Holiday Greetings to all of our Gateway International Family and Friends!
What an exciting time to be alive and participating in “Kingdom Life”!
We wanted to give you a recap of our recent trip to India & South Korea, to let you know how your love, prayers and monthly support are literally impacting internationally as we are guided to go and carry His presence, and touch the lives of the precious people in these nations!
After 48 hours of flying, layovers in airports and driving to our first destination, we arrived in Kochi, Kerala, Southern India- hoping to eat a quick meal and retreat to our hotel for much needed rest...but that was OUR “Plan A”! We were greeted at the airport by our dear host Pastor PJ John, his wife and some of his team, who were so excited to welcome us after 7 years since our last trip! It was a sweet reunion. They then took us to a Dr’s. home near the airport where a lovely meal had been prepared and waiting for us, since our plane was about 1&1/2 hours late. After eating, plans had already been made for us to be part of a monthly worship/intercessor gathering held in that home as well, so with the strength of the Lord, we of course joined in with such a sincere and earnest group of people!
Once we finished there, we travelled 2 hours by car to Kottayam, Kerala, where our hosts live and where John & I had been 7 years ago with the Rickard’s, a RAIN Ministries team and some of our interns. We enjoyed an evening of rest and prepared for the “Access Power Conference” starting the next morning.
The ACCESS POWER CONFERENCE was held at a Catholic Retreat Center not far from our hotel. We had a sweet surprise when we were joined by prophetic/ascension worshippers, Bryan & Anisha Longridge, whom we had known of from ministry connections in the Philippines. They are now located in Kochi, India!
Longridge’s decided to come be with us when they saw on Facebook we were near them! Papa even arranged that they chose the same hotel we were staying in. This proved to be such a sweet “kiss from heaven” for all of us. Our host pastor invited them to lead a part of the worship just before we were to get up to speak, which proved to be a divine setup, resulting in opened portals and provided an awesome atmosphere of His presence and glory!
We had 2 sessions, that day, with John carrying the main teaching in the first session and then Ruth carried the afternoon teaching. It was so amazing to see the look on the translator’s face and hear his excitement as we taught and he heard us teaching things that were “newer” to them. Papa had already been downloading to he and a couple of the other pastors similar revelation. A few times he became so excited and caught up in listening, he forgot to translate what we were saying- he said it was like “fresh manna” from heaven!
Due to time constraints of needing to be be out of the venue, we were unable to personally pray for each person, as we had hoped and had even announced, BUT GOD!!...is always faithful and makes a way, so we just walked through the gathering on our way out, and touched people and prayed briefly for each one to receive increase in revelation, as well as healing anywhere in their bodies!
The next 3 days were scheduled for sightseeing and driving to our next city where we would be ministering at a church on Sunday morning.
We were given a lovely 5 hour cruise on a house boat that had been used as a “spice-boat” in earlier days, on the Backwaters of Kerala.
The next day we drove through the lovely green and lush tea fields, where we saw hundreds of plantation workers hand-cutting and drying tea leaves,(it is very hard, tedious work where they earn an average of $7.50/day!). We also got to see more monkeys along the roads than we’ve ever seen, elephants doing clearing and logging, and at one point we knew we were very near tigers, only because there were warning signs not to get out of your car if you stop.
That Saturday, we were to travel “7 hours” to our next place of ministry, but after switching out cars and changing drivers, we noticed that the GPS was having some difficulty and we began to encounter some “military/police checkpoints” every 10 minutes or so. Due to limited ability of our hosts and driver to speak English, we were just being told repeatedly, “detour!” To make a very long story short, due to some unrest and protests going on, we were unable to go to the city planned for us to minister in. We had to continue on to our next destination which was Bangalore, where we arrived at 1:30 AM after a 16 hour car ride! Again, Papa had not only protected us from harm, but provided a lovely “home” for our much-needed rest. We also had time for some one on one ministry with a young hotel owner, his family and staff! Our 3 days there proved very fruitful and we now have deep eternal connections that have become “family” to us. We continue even now to communicate and pray with this family!
As we flew on to Hyderabad , excitement grew within our spirits, because the group hosting us, Ecclesia led by Prem Samuel, as well as another group joining them had already been sending us messages of expectation of what Papa was going to do when we got there!
Wow! A group of hungry, Kingdom-minded people, who have been earnestly pursuing and “practicing” what they were hearing and seeing! Needless to say, that our first “Access Unlimited Conference” ever held in India, proved to be a rewarding and fruitful time as well! Lives were transformed, hearts changed and increase in understanding was palpable in the room! We were welcomed fully and treated royally, with invitation to return whenever possible!
We were also able to minister in outdoor settings as well- people were always approaching us wanting to us take pictures with them, which led to some pretty amazing “open-door” moments and even allowed us to pray with many of them and exchange “What’s App” information. We’ve continued to hear from some of these people since coming home!
After leaving Hyderabad, we flew back to Chennai, where John continued on to South. Korea. Ruth and Melissajoy had a long layover there and then flew back to the U.S. by way of Dubai, with some “hiccups” along the way, but we were so grateful to be home to see the family and prepare for Thanksgiving!
Overall, this trip proved to be quite long, had some challenging elements to it, but looking back on it, was so worth it all! We still hear “echoes” of the voices, sights, sounds, smells and love of these beautiful people, that have captured Papa’s heart and now our hearts as well- we don’t have a scheduled return date, but will keep you posted!
The most recent ministry trip into South Korea was made by John, after 2 weeks in India. One of the main reasons for this side journey was to connect with the Korean publishing company who will publish John’s first book in another language. Thanks for praying for wisdom. We have decided we will produce both in the U.S. and S. Korea at the same time. Pray for wise decisions to be made once editing is complete. Thanks for walking through this journey with us.
Many of you knew that our Korean Gateway International Director, Joshua Kim moved to The United Kingdom and is currently living about an hour and a half southwest of London and working for LG. We are currently praying about what God wants Gateway International to do in the U.K. Please pray with us for wisdom as we pursue Heaven.
In the meantime, we are also asking Papa what to do with the leadership of Gateway International, South Korea. With the knowledge of Joshua leaving Korea, there are those who have been friends of Gateway that have expressed an interest to work with us. We DO need God’s team, so please agree with us for a knowledgable, competent team that can carry the national leadership, as well as City Gates Business Nexus. At this time, we are all praying with those who have expressed interest. Thank you for your partnering with us.
Ruth and I are always grateful for long term relationships and Youngmi Kwon has been so helpful every time we make our way to this amazing nation. I had the wonderful privilege to connect with several friends and renew acquaintances, strengthening our presence in South Korea.
I ended my stay with a two-day conference in Incheon, with the New Incheon Methodist Church, a very presence-based people that we have had 3 years of relationship with. Gateway International champions this body of Believers and they champion G.I. What a powerful time of teaching that was caught as Holy Spirit was faithful to open the eyes of their understanding, causing them to walk in a new level of joy. What a privilege!
My return trip was a little bit of a challenge with a 6 hour delay of one flight, throwing all flights off and causing a forced re-purchase of my return flight home. After nearly 60 hours, this guy was glad to be back on U.S. soil and with my family.
We have come to know so well, the value and power of the support of each one of you and we say a huge, “Thank You”!
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we will not be overseas until March. This is the longest we will be home in 3 years. We welcome the rest and time with family, finishing up much needed work and preparing for ministry in 2020.
A very Merry Christmas and Happy 2020,
John, Ruth & Melissajoy-