Patrick and Robyn Johnstone
WEC International – UK Registered Charity #237005
The past 15 months
How do we compress 15 months into two pages? Impossible! Hence solutions given at the end of the letter!
Thank you all for being friends and co-workers in the battle – some have written, emailed, kept in touch, prayed or remembered us in various ways. Apologies, few personal answers this time. First, a report back on items covered and for which prayer was asked some 15 months ago.
1. Operation World – now in Jason Mandryk’s capable hands. He is gradually building up a small team centred on Bulstrode and gathering the necessary information for a 2009 publication. The writing of the first countries is now imminent. During this year we were able to publish a slightly updated version of the 2001 edition taking into account major changes – especially since 9/11. Operation World in Chinese (pictured) is now being distributed in China. A Spanish edition seems now at last a likelihood. For his prayer information and news, go to:
2. Public minstry diminished considerably during 2005, most invitations being turned down in order to concentrate on research and writing. We had an interesting and very different interlude as Senior Missionaries in Residence at the Overseas Ministries Study Center in New Haven CT, USA. We had good interaction with residents and staff, some public ministry and extensive time for research with good access to the vast collection of books on the Yale University campus.
3. Research and Writing. Patrick has been helped by many with input into the Visual OW project – one being an intern cartographer, Bryan Nicholson, for two months this summer, who bequeathed to me diagrams and maps and well-documented help on using MS Access and a mapping programme. This is proving to be a complex project. Not only do I have to master 4-5 software packages, but also give time to editing and developing the information for the book in the Joshua Project global Peoples List. The most challenging in the latter is making a reasonable estimate for the religious breakdown of all the 16,000 peoples in the world such that their totals add up to the national figures used in Operation World! This has never been done before. Examples of this can be seen on the web site. For more detail and pictures go to: VisualOW.pdf .
4. Networking in global movements and for individual minstries. Patrick has invested much time in helping to resolve various difficult situations – one of which was WEC Hong Kong, so much affected by the death of our leader with SARS. That was successfully concluded in March this year. I was not able to pursue the vision of an international missions executive network, but this vision has been taken up by the World Evangelical Alliance and the USCWM. This left me more free to be involved in a mission executives network which seeks to stimulate effective church planting among M*ms. Representing our International Office at my first meeting in April, I’ve ended up as part of the support group to the leaders. There will be a key international consultation in March 2007. I see this as important for us as a Mission and for the whole mission enterprise as we seek to fulfil the Great Commission. At a later date early in 2006 I will add some more detail on the website.
5. Local. We have had to help broker the closure and relaunch of the little church of which we were a part after a pastoral failure. A keen church fellowship from Peterborough have taken over the property as a new church plant in close collaboration with Rural Ministries. I was able to bow out of chairing the transition earlier this week and the new beginning is well under way. We will continue to maintain some involvement, but not as members.
We love our home [and our cats]. House refurbishment is nearly at an end, thankfully. In the garden we’ve grown plums, apples, strawberries, and raspberries (mainly for Patrick’s jam-making) plus beans, tomatoes, peppers and courgettes. The aim for the rest of the garden is low maintenance. Son Tim helped us with fencing in the back and gave Patrick a start on building our replacement tool shed. We have a steady stream of overnight guests or folk for meals. Still, we want to hold it all lightly for whatever the Lord reveals.
We are now committed to membership of one of the only really live evangelical churches in Wisbech. The independent King’s Church meets in a local hall and is led by a godly ex-Salvation Army couple who have suffered and laboured to plant this church. We love the fellowship, worship and laid-back approach.
All Patrick’s offspring and their families are congregating at Peter and Julie’s house in Weymouth between Christmas and New Year, so the 6 parents and 8 grandchildren will all be together. Peter is Assistant Head in a successful Secondary School, Julie is now qualified as a GP, and working a full week. Tim still struggles with his MS, but strong in faith and seeking God earnestly about healing, future ministry and church involvement and still carrying on his carpentry business, while Trina works part time as an Occupational Therapist. Ruth and Andy, now returned after 6 years in Turkey, are committed to ministry in the Church of England and going through all the hoops leading to ordination.
Yes, what of the future? There are still quite a lot of unknowns. Having taken the Member Care course in May/June, I became even more interested in things psychological. But all from the standpoint of having a passion to see people set free from the bondages and lies which cripple them. We learned some very powerful truths and practical skills in order to be an even more fruitful servant of the Lord. WEC is committed to caring for its membership, and it may be that the Lord is leading me to be a part of that wider ministry within WEC as well as locally. I’d value prayer for the outworking of this passion.
Musically , it may be that the time is nearer to finding outlet for this creative expression. Our new church family home is but one possibility.
I also now volunteer one afternoon a week at the local Christian bookshop, which is operated by a former OMF missionary to Japan and her husband. This is proving to be a blessing for me and, I feel, a worthwhile extension of who I am outside my own home. This arises from our new church association. After the last three years in something of a desert, we’ve landed in a pleasant place. We’re making friends within the fellowship more widely than we had managed before, and enjoying good spiritual fellowship as well. I especially would like to be more available through this local expression of the Body than has previously been possible.
Writing . Patrick needs courage, tenacity, speed, insight and wisdom. The Visual OW is a book like no other! It will be a mix of past, present and future, a linking of many statistics that have never been linked before. It will be both in book form and on CD, yet the heart of the book will be electronic and based on PowerPoint. The purpose is to pass on the distillation of years of ministry and research to others to continue the motivating ministry close to Patrick’s heart! More details may be found on the website. Go to VisualOW.pdf
Mainland Chinese in missions. Not only is Operation World now in Chinese, but one of my supportive roles is in the development and promotion of this vision along with many others across the world. More on this in the fuller letter on the website.
Inter-agency task force. Patrick will be involved in both the strategy and information side and also the main executives meeting of member agencies for 17-19 and 21-24 Feb respectively. Please pray that this working together might really impact the world of Isl@m. Note how the politically correct assignation of Isl@m as a peaceful religion is belied by the fact that nearly every present conflict or country of persecution of Christians is caused by M*slims.
Some other key engagements: The UK Fellowship of Faith for Muslims conference in June ; Nigeria in October to speak at a missions discipling conference. To see a fuller list go to: 2006Programme.pdf
Both of us
Our Local witness. We have interesting contacts with local people – not least being my 1-2 evenings a week playing outdoor tennis (weather permitting, winter and summer) at our local tennis club. Pray for fruit. Pray also for our integration into the King’s Church and our own involvements for ministry to develop out of good relationships. We are making many friends there too.
Intercon-06. Our WEC leaders’ conference in Rehe, Germany, 26 Mar- 10 April 2006 . Patrick’s involvement will be in encouraging global vision with one plenary session and interaction throughout the conference. The main concern is that our involvement in the least reached countries and peoples has meant less confidence to share openly what we’re doing and gaining the recruits we need.
We have been invited to speak at the Field Conference of our “CAT” team , our biggest in East Asia, Aug 10-20 . This is likely to be preceded by a week for Patrick in Singapore and possibly Malaysia.
May you have a blessed Christmas and fruitful 2006!
All our love,
Patrick and Robyn
Please note our contact details (including Patrick’s new email address:
WEC International, Ty-Newydd, Sandbank, Wisbech St Mary, Cambs. PE13 4SE.
Tel: +44(1945) 410898; Mob +44(779) 6361797; Fax +44(871) 9892609
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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