Today, all the SoldOut Movement Churches heard these fantastic announcements about missions: 1) Already this year, the Spirit working through the SoldOut Movement has planted congregations in Gainesville, Florida; Santa Barbara, California; and Sydney, Australia! Amazingly, this coming Sunday, our fourth church will celebrate their Inaugural Service – the Houston International Christian Church!
The Sydney Church jubilantly celebrates their
first baptism – Teigan (right)!
2) Lord willing, the Toronto Mission Team will be sent out from LA on May 25th and they will hold their Inaugural Service on June 29th! 3) Highlighting the 2014 Global Leadership Conference (GLC) on Sunday, August 10th, the Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW), Texas and the Chennai, India Mission Teams will be sent out! Their respective Inaugural Services will be September 7th and September 28th! 4) And prayerfully to close this very fruitful year, the Spirit will send out the Moscow Mission Team on December 14th from Los Angeles and their Inaugural Service will be February 1, 2015!
Oleg & Aliona Sirotkin – the gracious leaders of the
Moscow Mission Team!
Also in 2015, Lord willing, our God will send out from Santiago the Bogotá, Colombia Mission Team at the Central & South American Missions Conference in February! As well, the Manila Mission Team will be sent out by the Holy Spirit in May from Los Angeles! Then in 2016, we are beseeching God to send out the Johannesburg Mission Team which in turn will plant Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria in two years! Praise God that already the Abidjan, Ivory Coast and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic ICC congregations are multiplying disciples on this great continent! Pray for the evangelization of all Africa!
Luke & Brandyn Speckman will be co-leading
the Johannesburg Mission Team with the
Smellies! Then Lord willing, they will
plant the Nairobi International
Equally as exciting on Sunday morning at the GLC, the SoldOut Movement's World Sector Leaders will be introduced! Each couple will spearhead the evangelization of their appointed "sector of the globe" thus collectively evangelizing all the nations of the world in this generation! As Paul writes, "We… will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us… Our hope is that as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand!" (2 Corinthians 10:13-15) Different than denominational churches where a minister is only over "his church membership," in the Scriptures and in the SoldOut Movement, Evangelists are not just responsible to God for their church membership but also to evangelizing all the lost people in "the field that God assigned" them!
Three World Sector Leader Couples will be given the charge to evangelize the United States to supply much of the funds needed to evangelize the rest of the globe. The other World Sectors will include: Central & South America, Europe, Africa, Russian Commonwealth (the former Soviet Union), India, Austral-Asia (China is included), and the Middle East. Included as World Sector Leaders are the two Movement Shepherding Couples and our Movement Administrator Couple.
Why World Sector Leaders? Three reasons: 1) Elena & I "are commanded by God" to "focus on a few" as we presently feel that we are discipling too many inside and outside of LA to maximize their effectiveness. (Exodus 18:17-24; Mark 3:13-14; Luke 6:12-13) 2) Of special note, the ICOC Remnant will perhaps "see more clearly" that the ICOC has abandoned a Central Leadership with a Central Leader since World Sector Leaders were "their" Central Leadership during their years of unprecedented and most rapid expansion to 171 nations. Prayerfully, this familiar "leadership designation" will draw the remnant in even greater numbers to "rejoin" the "church that they were baptized in!" 3) The World Sector Leaders can now begin to select "their 12," so all of our church leaders will be discipled as well as having encouraging peer relationships. Pray for the Lord to bless all of these faith goals!
Pray for the selection of the World Sector
Leaders of the SoldOut Movement!
On a much lighter note, this Saturday was the CAICC Basketball League’s fourth week of competition! After countless close games, the overall standings are as follows: Bulls (Southland Region) 4 – 0; Celtics (South, East and IE Regions) 2 – 2; Heat (Central and AV Regions) 2 – 2; Mavericks (West Region) 2 – 2; and the Lakers (AMS, North and Ventura Regions) and Knicks (OC Region) are both 1 – 3! Next Saturday is the final game of the season, and all the teams have a chance to secure one of the four playoff positions!
The dynamic duo of Tony Untalan – the CAICC
Basketball League Commissioner – and
Jason Bond – the League's
Every game has featured "blood,
sweat and tears!"
The CAICC League Leaders in scoring are: Amar Pandaranga (Knicks) 22.75 points/game, Erik Russell (Mavericks) 18 points/game, and Brandon Scorza (Mavericks) 17.5 points/game!
Isaiah blows by Amar – the League's leading
scorer – for an easy layup!
In "3 Pointers Made" the leaders are: Amar Pandaranga and Erik Russell 2.5/game followed by Ivan Jackson (Bulls) with 2.25/game!
Iggy has been dominating on the defensive end,
but here he puts the ball back up for two!
And dominating on the boards in rebounds are: Levi Bartholomew (Heat) 13.25/game, Iggy Odighizuwa (Celtics) 7.75/game, and Cory Blackwell (Bulls) and Carl Buckner (Knicks) with 7.25/game!
Though the "Silver Fox" (aka Cory Blackwell) has
slowed down a step or two since his NBA days,
he is still an intimidating force for #41 –
young Tyler Sears!
The Silver Fox's cunning has locked up the number
one playoff seed for the Bulls!
Come out and support your team next Saturday for the battle for the playoffs! And "may the odds be ever in your favor!"
Last year's champs the Lakers are having a tough
season, but their fans may be the most
supportive in size and sound!
Amazingly, in the first 96 days of 2014, the Lord has continued to bless the City of Angels Church as He has added to our number 133 souls: 93 baptisms, 23 restorations, and 17 place memberships – several of whom have joined us from our former fellowship seeking revival!
Now more detailed reports from around Los Angeles…
Luke Speckman: Greetings from Ventura! "Remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.''' (Acts 20:35) Last week, we were honored to send out one of our unpaid interns and ICCM students, Jennifer Habib, to Santa Barbara! Jennifer was sent to us from Orange County in August 2013 and has been a tremendous inspiration in our ministry, helping numerous women become Christians, and a fantastic help to Brandyn & me personally with our family these last eight months!
The Speckmans send off Jen to strengthen
the new Santa Barbara Planting!
As I reflected on those the Spirit has sent out from the Ventura Region in recent months, I realized that 24 disciples (six of them ICCM students!) had been sent out over the last nine months for the Santa Barbara Church Planting, support for the Dallas Remnant Group, and the Gainesville Planting leaving only 39 behind in Ventura! Truly the words of David ring true for us, "Who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?" (1 Chronicles 29:14)
I have been enjoying The Remnant Series that we have be doing on Sundays, with lessons focused on tackling issues that can plague our beloved "veteran" disciples as well as strengthening and edifying the entire congregation! So far, we have done lessons on Acedia, Repentance, Greed, Persecution and Worship with Authority/Submission and Family to go! Please be praying for us as we are kicking off a campaign this week to bring in a new harvest of souls!
Capil Marhatta: Greetings from the Sensational South! It has been a blast down here forcefully advancing the Kingdom of God! We are having more than weekly additions in 2014 and God has been continuing to send out missionaries from the South! Canadians, Craig & Elizabeth Wademan, were sent out to the North Region to prepare for the Toronto Mission Team! Craig & Elizabeth have been a pillar couple serving tirelessly for the past four years and left with tear-filled eyes saying their good-byes last Sunday!
The South is constantly saying "Good-bye" and also "Hello" as another brother from Kiev "Sasha" – who is a "MD doctor" – joined us! Sasha specializes in neurology and gave up his private practice of fourteen years last month to come and prepare for the Moscow Mission Team this December!
Oleg warmly welcomes Sasha from Kiev to LA as he
begins training for the Moscow Mission Team!
As a region, the Holy Spirit has us "clicking on all cylinders!" The Teen Ministry is cranking as they baptized a dynamic young man named Robert last Sunday!
The South Region Teen Ministry has gained
momentum with Robert's baptism!
Finally, the most moving display of God's power was Yun Hee Choi, who is confined to a wheelchair with severe cerebral palsy. This awesome sister gave her testimony during communion through Desiree reading Yun Hee's letter aloud! It brought everybody to tears! She challenged the church and visitors to be committed to "the meetings of the body" of which she never misses! God powerfully uses people like Yun Hee Choi and leaves us with NO EXCUSE why we should not be radical for God! To God be the glory! Amen!
Our dear sister Yun Hee!
Even as a non-Christian in high school, Yun Hee
touched so many hearts that she was
elected Homecoming Queen!
Now, as a disciple she is beloved by the entire
South Region for her infectious joy and
Tyler Sears of the West Region: Greetings and "Howdy Y'all" from Dallas-Ft. Worth! Shay & I had the privilege of spending time with the saints down in Dallas, Texas this past week! We arrived on Wednesday at the airport with the "southern hospitality" of We Love You With The Love Of The Lord! Then, we spent that evening at their Midweek Service where we shared good news, dug deep into God's Word, and had d-groups afterwards.
It was especially exciting to spend time with the new DFW Remnant Group Leaders – Job & Erin Sterling! They are such dedicated and sacrificial disciples as they moved from Washington DC to Santiago, Chile and recently moved back to Dallas, where Erin's family lives. Not only are they talented disciples, but they're also the proud parents of a beautiful boy – Nathaniel. Shay & I feel so honored and grateful to have them serve in this capacity. Already they've been such a joy and have gone after "refreshing the hearts of the saints" with their faith and zeal to "seek and save the lost!" I think it's "no coincidence" that they are in Dallas with five other disciples who are also from the Washington DC Church! (Thank you, Hardings and DC Church!)
Fresh from the mission field, Job & Erin bring a
"sterling" call to commitment to the
DFW Remnant Group!
As well, last week in the West Region, we had another DFW Mission Team Member, Miguel Limon, place membership with us. We want to send a special "thank-you" to Victor & Sonia Gonzalez for sending us such a great Timothy ("precious stone" in the Greek) from the East Region! So far, we have six of the DFW Mission Team in the West – Flelicya Parnell, Hector Mogollon, Hugo Melendez, Miguel Limon and Shay & me. Please keep praying for all of us as we leave in July for DFW!
The Spirit gathers the first six for the DFW Mission
Team: Hugo, Flelicya, Shay, Tyler,
Hector and Miguel!
Iggy Odighizuwa: "For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose." (Philippians 2:13) Greetings of love from the Inland Empire! God has been good to us as this past week as He blessed us with an incredible addition to the UCR Campus Ministry! Courtney shared about how she continually tried to change and overcome her addictions but she just couldn't do it on her own. After studying the Bible she realized that she lacked the Holy Spirit to help her overcome her sin and so she eagerly studied during finals week, and was baptized this Wednesday night!
Courtney and the IE Sisters issue their weekly
challenge, "You will be next!"
Pray for us as we not only want to see God bring in the spiritual harvest, but as well the financial harvest! God has already given us nearly 70% of our Special Missions Contribution so we are praying to blow out our prayer goal for the Lord! Pray for us as we are praying for you!
Cesar Limon & Debbie Bosch lead the Palm
Springs Sector – one of the fastest growing
ministries in the City of Angels Church!
Chris Chloupek: "HOW YA DO'IN?" FROM THE AMS REGION! I am very encouraged these past two weeks with the AMS Region! Last week, our intern Princeton George preached God's Word "with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction!" (1 Thessalonians 1:5) God's plan is so powerful to raise up men and women to continue to build God's Kingdom around the world. I am proud of Princeton as he continues to mature in the Lord!
Princeton stretches himself to get ready
for each one of his sermons!
This past Sunday was equally special! RD Baker who was recently restored to the Lord blew it out as well as he preached the Word! "Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again… At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God." (Acts 9:18-20) It was so heart-warming to see RD preach with conviction and humility "after the scales fell from [his] eyes!"
RD (left) and one of his new best friends Jason
Bond – the Shepherd for the AMS Region!
Pray for us: As Special Missions approaches, the AMS is putting on a Fashion/Talent show on May 10th at the renowned Circus Disco! The well-known movie, Saturday Night Fever was filmed there! There's no business like "soul" business!
Everyone is invited to the Temple Fashion
Show on May 10, 2014 at the famous
Kyle Bartholomew: Greetings from the Central Region! This week was amazing as Carolina a CSULA student was baptized! Carolina has come all the way from Equatorial Guinea to learn English and get her bachelor's degree. Equatorial Guinea is the only Spanish-speaking nation in Africa!
Ever since Carolina's first Women's Bible Talk, she has come to every "meeting of the body" and been engaged in daily Bible studies. At first, Carolina's Catholic family warned her that getting baptized would cause problems in her family. Carolina stood firm despite the opposition, and told them she wanted to get baptized! To her amazement, her family changed their minds and supported her in her decision! Please pray for us as many are close to the waters of baptism!
Hailing from Equatorial Guinea, Carolina becomes
the seed of the gospel for a new nation in Africa!
Krystal Legarda in Orange County: "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three." (Luke 12:51-52) Despite the current wave of persecution from the family members of those who have recently been baptized and who have been studying to enter God's Kingdom, God's peace was evident in the lives of so many precious brothers and sisters gratefully celebrating their "new-memberhood" at the Prestons at Saturday's New Member Orientation (NMO)! One brother shared, "I want to lead a church someday overseas!" Two baptized OC disciples, Erin and Edimar, had the "wisdom" to bring their physical sisters to the NMO and BOTH WERE INSPIRED TO MAKE JESUS LORD AND WERE BAPTIZED TODAY!
Erin's sister, Adriana, is a student at Whittier College, who began studying the Bible before Erin did! Sadly, Adriana decided to stop studying because she was not ready to give up everything. Weeks later, after realizing that the world was only going to "chew her up and spit her out" and seeing the peace in her sister Erin's new life, Adriana sent me a text desperate to get together and continue studying the Bible! After hours of reviewing and multiple Bible studies, Adriana was finally ready to make Jesus Lord of her life and be baptized! Both "Fischer Sisters" shared about how grateful they were to have each other in the spiritual battle to love their family despite the negativity towards their convictions and to have gone on their first prayer walk together the night before Adriana's baptism!
Adriana (in black) and Erin (second from the right)
become "double sisters" in the Lord!
Erica is the physical sister of Edimar, a sister from our Cal State Fullerton Campus Ministry. Excitingly, she is the first fruit of the new All-Women's Bible Talk! Edimar shared in tears about how broken their relationship was growing up. She shared how before she became a disciple, her own hostility toward Erica even caused her to move out of her house, because she could not stand to even look at her sister's face. Grateful that God would reconcile their relationship now that they were both following Jesus, Edimar shared sincerely how she cannot wait to see her sister every day! Also in tears, Erica expressed how much she's always admired her big sister, Edimar, and how grateful she is that she now gets to follow her footsteps into the Kingdom of God!
Erica is ecstatic to join her sister Edimar
in God's Family!
The Single Women of the OC also saw the Word of God at first brings division and then brings peace! Christina, Anayeli, Lesa and Jessica were studying with a Kenyan named Liz, who was struggling with the changes she saw that God was calling her to in the Scriptures. After nearing the waters of baptism last Sunday but doing a "fly-by," Liz texted Kerri-Sue Adams this past Saturday morning, simply saying, "I want to get baptized!" She had counted the cost and been open with her struggles throughout the week and today at her baptism she shared her love for God and His Kingdom!
Since Liz is from Kenya, she could well become an
intern just in time for the Nairobi Planting!
HEADLINE NEWS – USA & CANADA
NEWS FLASH – Tim Kernan the Director of the 2014 GLC and the Toronto Mission Team Leader: Greetings to all from the GLC Headquarters in beautiful Los Angeles! With 125 days left until the Sunday Worship Service of the GLC, we already have 294 people registered! Also, very good news! You can now register for your rooms at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort for only $109/night by clicking: https://resweb.passkey.com/go/cityofangelsgloballeadership. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare to host you for this momentous event!
Make reservations at the JW Marriott Desert Springs
Resort before the $109 rooms are sold out!
On the Toronto Mission Team front, it was an incredible honor this week to welcome Jake & Megan Studer with their beautiful daughter Rylee from New York City as well as Craig & Elizabeth Wademan with their beautiful daughter Helena into LA's North Region! God is gathering the Toronto Mission Team and we are more excited than ever about what God is going to do in Canada!
The zealous hearts of the Toronto Mission Team –
the Wademan, Studer, and Kernan Families!
NEWS FLASH – Anthony Eckels: Greetings from the Houston International Christian Church! This has been a victorious two weeks for the Lord! First of all, the awesome four member remnant group, Wayne & Lynn Ouellette, Susan Snelgrove, and Chantelle Anderson have placed membership and are giving their hearts to the mission team!
Secondly, God allowed the contract on our house in Orlando to fall through… but we knew God had a good reason! After the contract fell through, God blessed us with a contract for several thousand dollars more than the first one! As well, the Coyles, a family of seven who came on the mission team with us, finally moved into a home last Friday! Every disciple has secured employment and is working hard!
Last Sunday, we had a blowout service at Hermann Park with an attendance of 49! We completed our First Principles as I preached The New Testament Conversions Study, which inspired four of our friends to study immediately after service, including a minister! This Sunday, we saw God's sense of humor, as He gave new meaning to Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." We used the name "Oliver" throughout our First Principles Studies as our "imaginary friend" with whom we are studying! Then, the next thing we know, Brittany and Heather meet a gentleman named "Oliver" who came to church and is studying the Bible with the brothers this week!
The charismatic leaders of the Houston ICC –
Anthony & Elizabeth Eckels!
We have several who are on the brink of baptism. Please pray for us as we continue our campaign and prepare for our Inaugural Service on April 13th at Downtown Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1700 Smith Street, Houston, TX 77002. Please call if you or someone you know would like to attend! For more information: 407-745-9363!
Ron Harding of Washington DC: Greetings from the Capital of the United States! "Then the church throughout [DC, Maryland, and Virginia] enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord." (Acts 9:31) We've come to understand that sending out the hardest working disciples to the mission field calls those who haven't had this godly lifestyle to step up!
This has required that "they preach the good news in that city and [win] a large number of disciples… strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. 'We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.''' (Acts 14:21-22) I am so proud of the disciples "who have never led" or "not led in a long time" and that have stepped up to fill the gaps created by sending out 1/3 of the church to plant mission teams and strengthen other churches. They are going through hardships… sometimes creating hardships through leadership mistakes! But, they are inspired, motivated and embracing the evangelization of this great city and being a part of a worldwide movement, sending money and people to get the job done!
The Howard University Campus Ministry is a great
fountain of leadership for God's
modern day movement!
I believe God is honoring these hearts as He has continued to bless us with four more baptisms in the last two weeks: Sam in our Singles Ministry, Angelo and Bria at Howard University, and Dor was united in Christ with his wife Angela, who was baptized just four weeks ago!
Bria is one of four baptisms in the last two
weeks in the dynamic DC Church!
During his sharing Dor literally broke out in song, leading the congregation to sing This Little Light Of Mine! He has now been dubbed "DC's Singing Baptism!" Ironically, the original "Singing Baptism of Portland" is James Hanes who is a vibrant disciple now in the DC Church!
Dor becomes the "DC Singing Baptism!"
Jeremiah Clark: Greetings from the Mighty Denver Church! "Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, He devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from Him." (2 Samuel 14:14) Last week, we packed the house with 86 that were able to witness the tearful restoration of Joaquin Archuleta! Joaquin is the son of Joe & Jolyn Ruybal who placed membership just four months ago! Joaquin was baptized many years ago as a teen and through a series of events that damaged his faith and heart, he sadly walked away from the Lord and His church. However, God never gave up on him and "devised a way" through the Denver ICC to once again draw him back into His family!
Joaquin (center) is surrounded by his parents who
prayed for him day and night to return to the Lord!
Also, I am pleased to announce that Brittany Nelson & Cisco Ibarra are the very first dating couple in the Denver International Christian Church! Even though Cisco & Brittany had dated in the world and even had a child together, they decided to break up, study the Bible, and rebuild their relationship on the foundation of Christ and the Scriptures!
Today was equally amazing as we met in House Churches for services, and in the South Region we were able to witness the powerful campus baptism of Haley! To God be all the glory!
Haley opens her eyes to see the
promised Kingdom of God!
Coltin Rohn: "'Come follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.'" (Mark 1:16) After the past few months of studying the Bible, Quincy finally turned himself in and was baptized this past Wednesday night! Quincy is the roommate of Danny (our awesome brother who was converted on February 2nd) and is also in his final semester at Fisher College! However, in their last semester both Quincy and Danny are being "Fishers of Men" and are determined to change their campus before they leave this school!
Quincy (center) and Danny (second from the left)
will be "fishers of men" at Fisher College!
Amy Ciaramella of Phoenix: Greetings from the Valley of the "Son!" This weekend we laughed, cried and were deeply convicted as we had the wonderful Sarah & Jason Dimitry from Las Vegas, our "sister desert church family!" Sarah preached a stirring Women's Day lesson entitled Extreme Makeover: Mind, Body & Soul Edition where 111 women were in attendance, averaging two friends for each disciple! A few sisters commented, "This was the best Women's Day I’ve ever attended!" I agree as it built a great spirit of unity despite Satan's attacks!
Sarah preaching at the record setting
Phoenix Women's Day!
Jason reminded us of how radical we need to be so we can proclaim freedom for all nations as we step out of the shallow waters (of comfort and "feeling in control"), to go into deep waters to fish for souls. God blessed us with 180 in attendance – our greatest Sunday attendance so far this year! We later commenced with our Annual Chili Cook-off with the accompaniment of our own bluesy Cactus Kings Band (Jeremy, Scott Campbell and Dan Barrett) playing old school rock! Our very own Campus Intern/ICCM Bachelor's candidate Janelle Rushen walked away with the spoon trophy with her specialty white chili!
Dear "desert city" partners in the gospel – Jeremy
& Amy Ciaramella of Phoenix and Jason
& Sarah Dimitry of Las Vegas!
Wow! We are now well fed physically and spiritually to do the good work of God and see many won over for Christ! Please keep us in your prayers as there are now 35 studies with a few close to baptism! To our God be all the glory!
Evan Bartholomew of San Diego: "When the Lord restores His people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!" (Psalm 14:7) The Mission Bay Church was very glad today as we were able to see two incredible brothers come back to the Lord through restoration!
The first, Lambert Hawk, had been a faithful disciple for many years in our former fellowship. However, because of the doctrinal drift that occurred in 2002-2003, he became frustrated at the lack of discipling and commitment and thus lost his faith deciding to walk away from God and the church. Since Lambert has a speaking impediment, he read an apology letter that made so many of us cry. Lambert is so fired up to have found "the church he had been baptized into!"
Lambert, through the tireless efforts of the SD
Brothers, returns to his "first love!"
The second restoration is a very dear brother to so many disciples in the new movement – Zak Najor! Zak was converted in San Diego all the way back in 1998! Through time, he found himself drifting away from God and felt called to move to Portland, Oregon, where a revival of sorts had begun… Of course, this was the conception of God's new movement! Zak later moved from Portland to Los Angeles to help plant the church in LA, and then later to New York City to plant the church there!
Zak shared how over time he let feelings and attitudes build up in his heart, and eventually Satan led him to a place of weakness and bitterness. Eventually, this unresolved bitterness he held on to made him feel that it was necessary to run away. Zak humbly apologized to the church for leaving and shared how excited he is to be back! I am so proud of Zak for his courage to deal with what seemed to him at the time to be monumental stumbling blocks. Truly, restoration brings rejoicing and gladness!
Zak's courageous return has inspired disciples
throughout the SoldOut Movement!
Matt Sullivan of Orlando: The last few weeks have been so encouraging as the Lord has given us three new brothers "added to our number!" Through persecution, a reduction of leadership, financial difficulties and birthing two churches in two months' time (Gainesville and Houston), God has pruned us to make us "even more fruitful!" (John 15:2) Two and a half weeks ago, we saw Elvin from Sri Lanka, a health sciences major at UCF, baptized!
Elvin's baptism has encouraged the
entire UCF Campus Ministry!
Then Donald Rendel was met by one of the sisters in the AMS Ministry. Although she has been struggling, she shared her faith and God saw her heart and heard her prayer. Donald is a talented young man with a young family and now they are striving to do it God's way, regardless of the hypocrisy in the world around them! Donald was baptized last Sunday!
Donald is surrounded by the AMS Brothers
that led him to the Lord!
After this, God led Aaron a UCF student to radical repentance, becoming our first baptism in the "Reflection Pool" at the center of the awesome UCF Campus!
Maria Franklin: "You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God." (2 Corinthians 9:11) Good news from the spiritually rich disciples in Chicago! We are ecstatic that for this year's IGNITE Program, as three of our gallant teens have been chosen from Chicago! Congratulations to Danielle, King and Jose who will be attending this life changing event in Orlando this summer!
Congratulations to the three incredible Chicago
Teens that have been invited to the IGNITE
Program – Jose, King and Danielle!
Excitingly, last week we prayed and sent off two missionaries! First, Joel was sent to be a part of the Supplemental Mission Team going to New York City! Then Ray was sent off to join the young dynamic planting of Santa Barbara! We are excited to send some of our best and look forward to reading about how God will use these incredible brothers in future Good News Emails!
With their Chicago Coffee Cups full of Kingdom
memories, the Spirit sends Joel to NYC
and Ray to Santa Barbara!
With that same great heart of sacrifice, the generous and faithful disciples here have already turned in just under $50,000 for our Special Missions Contribution! We have worked hard to raise money in various ways including tagging from which we have already raised over $8,000!
On another special note, our brother Alex has been in China for the past few months and has been "Skyping" into church services every Sunday and also for continued discipling. With great faith and zeal, he has started up a Bible Talk there! He had graduated in Aeronautical Engineering and will be returning to Chicago in a few months to begin his Post Doctorate! Keep us in your prayers as we have many close to the saving waters of baptism!
Andrew Smellie: "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord." (Jonah 2:8-9) Greetings from the Spiritual Battlefield of New York City!
In the last two weeks, the Lord has added four incredible souls who have battled the "worthless idols" of the world and overcome! Due to the power of God's Word and the love of the Kingdom, our dearly loved Victor Vilanova was restored and Mario Mendija, a junior Environmental Engineering major at City College of New York was baptized last week!
Vic's (second from the right) restoration was a
jubilant celebration for the angels, for the
NYC Church and for his beloved wife, Sue!
Mario (second from the right) is embraced
into God's Familia!
Today Bill Hagenbaugh, a retired Vietnam Vet living in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was baptized, and Cristell was baptized into Christ! Through their devotion to the Word of God, an uncompromising commitment to His will, and much prayer and fasting, these four souls rejoiced with thanksgiving as they proclaimed the vow, "Jesus is Lord!"
Each one of these situations has an incredible story, yet I was personally encouraged by the faith and sacrifice of Bill, the Vietnam Veteran, who was originally connected to us by his relationship on Facebook with Dave Kelly in Honolulu, Hawaii! Despite challenges of health in his personal and family life, he has driven the 2.5 hours from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to come to midweek and church and is eager to be part of the dynamic remnant group that is growing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!
Bill's fortitude has been tested by the 2.5 hour
drive from Philly to NYC… and he
is proved faithful!
Last Sunday was also bittersweet as the NYC Church sent off one of our dearly loved and "right arm couples" of the church, former Queens Ministry Leaders Jake & Megan Studer! We are excited for the plans the Lord has for them as the Studers have now joined the Kernans in LA and are preparing to help support the Toronto Mission Team! It was especially inspiring to surprise Jake as two of the CyberEvangelists of the movement – Ron Harding and Rob Onekea – came to NYC to appoint Jake the newest CyberEvangelist in the Kingdom! And to God be the glory!
Three CyberEvangelists congratulate Jake (second
from the right) and welcome him into the
leadership for the evangelization of
the "invisible continent!"
Joel Parlour of Syracuse: God is always good to us in Central New York State! We are making serious headway on collecting money for our May 25th Missions Contribution, our attendance is averaging nearly 100 every Sunday, and the church continues to give sacrificially well above our pledge! On top of that, we are having a blast!
Two Saturdays ago we hosted our First Annual Men's "Munch" Madness! The brothers got together for wings and a chili cook-off and to watch the March Madness Basketball Tournament! We had so many visitors! I was especially encouraged by our dear brother Charles Anderson. Though he is physically the oldest brother in the church and has been extremely exhausted lately due to recently suffering serious illness, Charles came out to The Madness with six of his friends! Certainly a call higher for all of us as his example takes away many of our excuses!
Then last Sunday, we witnessed a miracle as Latecha was baptized into Christ! Latecha is a graduate student at Syracuse University. She first visited the church during a midweek service about seven months ago. At midweek she stood up during the good news sharing and announced the need for her to change her life. After wrestling with God for all that time God brought hope to Latecha's life by our dear sister Hope reaching out to her again on campus. By this time she was truly ready to change! God's timing is perfect!
God's patience expressed through the love of the
Syracuse Sisters wins Latecha to the Lord!
This Sunday we saw another prayer answered! At the beginning of the year we prayed for God to open a door to start a Bible Talk at Onondaga Community College (OCC). Then God brought an OCC student Tyler into His Kingdom! But while Tyler was studying the Bible, we gently challenged him to start sharing his faith. So immediately Tyler boldly reached out and the first guy he met was Josh!
He invited Josh to a Dating Workshop we had that Friday to which he came. Josh has studied the Bible earnestly ever since. Today Josh was baptized as a true disciple of Jesus Christ! Last Wednesday we officially launched our new OCC Bible Talk!
Syracuse's Dating Devo inspires
Josh to get baptized!
So in the last five weeks we have seen six added to our number – five baptisms and a restoration! To God be the glory!
Ricky Challinor of Portland: Good news from the Northwest!!! These past few weeks have been great! Of note last Sunday in Portland, we were privileged to see Martha Rubio restored!!!
This weekend the Eugene and Portland Churches paired up as we had a Portland/Eugene Campus/Teen Devotional down in Eugene! Electric does not begin to describe the atmosphere! We started out with a cranking lesson from Jacob Beas entitled, Noah! Though the movie was a flop, Jacob brought glory to God looking at the true story of the flood! We then played a giant game of night tag and then enjoyed pizza back at the Beas's place! The highlight was at about 11:30pm when all 40+ Campus/Teens started singing like angels to God!
However, the greatest joy for me was our guest preacher and his wife at the Eugene Service, Gabe & Stephanie Reed! To say he blew it out would be an understatement! Excitingly this summer, Jacob & Courtney Beas will be moving down to San Francisco to be in the fight with the Dimitrys and furthering their training. To take their place in leading Eugene will be Gabe & Stephanie Reed! I'm very excited to see what God will do this spring and summer. Pray for the Northwest!!!
The Beas and the Challinors welcome the Reeds
(center) to the Great Northwest! Gabe feels
right at home as he is a former University
of Oregon Duck!
Mike Underhill: "We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act!" (Daniel 9:18-19) Warm greetings from San Francisco!
Since leading the mission team to San Francisco, I've seen the many mistakes I've made and how many ways I personally have failed in building the church here. But in light of that, "because of [the Lord's] great mercy," God has allowed us to have two men baptized into His Kingdom! Aaron Garret, a man with an amazing love for God and who's also a great basketball player, was baptized! He overcame his fear of water by practicing all week being immersed in different pools!
Aaron perfects his baptism water entry because
this time it's for real!
Also Ben Zamora, a teen who was adopted at the age of five by the Zamora family (our Shepherding Couple-in-Training here in SF), was baptized! He has radically changed these past two weeks and become a true man of God! The Lord has been so merciful to bless the church here even because of HIS great love and mercy! I'm forever grateful!
Half the church goes out to baptize Ben!
One of the Kingdom dreams of the Zimoras comes
true as they were able to baptize
their adopted son Ben!
Richie McDonnell: Greetings from sunny Santa Barbara! The Lord has been moving powerfully here by adding five to our number these past few weeks – three through placed memberships and two through baptism! Jessica Pengra moved here from the awesome Las Vegas Church and has been an immediate help to our women's ministry. Also, Jennifer Habib moved here from the LA Ventura Region to be an intern, and Reynaldo Velazquez has moved here from the mighty Chicago Church!
As for the baptisms, Alex, a student at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC), first came to church and was immediately impacted by the love of the disciples! Since that first service, he came to every event, including helping a non-Christian friend move! He took on the challenge to make Jesus his Lord, repented and was baptized just shortly after being met! "Un-coincidentally" he also possesses dual citizenship to both the US and Sweden, and speaks Swedish fluently! (I'm sure Argo will be calling him soon!)
Alex now has three citizenships – USA, Sweden
and the Kingdom of God!
Second, Andre was baptized last week! He is also a student at SBCC, which is rated the number one community college in America! Throughout studying the Bible, he has been a man of faithful decisions, with his most recent decision being to stay here in Santa Barbara for Spring Break instead of going home where sin was waiting to ensnare him. And after repenting in some final areas, he was baptized last Sunday!
Andre sacrifices Spring Break to receive
an even greater break from the Lord!
Mike Patterson of Gainesville: A couple weeks ago, we had our First All Night Prayer Devotional and we are witnessing the fruit! Already, almost half of our 10X Special Missions Contribution has been turned in! Also, God allowed us to see three more "baptism miracles" this past week!
At the University of Florida (UF) Campus, a young man named Joseph (who is called "Music") can be found street preaching as hundreds of students walk by. Our brother Marcel shared his faith with him and challenged him to meet for a Bible study. Amazingly, Joseph had Marcel's phone number in his phone because our sister June (who is affectionately known in the Florida Churches as "June the Baptist") had already invited him to church! God certainly determines the times and places!
Marcel confronted Joseph with the truth that you have to be baptized as a disciple to be saved. Joseph immediately repented! Then Joseph shared with his (now) former girlfriend Courtney! Almost immediately following, Joseph found persecution on the internet of some old news shows persecuting the church. These shook him up and even Courtney's sister tried to intervene in the middle of a Bible study my wife was doing with Courtney! But Joseph remembered The Persecution Study and came back to the Scriptures! On Tuesday night both Joseph and Courtney were baptized into Christ! Joseph now street preaches as a disciple!
Joseph and Courtney overcome
persecution to enter
Also, another amazing young man at UF who is part of the ROTC Air Force Program was baptized after service today named Aubrey!
Aubrey will now become a soldier
in the Lord's Army!
Afterward, Joe & Stacey Mack presented an amazing Financial Workshop to help us learn to budget our money in a way that honors the Lord!
Joe & Stacey's presentation spurs on the Gainesville
disciples to honor God in their sacrifices!
So for the first 14 weeks of 2014, God’s new church planting in Gainesville has seen 16 additions! God is moving! Keep us in your prayers!
HEADLINE NEWS – INTERNATIONAL
NEWS FLASH – Joe Willis of Sydney: We bring you great news from Down Under! God has opened the floodgates of the SoldOut Movement here in Sydney with two incredible baptisms!
The first Australian baptism was an incredible young lady named Teigan! Teigan is a student at Macquarie University. She – like many Australians – had never been to church in her life or even thought about looking into the Bible.
North Sydney Macquarie University Ministry:
Rahnesha White, Jason Woody, Sean
and Erick Valenzuela!
She came to our Inaugural Service and was teaching all our American disciples how to play Rugby afterwards!
Teigan at the Inaugural Service Picnic!
She became such an amazing part of the church since she started coming and it has been truly faith building to see her come from no faith to making Jesus Lord! She was baptized at one of Sydney's beautiful beaches last Sunday night with all her sisters present! It truly was an amazing night and such a victory for the church here to see a real "Aussie" baptized after much prayer from us here and many of the disciples in LA!
The Sydney International Christian Church!
Then on Wednesday, we saw Helmi "Mohamed" Nasir became our brother! Originally from Malaysia and converting from Islam, he represents our vision to set up churches in every country in Asia! His conversion brings to reality many desperate prayers over the last 10 years when I came to Australia to personally help someone become a Christian! Romans 5:3-4 teaches, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Indeed, never has this verse seemed more real to me!
Sydney's second baptism – Helmi "Mohamed" –
becomes a disciple of Jesus!
We are so grateful for all your prayers and financial support! Please continue to pray for us as we "fight the good fight" here in Australia!
NEWS FLASH – Vic Gonzalez Jr.: Greetings from the plentiful harvest field of Mexico City! These last few weeks have been super busy but that's life in the Kingdom of God! First off, our new band "Rise Band" had the privilege of being on TV!
The "Rise Band" in the TV studio!
We also were able to witness the baptism of an incredible UNAM student named Eduardo! A few weeks ago I gave a challenge to "become slaves to the lost to win the lost." Ezequiel, my brother, did just that helping Eduardo with his job till the wee hours of the morning just to serve him and show him true love! As a result Ezequiel studied and baptized Eduardo into the family of God!
Last week was amazing as my family of four flew to LA to witness God's power once again in action through the union of David Green & Sonia – my sister! I was so honored to do the officiating! And my beautiful wife was the maid of honor! She also made the amazing cake!
Congratulations to David & Sonia Green!
In my absence, I had my brother Ezequiel preach, and all present said he did a phenomenal job! I am so excited to see my brother growing in leaps and bounds. This week was just a taste of what God has in store for us here in Mexico City. The Good Lord blessed us with seven baptisms giving us daily additions! "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." (Acts 2:47) Mariana, Andrea, Fernando, Yailin, Salvador, Aime and Dany all made their good confessions!
The seven daily baptisms of the dynamic
Mexico City Church!
Andrea is our second UNAM student and the hope along with Eduardo for the 388,000 college students at UNAM! Fernando is a professional "DJ." Yailin is a teen and the daughter of our dear friends Javier & Pilli who are also studying the Bible and mentioned they'll "soon be in that baptistery!" Amen!
Dany is the Events Coordinator at the Christian Bookstore where we meet! It was amazing to study with her parents Salvador & Aime! Today, after Aurora & I baptized them, they were able to baptize their daughter Dany!
So in the first 14 weeks of 2014, the Lord has graciously given us 21 additions: 17 baptisms, 2 restorations and 2 place memberships! Much love and a big hug from Mexico City!
NEWS FLASH – Raul Moreno: "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (Joao 15:11) Greetings from São Paulo! The church was full of joy these past two weeks as we have seen four come to Christ through the waters of baptism! First, Vicky was baptized! She is a 16 year old "Gentile teen" who has been coming to church for about six months and she was converted through the efforts of her neighbors, Gabriel & Edileine, who are awesome married disciples in the church!
Vicky (center) is overwhelmed with joy with her
new found salvation!
Then, Bruno was baptized! He is an 18 year old single and his uncle and his brother are disciples!
Bruno arises to a new life!
Also, excitingly, Augusto was also baptized! He is the father of Vini who happens to be an Engineering student at USP University! At first, he persecuted Vini, but after seeing the church and the love of the disciples, he could not resist being united with Jesus!
Vini baptizes his father Augusto!
Finally, Raul was baptized! He is also an Engineering student at USP and is a freshman! He was super eager to know God, and because of that, he was converted in two short weeks!
Caio baptizes his new best friend Raul!
Keep praying for us as we are praying for you and we love you with the love of the Lord!
Eugen Sobolev: "And many nations shall come, and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth from Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.'" (Micah 4:2) Privyet from the Moscow International Christian Church! In November 2013 during the McKeans' and Sirotkins' visit, a plan was set before God to grow the Moscow Remnant Group to 40-50 disciples by June 2014. In February, we numbered just 20 disciples. Since that time, eight disciples have moved from various parts of Russia and the Ukraine to Moscow. These are the names of these sold-out disciples: Aliona Solovieva, Max Tkachuk, Andrey Priadko, Anton Sherbina, Elena Roomynska, Max Mituhliaev, my wife Julia Soboleva & me! So we now number 28! Lord willing, five more will move here in April and at least five more in May!
Anton, Lena and Andrey arrive in
Moscow from Kiev!
This does not even count the daring disciples from the Ukraine and Russia who have moved to LA to train with Oleg & Aliona in the South Region! They are: Dima Serafonov, Dr. Sergey & Olena Pometun, and Dr. Alexander "Sasha" Schlophauer! Amazingly all of these disciples have paid for their own tickets and their living situations from their own savings! (Of course, Kirill & Lesia Karasov – now living in Moscow – as well as Julia & me have spent considerable and infinitely helpful time in LA!)
Pray for God to continue to gather His remnant from the 11 time zones of the "Russian speaking nations" for the arrival of the Sirotkins and the Moscow Mission Team in December 2014!
The new Moscow Remnant Group Leaders –
Jenya & Julia Sobolev!
Michael Williamson of London: What a great service we had last week as we were able to see Sue baptized into Christ! Sue first came to church about six weeks ago to "check us out" and to try and convince her son Sean to leave the church! However Sean was baptized on January 25th after realizing his life was going now where without putting God first. He’s now one of the fiery new campus brothers nicknamed "SEAN THE BAPTIST" for his passion and zeal for the lost!
Sean realizes the dream for most disciples
to baptize one's mom into Christ!
For the past two weeks, every disciple is passionately going after their 15X Missions Contribution: several disciples selling personal items at "Car Boot Sales" (flea markets); the Campus is cranking our "Bucket Brigade" (led by Daniel Adjai); Michael Hart is pushing his "Lift-a-thon" (Weightlifting Challenge); Maria Hart is leading a "Walk-a-thon;" AND the Singles inspirationally completed a 10K (6.2 miles) Run for Missions this weekend!
Christina and MJ enjoy running the race
for the ultimate victor's crown!
Big congrats to our Deacon of Church Governance (Jacques Groenewald) for getting the church's charity status rated "A" which is given only to a select number of organizations! We have one more week to go before reaching our goal of 38,201 Pounds ($63,488)! Keep us in your prayers!
Tamru Belihu of Addis Ababa: Greetings from Ethiopia! We were again blessed by our Lord with two baptisms! Both men had been studying for about two months. Please pray for them as well as our congregation. We are looking for a house to rent as we were asked at our present location for more than we can afford. Our prayers are with you!
Carlos Mejia: Greetings from Santiago! We were very excited to have our Day Marrieds Retreat in the park this past Saturday! This "mini-retreat" consisted of prayer time with our spouses, as well as awesome classes that fed and edified our souls and our marriages! We ended the day with an abundance of our awesome Chilean "asado!"
At the Day Marrieds Retreat, all were fed
spiritually, emotionally and physically!
Though the retreat was incredibly exciting, this weekend has been one of mixed emotions. We are so sad to see our dear Shepherding Couple, Abelardo & Elida Flores, be sent by the Spirit to Mexico City! Abelardo & Elida came to DC when Lucy & I were leading the church there, and they were miraculously converted during their stay! Giving up everything in Mexico, they stayed in DC! Later, they served the church in Orange County, and finally were appointed a Shepherding Couple here in Santiago! Though they are approaching their 70's, they have tirelessly served the church here! There is not a soul among us that has not been served a meal at "Tio's and Tia's" (Uncle's and Aunt's) home!
Abelardo & Elida are Lucy's physical aunt and
uncle, but they've come to mean so much
more to the Mejia Familia and the
On more than one occasion, they have traveled up to five hours to visit sick or weak disciples with some authentic Mexican food in hand! They will be truly missed here in Santiago as the church has adopted them as spiritual parents! Although we feel the loss, we happily send them to the amazing church in Mexico City, where they will be with the brothers and sisters! In God's Modern Day Movement, we understand that they are not leaving, but simply going to another room in God's house!
NEWS FLASH – Debs Rajan of Chennai: Greetings! Indian culture is very similar to the Old Testament culture. The world has gone ahead but people in India still hold on to their traditions. Women are still given in marriage at a very young age.
For instance, Kumari was forced into marriage at the age of 13. When she refused to marry her husband who was 20 years older, she was beaten and locked up in a room till she agreed. As she narrated her painful life, I was reminded of Tamar in the Bible. Kumari got a chance to know about God through her son Bhaskar, a campus disciple, who constantly encouraged her to come to church. When she finally came to church, the fellowship scared her at first as she was not used to people giving her hugs. Now that she has understood about God's love, she never stops smiling and giving hugs!
Bhaskar baptizes his beloved mom into the
protection of the Lord's angels!
Annupama whose husband was baptized just two weeks ago, also made Jesus the Lord of her life!
Suraj & Annupama are now joyfully
united in Christ!
Lastly, Ujen, a young dynamic campus student who comes from a Buddhist background, was also baptized!
Ujen, a student at Stella Maris, is embraced by the
Chennai Sisters who helped to make her
a sold-out disciple of Christ!
One thing that I saw common in all three of these women, was the pain they went through growing up and God has faithfully delivered them. "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4) This is true in Heaven and in God's Kingdom on earth!
Dearest Brothers and Sisters: The International College of Christian Ministries continues to flourish! In the past month, we have added two Associate Professors – Tim Kernan and Kyle Bartholomew!
Kyle and Elena at the famed Bear in the heart of the
UCLA Campus where the ICCM Classes are held!
Since our BA Degree Class now numbers 75, we have also selected two of our best students to become "TA's" (Teaching Assistants) – Cesar Limon and Rebecca Rico! Cesar is in charge of building the Study Guides and Rebecca oversees the study groups and tutoring.
Rebecca's passion for the Word and excellence
were key qualities in selecting her to be
the TA overseeing study groups
Presently, we are studying the Book of Luke in our BA Degree Program. Well known is Luke's "Journey Section:" Luke 9:51 – 19:44. This week Elena "broke new ground" and identified what she is calling the "Women's Elevation Section" which covers Luke 7:11 – Luke 8:56. Solidifying this incredible find is the concept of "balance." Luke uses this literary device to emphasize that Jesus' message was to go to the whole world.
So in the early chapters of Luke "balance" is employed: man + woman = the whole world! (Luke 2:25-37) Jew + Gentile = the whole world! (Luke 4:18-27) In the "Women's Elevation Section" – unique in the entire Bible for its numerous detailed accounts of women – are five detailed accounts: the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17); Mary of Bethany who washes Jesus' feet with her hair (Luke 7:36-50); the three women leaders of Jesus' young movement (Luke 8:1-3); the true family… mothers, brothers, etc. (Luke 8:19-21); the woman with an issue of blood for 12 years and Jairus' 12 year old daughter (Luke 8:40-56).
Elena teaching the "Women's Elevation Section"
of Luke to the ICCM Sisters!
The "bookend balance" is exceptionally clear: in Luke 7:11-17 a powerless woman's "only son is raised from the dead." In Luke 8:40-56, a powerful man's "only daughter is raised from the dead." The balances are: the powerless + the powerful = the whole world; man + woman = the whole world; only son raised from the dead + only daughter raised from the dead = the whole world! The messages are clear: anyone can change and Jesus' good news is for the whole world!
To bring "balance" to Elena's & my life, we believe that God is sending us to Chennai, India to plant the church alongside our dear friends Raja & Debs Rajan! Balance: the rich of LA and the poor of Chennai! Rich + Poor = the whole world!
The McKeans believe that the Spirit is calling them
to preach the Word in India this Fall!
Pray for every disciple to strike "balance" in their lives – for "in the balance" is the salvation of the world! "May the grace of Christ be with your spirit. Amen!" (Philippians 4:23)