Ministry trip with Northbrook, October 2003
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Johnson Journal
Dear Friends,
Greg and I, along with Ken Kingery and Herb Zabel, returned yesterday from a busy week in Venezuela.  Bob Robinson had come back earlier, on Wednesday.  I came back with a bad cold, but blessed by all God did.
We  saw and experienced the efforts of this small congregation to start daughter churches in the towns of Ramón Brazón and Sarría.  We accompanied members of the congregation as they visited door to door, encouraging the people they had met.  A very quiet man named Oscar is behind the ministry in Sarría.  He has an interesting approach: "Hello, I´m here to share the Good News about Jesus Christ".   It works for him!  It was fun to see old friends in Ramón Brazón, particularly José and Rosario.  José had been part of a cult, but has grown in Christ and has now assumed the leadership in the group.  The government in Venezuela has gotten a lot of negative press for good reason, but they did help the town build a retaining wall that will hopefully avoid a repeat of the disaster that occurred there in 1999.  It was a disaster, but God used it to bring many people to Himself.
A lot of work was accomplished in the church building as the team installed ceilings, painted and did some other odd jobs.  Greg helped a few days, but also got to attend his old school for a day and see some old friends.  I think it was good for him, and I really enjoyed having him along on the trip.
We asked for special prayers for meetings about the possibility of establishing a partnership between Northbrook and the Community of Bible Christians in Caracas.  God blessed us with excellent meetings on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  The two churches agreed to start small with the hope of building a partnership that might someday work together to establish a church in an unreached people group.  For now, Northbrook has asked the CCB to send two members of their congregation to join a short term team going to Mexico in late November.  A Partnership Team including members of both churches will be established by December 1.  The churches will start praying for each other right away.  Herb is on the team that prays for Northbrook´s services Saturday night and Sunday morning, and has committed to praying for the CCB´s services as well.  A good start!
God took good care of Kay and Ian while we were gone.  Ian celebrated his 11th birthday, and we had a small family celebration when Greg and I got home yesterday. 
I will be facilitating the partnership from a distance while we plan more specifically for our departure for Spain the end of January.  Please pray for our teammates, Ned and Joanie Steffens who are already on site in Camarma.  Ned is now taking a very intensive course on Teaching English as a Second Language, and I´m sure would appreciate your prayers.
We appreciate you!
In Christ,
Mark and Kay