Dear Ministry Partners,
Tammy and I just arrived back in Jamaica yesterday afternoon after a very brief visit to the States where we officially visited two churches, including our sending church, to discuss, face-to-face, our future plans for Jamaica with our pastor, spent a little quality time with family, and got some very necessary business accomplished, including getting international drivers licenses and purchasing some technology that we’ve really been needing for ministry.
Though, to be quite honest, there was absolutely no rest involved, it was a profitable trip for a number of reasons. As mentioned above, we were able to get some ministry tools we’ve been sorely needing. Because I spend a significant amount of time in study, a computer upgrade was a must. Headaches lasting days, and sometimes, weeks, have become routine, so a solution couldn’t wait.
We were also very encouraged by the preaching we heard at our sending church and when visiting with family. Three young pastors (young compared to us!) preached messages really emphasizing some of the things I have come to believe are of extreme relevance in the context in which we’re all serving today. As crazy as I know it sounds, because the Jamaicans have proven to be so closed to the Gospel, and most of what we hear from the States we get through public media, we sometimes wonder how many we are who are still actually preaching the word.
That said, while it was very difficult to leave family after such a short visit, we’ve come back to Jamaica really ready to minister and have a couple of things we’d like to ask you to pray about. Though we’ve not yet made any commitment to the church, we’re very strongly considering working with a church in Mandeville, a well- populated city in the south-central mountains. It would be a long way from the beautiful place we’ve been living, but we’re very motivated to work with people who might be more inclined to hear us out. But given that dealing with the government in Jamaica, like many other countries, is so very frustrating, I’m unwilling to take on the responsibility for the administration of the church, but I would love to preach, do evangelism, discipleship, ministry training, so as to leave the church with a pastor and stronger congregation in 3 years, or so, while continuing our work here in Ocho Rios.
So, please pray that those who are now burdened with those administrative duties, like filing taxes and other required paperwork, and maintaining the property, would commit to continuing. We will not be going if they do not!
Second, please pray that the Lord would give us energy. We’re assuming it’s simply age, and not some other variable, that has really begun to noticeably decrease our “get-up-and-go”, and we’re really going to need it to take on two works separated by nearly two hours of driving each direction every weekend. We want to do it with joy rather than dread so that we can be a blessing to the people we minister to.
Your praying has been such a big part of what the Lord has done in and through us and we so appreciate the sacrifice we know you make to do so. Thank you!
John & Tammy Cooley, Jamaica