Dear Praying Partners,
Greetings in our Risen, Reigning Lord Jesus! Thank you all
who have communicated with us by means of letters, Christmas cards, emails.
These have been so appreciated.
My DEEP apologies, because of interruptions and use of address
suppression, one or two incomplete and uncorrected copies of this circular
may have come to you. THIS is the final and authoritative version!
There has been little word from us for a year in an email
circular, and for two years in a letter circular. We make amends now with
deep apologies. Our last four years have been increasingly dominated by
the need to complete the latest edition of Operation World. The relief
that it is now in print and being circulated is immense. Thank you all
who prayed for us over this challenging time. There have been some deep
trials - should we be surprised?
Here I begin with the Praise and Prayer items. Please use
these for prayer. This will be followed by the fuller account that lies
behind those prayer items.
First some praise points - God has been good to us!
- Praise for the publication in September 2001 of the various versions
- the new Operation World, a superb CD and the launch of the Operation
World website. Do pray that this book may make the biggest impact ever
of all the 6 editions to date! Around 300,000 were printed. Pray also
that the events of Sept 11 onwards may enable multiplied prayer for
our needy world.
- Praise that Daphne Spraggett was able to complete the brilliant newly
revised and completely re-designed children/family book Window on the
World. This is a re-write and design of 100 of the chapters from the
two earlier volumes written by Jill and Daphne, You Can Change The World.
Around 80,000 of these were printed. Pray that this remarkable volume
may mould the vision of a whole new generation of Christians.
- Praise for the team of six who completed the book: Jason Mandryk,
a young Canadian, as co-author. Robyn, American, Chief co-ordinator
of the Office; typer of most of the book Terrie Jackson, Australian,
data entry and filer of information. Lee Nicholson, NZ, the meticulous
copy editor and type-setter. Justine Garner, UK, who scoured the world
for info and proof checks. All of us will move on into different ministries
over the next year. Pray that God may make us all fruitful and a blessing
- Praise for the wider team of the publishers (Paternoster, Jeremy Mudditt,
Pieter Kwant), the Global Mapping Team in Colorado Springs who worked
so hard to prepare the CD and website, and the network of thousands
of others around the world who contributed their time, expertise and
energy to make OW and WoW possible.
- Praise for our colleagues in the WEC International Office who patiently
supported us in the task - often with WEC tasks undone, or taken on
- Praise for the finding of successors for our role in the I.O. and,
more particularly, in the Research Office. Richard and Evelyn Hibbert,
for some years leaders of the WEC team in Bulgaria, take over from us
in March 2002. We then end what has been, for Patrick, 22 wonderful
years in the leadership team of WEC.
Please pray also for:
- A smooth transition in WEC from the Johnstones to the Hibberts. We
aim to have the office cleared for them by the beginning of March, but
that means moving all the massive collection of Operation World information
and the voluminous WEC files culled – 22 years of paper and computer
files is no small task!
The lead-up to our last Intercon (WEC Leaders' Conference in June) where
we will round off our ministry with our assessment of the past 20 years
of ministry and give a final challenge for us as a mission facing the
21st Century. This will be in Germany 31 May to 21 June. We long that
this time will be a special time of bonding (we now have 2000 missionaries
from over 50 nations and with ministry in around 80!) and also focus for
the new challenges of the 21st Century with the stark spiritual needs
evident to all.
- Ministry before June 2002. Much of this will be linked with the
launch of the new books. Please pray for the following:
||Oxford (The Christian Union together with local churches)
||London at Marcham St International Church
||Bristol (Pip 'n Jay, Ministers' Fraternal)
||Redcliffe College, Gloucester; two special lectures.
||Cambridge (a full weekend)
||Cardiff (Logos2 Pastors conference)
||Birmingham AL, USA. Beeson Divinity School teaching a two-week
||NE England (Sheffield, Leeds - many meetings)
||Ireland (Dublin, N. Ireland - many meetings) 2-3 Mar Wales (Cardiff)
||Australia (mainly Sydney area)
|15 - 27 Mar
||Singapore (many meetings incl S. Bible College)
|April ||Maybe Manchester or Cornwall
|27- 1 May
||WBT Scotland, then Stornoway (WEC) Hebrides
- July - Dec 2001 will be completely off, NO meetings. This will be
time of refreshment and preparation for future ministry. Patrick is
NOT retiring - despite rumours to the contrary. This may involve a house
move to a location yet unknown. It could be in the English East Midlands,
but we are open to the Lord on this.
- The future of Operation World. I have sought to pass on to Jason all
the breadth of knowledge and skills for him to be a core element of
any future team. It will need to be a team that God puts together for
an edition - possibly around 2008. There are some very talented people
showing interest. Pray for Jason and the best use of his time in the
interim years before the commencement of the next edition. Pray for
his growth in grace and gifting and for him to find the best ministry
slots that fit him for this challenging role. He is exploring some interesting
- Robyn's and my future ministries. For seven years Robyn has wonderfully
supported (and challenged) me in my ministry, now I long for her to
enter into ministry that is appropriate to her longings and giftings.
This could be in music, relating to people, involvement in a local area
and church life. For Patrick he envisages a catalytic ministry with
components of modular teaching, ministry in churches and conferences,
more writing (but not more than a supportive role in another Operation
World!) and being available to WEC.
- Jason and I are working on a supplementary book to OW, which will
explore and explain the rich mine of information in our databases. We
are hoping this will result in a full-colour volume of maps, diagrams
and text with a supporting CD for people to more effectively communicate
the challenge of missions in the 21st Century. This may be ready in
late 2002 or possibly during 2003.
- Other language editions of OW. The Korean, Czech and German editions
are well under way with the translations already begun. We are having
problems with the key Spanish and Portuguese editions. Pray that all
the barriers may be removed. These editions are a vital part of giving
direction and focus to the burgeoning missions movements in Latin America.
Other editions are slow to take off. The worsening global economic situation
has not helped. We would love to see a Chinese edition finally launched.
- The traumatic events of Sept 11 certainly made for a Birthday I will
never forget. As I saw the horrific drama unfold I realized that our
world and also mission work was changed for ever. How should we not
only adapt, but also make best use of the new opportunities? I briefly
list some of these:
- The real battle in the New War is between the fearful Muslim majority
and the rage of extremist Islamists who desire revenge for perceived
humiliations. This could be the opening up of millions of distressed
Muslims to the love of the Lord Jesus.
- Christian tourism will be greatly reduced, and with it much of
the more short-term Christian involvement in less reached areas.
- Mission work has become more serious and evidently needful. Our
dedication will need to exceed that of those who are willing to
die for their mistaken understanding of entry into "Paradise".
- The imagined "safety" and smug confidence of the West has been
ripped away. This creates new opportunities for witness in our decadent,
materialistic Western societies.
- The hand of tyrannical systems has been greatly increased, and
this will bring more persecution of minorities - especially Christians.
We need to study martyrology more intensely.
- The launch of Operation World at this time is timely. Some have wondered
if the information we have given is already outdated. This will always
be true to an extent. However we did write the book with a view to the
future. We could not predict the nature of the catastrophe of Sept 11,
but we certainly said enough to ensure the continued relevance of OW
today. Please see the sections on the World (p8), Afghanistan, Pakistan
- Responses to this edition have been very warm. Inevitably there were
errors, and these are being pointed out to us! Note that on our website
we have a mechanism for readers to respond with corrections and for
listing those that we agree with!
- Family news:
Robyn and I will be spending Christmas with her folk in California.
One of the big issues is the need for her Mum to move to a residential
care facility, but this has proved very difficult to finalize! We
had hoped that all would have been settled before we went on around
Dec 16, but there may be many things still to handle and the house
to be cleared.
Patrick's Offspring are all doing well:
- PETER and JULIE with their three children live in Weymouth on
the south coast of England. Peter is Head of Maths in a big secondary
school, and is moving towards a possible Deputy Headship in the
not-too-distant future. Julie has returned to medicine to complete
her GP training a live-in au-pair. Peter is trying to complete an
MA, and also perform his functions as Treasurer at the local Baptist
- TIM and TRINA are active in a big charismatic Anglican church,
and Tim is doing some preaching. He is a fireman. Trina is working
as an occupational therapist. They aim to begin a family in the
- RUTH and ANDY are nearing the completion of their formal language
studies in their Middle Eastern country. They call themselves the
Istan'bulls, so this gives a tactful indication as to their location.
They are seeking a visa platform for a city in the south of the
Thank you all for your on-going ministry of prayer, and for every remembrance
of us! We are so grateful to God for the love and interest of so many.
For many who have written I aim to send a more personal word to accompany
In Jesus' love,
Patrick and Robyn Johnstone.