As you have seen here, Lanita and I are taking a trip to Ireland for one week in September. The purpose of this trip will be to meet with Miles McKee to learn more about his ministry, to share with him about our ministry as part of To Every Tribe, and how we will work with his ministry in Ireland. We will talk about what our tasks will be while we are in our first term, find out about housing, and lots of other daily life necessities. All of this will be in preparation for our move over, Lord willing, in early 2016. We will also spend some time in the west of Ireland. This is the area where, Lord willing, we will be moving to after our first term of language and culture acquisition. As you can see this is a very busy and necessary trip as we move forward in the plans the Lord has given us.
A roadside view of a mountain in western Ireland
We completed our training at the end of May and then had our celebration the first week of June. We have some important and encouraging news to share. We have been appointed by To Every Tribe to pursue missions in West Ireland. Although, some may have seen or heard already from the June To Every Tribe update, Here.
What does this mean? It means that our family will be moving to Ireland. To Every Tribe has made a partnership with a ministry in Ireland that has agreed to have us to serve with them during our first term as we learn language and culture. This will be a great opportunity to serve beside a man who has experience planting churches in Ireland and to have people who are brothers and sisters in Christ that have cultural insight.
When? We do not have an exact date. A man makes his plans and the Lord directs his steps. We do have a target date. Lord willing, we hope to move over in March 2016. We see this as a good target date because it would allow us some time to get settled in Ireland, culturally, emotionally, and just being able to find the grocery store and buy toilet paper. All of this before summer comes, which we hear will be one of the best times to make friends because the Irish are out more. Before the move we will have time to continue to grow our relationship with our sending church Word of God in Brownsville, Tx as they seek to serve us best when we are in the field. We also will have time to raise the rest of our field support needed and to be able to spend the Thanksgiving/Christmas season with our family in Missouri. This date also gives Lanita and I time to raise funds and take a week trip to Ireland, so we can meet with our partners and learn more about Ireland and how what the Lord is doing through us fits with what He is already doing in this dark country. If you would be interested in supporting this trip please send me an email, address below.
Why, Ireland? This thought may have crossed your mind while reading. First, the Word says go. Second, the Lord burdened our hearts for this country. If, the first two are not enough then here’s a Third, this country has less than one percent of evangelicals and out of those churches many of them hold to the prosperity gospel or an unbiblical theology. Ultimately, we are going to plant churches in the west of Ireland to glorify our great God and call the Irish to do the same.
We invite you to be a part of what Christ is doing. Pray, check our blog homepage, we will be adding a prayer link where you will be able to find what we are currently in need of prayer for. Send us encouragement, we have Facebook, email, and text. Support us financially, as we prepare for the field we will need an increase in support, Support the Burgess Family
Daniel E. Burgess II
Lanita A. Burgess
firstname.lastname@example.org Painting of the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross, Co. Wexford, Ireland
As I(Daniel) look back from my final trip to Mexico, it’s hard to separate food from meaningful conversations. It seems we have shared at least a cool drink with most everyone we have met. We’ve spent two years building relationships and eating in Mexico. We’ve had joy and sadness. Having seen Christ give new life and to see others go, not knowing if they were saved. So, every time I sit styrofoam cup in hand and bow my head to pray as happened in Mexico a lot, I will remember that Christ used me as a witness and used Mexico to grow me to be a better servant.
Ministering in this way seems strange to our western minds, because many of us view eating as an individualistic time-absorbing necessity. In this culture(Mexican) and many others, including Jesus'(think of, feeding/teaching the 5000-Luke 9:10-17 or even the Last Supper-Luke 22:7-20), sharing truths and getting involved in someone’s life normally and naturally happens around meals. Remember, as you sit and eat to take time and share your life and Christ with others.
Pray with me for Village R. as my friends/teammates continue to call people to Christ and train up believers in the Word.
“Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.
The chapter begins late in the year 2011, when God allowed me (Daniel) to meet, Jamie Haguewood. I remember thinking this man does something with scripture that I have not seen anyone else do, I must learn what it is(preaching exegetically). After this thought, I had to meet with Mr. Haguewood to discuss church membership. As we closed out our conversation he said, “Do you feel called to ministry?”. I responded with a “Yes”, having had missions put on my heart the day the Lord saved me. Moving on from that day Jamie began teaching, watching my life, and mentoring me. When we had spent much time and I had grown in the Word, he began encouraging me to be trained to go into missions. The Lord confirmed this in my own heart through His word and knowing that, if I were to teach others, I myself must be trained. My family and I were accepted to the Center for Pioneer Church Planting and moved to Los Fresnos, Tx in late summer 2013 to begin our two years of training. I was staring at a chapter filled with enough theology and missiology packed into it, I didn’t know if I would make it to the other side.
Now, I stand staring at the conclusion paragraph with only three training weeks left. In the last three months I’ve spent almost as much time in Mexico as I have the U.S.. Some of those days spent in Oaxaca working with our friends there. We went to village SJQ, where I had been to take the Bible last year. I had been praying for a young man in the village. What a story I got when we made it to the village. The work God had done in our absence was incredible and a great cause to worship. Christ hearing and answering our/your prayers had saved a young man by having saved a man who was listening to a Guatemalan Christian radio broadcast, who because of his beliefs was required to open the door of the catholic church as a sort of punishment, and it was there that a staggering young man came looking for help. Being wise the older man said to the younger “Come with me, I can help you.” He shared the Gospel with the young man who quickly believed. The younger man had been baptized one week before we arrived in March. This story is only one small glimpse at the work God is doing to make His name known to the nations and to glorify Himself.
As this chapter closes the Lord is already at work, going before us to prepare the way in the next chapter that He has chosen to glorify Himself in. We, so to speak, have glanced at the preface of the chapter and are excited about what is ahead.
Pray that the Lord would lead us to the supporters He has for us that we would be able to raise our funds and get to the field quickly. Please continue to pray for us to remain strong in the Word and to grow in Christ.
Jude 2- May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.
As I (Lanita) type this, Daniel is about 1200 miles away in the mountains of Oaxaca Mexico. He left Monday March 2nd and, Lord willing, will be home March 14th.
A little over a year ago, Daniel had the opportunity of seeing God work in a village in unimaginable ways. He was able to see a people, not only hear their language through an audio recording for the first time, but see their language written down for the first time. The first time they have ever seen their written language or heard it through speakers and it’s the Word of God.
Here in America we take so many things for granted. We can go anywhere and see our language everywhere, on everything. Both along the way and when we get there. Billboards, magazines, packaging, labels, flyers, books, buildings, street signs. . . it’s on nearly everything. Rarely, if ever, do we really think about this though. Imagine if everywhere you went, things were in a different language. If you had no choice but to learn a second language just to thrive in your own native country. How would we feel if people told us our language was no good, useless and unnecessary? It’d be hard. It happened to U.S. native americans and now their languages are rare, some of them even dead. It’s no different for these Mexican native americans.
Now imagine if someone came to you with your language and told you it was beautiful and wanted to share something amazing with you. What if you had never heard of Jesus, and His story was the first you’d ever read. Imagine learning to read your language by following along in a bible listening to it recorded. It’s so hard for me to fathom the wonder, excitement and curiosity that ran through their minds as they heard the story of Christ.
As Daniel is now back in this village, I continue to pray they saw the love of Christ through the dedication of the people who translated the new testament into their language. I pray they saw His love in the team putting forth an effort to restore confidence in their language. I pray they saw Christ in knowing someone spent 20 years on their language just to bring them this bible. I pray they know Christ loves them and I pray many of them have spent time learning to read the bible, and most importantly I pray they have come to start a personal relationship with him through this. I am anxious to hear Daniel’s stories, when He returns home, about how God has been at work. Please pray with me, for these people to see the wonder, love and amazing grace that is our Lord and Savior!
Many times since the first time of hearing the name John G. Paton, I have reflected on his life. Today I had to turn in my eight page biography here at the CPCP. Following here after is that paper, may it bless you and compel you to Glorify Christ even more in your life.
Having walked some distance with his father, John G. Paton, parted ways and began his three day journey to Glasgow. At Glasgow, Paton hoped to accrue the position of district visitor and tract distributor for the West Campbell Street Reformed Presbyterian Congregation. This appointment would allow him to receive one year of training at the Free Normal Seminary at no cost to him. It was his hope that he would be trained for teaching and then be able to push forward into Holy Ministry. John upon application also had to compose an essay on a subject, by his own thought and own writing. He composed two poems on the Covenanters, with little chance of being accepted. However, He had received a letter that he was to appear in Glasgow and compete against another fellow for the position in the Church. Having to walk forty miles and then catch the train to Glasgow, Paton was launched into the ocean of life. He reflected on the One who says, “I know thy poverty, but thou art rich.”
Having completed his studies and recovering from sickness that had come upon him during his schooling, John began to teach a School at Girvan. Teaching there until he had made enough money, he returned to Glasgow and became a student at the College. During his time however he had used up all but nine shillings, part of his money being lent to a fellow student who had never repaid him. This kept him from being able to enter classes. John set out to sell his school books in hope that he might remain for even just a little longer. Being convicted however as if he were a thief, ran from the pawn shop. Along his way John saw a sign reading “Teacher wanted, Maryhill Free Church School; apply at the Manse.” Having been accepted for the position, John began teaching early the next morning.
The school was said to be in a wreck having been filled with rough characters from the mills and coal-pits, who attended the evening classes. On one occasion a young man and woman began to attend. Tending from the first moments to only be interested in causing troubles. John having earnestly sought quiet and order, was mocked and the young man caused quite the raucous. John asked him to quiet or leave that at all hazards he would keep order, the man mocked and took on a fighting attitude. John quietly locked the door placing the key in his pocket, he then took the heavy cane that had been given him by the Minister of the school. Having warned John that several school masters and been abused and he should use the cane freely. He turned cane in hand towards the young man. After several difficult rounds evading punches and giving a number of blows with the cane the young man crouched, beaten at his desk. John instructed him to begin his book work which he did. Warning the rest that they should spread the word, if education was desired John would oblige but if they wanted trouble they would be conquered with that heavy cane. John had gained control and following his work the school flourished. This same attitude carried through John’s life.
After his time at the Maryhill School, John set out to work as part of the Glasgow City Mission. After due examining from the directors, he passed his trials and was appointed as a City Missionary. At this time John was around the age of twenty-three. He was appointed to an area that he felt was in much need and yet to be entreated upon by mission work. It was the area in and around the Green Street of Calton that he had been assigned. John left after that meeting praising God for all His mercies, and having seen His gracious hand lead him, and for the trials that had prepared him for his service.
After a year of toiling to call people in, Paton had six or seven who had been led to begin attending regularly a Sabbath service in the hay-loft of a barn. There was another group who met during the week in the home of an Irishwoman. She was the wife of a hard drinking abusive man. Through her and John’s prayer that man became a total abstainer and began attending church regularly. After a year of service the directors discussed moving John to a new area, thinking that the people of Green Street were unreachable. However, Paton pleaded with them to allow him to remain and work for six more months. This time was granted. When he met again with his current church goers he compelled them that they must bring in more people or he would be moved to work in a new area. The number of attendees immediately doubled. The attendees afraid that Paton would be moved did another great work and doubled the attendance again. At this point John’s work occupied every evening of the week and two services on Sunday. This continued with great success. During one visit John met an eight year old boy, John Sim. This boy shortly before his death said to his parents, “I am going soon to be with Jesus; but sometimes fear that I may not see you there.” His mother responded. “Why so, my child?” the boy replied, “Because, if you were set upon going to Heaven and seeing Jesus there, you would pray about it, and sing about it; you would talk about Jesus to others, and tell them of that happy meeting with Him in glory. All this my dear Sabbath School teacher taught me, and she will meet me there. Now why did not you, my father and mother, tell me all these things about Jesus, if you are going to meet Him too?” This boy longed to be with Jesus and impacted all around him, greatly. This and many other works of God followed Paton’s work as a City Missionary.
Enjoying his work in Glasgow, now thirty-two Paton says, “ I continually heard the wail of the perishing Heathen in the South Seas; and saw that few were caring for them.” He thinking that someone could carry his work forward in Calton, heard the call of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland for another missionary to join Rev. John Inglis in the New Hebrides. After a length of searching for a missionary the church resorted to casting lots and after such were still without a missionary. The Lord continued to press upon Paton, “ Since none better qualified can be got, rise and offer yourself!” Paton went about doing exactly that. He was released from his current work and commended to the work among the South Sea Heathens.
Upon fellow christians hearing of John’s desire, began imploring him not to go. One man always said, “The cannibals! You will be eaten by Cannibals!” Paton responded, “ Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will arise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.” The man left remarking, “After that I have nothing more to say!”
On the April 16, 1858 John G. Paton set sail to the foreign mission field. Along the journey to Melbourne he was under Captain Broadfoot, a scot, brave, and kind. John was permitted to hold bible classes on board and the captain led the singing of the hymns. It wasn’t always this way during ship travel. On the next ship the crew was rowdy and full of profane language. The captain keeping his first mate for the sole purpose of swearing at the men. However disagreeable this trip the Lord allowed them to make it. They came to the island of Tanna with their gear and set about building a house.
Having landed on the island of Tanna, November 5th, 1858, the Paton’s had much hope for the work that was to be done on this Heathen island. However, on March 3rd, 1859, Mary Ann Robson died not long after giving birth to Peter Robert Robson. Peter followed her in death on March 20th, 1859. The sickness that encompassed the Paton’s was due to a lack of knowledge on where to build a home on this island. Later, being warned by a Chief that you must sleep on high ground so the trade winds will blow through and keep you well John decided to move his home.
In the years that Paton remained on Tanna, he was continually given over to fever and sickness. He did much work in spite of being near death many times, either from nature or from man. One instance in which Paton had been in danger and spared by the Lord follows as such, one day John heard strange bleating from one of his milk goats and so rushed to the goat house. Upon entering he was surrounded by warriors. Thinking his death was imminent he began talking to these warriors about their sin and its punishment. John also told them how his only desire and reason for staying on Tanna was that he could impart happiness to them by teaching them to worship Jesus Christ. He also told them that if they killed him they would lose their best friend and he would be taken into eternal happiness with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They all slipped into the darkness of the jungle.
Early in the year 1862, John G. Paton left the island of Tanna, it being consumed with war. He left with only his bible and translations into Tannese. John left in sorrow knowing that the Lord’s work had been driven from the island of Tanna.
Paton, then spent the time from 1862-63 travelling around Australia raising support for a mission ship. He had a desire that the ship used by the missionaries should not be stained with the blood of slaves, nor known for the trading of guns and ammo. Being commissioned by other missionaries, Paton sought diligently to raise the entirety of funds for a new ship.
During this year he also spent much time recruiting more missionaries for the cause of the Heathens. John paton conducted mission services almost everyday and two or three on Sunday along with visiting every possible Sunday School that was along his path. Having done what he could to secure workers for the ministries, the Australian Committees, compelled John to return to Scotland for the purpose of bringing more missionaries to the New Hebrides.
The thought of returning to Scotland wasn’t a thought John took lightly, in fact he put out a “fleece” for the Lord. With this fleece Paton was solemnly convinced that returning home to Scotland was what the Lord had sovereignly planned for him. During the three month travel from Australia to London, the ship enjoyed a time of fellowship and service to the Lord. As they came around the Cape of Good Hope the ship was struck with lightning. All aboard survived and the captain came to John asking that all of them pray together thanking the Lord for His protection. Having left Australia May 16th, 1863, Paton arrived in London, August 26th, 1863.
Within two days of returning, John G. Paton had made his way home to Torthorwald to see his father and mother. Having been gone for five short years, but so much having come upon him in that time, they were filled with joy and sadness as they welcomed him. During his time in Scotland, calling out missionaries and seeking funds the Lord blessed Paton with a wife. Margaret Whitecross, was well equipped by God’s sovereignty, as help-mate to John. The two were married in 1864. The last time of visit with his parents was the day his father commended him and Margaret to the work of the Lord once again that salvation may be given to the Heathen.
John and Margaret Paton landed in Australia on January 17th, 1865. As soon as he could, John went and saw the Dayspring. The mission ship that he had toiled to get. The Lord had blessed the missionaries with a double masted Brigantine. A beautiful ship that John says, was “ Set a-floating by the pennies of the children to bear the Gospel to these sin-darkened but sun-lit Southern Isles.”
The Patons and other missionaries sailed for the Islands on August 8th, 1866. Mid October found them at port on Tanna. Many Tannese desired for John and his wife to stay. However, the missions society had given him orders to base on Aniwa. Paton’s heart was in pain as he left a certain chief groping in the dimly lit twilight of the soul. In November 1866, Aniwa became the home of John G. Paton. He spent fifteen years working on Aniwa. He said, “ I claimed Aniwa for Jesus, and by the grace of God Aniwa now worships at the Saviour’s feet.” During his time on Aniwa Paton was once again faced with the hardships of life among Cannibals. To keep peace he would run right in between the two contending parties and has said that he was invulnerable as long as he was doing the work of the Lord. He continued living this out until he went to sleep in the Lord on January 28th, 1907.
As we have seen John G. Paton was a mighty servant of the Lord. Having undertaken many arduous and perilous task for the sake of reaching the Heathens for the Lord Jesus Christ. He spent over fifty years preaching the Gospel and calling lost sheep to their Great Shepherd. All of his work done with a humble heart and high view of God. There is one area of John’s life that hitherto we have yet to take a look at. This I would consider the greatest and most impactful to his service of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must diligently look back to his childhood and understand the history and love of Christ that his parents demonstrated continually for him.
John Gibson Paton was born May 24th, 1824 near Dumfries, Scotland. He was born the son of a stocking maker, his father James Paton. His mother, Janet Jardine Rogerson, a warm loving woman. It must be undertaken for you to envision the humble cottage home within which John grew up. It was composed of three rooms, two larger at either end and one very small room in the center. This is important because this small room was the sanctuary of the home. John’s father would retire here after every meal and many times a day to pour out prayers for the family and the world. Upon exiting, the great glow of having been in the presence of God was upon James Paton. John would often think back to that closest and how his father had walked with God.
Now, John’s parents came to know each other through an apparent hat stealing prank. As James Paton would daily and at certain times of day go off to a tree and pray in fervency and recite Ralph Erskine’s “Gospel Sonnets”. After taking his hat several times Janet pinned a note to the tree apologizing and asking that James would pray for her. Indeed he did pray for her. Sometime around age seventeen, James would make a decision after much study to join with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland, which would carry through the life of his son John and his mission work in the New Hebrides. Another decision that James made early on was to have family worship. Having brought it to fruition in his parents home, conducting family prayer morning and evening, bible reading, and singing of Psalms. James continued this with his own wife and children. John says, “blessed to others, as well as to ourselves, was the light of such example!” James Paton had sought to be a Minister of the Gospel, but seeing God’s will had set him differently, prayed that if God gave him sons he would consecrate them for the work of the Lord. James demonstrated for his family the great joy of attending services. On the Sabbath evening was undertaken Bible reading between mother children and visitors. This intermingled with question, answer and exposition. The family was taught the Shorter Catechism, which John would later share with the converts in Tanna and Aniwa. James devotion to the Lord came through in his discipline of the eleven children. If it were considered serious he would go to the closet for prayer and lay it all before the Lord. John says this was the severest part of the punishment, knowing that it was being laid before the Lord in it’s entirety. His father having been dedicated to the Lord, beautifully demonstrated the life of a christian.
It was this man James Paton having raised John in the fear and admonition of the Lord that undertook walking the first six miles of John’s trip to Glasgow to be appointed as tract distributor. All along the way his father sharing, praying and pointing him heavenward that brought John to this memory many a time. When they had reached their parting place his father blessed him and turned back. After a time of crying and walking he climbed a dyke and looked back to see his father also climbing up a dyke, not seeing John, he departed. John vowed deeply that by the help of God he would not dishonor his mother or father.
John G. Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides, “ It is no Pharisaism, but deep gratitude, which makes me here testify that the memory of that scene not only helped, by God’s grace, to keep me pure from the prevailing sins, but also stimulated me in all my studies, that I might not fall short of his hopes, and in all my Christian duties, that I might faithfully follow his shining example.” May the children of every christian be able to say these words.
Consider now the words that Paton ended his Autobiography with, “Oh that I had my life to begin again! I would consecrate it anew to Jesus in seeking the conversion of the remaining Cannibals on the New Hebrides. But since that may not be, may He help me to use every moment and every power still left to me to carry forward to the uttermost that beloved work. Doubtless these poor degraded Savages are a part of the Redeemer’s inheritance, given to Him in the Father’s Eternal Covenant, and thousands of them are destined through us to sing His praise in the glory and the joy of the Heavenly World! And should the record of my poor and broken life lead anyone to consecrate himself to Mission work at home or abroad that he may win souls for Jesus, or should it even deepen the Missionary spirit in those who already know and serve the Redeemer of us all for this also, and for all through which He has led me by His loving and gracious guidance, I shall, unto the endless ages of Eternity, bless and adore my beloved Master and Saviour and Lord, to whom be glory for ever and ever.”
Paper arranged and written by: Daniel E. Burgess II
Sources: John G. Paton An Autobiography, five pioneer missionaries (banner of truth)
As the Christmas season is in full swing, it’s easy to start thinking of memories of past Christmases spent surrounded by friends and family. I (Lanita) remember sitting at my Grandmother’s feet, every year, listening to her read a story of Christmas about a little mouse. I remember the kitchen full of all kinds of sweet treats and the smell of my great grandmother’s pecan pie. I remember listening to my dad or grandfather reading the Christmas story from the bible, praying together, as a family, many times through the day. The list could go on and on. But this year, those memories hold a new meaning, they hold a new place in my life. They are the past.
God has put us in a life of change, constant change. Very soon, everything, everywhere and everyone we’re used to, will be memories. We’ve experienced a lot of lasts this past year. We’ve said goodbye to friends that we’ve made here that we will, most likely, never see again this side of heaven. Just a few days ago, we had our last Christmas party with our fellow trainees. From here on, our life will be full of firsts and lasts. Many at the same time. Our lives will be moving on one direction while, what seems like everyone and everything else, will be moving another direction. We’re constantly creating a new normal. When people ask where we call home, there is always a debate within our heads as to what the answer will be. Home is Missouri, home is the Rio Grande Valley, home is Mexico, home is the USA, home will soon be thousands of miles from the USA. While all at the same time, home is none of these places. Google defines home as “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” Then, home really is none of these places. In missionary life, there is no permanent home. A missionary is always moving. So, I think of Hebrews 13. Verses 14 & 15 say “For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come. With Jesus’ help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name.” Even if we had a permanent worldly home, it still isn’t our home. No where in this world are we ever truly “HOME”.
1. Please pray we can raise our support percentage to 100% by graduation. We are now at 42%.
2. We have had a country laid on our hearts to begin a ministry in, after graduation. Please pray that funds will come in to take an exploratory trip to this country over the summer to see if this is were God is sending our family.
3. Pray for our Mexico ministry.
1. We are now 42% funded!
2. There have been many break throughs and God’s work is visible in our village in Mexico!
3. God has allowed us to start a relationship with our neighbors that will lead to a ministry opportunity!