Friday, 30 August 2013

We have a new blog address!

Click on the picture below to go there now and catch up with recent events in our lives as we serve Jesus together at Gospel for Asia :-)

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Thank you so much for your prayers for us.  We appreciate you sacrificing your time to intercede on our behalf, engaging in the spiritual battle from where you are that we might serve the Lord in a manner worthy of Him.

In the office

Our recent UK Special Edition of the Harvest Newsletter gave some figures about the impact of our UK office on the mission field last year.  In case you missed it I photographed the section and put it here for your convenience:

For the past couple of months I have actually been in charge of some additional responsibilities!  I have been given charge of GFA's direct mail to friends, partners and donors.

About a quarter of the people who got involved with our ministry did so because of our direct mail.  It may be called snailmail, but it's still an extremely effective and fruitful way to bring people the message of reaching the unreached in Asia, and casting a vision for what God is doing on the mission field through national missionaries.

Fortunately a week ago came the arrival of Steve, a member of the US office staff who will be staying with Angie and I for a year and serving in our office. I am in the process of handing over the direct mail responsibilities to him and he is proving himself to be more than capable.

I am grateful for his arrival as it enables me to focus on our Volunteer Network again.

We have also been blessed with several Office Volunteers who have been faithfully coming in once a week.  Here below is Betsy, originally from Kerala, stuffing "SEND!" magazines into envelopes with Melinda Kirik.  She is also very adept at helping to prepare sponsorship profiles.

Chris helps us with Regional Updates from the mission field for our missionary sponsors, as well as processing requests for free copies of Revolution in World Missions.

Peter (below left) is always willing to do anything!  And Fred (below right) has been doing data entry for us.  Every one of these tasks contributes to our goal of enabling our missionaries in Asia to reach more people with the Gospel.

We were pleasantly surprised and extremely blessed to be paid a visit by Quentin, a pastor we met a year ago on a plane on our way to our honeymoon.

Recently returning from India and on his way to several speaking engagements in the UK, Quentin made a stopover at our office to say hi to us and find out a bit more about what we do in our GFA Office.

This coming Saturday is our long-anticipated Renew Your Passion Conference!  We are very much looking forward to this day of ministry by our mission field leaders.  As Christians we know we often get spiritually dry and discouraged and the aim of this day will be to renew everyone's passion for Christ, for prayer, and for the unreached.  Registration is officially closed, but if you still want to come send me an e-mail and I can check if there's any room left.

There is still a lot of work to do before the conference starts and everyone in the office is really busy.  Angie has been ploughing through a HUGE to-do list and would value your prayers for her to work not by might or by power, but by the Lord's Spirit.

Other stuff

We recently celebrated Melinda's birthday and I discovered my wife has an extremely impressive super power - the ability to make an ice cream cake!

With it's Oreo biscuit base, dual ice cream flavours and whipped cream adornment, the ice cream cake was a culinary treat and a tasty delight!

We had a great time eating together, playing games, thanking God for bringing Melinda into our lives, and just generally enjoying her.  The Kiriks have been more of a blessing to all of us than words can express and we are so very grateful for their love, leadership, example, encouragement, friendship and fellowship.

Purely personal

Angie and I recently celebrated our first year as a married couple!  We stole away for a weekend and hiked up Scafell Pike, England's highest peak, located in the Lake District. 

This is us at the top:

Our thanks to those of you who contributed towards Angie's visa expenses.  We sent off the application forms last month and have received confirmation from the UK Border Agency that they have been received.  All that remains to do now is wait, pray and believe!

Thank you for your prayers, for your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and in what He is doing through us.  Your prayers strengthen us, protect us, deliver us and enable us, and we are so grateful for your partnership in the Gospel.  We would love for you to continue standing with us in prayer.

Pray for the Renew Your Passion Conference

  • For a successful conference
  • For the Lord to use it to stir up Christians in the UK with vision for reaching the unreached in Asia
  • For souls saved in Asia as a result of this day in Manchester

Pray for JP

  • For wisdom in growing the Volunteer Network
  • For skill in training Steve

Pray for Angie

  • For grace as she designs things for the Renew Your Passion Conference

Pray for us

  • For a successful visa application
  • For more personal supporters

Thank you all for your love, prayers and support.

May the Lord bless you, guide you, protect you and prosper you.

Yours for the unreached,

JP & Angie

Monday, 21 January 2013

Hello dear friends!

Thank you for your prayers for our relocation.

Angie and I moved to Manchester a week and a half ahead of the main office. We packed up our stuff into a rented van, said goodbye to our flat in York and drove to our new home.

This is where our new office is; inside the purpose built "Message Enterprise Centre", also known as the "MEC", and owned by The Message Trust.

Our main office is in the window on the right of this picture below:

Angie and I spent a week and a half working by ourselves in the new office space, waiting for the arrival day of the rest of the office and the GFA family.

There is also a cool cafe inside the MEC with nice coffee and great staff.

Ten days after our arrival the moving team arrived with all our office gear.

Catherine came up ahead of the rest to oversee the movers, she and Angie were charged with making sure everything was put in it's proper place.

The moving team was very good. We told them where we wanted everything (that's our post room below):

...and they did all the heavy lifting...

...and unpacking.

For a while there was stuff everywhere:

This below is our prayer and meeting room:

Soon the rest of the gang arrived started setting up their desks and other areas:

Richard, our new IT guy, and Dan, our old IT guy, both got their heads together and did the tremendous work of getting all our systems connected and going again.

And now here we are, mostly set up and pressing onward!

Our first order of business was to hold an all-hands meeting and thank the Lord for His bringing us to this place. We then re-dedicated ourselves to serving Him, reminding ourselves that everything we do is in worship and service to Him.

This was closely followed by a celebratory team lunch at the MEC cafe!

Anthony and Elliot also came up from London for this meeting, and also to discuss the future of how we are going to get the message of reaching the unreached out to the UK church, and win Asia for Jesus.

It was a busy week, but although we were very tired we very also very satisfied and fulfilled to be doing the Lord's work the Lord's way. Angie and I were also thrilled that we were able to have Anthony, Elliot, Brian and Elijah stay at our house during this time. Elijah isn't in this picture, I think I had already put him to work at this point...

...Elijah helped to make pasta, take out the recycling, make teas and coffees, take up the washing, arrange the salad and clean up. I was very grateful for his service!

Thank you for your prayers, thank you for being a part of reaching the unreached in Asia through your intercession. Please continue to pray for us!

Pray for JP

  • To remember to wait and listen to the Lord
  • To have wisdom, especially for conferences
  • To get the postal follow-up going again
  • To get the Volunteer Network going
  • To plan my time well

Pray for Angie

  • To hear God's voice and leading
  • To make a great video for the RYP conference
  • To be able to finish her many design projects
  • To make a good Lent Leaflet

Pray for both of us
  • For money for Angie's visa
  • To have more personal supporters

Thank you all.

Grace and peace be with you!

JP & Angie

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Hello dear friends,

We wish you a very wonderful, joyous, Happy Christmas in the name of our Saviour! We pray you have a fun time celebrating Jesus' birthday and remembering the Word of God being made flesh to hang out with us.

We've already had our GFA Christmas party and we had a great time. Calvary Chapel York very kindly let us use one of their rooms:

We also showed them the brand new Forgotten Christmas video:

It's our way of encouraging people to remember Christmas this Christ-mas, and the fact that some have never celebrated it before because they have never heard of Jesus. I heard a story about a Christian in Asia who was driving somewhere on Christmas day when he saw a man working in a field. He stopped his car, got out, walked over to the man, and said to him; "sir, don't you know it's Christmas?" To which the man replied; "What's a Christmas?"

2013 will be bringing some big things for us; firstly in January our office will be moving to Manchester! We have sensed the Lord moving us on from our place here in York and leading us to share the new offices belonging to The Message Trust. We will be sharing their nice new Enterprise Centre:

We have already found our new housing (more on that in a moment!), and so have most of the team, but Brian and Mindy are still waiting for their house to sell and our current office still needs a new tenant to take over our lease.

2013 will also see the previously postponed Renew Your Passion Conference! As you may already know, KP Yohannan, GFA's president and founder, was unable to be in the UK for the previous date that was set...

...but we have re-scheduled it for Saturday 23rd March 2013. It looks like it'll be better than we thought as the timing will now allow us to have other mission field leaders there as well! We are aiming to have 300 people there and we have 98 confirmed registrations so far.

We joyously anticipated the Kiriks' return at the beginning of November:

We gave them back their house and their dog, and as a thank you for looking after their helpless estate they whisked us away to a faraway cottage to spend a quiet, restful weekend.

They spoiled us rotten; they cooked for us, looked after us, required nothing of us, and took us to some nice places like Bakewell (home of the famous Bakewell pudding) and Chatsworth House (where Pride & Prejudice was filmed).

JP also saw his first real live reindeer:

It was all in all a very welcome, much enjoyed break.

We also very much enjoyed a welcome visit from JP's brother, Jonathan.

Being always pressed for time we decided to combine Jonathan's visit with our house-hunting trip to Manchester - so Jonathan took the 2 hour train from London to York and then we dragged him on a 2 hour drive to Manchester to stare at houses!

We had a great time and Jonathan was able to join in on our house-choosing deliberations and prayers.

We settled on a 3 bed house-to-rent about 3 miles away:

We chose something bigger than we currently need because we want to have room to grow our family in the future, and we also want to be able to host a School of Discipleship student. That's when a young person spends a gap year at GFA, serving at the office, being discipled, drawing closer to the Lord, attending prayer meetings for the unreached, and growing in passion for the lost. The year culminates in a visit to the mission field (the student having to raised their own support for everything). It's currently only available in the US but we want to start doing it here in the UK. Our hope is to inspire our next generation; to bring them the reality of 2 billion people who have never before heard the name of Jesus, and how much our heavenly Father's heart breaks for them. It's a little intimidating because we don't feel particularly up to scratch for the job, but we trust that the Lord can, and will, use even us!

We've just started filling out Angie's 42-page Marriage Visa application form:

Angie's current visa expires in March and will need a new one in order to stay in the country. It costs £561 and JP is wondering if it might be made of gold! It's not due for a few months so we have some time to save up the pennies for it.

We will be back to Norwich only very briefly over the holiday as we plan to spend Christmas in York. We'll be at Servants Church in Norwich this Sunday (23rd December), if you're around we'll see you there!

We're intending to cook our first Christmas meal as a married couple at home and have some of the GFA team over.

Angie has been using her chill time to make various creative Christmas decorations and make our flat look festive!

We know it's easy to forget but our desire is to remember Jesus in our Christmas, and to make it about Him. We're very grateful for Brian and Mindy's tradition of getting Jesus a birthday and singing Him Happy Birthday each Christmas! After all, that's what you do on someone's birthday :-)

So Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus! Just think, thousands of people in Asia will be celebrating Christmas for the first time this year, and you've had a part in that through your prayers, love and support.

Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel. Thank you for helping to reach the lost in Asia with the love of Jesus Christ.

Your partners in reaching the unreached,

JP & Angie

"I have felt the impact of your prayer in these past weeks. I am certain now that nothing has had a more powerful influence on this life of mine than your prayers."
- Jim Elliot