Wednesday, March 27, 2013

From Pretend to Reality

Growing up, I played a little differently than I would say most little girls play.  Yes, I did play kitchen, house, barbie, and mommy a little.  But what I most remember playing was school (where I of course was the teacher, and when I would get mad at my older brother, I would give him all F's! I'll let you guess which brother;)  Haha!), secretary, and another game that I'm pretty sure most little girls didn't.  I would climb underneath the dining room table in our front room and pretend that I could only bring that which was completely necessary to survive (you know, pillow, blanket, and my Kid Sister doll ;) because well I was in the middle of no where and had to survive on my own! Every once in awhile I would have to venture out to pick some plastic apples from a "tree" or something.  But mostly I loved the idea of living in this really small space with room only for the things that are necessary!  Weird, I know, but I seriously loved this game!

For some reason God has brought this memory to my mind lately!  Hmm... I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that we are in the midst of selling/getting rid of pretty much all our earthly possessions and moving to the other side of the world?!  As a child, teenager, and even in my early 20's I never would have thought that God would have me go into ministry overseas, but as I look back, I really feel like He was preparing me from the very beginning, long before I ever could have dreamed what He would ask me to do.  His ways are higher than Our's!
So, I secretly (well, I guess not so secretly now...) am really enjoying getting rid of all this junk.  Yep I said it JUNK!  I'm pretty sure I don't really need 10 empty picture frames and we sure aren't going to ship our couches to Thailand!  It feels so cleansing!  I really do love thinking about what are the special things we are going to bring with us, you know, like if you could only pick 10 books what would they be?  
And while there are things that we are keeping in the attics of family AND there are some things that have sentimental value that are hard to give up, this verse keeps running through my head:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures here on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21

Oh Lord, may I never forget that my life is not about earthly things, but eternal ones!  

And just for fun... here's a picture of my boys playing in a "tent." Maybe God is preparing them for what's to come too!  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Big Impact

For the past few years, we have been a part of a core group that has helped to start a church in a neighborhood that was greatly affected by Hurricane Katrina.  Although we did love the church we were going to at the time, when we heard of this church plant, we knew that God wanted us to be a part of it.  What we didn't realize at the time is what an incredible blessing this church would be to us.  We absolutely LOVE Crescent City Community Church ( and leaving it will be one of the hardest parts of moving to Thailand!  We love that there are 4 unique pastors that share the pulpit!  We love that there is a discussion time after the Sermon each Sunday where we are challenged greatly by the other members of our body!  And of course we love the community there and how much they love us and ESPECIALLY love on our kids (our kids are the youngest at the church so you can only imagine the kind of love and attention they get!!). Although the group of people who attend the church is small, their impact on our lives has been GREAT!
With that being said, Crescent City Community Church (CCCC) will be our sending church as we do ministry overseas, and we wouldn't want it any other way!  It's so incredible to be the very first missionaries that a new church sends!  We feel privileged to be in this position and are excited to help CCCC establish their philosophy on missions!
Although CCCC is a small church they desire to do all that they can to support us!
The first Friday night of every month our church does a movie night at a local park.  This past Friday some women from our church decided to offer concessions during the movie night to help us raise support! It doesn't matter to me if they raise $1 or $1000, the fact that they are so willing to love on our family in this way means the WORLD to us!  We feel so blessed to have the people around us that we do as we step into this next season of our lives!  We serve an amazing God who knows exactly what we need!
So Crescent City Community Church, thank you so much for loving us, supporting us, and encouraging us!  Our numbers are few, but your impact is great!  We love you!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Financial Update

Just wanted to give an update on where we are in our support raising.  As I have mentioned earlier, we need to have people and churches committed to giving us $4,000 monthly and $20,000 in one-time gifts before we can leave to start our assignment in September.  This is quite the task that we truly feel only God can accomplish!  Trusting God for our finances is one of that hardest things we have ever had to do, and YET one of the biggest blessings.  It's amazing to be at a place where God is truly providing your EVERY need.  It takes dependency on  Him to a whole new level...
With that being said, we currently have people committed to giving us $1,045 a month which puts us at 26% of what we need and we have raise $9,605 in one-time gifts which puts us at 48% of what we need!  We are so grateful for every penny God has provided and feel extremely blessed!  We are trusting God for the remaining money to come in, all in His timing.   
So, we are printing our spring newsletter TODAY and hope to have them mailing our soon!  If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be, please email us at randcjohnson (at) hotmail (dot) com  and we would love to add you to our list!  
Thank you so much for loving and supporting our family and believing in what God will do through us to impact Southeast Asia!