Happy New Year and “grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!” (Ephesians 1:3) The incredible Winter Workshop on January 2-4, 2015 in Los Angeles began this new year centered on the book of Philippians with the inspiring theme – THE UPWARD CALL! One of the many highlights of the weekend was the announcement that, Lord willing in 2015, the Spirit will plant Moscow, Russia in February; Manila, Philippines in June; and Stockholm, Sweden in September! By the end of the year, of the 12 Crown of Thorns Cities, amazingly only three are left to be planted – Johannesburg (2016), Cairo or another Middle East Capital (2016), and Hong Kong (2017)!
Yet as inspiring as the historic plantings of Moscow, Manila and Stockholm are, there will be far less “moving around” – especially from LA, where we have sent-out over 200 disciples during the last two years to plant and strengthen churches! Prayerfully, during 2015 – The Year of Maturity, we will focus not only on “the three leadership fountains” for the SoldOut Movement: the Campus Ministry, the AMS Ministry, and the Remnant, but also to “mature” and appoint new Evangelists and WML’s in almost every one of our plantings and several of the LA Regions! Maturity means multiplying disciples and multiplying the leaders to graciously lead them!
The 2015 Winter Workshop was kicked-off on Friday morning, January 2nd with the Church Builders Workshop!
The initial lesson – FOR ME TO LIVE IS CHRIST – was an “upward call” to all church leaders to refocus their time and energy on Christ Jesus! That evening about 500 disciples attended the Bible Talk Leaders Workshop where Matt Sullivan delivered the inspiring speech, PROGRESS AND JOY IN THE FAITH!
On Saturday, there was The Men’s Program from 9AM to Noon which was followed by The Women’s Program which was held from 2PM to 5PM. The speech I CAN DO ALL THINGS was eloquently preached by Chris Broom to the men and Helen Sullivan to the sisters!
To close The Men and Women’s Sessions, a hilarious Bible Talk Skit – showing disciples what to do and what not to do at Bible Talk – was brilliantly directed by Cesar & Debbie Limon!
In the evening, Nick & Denise Bordieri and Tony & Therese Untalan inspired The Shepherds Class by specifically addressing the role of the Shepherds to hold up the Evangelists’ arms!
Sunday, January 4th was the LA Congregational Worship Service where we were joined by the Las Vegas and San Diego Churches! The atmosphere was electric as ten brothers and sisters shared about their ministries which are located all around the globe!
Then Carlos & Lucy Mejia presided over a very moving communion entitled, I COUNT EVERYTHING A LOSS, and Joe & Kerry Willis inspired us for the contribution on the theme of CONSIDERING THE INTERESTS OF OTHERS! For the sermon, Andrew Smellie gave a very stirring keynote address on THE UPWARD CALL!
In the afternoon and evening was the gorgeous wedding and joyous reception of Kirk & Margie Hamula – both ICCM Students!
On Monday morning was the first Crown Of Thorns Council Meeting of the new year. Congratulations goes to our three newest couples: Roger & Kama Parlour, Jay & Barb Shelbrack, and Lance & Connie Underhill! This session began with Joe Willis addressing the brothers on EVERYTHING IS UNDER HIS CONTROL. Elena spoke to the sisters on the same theme. That afternoon, Kyle Bartholomew gave one of the greatest lessons that I have ever heard which was entitled, BEING LIKE-MINDED!
That evening was The International College of Christian Ministries (ICCM) Faculty & Regents Reception! Very excitingly, new faculty and roles were introduced: Tim Kernan as the President of ICCM – Toronto, Lianne Kernan as the Dean of Women of ICCM – Toronto, Kyle Bartholomew as the President of ICCM – Manila, Joan Bartholomew as the Dean of Women of ICCM – Manila, Anthony & Cassidy Olmos as the Directors of Marketing, Cesar Limon as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Rebecca Rico as another Graduate Teaching Assistant, Adam Zepeda as Academic Resource Teaching Assistant, and since there are now extension campuses of the ICCM in other nations, I will be privileged to serve as the Chancellor of the International Colleges of Christian Ministries!
On Tuesday January 6th, the World Sector Leaders Council convened. Tim Kernan preached an incredible lesson from chapter one of Philippians entitled WHATEVER HAPPENS! To close out this session we had a very stimulating discussion about the SoldOut Movement’s future plantings from 2015 to 2018!
For Wednesday lunch, Andrew & Patrique Smellie – the World Sector Leaders of Africa – and Elena & I met with Nick Winn of Gordon’s Bay, South Africa. (Gordon’s Bay is about an hour’s drive from Cape Town.) Nick, after attending the entire Winter Workshop made the decision that afternoon for his congregation to officially join the SoldOut Movement!
Lord willing in March, Andrew & Patrique will speak at the Gordon’s Bay International Christian Church! Then the three of them will travel to Johannesburg to “spy out the land” as Nick grew up there! Prayerfully, the Johannesburg Remnant Group will begin this summer under the leadership of Jacques & Jeanette Groenewald now in our London Church!
Extraordinarily, during the two weekends following the Winter Workshop, we witnessed our second and third weddings of the month – AJ & CL Penedo and Daniel & Patty Granger!
God really used the Winter Workshop to motivate and strengthen the City of Angels Church as January has been an incredible month! We have seen our pledges for weekly contribution rise from $29,809/week to $36,020/week! Also, there are now 93 students enrolled in the International College of Christian Ministries (ICCM) Bachelor’s Program which met for the first time this year on Saturday, January 24th!
As well, on the following morning at our Bring Your Neighbor Day, God gave to us 1,506 in attendance! So, in the extremely busy first 28 days of 2015, God has blessed us with 30 additions – 21 baptisms, five restorations and four place memberships! All of this is so remarkable and we have 11 more months to go in 2015! And to God be the glory!
And now more good news from around Los Angeles…
HEADLINE NEWS – LOS ANGELES
Ighodaro Odighizuwa: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) Warm greetings of love from the San Bernadino Sector of the Inland Empire Region! 2014 was an incredible year for the Inland Empire Region as we started out with 56 sold-out disciples and God blessed us with 114 additions! At the 2015 LA Winter Workshop, we experienced a historic event as the Spirit sent 34 disciples to plant the 12th Region of the City of Angels Church in Palm Springs! We also sent out nine disciples to start our new sector in San Bernadino led by Ashley and myself!
It has been a very “WINDY” 2015 so far and the Spirit continues to move as 12 precious souls were added to our number in the month of January including six baptisms and two restorations! Today we had a record Bring Your Neighbor Day attendance of 145! We were privileged to witness four incredible campus students baptized from three different IE Campuses: Eric from UCR, Nichole from RCC, and two CSUSB students Jeremy and Erin were baptized into Christ!
Jeremy is a music major at Cal State San Bernadino (CSUSB) specializing in the piano and cello. He was reached out to this past Wednesday and did an “on-the-spot Bible study!” Jeremy shared that he has been praying for God to send him people that could show him God’s will for his life. After concluding that we were the answer to his prayers, he started eagerly studying the Bible twice a day and was baptized today on our BYND Service!
Lastly, this January, the IE disciples are putting into practice, “Love one another,” as we have three new dating couples: Jason Woody & Daniela Payan, Erik af Klint & Michelle Pettit, and Garrett Bradley & Kelechi Kalu!
Lance Underhill: “It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth.” (2 John 1:4) The South Region is rejoicing with all that God is doing! First, Clarrisa, a great young lady, was introduced to the church by her friend, Aaron Turner – who is now in San Francisco. Over a four year period, she studied the Bible with Coleen Challinor in OC; later with Chenelle Patterson in Orlando; and then with Sarah Dimitry in San Francisco! Although brought up very religious, she finally realized after four years that she hadn’t watched her “life and doctrine closely,” and was baptized as a disciple last Sunday!
Secondly, the South is jubilant as we surpassed our new pledge goal! Last but certainly not least, Stacy & Lynette Ybarra and their son Christian have been accepted into the ICCM as unpaid interns! The whole Ybarra Familia has added so much joy to the South! Just last year, their teen daughter Cameryn – although the youngest in the family – was the first to seek God with all her heart and then lead her family back to God! God is truly amazing!
Cory Blackwell: Greetings from the Southland Region! Sunday was an incredible day! The Lord blessed us with our best Bring Your Neighbor Day ever! With 111 disciples, God blessed us with an attendance of 253 fired-up souls worshiping God! Our newly formed First Century Choir did an outstanding song called Give Him Glory! It had the church singing with great joy and then we were brought into the presence of God as our dear sister, Ciera Mercano – who is classically trained – sang, Open My Heart. I want to commend our Women’s Ministry led powerfully by the love of my life, my wife – Jeraldine! They worked around the clock completing studies, counting the cost, and baptizing at the service four precious women – Talisha (the physical sister of Ricky Ball), Jade, Sarita and Izzy, a zealous campus student at El Camino College!
During the sermon titled Kingdom Eyesight, we learned that God wants to 1) Reclaim Our Lives; 2) Reshape Our Futures; and 3) Redeploy Us To Win The Nations In Our Generation!Following, all our friends and family enjoyed a feast of foods prepared by the Bible Talks!
Chris Adams of the Ventura Region: Around Christmas, our dear brother Miguel (Bear) reached out to a friend from elementary school named Ruth on Facebook. Shortly after, Ruth bumped into another bold sister, Alysha, at Starbucks who shared with her, and she began to study the Bible and to see the love of the disciples! Later, Ruth admitted that during her first “counting the cost session,” Kerri-Sue made her feel “quite uncomfortable” with her probing questions, so she walked away briefly. However, not long after, on January 9th, she “came to her senses” and thanked everyone at her baptism for believing in her and sticking with her, even when she was doubting God!
Finally, today’s Bring Your Neighbor Day Service was the most powerful service to date, since Kerri-Sue & I arrived in June 2014 with the “OC-4!” Pray for our workers to increase!
Luke Speckman: Greetings from “the OC!” We are very eager to get to work in the new year! To get geared up, we had an “Intern Training Class” at the end of 2014! We met together every day for two weeks from 10PM to Midnight and the curriculum included preaching, ministry book reading and reports, fun activities all with an expectation of excellence, and commitment to the end! Amazingly, 41 disciples committed to this rigorous schedule!
We concluded our class by praying over Orange County in several different locations, and then the Interns led the following Sunday service including all preaching, sharing, singing, and praying! It has been an incredible journey for Brandyn & myself being in Orange County and we are so grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow from such an incredible group of disciples!
Lastly, we are so thrilled to have Princeton, Joy, Glenn and Eric with us in the OC, who recently placed membership from the Miami Remnant Group! Please keep us in your prayers!
Cesar Limon: “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.”(Acts 17:6 ESV) Grace and peace in abundance from the East Region! If we are to be like the First Century Church then we as well are to “turn the world upside down!” This was our theme at our Bring Your Neighbor Day as God allowed us to have 99 at church – our highest attendance! Amazingly this past week after our pledge drive, our weekly contribution went from $804 to $1,206, that’s raising it over 50%! Thank God for pledge drives! Also this past week was encouraging to send-off Kevin Hetrick to be the Campus Minister for the North Region and it was refreshing to receive Garrett Bradley from the IE Region as he is a great “partner in the gospel” to me!
Excitingly, this past Wednesday, Nick – a foreign exchange student from South Korea – was baptized into Christ! He shared that he was an atheist his whole life until he saw the fellowship and the love of all the disciples! We believe he is the seed for South Korea as his dream is now to go back to preach to Word to His people!
After the Winter Workshop, we sent out nine disciples on the “Azusa City Mission Team” and in the first two weeks they have seen their first two baptisms: Chris and Luis! Jorge and Sara have been doing an awesome job leading this team as they secured brothers and sisters households, and have had impact on both of “their” campuses: Citrus College and Azusa Pacific University!
On Saturday at the ICCM, Sara was extra fired-up as she started dating Jovanny from our Central Region… God is good! Much love from the East!
Chris Chloupek: How Ya Do’in? from the AMS Region! In John 5:17 Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” In the AMS, we are so grateful that we have a God that is always at work in our lives! We are very thankful for ICCM and how this is preparing so many disciples for the full-time ministry! We have eight disciples in the AMS that our currently enrolled! Among them are Nick & Jackie Iadonisi – our two new paid interns in the AMS! They lead a Bible Talk called the “NEXT LEVEL” that takes place in Nick’s gym, as Nick is also a personal trainer. Please pray for Nick who has submitted his video to compete in the next American Ninja Warrior Competition. Please view his submission video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UrVe6DmVxM especially if you are struggling to keep your New Year’s diet resolution!
Finally, I am very excited to say that the latest GNN Film, RESPECT is up for viewing on the caicc.net! Click on the Arts, Media, Sports Region link or click on the following link to view it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEXv_G8ylUs. It is based on a true story about a brother who overcame the sin of homosexuality. It was made by the sacrifice of disciples in the AMS Region! As disciples in the AMS Region, we are committed to using our talents to evangelize the entertainment world for God. Our mantra is “Heart for God first, talent second!” There’s no business like “soul” business!
And now the good news from our World Sectors…
HEADLINE NEWS – USA SW QUADRANT
Jeremy Ciaramella: Good news from Phoenix! “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.” (Acts 10:1-2) God moved the heart of a women named Angelica Rivera – who reflects the nobility seen in our first century brother Cornelius!
Like him, Angelica fears God – the first kiss she and her husband shared was at their wedding! Also like Cornelius, she is devout – leading women’s Bible studies and even going on a missionary journey to Manila, Philippines! And yet, she humbly recognized that she had never heard the“message through [which she] and [all her] household would be saved!” Glory be to God that she joyfully and tearfully responded to the saving message in the Scriptures and therefore was“baptized in the name of Jesus Christ!” immediately after counting the cost late Saturday night!
Please be praying for her husband who is also studying the Bible! Thank you for your prayers and“partnership in the gospel!” (Philippians 1:5)
Erin Fruithof: Greeting from Las Vegas! We are super fired-up for all the incredible things God has been doing here! Last week, we had our first campus baptism of 2015! God has blessed the UNLV Campus Ministry with Jaycel, a hardworking full-time student from the Philippines! We met Jaycel a week before school started and went straight into the studies. Her love for God was obvious and Jaycel wasted no time changing her life to become a sold-out disciple of Jesus Christ! She fell in love with God and her new purpose in life to make disciples and was willing to give up everything she had to be united with God, including her boyfriend of three years! After four days of studying the Bible, Jaycel was baptized and has been going after the vision to evangelize the world in our generation ever since!
This past Sunday, we had an awesome Bring Your Neighbor Day! God completely blessed our services and broke our attendance record with 91 people! It was incredible to see every table at Chipotle with Bible studies after service! As well, we are super grateful to be able to send three incredible disciples from the UNLV Campus Ministry to the ICCM this semester: Arvind, Yine and Shamika! We know that they will continue to do great things this year for the Lord as they are fortified by their studies with the ICCM!
Richie McDonnell: Greetings and Happy New Year from Santa Barbara! The Lord has been blessing us with some beautiful weather as we close out January! (Praying for you Boston, Syracuse and NYC!) To start off the month, we combined our Winter Workshop with the San Francisco Church in that great city! The workshop really was an UPWARD CALL! Upon coming home, we launched a sharing campaign for both the Campus and Singles Ministries. Also, today was our First Anniversary Service, marking the successful completion of our first year as a church where we more than doubled in size!
On top of all of this, we had an awesome baptism of a student at the SB City College, Sam! Sam had a troubled and neglected past, full of many hurts, but finally found what he was looking for – the “pearl of great price!” (Matthew 13:45-46) To God be the glory!
HEADLINE NEWS – USA NW QUADRANT & CANADA
Tim Kernan: Greetings from Toronto, Canada! It’s been an incredible and “action packed” few weeks! First of all it was blow away to see the amazing baptism of Donna (Smellie) Clark’s daughter Meighen! Everyone was in tears as a crowded room of disciples and family shared about how much she has grown into her mother’s footsteps to become a wonderful woman of God!
Shortly after, Lianne & I were so honored to be able to attend the Los Angeles Winter Workshop!We were so glad to be able to bring a very special sister, Andrea Foo-Fat, with us to meet “rest of the family” down in Los Angeles! It was so heart-warming to be with disciples from around the world to get the year started right! Of special note Lianne & I were so encouraged to get together with our Northwestern USA and Canada World Sector Leadership D-group comprised of the Church Leaders and other aspiring and talented disciples for a great Italian dinner at Buca di Bepo!
Returning invigorated and ready to attack 2015, the Toronto Church rallied at our Winter Workshop! It was a rousing time of hot preaching and cold outdoor activities such as tobogganing! It was also a massive present for all of us that Steph Brown, Lianne’s father, has now officially and permanently moved to Toronto and that on his birthday!
Finally it was so encouraging to head to Portland for the Portland & Eugene Winter Workshop! It was a joy to be with all the disciples there but especially the Dimitrys, the Challinors, the Reeds and the Limons who will soon be assuming the Portland Church Leadership after the Challinors head out to LA in late May!
Please continue to pray for Toronto as we advance into this “Winter Harvest” in the snowy North!
Jason Dimitry: Greetings from your family in San Francisco! Wow, where do we begin! God has done so much since our last report! During this “out of season” time of ministry, God has added six to our number!
Particularly inspiring were the baptisms of two brothers, Ray and Ricky Carungay! Their sister Cindy became a disciple four months ago, and she immediately started reaching out to her family. It was amazing to see these siblings united in Christ on Sunday!
God also blessed us with the life-changing UPWARD CALL Winter Workshop! Thanks to Jeremiah & Julie Clark, Richie & Elizabeth McDonnell, and the entire Santa Barbara Church for encouraging us with your preaching and fellowship! Also glorifying God at the workshop, Elliot Svenkeson & Camille Santiago, our Teen Leaders, were engaged!
At the beginning of the year, it was on Tim’s and my hearts to somehow, some way, with very limited resources, plant a church in our World Sector. From a geographical standpoint, I suggested Sacramento. We started praying and by faith I brought it before the San Francisco Church and made it our goal for the year! Out of the blue a couple days later, Kip calls me wanting to talk about the possibility of starting a house church in the Sacramento area due to our dear sister Rebecca Rico’s mother studying the Bible who lives there. One thing led to another and after further discussions with Kip, Tim and myself, I’m so excited to announce that at this year’s Global Leadership Conference in August, Lord willing, we will be sending-off and officially planting the Sacramento International Christian Church with Jacob & Courtney Beas leading the charge!
Also check out our World Sector news broadcast called the I’M IN Network: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkNXx9zpwPY.
Ricky Challinor of Portland: Greetings from the City of Bridges!!! We had an amazing Winter Workshop as we were privileged to hear so many young preachers lay out the Word of God! There is no better way to end a Winter Workshop than with two amazing baptisms and an inspiring wedding!! Ray & Viridiana Gallardo are an amazing young couple. This young man is a future Latin Ministry Leader! “Viri” – who is 8 1/2 pregnant – is expecting to have their little girl at any moment! Yet for the sake of their salvation, they made the radical decision for Ray to move out until they would be married on Sunday! Praise God!
Today, there was much rejoicing in Heaven as two more were brought to salvation! The Lord brought back one of His sheep in Gelacio Andrade’s restoration! Also very encouraging was the baptism of Alex – a student at Portland State University! This young man, though very talented and intelligent, made the humble decision to make a true “180” in his life to make Jesus Lord! As he shared at his baptism, “It’s time to say good-bye to Catholicism and hello to Baptism!”
Lastly, I want to thank the Dimitrys and Kernans for being here for the workshop, as they are best friends to Coleen & me! We and the entire church are so grateful for them! Please continue praying for the Portland Church as we have our Bring Your Neighbor Day – Back To The Bible as we are praying for a record attendance!
HEADLINE NEWS – USA SOUTH QUADRANT
Matt Sullivan of Orlando: “At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place. Listen! Listen to the roar of His voice, to the rumbling that comes from His mouth. He unleashes His lightning beneath the whole Heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. After that comes the sound of His roar; He thunders with His majestic voice. When His voice resounds, He holds nothing back. God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.” (Job 37:1-5) God has certainly done great things for us in the last few weeks with thunderous and marvelous things happening in Orlando!
Our year started off powerfully at our Winter Workshop centered on Philippians as we simply imitated the awesome LA Church’s Workshop. (1 Thessalonians 2:14) The preaching was phenomenal as so many young leaders spoke with power and wisdom to inspire our congregation to have a great year with the theme: 2015 The Year Of The Dream! Then God blessed us with the addition of Marcel Turner (of the Gainesville planting and Mike’s right hand) as our new Campus Minister! Along with Tia Taylor, they have powerfully led our Campus Ministry to set-up 200 Bible studies in the first two weeks of the semester! Currently there are about 10 students up to The Kingdom Study and many visited yesterday at our Bring Your Neighbor Day!
In addition, the Singles Ministry has about 25 studying the Bible and have already had two baptisms this year! One was Darren from our Full Sail Singles Bible Talk who was powerfully moved by the love of the disciples and now believes he can overcome his past and be used by God to save others!
Excitingly, the Holy Spirit has blown Rob & Jenny Bolton along with their two beautiful daughters, Lexi and Karli, from Gainesville down to Orlando to help us continue building our powerful Marrieds Ministry! We are so excited to report that during our pledge drive the Lord “thundered” and helped us raise our weekly contribution by over $825 which allows us to have two full-time interns! Finally, the Lord has blessed us with my best friends and partners in the gospel being appointed a Shepherding Couple – Ted & Kathy Green!
Anthony Eckels: “In this way the Word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” (Acts 19:20) Greetings from the Houston International Christian Church! We kicked-off the year with our Winter Workshop entitled, Consuming Fire For 2015! During the workshop, we announced Houston’s first paid intern, Jonathan Smoot, and five unpaid interns who will be working at the University of Houston with 40,000 students!
The Austin disciples were unable to be at the workshop due to an ice storm. So, Elizabeth & I took a trip to Austin to join their Bible Talk last Friday to encourage them. They had so many commitments that Grant Hill rented a community center with his own money to accommodate all their visitors! With a total attendance of 27, we had a Bible study on Joshua taking the land! I challenged them to all study the Bible so they could take by storm Austin: “the live music capital of the world” and University of Texas’ 53,000 students! The response was incredible! The following Sunday, Austin had 12 people travel 2 1/2 hours to church in Houston! The Holy Spirit is blowing in Austin!
This past week we launched our AMS Ministry at a cafe called Bohemeo’s in downtown Houston! Six disciples had a total attendance of 14 at their first Bible Talk, set up six studies, and had a jam session following!
Lastly, this Sunday at our Bring Your Neighbor Day Service, we had a record attendance of 74! Continue to pray for more workers to gather the great harvests awaiting in Houston and Austin, Texas!
Mike Patterson: “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” (1 Corinthians 9:19) 2015 has already started off with God doing the miraculous in Gainesville! Our Winter Workshop was named after our theme for 2015, Win As Many As Possible! We ended the workshop with our Bring Your Neighbor Day which was also our First Year Anniversary Service, having our highest attendance ever of 112!
Inspiring to me over the weekend was seeing all the younger disciples raising up and preaching especially after having sent out nine members to strengthen other churches. We had the special privilege to send Marcel Turner and Bobby Hodge to Orlando to strengthen the Campus Ministry and Rob & Jenny Bolton to help build the Marrieds Ministry in Orlando! All were on the Gainesville Mission Team and we are extremely grateful for their contributions in building this congregation!
Already this year, we have seen three baptized into Christ: two campus students Alex and Andre, and our brother Alex Jones baptized his wife Katrina!
The first Alex mentioned is a UF student who had been attending the ICOC for four months and was even on campus handing out invites to their service. He saw us having Bible Talk and decided to join us. Thinking he may be a disciple, since he had been attending our former fellowship for so long, I did The Discipleship Study to find out. To my surprise he had never been baptized and didn’t even know it was necessary for salvation! Alex being so fired-up to find the truth and to see a church that is on fire for God, studied daily and was baptized!
God did so many amazing miracles last year that we chronicled on a slide show which we presented at our Anniversary Service! (https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0oZ3MxBWKZkeWhycEcya2VyUXM/edit?usp=docslist_api) But we believe that with many more disciples than at our start last year, God will do “even greater things” (John 14:12) in 2015 as we continue to strive “to win as many as possible!”
HEADLINE NEWS – EUROPE
Michael Williamson of London: “I’m not ashamed of the Gospel because it’s the power of God!” (Romans 1:16) God has been at work in this great city during the month of January! We kicked-off the New Year with a “punch” as Reece (a former amateur boxer) was baptized at our New Year’s Eve Party!
We were then “blessed” by our new sister “Blessing” who was baptized a week later at our Women’s Midweek Service, and on Sunday Lauri Vaher from Stockholm placed membership! Lauri will be helping us in the singles leading a Bible Talk in the West, as he completes a three month internship in Furniture Restoration.
Upon our return to London from the life-changing Winter Workshop in LA (arguably one of our best), the Lord added three to our number as Mara from Gainesville placed membership as she is studying abroad here till May; Richard from Hungary was baptized; and Victor Komo’s sister Betty, who originally came to London for her brother’s wedding, was married to Christ herself!
God has been moving with the remnant as Rene & Anita Vermaat of Amsterdam are finishing the details of their move to London hopefully next month! Additionally, I’ll be traveling to Ireland in two weeks in hopes of starting another remnant group! Please pray for our Winter Workshop entitled,TRANSFORMATION THROUGH DISCIPLING (Romans 12:2) where Jake & Megan Studer from the mighty Toronto Church will be guest speakers! As well next weekend, we unveil our 2015 Prayer Goals, one of which is to hire another full-time couple to help with the work here on London’s incredible campuses! 2015 here we come!
HEADLINE NEWS – AFRICA & THE CARIBBEAN
NEWS FLASH – Nick Winn the Minister for the new Gordon’s Bay ICC Remnant Group:Greetings from Gordon’s Bay, South Africa! God is surely stirring the hearts of men in this generation, as we are excited to “officially join” the SoldOut Movement! Our first official Midweek Service went excellently after my return from the LA Winter Workshop! All the disciples were grateful to hear they are now a part of God’s worldwide movement! In the words of Justin Scott who was baptized in December, “I’m excited about a lot of things… especially hearing and seeing the new movement! The fact that we have brothers and sisters all around the world is mind blowing!”
Pray for the skeptics… and there are a few, that God will soften their hearts! The entire church is so looking forward to having Andrew & Patrique Smellie preach to us in late March! Love from Gordon’s Bay!
NEWS FLASH – Jerry Koroma the Minister of the new Freetown, Sierra Leone ICC Remnant Group: My wife & I together with our small fellowship are so grateful to God as we have been longing to be connected to the ICC for more spiritual growth and fruitful Christian operations ever since we began reading many of your websites! We welcomed our change of name from our present “Gospel Christian Church Sierra Leone” to the “Freetown International Christian Church!” We are presently meeting in a primary school hall for all of our activities… Sunday: Divine Service, Wednesday: Midweek Service, and Fridays for prayers. The Government banned public gatherings due to the Ebola Outbreak, so we are not having Bible Talks at the moment that would have been have been done on Fridays in disciples homes.
It is now a crime to gather in a place from five people and above! Even when we evangelize, we go out in two or three persons but that’s what Jesus said to do! (Mark 6:7) To conclude, I have a very great passion to meet the needs of the poor and needy in this part of Africa! Thank you “for your partnership in the gospel!”
Amadou Sountoura: “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” (Matthew 9:38) Greetings from the Ivory Coast! The Abidjan Church has started this year with a 40 Day Fasting Campaign for a year of “uncommon harvest!” God has graciously already begun to answer these prayers, as so far since the beginning of January we have had weekly baptisms! Of note, one of our Shepherding Couples – Patrice & Esther – after baptizing their first son last year, baptized their daughter Paule-Irene last week!
Perhaps even more encouraging was the baptism of Agaud a former Governor! Truly, God is honoring our prayers “for kings and all those in authority… so that all men [can] be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth!” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Also, two singles, Denise and Fofana, were baptized into Christ! So as of January 25th, we now have 190 sold-out disciples in Abidjan!
We are looking forward to hosting the First African Missions Conference in late June! Won’t you plan to join us! Merci!
Alexis Turgeau: “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest?’ I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35) The fields are indeed “ripe for harvest” in Port-au-Prince, Haiti! On December 14, 2014, seven people were baptized! Three more were baptized on December 28th, and today, amazingly five more souls were added to the Lord’s Church through baptism!
So in the past six weeks, God added 15 new disciples to our number and we now have 135 disciples in the four churches in Haiti!
Luke Speckman – the Overseeing Evangelist of East Africa: Greetings from your brothers and sisters in Busia, Kenya! In spite of hardship and persecution, the new year has gotten off to a great start as the church has had six baptisms in the month of January – Daniel, Willis, Euphemia, Monica, Marylyn and Robert!
The disciples are very excited and inspired by what God has been doing and to be a part of a movement of churches committed to evangelizing the world in our generation! Please keep the church in Busia in your prayers!
HEADLINE NEWS – RUSSIAN COMMONWEALTH
Oleg Sirotkin: Huge greetings from Moscow! After the arrival of the Moscow Mission Team from Los Angeles in mid-December, we counted the cost with everyone in the Moscow Remnant Group and on the Mission Team. So at the moment, we have exactly 46 sold-out disciples of Jesus Christ! Then during the three weeks in January before our February 1st Inaugural Service, the entire church went through First Principles! Having to “solidify” by counting the cost; having to “unify” by going through First Principles; we are now ready to “multiply” to the glory of God!
There is only one week before the Inaugural Service of the Moscow International Christian Church on February 1, 2015! Pray for us as there are seven people who want to “move-in” and/or be restored on that Sunday! This historic service will be held at the beautiful Swissotel at 11:00 AM! The closest Metro Stop is Paveleckaya, so please invite any of your Moscow friends or family! And we are very happy that Kip is coming to help us on the Inaugural Sunday Service!
Finally, thanks be to our awesome God, as well as to our American and London Sister Churches for your powerful prayers and your incredible financial sacrifice that makes all our efforts possible!
HEADLINE NEWS – CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
Carlos Mejia: “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”(Zechariah 4:6) Greetings from Santiago de Chile! We are so excited to host the Central & South America (CSA) Missions Conference in just two short weeks! Our theme is SINO POR MI ESPÍRITU! (BY MY SPIRIT!) Due to amazing church growth in Santiago and in our sister churches, we have outgrown our previous location! This year the conference will take place at the Hotel Gran Palace which is located in the heart of the historic downtown area of Santiago Centro, just one block from “La Moneda” – the equivalent to America’s “White House!”
The CSA Missions Conference will begin Thursday morning at 9AM with a Leadership Workshop where our brother Kip will kick-off the conference with the speech, LED BY THE SPIRIT! Classes till 1PM will follow! Then on Friday evening the official program begins with the sermon, WALK BY THE SPIRIT! Saturday morning will be opened up by Raul Moreno speaking on MY SPIRIT WILL BRING JUSTICE TO THE NATIONS! Then there will be various workshops centered on the Campus, Singles and Marrieds Ministries! That evening, Renato Tria of Sao Paulo will preach at the Kingdom Banquet! His lesson is SPIRIT AND TRUTH! Sunday, we will hear from Cesar & Debbie Limon for communion, Matt & Helen Sullivan for contribution, and Alfredo Anuch of Santiago will preach on BY MY SPIRIT! That evening we will host an Open Mic Night!
Please, sign up now for this historic event! Pray that the conference will continue to motivate us to tirelessly work to plant churches in every country in Central and South America! And to God be the glory!
Raul Moreno: “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’”(Revelation 21:5) Happy New Year from São Paulo, Brazil! We are all excited to see the “new”things God will do this year here in Brazil! Some of the recent highlights were: the baptisms of an awesome married couple: Luis & Cristiany; Paulo was restored from our former fellowship and he is ready to win souls having been fruitful even before his restoration; and on the campus front, Bruna was baptized!
We were also proud to “welcome home” Valdermar who placed membership from the awesome London Church where he spent a year as an exchange student hailing from USP University! Thank God for the Kingdom!
Jared McGee of Mexico City: Since the last Good News Email, God has blessed us with two baptisms and two place memberships! One of those baptisms was Antonio, a computer engineer at UNAM, ranked as the number eight university in all of Latin America and boasting a student body of over 320,000 students!!! We’ve all been super impressed with how intelligent Antonio really is! However, there is a great meekness about him, but when he talks, everyone stops to listen! All the more encouraging is his rapid absorption and retention of key Bible passages and principles especially in the book of Acts!
With the Spring Semester starting this Monday, all the disciples are more ambitious than ever to get back into the battle on campus! To aid in this tremendous effort of evangelizing UNAM, and thus all of Mexico, the Santiago Church graciously sent us Anna Hernandez, a very dear sister to Rachel & me!
Even though UNAM is an acronym for “National Autonomous University of Mexico,” I take great solace, joy and a godly pride knowing that we are in the TOTALLY UNIFIED – and not at all“AUTONOMOUS” – movement of God! And to Him be all the glory!
HEADLINE NEWS – PACIFIC RIM & AUSTRAL-CHINA
Joe Willis: Greetings from Sydney as this year’s theme is: “Extreme ’15!” We are grateful to God that nearly all our missionaries received their visas to come back to Australia for another two years! We are just waiting for Mason & Natalie Fetelika’s visas to come through! So please keep them in your prayers!
We started the year off with the whole month of January focusing on prayer, which included an All Night Prayer! We started at the Opera House; then prayed around the major landmarks of Sydney; and then prayed through our “extreme prayer list” on top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge! We are expecting God to blow-out our First Year Anniversary Service next week!
We also coupled this with our Australia Day Weekend Beach Service in 94 degrees, where Andrew our youngest Christian did his first communion! Keep praying for us who are “down under” to turn things “right-side-up” for Christ!
Rich Tabizon: Mabuhay (Live Long) from the Metro Manila International Christian Church! The power of the living God is evident in Manila! 2014 was an exciting year as we witnessed twenty-one individuals make Jesus Lord of their lives and be baptized into Christ! Psalms 126:1-3 (NSAB) expresses our joy best, “When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.”
2015 is poised to be a momentous year for the Metro Manila Church, as we will welcome the Manila Mission Team in roughly 98 days! Our goal is to add twenty-four sold-out disciples by the time Kyle & Joan Bartholomew set foot on Filipino soil to bring our membership to seventy sold-out disciples!
God is already moving in this great land, as two weeks ago, a former Women’s Ministry Leader placed membership! Cathy Manresa, who was converted nearly twenty-three years ago in the former fellowship, has decided to shake-off the lukewarmness and rededicate her life to her “first love!” Cathy has recently stated that it is good being back amongst sold-out disciples and she is inspired by the power of God!
Jane Chesmore of Honolulu: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)Gigi Paulus is an incredible young woman who had been searching for love, purpose and family. Gigi and her son Gary moved to Hawai’i from Micronesia four years ago to start their lives over. What Gigi did not know was that God had a plan all along to provide her with, literally, a whole new life!
But Gigi began to feel all alone and depressed in “paradise.” Within a few years, she found herself jobless, homeless and caught in a dangerous relationship that led her and her son to stay in a domestic violence shelter for a time. Then, one day late last year, Gigi and Gary were sitting down at a table near Kapahulu Safeway eating some ice cream. That was when Gigi noticed two men reading their Bibles, one of whom was our very own brother, Jamal Carter from the UH Campus Ministry! Gigi thought she was seeing two angels from the Lord! At that moment, she knew that this was a sign from God, reminding her that she needed Him and that she needed to get into His Word!
After offering the “two angels” ice cream, Gigi was invited to church by Jamal and the rest is history! She studied the Bible every week with our lovely, hard working sisters Misty Aiona, Jazmine Yogi, Cathi Martinez, Christle Iaea, Elle Lee and me. And today Gigi was born again, baptized into Christ, while her son Gary happily looked on!!!
Gigi and Gary now have their own apartment room, a secure job, the true purpose for living, and the greatest family of all – the Kingdom of God!
Also today Joseph Ortiz was restored to the body of Christ!!! Joseph had a very hard time giving his whole heart to the Kingdom because of trust issues and left the body of Christ early last year. But a few brothers stayed in touch with Joseph while he was away and Phil Kelly was able to get Joseph to come back and visit our weekly after-service luncheon about a month ago. Joseph immediately felt the love he had felt before when he was first baptized, and realized that this was still his family in spite of everything he had gone through! So great to have Joseph back with his brothers and sisters!!!
Finally, the Lord gave us ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY (130) IN ATTENDANCE today for our Bring Your Neighbor Day – our best attendance in several months! Mahalo for your prayers!
HEADLINE NEWS – USA NORTH QUADRANT & INDIA
Chris Broom of New York City: It was amazing to kick-off 2015 by attending the LA Winter Workshop, and I was particularly inspired by all the brothers and sisters who spoke and how much everyone has matured! Upon our return, we were blessed to have Raja & Debs Rajan and Joel & Courtney Parlour as guest speakers at our NYC Winter Workshop and we want to extend a heartfelt thanks to both couples for pouring themselves out for us! Of special note, Debs Rajan had prayed to see snow for the first time and that’s exactly what happened! So we chose to give them, as a parting gift, a NYC snow globe!
Today, God blessed our Bring Your Neighbor Day with our best attendance to date of 215 and a contribution of $8,000! We especially want to thank God for the three baptisms, two restorations and one place membership He has added to our number of late! All additions are special, but these last two restorations have been extra special! First, we were able to see a “Kingdom Kid” come back to the fold when Dominique, the son of Richard & Khanni Caoile of the Portland Church, was restored!
Then Alex, who was still in the process of restoration, reached out to Mike who was baptized! Mike, a student of Queens College, is from China, but his grandfather is from North Korea and Mike now has a dream to go home and evangelize his people!
Truly, we are seeing that Campus Ministry is one of the keys to evangelizing the nations in this generation! And to God be the glory!Coltin Rohn: “So my Word goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it!” (Isaiah 55:11) After a great Winter Workshop, we saw the restoration of Julius Mannings and a baptism of a campus student – Titi!
Julius was baptized in 1984 in a Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas that joined the Boston Movement which in time became the ICOC! The Word of God was planted deep in his heart. So he moved to Massachusetts to be a part of the Boston Church! Sadly, Julius fell away from the Lord. However, it wasn’t long before he was humbled and started to turn back to God by starting one of the first prison ministries of the Boston Movement! Upon release, Julius’s heart was once again “distracted by the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth.” (Matthew 13:22) But God’s Word brought Julius back in 2014, and last week, he was restored to the Lord and the Kingdom of God!
Joel Parlour of Syracuse: Today concluded our 2015 Winter Workshop! It was amazing to see that after receiving “the upward call of Christ” the vision of the church has been stretched! “Our field” of Central New York consists of many cities totaling millions of people including The State University of New York (SUNY) College System consisting of 46 colleges with about 1.5 million students!In addition to our focus on Campus Ministry, the Lord has grown our number of teen disciples! So this Friday, we are officially kicking-off our Teen Ministry which will be led by Brison Hall! There has been some incredible people added to God’s Kingdom since the last Good News Email including Lisa, a teen, who was baptized! Lisa is very mature in how she has quickly learned to balance cosmetology school, high school, her job, and seeking first the Kingdom! In fact, two weeks ago she reorganized her schedule to go to the NYC Winter Workshop for extra inspiration which she boldly shared about at church today!
Please pray for us as there are many more close to baptism!
Maria Franklin of Chicago: “Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: ‘The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!’” (Psalm 118:15-16) The Lord continues to bring us victory here in Chicago! Since the last Good News Email on December 14th, God has blessed us with nine baptisms and six since the beginning of this year!
One story that stands out is Deborah who was baptized two weeks ago in the North Region! Deborah came out to Women’s Day a couple of years ago as she was invited by our sister Ashley Robinson. At the time, Nana & Maiya started spending time with Deborah and her husband – who like Nana is also from Ghana! They fostered the friendship and then a few months ago, they started pleading for help in their marriage. Deborah noticed the power of discipling – something that she never had experienced although being brought up very religious. Her testimony was so powerful as she realized that only through making Jesus Lord could her “sin-sick soul” and marriage truly be healed!
We are also very excited to announce Marlyn, who married Victor Montano in November, as our new Region Leader-in-Training! Together they are leading the Central Region!
Lastly, Chicago’s January 2015 MERCYworldwide Blood Drive was a great success! 45 total pints of blood were collected! This is the third blood drive that Chicago’s MERCY Branch has coordinated with the American Red Cross in what has grown to become a very effective partnership! Pray for us as we pray for you!Ron Harding: Greetings for the Capital of the Unites States! 2014 was another remarkable year for the DC Church to help to propel the growth of the movement! We added 45 members, giving us near weekly additions, highlighted by an attendance of 646 at our Annual International Day on the National Mall!
Also in 2014, we were able to support numerous plantings helping to birth the Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and the new Charlotte Remnant Group, as well as supporting Santiago and LA with a number of disciples! So exciting for us locally, we appointed our first Campus Intern, Josh Ajayi! Even after sending over 60 disciples in the last two years, the DC Church is 119 strong and giving over $6,600 per week!Near and dear to my heart was the first miracle of 2015… which began in 2014! A sister in Chicago directed some engaged friends of hers to check out the DC Church, because they were looking for someone to marry them. Aaron & Aurielle came to our Christmas Service and immediately began studying the Bible! Aaron decided to move out of their apartment to build a base of purity as the studied, and last Sunday, they were both baptized into Christ! Then at our Midweek Service they tied the knot and were married in Christ!
What a victory for not only DC, but the bond between us and the Chicago Church! We give God all the glory for His victories in 2014!
Raja Rajan of Chennai: Happy New Year to all our brothers and sisters around the world!!! While the President of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama, and the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, meet here in India to improve relationships between our countries, Christ Jesus the King of the Known and Expanding Universe has been powerfully transforming the Chennai Church, “making everything new!” Of course, in many ways this begins with Debs & me as the Chennai Church Leaders. We continued to transform and become “new” beginning at LA’s Winter Workshop! I felt so encouraged but profoundly challenged! Then we spent a week in New York City with this awesome church which we are striving to imitate! So we just returned home a little more than a week ago to begin the work for 2015!
LA and NYC brothers and sisters, “I thank my God every time I remember you,” for your constant encouragement and prayers! (Philippians 1:3) Your sacrificial giving has transformed many souls here in Chennai! We now have 12 paid interns and a total of 102 sold-out disciples in the Chennai Church!
Lastly, thank you for sending Luke & Brandyn Speckman, Tim & Lianne Kernan, and Chris & Theresa Broom to strengthen us in the last 18 months so that the Chennai Church can now be the “Jerusalem” for not only India but all 1.7 billion people of South Asia! And to God be the glory!
Dear Brothers and Sisters: Going to all nations is going to take a radical “sold-out” commitment! This became all the more apparent as I received a recent e-mail about our brother and sister in Saudi Arabia: “Omar (an alias) made note of some very interesting developments as of November 2014 in Saudi Arabia, ‘Anyone caught with a Bible in their possession (in public) will be beheaded. The previous penalty was immediate deportation. As well, anyone caught promoting Christianity will be handed over to the authorities.’ Moreover, Omar stated that they would have to use egg cartons to line the windows of their home so they would not be heard and avoid detection from the outside world.””Ashira (an alias) shared that though she does not have to wear a burka which covers a woman from head to foot, she is required every day to dress in a full black gown that covers all of her body as well as wearing a hijab.” These two disciples are truly special people and I am proud to call them my brother and sister!
Lastly, let us keep our Russian and Ukrainian brothers and sisters in our prayers as this coming Sunday – February 1, 2015 – is the Inaugural Service of the Moscow International Christian Church! Pray also for me as I leave in just two days to join them for this historic event!
“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… This is the gospel that you heard and [in this generation will be] proclaimed to every creature under Heaven!” (Colossians 1:6, 23) And to God be all the glory!