John is originally an “Idaho spud” from Boise, and while at the University of Idaho, he became a follower of Christ. Irene is a “California girl” from Walnut Creek, and she asked Jesus into her heart as a young child. Her faith grew and became more real in high school and at San Jose State University.
While at the University of Idaho, John felt called to the mission field through the influence of missionary speakers and a short term outreach in Mexico. Irene was also drawn to missions through biographies, speakers, and a short term trip to Mexico. Both had a number of friends in college who were international students. John moved to the Bay Area to begin work as a Civil Engineer, eventually meeting Irene at church. Irene worked initially as an Occupational Therapist. During this time, they were involved in various ministries through their local church. In 1990, God seemed to say “now is the time,” and they began to prepare to go out onto the mission field.
The Johnsons arrived in the United Kingdom in March of 1995. Their ministry focus has been to reach the large immigrant community that have immigrated there primarily from Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Yemen. Coming as church planters, they have always been involved in evangelism and discipleship. They lead a team, and also partner with other local churches and organizations. Recent activities have included opening a Friendship Center, leading a ladies English conversational group, training others to use Bible stories for evangelism and discipleship with adults, and helping to start a Fellowship of Christians who have come from another faith.