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Passion for the Good News: an interview with David Joannes

 

PneumaReview.com: In the book, you mention how the paths of some well-known missionaries crossed and the impact that it had. For example, Amy Carmichael heard Hudson Taylor speak at a convention. Who are some of the missionaries who have crossed your path and impacted you?

David Joannes: I am intrigued by what I call “a divine sequence of providential events.” This may be otherwise stated: “All things work together for the good of those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Indeed, the rippling wake that our lives create has a tremendous impact on people around us—even those unbeknownst to us. Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania Ministries, left an indelible mark on my life. His ministry initially propelled me to the mission field. A lesser-known missionary pioneer named Chuck Lenhart mentored me during my early years of ministry to China’s unreached people groups. Heidi Baker was a catalyst of unconditional love. Jackie Pullinger, author of Chasing the Dragon, paved the way with her pioneer efforts. David Eubank, founder of Free Burma Rangers, triggered in me a passion to accomplish the impossible. Nik Ripken, author of The Insanity of God (he also penned the foreword in The Mind of a Missionary), still inspires me to radical Christian living. There are many other—some well-known, others unknown—who played their part in shaping who I am as a minister of the Gospel of the Kingdom. God placed each puzzle piece to fit together into His grand redemption plan. I am grateful to live in the wake of many mighty men and women of God who have gone before me.

 

PneumaReview.com: In your work overseas, have you seen miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation?

Bold public presentation of Jesus sets the perfect atmosphere for the Kingdom of God to come through in miraculous ways.

David Joannes: I am thrilled to say that I have, indeed, seen the manifestation of the Heavenly realm alive and active in the world today! It amazes me that God still uses weak and unassuming misfits—run-of-the-mill folks who simply say “yes” to His Spirit in and through their lives. I have seen my fair share of physical healing: a child’s eyes receive sight and the lame walk. I have seen prophetic words transform individuals and communities: Gospel-deprived ethnic tribes come to the faith in Jesus. I watched in amazement as the Holy Spirit led new tribal believers to smash their house idols, burn amulets, and boldly share the Gospel with their unreached community. Sign and wonders such as these have become the “new normalcy” in our ministry efforts in Southeast Asia. I believe that a bold public presentation of Jesus sets the perfect atmosphere for the Kingdom of God to come through in miraculous ways.

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Category: Ministry, Winter 2019

About the Author: David Joannes is the founder and president of Within Reach Global, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary and The Mind of a Missionary: What Global Kingdom Workers Tell Us About Thriving on Mission Today. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.

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