Thursday, June 30, 2005

Email from son Jon on a mission trip to Thailand

Greetings from Bangkok,

Everything is going very well here. My physical health is almost perfect now. We have been teaching English everyday at least once. Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the public schools. That is a miracle in itself because we teach by ourselves (the teachers leave us) and we can not speak any of their language and we are somehow supposed to teach them English. It is very fun, even if they don't learn anything knew. Everytime we arrive at the school, it is as if John Travolta arrived unannounced at the Oprah Winfrey Show! : ) We are excitement and entertainment for these students. Saturday and Sunday we teach children in a children's' ministry setting. The first weekend we had about 4 kids. The next we have about 25! Though it is very hard to plan for these events because you never know how many kids will come, it is very exciting. This next week at the public and Christian schools we will be inviting everyone to come to the 4th of July party we are throwing. We will talk about freedom and what it means to be spiritually free to a lot of children and adults who have never heard the name Jesus before. Please keep us in your prayers for this great opportunity on July 9th.
-The rest of the week is filled with friendship evangelism at the University close to here and through sports (they love to play the American's in basketball). We have also been spending a lot of time being an encouragement to the local churches in Bangkok. The churches are very small and very young. Discouragement is a common theme in the churches because they are not seeing the numbers they want to see. So far, 5 college students have accepted Christ and many many other people of all ages are being more open to the gospel message. Thankyou for your continued prayer.


Jonathan Newton


God has led me to some people that are struggling with brokenness in their lives. I am beginning to build relationships with people that live on the edge of life. Who struggle everyday with issues that consume their life. There is a great deal of addiction, denial, worry, pain, suffering all around me, yet in the midst of it I personally am experiencing joy. I am praying that God will give me wisdom to know how to respond to those who are suffering. I have met several parents who have deep concern for their adult children. I met a group of folk sitting on their porch at the apartments right across the street from our house. We had part of sheet cake left and we took it to them. They were very excited, as they went in their homes grabbed a fork and dug right in. I am noticing smiles on the faces of children and we are encountering many people that travel down the alley that is located between our house and the church, it leads to a convenience store. I would guess nearly 100 people travel that route a day, boy do I have some plans when we finally get moved in. The house is progressing but a bit too slow for me. I have to keep reminding myself that we really weren't supposed to get it until tomorrow. So we really are ahead of schedule. We had an incredible Bible Study last night as we began studying the book of James. The conversation was good and as always I learned a great deal preparing the lesson. This Sunday I feel lead to speak about freedom, using the scripture, where Jesus says, "If the son sets you free, you are free indeed". Please pray that some of those who need to be free will experience that this Sunday. God has blessed us with great friends, it has been good to spend some time with some of them this week. What a gift.......Jeff

Friday, June 24, 2005


On Sunday afternoon we recieved keys to the parsonage, the house is larger than we thought. There are four bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a very large living room, dining room, a good size kitchen and a laundry area. The previous renters(for 13 years) had pets and the pets ruined all of the carpets. It was a mess. We have spent the past week ripping up carpets, cleaning floors, washing walls, patching holes, painting killz on subfloors, pulling up staples and staples and staples. The house is about ready to paint. We have had some great friends helping us as the church is not in a position to help much. At the same time I met with one church's mission team to present the urban outreach plan and it was well recieved and a second church called and has made me their missionary for Kokomo and will be supporting us with a very substancial amount of support. It was unbelievible. There was also an event at a community center this week in which a group networking with us provided a three day Vacation Bible School in the inner city. For the first week we are staying very busy and seeing God's hand. By the way I almost forgot under most of the carpet was beautiful hardwood floors, which is perfect for us with Chris' allergies. God has blessed us this week. Jeff

Sunday, June 19, 2005

First Sunday

First Sunday at church started off a bit hard but ended up going very well. I came to church at 7:45 am church starts at 9:30 am. I put my key in the door and it got stuck and wouldn't unlock the door nor could I remove my key. I had to wait for the first person to come to let me in about 8:30. Other than that everything went well. The parsonage is now empty we will be looking it over soon and moving in soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

First Day

Today is my first day on the job. So far I have spent the morning praying and asking God what exactally I am supposed to do next. I have been praying that I would have the eyes of Jesus and not miss seeing the needs that are present all around me. I have decided to spend the first two days working in the church and looking for people to talk with. I am going to the nursing home today to meet church members.
Our stuff is in a storage unit or should I say two units, we are still waiting for the parsonage to open up. That will come soon enough. Please keep us in your prayers as we make this transition.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


Scripture Foundation
(Marching Orders)
Matthew 10:5-11(The Message)

Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: "Don't begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don't try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously. "Don't think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don't need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all
you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light."When you enter a town or village, don't insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave.

What is Kokomo Urban Outreach?

K.U.O. is a network of churches, organizations and individuals that have a heart for hometown missions. Our goal is to help folks to think and live missionally

The Four Streams
"Contact “
is way in which we can connect with people. The purpose is to listen to concerns and needs of neighborhoods and/or communities. They can be well planed events such as acts of kindness, sporting events, concerts, or simply everyday living. It may happen on a sports field, in a restaurant or
at the gas station.

“Ministry Outposts"
are "Places" where focused ministry needs are made available(a way to meet people). Perhaps a ministry would be started as community in response to what was heard during contact stage. A “focused ministry” can take place in a coffee house, store front, a park, a Wal-mart , a bookstore, laundromat,an apartment complex, sidewalk, or almost anywhere. Ministries could include childcare, VBS, fellowship, praying, Bible Studies, tutoring, food services......

"Provide safe places to Explore Christian Faith"
these are places or events where spiritual journey's can be shared and explored. Traditionally, small groups or Bible studies is where the faith is explored. But what would happen if Christianity were explored in the midst of serving others? Non-Christians working along side of mission minded Christians.

Missional Outpost(Small Faith Communities)"
is a group of believers who gather for worship, study, prayer, covenant and encouragement. This group would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live missionally, especially within their own neighborhoods/communities. Missional Outposts will be scattered throughout the city.

The Goal is to reach people
encouraging them to begin a journey with Jesus and by helping make a difference in the world. Sort of like being on a mission with God.


Points to Remember....

· This is a very low pressure "sell". We simply listen, love and care. We will stay away from the high-pressure evangelism of the past.

· Take people where they are....we will not be judging anyone. We are called to simply love them.

· We will interact with culture and not avoid it.

· We will the love of Jesus to others so they can experience the love of Jesus.

· · The goal is to help those we are ministering to begin to minister with us.

· Small is okay...big isn't always better.

· We are not trying to make mini churches that are just like the churches we attend. We are asking God to form communities of faith in which the commands of Jesus are being realized. It's where people are being loved and are learning to love others like Jesus.

·· We are on a journey with those who Christ yearns for. The journey is more important than the destination.

· We want to be a part of the Kingdom Movement and are not interested in an Empire.

· People who are experiencing God are not duty-bound to join a church. The Small Faith Community could function as a church.

· People will not be discouraged from attending a church if they desire.

· Buildings are not what are important. Community is what is important.

If You Always Do... What You Always Did
You Always Get... What You Always Got

Expected Outcomes
· Reach People for Christ.

· Goal not to start another traditional church which makes the plan conducive to having people in established churches working in ministry without taking them from their current church

· Established churches could be revitalized as they begin to reach out of their walls

· Since the goal is not to necessarily to get people into established churches there would be no competition from networked local churches

· Neighborhoods would be revitalized by those living in the neighborhood as they understand how to live Missionally by loving God and neighbor

· Small Faith Communities doting the city, addressing community needs-- both spiritually and physically

· Transformation of not only families but neighborhoods and whole communities

Support Needs

· Prayer Support---PRIORITY

· Openness to new direction and new s of ministry
· Financial Support for specific Ministries

· People being called to Mission work to step forward