Last weekend, we had six different Women's Days around the LA Metro Area with the same inspirational theme of UNCONDITIONAL! God blessed our dear 420 sisters with a record attendance of 1,029!
Through the "live streaming" of the Downtown LA
Women's Day, Helen Sullivan's mesmerizing
message – UNCONDITIONAL – was literally
broadcast around the world!
This Saturday was our monthly session of the International College of Christian Ministries held as usual on the beautiful campus of UCLA! This BA Degree Class numbering about 80 was packed as six new students were added: Krista Cameron and Anthony Olmos from Paris, Desiree Soriano of the South Region, Kasper Tambaur of Stockholm, and Sergiy & Olena Pometun of Kiev! Of special note, Sergiy already has a PhD in Cryptography and Olena just graduated with a Master's Degree in Translation and Editing! Just before class began, I was very moved as Olena presented me with her final project for graduation: The First Principles translated into Ukrainian!
Dr. Sergiy Pometun & his awesome wife Olena!
Olena completed her Master's Degree by
translating First Principles
This semester, we are studying – verse by verse – The Book of Luke. Our text books include the two volume (2,148 pages) Baker Exegetical Commentary by Darrell L. Bock. Each ICCM three hour session begins with a fellowship breakfast; then comes the exam. After a short break, we have two 45 minute classes. Teaching the second class on Luke 5 was our newest Faculty Member – Professor Tim Kernan!
"Professor Kernan" teaches and challenges a
packed house of ICCM Students!
Excitingly, also announced on Saturday were two more additions to our Faculty: Kyle Bartholomew will serve as an Associate Professor and Cesar Limon is our new TA (Teacher Assistant)! Congratulations to both of them!
Congratulations to our newest ICCM Faculty:
Professor Kyle Bartholomew and
our TA – Cesar Limon!
So amazing, in the last five weeks, God has blessed our efforts with an incredible harvest of souls as 65 have been added to our number – five place memberships, 15 restorations and 45 baptisms! And to God be all the glory!
And now more detailed reports from around LA…
Shay Sears: Greetings from the women of the West, Central and East Regions! We had an incredible Women's Day with 215 in attendance! It was amazing to listen to Geysi Pitts (Central Region), Alison Prescod (West Region), and Sonia Gonzalez (East Region) share about how God's unconditional love gave them the strength to forgive, to surrender and to overcome challenges in their lives.
The awesome speakers for the Downtown Women's
Day – Alison, Sonia, Helen, Shay and Geysi!
Equally impacting was the creative rendition of Katy Perry's song Unconditionally sung a cappella, as well as the dynamic skit entitled "God's Chisel" performed by Jim Fenton and Christy Wilson. The skit showed how God demonstrates His love for us by "chiseling the sin" out of our lives and transforming us into His original masterpiece!
We also had the honor and privilege of having Helen Sullivan from Orlando as our guest speaker! She spoke powerfully about how anything in our lives can be shaken except God's unconditional love. Joan, Sonia and I would like to give a special thanks to all the brothers who helped make our Women’s Day run smoothly, especially the brothers who worked hard to "livestream" the event! We couldn't have done it without you! We are so excited to see the harvest that God brings in from this momentous event! And to God be ALL the glory!
At each of the six LA Women's Days a
scrumptious breakfast was served!
Megan Mathews of the Southland Region: God gave the Southland and South Regions an incredible turnout at this year’s Women's Day entitled Unconditional! With powerful preaching, heartfelt singing and a moving dance performance, all themed around God's unconditional love for all people, the Lord gave our combined 70 disciples an attendance of 171! The unity of the sisters was inspiring as we worked together to bring the food early and served all of our friends who visited by personally interacting with each and every woman before, during and after the event ended!
During the first half of the program, the four incredible testimonies, the song performance and the dance presentation were very touching!
The Southland Interpretive Dance Troop!
Then, we were blessed with the honor of having Elena McKean to be our guest speaker, delivering an amazing message with her two points being: The Power Of God’s Unconditional Love and Empowered Conditional Life Changes!
During her lesson, Elena shared very vulnerably
about some of the challenges of coming to
America as a Cuban political refugee!
There were so many in Bible studies after the event as a result of everyone's hearts (including our servant brothers) to help make this event a success with the orchestrator of it all being our unconditionally, loving Father! To Him be all the glory!
Lianne Kernan: Greetings from the incredible North Region! What an amazing time it has been as we advance with much fortitude and unity! As a movement, what an honor it has been to be able to build on the foundation of the Willises and the Sydney Mission Team! This past week has been truly refreshing as we were able to witness a baptism and a restoration to God's Kingdom!
Pine (pronounced Peenay), a 19 year old Tongan student at CSUN – who was met by Nathalie Fetelika – had been diligently studying the Bible since the team left. It has been a long and difficult battle for her as she has truly experienced Jesus' words in Matthew 19:29! Despite incredible persecution, Pine soberly counted the cost and God has responded by giving her the great treasure in the field, the pearl of great worth that is His Kingdom! What a call higher for the future women she will study the Bible with, leaving them without excuse!
Enduring persecution produced perseverance
and character in Pine's life!
Equally touching was our dear brother Sal who was restored to us this past Wednesday! As he shared deeply and from his heart today for communion, I was so inspired to witness the incredible gathering that God is orchestrating here in His conquest for those He has called back to Himself! Keep praying for the North and the forming of the Toronto Mission Team which – Lord willing – will be sent out May 18, 2014!
Theresa Broom: God has been working mightily in the OC Region as we witnessed Melida Rios come to Women's Day to be born again in front of 198 very enthusiastic women!
Theresa Broom joyfully delivers the keynote
address for the OC Women's Day!
Last year Melida attended the OC and IE Women's Day as her very first church event! During this past year, she studied the Bible on and off with teen leaders Tracy Shelbrack, Ashley Moody and other teens. She faced heavy persecution from her family who threatened to kick her out of the house if she continued studying the Bible. As the OC Women's Day approached, she was solid and undaunted in her decision to make Jesus her Lord! Melida's mother was present at the Women's Day where she couldn't stop crying and thanking all the women who persevered with her daughter because she knew Melida was doing the "right thing!"
Melida (grey coat), her mother (third from the right)
and the OC Teen Girls Ministry all enthusiastically
display the OC Symbol!
Saturday, the OC Region hosted a Farewell Party for Chip & Ashley Moody! It has always been Chip's dream to be the first missionary chosen to go to Philadelphia to make disciples! Many tears were shed as about 80 people crowded into the Preston's house to express their love and support for this treasured young couple. Many teens could barely share through their tears of gratitude because Chip & Ashley are, in their words, "so relatable and loyal as friends!" Even though she is eight months pregnant, Ashley is ready and excited to make this move to the "City of Brotherly Love!" Please pray for them as they are being "blown by the Spirit" to be a pillar couple in Philadelphia!
God grants the desire of Chip's & Ashley's
hearts by sending them as missionaries
Anu Arneson: Greetings of love from the Inland Empire! Sunday, March 2 was truly a historical day because for the first time ever we were able to host our own Women's Day in our region! God has blessed us tremendously with numerical and geographical growth as we had 14 sisters in the beginning of last year and now we are at 42 fired up women for God! God blessed these 42 awesome sisters with 118 in attendance for our first Women's Day! It was truly a celebration as we heard incredible testimonies from Debbie Bosch, Kendayce and her mom Rhonda Randolph, as well as a play written by our own Bria Smith, all combined with a dance, that brought me to tears, performed by Laleaka Brown.
The IE Sisters pour their hearts into creating a
very memorable Women's Day Event!
Our Women's Day was organized by Thea Beach who did a spectacular job! She ate, slept, walked and talked Women's Day and all I had to do was just show up and deliver a message to encourage all our visitors to find out the truth about God's UNCONDITIONAL love and challenge them with God's CONDITIONAL salvation! Keep us in your prayers as many women are studying the Bible!
The IE Region Women's Day is about to begin!
Also, this past week we were able to "welcome" two amazing disciples into the Inland Empire Family! They are both "praised by all the churches for their service to the gospel." (2 Corinthians 8:16-17) The first is our dear sister Ashley Godwin from San Francisco! Ashley was baptized in Phoenix just a few years ago and she has already served in Long Beach, Honolulu, San Francisco and now God has brought her here to the Inland Empire! The second is our dear brother Kaspar Tambaur from Stockholm, who has been leading the church in Stockholm during our absence. We are excited to see how God is going to use them here as they will be leading our RCC Campus Ministry!
Though Kaspar and Ashley are new to the IE Region,
they too have begun to issue the IE's weekly
challenge, "You will be next!"
On another note, this past week was exciting as our club at the College of the Desert (COD) made the newspaper! They wrote "very positively" about the nine disciples that moved out here to preach the Word! It is truly a spiritual desert out here and so they were in shock that people would actually move out here to spread the Good News! Some have even called what we're doing out there "The Awakening of the 760!" (760 is the area code for the Desert Cities Area!) Pray for us that we can continue to see the Word of God spread "geographically and numerically!" (Acts 12:24) And to God be all the glory!
Though only nine in number in January, the Palm
Springs Sector has baptized so many that they
have made headlines in the COD Newspaper!
Jen Ramsier: When the women of the Antelope Valley Region heard that we would be hosting our own Women's Day, the excitement was electric and contagious! Our women gave 100% with their time and effort as we planned and coordinated for this special event. It was also incredible to see the AV brothers rally together, working and serving alongside the women to make this "first ever'' Women's Day a success! Our Women's Day was held on Saturday, March 1st, and God blessed our 33 sisters with an attendance of over 100!
We would like to say a very special "thank you" to our dear sister, Brandyn Speckman, who is deeply loved and admired by all the sisters in the AV! Brandyn spoke powerfully and gave an inspiring "call for change" to the women! We would also like to thank Sonia Gonzales, for translating all the powerful speaking "en Espanol" for our Latin sisters and visitors! Please continue to pray for us as we look for more miracles here in the High Desert!
Victor Gonzalez Sr.: Today in the East Region we had an fantastic Park Service filled with zealous preaching and joyful singing! Following, we saw the Lord’s harvest from Women's Day as five amazing women were baptized! Also, Marlon was restored!
additions: Bibi, Johana, Marlon, Kimberly,
Erin and Alejandra!
It was amazing to have two services in the park, but to still be unified in heart and mind. We had our English Service on one side and our Spanish Service on the other! Gabe Reed preached in English and Miguel Limon preached in Spanish! After a fellowship break we had the two services combined for communion and contribution! Our God truly unites all those who love Him!
Capil Marhatta: Greetings from the “sensational South!” We were so excited to have Oleg back safe and sound from Moscow and Kiev after all that has "gone down" these past few weeks in that part of the world! As well, the Lord is building up the South Region with some dynamic "veteran" disciples by restoring our second couple in the past month – Ronnie & Michelle Rivolta! We also welcomed to our fellowship Sergiy & Olena Pometun who have come from Kiev to train for the Moscow Mission Team!
Ronnie & Michelle have already added so much
to the "Sensational South Region!"
Chris Chloupek: HOW YA DO'IN FROM THE AMS REGION! In the last month, God has given the AMS five baptisms and two restorations! One of the additions was Kelly Davis, who is currently Miss Kenya and is competing this upcoming week in the Miss Universe Pageant! Please pray that Kelly gets the platform to proclaim His Beautiful Name to a global TV audience!
Our newest AMS Sister – Kelly Davis (second
from the left)!
Kelly is the current Miss Kenya!
Today, Johnny Rock Page was restored to the church! He is a professional Super-bike Racer! Please pray for Johnny as he competes in the Daytona Super-bike Race this weekend. This is a very intense race where they reach speeds up to 200 miles per hour! We are also excited because Matt & Helen Sullivan, who lead the Orlando Church, are going to come and support the race as well! Then on Sunday, we will all go to worship with our brothers and sisters in Orlando! It is great to be in a worldwide movement!
Johnny Rock Page (second row, third from the left)
was restored to the church on Sunday!
This next weekend, Johnny will be in
the Daytona Super-bike Race!
Lastly, we are so excited about the City of Angels Church Basketball League starting up next week! The Lakers are ready to rock and roll… Again!
The AMS/North/Ventura Lakers are set to challenge
for their second CAICC Basketball Championship!
HEADLINE NEWS – USA
NEWS FLASH – Jacob Beas of Eugene: Greetings from TrackTown USA! We have seen the glory of our God as four incredible individuals have been baptized in the last two weeks! First was the faith-building conversion of a young married couple, Everitt & Reina Smith, who were planning to leave this summer to go be missionaries in Honduras! However, once seeing they were actually in the dark and promoting false doctrine they immediately repented and wanted to be baptized as soon as humanly possible! Most of the church was able to witness their baptisms in the mighty Willamette River on Saturday afternoon and we were all encouraged to have them perform a special duet at church today!
Everitt & Reina have entered the Kingdom
with radical missionary dreams!
Next was the baptism of Clark Landis, a modern day Apollos! Clark is an "older" gentleman who was searching for the first century church but had grown disenchanted as he never seemed to find a church that matched up to the Scriptures… until he visited at the invitation of our young, zealous brother, Tyler Jongsma! Clark was blown away and has been bringing people to church with him ever since, including our baby brother Caleb who was baptized a couple of weeks ago!
Clark seeks and finds the Kingdom of God!
And lastly, today the church rejoiced at the baptism of Quinten, a campus student and longtime friend of Caleb's! Quinten is a young man of incredible character and sincere love for God who shared at his baptism U2's lyrics from Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For …only adding his own last line that he has "finally found what he's been looking for!"
Quinten (second from the right) has "finally
found what he's been looking for!"
Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to run in this amazing race marked out for us!
NEWS FLASH – Anthony Eckels: "'Truly I tell you,' Jesus said to them, 'no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.'" (Luke 18:29-30) Greetings from the Houston International Christian Church! On March 1, 2014, 13 adults and 12 children arrived in Houston after a long two day journey from Orlando with five 24-foot moving trucks, one trailer and 11 cars! We were warmly greeted by the small but mighty four member Houston Remnant Group led by Wayne & Lynn Oulette!
On Wednesday, the team greeted Brittany Miller & Jonathan Smoot at the airport who are joining us from the sacrificial Phoenix International Christian Church! The team spent the week interviewing for jobs and looking for housing. Ten mission team members already have jobs and the rest have interviews this week! Most of the team members paid their own moving expenses and God is truly blessing their sacrifice! We met for Sunday Service this week at the University of Houston, prayed and scouted out the land! Our attendance this Sunday was 37 with a total contribution of $1,391!
The Houston Mission Team and Remnant Group are
now one! Pray for their Inaugural Service
on April 13, 2014!
A special thanks from our hearts to Kip & Elena McKean, Matt & Helen Sullivan and Michael Kirchner for your direction and for believing in us! Please join us for our Inaugural Service on April 13, 2014!
NEWS FLASH – Chenelle Patterson: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light." (1 Peter 2:9) Greetings from "God's special possession" here in Gainesville, Florida! God has been so merciful to His new church planting here in "the Swamp" allowing us to see three women baptized in one week! One of the young women, Miesha, who was met by our incredibly evangelistic sister Paula Harpole, had been studying the Bible for many weeks. And if there's anything she learned from Paula it was that she needed to be a "fisher of men."
Using her influence as Captain of the Dance Team at Santa Fe College, Miesha would continually bring friends and visitors to Bible discussions, Campus Devotionals, church services, and even her personal Bible studies! This resulted in her friend Chequest being the first woman baptized a month ago and Miesha once again being personally fruitful on the day of her own baptism with her friend Nesha!
Miesha (center) has already led two of her friends
into the Gainesville Church Family!
So far in the first 10 weeks of 2014, God has given us 12 additions! Pray for our upcoming Bring Your Neighbor Day Service next Sunday, where my incredible husband will continue his 1 & 2 Peter Series!
Matt Sullivan: It has been amazing to watch the Lord's glory shine as the Orlando Church is a totally different group now after the sending out of the Gainesville and Houston Mission Teams! Excitingly, last week, with just 67 disciples (25 were sent out!!), we had an attendance of 112! Very inspiring to consider is that last week between us here and the two Orlando "birthed" churches, there were 35 in attendance in Houston, 45 in Gainesville, and 112 in Orlando for a total impact of 192 between the three sister churches in the South!
In addition, our new leaders have begun to step up and are transforming into the great leaders that we need to replace the amazing leaders we sent out! It has been super encouraging to have 25-30 at our Leaders Meetings and 15-20 at Staff each week!
Also very encouraging is that this past week a very special brother came back to the Lord! Anthony Eckels first met John Lawrence about 20 years ago and baptized him! After many years of wandering in the desert of discouragement as autonomy destroy his "beloved church," John owned his sin, and bitterness was at the top of the list. He learned that although "bitterness is understandable, it is unacceptable" and radically repented! It was so uplifting to see John take challenge after challenge from the Scriptures and love the gentle corrections needed to make sure Jesus was Lord again and that his motives were on glorifying God.
Even though John was "put out of the synagogue" in our former fellowship, he faithfully took the challenge again to face persecution for holding to the truth. He deeply loves those who "put him out" and is eager to help others who have wandered into the darkness of autonomy and lukewarmness. We are so excited to see John Lawrence restored to the Lord!
John (third from the right) is "rejoicing because
[he was] counted worthy of suffering disgrace
for the Name!" (Acts 5:41)
Joel Parlour: God is always so good to us in Syracuse! Since raising our weekly pledge by 20% a month ago, we have consistently "given beyond our ability!" Our average attendance is the highest it’s been in quite some time – well over 90 per week! And today, we celebrated the restoration of a young single man named Sean (affectionately called "Tiny") and the baptism of Tyler!
"Tiny" makes a "big" come back to the Lord!
Tyler moved to Syracuse from Michigan in August 2013. Since arriving, he attended different churches searching for one where he saw obedience to God's Word. He goes to school full time and works two jobs! About a month ago, Tyler was reached out to by a few disciples while serving them at Applebees. He came out to church and brought his girlfriend with him. After church, he said he wouldn't come back because our a capella worship was not the contemporary Christian worship he was used to. But after considering his reasoning, Tyler realized that worship is not the sole purpose of church and if that is the only reason he would not come back then certainly God is calling him to stay!
Compelled by God and the love of the disciples, he continued to come and today was saved through the waters of baptism! Tyler plays guitar, ukulele, keyboard, and drums which is just what we need to step up our worship! Please pray for his girlfriend who wants to be baptized!
God changes Tyler's heart to understand that true
"spiritual worship" is to live for God 24/7!
Jay Shelbrack from Chicago: "Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers." (Nehemiah 4:14) The last few weeks have been such a victorious battle for us! Last Sunday, we had our International Meal and Bring Your Neighbor Day and had a record attendance of 447! Very interestingly, we found that we have 24 nations represented in the congregation, so we had a feast of foods from literally around the world!
In the last two weeks, we had four added through baptism! Sergio from Romania was baptized in the powerful North Region!
The Chicago Brothers celebrate Sergio's
(second from the right) baptism!
Misheel from Outer Mongolia was baptized in the amazing Downtown Region along with Tiara who was introduced by Victor who was just baptized in January!
Tiara is "feeling" the joy of her salvation!
Finally Charlotte, who is the mother of Bob, was baptized in the Mighty West Region! Charlotte, who shared in her Scottish brogue accent how when she saw her son "wee Bobby boy" change so much in the last two years, knew this church was for real! Bob was so elated as he knew that time was against them because Charlotte is in stage four of her cancer. It was also the day before her 75th birthday. It was truly moving to see this family brought together!
Charlotte is more ecstatic over her birth
into Christ than even her 75th birthday!
Kelly Bartholomew: Greetings from San Diego! God has been answering many of our prayers this past week as we had an amazing Women's Day! The theme was Brave – inspired by the hit song Brave by Sara Bareilles. To introduce this theme at Women's Day, my amazing husband filmed, directed and edited a music video, starring many of the sisters in the church! The video can be seen at http://youtu.be/Dv3_59IvUjI.
God blessed the 20 sisters in the church here with a grand total of 85 in attendance at our Women's Day! A very special thanks to the LA Church, the AMS Region, and Chris Chloupek for sending his wife Sonja to be our guest speaker. She blew out the keynote speech! There are many women who responded to our program with some very positive words, and there are also many who said that they'd be interested in studying the Bible and coming to church!
Motivated by God's grace, the 20 hard working
San Diego Sisters have 85 at Women's Day!
Also encouraging this week is the multiplication of disciples! Ryan, an SDSU student, was baptized! Ryan was very religious, and had even repented of several things before he started studying the Bible! Ryan truly is a "Luke" to the ministry here in that he is studying to be a doctor! He has an amazing heart to serve the Lord, and will be a great addition to our Campus Ministry!
Ryan's baptism has fired up the entire
San Diego Church!
Lastly, my husband & I are now pregnant with our second baby! To God be all the glory!
Jay Hernandez of Hilo: What a tremendous month we have had on the Big Island of Hawaii! We have had two baptisms and sent out the Kona Bible Talk, as well as enjoyed a fantastic Women's Day entitled: Treasure! We were so honored to have our dear sister Cathi Martinez come and preach for our Women's Day! The 27 women of our church had 54 in attendance for this amazing event!
Also, our dear brother Stefano Barbis was able to come back from LA and visit us, as we studied the Bible with his dad, Mauricio! After helping us to count the cost with his father, Stefano joined me in baptizing Mauricio in beautiful Reed’s Bay of the Pacific Ocean!
Stefano lives to see the dream of all
disciples – to see his dad baptized!
Then just two weeks later the campus sisters were able to baptize Traci, who is a freshman from Kuai!
Since Traci (center) was baptized as a freshman,
she's looking forward to a very
fruitful college life!
It has always been a dream for the church here to send a church planting to the other side of our island. Kona is about a two hour drive away, and is known for beautiful sunshiny beaches, Kona Coffee and now the "Kona Five" led by Nathan Reed! In just the first two weeks, the five disciples there already have six people studying the Bible!
"The Kona Five!"
God has definitely been doing some amazing and historical things here on the Big Island!
Jeremy Ciaramella of Phoenix: Greetings from the "Valley of the Son!" The Word of God teaches in Proverbs 13:12 that "a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" and this past Sunday we were very privileged to see our newest sister added to God's Kingdom – Joan Waltke! Her son, Scott Campbell, recently placed membership here in Phoenix and has been praying for her for over a decade! What is so inspiring about this dear sister is that despite being 84 years old she showed humility towards Amy and the younger women as they shared the Scriptures with her. Scott sang a beautiful song for his mother as part of the "sharing" at her baptism! There were many tears shed by all of us during Joan's testimony! We are so honored God has brought a "Grandmother" to our church family!
Compelled by the Spirit, Scott moved to Phoenix
for but one purpose – to bring his
mom to the Lord!
We also said farewell to a great brother and sister as they are "blown by the Spirit" to join the Houston Mission Team – John Smoot & Brittany Alise Miller (affectionately known as "Smoot & Bam" here in Phoenix)! We are excited to hear about what God will do through them in that great planting as they rejoin their father and mother in the faith, Anthony & Elizabeth Eckels!
Smoot & Bam will now be getting
married in Houston!
Lou Jack Martinez: It's been a BAD FEW WEEKS FOR THE DEVIL on the Island of Oahu!!! God has called into His Kingdom SUHAN YI, ABRIEL CLEAVER, and KEN "AIR-TUGIE" ANDERSON!!! Suhan Yi was born and raised in a Buddhist family, but once he got a little older, he started attending a Christian church in Texas. However, Suhan became disillusioned and bitter by the corruption and hypocrisy of "Sunday Saints." By God's will, Suhan met a couple of TRUE adherents to the Word of God, Charlie Lee and Jane Chesmore! These disciples were able to teach Suhan "the way of God much more adequately!" So, Suhan came to our Bring Your Neighbor Day, became a true worshiper of God (John 4:23-24), and was baptized into Christ!!!
Suhan (second from the right) is warmly
welcomed into God's Ohana!
Abriel Joy Cleaver is an incredible young lady who has been attending UH-Manoa and actively serving in several on-campus clubs!!! She was initially reached out to during the previous school semester by our brother, Jamal Carter. She came out to service once and loved it, but wasn't quite ready for the commitment. As the LORD would have it, however, the brothers were challenged one Midweek to go and share their faith with people via a scavenger hunt in preparation for our Bring Your Neighbor Day. "Coincidently," Abriel had begun thinking of going back to "that fired up church she visited last semester!!!" You can guess the rest… Abriel came to our Bring Your Neighbor Day and began studying the Bible and was baptized!
After her baptism, Abriel (second from the right)
and the Honolulu Sisters give a
high five to the Lord!
Additionally, Ken "Air Tugie" Anderson is an ex-NFL football player who also attended our Bring Your Neighbor Day!!! Ken is a fired up, "seasoned” man of God, who knows the Scriptures and has worked with several celebrities through his former skydiving business, "The Drop Zone." Ken has had over 15,000 jumps, with one tragic accident from which he should have died; but God had a plan for this Master Skydiver! Though he had studied under several "Bible scholars" in the past, he had never truly been born again, according to the Scriptures. Once he realized that, it became clear to him why he could never overcome some of the addictions that have plagued him his 61 years of life – he never had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!!! He was baptized before a "heavenly host" of brothers and sisters from the Honolulu Church this past Wednesday!!!
After receiving the Holy Spirit at baptism, now
our new brother Ken is really soaring!
Lastly, our Women's Day 2014 was a PHENOMENAL success as our "on-island" sisters had ONE-FOR-ONE VISITORS!!! The atmosphere in the Biomedical Sciences Building at UH-Manoa today was ELECTRIC, the entertainment was amazing, and lives were changed forever!!! My wife, Cathi Martinez, did an AMAZING job of preparing and organizing the day's events, and preached the best message I have ever heard her preach!!! And she did this not only in Honolulu, but also in Hilo the day before!!! This week, she'll be flying to Manila to speak at their Women's Day! Praise God, I get to "tag along" to preach the Word in Manila the following Sunday, and then in Guam on the way home!!! Please pray for a safe trip for us, and a continued HARVEST OF SOULS in Hawaii in March!!!
Pray for the Metro Manila Women's Day!
Jason Dimitry: "'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' They replied, 'Believe in The Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.'" (Acts 16:30) Greetings from "Saint City!" It's been an incredible miracle to see so many members of the "Garcia household" baptized into Christ! Today Roger Sr. & Silvia Garcia were added to the Kingdom, joining their son and daughter-in-law, Roger Jr. & Tiffany, and their granddaughter Sabrina!
Roger & Silvia were married 25 years ago, however after three months of marriage they allowed bitterness and unforgiveness to enter their hearts and they slowly drifted apart over the years. They were "living together as roommates" and were on the verge of a divorce. However, after studying the Scriptures, they apologized to each other with tears and said "I love you" for the first time in many years! Roger asked Silvia to re-marry him in their new life as disciples and we cannot wait to see this couple re-new their vows very soon!
After falling in love with Jesus, Roger & Silvia
are once again in love with one another!
A special thanks to Victor & Sonia Gonzalez, who drove all the way from the East Region of LA and did a masterful job to help count the cost with the Garcias since Spanish is their first language. To specially thank our dear friends and partners in the gospel, we had to take them to a crankin' buffet "Vegas style" on their way out of town! I'm so grateful to be a part of a unified movement that is "one in spirit and purpose!" (Philippians 2:2)
HEADLINE NEWS – INTERNATIONAL
NEWS FLASH – Jenya Sobolev, Moscow: "'As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me, 'declares the Lord, 'so will your name and descendants endure.'" (Isaiah 66:22) My wife Julia & I feel blessed and very, very happy for the privilege God Almighty offered to us – to lead the disciples of Christ here in Moscow, Russia! And not only this, but last week God gave us two more precious gifts: We witnessed the baptism of a powerful young lady Tatiana, and we could hug our discipler Oleg Sirotkin who came from LA for a whole week to inspire and strengthen our group!
Oleg oversees the appointments of the Sobolevs
(middle) to lead the Moscow Remnant Group
and the Muratovs (right) to lead Kiev!
It took almost a year for Tatiana to become a sold-out disciple of Jesus. She was invited by her roommate about a year ago but didn't want to "give up everything" though she liked to spend time with disciples. Then God – who is a "ZEALOUS GOD" – started to persuade her! Tatiana lost all she valued and took a firm decision to follow Jesus with all her heart!
Tatiana's (third from the right) radical conversion
was inspired by the radical commitment
of the Moscow Sisters!
And last but not the least, God continues to gather disciples from all over the former Soviet Union to the Moscow Remnant Group in preparation for the "official planting" in December! This week there were two brothers – Max from Novosibirsk, Russia and Andrey from Kiev, Ukraine – who placed membership! So now we have 27 disciples in the Moscow Church and prayerfully by June 1st – with all the remnant disciples moving in from Kiev, Minsk and Novosibirsk – we will be near 50 disciples!
In a time when the relationships between Russia and Ukraine are extremely tense, God unites all of us in Christ! Dear brothers and sisters: I want to ask all of you to pray for God to give wisdom to the governments of Ukraine and Russia so we could have peace and open borders to preach the gospel freely and without hindrance. And to God be the glory!
Michael Williamson of London: From 1789, William Wilberforce regularly introduced bills in the British Parliament to ban slavery but he was fiercely opposed by those making fortunes from it. Despite many delaying tactics to prolong this travesty, on March 25, 1807 the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act put to death slavery in Britain and her colonies. By 1833, Wilberforce was instrumental in having slavery banished from the British Empire as a whole! Three days later after changing the course of history Wilberforce died!
The great English preacher Samuel Chadwick (1860-1932) said, "The one concern of the devil is to keep disciples from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray."
God has been answering our prayers in London! Amen! Last week the Holy Spirit opened a door for me to attend an "invite-only prayer night" for the government in London's prestigious "House of Parliament." Tears were in my eyes as I had the opportunity to pray in the cathedral where the English politician William Wilberforce championed the cause to abolish slavery! Encouragingly there were four Members of Parliament present at the event. I grabbed as many contacts as possible, and I’m signed up to attend the next meeting! I was blown away at the question that was asked by the main speaker. It was simple… "Who will start a movement that changes London?"
The main speaker of the Prayer Night at Parliament
asked the question, "Who will start a movement
that changes London?" The answer
is: God already has!
Sunday March 2nd was a powerful service as we saw the heartfelt good confession of our new campus zealot "Jide!" This past Sunday after almost two years of follow up by our dear intern Dr. Jen Watkins, we baptized the very first Bible Talk visitor we had at the now very fruitful Middlesex University! After Sola’s baptism, we baptized our second London Bus Driver, Federico a dynamic Argentinian Italian!
London's spiritual twins – Frederico and Sola!
It’s been great seeing the Spirit move in the church as we have seen weekly additions in 2014! One last piece of good news, Victor Komo who leads the "Action Town" (which is near ACTON TOWN Tube Station) Bible Talk was excited to finally receive his British citizenship!
Heidi Santa Cruz: Bonjour de Paris! "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15) In the past two weeks, God has given the Paris Church some amazing gifts! The first was the baptism of our campus brother, Joan, who was reached out to by Bernard! Although he was an atheist, he decided to start studying the Bible after seeing the love and lives of the disciples! After searching for two hours for an open pool, he was finally baptized at 9:30PM, just three days after the baptism of our brother Kevin!
After experiencing the love of the Paris disciples,
Joan (center) comes to believe in
Jesus and is baptized!
This is particularly encouraging because one of the church's prayer goals is to have at least one baptism a month! So far this year God has been answering our prayers!
The second gift was our Women's Day entitled La Valeur d'une Femme (A Woman's Worth). With only five women in the church, we had over one disciple to four visitors! God worked powerfully through the testimonies and the message of our dear sister Prisca to move the hearts of eight more women to study the Bible! Here is what one of them had to say: "I now realize I'm missing a lot of things and that I need to find a new meaning for my life." Please continue to pray for us as we pray for you! A Dieu soit la gloire!
What would a Paris Women's Day be
without French pastries?
Raul Moreno: "But when the son of Paul's sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul." (Acts 23:16) Greetings from São Paulo! Last week, the Lord gave the church two baptisms!
The USP Campus Ministry is so fired up about
the two baptisms in the Sao Paulo Church!
In the Scripture above, Paul's nephew was used by God to save his life. Somewhat similarly, we have a disciple in the congregation whose name is Marcio, who was baptized 20 years ago, yet he never lost his faith that his sister's son (his nephew) could become a disciple! And so this week, Alex was baptized at the tender age of 17! Instead of his life being saved by his nephew like Paul, Marcio's nephew was saved by Jesus through Maricio's faith! Marcio's other nephew is studying the Bible as well and Lord willing will be baptized soon! We love you with love of the Lord!
Alex baptizes his beloved nephew Mauricio!
Alexis Turgeau of Port-au-Prince: Greetings from the disciples in Haiti! We greet you with a "holy kiss" according to Romans 16:16! We praise the Lord because He added to our number in the Port-au-Prince Church two sisters – Guerline Hyancinthe and Myrlande Latour! Thanks for your partnership in the gospel!
Haiti, baptizes our newest Haitian
sister – Guerline Hyancinthe!
Patricia Feumba reporting about Abidjan: The sisters in the Abidjan (Ivory Coast) Church led by Angele Sountoura (the Women's Ministry Leader) had their Women's Day with the topic: Sin, The Enemy Of Love.
Amadou & Angele Sountoura – the
Abidjan ICC Leaders!
Just like the first century Samaritan woman who Jesus freed from the bondage of sin, the 44 sisters of the church had 83 in attendance to hear about Jesus' plan to set them free! After the service, Rosine was baptized! Join us in praying that the Women's Days all over the world will continue to reap a harvest!
Rosine is overcome with tears of joy
after her baptism!
Eldrin Rojas of Curacao: On MERCY Day last year, we went as a church to serve at a home for the elderly. Eddy was one of the men that I spoke to and when I asked him if he wanted to come to church, he didn't say no! So the following Sunday we picked him up. For several months he came to church and studied the Bible. Though from a strong Catholic background and a rather advanced age, he just couldn't deny the love among the disciples as stated in John 13:34-35! Last Saturday, Eddy declared "Jesus is Lord" was baptized into Christ! Please pray for us as we have others studying and close to the waters of baptism!
Eddy jubilantly praises God for his salvation!
Vic Gonzalez Jr.: Greetings from the plentiful harvest field of Mexico City! These last few weeks have been an incredible blessing! We witnessed the restoration of our dear brother Luis Cruz from the ICOC. Also, our Heavenly Father blessed us with the place membership of Ceasar Figueroa!
We were so blessed to see Marta, a "Pearl" make her good confession. I am so thankful to God that he allowed me to baptize my dear friend Addan Perea. Addan is a rap artist who appeared on a television show on Friday!
Addan (second from the left), a rap singer, recently
performed on Mexican Television!
Finally, this last week my incredible wife Aurora, my awesome brother Ezequiel, my phenomenal baby brother Isaac, and I had a Bible Talk with 33 visitors! So in the last 10 weeks, God has added to our number 13 additions: nine baptisms, two restorations and two place memberships! See you next week! Much love and a big hug from Mexico City!
Carlos Mejia: "A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God." (Isaiah 10:21) It's been an incredible week in Santiago! We were all very inspired to witness the place membership of Pablo & Cata! This incredible couple has made the bold and valiant decision to join God's new movement after realizing how lukewarm our former fellowship really is here in Santiago! Years have gone by with no convictions, and no discipling, few baptisms, and just a general sense of apathy as they have dwindled over the last 10 years from a high of 400 to now just 75 on Sundays! Visiting us for the first time at February's Central and South American Missions Conference, Cata, having been a disciple for 17 years, excitingly exclaimed that she was back in the "church in which she was baptized!"
Pablo being baptized only two years ago really poured out his heart stating that he was simply "looking for the truth" and "he has found it." Pablo & Cata also really thanked our Evangelist & Women's Ministry Leader, Alfredo & Alejandra Anuch, for loving them and patiently answering all the questions they had about the new movement. We have welcomed them to the fellowship and are looking forward to many more remnant returning to the our Mighty God!
Pablo & Cata find spiritual revival in
the Santiago ICC!
Also inspiring is Reginald Saint Louis, a Haitian national, was baptized into Christ on Wednesday night! Job Sterling did a superb job studying the Bible with Reginald in Creol, with the help of Amini Osias, who is prolific in a number of languages. It's so awesome to have such an international congregation in Chile! Hope continues to build for Haiti, and for all nations throughout this lost world!
Job (left) is fruitful with Reginald just days
before the Lord sent him & his wonderful
wife Erin to join the Dallas
It was also bitter sweet as two powerful heroes in the faith, Job & Erin Sterling, head back to the USA to be a part of the Dallas Mission Team. They will be missed as they served here in Chile for the past two years as our MERCY Directors. The Sterlings had a huge impact here in Santiago and it was evident as we celebrated them as disciples while shedding tears of love! But we know they are not leaving "our church" because we are "one church!" They are simply going to another room in God’s House! To God be the glory!
Debs Rajan of Chennai: Unfading Beauty was the title of our Women's Day! Truly it was awesome to see all the beautiful women that God had brought! 37 women had 92 in attendance!
Debs Rajan powerfully preaching
on Unfading Beauty!
We started the event with games and the women really enjoyed themselves! The last game was a fashion parade with each team dressing their own models with tissue paper! The band "PROPHETESS" blew the minds of the audience as Deborah, Mishal and Shimrah led the singing with Yassa and Shefali on keyboards, Amanda on bass and Rhea on drums. The girls stole the hearts of all the women! Yassa our intern had eight visitors and my daughter Shefali had seven visitors!
The Band – PROPHETESS!
Mishal shared with tears about her childhood to which many could relate and Kirthika shared vulnerably about her sins.
Mishal, Debs, and Kirthika!
We are very grateful for all the brothers who helped to make this day wonderful. I am so proud of my multi-talented husband who taught the girls to play the instruments! What was so amazing is none of them have played or performed in front of an audience before! This was their first and they rocked! To God be the glory!
NEWS FLASH – Joffrey Alcantara: Only great news from the Metro Manila ICC! "Those who accepted his message were baptized, and [three] were added to their number that day!" (Acts 2:41) While we were "cooking up" a "community" Bible Talk in the Sta Ana, Manila Area, where we reside, my wife, Übe (Ruby Alcantara) Jenny, and I started to diligently reach out to our friends and neighbors!
This Sunday, God rewarded our efforts as a "threesome" gladly surrendered their lives to Jesus! We welcome Roschelle Suarez, Elmarie Alegre and Ian Rose Arboleda to God's Kingdom! A "women's day," indeed! Truly these amazing women of God were converted through the outpouring of love and attention from the entire church and the power of God's Word! GOD IS AWESOME!
The Manila Triplets!
Dearest Brothers and Sisters: Just a quick reminder that the 2014 Global Leadership Conference (GLC) – ZION'S DREAMERS – will "officially begin" Sunday, August 10th and conclude on the afternoon of August 12th!
Garrett leaks a photo of the
2014 GLC T-shirts!
The registration fee for this year's seminar is $175, but from now until April 1st the "special early bird rate" is $150! (For those invited to the Church Builders Workshop on Friday, August 8th, there will be a small $20 registration fee collected at the door.) You may register for the 2014 GLC at the City of Angels International Christian Church Website – CAICC.net or you may go directly to https://glc2014.eventbrite.com. Please keep the 2014 GLC in your prayers! And may "the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen." (1 Corinthians 16:23-24)