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A Change of Perspective

 

June 2016MB and girls

 

Three years ago I left a fruitful and life-giving ministry among Chinese scholars in Orlando when a job offer provided us a chance to start our family in my hometown near my own family. It was such a blessing, but I yearned to connect with Chinese scholars again.

 

My first step was research. I perused campus websites and national networks of Christians working with internationals. After discovering a few Christians were already providing some level of transforming hospitality, I met leaders, attended events and met a few international friends. I soon had a small cohort of new friends I would meet for coffee or invite for dinner. Thankfully they enjoyed when I had my new baby in tow!

 

In this season of caring for little ones I cannot devote as much time to relationships, so I knew mobilizing other believers would be critical to reaching as many scholars as possible.

 

A year ago my church hosted Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. This class is amazing, but I knew attendees may be frustrated when they cannot immediately travel to evangelize unreached people groups. I was blessed to be able to visit and speak about reaching the nations through international students in our own backyard.

Students joined us for our baby dedication.  

For some this was their first time in a church!


Months later a steady trickle began of phone calls and emails from folks interested in connecting with international students. Through their Perspectives class these believers were inspired to share Christ's love with the nations, and their perspective was changed to realize they could do this in their own backyard!

 

Diane and Mike now invite a small group of students to their home for dinner once a month. Ingrid has taken friends to paint pottery, join her in ministry to refugee families, and she is coordinating an effort to recruit more families from her church to participate. Maria and Sean connected with a new Vietnamese believer to disciple. Jack and Penny are getting their small group of empty nesters connected with students. All the Americans came together in March to host a St. Patrick's Day party at my home for over 40 students. This growing team of Americans are working together to befriend more internationals and mobilize other Americans.

 

Ingrid

 

Whatever your age or stage of life there is a way that you can participate in offering transforming hospitality to the future world leaders at your local university. How can I help connect you with the internationals in your city?

 

"Before returning home I gave each girl a Bible in her own language. They cried and were so touched. It blessed me so much to have been able to spend time with them and plant seeds over the last few months. Thank you for introducing them to me!"  - Ingrid

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Christian Educators Needed! boys

June 2016

 

FollowOne is excited to announce our new partnership with Chinese Christians who own great schools in China. They are offering the best education methodology from China and America with a strong emphasis on English and global education…and God’s love.

 

The only thing limiting growth is their inability to line up enough American Christian educators. One school has a waiting list of over 300 families – and almost all are ignorant of the Gospel. The ministry strategy includes planting churches with the families in each school. God is blessing!

 

The schools provide foreign teachers with a fair salary, quality housing near the schools, health insurance, a round-trip ticket to/from China each year, and a loving Christian environment in which to serve and grow.

 

There are openings for kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers as well as a teacher for middle school math/science and art, and an IT Director and/or Computer Teacher

 

Although there is some flexibility due to the urgency (it’s June!), the schools would prefer certified teachers with a minimum of two years of teaching experience.

 

I have committed to find ten (10) new teachers to begin serving in August. I will also do the pre-field preparation for the teachers and help with pastoral support once they are in China.

 

Please pray with me and pass this invitation onto friends and organizations that might be interested.

What a great gap year or two for young educators!

What a wonderful way for a veteran educator to use their training and experience!

 

If August 2016 is impossible as a start date, what about beginning in February or August 2017? Contact info@followone.org for more information. 

 

 

Meaningless to Meaning

March 2016sophie

 

Sophie was an English teacher in China before taking off last year to accompany her husband who was a visiting scholar at the University of Central Florida. She joined our English class/Bible study immediately, though she had never seen or read a Bible. When I began teaching a second English class last fall, Sophie and her husband joined as well. Being together twice weekly gave us the opportunity to become good friends. As friends do, she gradually began to share with me her questions about God.

On January 4th our English class discussed New Year's Resolutions and the Bible lesson was out of Ecclesiastes. We read the words of the Teacher: "Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless." We saw that he wrote these words as an older man who had desired meaning in life and had searched for meaning and happiness in many different ways. None had worked. Sophie was astounded that the thoughts and feelings of the Teacher were the very same feelings she and her husband had discussed during their trip home from Miami the day before! They have a four-year-old daughter and hope her life will be more meaningful than theirs has been. Our lesson ended with the Teacher's conclusion. "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" Ecclesiastes 12:13.

After class, Sophie and I headed to Starbucks to continue our conversation. It became clear the Holy Spirit had prepared her heart to receive the good news about Jesus Christ. The parking lot of Starbucks became a holy sanctuary as Sophie admitted she was a sinner and chose to believe and trust in God. She returned to China in February, and we connected her with "family" members in her city. We continue to pray for her husband's salvation. 

 

 

New Address

July 2015

 

Our mailing address has changed. Please send all correspondence to 260 Plaza Drive Oviedo, FL 32765. Thank you for your prayers and support!

 

 

THANKS4ALL

November 201410in10

 

Over the past ten years God has blessed thousands of lives through His vessel FollowOne. Here are some snapshots from our year-long 10 in 10 series.

 

In the face of deteriorating global conditions related to disease, war and oppression, our loving Father has given FollowOne a new urgency about our mission. We feel compelled to double the number of ministries serving international students from places like India, Pakistan, Iran and China. We also plan to create a ministry partnership that will expand the impact of our children’s ministry Friends4One from 1,000 families to 10,000 families over the next three years. This growth is impossible without God’s grace and the faithful and generous support of Christians that desire God’s love to change our world.

 

Your THANKS4ALL gift will acknowledge God’s goodness to your family and bless the lives of men, women and children who are hurting, lonely and lost. Families giving over $25 will receive a special gift to place on your Thanksgiving table as a reminder of those blessed by your generosity. Join us today!

 

With your help and God's continued blessing, FollowOne will reach even more lost and hurting people with the love of God. We are so THANKFUL for you! 

 

 

Certificate of Excellencec and sonny

October 2014

 

On a recent Sunday night Carolyn hosted another going away party for a Chinese friend who is leaving Orlando. Sonny has been studying English, American culture and the Bible with Carolyn for over a year and she “graduated” from the program with a Certificate of Excellence. Pray that God will use Sonny powerfully when she returns to China.

 

 

China Trip Update

October 2014

 

boysOur June team was privileged to share with students and educators in 7 schools in 5 cities. Looking into the faces of these beautiful children we were reminded of God’s goodness. The knowledge that less than 10% are in Christian homes brought us to our knees and steeled our resolve to make God’s love known throughout the world. Special thanks to our educational leaders on the team, Galen Hoffstadt and Nancy Harwell from St. James Episcopal School in Corpus Christi, TX. Interested in our June 2015 trip? Contact us today!

 

 

Reverse Mission

October 2014

 

Carolyn and FollowOne intern Caitlyn Moravits coordinated the Orlando visit of a special friend this summer. Dr. H came to know Christ when she was a visiting scholar in Orlando. She is a now wonderful witness at her university in China. Dr. H shared a testimony and challenge in 5 different meetings during the week. China and America need the bold witness of loving disciples like Dr. H. The best part of the week was the baptism of Dr. H’s husband.

 

 

Two More for June

April 2014

 

Plans are underway for the trip we are taking to China this June. We still need two more folks to join the team: a guitarist/vocalist and one more children’s worker. Is it you, someone in your family or someone in your church? Time is short. Contact us today!

 

 

The more family the better – The Friends4One Family Expands to Texas!

April 2014

 

We are fired up to welcome Headmaster Galen Hoffstadt and St. James Episcopal School in Corpus Christi to the Friends4One family. They are the first school in Texas to participate, and we look forward schools and churches from every state!

 

In the coming weeks we will begin engaging with homeschool conferences throughout the Southeast looking for new families and partners to become part of Friends4One. For those of you who don’t know about Friends4One check us out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/friends4one) for more information. Through Friends4One we connect kids with friends in China through a global learning and outreach curriculum.

 

 

Our Team Grows Again

April 2014

 

Last month we welcomed three new members to the FollowOne and Friends4One team! Kim Dearing (Lexington, KY) serves families in our children’s ministry as the Friends4One Shepherd, Wanda Kenney (Ocoee, FL) writes grants, and Jen Welch (Orlando, FL) anchors the main office as the Executive Assistant to the President. God continues to bring the right people to the right place!

 

 

 

Join the team bound for China in June

February 2014

 

Serve in China June 3-14. Our team will meet courageous Christian leaders and visit sites like the Great Wall, but our main purpose is to recruit for Friends4One. We need educators, musicians, and children's ministry workers to help lead programs for students and training events for primary school staff. Church leaders, intercessors, photographers and videographers would also be a blessing. Approximate cost: $2,000 (everything except airfare to/from China). Interested?

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Barnabas Award Winner

February 2014

 

This award and prize go to the child that has best demonstrated the spirit of Friends4One by faithfully loving and demonstrating Christ's love to a Chinese friend. Five children excelled this past year. Our selection of them is based on the number and content of messages the young missionaries sent.    The winner of the 2014 Barnabas Award is Isabella Dugand (Miami, FL). Standing on the "podium" for honorable mention are Emma Goff (Thomasville, GA), Allie Wise (Jackson, MS), Jonathan Sanders (Memphis, TN), and Sarah Johnson (Memphis, TN).  Pray for them and pray that God will multiply the number of American children with this kind of commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Aboard

February 2014

 

Please pray for these tremendous additions to the FollowOne staff team. Darlene Chance is our full-time Director of Marketing and Development. John Grecco is our part-time Digital Strategist. They will create and manage strategies to introduce Friends4One to schools, homeschools, churches and families across the nation. Both Darlene and John live in Orlando and have decades of experience in marketing. God is good! 

 

 

 

 

Tis the Season for Giving

December 2013

Christmas Characters

Just a quick reminder that December 3rd is Giving Tuesday. So before you finish your holiday shopping, please think about Giving Tuesday for a tax-deductible donation to FollowOne.You'll be giving a gift that is guaranteed to have many happy returns!

 

Click here to donate online or for more giving options. 

 

 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Acts 20:35 

 

 

Busting Down Doors in China

October 2013

Jesus did a great work in China through Carolyn Loftin last month. Her mission had three primary purposes:

  1. Encourage, serve and train Grace, a professor who came to Christ through our ministry in Orlando.
  2. Minister to students and faculty in Grace’s network and other scholars Carolyn served when they were in the US.Carolyn
  3. Recruit schools and students to participate in Friends4One.

Here’s one story that illustrates God’s movement during the two-week mission. As people began to gather to hear her share one night, Carolyn stepped into a bedroom to pray about the message she was to share from Colossians 3 and 4. When the Chinese sisters came to get her they learned that the door was jammed. After 30 minutes of trying and praying, Carolyn heard, "Stand back. We are going to pray again and then bust the door down." Minutes later the door burst open as the apartment was filled with hallelujahs and laughter. When Carolyn was finally able to address the crowed room, she read her text, "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may OPEN A DOOR for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ..." (Col. 4: 2-6). A holy hush and tears of expectation surged through the room. Our year end newsletter (print) will contain more miraculous stories about Carolyn’s adventure and God’s grace. 

 

 

 

New Life at FollowOne

October 2013

 

Staff Image

Exciting changes have brought staff changes to both the American and China sides of the ministry:

 

  • After interning this summer, Sarah Wise began serving as our Communication Director. She is also providing assistance to American families in Friends4One. Sarah is young, brilliant and has a strong missions calling.
  • Gina Davis joined the team in September as a Regional Recruiter for Friends4One. Gina lives in Orlando and has a history in sales. She is very excited about F41 and is already recruiting more families and strategic partners to the ministry.
  • Stephen C now serves as the Director for the China side of Friends4One. He had been serving as a great unpaid helper since April, and we are excited to formally bring him on staff. Stephen is married with two young children, and lives in Beijing.
  • Current staff member, Laura Messina and her husband Carl are expecting their first child in early December. They recently moved to Atlanta in order for Carl to take a position at Georgia Tech. Laura continues to work with FollowOne remotely.

 

Please join us in celebrating these new staff changes! 

 

 

 

The King's Backdoor

October 2013

Blogpost by James Loftin


Click here
to read a recent blogpost on jamesloftin.com about the amazing story of how the Good News of Jesus Christ is coming into the palace of a President – through the backdoor

 

 

 

Miracles in Schools

 

FollowOne Mission Update

July 2013

 

People served, supported and prayed. God moved. And we saw miracles!

 

FollowOne recently sent another team to China in order to help expand our ministry that connects kids in China with Christian kids in America. On this continent that program is called Friends4One

 

The team of eleven Americans and Chinese volunteers met with leaders of eleven primary schools and learning centers in Beijing, Suzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou.

 

globe

The lead educator for the group did post-graduate work at Harvard in areas related to global education, and she has implemented cultural exchange partnerships with schools in Argentina, Costa Rica, Honduras and Australia. She told Chinese leaders that her research and experience have revealed that the best way to learn about other cultures is through collaboration and friendships. She encouraged students and school leaders to participate in the friendship and education program FollowOne and our partner company provide.

 

Our amazing team also provided a program for student assemblies. This 40-minute program on “kindness” is part of an award-winning curriculum called Integrity Time. Special thanks to Sara Berry and Lane Williams Yoder for partnering with us.

 

Reflecting on the June team James Loftin commented, “I have traveled with some great teams over the years, but I’ve never seen a team any more effective than this group. Every person consistently 

handshake

demonstrated servant hearts, flexibility, joy and an eagerness to use their gifts to further the mission.” Thanks Team!

 

Children in 16 of China’s provinces have registered for friendships through our Friends4One program. Many are still waiting to be matched with an American child (ages 6-12). FollowOne plans to involve 15,000 children by the end of 2014.

 

 

Don’t you want to be part of the miraculous work God is doing with students and children in China?  

 

We need –

  • More kids, churches, schools and homeschoolers. YES, I want to share Christ love through Friends4One.
  • More supporters. YES, I want to financially support this important work.
  • More staffYES, I am interested in serving as a recruiter for Friends4One.
  • More teams. YES, I want to be on a team that serves children and schools in China.

 

 

 

Miracles in Bathtubs

FollowOne Mission Update

July 2013

 

On a recent mission to China the FollowOne team saw the gracious miracles of God. People served, supported, and prayed, and God moved. What the team experienced with children and educators was described in Miracles in SchoolsAfter the team left China on June 10, James and his main Chinese coworker, traveled to western China in order to see a university professor friend that we call Grace.

 

Each week she leads a Bible discussion for a group of students and professors on her campus. Most of the forty folks introduced themselves as Christians. Several declared that they believed in Jesus but had not been baptized. A few said things like, “I am interested, but I am not a Christian.” Great openness and honesty.

 

After an hour of singing and worship, James led the group in a study of John 20:11-18. Using Mary’s encounter with angels and Jesus on Easter morning, James shared Five Marks of a Christ Follower.

 

As he concluded, Grace asked if anyone wanted to accept God’s invitation. Three students responded immediately. Each stated his/her own reasons and commitment. Moved by their sharing, a fourth person stood and made his own commitment. The group responded with great joy, tears and passionate prayer as each friend trusted Christ.

 

It was a miracle! Conversion always is.

 

Grace asked James to conduct a baptism service the following night for 7 other students and 1 teacher that had believed in Christ over the past few months. All had trusted Christ due to the witness of Professor Grace, and she had first trusted Christ when she was a visiting scholar in Orlando. Carolyn Loftin had the privilege of praying with Grace when she trusted Christ in 2007.

 

baptism

One of the students that “got wet” that night was Grace’s own daughter. It was an emotional wonderful evening that included 8 testimonies, lots of singing and prayer, and 8 baptisms in a bathtub made holy by the presence of God. After the baptisms, the group celebrated Holy Communion. A first for the newly wet friends!

 

It was a miracle! Baptism always is.

God’s grace continues to ripple through this network. Several of the Christian students are now helping out with our Friends4One ministry, and Carolyn will be there in September to help encourage, share and disciple.

 

God is doing great and wonderful things. Pray for us. Pray for China.

 

 

Don’t you want to be part of the miraculous work God is doing with students and children in China?  We need -

  • More kids, churches, schools and homeschoolers. YES, I want to share Christ love through Friends4One.
  • More supporters. YES, I want to financially support this important work.
  • More staffYES, I am interested in serving as a recruiter for Friends4One.
  • More hospitality providers. YES,I want to reach out to Chinese students at a university in my city.
  • More intercessors.  YES, add me to your list of intercessors that receive the bimonthly prayer guides.

 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves,

it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

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