWING girl.  Where did my little girl go?  Hannah is in first grade at Dalat and has made many new friends there.  After school she plays on a soccer team, goes to Brownies and has friends over to play.

Hannah loves spending time with her best friend Sabina (from Philippines), having sleepovers, drawing, reading Junie B. Jones books, playing Webkinz on the computer and swimming also.

Our life as missionaries has been filled with challenges, but it has brought our family incredibly close together.  Thank you for helping us bring the great news of Jesus to the Malaysia, and for being such a blessing to our family. Hannah, John Jr, Christian, Daniel and Cindy and I say a huge thank you!

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.  We pray that 2009 will be the greatest year of your life! God bless.

Myanmar, Malaysia, Loas, China, Thailand, Iran, India…

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Barack Obama is elected president, the world is rocked by a financial meltdown, gasoline shortages in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, Malaysia is in the midst of political upheaval, yet the Lord of Heaven is still sovereign over all.  It is amazing all the change that can take place in the matter of one month.

Like you, Cindy and I are facing a time of great testing in our finances and ministry assignment.  But in the midst of it all, the Lord is using these trials to make us more dependent on Him (a good thing) and is teaching us how to live above the circumstances of life (good thing).  We pray He is doing the same for you!

Another lesson we have learned, is that when the markets go DOWN, people’s openness to God goes UP.  The global markets make be in a recession, but the work of the Lord is advancing like never before, particularly here in Asia.

This month we gather in Kuala Lumpur for Every Nations Asian Pastors Equipping Conference.  It was an incredible gathering of EN pastors from the Middle East, SE Asia and Central Asia.  Over 160 pastors and their wives gathered to encourage one another and strategically plan EN’s work in this region.  You would have been incredibly proud to see the team of which YOU are a part.

Currently, there are 94 existing churches and church plants taking place in 24 nations throughout the Middle East and Asia.  So many pastors and there young families are making incredible sacrifices to make Jesus known in such difficult places.  Some of those pastors we spent time with are serving in Laos, UAE, Egypt, India, Myanmar, Laos, China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia and the North Korean border.

Your partnership is what allows missionaries like Cindy and I to proclaim the Gospel and help establish churches here in Asia.  God has always used people to spread the Gospel message.  And today He is using YOU to make an impact in Malaysia and throughout Asia.  We are incredible grateful to be paired up with you in spreading the good news of Jesus here.

Remember, true peace is not calming the storms of life, but like Jesus, being able to sleep peacefully in the boat as the storms rage.  We pray the Lord will do a great work in your life today and in this coming season.  God bless and have a great holiday!


3 Simple “Steps” to Change a Person’s Forever

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What if redirecting a person’s forever really is as simple as walking across a room?  Is it possible that 3 (or more) simple steps could be the key to someone spending eternity with their heavenly Father?

While most Christians don’t get called to the overseas mission field , we are all called to just walk across the room to begin the process of introducing people to Jesus.  Often those simple steps, can seem as terrifying as a move to a foreign nation.

Until our family gets fully settled into our new home, we know it is not the time to focus on “community outreaches” or “evangelism strategies”.  But everyday, everywhere we go in Penang we are committed to be led by the Holy Spirit are are willing to just walk across the room.

Because of this, we have met so many amazing and ethnically diverse people here.  We’re not sure where these relationships will lead yet, but we dare to believe and are praying their lives will be eternally changed because of our simple steps.  Here are just a few of the people we’ve met so far:

 

  • Anaaz, the Malay (Muslim) Starbucks barista who’s wife is about to have her first child and wants to meet for parenting advice.

 

  • Hafeez, the Malay (Muslim) salesman at Celebrity fitness who talks with me during each visit to the gym.

 

  • Paschal, the Indian personal trainer who was assigned to me for 5 complimentary sessions of personal training. He later agreed to 5 sessions with me to help train his “inner man”.

 

Ayang and Koon, the Burmese couple who sell fruit drinks at our favorite Penang street food “hawker”stand.  They were in shock when we invited them to our home for dinner.

From Nashville to New Zealand, from Cleveland to Kuala Lumpur, there are endless people who are longing for someone to just walk across the room and take an interest in their lives.  And help themexperience God’s love through YOUR smile, love and encouragement.  We’re cheering you on from Penang, go take a walk today!

Thanks so much for encouraging us and praying for us in our move to Malaysia.  Through your support you are planting a church in a Muslim nation.  Cindy and I are so grateful for you and will continue to keep you in our prayers. Thanks again and God bless you!


 

Starbucks, Venti Lattes, Anaaz and the Gospel

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Malaysia is a land where the world’s “great” religions collide like no other.  And there is a very realspiritual battle for the heart and soul of young Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus here.  But surprisingly I’ve found a “neutral” place where guards are dropped and minds are most open.  That place is Starbucks, and Old Town Coffee and Gloria Jeans Coffeehouse, pick your coffee shop.

It amazes me that almost every time I enter a coffee shop, which is almost daily, there’s someone eager to have chat and have a conversation.  And when they find out I am an American their curiosity and questions usually increase.  Nothing seems to drop the guard of the young cross cultural crowd at Starbucks like a Venti Triple Shot Vanilla Latte.  That coffee drink does the trick for me.

In fact, my last 30 minutes were just spent with Anaaz, a young Muslim barista at Starbucks who without asking left his cappuccino machine to sit down at my table.  We began to converse about life in America and Malaysia, his 1st child due in December, how he feels about Ramadan fasting and that he really does not understand what “Islam is about”.  Wow, what a first conversation!

Everywhere Cindy and I turn here in Penang we find young people wide open to conversations and hearts more open to the Gospel then we could imagine.  Thanks to Wi-Fi cafes, Venti Lattes, Satellite TV, Singapore Airlines, Google and the internet, the world has grown smaller and the great Gospel is able to be spread like never before.

Cindy and I are so grateful for your support and prayer of this ministry.  Through your partnership,you have planted our family in this Muslim nation and together we will be a part of the Lord “building His Church” here.  Like the 30 year old Mango tree in Cindy’s Kuala Lumpur front yard that still bears fruit, we believe a church will be established in Penang that will “bear fruit” for generations to come.  What an opportunity!

Thank you so much for supporting this wonderful work and helping us plant this “mango tree” in Malaysia.  Romans 10:15 how can they preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”  Thank you for sending us. May the Lord bless you and your “beautiful feet”!

New Year, New Nation, New Church Plant

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One cool spring morning this March in Nashville, TN, I sat at water’s edge at Radnor Lake (think Walden Pond).  This was the spot I spent hundreds of hours seeking the Lord as a new Christian.  As I prayed about a transition Cindy and I knew was approaching, I heard a “still small voice” repeating over and over Penang, Malaysia.  Was the Lord leading us to Malaysia? Time would tell I thought.

To be honest, I knew very little of Penang, Malaysia.  What I did know was Penang is an island off the coast of Malaysia, it’s the birth place of Cindy’s father, Hokkien is spoken there (a dialect of Chinese Cindy speaks fluently), it’s EXACTLY 180 degrees from my birthplace Cleveland, OH (see Google Earth) and is home to a new Every Nation church plant.

As we continued to seek the Lord about the future, many more signs began to lead us to Malaysia.  We knew by June 10 our VISA’s would expire, we would need to move out from our rental home which was put on the market, our two congregations in Auckland would be combined into one for a season and we would be on an airplane to Malaysia for Cindy’s sister’s June wedding.  Then a van was leased for us and a house made available to us in Kuala Lumpur for free .

To make a long story short, our family has just spent the last 4 weeks in Penang “scouting out the land” and we know the Lord has truly called us to help plant a church in this amazing place.

In the last four weeks, we fell in love with Pastor Jojo and Ida Henson and family from Manila (planting their 5th church), the ethnic diversity of Penang (45% Chinese, 40% Muslim Malay, 10% Indian, 5% others) and we saw an amazing harvest field woefully short of laborers.  The Lord had made His will so clear it was impossible to say no.  So we said “Here we are Lord, send us!”

But without you, our church planting work with Every Nation would not be possible.  Your prayer and partnership is literally planting a church in a Muslim nation that desperately needs the light of Jesus to shine.  So we say to you also, “Here we are (in Malaysia), send us”.

Thanks so much for standing with us in the this time of transition.  We could not imagine life without friends like you.  You are so so important to our family.  We love you and God bless you and your family!