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

Miraculous Healing of Our Malaysian Friend from Stage 4 Cancer

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   LynnBethelTestimonyShadowed   Watch this incredible testimony of our close friend Lynn’s miraculous healing of stage 4 bone cancer.  Lynn and her husband were leaders with the Every Nation churchin Penang, Malaysia which John and I helped plant.   In 2012, she received a miraculous healing at a meeting in Singapore hosted by Pastor Bill Johnson.  Her testimony is absolutely amazing!

 

Beachside Baptism in the Shadow of the Mosque

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Happy resurrection day to you!  We hope you had an awesome weekend celebrating the greatest news of all time; Jesus has risen from the grave.  Jesus resurrection gives us great confidence to boldly proclaim the message of the cross in a land filled with Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus who devoutly worship their gods and gurus who are now buried in the ground.

As you may know, I just returned from a 3 week trip to Manila and the US.  It was long journey, but was made worth it by the time I spent with friends and family.  After 18 months abroad, it was a great encouragement to see everyone. Read more

“Tried in the Fire”- Persecution in Penang

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Before I share anything this month, I want to say thank you for faithfully standing with our family and our Malaysian church plant through prayer and partnership.  In the last few months Cindy and I and the Penang churches have been “tried in the fire, but we are coming out gold”.  And when we walk through the challenges, it is great encouragement to have friends like you walking with us.

First, let me share a huge shaking the churches in Penang have recently been through.  Last month, our church helped host a conference Unashamedly Ethical.  This conference was a gathering of business people and pastors making a stand against corruption of all forms in Malaysia.  Subsequently, a meeting was arranged with the Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng, a Chinese and fellow Christian. Read more

Farewell My Dear Friend Nonoy; The Passing of a Co-Worker

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What a month of highs and lows it has been here in Penang.  In the past few weeks, we’ve seen our church family give birth and get married. We’ve seen new believers and “pre-believers” make huge steps closer to God. We packed and said goodbye to our co-workers Jojo and Ida Henson who returned to Manila.  And we said a final farewell to a dear missionary friend who passed away last week in Penang.

Let me start with the good news, the Lord continues to bring the broken hearted into our lives and the church.  New faces are visiting Eagle Point each week and our seating capacity is being maxed out and a second service is not far away.  But we care far more about hearts being transformed by Jesus then seats being filled. Read more

At the Cross Roads in Asia

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Happy thanksgiving to you and your family!  Hopefully, you are preparing for a wonderful holiday season with your together.  This Thanksgiving we want you to know how grateful we are to all those who uphold our church planting work in Malaysia.  You have been a blessing to our family and we are grateful.

My apologies for the delay in this email.  We have fallen a bit behind in our communications.   But so many exciting things have taken place since our last email.

The church continues to flourish under the new local leadership, Pastor Jonathon and his wife Mee Yeok.  And last month we held a 5th anniversary celebration that saw our largest crowd ever, almost 250 attended.  What began 5 yrs ago as a Bible study at a local university, has now grown into a thriving local church.  Most exciting is that new people continue to be saved and added to the church. 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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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!


 

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!