Monday, May 12, 2014

An (Overdue) Update...

So much has happened since we last sent out an update...

First...Thank you

Thank you for praying for us, for supporting us, and for encouraging us. Every phone call, every letter, visit, email, prayer, gift, and card is appreciated. You have been so kind to us and we are so grateful. Please know that we pray for you regularly.

Second...Good News!

1. Both Louise and I have been given an absolute clean bill of health! My cardiologist was as pleased as punch and took me off the hard-to-find medication I have been on for years. Praise the Lord with us!

2. Denise Cox of SAMS-USA told me this morning that our monthly support pledge percentage is up to 45% now! We thank our Lord for all our partners! Some of our supporters have told us that they have been blessed since they signed up to support us. I hope that has been your experience as well. We have been deeply moved by the sacrificial giving of some - like those with a fixed income, and children in youth Groups, and others who struggle to make ends meet and yet still signed up to support us! We also heard that some have recently decided to double their pledge! We didn't see that coming! Thank you! 

3. St Frumentius Theological College now has its own website! 
Take some time to browse through the information:

4. We have started the countdown process! Our "exit strategy" is rather complex. 
First, all our documents that are in English have to be translated by a certified translator. Check. This part has now been completed!
Second, we have to make copies of all relevant documents and have them ratified by a notary public, a clerk of the court, and the secretary of State. 
Third, all our original relevant documents have to be authenticated by the Us Department of State. We hope to have them sign off on all the copies as well - just in case!
Fourth, all the relevant documents will then need to be authenticated by the Ethiopian Embassy.
Fifth, we will then apply for our visas.
Sixth...God willing, we will get on the plane in August!

There is a process we will have to go through once we arrive in Addis Ababa as well, but that will be a bridge we will have to cross later...sufficient for the day is the evil thereof...

Third...a Summary Update.

1. Louise and I have been busy getting ready for the great trek! Yup, we are still packing, and unpacking...packing and unpacking. We will be allowed to take two 50lbs bags with us on the plane as regular baggage and up to 5 extra 50 lbs bags each. That may sound like a lot, but books weigh quite a bit more than clothes, so we have to be very selective as to what goes and what stays. We have begun to pack the books we will need in Gambela but can't take with us right now in small boxes labeled 1 through 7 with 1 being the most important and 7 being the least important. We will then be giving these boxes to churches and individuals who we know will be visiting us sooner or later for them to brig in when they come.

2. Louise has been attending various classes on nutrition and health and doing a lot of reading. I have never known Louise to read this much before! Knowing that even the smallest things can make a huge positive impact on the lives of the people in Gambela is so inspiring. God willing, Louise will be attending bee-keeping classes in the near future as well...honey is so much more than sweet and can be used for all sorts of medicinal purposes. We recently met a wonderful Christian brother at the Carolina Bee Company (see and we hope to learn as much as we can from him before we leave...he may even come and visit us in Gambela and teach us first hand using African Bees!

3. I have been writing lesson plans and have been as happy as a warthog in his own water-hole! Should you like to take a peek at the curriculum for St. Frumentius Theological College, please visit our wesbite. I just completed the Bible Courses this morning...I say completed, but is a lesson plan ever really complete? Church History up to the Rise of Islam is in the works as is the Systematic Theology Lesson plan - I am using the Nicene Creed to teach the Doctrines of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit with the Doctrine of the Church thrown in for good measure.

4. I also recently replaced my desktop computer with a smaller MacBook Pro Laptop. This is my first Mac and I have been taking lessons on how to use far, it has been a pretty good experience and I have learned a lot! I even made my first i-Movie too! 

This short movie is something you could use should you want to make our ministry known to your family, friends, small group, Sunday School, Pastor, Vestry, Missions Committee, or even the whole Church! It is on You Tube at

Fourth...a Request.

Help us get to and stay in Gambela, please. 

Our Lord chose to make us an interdependent Body for good reason...we are so aware of our limitations and our need for Him, but also for you. The Lord has called us to go into a field white for harvest, but we cannot go without your help. 

1. If you have not yet made a pledge, would you consider making one today? While large amounts are obviously most welcome, every gift is an indescribably blessing as we know that along with your gift comes an active interest in the lives of our brethren in Gambela. No amount is too small. Please prayerful consider coming on the team! 

2. If your have made a pledge, thank you, thank you, thank you. We cannot do this ministry without your personal involvement. Your call as a sender is every bit as important as our call as the sent.

3. If you know of anyone who would support us, please pass our names and information to them...or, better still, why not have us come to a small gathering at your home and present this great opportunity to those you invite? A couple have done this here in Greenville and it has been such a blessing.

Thank you for being here for us and for the people in Gambela and South Sudan.

Many, many blessings.

Johann and Louise

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