Greetings from London, Moscow and Manila! The Spirit is moving in very powerful ways in these cities! Elena’s and my goal in visiting each of these churches was to strengthen and encourage them. Yet during our time with all three congregations, we were the ones who were incredibly built up by their “work produced by faith, [their] labor prompted by love, and [their] endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
Phillipe Scheidecker – Leader of the Paris Church: On Friday night, November 13th, terrorists staged coordinated attacks at six locations throughout Paris. Sadly that evening, 129 people were killed and 352 wounded. First of all we are deeply moved by your support on social medias, your messages, your profile pictures with the colors of the French Flag, and all your prayers!
Second it is an honor to serve the Lord with sold-out disciples in Paris! The very next morning after the most violent terrorist attack on French soil since World War II, all the disciples went back into Paris to attend the Farewell Party of Anais Laurent. Some of her own friends did not come because of the restrictions and recommendations of not leaving their homes issued by the authorities. At our next Midweek, everybody shared that the conviction to evangelize has never been stronger!
It is a paradoxical feeling, being honored and blessed to serve Paris as it is under attack. We feel more like the French Resistance during World War II within the enemy lines. It is over the news that other strikes will happen in Paris and Europe, yet all the brothers and sisters here know that Jesus is the only cause worthy dying for! We are fervently praying that God will use peoples’ fears from this Satanic event to turn many hearts to the love of Christ demonstrated on His cross! Famille jusqu’à la fin!Joe Willis – Austral-China World Sector Leader: Lord willing, the Hong Kong Church – the twelfth (and last) Crown of Thorns City – will be planted in 2017! However, since several of our Chinese students from Sydney are “home for the holidays,” the plans for the first Hong Kong Service are in place! The service will commence at 11am on Sunday December 20th! Our venue will be the Lan Kwai Fong Hotel, 3 Kau U Fong, Central, Hong Kong. We will be speaking in English and translated into Mandarin!
We already have 25 people committed to coming! We are asking disciples around the world to pray for this historic event and if you have relatives in the Hong Kong area, please make every effort to have them attend! You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.Chris Broom – North USA World Sector Leader: God has truly blessed our efforts in the USA North Quadrant as all four of our churches – New York City, Boston, Chicago and Syracuse – far exceeded our Thanksgiving Missions Contributions by giving well over 10X our weekly contribution! Of special note, to insure a victorious Missions Contribution the next day, the Chicago disciples went above and beyond the call by going out and “tagging” in a snowstorm on Saturday, November 21st!
Matt Sullivan – South USA World Sector Leader: Exciting news about the Thanksgiving Missions Contribution from all five churches in the South USA World Sector! The four that had their Missions Contributions today all exceeded their 9X Goal – Orlando (101%), Washington DC (115%), Gainesville (125%) and Dallas-Ft. Worth (127%)! Houston will have their Missions Contribution this coming Sunday and they are already at 72%! Oh yes… Adrian Jimenez & Kacie Fligor are engaged!
Blaise Feumba – Overseeing Evangelist of French-speaking Africa:After counting the cost with the Korezouzoua (Ivory Coast) Remnant Group, 61 disciples became the founding members of the Korezouzoua International Christian Church! At their Inaugural Service three weeks ago, God blessed these 61 disciples with 180 in attendance and 3 baptisms! Then last Sunday, they had 222 in attendance and 3 more baptisms! We now have 70 disciples in Korezouzoua which is about a five hour drive north of Abidjan!
Raja Rajan – Lead Evangelist of Chennai: Pray for the Chennai disciples as our entire city has been paralyzed by heavy rains for the past 17 days! So much so that flights have been diverted from the Chennai Airport, business offices closed, and a holiday has been declared for schools and colleges!
However, God blessed Parthiban – our Campus Leader – to baptize his mother and sister! His mother Mariyammal was very sick and the doctors could not diagnose the problem. With great difficulty, he brought his mother to church and his sister came along! The Chennai Sisters immediately started studying the Bible with Mariyammal, who desperately wanted to come into the light! Seeing her mother’s eagerness, Maheshwari – Parthiban’s sister – also studied the Bible and both were baptized!
Raul Moreno – Central and South America World Sector Leader: Greetings my dear brothers and sisters from Latin America! We are working hard to honor God by evangelizing this part of the world! Of note, the Santiago (Chile) Church has been on fire as God has given them 11 additions in the last 3 weeks – 10 baptisms and 1 restoration! God is good!
Also in Mexico City, we had an amazing Women’s Day yesterday as we had over three visitors for every one Christian! There was close to 100 women at this event which included women from the Cancun ICOC and the Guadalajara ICOC! Lucy Mejia preached the keynote message, LIBRE SOY! Carlos Mejia reports that the fellowship was on fire!
HEADLINE NEWS An Around The World Missionary TripKip McKean: In Exodus 33, after the Lord had told Moses that He was pleased with Moses, Moses boldly said, “Show me your glory!” This is what God did for all of us at this year’s European Missions Conferencesimply entitled, GLORY!
The program began on Thursday morning, November 5th with the Church Builders Workshop! Blaise Feumba woke us up with the sermon TO GOD BE THE GLORY, and then Argo Arneson preached powerfully on PROCLAIMING GOD’S GLORY AMONG THE NATIONS!
Then came the very practical section, BUILDING THE CHURCH THROUGH BIBLE TALKS. This began with a hilarious short film about how to and how not to do Bible Talks! Several gave short charges but the one that touched everyone’s heart was by Cassidy Olmos, ELEVATING WOMEN THROUGH BIBLE TALKS!
Following this spiritual feast was the Speakers Luncheon at a nearby very tasty Indian Restaurant!
The remainder of the afternoon was off providing time for deep fellowship talks – the kind that change lives! TheFirst General Session was that evening! After a rousing video, we heard the message, THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLS THE WHOLE EARTH! On Friday morning, we had the MERCY Presentation by Nick Bordieri and Michael Ochwa. So touching was Nick presenting Michael with his ICCM diploma since he could not attend the GLC! Though Michael has a Master’s Degree from a prestigious college, he cried as he spoke about how much it meant to him to have an ICCM Degree in Ministry and Charity Services!
Following, Carlos Mejia and Anthony Olmos both blew out their messages! Then Jeremy Ciaramella gave a message that every disciple needs to hear, THE HIDDEN FIELD OF GLORY! Jeremy addressed the evils of the internet as well as the tremendous ways that souls are being won – by baptism and restoration – regularly through Facebook and other internet opportunities! In particular, Jeremy shared the inspirational account of Yuri Zykov of London who joined a “meet-up” group that was a Bible Study interest group in his area on social media. The person who founded the group “left it” and then the “meet up” group (composed now of 117 individuals) voted Yuri in charge! When they set up “meetings” in meet-up, Yuri showed up and those “interested” would show up as well and two have already been baptized from this internet Bible Talk!
Friday night, Oleg delivered a riveting message on THIS IS TO MY FATHER’S GLORY!
Following was a sensational Concert emceed by the gifted Paul Busari! Then came the PURE Dance!
Saturday morning was filled with highlights! Of special note were the Kingdom Appointments of the Kukoyis and Vermaats to join Michael & Maria Hart as Shepherding Couples for the London Church! Then came the heartwarming appointment of Yomi Bello to be an Evangelist in the Kingdom of God by Michael Williamson!
After a short fellowship break, Chris McGrath – who earlier in his life in the ICOC planted Sydney, Australia and Dublin, Ireland, as well as preached in London – spoke on BRINGING BACK THE GLORY! There was not a dry eye in the conference as Chris closed out his message playing on the guitar and singing the Irish ballad, The Streets Of London!
Then we broke into MEN’S and WOMEN’S PROGRAMS which covered the FIVE CORE CONVICTIONS OF THE SOLDOUT MOVEMENT. The speakers for the men were: Blaise Feumba of LA, Jeremy Ciaramella of Phoenix, Anthony Olmos of London, Kaspar Tambaur of Stockholm, Philippe Scheidecker of Paris, and Yomi Bello – soon to be in Lagos, Nigeria!
The women speakers were: Elena McKean of LA, Michele Williamson of London, Lucy Mejia of Mexico City, Anu Arneson of Stockholm, Rebecca Rico of LA, Prisca Scheidecker of Paris, and Elena Sirotkin of Moscow!
In the afternoon was the epic ENGLAND verses THE WORLD FOOTBALL MATCH! This year, England won and regained the trophy lost last year!
Sunday morning we met in a different and gorgeous place – The British Medical Association! The singing was “off the charts!”
We then witnessed three restorations! The one that moved me the most was Anup Shayka as he was a Buddhist monk who is a direct descendant of Buddha. His life was threatened several times in coming back to the Lord!
The newly married Erik & Michelle af Klint of Stockholm presided over Communion and Jacques & Jeanette Groenewald stirred our hearts about Contribution as they have given up everything to move back to their homeland of South Africa to initiate the Johannesburg Remnant Group!
Then Michael Williamson gave the message, SHOW ME YOUR GLORY!A fantastic message in the midst of overseeing the entire Missions Conference!
There were three baptisms – all glorious! Yet Carlos Vargas baptizing his at one time estranged daughter Carla was awesome! Now they are totally united as brother and sister in the Lord!
In closing, we had the send-off prayer for the Johannesburg Remnant Group Mission Team and a flag ceremony where all the nations on the European Crown of Thorns were represented!
Truly, Michael & Michele Williamson and the entire London Church allowed all of us visiting to see God’s glory among the European nations!
After London, Elena & I were off to cold and snowy Moscow! Though we only spent five days in this beautiful modern day Rome, our time with the disciples was exceptional! On Friday evening, we gathered the Bible Talk Leaders and therefore were expecting about 20 to 25 in attendance. Instead over 60 fired-up disciples packed the little room and they received the message of DEEP CONVICTIONS with great joy!
Saturday was packed with times with key disciples! That evening, the Sirotkin Family “treated” us to the Moscow Circus! What an incredible joy to spend time with the Sirotkin’s daughters – Sofia and Lidia – who have made the difficult transition from LA to Moscow very smoothly and spiritually!
Sunday, the snow came! Yet the now 90 Moscow disciples (and 10 from the Kiev Church) saw God bring 207 in attendance! It was a special Lord’s Day which was called Prodigal Son Sunday!
So many fallen away disciples came as well as many non-Christians! For Communion, Elena & I shared a Good News Report from around the world centered on 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the FAMILY OF BELIEVERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
For the message, Luke 15 seemed the most appropriate! Interestingly, the invitation had a hedgehog on the front! I found out that The Hedgehog In The Fog is one of the most well-known and award-winning Russian short films. It’s all about a hedgehog who goes to see his friend the bear cub but he gets lost in the fog! So appropriate for the day! With The Hedgehog In The Fog story woven into the sermon entitled CELEBRATION, many easily saw that they were in a spiritual fog and needed to find their way home!
After a short night’s rest, we went on a flying adventure as it took us nearly 40 hours of three flights and long layovers to fly to Manila because of strikes and the APEK Meeting in Manila, which meant an 18 hour “no fly zone” in Manila! Again our time was relatively short – less than four days! On Thursday morning, we met at the Bartholomew’s apartment for Staff!
Certainly, the Manila disciples were on fire on the Friday evening that we met! Early on in the service Cathy Manresa was reinstated as a Women’s Ministry Leader!
After a short fellowship break, the Manila Disciples fully embraced all of the challenges in the lesson, FOOLS FOR CHRIST!
One of the countless highlights of our visit was studying with Hong Meng who flew in from Singapore to be restored! This humble brother is truly ready to once again “do anything, go anywhere and give up everything” for the Lord and His movement! The Spirit has now gathered a small group of disciples that will most likely form the Singapore Remnant Group in June after the Austral-Pacific Rim Missions Conference!
On the Sunday morning that we boarded our flight home to LA, the Manila Church saw four more baptized into Christ and Hong Meng restored!
The Manila ICC had 49 in the Remnant Group and just 9 on the Mission Team from LA at the Manila Inaugural Service. So in the a little over five months since that service, the Lord has added an astounding 89 souls to their number – 66 baptisms, 15 restorations and 8 amazing place memberships all directly from our former fellowship as they were seeking revival!
Spying Out The Land In Lagos
Andrew Smellie – World Sector Leader of Africa: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)Greetings from Lagos, Nigeria! It was truly a privilege to visit this incredible country in West Africa from October 31st to November 10th! I am so grateful to report that God is moving in strengthening and multiplying the almost 600 disciples across the continent of Africa!
Thank you for your love to God expressed in your Missions Contributions which have allowed me to visit South Africa in March, Cote D’Ivoire in June for the First African Missions Conference, and Nigeria in November! God willing, Blaise Feumba and I will fly out early next year to the Democratic Republic of Congo in February 2016 to count the count with the 350 member Kinshasa Remnant Group! Pray for these incredible brothers and sisters as they are scheduled to have their Inaugural Service as a “church planting” in March 2016!Remarkably, Nigeria is the third largest English-speaking nation in the world after India and the United States, as well as the eighth most populous nation in the world – over 180 million people and growing! I was also surprised to discover that Nigeria is also home to the third largest movie industry after “Bollywood” (India) and “Hollywood” (USA)! It is known as “Nollywood!” Upon my arrival at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos on Saturday, October 31st, I was greeted warmly by Goodhope Atason, the former Mainline Church of Christ preacher who has joined our new movement, and two of his younger brothers who have also left the Mainline Church of Christ – Bobby (a movie director), and Lordson who “was” training to become a preacher in the Mainline Church of Christ!
That night we had dinner together at my hotel where I was exposed to authentic Nigerian food for the first time! I had a very flavorful goat stew with rice! I didn’t realize that they used ALL the parts of the goat in the stew, but it was incredible! I also invited to our dinner one of the “stranded” London disciples who had been in Nigeria since 2013 – Akin Idowu!
Akin had become a disciple in London while visiting there for schooling, but when his visa had expired he was forced to return to Nigeria. Please pray for him and his family as they prepare to move to Lagos from Abuja – Nigeria’s capital – to be with the church!On Sunday, I was able to travel to Lekki – a suburb on Lagos Island! Here we had our first official Lagos Remnant Group Church Service in the apartment of Goodhope & Bonita Atason! In attendance were Goodhope, his wife Bonita, their four year old daughter Anita, Goodhope’s brothers – Bobby and Lordson, as well as Akin, Chuks (Goodhope’s friend), and Jane (the Atasons’ nanny)!
I preached Kip’s lesson on THE DREAM as we were inspired to see God’s plan to evangelize the world in THIS generation! It was truly convicting to notice that Nigeria, while being one of the most religious countries on the planet, was also one of the most corrupt! Truly the Gospel is needed to unite the hearts of many who are seeking the truth! I was personally moved by the joy of Anita, as she reminded me so much of my own four year old daughter, Naomi!
The environment of the Atason’s home reminded me of the sacrifice they have made for the sake of joining God’s new movement. Goodhope is a trained IT (Informational Technology) professional and Bonita is an accountant, yet due to the persecution from the Mainline Church of Christ for standing up for Biblical doctrines, Goodhope was forced to resign from both his position as an associate minister and his IT position, due to the fact that one of the elders in his former congregation was also the chairman of the IT company where Goodhope was employed! Despite our movement’s best efforts to help support him financially, his living situation is radically different than before, and Bonita now has to leave the house at 4AM to be able to make it into work by 8AM, yet they are both grateful to join God’s new movement!
On Monday and Tuesday, we were able to check out pre-schools for Naomi and Isaiah as well as visit the University of Lagos!
We also met with an attorney to get our church registered in Nigeria! On Wednesday, we were able to check out locations for our Inaugural Service. Pray for us to nail down the Eko Hotel on Victoria Island! (“Eko” means Lagos in the Yoruba language!)On Thursday, Goodhope and I were able to take a short plane flight to visit his father and our dear friend Benedict in Umuahia, a city east of Lagos in Abia State. (Nigeria has 36 states!) In Umuahia, I was able to meet Benedict’s wife Felicia and his other two children – Queenette, who is preparing to go to Law School, and Princewill, who is in high school!
Once again, it was extraordinary to see the sacrifice of a man who was well-known throughout the Mainline Church of Christ community, yet sacrificed his job and support to join God’s new movement! Despite the challenges (inconsistent electricity without a generator, no government benefits like Social Security or Medicare, and no car for transportation), Benedict continues to preach the Word boldly! He actually PAYS for the transportation of his visitors to make it out to his Bible Talk! On Thursday, there were 30 people in attendance at the Bible Talk at his home!
After returning from Umuahia on Friday, we stayed at the airport to greet our dear sister Damilola Arulogan, another “stranded” London disciple who was presently living in Abuja! Despite persecution from her family, Damilola has been valiantly worshipping with the London Church on Skype since she was forced to return to Nigeria due to an expired visa in May of this year! Thankfully, she finished all her studies to graduate from the University of East London, yet due to her visa expiration will be unable to attend her graduation ceremonies. I was happy to sponsor her flight from Abuja so she could join our fellowship in Lagos for the weekend, and she shared powerfully on Sunday for contribution about the impact that the movement’s sacrifice has made in her life since becoming a disciple!
On my return home, the dream of seeing not only Lagos, but all of Africa evangelized for the Lord is truly on my heart!
Please pray for us as God is working powerfully to gather the remnant in Nigeria! As I prepared to write this message to you, I was connected – through a disciple in our Manila Church (May Kalalang) – with a former ICOC Evangelist in Nigeria – Bolaji Akinfenwa – who is eager to join God’s new movement! Truly, God is saying to us, “The time to plant Lagos is NOW!” Please pray for our Inaugural Service on April 24, 2016! And to God be all the glory!2016 MISSIONS CONFERENCES NEWS
The Brazil Missions Conference will be held in Sao Paulo on February 19-21, 2016. Raul Moreno (email@example.com) is the Director.
The African Mission Conference will be held in Lagos on April 23-24, 2016. It will be held in conjunction with the Lagos ICC Inaugural Service that Sunday! Andrew Smellie (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Director.
The Eurasian Missions Conference will be held in Moscow on April 28 – May 1, 2016. Oleg Sirotkin (email@example.com) will serve as the Director.
The Austral-Pacific Rim Missions Conference will be held in Manila on June 16-19, 2016. Since some neighborhoods of Manila are “third world,” MERCY Day on June 18th will provide some very special opportunities for MERCY Ambassadors to serve! Kyle Bartholomew (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Director.
The Global Leadership Conference will be held in Los Angeles on July 31 – August 2, 2016. Lord willing, Dubai (United Arab Emirates) – the Eleventh Crown of Thorns Church Planting – will be sent out on that Sunday! Tim Kernan (email@example.com) will once again serve as the Director.
The European Missions Conference will be held in London on October 27-30, 2016. Michael Williamson (firstname.lastname@example.org) will continue as the Director.
The South Asian Missions Conference will be held in Chennai (India) on November 4-6, 2016. Lord willing, the Bangalore (India) Mission Team will be sent out that Sunday! Raja Rajan (email@example.com) will serve as the Director.
Paris, France: Sandra Vignault was happily married to Kevin Toto on October 31, 2015! Disciples came from London and LA to support this amazing couple on their special day!
New York, New York: Truly “love is in the air” in the “Big Apple” as on Saturday, November 21st, we gathered for the first of three weddings scheduled to take place before the end of the year! Viral Naresh Seth grew up in India and Ashley Corgelas in Haiti, but then both of their families decided to move to the United States when they were teenagers. As God planned it, both Viral and Ashley ended up in New York City for college! (Acts 17:26-27) It was there that they were baptized as disciples of Jesus Christ and then, while in a Bible Talk together at the City College of New York, they began to share their faith together and fell in love! What a story! It was truly a “magical moment!”
Chicago, Illinois: Polo & Isabel Saravia were married on Sunday November 15, 2015! They were living together and after studying the Bible and seeing God’s plan for purity, Polo moved out! Once they were both baptized, they started doing pre-marital counseling and a few weeks later, they were married God’s way! Their children Julio and Mareli are so thrilled about not only their parent’s wedding but their new church family!
LOCAL LA NEWS
Tim Kernan – World Sector Leader of Western USA, Canada and India: Greetings from the palm tree lined streets of sunny Los Angeles, California! “The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly!” (1 Chronicles 29:9)
First and foremost, I would love to share with you all the excitement and joy felt across the whole City of Angels Church last Sunday as we blew away our 9X Thanksgiving Special Collect Goal! With a target of $284,000, the whole church generously gave $330,651 – 116% of our goal! Disciples in every region celebrated that God had used them in such a powerful way! I will personally never forget the Friday before this special collect. As I was driving, Lianne my wife made our last contribution “to Special” as a family over PayPal. She then joyfully gave me a high five and exclaimed, “We made it babe! Our Special is all in!” My eyes filled with tears as I realized for the millionth time what a lucky man I am to have a wife who shares my passion for God and His mission! Thank you again to all the amazing disciples, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters for your incredible sacrifice!
Also, it was amazing to have our new ICCM Interns joining the Bachelor Program of ICCM-LA! Our second class of the Fall Semester was dedicated to Jesus’ Principle Of Small Groups – Bible Talks! Let me tell you this next generation of leaders gobbled-up voraciously the Scriptures throughout the whole Bible on this principle! Teaching at ICCM-LA and having the privilege to train this amazing group of budding leaders is one of the greatest honors for all of us on the Faculty and Staff! It is so invigorating to put 2 Timothy 2:2 into practice, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
Of special note for all of us here in LA is that our dear sister Wazirah Yamin, Cory Blackwell’s mom, has officially place membership in the City of Angels Church!!! Kip and Cory studied with her! Wazirah is now putting all of her incredible wisdom and experience into evangelizing the world in THIS generation next to her incredible son Cory and the rest of us here in LA!
Every baptism is special, however once in a while you hear a story that is really touching… Helen, who was baptized last Sunday in the Pasadena City College Ministry of the Central Region, is just such a baptism! Helen was baptized on her mother Korina’s physical birthday, a godly gift that moved her so much that Korina in turn was baptized today at our amazing AMS Region! It’s incredible what God is doing to unify families!
As well, the Central Region had another terrific week as Mark & Keri Garrido spearheaded God giving them five additions in the last six days – 4 baptisms and 1 restoration!Finally Lianne & I are so grateful to have our parents in the faith, Kip & Elena back in LA, safe and sound, after a vigorous missionary journey around the world! “One who is taught the Word must share all good things with the one who teaches.” (Galatians 6:6) Everyone here in LA cannot wait to wrap our arms around the McKeans tomorrow morning at Staff and show them how much we missed them! To God be the glory!
Dear Brothers and Sisters: For those disciples in the United States, this Thursday is Thanksgiving Day! Most Americans consider that the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims in the Autumn of 1621. From firsthand accounts, this feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The Pilgrims were so thankful that the Native Americans had not only taught them to grow corn but how to live off the land (and even to eat eel) when their supplies had dwindled to nothing. Much later in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln – in the midst of the heartbreaking American Civil War – proclaimed a “National Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our Beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November!
Yet all disciples of any nation cannot help but remembering the stirring account of the 10 Lepers, when only one – “and he was a Samaritan” – returned to thank Jesus for healing him of this dreaded disease! (Luke 17:11-19) So let us all be like the Samaritan with our hearts full of thankfulness to God for “healing our lives” and giving us so many blessings – our physical families, our Bible Talks, and our church family both locally and around the world! As for Rebecca, Elena and me, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because… of your love for all the saints… All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth!” (Colossians 1:3-6)