Category Archives: Discipleship

Louisiana/Haiti Partnership Missions Romans 10:15 How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!

Louisiana/Haiti Partnership Missions

Romans 10:15 How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!

On January 12 it will be three years since a devastating earthquake took place in Haiti. Louisiana Baptist churches were quick to respond to the relief efforts including Buckets of Hope, Disaster Relief and Prayer for Haiti. Two churches that were first responders to the earthquake recovery efforts were First Baptist Church of Covington and First Baptist Church of Lafayette. Since that time these two churches along with other churches from Louisiana have continued to share the love of Jesus in Haiti.

FBC Covington and FBC Lafayette took up the challenge by Wayne Sheppard of the Louisiana Baptist Convention to form a Louisiana Baptist and Haiti partnership. The LBC Haiti partnership currently involves work in Croix des Bouquets and Canaan in cooperation with the leadership of Haitian Pastors and the Haitian Baptist Convention.

These two churches currently have teams on mission in Haiti! They are working together conducting Medical Clinics and Vacation Bible Schools. They have already seen 468 patients in the medical clinic and had over 200 children in Vacation Bible School.

The medical team is seeing about physical symptoms but at the same time they are caring for spiritual needs of the patients according to Rock Kendrick who is coordinating the medical teams work. The pharmacy workers are dispensing medicines prescribed by the Doctors and at the same time you can find them hugging on the patients, praying for them and sharing smiles as they go over the orders prescribed by the physicians.

Dustin Lee who serves as the children’s minister at FBC Lafayette has led the Vacation Bible School efforts. The VBS team includes team members from both churches and is made up of teenagers, college students, young, median and older adults working together to God’s Word to the children. Dustin has provided great leadership, energy and passion to this effort and it has ignited the efforts of all team members even when the outdoor temperatures were soaring into the upper 90’s.

The Gospel has been shared through these efforts and the team trusts the Lord of the Harvest to bring forth a great harvest with expectations that one day Heaven will be expanded because of the Gospel story being shared this week.

The future of the Louisiana Baptist Haiti Partnership is bright but we need YOU! We need Medical Teams including High Adventure Medical Teams willing to go into the mountain region and smaller islands off the Haitian Coast to conduct medical clinics. We also need VBS Teams, Construction Teams, Prayer Teams, Medical Supply Donations, Financial Donations to purchase land for two permanent medical clinics can be built, along with an orphanage, school, and one home for a pastor and family who currently live in a tent behind a church.

Louisiana Baptist and Haiti Partnership Efforts are ongoing so make plans now to join this mission partnership in 2013 by going, giving and praying! If you would like to be part of the Louisiana Haiti Mission effort please contact Wayne Sheppard the with the Louisiana Baptist Convention or you can contact Jay Johnston, Associate Pastor of FBC Covington, La.

 

 

Finishing Strong!!! Part 5 of 5

I am sharing in five parts a dialogue that took place through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason for this dialogue-taking place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks. My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part five of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email, FaceTime and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

You can go to www.jayjohnston.org to read the first four areas I covered in a challenge for Jody to finish strong.

Today’s post covers the fifth area that Jody and I discussed last spring. The fifth area that Jody and I discussed was character.

This is an area that my wife Jerilyn and I have attempted to live out before our two sons, family, co-workers, friends and neighbors. I am grateful that Jody and I can still have this conversation. It is a healthy conversation about who we are as Children of God, about who we are when no one else is around and who we are in public places. I am thankful that a discussion of character with our sons has never been about judging the character of someone else and we don’t measure ourselves by someone else’s character. The subject of character in our family is defined by who we are in Christ.

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

Discover who you are as a follower of Jesus Christ!

Matthew 5:48; I Peter 1:15-16; I Corinthians 13: 4-8; Galatians 3:20

In closing, let me bring you up-to-date on Jody. He was to begin his final year at Liberty University on Monday August 20, 2012. However, he was on a mission trip to Uganda and will returned August 28. Check out his photos and stories at Instagram or Webstegram  @jodyjohnston. He will be back in class on the 29th of August. I am praying he will be healthy, strong and overcome the nine-hour time difference quickly. I know the people of Bethlehem Baptist Church will be excited to have him back on Sunday September 2. As a father I am grateful for the love this church demonstrates to Grady, Ann and Jody.

This past summer Jody travelled throughout the US with a college friend Ryan Carl as they sought to build community among Instagramers. You can read more by clicking on this link:

http://www.liberty.edu/news/index.cfm?PID=18495&MID=61763#.UDZBcXni9Ws.mailto

Jody took our talk to heart as he has started off his senior year at Liberty University strong. I pray for a strong finish. I am grateful for a University committed to training Champions for Christ. For more information on Liberty University I encourage you to visit www.liberty.edu

Please take a moment and let me know your thoughts about this conversation.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

#Pilgramers, #Instagram @JodyJohnston #LibertyUniversity #trainingchampions for Christ

Finishing Strong!!! Part 2 of 5

Everyday this week I am sharing one of five parts of a dialogue that took place through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason for this dialogue-taking place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks. My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part two of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

Yesterday, I covered the challenge for Jody to have a strong personal walk with Jesus.

Today’s post covers the second area that Jody and I discussed last spring, which are his academic requirements. I expressed appreciation for him continuing to be a good student and keeping his grades up. I urged him to not slack up and to give the remaining classes his best effort because it will improve his GPA and will help him as he begin applying for entrance into a Seminary Graduate School. I also encouraged him to take some elective courses that would help with life skills like Business 101 and Financial Management. He might not be the Valedictorian of the Class of 2013 but I believe he will be able to say he gave his best effort while at Liberty University and for that I am grateful.

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

We must give our best at school, work or whatever we do!

2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 3:23-24; Proverbs 13:4

I am grateful for the excellent education Jody is receiving as a student at Liberty University.

I hope whatever you have to do today you will give your best for the glory of God.

Tomorrow I will post a third area of the discussion Jody and I had last spring.

I also thank you for praying for us here in South Louisiana as we await Isaac.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

Finishing Strong!!!! Part 1 of 5

Today, I am sharing Part 1 of 5 post that comes from a dialogue through email, FaceTime and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason this dialogue took place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks that was healthy for me and Jody.  My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part one of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

The first area that Jody and I discussed was in his personal walk with Jesus.

I told him how grateful I am that he has a personal relationship with Jesus and that it seem like only yesterday that we stopped on Interstate 65 heading southbound

at mile marker 43 where he personally invited Jesus into his life. I challenged him that he has an opportunity to intentionally prepare and mature in his personal walk with Jesus during his senior year that would launch him into the next season of his life.

We spoke of some specific actions including his private time with God and public times of service and disciplemaking. We also spoke of those opportunities God orchestrates like divine appointments, and he needed to be in tune with God so he would not miss those appointments.

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

1. Accountability as a Christian is a must!

The Bible says God holds us accountable. Romans 14:12

A Christian is accountable to one another. 1 Corinthians 12

We must not see accountability as our enemy or a way to ambush someone. I see accountability as a backstop in life that supports and protects us from being found in an appearance of evil.

You might have read this and say well that works for them because the father and son both identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ. So, what if a parent or child, teenager or young adult is without Christ what can I do to begin a conversation with them about Jesus. The very first thing I would do is pray for God to open a door for such an opportunity. We often try to go and do matters that are important with God without ever consulting Him.  Second, I would go to that person not with the intent to harm, but to share with them how much Jesus means to you. Let this be a personal time of sharing the story of Jesus and what God is doing in your life. Third, I would follow-up with that person and see how they are handling the conversation. Fourth, do not give up! Keep Praying and Asking God to bring that person to Salvation.

I hope you will take time to read and share your feedback with me by leaving comments at www.jayjohnston.org

I will post part 2 tomorrow. In closing, would you join in praying for family members who need a personal relationship with Jesus. I also ask you join me in praying for the preparations  and evacuation procedures taking place along the US Gulf Coast because of Issac.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

Time, Priorities or Responsibilities! Which one is it?

It has been five months since I have posted something on my blog! I have thought often about posting something along with a redesign of the site to include more visuals. I have a list of subjects to write about so it is not that I did not think about the blog and it was not because of a shortage of subjects to write about.

I could give the following reasons of time, priorities and responsibilities for not posting something on my blog for five months.

However, the real reason has been obedience. I believe the Lord did not want me writing over the past five months. The Lord had me on a different agenda and I did not want to miss His plan. You see, I could have filled some time, re-address some priorities and forsake some responsibilities to write but I would have missed what God was doing in my life.

It has been a time of searching my own heart, a time of growing deeper in my personal relationship with Jesus, a time of new growth in my relationship with Jerilyn, a time of character building, a time of sharpening some skills, a time of walking with some families through deep pain, a time of celebrating with our son Grady and his wife Ann over accomplishments in their life and celebrating with Jody over accomplishments in his life. One of Jody’s accomplishments includes some acting and photography. I encourage you to check out Pilgramers on YouTube along with with “Stuff Instagramers Say.” You can also see photos on Instagram @JodyJohnston or @Pilgramers. I still pray daily for the wife that God has for Jody and look forward to meeting her one-day. He enters his Senior Year at Liberty University this fall and we look forward to celebrating his graduation in the spring of 2013.

I am excited about the work God has and continues to do in my life and I look forward to writing about those things along with some others things in the day ahead.

Today, I can say that I am excited because I have a new sense of freedom in Christ and plan to exercise all of those freedoms for the sake of the Kingdom. I am excited that God has freed me up to write and while I may write from time to time I am committed to pursuing God.

You see my not writing was not about time, priorities or responsibilities. It was about my obedience to my Master Jesus Christ.

Thanks for taking time to read this post. If it has encouraged you or if you have some specific questions about your own journey in Christ or my journey please leave a comment here at jayjohnston.org or message me on Facebook or Twitter.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

Louisiana/Haiti Missions Partnership

The intent of this partnership is first and foremost to announce the Gospel to the Nation of Haiti. The initial scope will be focused on working with Pastor Odvald and the association of churches he serves as the Senior Pastor of Nouvelle Eglise Evangelique Baptiste Church in Croix-des-Bouquet.  This includes currently the work in six churches and two church plants that have the potential to reach 1.5 million people among this association of churches.

The scope of the partnership will include but not limited to Prayer Walking Teams, Medical Clinics, Bible Clubs, Church Planting, Orphanage Support, School Support, Evangelistic Crusades and Building Projects.

The Louisiana Baptist/Haiti Partnership Missions will begin and continue through PrayGr8Commission. This is an opportunity to Pray Daily for Christ to give you daily opportunities to share the Gospel and make Disciples where you live while also praying for the work in Haiti.

The long-term goal is to assist these churches by:

Providing Prayer Support

Establish a permanent Medical Clinic at each church

Provide sponsorship to staff a nurse five days a week for 8 hours a day (discovery cost)

Provide assistance with church planting among this association of churches

Provide teams to conduct Backyard Bible Clubs

Provide for school support when appropriate

Provide Construction teams to build churches, Medical Clinics, Schools and an Orphanage

Provide assistance with the establishment of at least one orphanage and sponsorship of children

Provide Pastors to conduct Crusades at least twice a year

The target group for Mission Teams on the field is freshman in High School and above!

Encourage Children’s Ministries among the Louisiana Baptist Churches to adopt pastors and churches to support through prayer, offering and at least once a year conduct campaigns to raise supplies for churches, schools and eventually an orphanage

You might say I am unable to go because of many reasons and if that is the case you are the prime candidate:

To start prayer teams for Haiti

To financially support the work

To serve as an area Representative to secure donations for children’s school supplies

To serve as an area Representative for securing Medical Supplies

To serve however God leads you to support this work

With your gift of money, time and service you are meeting the physical, spiritual, educational needs of babies, children, youth and adults in one of the world’s poorest nations. In addition to meeting these most basic needs, you are helping foster a new generation of Christian Leaders for Haiti.

For more information contact:

Louisiana/Haiti Partnership Mission Coordinator

Dr. Jay Johnston, Associate Pastor

First Baptist Church of Covington

16333 Hwy 1085

Covington, La 70433

Cell – 615-260-4752

Office – 985-892-2149

Email: jjohnston@fbccov.org

 

To make a financial contribution:

The details of the foundation that will be handling the financial resources is being finalized. I will post details late next week about where to submit your donation. In the meantime you can submit them to FBC Covington clearly marked Haiti partnership and make it to the attention of Karen McKnight. You will receive tax receipt and we will posting on a quarterly basis where and how the funds are being spent.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

Follow Jay on Twitter @jaygjohnston

Thank You for Praying!

I am thankful people pray! I am thankful for those who prayed for me and those that travelled with me to Haiti last week. Your prayer support for the work taking place in Haiti is making a difference. The work is good, the people are appreciative and I believe bringing lifechange to the people of Haiti and to those helping make a difference in Haiti that will affect both Heaven and Hell.

I am also praying for those who are reading my blog about Haiti. Your prayers are at the very core of the work for Haiti that will make a difference. Your willingness to pray also opens the door of your heart and mind to be involved with helping to make a difference in Haiti by going with a team in the coming weeks, months or years to help fulfill the strategy, byy assisting with the gathering of supplies or by financially contributing to the work.

As you pray I believe God will reveal to you the part you are to be involved with in Haiti. 

In my next blog on Haiti I will lay out the strategy for the work in Haiti, how you can pray, go and give.

Thanks for praying!

With a Grateful Support,
Jay

A Christ-Like Attitude!

February 18, 2012

We hear the word attitude and often think of circumstances that occur throughout a person’s life.  Perhaps you may think that with a proper attitude your own circumstances might have a different outcome. I am uncertain about attitude changing outcomes in circumstances of life but I am certain that with a proper attitude or better defined as a Christ-like attitude the person is changed.

Earlier this week I received an email that one of our church members was diagnosed with lymphoma and would be undergoing more test to determine the severity of this disease. On Friday February 17, 2012 the church member and his family were informed that he has stage 4 cancer that is mantle cell lymphoma involving the b cells with a blastoid/blastic variant.  It is a rare and aggressive form of cancer. It is in his bone marrow.

I have been praying for this church member over the past two weeks because two-weeks ago today he shared with me that he was not feeling well and would be undergoing test on Tuesday and Wednesday of that week. I had received some initial feedback from the family on those tests with an understanding more test would need to be run. I then received word that he was admitted to a hospital because he was weak and experiencing other symptoms that were not normal.  It was after he was admitted to the hospital that I receive word of his diagnoses. As I continued to pray for this man while waiting to return back from a mission trip I could think only of his attitude. His attitude when he shared with me that he was experiencing some health problems was an attitude of strength and peace. While you could see the concern of family members the man with this health issues was strong. Well, on Thursday of this week I was able to see this man for the first time since his diagnoses and even though he had just returned from a very difficult procedure his attitude was strong. You could see the peace upon him and I also witnessed that same peace upon his wife and adult children.

I saw this man today and this was the first time I saw him since he received the full diagnoses and again I saw a man with an attitude of peacefulness. I saw the same attitude upon the family. However, it is not just in the faces of this family it is in their voices and their entire demeanor.

I do not know what the final outcome will be regarding his medical situation but I can tell you that the attitude of this man and his family has changed me.

I do know this is a man who loves God, knows God and professes him as Lord of his life. I have watched this man for several years demonstrate his love for Jesus in his daily walk.

He exhibits the type of Christ-like Attitude we read in Philippians 2:4-11.

Philippians 2:4-11 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

 

4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, 
did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. 7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man 
in His external form, 
8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient 
to the point of death— 
even to death on a cross. 9 For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name 
that is above every name, 
10 so that at the name of Jesus 
every knee will bow— 
of those who are in heaven and on earth 
and under the earth — 
11 and every tongue should confess 
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What about your attitude? Might your attitude be one that allows Jesus to be Lord over everything in your life. Today, let your walk with Jesus be one that no matter your circumstances be used by Jesus to influence and change the lives of many or one.

Thanks Bill for allowing your attitude to radiate Christ and be used to change my life.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

You can follow Jay on Twitter @jaygjohnston

 

A Haitian Pastor!

Feb. 16, 2012

Today, I want to tell you a little bit about Pastor Jean Odvald Louis who goes by Pastor Odvald. This pastor had a heart for Christ, a love for his family and a commitment to equip the people he is leading and working everyday to see the ministry is about multiplying with the hope of reaching one more for Jesus everyday.

Pastor Odvald along with his wife Jeannide Lafleur Louis, Daughter’s: Lmadnide, Marie Phoebe (baby) and son Bertsley  live in Croix-des-Bouquet (pronounced Creole: Kwadèbouke or English: quad a bouquet). Pastor Odvald and his wife love the local church and committed to reaching those around them for Christ and to disciple them.

I have found Pastor Odvald to be a man constantly seeking the heart of God. He is a man prayerful in his ways, strong in teaching God’s Word, visionary leader that gets things done.

The Louisiana/Haiti Missions partnership will be working hand in hand with Pastor Odvald and the churches under his leadership. I ask that you place Pastor Odvald on your prayer list as we begin working with him.

If you are interesting in serving on a Mission Team in Haiti please let me know and I will get you connected to groups that will be going every month beginning in May 2012.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

Follow Jay on Twitter @jaygjohnston

A Love Story!

February 14, 2012

We took off for the town of Thomassin to visit a church plant and orphanage to learn more and see what we could take from this visit. We spent time first visiting a Church Plant that the Lord is blessing with people making life-changing commitments to Jesus. This was an encouraging time to the team to see and hear about the ongoing ministry of the church plant. 

We then went to visit a guesthouse that provides housing for ministry teams and for parents who are adopting children from a local orphanage. After visiting the guest house and having questions answered from the house mom we then took off to see an orphanage. The orphanage is currently renting multiple homes to care for the children while permanent construction is taking place.  We were able to visit two of the classrooms where the children are being taught. In one of the classrooms the children were in English class. The curriculum they are in requires the children to learn, English, French and Creole. The classroom had a great atmosphere and the children seem to be very happy. We had a great time visiting the children.

After visiting the toddlers and older children’s portion of the orphanage we went to visit the home where newborn to two year olds were cared for at the orphanage. The care and attention of the staff was impressive and the babies were precious. As we talked to the babies as they lay in their baby beds you could witness smiles of the infants and the team members.

The love that is being shown by the orphanage, which is part of God’s Littlest Angels Ministry, was outstanding. The children at the orphanage are not only being cared for but the staff is intentional about sharing the story of Jesus with all of the children.

The Guest House directors are Nikki and Brandon Jordan. This couple are from the United States. We were thrilled to learn that Nikki Jordan formerly Nikki LeBlanc is from New Iberia, Louisiana, The Jordan’s along with their children are doing a great work for the Lord through this ministry.

We also had time to eat a meal away from the Florida House during the late afternoon and spend a few minutes walking in a nearby town. During our walk around time the Lord provided us numerous opportunities to share the story of Jesus.

The day was truly about love that comes from God as we witnessed the love being shown in the orphanage and by team members sharing the story of Jesus with people on the street.

May the Love of Jesus flood your heart today!

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

You can follow Jay on Twitter @jaygjohnston.org