Welcome to our website!

John and I are so excited that you are checking out our site. We created this as a way for people to get to
know us a little more at their own convenience. At this time we are raising support to be able to report to
our assignment in Minneapolis, MN. We pray that you would be encouraged and drawn closer to Christ!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We're Leaving Staff...

This post is from our final prayer letter:

It is with bittersweet emotions that we write this final prayer letter to you. For the past year, we’ve been working hard at raising our funds while seeing very little progress as we waited to join our team in the Twin Cities. Throughout this process we made a conscious decision to trust the Lord for all of our needs and to look to Him to guide us continually. We believe that now is the time for us to trust God for this next phase of our lives and surrender our dream of living and serving in Minneapolis, MN.
Slow fundraising has not been the only thing that has prompted our decision. More importantly we’ve been waiting on God. Specifically, over the last two months we have been asking for God’s guidance and direction in extended times of prayer, reading the Bible, praise and worship, and through the wise council of other believers in our lives. John has felt that God has been prompting him in a few specific areas:
  • Consider the spiritual and emotional health of our family and marriage; to make it a top priority to love and lead us well.
  • To have our lives be Christ-centered instead of cause-centered; John has recognized a growing difference between his understanding of how ministry and fundraising should be done and the way in which Crusade would have us do it. This disparity is a larger reason as to why we are leaving staff.
  • Pursue more opportunities to serve in our church and grow with the body of believers already in our lives; including the development of a sound theology and doctrine for ministry.
We were so excited about joining the team and about living closer to our families. We’re sad it won’t be happening, but we do have a strong sense that we are following God’s leading in staying in Sioux Falls. This past year has been an incredible journey. We loved our new staff training and the theological training we received. We enjoyed serving as a family at Crusade’s winter conference, TCX, and have loved experiencing the incredible care and fellowship of the Crusade staff in Sioux Falls. 
It’s hard for us to see why God allowed the process and time-frame to be this way. Perhaps, God has been preparing us for something that we couldn’t envision. We trusted Him to lead us at the start of the journey and we’ll trust Him to lead even here at the end of this journey.
Questions and Answers:
What is next for you?
 John is currently painting houses with Select Painting and applying for jobs in Sioux Falls. Meagan is doing some cleaning with Shanela Cleaning and continues to stay at home with Theoden. Meagan has also applied for a Minister of Family Discipleship position at their local church. Please pray for God’s continued guidance and grace as we transition off staff. 
Will you still be involved in any way with Crusade? 
At this point in time we do not feel led to continue helping with Crusade in our area.
When should we discontinue our financial support? 
If you give electronically or with a recurring credit card gift, please contact 1-888-CRUSADE to have your monthly giving stopped (or assigned to a different staff family). If you give via check, just don’t send in your next check and you will be done. 
What if we want to continue by supporting another missionary with crusade?
We are leaving behind a number of friends and co-laborers who raise their own support. One couple in particular who are our good friends, the Odlands, are raising their initial support for MSU-Mankato. They are at 75% and their first baby is due in September. We would love to see them report at 100% by the end of the summer. If you feel led to support them please visit their website below or let us know and we’ll get you connected with them. 
College Staff in Mankato, MN: Matt & Kristen Odland (#0596739) http://theodlands.blogspot.com/
We are always available to answer any questions. 
If something above is not clear or if you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 605-595-8585 or e-mail us at john.hemingson@uscm.org 
with deep gratitude...
We would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” one more time. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your financial support. Truly you have been teammates in ministry throughout this year and we value your friendship and ongoing prayer support. Our hearts are always filled with gratitude and encouragement when we think of you, 
John, Meagan, & Theoden

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Law of Nature

Today I (John) cracked a book that I could hardly understand two years ago, in the wording and complexity of sentences. After reading many books throughout our marriage I have become a much better reader and writer and am very pleased to see the progress I have made, and even more, to intake a portion of what this particular author wrote. C.S. Lewis is the author, and the book is Mere Christianity.

Lewis touched on the Law of Nature, the inborn awareness of Right and Wrong. What really caught my attention and will actually stay with me, is when he discusses those who do not believe in Right and Wrong, and think instead that it is more cultural than actually built into our thinking. I would ask the question, then where did the culture get it from.

These kinds of people wrongs his neighbor, and says that right and wrong is relative, yet out of the other side of their mouth demand that they be treated fairly in a similar situation. It is simply contradictory. They prove their own argument wrong by how they respond to injustice, with anger and revenge.

 The hardest part, is that we are those kinds of people, at least in some ways. Not that we do not believe in Right and Wrong, but we do not uphold this Law of Nature. We expect to be treated well, but in the same instance do not care about showing it. We are much more concerned only when our 'rights' are violated. We wrong someone and quickly think of excuses for those actions; we were tired, hungry, stressed, or had a bad day. However, when others do a similar act we are very strict in how we critique them. Could they have been tired, hungry, or possibly going through a trial that caused them to violate us? Absolutely not! Justice needs to be served and we will do it, yet we condemn ourselves for we do not look inside ourselves first, to realize that we do the same kinds of things. We point the finger, and really, it is pointing back at us. We lack correct judgement. Jesus judges correctly though.

 Living right and judging correctly is the problem we all fall short of, and a point Lewis makes is that if the reader does not have this problem he should probably set the book down, for the book is not for such people. It is for people who know they do not live up to the standard of living rightly, and that by judging themselves correctly, will, with God's help, leave the judging or critiquing of others to the Judge, the Son of God.

Father, give us the grace to understand and know well our own sin, to judge situations and people correctly so that we would please you and be able to give grace. Let us not judge, unless we would want to be judged in the same way. O Lord, what weighty words! Help us I pray. In Jesus Name, Amen

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

John's coming to faith story

To start at the beginning, Paynesville, Minnesota, a city of 2,300 people, is where I grew up.

I can sum up my school years in one word: SPORTS. I had great success in all sports I played.  I wrestled all of my life until I was a freshman, but quit, because of the pressure to cut weight and the treatment I received by other team members when I couldn't make weight, losing us the chance to go to State. I was devastated by how they treated me.

On top of everything that was happening with wrestling, my parents got a divorce. Even though I appeared strong on the outside I felt so vulnerable. My dad and I really didn't have much of a relationship. When my two brothers, my sister, and I did good we were applauded, but if we messed up we were treated very poorly, usually through verbal put downs. Fights would begin, but no apologies were ever said. It's true that we were poor helpers around the house, but my dad did not know how to handle that in a kind or gentle way and would get really upset with us. It did not help that he would drink a lot, too. Over time we had many hurts from the ways in which he responded to us. 

Despite the family troubles, my success in sports continued as I started varsity in baseball my freshman year. Baseball became my sport, and I had a lot to show for it in the awards, championships and the two years in a row that I tried out for the Minnesota Twins as a catcher. I was a great baseball player. Injuries slowed me down, though and I switched from baseball, football, and wrestling to only baseball.

Things started to change for me a little when I began working for a tree trimming service that year. On the first day of the job my boss, Mike, prayed before we worked. Praying was incredibly awkward, but over time I began to see how he cared about us in so many ways. Mike became such a good friend to me. He loved me and became the "father figure" I so desperately needed. He didn't talk about God, at least directly, but looking back, he helped to nurture and grow me, unbeknownst to me.

After being confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a sophomore my interest in religious things perked. I started to read my Bible.  I went to Promise Keepers once, a Father/Son conference that my soon-to-be step-dad, James, took me to. I was involved in church, but still my heart was essentially the same. For example, I had a girlfriend for a couple of years, in which infatuation drove the relationship. She looked down on my religious interests and essentially, our relationship came down to fooling around and hanging out with each other. We fought, broke up and proceeded to do that several different times until we were finally through my junior year of high school, not without many feelings and hurts still hanging on into my college career.

Going back to sports, now that I was a one-sport athlete, I worked out in the fall and winter to prepare for baseball. I would lift weights a lot to increase strength for baseball. One day in the weight room, I was wearing a Jesus shirt that I bought at Promise Keepers and, due to the tight fit, wore only in the weight room. That day a man in his forties, who I had seen a lot in the weight room, approached me. "You're a warrior for wearing that shirt in here," he exclaimed. He began to share about how he came to know Jesus in high school. I was interested in Jesus, the Bible, God, and all of that stuff. He asked me to come to a Bible Study, gave me a free Bible and treated me to dinner.

He was a pastor, an unusual one at that in my thinking, considering he lifted weights and was ripped. Little did I know he would be the one that would share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with me. He shared from the Bible about seeing my sin through the Ten Commandments, my deserved punishment, God's love and grace in sending his Son for me, and how I could know Him personally on earth and spend an eternity with Him in heaven. The only thing, is that the gift of eternal life had to be received through repentance of sin and dependence on Christ for salvation. I could never perform well enough to earn God's favor. Little did I know I was not as spiritual as I thought. I had been missing Jesus.  At that point I started my walk with Christ.

Jesus really has made me a new person. Thanks for looking into my past with me and how I came to hear and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Biggest (yet littlest in size) Ministry Focus

Theoden is 14 months old and is growing by leaps and bounds. I am amazed at how quickly he's catching on to things now. It's made me keenly aware of the need to be mindful of the words that I say, facial expressions I make, and even my physical actions. God has given Theoden to us for a time and we are given the incredible task of raising him to be a man who loves God.

We are striving to be on campus and reach college students for eternity, but our biggest ministry focus is and will remain the one that's hanging onto my legs babbling "mama". Please continue to pray for us as we seek to parent Theoden in a way that glorifies God. We're starting to navigate the waters of discipline as Theoden begins to have inklings of what he should and should not do. Parenting doesn't come with a guide book, though we have the best Guide and the most helpful Book for instructing us day by day in each situation.

If you would take a moment and pray one of these for Theoden it would bless our family greatly:
A Parent's Daily Prayer GuideA daily prayer guide for parents.Don and Sue Meyers
Monday: Ask God to place a protective, solid hedge around your children so that Satan cannot reach in and lead them into temptation and so they will be safe from harm (2 Thessalonians 3:3; Psalm 33:20).
Tuesday: Pray that your children would use godly wisdom in selecting friends and peers that will make a positive difference in their lives. Ask God to give each child a discernment of people as well as knowing the difference between right and wrong (Proverbs 1:10; 18:24; Deuteronomy 13:6,8).
Wednesday: Pray that your children would stay pure in their thoughts and deeds (Psalm 24:4-5; Job 17:9).
Thursday: Pray that they will be caught if they wander into cheating, lies, or mischief (Hebrews 13:18-19).
Lifting My Family Through Prayer Pack
Order Lifting My Family Through Prayer Packprayer cards
Friday: Pray they will be alert and thinking clearly as they attend school and extra curricular activities and as they take exams. Ask God to help them be motivated to do the best they are capable of doing (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
Saturday: Pray for the spouse each child will marry someday. Ask that they will come from godly homes and have an appetite to live the spiritual truth they've learned. Pray also that their goals and purpose will be the same as your own children and their future homes would be godly (Deuteronomy 5:29).
Sunday: Ask God to help them live their lives for Him and that He will use them as a testimony and witness for His glory. Pray that they'll be grown to full spiritual maturity (Psalms 78:1-8, 103:17-18; Isaiah 54:13; Ephesians 3:20-21).
Do not leave your children unprotected-that is, vulnerable to Satan's attack. The greatest shield of protection we as parents can provide for our children is prayer. It's never too late to start (1 Samuel 12:23; James 5:16; Colossians 4:2).
Below is a link to this prayer guide:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thank you, First United Methodist Church!

       Last weekend John and I had a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the worship service at First United Methodist Church in Marion, IA . We had a great time sharing about our ministry on their "talk show". I really enjoyed introducing John to people who have know me since I was a child!
        We owe a big thank you to Pastor Mike Morgan. He has a big vision for that church and wants to see Christ magnified in their every endeavor. We look forward to future visits and hopefully being able to serve the church as well.
        Thank you for continuing to pray for us as we travel and share about our ministry with Crusade!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Meagan's Testimony

In the spirit of helping you get to know us better, we wanted to share our testimonies of what God has done in our hearts and lives. We're posting Meagan's first, but be on the look out for John's soon!

     Meagan grew up with a Dad who was Mormon, but her mom brought them to a Methodist church. Her parents were divorced. Definitely a pull in two different directions, for sure. In 8th grade, while she was at the Methodist Church, the youth pastor shared how Jesus dramatically changed him from doing drugs, having sex with lots of women and being angry to Jesus making him a new person. 
      Meagan said that she only knew him as that godly man, and so through his transparency she was able to see her own sinful lifestyle. She wanted Jesus to change her the same way [Jesus] had changed this man. That was a start. 
      Meagan continued in her sin, though, not really turning from it. Meagan wishes so badly that she had had other christians in her life then that could mentor her, love her, and show her how to follow Jesus. There weren't any people, sadly, that she remembers that could do that. None of her family believed in Jesus. So she made up her own rules for living for Jesus. Sort of a grocery shopping religion; take the things you like and discard the things you don't. She was hungry for the things of God though.
 It wasn't until college, where God ordained her roommate to be a christian, that the tires hit the pavement. Her name was Annie. She didn't preach to Meagan. She only lived out her faith in front of Meagan. Meagan said, "I'm a christian . . . Annie's a christian, but our lives looked totally different." It was in her early college years that Meagan surrendered her life fully to Jesus.
In East Asia with 2 of my teammates.
Meagan was a part of Crusade during her college years and went on several mission trips. One was a 6 week long trip to Brazil, the other one was to East Asia, in which she took her senior year off of school to do something she didn't want to do, but knew God was pushing her to do. God did so many sweet things in Meagan's heart. Meagan ministered to students who had heard of Santa Claus, but not Jesus Christ. Still, God used Meagan to lead many girls to faith in Jesus. 
       She discipled them and was amazed at their zeal. She shares a story of how a girl went back to her village during a college break and shared the Gospel with 13 people, yet was really sad. When asked why, she said, "Only 12 of them received Jesus." They are desperate to hear the gospel, and are so open to hearing about it.
It is Meagan's desire to find the girls who want to know Jesus and to be their mentor; to love them, teach them, and do life with them so that she would help raise those women to love the Lord. It is sad when people's hearts are hungry, but no one initiates those sort of relationships.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Central Baptist Mission's House

As of September, we have been graciously allowed the use of the Central Baptist Church Mission's House! We are so thankful for how God has answered our prayers for housing while we raise our funds for our ministry. Upon arrival at the house, we started to wonder if we'd strayed into an episode of Extreme Home Makeover where Ty Pennington would jump out and say, "Hemingsons, welcome to your new home!!"

It has been wonderful to live here the last several months and have a place to call "home". This has been a perfect haven for our family as we've started making trips to Minnesota and Iowa to meet with people about our ministry.

Even Theoden adores exploring and discovering the house on his very mobile, albeit chubby legs! Now if only we could keep him from the fake trees in the corner...