2012, the 80th anniversary year for World Outreach International (WOI), is well and truly underway, and what a good start it has been. I hope you can say the same!
New WOI Office Singapore: Towards the end of 2011 we needed to make a decision about whether or not to renew another two year rental contract for the WOI office in Singapore. While praying about this and other decisions that needed to be made, the Holy Spirit spoke into my heart, ‘it’s time to buy!’ Predictions about the world’s fragile economic situation for 2012/13 were anything but positive, with many respected folk saying the next two years were not a good time to take unnecessary risks. While holding all this before the Lord, He spoke Ecclesiastes 11:4 to me: “He who watches the wind does not sow, he who watches the clouds does not reap.” It was as if the Lord was saying, ‘who will you listen to?’
After sharing all this with our WOI colleagues (who were unanimously in favour), we said ‘yes’, let’s do it. Local friends helped us negotiate a good price for an office in a very good location. With no funds, yet with faith in our hearts, we agreed to sign a ‘purchase to buy’ agreement that would then require a 15% deposit within three weeks of signing. The Holy Spirit then dropped the words into my heart, ‘watch me!’ What has followed during the last four months can only be seen as a miracle! Through the generosity of ministry partners, WOI personnel, and people we have never met, the new WOI office will be completely debt free by the end of this month! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! All Glory to Jesus!
Father’s Passing: In amongst all that was happening in Singapore, John’s 88 year old Dad passed away on January 6th. While he had not been well for some months, his death still came unexpectedly because he had been doing better with his health. Along with our children, extended family members and friends, we enjoyed celebrating Dad’s amazing entrepreneurial life.
Our 40th Wedding Anniversary:
On March 11, 40 years ago, we said ‘I do’ to each other… amongst other things! Back in 1972 we had no idea whatsoever that 40 years later we would be serving the Lord in missions, and living the life we are today. We wanted to do something very special to celebrate this milestone and decided to join some friend’s 10 day tour to Israel last month. What a great decision that was. It was a such a wonderful experience that has provided many happy and lasting memories.
WOI 80th Anniversary, South Africa:
We arrived in South Africa (from Israel) to finalise arrangements for the first of two WOI 80th anniversary celebrations this year. The first was set for April 1 – 5 near Pretoria with 118 WOI field personnel serving in Europe, the Middle East and the continent of Africa, along with 30-40 day visitors/observers. The second anniversary will be held in Chiangmai, northern Thailand from July 9 – 13.
“Fantastic” was a common verbal expression of gratitude used by different participants as they began to leave the retreat centre on the last day. There was a wonderful sense of the Holy Spirit with us throughout, right from the very first meeting. Many encouraging prophecies were shared during the four nights and three days together, along with some powerful words that were brought to WOI as an organisation. We also had lots of fun together. The plenary sessions, the different regional field reports, the electives and the evening meeting ministry times were very well received. Prophet/Pastor Alex Larsen prophesied over all the participants and everyone came away with a fresh ‘word’ from the Lord.
Here are just a few testimonies from WOI personnel:
“From the first meeting to the last, I just wept, not sorrowful, rather joyful with the presence of the Lord ministering to me from day one.” (Christine)
“It was a wonderful time of fellowship, passionate worship, powerful prayer, prophecy and inspiring teaching. We also had a lot of laughter and good food. I was refreshed in body, soul and spirit. Thanks everyone.” (Stephanie)
“I must say we really enjoyed the celebration, especially the worship, the teaching sessions and the field reports. We were inspired and empowered anew. Thank you for all who organised things, and for spoiling us.” (Martin & Simonne)
“The best time ever!” (Chris)
“For us the celebration was a time of spiritual refreshing and hearing from the Lord. All the messages touched our hearts. We are so blessed to be part of WOI. It was great to come together to worship and thank God as well as enjoy great fellowship.” (Nathan & Sawsan)
From guests and observers:
“We are friends of several WOI missionaries and really appreciated the opportunity to attend your 80th anniversary celebration. We were impressed by three things in particular; (a) the strong emphasis on supporting the individual’s calling and ministry; (b) 80 year old WOI’s willingness to adapt and be flexible in a changing world; (c) an infectious sense of humour and joyfulness that prove that WOI is a family. We were personally deeply blessed by participating in this celebration.” (Ernst)
“Thanks for a great conference. I nearly didn’t make it but by God’s grace I did in the end. This celebration shaped my way of thinking, my vision and my ministry. I was looking for a lot of answers which I received by the end. Everything was well organised and a blessing to us all.” (Thuens)
“We came to the conference with the expectancy of hearing from the Lord – and we were not disappointed. From day one we only experienced love, acceptance and encouragement. We felt like every teaching session was talking to us and we were encouraged and strengthened at each session. We have come away from the conference different people. More sure of ourselves, more sure of our calling and that we are in God’s will. We feel so light, the heaviness of the last couple of years has been taken away and we are going back to Mozambique with new zeal and purpose.” (Eugene & Tina)
Want to do something radical this year? Join us at the WOI 80th anniversary celebration in Chiangmai, northern Thailand, July 9 – 13! You won’t regret it.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.world-outreach.com and we will be happy to send you information pertaining to this exciting event. The very nice hotel staff in Chiangmai want us to confirm numbers by May 30. Don’t delay!
We really do thank the Lord for your encouragement and partnership with us for the cause of world missions. We can only do what the Lord makes possible through faithful ministry partners. Be blessed.
John & Mary Elliott
This is the personal newsletter of John & Mary Elliott, World Outreach International Director. Along with all other World Outreach missionary personnel, John & Mary are non-salaried and trust the Lord each month to supply their personal needs. For those who would like to financially partner with John & Mary, you can do so by sending support to any World Outreach International country office listed below. Please clearly designate your gift when it is sent and email us at email@example.com. You can also donate via our website: www.world-outreach.com.
World Outreach Country Offices:
- New Zealand: P O Box 97230 Manukau 2241.
- Australia: PO Box 5000 Sunshine Coast MC Qld 4560
- Singapore: Ghim Moh Post Office, PO Box 048, Singapore 912732
- Holland: PO Box 2549, 2002RA Haarlem.
- USA: 615 East 9800 South, Sandy UT 84070.
- UK: PO Box 9256, Market Harborough, LE16 0FH, UK
John & Mary are based in Singapore. John serves as the Director of World Outreach International (WOI), a multiracial fellowship of Christians and ministries focused on the least reached peoples of the world. WOI has more than 350 fulltime personnel serving in over 60 nations on five continents. John heads an executive team of senior missionaries, pastors and business leaders who oversee the field personnel, various ministries and WO bases, around the world.