Monday, October 19, 2009


Vol 1, Issue 2

The Strategy

Greetings! The cooler weather has arrived and finds us immersed in this new ministry that God has opened us for us in the Oklahoma City metro area. A lot of things have come together since our last newsletter, including a specific action plan for ministry here. So if you have been wondering just what steps we are taking to reach and disciple internationals in this new field, the plan below should be helpful:

The Action Plan
1. Engage in redemptive relationships with internationals in the Oklahoma City metro area. The initial groups and areas targeted are as follows: Asians in the suburb of Edmond; Africans and East Indians in the suburb of Yukon.

2. From these relationships and other contacts with partnering organizations, begin to have Bible studies with interested individuals and couples.

3. Target key individuals in the Bible studies who seem to be interested in outreach. Disciple them towards that end and then work at providing opportunities for them to minister to others in local ethnic ministries or even in a foreign missions context such as with short term trips.

4. Augment or establish new international fellowships comprised of people from the Bible studies, developing a strong missions/outreach focus and discipleship training within them.
5. Help local churches develop vision and strategies for reaching out to internationals in their community.
The Plan in Action
It may be great to have a plan, but what does all that planning look like when put into practice? Here's what's happening so far as we begin this work:
Four days a week I travel to the northern suburb of Edmond to make contact with the plethora of internationals living and studying in this university town. The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) is the state's oldest institution of higher learning and also happens to be my alma mater. This year saw around 60 new Chinese students enroll to join the already large population of their countrymen and other Asians attending the school. In response, a new Chinese fellowship was established in late August pastored by a Chinese-American. In one service last month alone they had 45 people show up, and five Chinese came to Christ! I'm taking a Chinese class on campus, partnering with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, and am planning on starting an ESL/Bible study with hopefully some of the new converts and other interested internationals in the spring. I am currently developing redemptive relationships on campus and in Edmond with individuals from Japan, the Philippines, Myanmar, Taiwan, China, Mexico, Spain, and even Senegal!
In the western suburb of Yukon where we live I am partnering with Chandra Rudrapathi, an East Indian missions pastor, to reach internationals here. There are many people from India living in the area, and I am currently co-leading a Bible study for them and other international or internationally-focused individuals on Fridays. Chandra is leading a team to India in February to help people here to catch an even greater vision for ministry among Indians in the area, and together we are working toward starting an international fellowship in the spring on the campus of First Baptist Church of Yukon. I am also developing redemptive relationships locally with individuals from Haiti, Kenya, Vietnam, and Mexico.
More opportunities and partnerships are appearing on the horizon as I get further into the ministry here. Please pray that I will be sensitive to the Spirit over which ones He wants me to pursue.
And now a word for our sponsors...
You may have noticed that the support figure needed this time is much greater than that listed on the last prayer letter. This was because the updated commitments of the move from Senegal to the US had not yet been calculated at the time of printing. The loss of the stipend from Dakar Academy alone had a tremendous effect on our budget. Many of you know that I loathe talking about money, and rarely mention finances in prayer letters. However, we would ask you to pray greatly over this matter. We know God has called us to ministry here, and while the Kingdom potential is great, much additional support is needed for us to be able to do it effectively.
Other Prayer Requests
Please continue to pray for Joyce in her ministry of providing care for my parents and our children plus managing the nitty-gritty work of two households while I am at the university, leading a Bible study, etc. None of this would be possible without my life partner backing me up.
Thanks for praying for our son-in-law Brad's job situation. He is now working at UPS and enjoying the challenge of so much heavy lifting. Pray for his wife, our daughter, Katie, though, as she has been sick for quite awhile now.
Continue to pray for open doors in some of the many redemptive relationships I have formed. Space limits me to only listing their pseudonyms for this issue and no stories, but God will know who you are talking about as you pray for them. So please pray for "Al" and "Sarah" (Japan), "Debbie" (Myanmar), "Jerry" (Philippines), "Marc" (Haiti), "Joey" (Vietnam), "Linda" (China), "Timothy" (Kenya), "Amanda" (Mexico), "Penny" (Spain), "Gabriel" (Taiwan), and "Nancy" (Senegal).
Thanks for praying for my progress in learning the language and culture of China. I just received a 100% on my mid-term exam. Please continue to pray for me as I try to practice what I'm learning. My friend "Gabriel" believes in using the complete immersion method of Chinese when speaking with me, introducing me to friends, etc. (Boy, does my head hurt afterward!)
Your support and prayers are much of what keeps us going. Thanks again for your partnership in this work.

Yours By his Grace,
John for the rest of the Ropers

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