Greetings from Los Angeles! What an incredible month it has been since our last Good News Email! Our May 3rd City of Angels Church Send-off Service for the Metro Manila Mission Team was simply in a word – sensational!
The atmosphere was electric and the singing was angelic as we were joined by our sister churches from Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Barbara!
We also had as our guests, Nick & Jacque Economo of Chicago, who will moving here in June to become the World Sector Administrator Couple for Los Angeles! Highlights of this glorious day included the Kingdom Appointments of Jee Blackwell, Patricia Velasco, Mark & Kerri Garrido, and Anthony & Cassidy Olmos as Evangelists and Women’s Ministry Leaders respectively!
Also, it was so encouraging to have the “Kernan Clan” – Tim, Lianne, Junior and David – place membership with Michelle Miranda who also comes to us from Toronto! Tim & Lianne will serve the Lord in the City of Angels Church as not only the South Region Leaders, but also as one of three Associate Lead Ministry Couples alongside Cory & Jee Blackwell and Andrew & Patrique Smellie!
Lord willing, in the summer of 2016 when prayerfully the Holy Spirit will send-out the Blackwells to the Middle East and the Smellies to Africa, at that time, Tim & Lianne will become the Lead Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader for the City of Angels Church! This will allow Elena & me more time to be devoted to building particularly the Crown of Thorns Churches that will collectively expand into all nations!So touching was Joan Bartholomew’s sharing at communion!
As well, the contribution message was dynamically delivered by Marc & Maika Carbonell – key members of the Metro Manila Mission Team! Marc & Maika will serve as the World Sector Admin Couple for the Pacific Rim World Sector!
Of course, who will ever forget Kyle Bartholomew’s message – BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD! His illuminating textual study of Matthew 8:23 to Matthew 9:8 challenged and inspired all of us!
Another high point of the service were the baptisms of Arnold (IE), Troy (OC), Cynthia (OC), and especially Fransisca (PS), who was baptized by her husband and daughter!
To close the service with the sending-out of the 12 gallant disciples of the Metro Manila Mission Team, we fell on our knees praying! This brought a renewed sense of awe for the powerful ways that the Lord is moving through His new movement around the world!In retrospect, the entire month of April was so inspiring for Elena & me beginning with Easter Service in the Mighty IE Region to Kwaku & Ashley Sarkodie’s Wedding to the joyful returns from their missionary journeys of the Smellies from Johannesburg and the Feumbas from Haiti!
Another faith-building event was the placing membership of one of the great heroes of the faith in the 80’s and 90’s in the ICOC – Chris McGrath! Chris was born of Irish parents and lived his younger years in England and Ireland. His passion was sports and in particular boxing! God used this as Chris was first “baptized” through the efforts of his boxing coach who was a member of the Mainline Church of Christ! Later, Chris came in contact with the Boston Movement (renamed the International Churches of Christ in 1994) in London. After studying with a non-Christian, Chris saw very quickly that he did not become a disciple before he was originally baptized! Therefore, he was baptized as a disciple on December 21, 1983!Though Chris had sparred with professional boxing champions, because of his new passion for Jesus, he gave up boxing and became a full-time preacher trained by the brothers in London! Later, he brought the discipling movement to Australia and then to different parts of the UK! Especially near to his heart was Ireland! Then after serving the Lord in Detroit and Atlanta in America, Chris in his own words wandered in a spiritual desert. Praise God, George Grima contacted him on Facebook in March… and the rest will be history as God has once again placed Chris in the fulltime ministry!
One of my favorite activities of the Spring is the CAICC Basketball League! This year every game in the regular season and the playoffs was close and highly contested… but as always with Christian demeanor! Friday night, May 1st, most of the church gathered at the Crenshaw Christian Center Gymnasium for the Three Point Contest, the Championship Game, and then the All Star Game! For the Three Point Contest, our top eight Three Point scorers from regular season play were selected. In “head-to-head competition” with single elimination, each pairing (#1 vs #8, #2 vs #7, etc…) had one minute to shoot a total of 15 balls – five from the side, five from the top of the key, and five from the other side – with the last ball at each station as the “money ball” that was worth two points!
Kyle Swann of the Lakers was victorious against the sharp-shooting Chris Anderson for this year’s crown!
In the Championship Game, the 2014 Champions – the Bulls of the Southland Region – were ever so slight favorites over the Hawks of the OC and South Regions! It was an incredibly fast paced game!
The fans – almost the entire CAICC Church – so enjoyed not just the game, but the fellowship!
In the end, the undefeated Bulls overcame the powerful Hawks 41 – 36 to claim the CAICC Basketball Championship!
Our dear brother Chris Anderson of the Bulls was selected as the MVP for the season and for the game! Congratulations to both the Hawks and the Bulls for an outstanding season!Following this exhilarating game was the entertaining All Star Game! The East was composed of the Bulls, Clippers and Lakers and coached by Cory Blackwell, while the West was the coming together of the Cavaliers, Hawks and Warriors and coached by Sal Velasco!
The West narrowly defeated the East in a remarkable game: 46 – 43! Cory Blackwell was selected the MVP for his timely scoring, rebounding and his coaching!
Even with so many exciting “goings-on” in the City of Angels Church fellowship, God has blessed us in the first 123 days of 2015 with 168 additions – 135 baptisms, 16 restorations and 17 place memberships! And to God be all the glory!NEWS FLASH – The inspirational theme of the 2015 Global Leadership Conference (GLC) is SAVIOR OF THE WORLD! For the past few years, we have progressively studied through the Old Testament at our Annual GLC’s: EXODUS (2010), THE CALLING (2011), CHOSEN – Spiritual Leadership In The Days Of The Judges (2012), PROPHETS AND KINGS (2013), and ZION’S DREAMERS (2014)! So this year, we are in the Gospels! We have selected the Book of John as the primary focus of our lessons and classes! Of course, the theme of the Beloved Disciple’s Gospel is that Jesus is the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD!
All of the Conference Program (as well as all of the Pre-Conference Festivities) will be held at the beautiful Anaheim Hilton at 777 West Convention Way, Anaheim, CA 92802. We are so excited to now officially open registration for the 2015 GLC!
Brandyn Speckman: Greetings from the beautiful Castaic Hilltops (located within the North Region) and the City of Angels ICC Teen Ministry! What a powerful, God awe-inspired Teen Retreat we had! Our weekend theme was entitled, HERE AM I! (Isaiah 6:8) The weekend was filled with powerful preaching (including six amazing Teen preachers), incredible fellowship, a faith-challenging high ropes course, early morning quiet times, Campfire Night, glow in the dark Capture the Flag, great food, and LOTS OF FUN!!
We are excited to see the fruit of the Teen Ministry Retreat as all the teens made defining decisions to be radically different coming down the mountain! The charge was to embrace the calling from God and realize He has “sent” each Teen EXACTLY where He wants them to be! Therefore… The call is to pick up the torch and be a shining bright light in their schools and families sharing the Word that brings true salvation to this lost world!
Our Sunday Service had an awesome 360 degree beautiful view of God’s creation! Christian Ybarra inspired us all as he preached the Word to the 73 in attendance!
Thank you to all the Teen Workers who attended and gave their hearts to all the Teens. A special thank you to Jermaine & Stefanie Peacock who truly helped make this weekend amazing for everyone!!! Also, a BIG thank you to the Phoenix ICC parents who made special efforts for their teens to attend the retreat!! And last, but not least… Thank you CAICC Teens!!!! You made this a weekend to remember!!!Krystal Legarda: Greetings from Orange County! We are so encouraged by how God has been moving and increasing our numbers, as we increase our faith! We know that it is “only God who makes things grow!” (2 Corinthians 3:7) In the past two weeks, God has grown our region by adding six through baptism – Sahar, Carlos, Sarah, Tina, Cynthia and Troy!
Sahar is a student at Cal State Fullerton, who came to the USA from Iran only four short months ago to pursue her master’s in Computer Science. She was raised in a Muslim home, but Sahar was always curious about Christianity. Although difficult and risky to obtain, Sahar got ahold of a Bible in the Middle East from one of her friends, where she faithfully read her Bible in Farsi for 10 years! However, it wasn’t until coming to CSUF and meeting a disciple, Erin Fischer, that Sahar learned the truth about Jesus Christ! Indeed, God is faithful and will gather those who are truly seeking Him with all of their hearts!
Also, we are so excited to be sending out Princeton & Joy George later this month to lead the San Diego Church! They will be joined by Adam Blanco, Ryan Lomeli, Jenny Garcia and Sarah Chang!
We are equally excited to be receiving from San Diego Evan & Kelly Bartholomew, who will lead the Fullerton Sector in the Orange County Region! They will be joined by Bobby & Kensey Merritt, Tyrone White, Amber Anderson and Alicia Amezcua!
Truly, “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)Cesar Limon: “Then Moses said to him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.'” (Exodus 33:15) Grace and peace in abundance from the East Region! These past weeks have been amazing as we have nearly collected all of our Missions Contribution and God added four through the refreshing waters of baptism which brings us to be 60 strong!The first baptism of the month was Marla who was kicked out of her house and lost her job for the Kingdom, but she is fired up! Secondly was Alexandra who was a longtime friend of our dear sister Alejandra!
The last two were Anthony and Calvin which were our first two baptisms from the newly planted Azusa Pacific University Ministry! What was amazing about their story was that Calvin studied the Bible first but didn’t like the “very condemning” studies. He was complaining about the Bible Study Series to his friend Anthony, but Anthony wanted to see the studies for himself so he started studying. Anthony quickly saw that these “very condemning” studies are actually “bold and upfront” Bible studies which is just what he was searching for! Long story short, Anthony gets baptized and then a few days later baptized his friend Calvin… The message spreads even through persecution!
Lastly it was awesome to have Ricky & Coleen Challinor and the “Portland Seven” with us as they are “spying out the land” for when they come to take over the East in just a few short weeks… Pray for the transition to be smooth! We love you with the love of the Lord!Adam Zepeda:“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13) Greetings from the Inland Empire! God has definitely been working powerfully in the disciples here in the IE to “will and act” in order to fulfill His purpose!Just a couple weeks ago, we had the incredible opportunity of “sending-off” Ashley Godwin and Rebecca Lemperle to be with Argo & Anu in Stockholm! However, the Holy Spirit’s “breeze” doesn’t stop there; we are also very encouraged to have Sarah Chang be sent-off with Princeton & Joy George along with the supplemental mission team to San Diego!In other news, we witnessed another miracle in Arnold as he came to make Jesus Lord this past Sunday! Arnold, a neuroscience major at UCR, expressed how desperate he was to find God and shared that before he was met, he tried taking his own life with sleeping pills, but by the grace of God, Arnold quickly realized the point he had come to and immediately began to regurgitate the pills! Little did he know that three weeks later he would “coincidentally” be reached out to by a disciple, Thomas Killion, study the Bible, and in a little over a week’s time get baptized! God is so good!
Sal Velasco: Greetings from the HOT Palm Springs Region! In Mark 3:35 Jesus says, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and my sister and mother.” Well in 2015, we have started off the year by adding three family members to our church family!Fast forward to today and we have an amazing story of perseverance and faith, as our Heavenly Father worked in our Palm Springs Family once again! Valeria was the first baptism in Palm Springs and was later asked to move to the East Region. She faithfully invited her father to church and we started studying the Bible right away! He had a great heart for God and became your brother in the faith at the end of last year and started working on his wife Fransisca. She started coming to Bible Talk and to church and studying the Bible with my wife. The amazing thing is that she had such a difficult upbringing that she never learned to read, so with great patience and persistence the Scriptures came to life to her as she would listen to audio of the Bible and studied with the sisters. After several months of studying, Fransisca became your sister in Christ today!
Mark Garrido: Good news from the faithful Central Region! In the past five weeks in this Year of Maturity, Kyle & Joan Bartholomew – formerly the Central Region Leaders – have been sent off to Metro Manila Philippines! From having only two focal Campus Ministries, God has given us an amazing opportunity and students to advance our Campus Ministries now on USC, PCC, Cal State LA and ELAC with faithful leaders strategically in place for spiritual battle! Of real joy, Avrie Blackwell was accepted into USC in April and will join us soon!
From having no shepherds, we now have two Shepherding Couples-in-Training who are definitely putting in tireless hours of selfless and vigorous service! From no dating couples to four dating couples who have shown respect toward God and to each other in purity!With Curt & Morgan Valdez being sent off to Honolulu, Stefano Barbis preparing to move to Santiago where he’ll train to lead the Lima Peru Mission Team, the absence of Kyle & Joan, we have had to pray faithfully and work accordingly to fill some large ministry voids which God has already blessed through prayers, as we now have three new Bible Talk Leaders!
Last but certainly not least was undoubtedly a miracle from God – Joshua Brooks a LACC student was baptized! Pray for my wife Keri & me to “go in the strength [we] have” and lead this tremendous region of God’s great people! (Judges 6:14)Lance Underhill:“In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” (2 Corinthians 8:2) So much is happening in the South Region that we are overflowing with joy! First we witnessed two baptisms: Martha Jagueri and Karina Wilson! Karina is our dear sister Capil Estep’s physical sister, originally from Nepal. She came to Joe & Capil’s wedding in December and just had to return from Michigan to LA to learn more about “this church!” Karina lives with her husband and children in Ann Arbor and is sustained spiritually by the Chicago disciples!
We are super excited as we welcome back from Toronto our beloved brother and sister, Tim & Lianne Kernan, who will now lead the region! Also placing membership is David Jefferson returning from Hilo to serve here in the Singles Ministry, and our dear sister Michelle Miranda, returning from Toronto where she served wholeheartedly!At our All Congregational Service this Sunday, Anthony & Cassidy Olmos were appointed Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader and the whole region rejoiced with them!
Also, the South is honored as the Holy Spirit sends our dear brother Johnny Cortez to serve on the Metro Manila Mission Team. Finally, with the send-off of Manila today and Stockholm on the horizon, the South is inspired to bring in an “overflowing” Special Missions Contribution!Cory Blackwell of the Southland Region: The month of April had many peaks and valleys! God has shown Himself to be the God of Heaven and earth like no other! We have battled Satan with strong faith and resolve to be sold-out and “family to the end!” Our victories this month are many! First we saw an incredible couple come together in one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever shared in – Brandon & Mechele Scorza!
Love continues to be in the air as Jermaine Simmons is now engaged to Ebony Ruffin and Micheal Peterson & Jasmin Jennings are now dating! There is a God!
God greatly enhanced our leadership team as dear friends to Jee & me, Rob & Burgandie Onekea placed membership! They will join our “Shepherds Team” with Pat & Pam Boea!
Johnny & Veronica Sanchez were the first and second baptisms of the Southland Region! Unfortunately due to a lack of faith and trust in God, Johnny fell away. Veronica and their five children held on with just a mustard seed of faith, but God is faithful and now so is Johnny! He was restored to the Lord and His church at our last Midweek Service. The joy in the room was incredible as Johnny, Veronica and their five beautiful kids are so loved!
The same evening the Mighty Teen Ministry baptized an awesome young man named Nash Montano! His parents watched with great joy snapping picture after picture! I asked them how they felt and with a big smile said, “We now have so much joy!”
Campus also baptized a great young man Jasuan, who has been fired-up since he first started coming out to church! I want to lift up our single women who have showed great perseverance studying the Bible with two awesome women who had to fight through many obstacles to become Christians! Leti and Stephane became baptized disciples after many months of studying the Bible! The world is not a kind place and I am so glad that they held on to God’s grace and mercy!
God blessed the Southland Bulls with our second undefeated basketball season! Congratulations to Chris Anderson our MVP! The CAICC League was the best we have had! I want lift up all teams for the great sportsmanship, fellowship and great competition done with great hearts!Finally, the highlight of the year for me personally was watching my wife Jeraldine be appointed a Woman’s Ministry Leader! I am so honored that God gave me this courageous, loyal and faithful woman to be my wife and partner in the gospel! Thank you Jee for loving God, the Kingdom, my children and me with all your heart!
Andrew Smellie:“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth – TO EVERY NATION, TRIBE, LANGUAGE AND PEOPLE!” (Revelation 14:6) Greetings from West Los Angeles! April’s highlights included rejoicing at the beautiful wedding of Kwaku & Ashley Sarkodie!
As well today, we witnessed our dear friends Marc & Maika Carbonell be sent by the Spirit to help plant the Metro Manila International Christian Church! It is particularly exciting for Patrique & I that the next scheduled Crown of Thorns Planting will be Johannesburg, South Africa in August 2016! We have the honor of leading this first “official” planting on the great African continent of over 1.1 billion souls!NEWS FLASH – In April of this year, Patrique & I had the privilege of traveling to South Africa and meeting with valiant disciples in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and even in the Kingdom of Swaziland! After hearing their stories of resilience through the painful disintegration of our former fellowship, it is clear that the time to gather the remnant and evangelize the great continent of Africa is NOW! In order to strengthen and unify the efforts of the more than 500 disciples in remnant groups throughout Africa, we will be hosting our movement’s First African Missions Conference from June 26th to June 28th of this year – less than two months away!!! Our visionary theme is: EVERY NATION, TRIBE, LANGUAGE AND PEOPLE. Our Keynote Speaker will be our dearly loved brother and leader of the SoldOut Movement, Dr. Kip McKean!
Please spread the word for this historic event as the festivities will be hosted by the Abidjan International Christian Church led by Amadou & Angele Sountoura! There is NO registration cost associated with this event! However, please check out our website (www.icc-amc.org) for details regarding hotel, flights into Abidjan, and immunizations necessary for your visa, as well as the latest updates! A bientot! (French for “See you soon!”)
HEADLINE NEWS USA SW QUADRANT
Elizabeth McDonnell: Warm greetings! This has been such an encouraging time here in the Santa Barbara Church even while we prepare for the transition of Dennis & Corinna Sloan coming to lead the church here, while we move to lead the DC Church! During these last few weeks, a great purification process has happened. A great deal of secret sin was exposed throughout the church, but instead of getting discouraged or self-focused, the disciples became broken, repented and then had three awesome women baptisms, all of which were baptized in the same weekend!
While all of the women have incredible testimonies, the story of Laura Lewis becoming a disciple really warms my heart because it shows the unity between churches in our movement! Laura was reached out to by Ashley Dunn of the LA Church while she was having coffee all alone. But because of her imminent graduation from FIDM, as well as a weekly commute between LA and Santa Barbara (90 miles each way), she was only able to visit Ashley’s Bible Talk once. After graduation, she moved permanently up to Santa Barbara. That’s when Ashley made sure that I had Laura’s contact info so that she could be reached out to up here! Sure enough, after one meeting with Laura, I just knew that she was going to make an awesome disciple! Then after three months of wrestling with demons from the past, Laura repented and was baptized into Christ! And she has been an incredible addition to our Single’s Ministry!
Lastly, we’ve already collected all of our 20X Special Missions Goal and are now working on our faith goal of a 25X Contribution!! We love you all and please pray for the transition of leadership in the DC and Santa Barbara Churches!Amy Ciaramella of Phoenix: Greetings from the Valley of the “Son!” Today was a day full of refreshment as we were able to witness a miracle at the end of an energetic, inspiring service led by my hard-working hubby, Jeremy! How serendipitous that the Manila Mission Team was being sent off in LA while the LIFE Campus Ministry Women were able to baptize Arian, who is of Filipino descent!
Previous to her arrival in Phoenix, Arian was leery to enter her freshman year at ASU (one of the top party colleges) as she was afraid of what that meant for her relationship with God! Ranking as one of the top female high school wrestlers in Washington State (at 134 wins, 2 losses), she is now here by God’s plan to begin her training for the National Wrestling Team! She has longed to use the success in her wrestling career to influence and inspire others about God! Little did she know the difference that Women’s Day would make in her life! At 18 years of age, she studied the Bible and is now the youngest sister in our Campus Ministry – so full of zeal and equipped with the proper knowledge to now make the impact that she has yearned to make for God!
HEADLINE NEWS USA NW QUADRANT & CANADA
Jeremiah Clark:“The mountains will bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness.” (Psalm 72:3) Greetings from the Mighty Denver Church! The past few weeks have been so encouraging as God has showered down His blessings from the great Rocky Mountains! First, I am so proud of our amazing Women’s Ministry as just a couple of weeks ago they put on one of the most incredible Women’s Days that I have ever seen entitled, FEARLESS! The banquet room was completely full of women as they had 72 in attendance and I have to say that my beautiful wife Julie preached one of her best lessons ever!
Encouragingly, we also welcomed the amazing Ugorji Family today as they placed membership from the powerful Sydney, Australia Church!
Lastly, we were able to see Mel and Zach baptized into Christ – two amazing baptisms from both our CU Boulder and Metropolitan State Campus Ministries! To God be all the glory!
Stephanie Reed: Greetings from the Mighty Eugene Church! The month of April was amazing as we had our Annual Women’s Day! This year’s theme was LET IT GO! It was a very memorable day as we had a total attendance of 73 – 37 visitors and 35 disciples!
We had great testimonies from Sierra McClelland our intern who shared about LETTING GO OF INSECURITIES, Brooke Helm our administrator shared about LETTING GO OF CONTROL, Reina Smith our Corvallis House Church Women’s Leader spoke about LETTING GO OF GUILT,and Lynee Pengra share about LETTING GO OF ANXIETY! We had Alex Reitman and Naarah Hansen sing Let It Go from the movie FROZEN.Then we had an amazing modern dance called I’m Not A Robot by a young disciple named Courtney, who was baptized in our U of O Ministry but now is up in Corvallis!
Last but not least, Sarah Dimitry – the Women’s Leader of the San Francisco Bay Church – was our guest speaker! She did an amazing lesson on the bleeding woman and Jarius’ daughter in Mark 5!
I want to thank Steph Hackett our Shepherdess who made sure we had yummy food, Renee Loheed who did beautiful decorations, Carey Jensen and Christy Rios! I am so grateful for these women as they really helped me out so much for my first Women’s Day that I have ever planned! Please pray for us as we reap a harvest of women who are ready to “let go!”Speaking of the harvest, God has blessed the OSU Campus Ministry again with their first guy baptism Riker! At first Riker didn’t believe Jesus was the Son of God, but after going through the studies he came to “a knowledge of the truth” and on Sunday he became our brother in Christ!
Ricky Challinor of Portland: Good news from the City of Bridges!!! God has worked in great ways here in Portland over the last month! To start was the restoration of Justin & Angelina Moore! They were converted in Bakersfield, but sadly fell away and moved to the desert (literally) in Nevada both physically and spiritually! But everyone has their limit and they hit theirs!The Moores came to Portland with a glimpse of hope and God pulled them through!!! That very day they locked down a job and home!!! If that weren’t enough, their repentance caught the eye of their 16 year old daughter Jade, and she began to study the Bible! The Moores were restored and they then were able to baptize their daughter into Christ! The spiritual family was able to unite this wonderful physical family!
We were also able to send-off Andre Astanin and Cynthia Maldonado to San Jose to prepare for the Sacramento Mission Team! We are so proud of them and are grateful for all they have done for His Kingdom!Lastly was a miracle of miracles: Everardo Esparza & Jennifer Wagner started dating!!!!! There certainly is a God and He surely is good!
Co & I are so happy that they will be coming with us to the East Region of the City of Angels Church in June!Sarah Dimitry:“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” (Psalm 77:14) Greetings from San Francisco! I’m writing this on my drive back from LA having witnessed many miracles, including the Holy Spirit sending off the Manila Mission Team! My husband Jason sends his greetings from Santiago, Chile as he also witnessed a miracle with the wedding of Emilio & Tatiana Bonilla!
We can’t wait to have them serve in the San Jose House Church after their honeymoon, replacing Jacob & Courtney Beas, as they go on to plant the Sacramento International Christian Church!The Sacramento Mission Team is slowing trickling into San Jose this month! We also had an incredible brother named Gary Swee restored to the Lord! And since we’re talking about miracles, here’s another one for ya – Aaron Turner & Sheila Bell, our ICCM students, are now dating!
Please continue to pray for the Bay!
HEADLINE NEWS USA SOUTH QUADRANT
Mike Patterson: “In those days when the number of disciples was increasing…” (Acts 6:1) In the first 18 weeks of 2015, our God has blessed us with 19 amazing baptisms and one awesome restoration!Recently God moved in a mighty way as we decided to have a Bring Your Neighbor Day on April 19th right before the end of the University of Florida semester. God still gave us our highest attendance ever (outside of the Campus Conference) of 120 at service! Two of the visitors were Jason on the University of Florida Baseball Team and his girlfriend of four years Josslyn, who is a telecommunications major focused on sports media! They were so broken by the sin God exposed in their lives that they broke-up and surrendered to God their future! In tears, they both shared how grateful they are to be in God’s Kingdom! Jason already has a dream to lead in the church!
Please pray for these influential students to use their talents for God and to reach many others!
Matt Sullivan of Orlando: What an exciting couple of weeks since the last Good News Email! God has blessed the amazing Orlando Church with many who are studying the Bible and as of this week five remarkable people have become disciples in the last four weeks!
Of special note was Carrie Green, who is married to Joe Green the son of our Shepherding Couple – Ted & Kathy Green! The Green Family is now complete… With four sons, three of whom are married, they are all faithful and now with Carrie’s baptism, all the wives are as well! What a modern day miracle to see this entire family united in Christ!
In addition, the Lord truly has received glory for Himself in our weekly contribution! A few months ago, the Orlando Church was still feeling the effects of sending out two mission teams early in 2014, as 33% of our membership had been sent out… And this made our finances a bit rocky! We rallied together in November, looked at the facts and realized the facts meant nothing with faith!So we decided that we had to change the situation for the glory of God and well… to pay the bills! Our average giving at that time was under $1,900/week. After seeking the Lord, much preaching, and deciding to live by faith in obedience to God’s Word, our contribution in under two months grew to $3,200/week by mid-January! And we have maintained that! We are praying for an abundant harvest for our Special Missions Contribution coming up on June 14th! Please pray for us as we pray for all of you!Tyler Sears: Greetings and “Howdy Y’all” from Dallas-Fort Worth! The last four weeks have been very encouraging for the DFW disciples as the Lord has added three through baptism!
Shay & I were encouraged and challenged by having Kip & Elena in town, as well as Matt Sullivan and Mike Patterson, who got with us and the church in order to help us out! Not only did we see three baptized, but God has blessed us with much fruit on the vine as our International Sunday brought in 79 for church – the highest attendance since our Inaugural Service! Please continue to pray for us as we have so much more work to do!Ron Harding of Washington DC: Greetings from the Capital of the United States! Tracy & I are so very encouraged by the vigor and commitment of the DC disciples! In the midst of raising money for Special Missions and the transition of leadership, we have seen eight people baptized in the last five weeks!So special was the last baptism, as Chris Bradley – a personal trainer – who made Jesus Lord after attending for nearly six months! Chris had “prayed Jesus into his heart” and had gone through the ritual of baptism. However, he did not repent of his sins and never had a clear conscience. (1 Peter 3:18-21) His family was so impacted and I was so proud of our young brother Brian (also a fitness trainer) who was just baptized three weeks ago who sat in most of the studies with Chris! Now both of our new physical fitness trainers are also spiritually fit!
HEADLINE NEWS EUROPE
Argo Arneson: “Make your praises heard, and say, ‘Lord, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’ See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth.”(Jeremiah 31:7-8) Greetings of love from Stockholm, Sweden! We are tremendously thankful to our Lord because His movement has reached “the land of the north” to gather the remnant and to bring His salvation to all the nations in Northern Europe!
The month of April has been a very exciting month for us! We saw Stockholm Mission Team members arriving one after another literally “from the ends of the earth.” Our team includes seven Swedish Citizens, seven Estonian Citizens, one Finnish, one Lithuanian and one British Citizen and three of our team members are also Citizens of the United States!
Five of our team members already started their language studies in an Intensive Swedish Language Program to be ready for our Inaugural Service on September 20, 2015! Lord willing, we will have a very dynamic student outreach so as to find the leaders to reach all of Northern Europe!
Of course, the highlight in April for us was the birth of our new “baby brother” Kenneth Arnström, who was baptized last week! Kenneth is a 67 years “young” professional jazz musician with an incredible heart for God! Welcome to the family, Kenneth!
We are also extremely happy to announce that our dear brother and sister, Erik af Klint & Michelle Pettit, are now engaged! God is truly awesome!
Please keep praying for our efforts in Stockholm “and say, ‘Lord, save your people, the remnant of Israel!'”Philippe Scheidecker of Paris: Greetings from the City of Love! We have our first engaged couple in Paris! Last Monday, the handsome Knight Kevin Toto asked the beautiful Princess Sandra, in front of the Eiffel Tower, if she wanted to become his Queen. She said Yes!!!! It was the very day of her physical birthday! Best gift ever!!!
This Sunday, we enjoyed the visit of our dear brothers and sister from Amsterdam, Menno and Yuklin Zoutendijk and their daughter Sue Line, and Arni Sicam! Menno preached a sermon Je Suis Le Fils Prodigue’ (I Am The Prodigal Son); Yuklin shared at communion; and Arni, our Filipino brother, led us in a great contribution! Later, we were all fired up to watch the Livestream LA Church Service with our beloved Anthony & Cassidy appointed Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader! To God be the glory!Michael Williamson: Warmest greetings to our dear family from London, England! “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents… For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:8-10)It is a blessing to be a part of God’s Kingdom worldwide and see the fulfilment of this Scripture being lived out by so many in the radical call of true Christianity! One of the highlights of this past month has definitely been the place membership of Rene & Anita Vermaat who took a huge leap of faith moving their family from Amsterdam to be with the London Church!
Both of these incredible disciples are in their 50’s and gave up jobs, caring for aging parents, a wonderful school for their precious son Rean, and their beloved home to be with sold-out disciples and to be used powerfully again for God!Another highlight of April in London was the visit of our dear friends, Argo & Anu Arneson! Argo did a phenomenal job in preaching to the church and Anu was equally inspiring at our incredible Women’s Day!
HEADLINE NEWS RUSSIAN COMMONWEALTH
Zhenya Sobolev: Privet from Moscow! The Spirit took our dear leaders – Oleg & Elena Sirotkin – to strengthen the church in Kiev, but in spite of this God added three precious souls to our number by the waters of baptism in April!On April 5th, we saw the baptism of Bolat – a single from Caucasus! Incredible story: He was invited first in Kiev two years ago, studied the Bible in Ukraine, then moved to Moscow, and finally got baptized!
On April 26th, God blessed us with baptism of Tatiana! She made a true victory over all her sins to become a true disciple of Jesus!
And finally, on Sunday, May 3rd, we witnessed the baptism of Evelina – a mother of five children who studied the Bible for two years! Interestingly, her mother is a professional singer in the Orthodox Temple so Evelina was raised in the Orthodox tradition. But she totally “forgot all her past” and became a true Christian!
HEADLINE NEWS AFRICA & THE CARIBBEAN
Blaise Feumba – the Overseeing Evangelist for French-speaking Africa:“The Word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem…” (Acts 6:7) April has been another fruitful month in our sister church in Kinshasa as nine more souls were added to the Kingdom of God!
One of the amazing miracles among these new converts is Dax Makadi, the 23 year old Congolese and African Welterweight Boxing Champion! Dax “knocked the devil out” by being baptized into Christ and His church! Amazingly, he has not lost a single fight since the beginning of his professional career in 2010!
Of note, in the SoldOut Movement, Kinshasa is our second largest congregation (after the City of Angels International Christian Church) with now 317 sold-out disciples – 239 in Micky’s South Region and 78 in Lola’s Region, the North! To God be all the glory!
Jonathan Panossian:“But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.” (Psalm 9:18) While on a ten day mission trip to Haiti with Blaise & Patricia Feumba, I personally witnessed the true depths of poverty that would shock the conscience of any disciple! After traveling to the cities of Port-au-Prince, Duclair, Jacmel and Mirebalais, I saw a devastated and broken country whose people are desperate for hope and a future.
Disease and famine are rampant throughout the country; people resort to drinking polluted water to avoid extreme dehydration from living in a tropical climate; and the basic needs of food and shelter are beyond the reach of the vast majority of the Haitian people due to the very high cost of living.
I came back to the United States of America with a heavy heart after listening to the stories of three disciples: Anel Magoffy, Brunson Saint-Vil and Cylene. Anel lost his business and home after the 2010 earthquake. He now lives with his wife and three children inside of a tent unable to recover from the chaos after the destruction caused by the earthquake. They walk seven miles one way to attend church!
Brunson Saint-Vil, a former Mainline Church of Christ Preacher, and his wife also lost their home and two children when the house collapsed on them during the earthquake.
Lastly, Cylene was lying on the floor of her home in extreme pain as she was dying from cancer with no possibility of receiving any medical attention. She finally passed away last week as the Lord decided to take her into glory and shortened her extreme pain! These are just a few stories of the pain and suffering the disciples of Haiti are going through.
But among all the hardship and ruin, God’s glory is shining and healing so many hearts and lives as the gospel of Christ is being powerfully preached! 19 souls have been added to the Lord’s Kingdom during this trip, and among them two more preachers! After the baptism of Louisius Exilien, a pastor of a Pentecostal church in Mirebalais, ten members of his church including his incredible opinionated wife Mary became disciples after only two long days of Bible Studies!The following day, Blaise, Patricia and Alexis Turgeau studied with another amazing preacher, who like Apollos was well versed in the Scriptures but needed to be taught more accurately the way of the Lord! Brunson Saint-Vil’s and his wife Mary Acefie were baptized and with him seven other members of his congregation who are now with us in Port-au-Prince!
Amazingly, only 20 months after the baptism of the former Mainline Church of Christ Preacher, Alexis Turgeau, at the 2013 GLC where he was baptized as a disciple, we now have 149 sold-out disciples in five churches in five cities in Haiti! Pray as 17 of them are former preachers who like Apollos have been taught “the way of God more adequately.”(Acts 18:26) The disciples of Haiti are keeping hope alive!NEWS FLASH – Nick Bordieri, the President of MERCYWORLDWIDE:Cholera, a bacterial disease that can cause diarrhea and dehydration, is most often spread through the ingestion of contaminated food or drinking water. Since the beginning of the Haiti cholera epidemic in October 2010, there have been over 750,000 cases treated and over 8,700 deaths! Cholera remains a deadly threat to the general populace of Haiti.
During Blaise Feumba’s third missionary journey to Haiti, he & Patricia launched MERCYWORLDWIDE’s Water Filter Program!MERCYWORLDWIDE purchased innovative water filters from a Swiss corporation, Vestergaard, for delivery of filters to thirteen disciples’ families.
Another 67 families of disciples await delivery! Please pray that MERCYcan impact more and more families by “converting” contaminated water into clean, safe drinking water thus “converting” all of Haiti through our love and outreach to the poor! To God be all the glory!
HEADLINE NEWS CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
Jared McGee: Greetings from the sold-out disciples in México City! Since the last Good News Email, God has continued to work powerfully as seven souls have been added to His Kingdom in the last five weeks! Thus, in the first 18 weeks of 2015, God has grown our number by 19 without a single fall away this year to date!
On a very special note, today at service, Jose & Daniela Otero placed membership to strengthen the church! Recently appointed Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader at the 2015 CSA in February, this amazing couple is sure to make a huge impact in México!
As Jose delivered a powerful sermon, and his wife shared vulnerably about the cross, I was deeply encouraged in my soul to be reunited with such close friends and partners in the gospel! Please pray that we can continue to bring in the Spring harvest and “peace be on Israel.” (Psalm 125:5)Carlos Mejia: Song of Songs 3:4… “I found the one my heart loves!”Greetings from Santiago! God is so good!Today we were able to witness “two become one” at the wedding of Emilio & Tatiana Bonilla! It was amazing to host Emilio’s father in the faith, our dear brother and leader of the Mighty San Francisco Church, Jason Dimitry, as well as Emilio’s dear sisters, Erica and Mercedes, and Emilio’s friend Ryan Casarez! It was a very heartwarming wedding as we saw the power of God moving through world evangelism. Tatiana’s mother, Paulina was converted in Santiago as a single mom when Tatiana was only four years old! Later she married Miguel, who was one of the missionaries who planted the church in Chile from Argentina back in the ICOC days! Tatiana grew up as a “Kingdom Kid” and became a disciple in the Teen Ministry!
Emilio was reached out to by his sisters and was baptized in LA and then served as a missionary in the Las Vegas and San Francisco Churches! These two awesome disciples met briefly at the 2012GLC and built a friendship and later dated long distance and the rest is history! We are super grateful for a worldwide movement of churches where we have real life examples like the Bonillas of a “match made in Heaven!”
On the forceful advancement side, we are happy to report the conversions of two amazing young men! Sebastian Lineros was baptized last Sunday! He is the teen son of two amazing disciples, Delia & Giovanni! Also, another campus student from Universidad Catolica, Jose, was baptized! We look forward to saving more souls and finding the “ones His heart loves” in the weeks to come! To God be all the glory!Raul Moreno:“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) Greetings dear family around the world! The São Paulo Church is rejoicing over the five additions the Lord gave us in the last four weeks! Three campus girls were baptized! Viviane who is a publicity student as well as Mari who studies nursing and Lin who studies education at USP were all added to God’s Kingdom!
Then, a great hearted single named Fabio was restored from our former fellowship!
Finally, Ismael was baptized! Ismael is a “Kingdom Kid” whose faithful mother, Dilma, waited over 20 years as a disciple to see this great dream come true!
Dilma suffered a lot during those years wanting her son to be saved, yet her joy in seeing her son saved far outweighs any suffering she went through! May all our kids be saved one day! God is awesome!
HEADLINE NEWS PACIFIC RIM & AUSTRAL-CHINA
Rich Tabizon: As the now 51 disciples of the Metro Manila Remnant Group prepares to welcome the Mission Team, it is important to note that we have been about our purpose! During the month of April, God has allowed us to set new weekly attendance highs and add more than we have ever added in a single month! Our Easter Sunday Service had 122 in attendance with one baptism and two restorations! However, God was not done, for in the following weeks, we witnessed two more come to be restored and one additional baptism for a total of six April additions!
In just a few short hours, the Metro Manila Mission Team – led by our closest friends Kyle & Joan Bartholomew – will set foot on Filipino soil and we will be waiting to welcome them with our latest additions to the body of Christ! Pray for the Inaugural Service of the Metro Manila International Christian Church on June 7, 2015!
Joe Willis: Greeting from Sydney, Australia! Our Annual International Day was a lot of fun with food, national costumes, and this year with Dean “The Machine” Lam from China preaching alongside Kavindu, who is from Sri Lanka, as well as Mason from American Samoa! Dean’s first service was only last year at our very first International Day! Little did he know then that despite not believing in God, he would be preaching about how to believe in God at the next one! This was all on the back of seeing Chidera being baptized the previous week, who is Australian from Nigerian descent!
As if this was not enough fun for one day, we had our first engagement as a church with Lennox Tweneboa setting out a treasure hunt around Sydney for his girlfriend Kiera Walker, only to end up at the steps of the Opera House to see a giant box wrapped as a present, which Lennox was hiding in! Once she opened the present, Lennox got down on one knee to propose! Then a crowd of 100 friends and family came around from behind the Opera House to surprise and congratulate the happy couple!
We are also very excited to announce the plan to plant the Auckland International Christian Church in New Zealand in January 2017 with Mason & Nathalie Fetelika leading the team!
As many of you know, we have the incredible Clague Family here in Sydney! Ian is originally from New Zealand and used to be in the fulltime ministry in the city of Christchurch in our former movement. We would like to encourage all nationals and anyone interested in being part of this mission team to contact Mason by email at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to make plans to move to Sydney to build the team! And to God be the glory!Chris Teves of Honolulu:“As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’ So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”(Mark 5:18-19) Yahweh has done great things for the Honolulu International Christian Church! Already He has added two more baptisms to the Westside of the church this past month! Most lately, He has added Ene Faima, who comes from a past of violence and corruption.It was awesome to see the brothers Joe Santos, Phil Kelly, Daniel Dias and Chris Teves work together as a team to bring Ene to “the knowledge of the truth!” Also great was to see about TWENTY-FIVE (25) of his family members and friends there at his baptism as the sun was setting at Tracks Beach in Nanakuli! As well, he had around 12 of his closest friends at the baptism, who come from a similar background as Ene, and they witnessed a man become “dressed (clothed with Christ) and in his right (righteous) mind.” I think some of them were afraid as they witnessed the miracle of his change and are interested in studying the Bible! We can see that Ene has already “gone home” to tell his people about “how much the Lord [has] done for him!”
Please pray for us as we go through the last two weeks of Special Contribution, as well as the transition of sending Lou Jack & Cathi Martinez back to serve in the AV, and receiving Jake & Jen Ramsier and Curt & Morgan Valdez back here to Honolulu!!!
HEADLINE NEWS USA NORTH QUADRANT & INDIA
Chris Broom of New York City:“Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:3) Truly, our troubles pale in comparison to that of Jesus and our first century brothers and sisters! However, they do at times challenge our faith!As Easter approached and with newly printed invitations in hand, we were sharing with as many as possible! We were also rehearsing a “big presentation” for the “big stage” at our meeting location! All of a sudden, we found out that we could not use that location and had to find somewhere new to meet! Thanks to Jake Studer (Evangelist of the Toronto International Christian Church), we made new invitations, but we still had no place to meet! So we directed people to our website and once we secured a space, we had to write the address on the back of the invitations! On top of that, the new meeting spot was a lot smaller and had no stage, so we had to postpone the entertainment that we had planned… and many were tempted to lose heart and doubt!As if it couldn’t get any worse, when Easter Morning came, we were locked out and no one was picking-up the phone! Two hours passed! Then, not by chance, but by God, the building superintendent who claims to never go to the building on Sunday mornings, just “happened” to come by and see us! (THANK YOU GOD!) It took some convincing, but after we provided the receipt for proof of rental, he let us in and we rushed to get ready as it was only an hour and fifteen minutes before the first song was supposed to start! What was the outcome? Only our highest attendance ever (219), and three baptisms, all of which had attended our Campus Sunday as their first event just three weeks earlier!
This month, we saw five more campus students baptized from five different universities! Of special note, last Sunday after church, we witnessed the baptism of Jonathan Rosborough – the physical brother of Tim Rosborough of the Boston Church! Jonathan overcame incredible hurdles to be baptized, including quitting cigarettes cold-turkey and seeking the Kingdom first by traveling two hours from upstate New York to make every meeting of the body!Jonathan is a student at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and is making plans to move to Manhattan as soon as possible! We were in Regional Services that day, but through modern technology (Google Hangouts), many of us watched Jonathan’s baptism in Central Park from a Leader’s Meeting in Midtown Manhattan while his brother Tim and a group of disciples watched from Boston! It was amazing as we could all see Tim share with his physical brother Jon all the way from Boston through our phones!
Coltin Rohn of Boston:“You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.” (Psalm 65:11) Starting the year of 2015, we had 45 disciples; however, for the first three months of the year, we only had one baptism and one restoration… Repentance was needed! Thank God for His discipling movement and disciples willing to travel to help us! On March 4th, Chris Broom and Roger Parlour of New York City came to Boston and discipled our church to get focused back on the mission! (Luke 19:10)Since that time in the last two months, we have seen 12 baptisms from all around the world! We now have disciples from China, El Salvador, Japan, Korea, Nigeria and Pakistan! And we now have a presence on Boston College, Boston University, Berklee College of Music, Fisher College, Harvard University, Mass Maritime, Northeastern, Quincy College and UMass Boston! To God be all the glory!Of special note was the baptism of Gianni Difusco! After studying the Bible for the past two weeks, Gianni proved his repentance by his deeds. (Acts 26:21) After seeing his own sin, Gianni knew there was a lot of apologies that needed to be made. So Gianni wrote letters to his entire immediate family explaining his sin, feelings, how it must have made them feel, followed by a deep and sincere apology saying he’s so sorry! I was able to be there when he read his letter to his dad Sal Difusco, and it was so great to hear the apologies followed by “I forgive you” from both sides! Truly God has turned the hearts of sons to their fathers here in Boston! (Malachi 4:6)
Also of special note is the wedding and send-off of Preston & Shauna (soon to be Inkleys)! The wedding will take place on June 6th! Then Preston will preach a farewell sermon on June 7th before the Inkleys move to the Antelope Valley to serve as the Campus Ministers! I’m saddened to see Preston & Shauna leave as they have become so close to Mandee & me, but we are fired-up to see what God will do through them in LA!
God has also given us over 60% of our Special Missions for world evangelism! We are family… to the end!
Courtney Parlour: In Syracuse, we have been greatly encouraged by God’s desire to save this city! Whether snow or sun, pruning or blooming, we know God is always working! On April 11th, we held an unbelievable Women’s Day at the world famous New York State Fairgrounds! We were honored to have Lianne Kernan come and share her passion, wit and deep convictions with all of the women! Amazingly, 46 disciples had 105 in attendance!
April 15th was another day to remember as a dear sister to many of us, Darlene Clark, was restored to God! Keep us in your prayers!
Jay Shelbrack:“And all the people went up after him, playing flutes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook!” (2 Samuel 22:8) Greetings from Chicago! The home of the 2015 NFL Draft and God’s Kingdom! Today was amazing as we held our Annual Women’s Day,entitled CHOSEN with guest speaker Rachel McGee from our sister church in Mexico City! It was truly an honor to have her here as she was able to meet the needs of both our Spanish and English-speaking disciples! God blessed us as 91 sisters had 248 in attendance! Please pray for us to be diligent as we follow up to bring in a great harvest!
Since the last Good News Email, we have had five additions – three through baptism and two restorations! Four additions came through family members! Monica through her brother Jorge; Seline through her mother Patti; Melanie (a teen) through her parents Melania & Mario: and finally, Julia the grandmother of four sisters who were baptized in the last five months!Julia came initially to see what all the excitement was as she saw her granddaughters radically change! She had previously studied with Jehovah Witnesses for six years, but was never committed. However, after coming and seeing the “true Kingdom” and studying out the truth, Julia felt that she was, for the first time, truly loved. As a result her daughter, and the mother of our four sisters, asked if she too could study the Bible! I quickly asked if they had any other relatives we could meet!!!
Finally we have 11 graduations this month: Seven Bachelor’s Degrees, three from high school who are all going on to college, and finally one of our interns, Sausha, graduated with a Juris Doctorate to practice law! May God be glorified through our efforts as we “rejoice greatly!”Debs Rajan: Vannakkam! (Greetings in Tamil!) “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.” (Acts 2:46-47) The disciples of the Chennai Church meet every day to encourage one another and to reach out to the lost! The Lord keeps adding to our number! This last month alone we had 15 baptisms, the highest ever!
Satish, who is doing his Master’s in Economics from the prestigious Loyola College and also a Professional football (soccer) player, was met by my awesome husband – Raja! The very first Sunday that Satish visited the church, he was impacted by the love of the saints and the powerful preaching of God’s Word! After studying just a short while, he praised God and was baptized!
“[They] ate together with glad and sincere hearts!” (Acts 2:46) All the disciples came together to celebrate our highest number of baptisms for the month with breakfast and fellowship “praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people!” (Acts 2:47)
The joy continued as Christopher & Maria were engaged and are getting married on May 8th!
This Sunday, another awesome couple – Prathap & Maheshwari – was engaged!
We look forward to continue “enjoying the favour of all the people” as the Speckmans of LA will be visiting us in a few weeks! And we believe that in the near future “the Lord [will] add daily to our number!” (Acts 2:47) To God be all glory!Dearest Brothers and Sisters: Very interestingly, when the Filipino Flag is flown upside-down, it means that the Philippine nation is at war!
And so with the sending-out of the Metro Manila Mission Team “war has been declared” on Satan and his demonic minions in the 7,105 islands of the Philippines! I am so encouraged by God’s words in Isaiah 51:5, “My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm!” Indeed, the Philippine Islands are no longer waiting… God has sent His “chosen 12” on the Metro Manila Mission Team to assault the very gates of Hell!
The battle for “islands” actually was the spark that ignited God’s new movement in 2006! At that time in Hilo, Hawaii, Kyle & Joan Bartholomew (the young church leaders of the Hilo ICOC) took a valiant stand against lukewarmness and autonomy when they asked Elena & me to disciple them. They sought help to build the same sold-out foundation of disciples in Hilo that Kyle had seen at the 2006 Portland Jubilee! (1 Corinthians 3:11) Though they endured great persecutions from inside and outside their congregation, Kyle – supported by his two younger brothers Evan and Levi – became the “Three Mighty Men” that birthed and built the Hilo and Honolulu International Christian Churches!
I do believe in the years to come that we will hear about many more exploits from these Three Mighty Men as they are all serving the Lord fulltime! Pray for the official Inaugural Service of the Metro Manila International Christian Church, which Lord willing will be June 7, 2015! Pray as well for all the SoldOut Movement Churches and the 2015 GLCremembering the words of Winston Churchill, “Whatever happens we will fight to the end, be it bitter or be it glorious. Nay, if we fight to the end, it can only be glorious!” And to God be all the glory, honor and praise! Amen!