I am primarily an evangelist and teacher who travels around the world in apostolic ministry as God leads and enables me. In addition to preaching and teaching the Bible, I mentor our key partners to be more strategic and impactful for the Gospel in their countries and cultures, just as they continue to mentor me. I am relationally focused rather than program or project focused in ministry relationships and partnerships.
“I was sick and you took care of me…”
Nehemiah Vision Ministry Hospital
Dear Friends & Partners,
Ever since the earliest days of our ministry, we have been involved in medical missions. While that is not our primary calling, it has always been an important supportive aspect of our ministry. We believe in a holistic Gospel. That’s why we often summarize Christ’s Great Commission as the whole Gospel for the whole man by the whole church to the whole world. Anything less is a truncated Gospel.
Because of our commitment to medical missions that are reaching the poor, it was a great privilege for me to be in Haiti last week to help in the preparation and dedication of the new Hospital at the “Nehemiah Vision Ministry” (NVM), founded and headed by our dear friend and partner, Pastor Esperandieu Pierre. His ministry is in a formerly poor and neglected village known as Chambrun outside the city of Port-au-Prince. It is also not far from the mountain-side-squatter-city known as Onaville, where we built a church for earthquake victims last year. This new NVM Hospital has a satellite medical outreach in Onaville on a regular basis, and is headed by another longtime friend, Dr. Edmond Elysee, pictured above with Pastor Pierre.
For me it was a week of doing two things I love – preaching and planting, in the context of partnership! Through preaching at the NVM church and Hospital dedication, I had the joy of sowing the “ … imperishable seed of the word of God” (I Pet. 1:23). The rest of the time I was planting beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers graciously supplied to us by our friends at Double Harvest (DH). But in both cases, I was reminded of the words of Paul about his ministry of partnership in Corinth: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (1Cor. 3:6).
Thanks for being a part of this time of partnership between JLPF, NVM, DH – and YOU, through your prayers and financial support. I hope you will be blessed and encouraged by the following pictorial report.
The front of the Hospital upon our arrival.
MAKING MULCH …
Pastor Pierre with the chipper we sent to Haiti.
Discarded sugar cane stalks ready for shredding become wonderful mulch.
The "mulch man" in action! A mountain of sugar cane mulch ready for use.
TREES FROM DOUBLE HARVEST …
PLANTING THE TREES & SHRUBS …
FOOD, FUN & FELLOWSHIP WITH NVM STUDENTS …
PLANTING TREES WITH THE HELP OF THE KIDS
FROM THE TWO NVM CHILDREN’S HOMES …
THE HOSPITAL DEDICATION …
Pastor Pierre intreprets as I speak for the dedication of the NVM Hospital
on four characteristics of Christian Medical Missions:
Character, Competence, Compassion, and Cleanliness.
Dr. Elysee and Pastor Pierre and his wife Dianne participated
in the dedication cermony.
Dr. Elysee and his staff enjoy the reception.
The NVM Hospital Ambulance.
Dr. Elysee gave a tour of the Hospital.
THE MINISTRY OF BEAUTIFICATION …
At one time Haiti was called the “Pearl of the Antilles” and the “Paris of the New World.” It was once a lush tropical island that surpassed its Caribbean neighbors in beauty and bounty. It was the desired destination for intellectuals, artists and entrepreneurs of the day. After overthrowing the French through a slave rebellion, Haiti gained the distinction of being the First Black Republic in the world and the second nation in the Western Hemisphere to gain its independence – after America. So Haiti has a rich history and a reason for national pride.
Sadly, however, the evil one gained increasing control of the once beautiful and bountiful country through voodoo, racial and class divisions, corruption, ecological exploitation and constant political turmoil. Over the decades, the beauty and bounty of Haiti was replaced with barrenness and blight through ignorance, superstition, exploitation, deforestation, erosion and disease.
As you drive through the streets of Port-au-Prince today, mounds of rotting garbage, polluted streams, foul odors, and decaying infrastructure surround you. When you drive through the countryside, you are confronted with barren mountains and hillsides completely denuded of all trees. It is estimated that less than 3% of Haiti’s trees remain. And the once pristine and pure ocean waters are filled with trash and debris. The following pictures give a brief glimpse of this current situation.
THE GOD OF BEAUTY
Because of all of this barrenness and blight in Haiti, there is a great need for the “Ministry of Beautification.” The Bible teaches that God is a “beautiful God” – the most beautiful being in the universe (Ps. 27:4). He has expressed His infinite beauty through His creation. He called His “Holy Land” the “ … most beautiful of all lands”(Ezek. 20:6; Ps. 48:2; 50:2; Isa. 4:2; Dan. 8:9; 11:16, etc). He designed His Temple as the most beautiful building ever built (Lk. 21:5; Acts 3:2).
In spite of all of the ugliness in the world as a result of sin and selfishness, God is all about “beautification.” That’s why you cannot separate salvation and sanctification from beautification. Through justification and salvation God brings about “spiritual beautification” on the inside. But through the ongoing process of sanctification, that “inner beauty of the spirit” increasingly expresses itself in “outward beauty.” Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, Christians naturally want to bring beauty and bounty to their personal environment and spheres of influence.
Finally, the end result of our salvation is what the Bible calls glorification. That’s when God brings us all to His ultimate, eternal beauty of glorification when we will perfectly reflect His “image and likeness” – or glory!
So I want to assure you that we serve a God who “ … makes all things beautiful in its time” (Ecc. 3:11). That’s why I love to combine the spiritual with the physical everywhere I go and try and bring some beauty in both realms. It’s a privilege to try and set the example in this area of “sweating for Jesus!”
Thanks for helping us spread the “beauty of the Lord” everywhere we can, for His glory, and for the good of His people,
JL & Patt
P. S. Please continue to pray for our partner, Pastor Esperandieu Pierre, his wife Dianne, and his beautiful family, and for their wonderful and growing ministry through Nehemiah Vision Ministry.
"As for you, always be steady, endure suffering,
do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."
2 Timothy 4:5
To our dear partners and friends,
When you read this, J.L. will be finishing his outreach in Haiti. Thank you for your prayers for him, for his preaching and mentoring. He’ll report on that in the next blast.
J.L. asked me to write this report on a long time partner who lives in the state of Manipur in North East India. Just to help you visualize where it is, Manipur is bordered by three other Indian states and one country. The states are Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west. The country of Myanmar (formerly Burma) lies on its eastern border. It is made up of many tribes, with different languages and cultures. Living in the midst of all this, with his wife and family, is an evangelist named Chinkhosoi. For short, J.L. and I call him Soia (pronounced SOY’ yah).
J.L. and I first met Soia when he was studying at the Madras Bible Seminary led by Bishop Ezra Sargunam and the Evangelical Church of India, and was part of a singing group called the Manipur Tribal Singers. They toured the South and New England during the 1990s and some of you may have heard them during that time.
After graduation and ordination, Rev. Soia returned to Manipur, got married, and began his ministry among those who were needy both spiritually and physically. He and his wife had two daughters but, sadly, his wife died in childbirth, along with their new son. Soia’s mother moved in to care for him and the little girls, but after a year she died. Then, his sister moved in, and in two years time she died. God, however, was gracious, and Soia is happily married to Moipi, and they have had two children: Joseph and Abigail.
There was then and still are on-going political tensions and ethnic violence. Some Manipurians want to be a part of Myanmar while others want to remain joined with India. Tribal warfare has been a part of the culture for generations. So Rev. Soia ministers in a volatile state, trusting the Lord for each outreach and each message.
Since he has become tech savvy and very good at communicating by email and sending regular pictures, I thought you might like to hear from him in his own words about his ministry and see the fruit of his labors:
“Greetings of joy in Christ,
By the grace of God we are fine and thank you for your prayers. Though I do not deserve it, God is blessing my efforts to teach and preach in many parts of Manipur. I have a lot of preaching programs, and I often walk long distances or go by boat and hike from there. One river was more than 2 miles breadth so I had to hire a boat for this time of ministry. However, I am happy very much because I can preach the Gospel for the very poor. God gave me the message and they understand what I mean when I preach. I was tired when I got back home, but it was a successful ministry. Everywhere are people who want to hear about Jesus and worship Him.
Also the Bible ministry is going on till now. It is my desire to give all the people in the church a Bible, especially new Christians so that they can read God’s word for themselves. Thank you for your gifts of money for Bibles.
I enjoy celebrating the Holy Communion Services among the people as well.
Here is the ministry picture of my self preaching at the Gospel crusade. As I ministered to these people and preached salvation in Jesus, some gave their testimonies and one couple accepted Christ. I gave a blessing prayer for them as they requested me. God bless the gospel Crusade and the ministry. I know all this is not from me but from God only.
Please thank your supporters for helping the needy families with animals for self-support. The bird flu is almost over so we are able to supply some families with chicken and ducks. A few others received pigs. I will keep you updated on how the animal projects are going on.
The group of the young people is reading through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It is the first time that my daughters, Ruth and Khumi, are old enough to join this ministry. I thank God for this!
My youngest child, Abigail, has started walking now. She is a very good baby for us. She never has any complaint to her mother/my wife, Moipi, except when she feels hungry or thirsty. She is very good till now.
My wife and I have 4 children: Ruth-12, Khumi-11, Joseph-5 and Abigail-1. We have also taken in 4 more children who are orphans and had no homes. Three girls: Chinneu-19, Niengboi-18, Hatnu-13 and one boy, Lamjahau-10. Each one is a blessing, the older ones helping with the young ones.
All these ministries, projects and children are the special blessings for us from God, only and through your prayers and support! May the good Lord always keep you and bless you."
Your son in Manipur,
It has blessing to be in partnership with Soia! We are very grateful to each of you who support us through JLPF, so that in turn we can support him in the work God has called him to do.
Partnering with you,
P.S. J. L. recently preached at our home church, The Lamb’s Chapel. Please click HERE to read his message on “Josiah’s Revival”. A video to accompany the sermon outline will be posted soon on our website.
“Come let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly …”
Dear Friends & Partners in Rebuilding,
As you know, making bricks for building goes back in antiquity to the very earliest days of collective civilization. As archaeology reveals and as anthropologists remind us, building permanent structures represents a major living shift from nomadic life to localized living. Building with bricks also reflects a move upward from building with mud, sticks, wood, and stone.
As the verse above states, baking and building from bricks was an essential part of the building of the “Tower of Babel.” While this tower was being built in rebellion against God, it still represented building with the best technology available.
Bible students also remember that one of the aspects of the “slave labor” that Pharaoh imposed upon the children of Israel was making bricks. We read: “They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar …”(Ex. 1:14). Later the Egyptian taskmasters made their servitude and labor even harder by requiring them to gather their own straw for the brick making process … all the while not decreasing their quotas of bricks per day (Ex. 5:7).
So whether by hand or by mechanization, brick and block making is labor intensive. But the end result is a superior building product.
Little could we have imagined a couple of years ago how timely one of our newest Kingdom Entrepreneur (KE) projects would become. Our longtime partner, Hanok Tamang, had written me about a small block-making factory in Kathmandu that had recently closed. The owner migrated to America and put it up for sale at a bargain price of around $10,000. But operating capital was needed to get production started. So, for only an investment of $4,000, JLPF was able to help out and get the factory back into operation.
Also, the young business couple, pictured at left, who wanted to buy and restart the company, were members of the Aradhana Church, pastored by Hanok. And, because our prime purpose through Kingdom Entrepreneurs (KE) is to jumpstart businesses for Christians that will generate jobs, income and self-support, we made the investment.
The building and equipment were purchased, and they went to work to rebuild this business. It was renamed and dedicated as the “Grace Interlock Brick Company.”
While there was already a good market for the cement blocks and paving blocks they were producing, the destruction caused by the earthquakes in April and May created a new huge market and demand for their products. They already employee a dozen people – but are currently running two shifts to meet the increased demand! Hopefully even more new workers will need to be hired in the weeks and months ahead.
In this report you will see two women who lost everything in the earthquakes – but are now earning a regular salary through the “Grace Interlock Brick Company.” God’s grace is truly being made manifest through this Kingdom Enterprise. Pray with us that God will continue to use it as a practical living testimony of what I call “compassionate capitalism.”
RISK CAPITALISTS FOR THE KINGDOM
As I close this week’s report, I want to challenge some of you businessmen and entrepreneurs to become a “venture capitalist” with us. We have other dedicated nationals who are Christians with an entrepreneurial spirit. Often, all they need is a rather small amount of funds to help them “jump-start” a business that over time will generate jobs, income, self-support, and dignity.
Your Kingdom “venture capital” might be used to buy goats … chickens … sewing machines … drip irrigation supplies … a block-making machine … a generator ... a motorcycle … drill a well … build a building – whatever would help jumpstart or expand a Kingdom enterprise at the micro-level.
On behalf of Hanok, Brother Naran, and his wife, we want to thank those of you who have been investors in these KE enterprises.
Due to our recent report on the “earthquake crisis” in Nepal and the “ISIS crisis” in Jordan, we have not focused on other partners and projects. However, in the weeks ahead, I will be sharing more stories like this on some of our other Kingdom Entrepreneur partnerships. That’s because Patt and I want you to be blessed, encouraged and challenged by the holistic nature of our ministry. As you know, we always seek to balance the “spiritual Gospel” – which is always primary, with the “social Gospel,” which is always secondary and supportive.
In His Enterprising Love,
PS: Right now our KE Fund is completely empty. Any contribution from $100 - $1,000 or more would be especially timely and appreciated!
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples…
these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
JL with Pastor Hani Billan; Cana Baptist Church
Dear Ministry Friends,
While our work of building small “Metal Agape Homes” in Nepal continues 24/7, I want to update you on another strategic partner in the Holy Land. While Nepal is the “holy land” for Hindus and Buddhists, Israel/Palestine is the “Holy Land” for Jews, Arabs and Christians.
Because God sovereignly claimed it as His “Holy Land” (Gen. 15:18; 17:7-8; Lev. 25:23; Deut. 11:12; Zech. 2:12, etc.), radical Islam has sought to counter-claim it for centuries! That’s why the Middle East will continue to be the focal point of global tension until the Lord returns! And one city of distinction and significance there is “Cana in Galilee.” That’s because of Jesus’ visit and ministry there. It was the very first town where Jesus manifest His deity by “miraculous signs.”
The New Testament records some 35 miracles performed by Jesus in His brief earthly ministry of about 3 years. These are a cumulative witness to the deity of Jesus Christ as God incarnate. No other religious leader in human history performed such miracles – not Krishna, Confucius, Buddha or Mohammed. Only the life and ministry of Jesus Christ was accented with so many “miraculous signs” – all for the benefit and blessing of others in need.
The Apostle John recorded “7 Miracles” in his Gospel proving beyond any doubt that Jesus Christ was God’s long awaited Messiah and salvation for the world. The signs he recorded are:
John summarized the purpose of his Gospel with the verses I shared above. Theses “miraculous signs” were performed and recorded for the specific purpose “…that you may BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by BELIEVING you may have LIFE in His name.”
Belief in the Person of Christ is the purpose and theme of the entire Gospel of John. That’s why the word “believe” is found 98 times in this Fourth Gospel alone. And the result of that belief is LIFE. In the original Greek, the word for life that John used is zoe. It is not the word for biological life or psychological life – but spiritual life. The word zoe means the kind of life that God alone has – which is eternal. Therefore, God alone has the power to impart zoe to others as a result of their “…belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.”
It is interesting to note that Jesus performed His first two “miraculous signs” in Cana in Galilee. That’s a reminder that there is always a mysterious sovereignty in the time, place, circumstance and nature of God’s miraculous intervention. One thing for sure, God has never ceased to perform “miraculous signs” in accordance with His foreordained will and purposes.
But, we can no more manipulate the miraculous hand of God in our day than the people could in Christ’s day when they often tried to provoke Christ into some miraculous manifestations (Matt. 12:38; Lk. 11:29; I Cor. 1:221, etc.). The “supernatural signs” they wanted Him to perform were for their own curiosity and entertainment – not for their spiritual salvation. They had absolutely no interest in “…believing that He was the Christ, the Son of God.”
That’s the difference between “magic” and “miracles.” While magic originates through the mental and visual deception of wizards and magicians, authentic miracles can only come from the hand of a supernatural God. Because of His omnipotence, God has never been in the religious magic business. But He has never ceased to sovereignly intervene in the laws of nature that He created in order to manifest His loving presence and power for man’s benefit and His glory.
For me, it borders on the miraculous that God sovereignly orchestrated a wonderful partnership for Patt and me in Cana of Galilee a few years ago. Like all of the national partnerships and projects we are involved in, this one was providentially planned by the Lord Jesus. And frankly, it blows my mind to realize that when Jesus performed His first two “miraculous signs” in Cana in the First Century – that He knew He would lead us there in the Twenty-First Century!
For those of you who have been ministry partners with us for a few years, you know the name of pastor Hani Billan and his wife, Shifa (pictured right with Patt). He pastors the Baptist Church in Cana that we visited a few years ago on one of our Holy Land trips. It was indeed a “sovereign serendipity,” as I like to refer to these unexpected divine connections! Since that time, we have had a growing friendship and partnership that has been a mutual blessing to both of us.
What a joy it was to preach on the 6 water pots and the turning of the water into wine in the very town where Christ performed His first miracle! Patt and Shifa, the wife and co-minister of Pastor Hani
By God’s grace and through the giving of our ministry partners, we have been able to help them with some strategic expansions on their church building and facilities. We have also helped sponsor some of their ministries to Arab children – especially those from Muslim and Orthodox backgrounds. This eNewsletter is a dual report on both.
To help you hear Pastor Hani’s heart and some of the challenges of ministry, I am sharing a recent email from him below. It is interesting to note in his email the assaults on marriage that are still taking place in Cana – just like when Jesus turned water into wine at a marriage feast to resolve a marital crisis…
“It was a blessed month as our eldest daughter Nour graduated from high school. I wasn’t aware of the fact that she is growing and all of a sudden she is a graduate and a fine young lady. What a wonderful sight it was to see her in her graduating robe, very very beautiful, finishing with excellence! Moments mixed with memories of her childhood and now she is on the doorstep of a new phase in her life. She glittered in the graduation ceremony and she played her flute along with the songs. We were proud of her, giving thanks to the Lord. Please pray for her and for her future that it will be in accordance with God’s heart and will.
Some families these days are facing marital problems and we are noticing that Satan is working at attacking marital relationships and is trying to bring down those homes. So, please pray for them and for us that the Lord will give us favor and wisdom. The Lord used Brother Ibrahim and myself to bring two couples back to each other after having a disagreement and physical violence between them. But, glory to the Lord, they are back together and we are following up with them weekly and praying with them, encouraging them continuously.
The Lord used me, along with one of the men from church, to go to a Muslim village as we knew one of the farmers there. We had shared with him about the Lord and I had given him a Bible. This time as we went, we didn’t find him at the farm so we went to his home and found his elderly father. We entered and prayed for him. He received the Lord and prayed with us! He is doing better now, praise the Lord.
We held a sports day for our youth. It started with some singing and a short meditation, and then activities and games. It was a wonderful day. Then we had wonderful fellowship over a barbeque meal. The youth enjoy greatly these times, and their commitment is increasing.
Please pray for the work of the Lord and the ministry in Cana. We are sending a video of the summer youth camp we just held in July, and we need your prayers for our church conference in August.
Also please pray for us as a family and for every challenge before us that the Lord will lift us up and make us more than overcomers.”
Hani & Shifa
Again this July, we were able to help sponsor their annual “Youth Camp” for 140 Arab children – many from poor backgrounds. In preparation for that Camp, we helped them with some expansions and renovations that gave them more room to minister to the active children and young people. I hope you will be blessed and encouraged by this report that you have helped make possible through your prayers and partnership.
Men from the church prepare to clean and clear the land for the renovation and extension; Preparing the parking lot for athletic games and sports activities
Pastor Hani examines the area for renovation
Clearing stumps and stones; Pouring the cement for the building extension
The cement is poured and finished
Pastor Hani works on the inside room being renovated for a new kitchen
As you can see through these pictures above and will see in the video at the end, the Lord Jesus is still very active in ministry in Cana of Galilee where He performed His first two “miraculous signs.” And He continues to use Pastor Hani, Shifa and their church members to win other Arabs to Christ.
Sadly, however, Cana now has one of the highest concentrations of radical Muslims than any other city in Israel. So in addition to the political persecution from the Islamists, they also face a lot of opposition from the Orthodox Arab Churches who are threatened by their evangelistic zeal. Please pray for wisdom and safety for Hani and Shifa’s ministry in this historic New Testament area of Cana in Galilee.
Also, please continue to pray for our on-going ministry of rebuilding in Nepal – which I will update you on in my next eNewsletter next week.
In His love and on-going work of redemption among His Arab brethren…
JL & Patt
PS: Please take a moment more to view this brief “high energy” YouTube video summarizing their July Youth Camp.
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need
but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech
but with actions and in truth.
I John 3:17-18
Dear Ministry Partners,
One of the realities we all struggle with is "compassion fatigue." As our world staggers from one political or natural disaster to another, it is so easy to become numb to the suffering plight of others – especially if they are on the other side of the world from where you live.
The disciples faced this with the hungry multitudes. As a result of being overwhelmed by the immensity of the need in relation to their meager resources, they said to the Lord: "Send them away ... " (Mark 6: 36).
I can relate – can't you?!
But the Lord does not send them away – He sends us to them with our meager resources. And as we go by FAITH and give what we have, He adds the miraculous and multiplies the resources He has entrusted to our stewardship. That's what He has been doing in Nepal since the dual earthquakes in April and May.
Below is the latest email from Pastor Hanok with some more encouraging pictures. I hope you will be blessed by seeing more of the fruit of your LOVE and DEEDS through the compassion of Christ ...
These are some of the latest metal homes built by our team members for our loved ones of household of God. I am sending them to you with a joyful heart as the Lord has been providing the resources. To this date we have built 73 metal homes and brought in and provided the secured shelter for 73 families. We are nearing to our goal to built 115 metal homes, exclusively for the household of God. Thank you for all that you have been doing through your partners to help us and for blessing so many families with metal homes as special gift of love to protect their families from the heavy rain of monsoon.
Please continue to pray for Hanok and his two building teams who have been tirelessly working in the hardest hit regions of Nepal building these temporary 'Metal Houses' for people – especially for the needy saints whose homes were destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
We have now deployed 100% of the money God has provided through partners like you. There are still many more needy Christians who are in tents or homeless during the current monsoon rains. Pray with us that God would be pleased to miraculously send and multiply more resources to build more 'Metal Houses.'
Finally, rejoice with us over God's timely miraculous provision of this new '3-Wheeler' motor scooter for Ratna Rai, one of the deacons of the Aradhana Church, who has been crippled from birth. His old wheelchair was worn out beyond repair. Two young men, who went to Nepal for us to work with Hanok, met Ratna and saw his need. They appealed to their family and friends back home to help with the $2,000 to buy this motor scooter and kit to convert it into a '3-Wheeler.' We rejoice in their proactive love through WORD and DEED in meeting this need. Their practice of compassion has empowered Ratna in his ministry through the Aradhana Church, especially to other handicapped people in Kathmandu.
Thanks for your faithful partnership with us through WORD and DEED,
JL & Patt