Patrick Johnstone Prayer Circular Fall 2001
Johnstone Newsletters
Fall 2001

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 to many.
  4. 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.
  5. Praise for our colleagues in the WEC International Office who patiently supported us in the task - often with WEC tasks undone, or taken on by them.
  6. 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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Ministry before June 2002. Much of this will be linked with the launch of the new books. Please pray for the following:
    7 Nov Oxford (The Christian Union together with local churches)
    10 Nov London at Marcham St International Church
    13-14 Nov Bristol (Pip 'n Jay, Ministers' Fraternal)
    26-27 Nov Redcliffe College, Gloucester; two special lectures.
    1-3 Dec Cambridge (a full weekend)
    10 Dec Cardiff (Logos2 Pastors conference)
    5-19 Jan Birmingham AL, USA. Beeson Divinity School teaching a two-week elective course.
    25-30 Jan NE England (Sheffield, Leeds - many meetings)
    9-18 Feb Ireland (Dublin, N. Ireland - many meetings) 2-3 Mar Wales (Cardiff)
    7-14 Mar 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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 possibilities.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

FURTHER SHARING

  1. 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:
    1. 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.
    2. Christian tourism will be greatly reduced, and with it much of the more short-term Christian involvement in less reached areas.
    3. 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".
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
  2. 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 and USA!
  3. 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!
  4. 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 church.
    • 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 not-too-distant future.
    • 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 country.

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 this e-mission.

In Jesus' love,

Patrick and Robyn Johnstone.

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