Completing Our California Assignment
It’s been three whole years since our family left Thailand for our new assignment at the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena, CA. Our initial commitment of two years has long passed.
Through much prayer and seeking, we have made the decision to relocate our family to the East Coast.
[You can follow my son and I’s journey driving cross country: on Instagram here.]
We Have Grown
Throughout our time in California, we have grown both in character and leadership ability. We have learned more about who we are and what has been put inside of us for the sake of growing the Kingdom. These last three years have been both challenging and rewarding.
We have also grown as a family.
Since arriving in 2012, we have added our youngest son Vallen to the family. Our middle son Aslan has received over two years of speech and OT and has grown leaps and bounds. And our oldest son Brayden has become quite an athlete and is always excelling in school. Jacqueline has stayed busy as the mother of three boys!
Revitalization and Intercession
Little did we know that the Lord would have us serve in key roles that would shift and shape the ministry of the U.S. Center for World Mission, the Frontier Mission Fellowship, and the historic Pasadena mission base.
When we arrived in the community, we found a ministry that was trying to find its way, post- founder.
There were calls from the members for clarity of vision and alignment. There was need for re organization and re emergence. Leadership was searching for a way forward.
Before we understood what was happening, the Lord had already spoken two words to Jacqueline and I before we made our commitment to join. The words were…
Revitalization and Intercession
Intercession, not simply prayer but also standing in the gap between what is and what could be.
We have been able to play a part in both.
When we arrived on the campus, we found Mott Auditorium empty and padlocked, a dusty and somewhat run down relic of former glory.
Today, through our efforts at building new partnerships, the auditorium has come alive again and is the home to the Pasadena House of Prayer and Epicentre Church.
Prayer and worship ascends 20 hours a day, 6 days a week, now from Mott Auditorium. Sundays host a multi cultural missional church that is touching the world and making disciples.
Each week the unreached people groups of the world and global crises are lifted before the throne of grace in prayer and intercession by an intergenerational company of men and women.
Thousands of new people have flowed through Mott’s doors to hear of the remaining task of world evangelization.
Teams of young people have gone out to locations all over the world; places like Lebanon, Nepal, Iraq, North India, Bhutan, Thailand, China, Tajikistan, Turkey, and many others.
I am honored to have led the weekly meetings with our collaborative partners who work hard to make the dream a reality.
Mission Frontiers Magazine that I guest edited, featuring our collaborative partnerships.
Rebrand & Relaunch
In March of this year, we launched the all new Frontier Ventures; the organizational rebirth of the U.S. Center for World Mission and the Frontier Mission Fellowship. The Venture Center, our Pasadena campus, was also launched and the Ralph D. Winter Launch Lab is forthcoming.
I am proud to have led this initiative as the project manager, working both with some of our senior leaders, FV Communications team, and our friends at Plain Joe Studios for the past year and a half.
Here is what our General Director recently had to say about my contribution.
John will forever be remembered as the main impetus and facilitator of our rebranding process. Again, his ability to understand the many nuances and perspectives of our story, coupled with his vision to see us re-acquaint ourselves with the next generation, made possible our rebranding, which has and is breathing new life into how we and others think about us. – Dave Datema, Frontier Ventures
You can see what we were able to build and articulate at www.frontierventures.org
Mission Frontiers Magazine featuring the background of the rebranding.
Short Frontier Ventures and Venture Center historical narrative.
While in California our heart for Southeast Asia, and Thailand in particular, continued to be stoked as I traveled back to meet with mission leaders, scholars, and national leaders.
As some of you know, in January, I was privileged to present a scholarly paper on the topic of Spiritual power in the Buddhist world.
My contribution, along with the others, will be published in 2016. My hope is that the insights I wrote will impact leaders for many years to come.
With your help, we will continue to support the projects of key native Asian leaders and travel back with the aim of strengthening the work of our friends and partners.
Over the last 3 years, one of my primary roles has been as a missions mobilizer.
A mobilizer helps to get other people to understand the mission of God and their particular role in it.
Without the work of mobilizers there would far fewer missionaries and missions supporters!
Some of my mobilization work has included:
- preaching at local churches on the subject of global missions,
- teaching courses like Perspectives on the World Christian Movement,
- writing articles for Mission Frontiers magazine and other publications,
- representing our ministry at influential conferences in the U.S. and overseas,
- writing mission focused content here on spreadtheflame.com,
- keeping constantly engaged and active on social media as a mobilizer,
- meeting with key leaders and advocating for the frontiers
No matter where we go, my goal will always be the same…to spread the flame.
Anyone who knows me well can attest to that!
Thank you friends
Without a small team of supporters faithfully standing with us behind the scenes, none of our work would have been possible.
If you were one of them, we want you to know that you were a part of our miracles.
You will share in the good fruit of lives impacted and changed and the Kingdom advanced in places that have little to no access to the Gospel.
The New Assignment
We will be sharing more about our new assignment soon!
In the meantime, as we take the next few months to transition, we want to ask that you to consider giving a special tax deductible gift to help support our family’s move across the country.
As you may imagine, with three kids and starting over in a new place, we will need all of the help we can get.
Again, Thank you!