Even though we have entered the "holiday season" here in the States, the Spirit continues to add daily to our number in the City of Angels Church these last two weeks as 14 have been baptized and one has been restored! And to God be the glory!
At the City of Angels All Congregational Financial
Service, seven were baptized! Perhaps the
most moving was Jonathan – a young
man who is deaf and mute – signed
with a smile, "Jesus is Lord!"
And now more detailed reports from around LA…
Stephen Morici & Erin Henry: Greetings from the Mighty South!!! Glory to God as we prepare to send out on the Sydney Mission Team two physical and spiritual brothers in the faith: Sean and Erick Valenzuela! In service today, they "partnered" with Oleg to preach inspiring messages respectively titled, "GO" and "MAKE." Oleg closed out with the message "DISCIPLES!"
Oleg embraces Erick (left) and Sean – the South
Region's "Sons of Thunder!"
Also today at the end of the service, we were greatly blessed with the baptisms of Brenda and Rocio! Brenda is a 17 year old high school student, who studied the Bible through much perseverance! She is a friend of our awesome sister Jen who since baptism has worked diligently for the salvation of her many friends.
Brenda (second from the right) is the
South's second teen disciple!
Secondly, Rocio – an awesome single mother – decided to make Jesus Lord after going through many hardships in life! She is old friends with our awesome brothers Erubiel and Gustavo! Of special note, Rocio has seen the miraculous changes that Erubiel has made in his life after becoming a true man of God. Please pray for us as we have many studies and are learning how to diligently seek souls. We leave you with the words of Kip, "We must not only understand the urgency of salvation, but God's plans and His sovereignty."
to all the South Single Sisters!
Mason Fetelika: Greetings from the GREAT NORTH REGION! In Acts 20:37 the Scripture reads, "They all wept as they embraced [the Sydney Mission Team] and kissed [them]…" This Scripture became reality tonight as disciples from the North and our beloved AMS Region came together in many tears and kisses as they bid farewell to all of us on the Sydney Mission Team. I have never been a part of such an intense "tearing apart" of amazing relationships and friendships! We may have even broken a record, as the sharing lasted an incredible FIVE-AND-A-HALF HOURS! Everyone who shared brought "The Team" to tears as we were taken on a road down memory lane! This was a night I'll remember for years to come!
The Glorious Sydney Mission Team!
We definitely want to thank the entire North Region for all that they have taught us, and for all of the sacrifice this young group has given to help us reach Sydney this year. In fact, during the service today, most of the disciples gave extra contribution in separate envelopes specifically for the Sydney Team to help us each reach the $5,000 goal that Joe set in order to get our households set up in Australia! We definitely feel endeared to each of you, and are endlessly thankful that we have "a family to come home to."
We would like to especially thank Travis & Cecy Frazier for taking up the reigns and standing in the gap until the arrival of the Kernans in late December, for the Fraziers truly have been the glue in this region! Without a doubt, the Great North Region will CONTINUE to be in GREAT hands!!! Lastly, God has also blessed the North in other ways as on December 7th, David Caldwell & Ashley Sanders (our "Special Forces" Team in the North) are now engaged! PLEASE keep the North Region in your daily prayers!
Congratulations to David & Ashley!
Chris Chloupek: "How ya do'in?" from the AMS Region! We had a very encouraging City of Angels Church "SINGLES NIGHT OUT" Devotional on Saturday evening! It was so heartening to have singles come together "perfectly united" from our 10 Regions that make up the City of Angels International Christian Church! There was good news sharing, as well as a special song entitled STAND UP FOR LOVE performed by Thurzday, a sister in the AMS Region! Princeton George preached a dynamic message titled, Light And Truth. He encouraged our brothers and sisters to be that light to their families as many will travel to visit them for Christmas.
SINGLES NIGHT OUT brought together the Singles
in all 10 Regions of the City of Angels Church!
Then I followed up with a warning to the congregation to be aware of Satan schemes. I expressed my hope that everyone will return from the holidays faithful. "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat." (Luke 22:31) I shared that if Satan attempted to sift Simon Peter, then he can and will try to sift us! THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE "SOUL" BUSINESS!
Tyler Sears: "Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." (Luke 15:6-7) Greetings from the West Region!
Today we "rejoiced" over the restoration of Glenn Newman! He is a great-hearted man whose parents used to visit the ICOC Church when he was a child. Moved by the Spirit to seek God, he went back to the place that he remembered the ICOC meeting, hoping it was still there. As God would have it, the new movement's West Region of LA was meeting there, and he was baptized! Sadly, Glenn left the Lord, but was restored today as he apologized for sinning against God and the disciples. Please continue to pray for the West as we have several who are studying to be restored and several others who are close to the waters of baptism.
Chris Adams of the OC Region: "After Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet, Jesus answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.' Then Peter wanted Him to wash his feet, his hands and his head!" (John 13:8-9) With this same spirit, two young disciples were baptized in Orange County last week!
Fullerton Junior College was where Alicia was first met by Kiana Lindsey; then one week later God led another zealous sister, Jenny Garcia, to meet her again! This time Alicia was open to listening to God's voice, and because of her humility throughout the Bible studies was convinced she too needed Jesus to wash away all her sins! She soon began to realize that she was never taught the truth, despite attending a "Christian high school." The entire OC Campus Ministry is very encouraged that God can change even the most religious of hearts to love the truth!
Yet another teen was snatched from the fire through the efforts of Russ & Lana Preston and the entire Orange County Teen Ministry! Diego first came out to a Friday Night Teen Devotional when his cousin Eliseo invited him. Though Eliseo had just started studying the Bible himself, Diego noticed his cousin with whom he had grown up was making some big changes! Diego also thought to himself, "How could these teens be so happy and have so much fun without any drugs or alcohol?" After just a few studies, Diego started to see the love that God had for him and the price that was paid for his very soul and started making his own drastic life changes! How fitting it was for this grateful young man to proclaim "Jesus is Lord" at our Thanksgiving Congregational Service!
Diego's baptism brought praise and thanksgiving to
God from the dynamically growing
OC Teen Ministry!
Lastly, the OC Leadership made some bold ministry changes setting the Velascos working with the Untalans to lead the Marrieds (English and Latin combined); the Adams over our newly formed Singles Ministry (English and Latin combined); with the Brooms working with the Prestons to oversee the Campus and Teen Ministry! The OC Singles wrote some Kingdom history, as over 40 Latin and English singles combined forces for the first ever All-Singles Orange County Sunday Worship Service! Everyone was inspired and humbled to think what a blessing it is to be called to be shepherds and to imitate the very heart of God to go after THE ONE SHEEP many times over!! Please pray for us to work the ripened fields to bring in much fruit!
The "sophisticated" OC Singles at their first
All-Singles Worship Service!
Cesar Limon: "All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God." (2 Corinthians 4:15) Good news from the Inland Empire! "God's grace… is reaching more and more people" here, as in the past two weeks five have been added to our number through the waters of baptism!
First off was Brian, a UCR student who had made a decision to NOT get baptized due to heavy persecution from his family. However, after the The Cross Study, he overflowed with thankfulness for Jesus and in turn was baptized a day before Thanksgiving!
Brian – side by side with his IE partners in the
gospel – issues the challenge,
"You will be next!"
This past Sunday, two new sisters were added to our number: Karina and Jhoselyn, a Nicaraguan RCC student who brings such a unique sparkle to our fellowship!
Karina (left center) and Jhoselyn (right center) join
the swelling number of IE Sisters echoing the
IE Brothers' call, "You will be next!"
Then it was Michael, another RCC student who is currently enrolled in 20 units and has a full time job! Regardless of it being finals week, Michael decided to "seek first God’s Kingdom" by changing his work schedule and doing Bible studies daily, and so he became our brother last Friday night!
When our new sister Karina issued her statement, "Your will be next" this past Sunday, she thought of her best friend Monica. Karina and Monica grew up together and went "church shopping" as well all their life searching for the truth. And today we were all witnesses to the grace of God as we saw our awesome baby sister Karina baptizing her best friend Monica as a sold-out disciple of Christ!
As a baby Christian, Karina baptizes her
best friend Monica (center)!
Recently, the 10 member Desert City Mission Team – led by Cesar Limon and Debbie Bosch – spent a day on their "spying out the land trip" in the six Desert Cities which includes Palm Springs! So be praying for the formation of the Desert Cities Sector of the IE Region to be sent out at the LA Winter Workshop!
At the College of the Desert, the Desert Cities
Mission Team claims God's promise, "I
will give you every place where
you set your foot!"
HEADLINE NEWS – USA
NEWS FLASH – Matt Sullivan: "When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.' The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." (Psalms 126:1-3) This Sunday was one of the most encouraging of my life! There has been great growth in the Orlando Church is so many ways!
Sunday I saw more love, passion for God, zeal for the mission and determination to build God's church after the Biblical model than ever before! Ted & Kathy Green gave a fun "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" Welcome! Then Jonathan Brooks who is a one month old disciple prayed for the service with the passion and conviction of a veteran disciple! After that we were privileged to hear the beautiful confession of faith of an amazing young mother named Sheena! Her fiancé and soon-to-be husband was baptized just three weeks ago! Then our one year old campus disciple Justin Powe shared a powerful communion and contribution about suffering as Jesus did so others can be saved!
Sheena rises to a refreshing new life in Christ!
Finally, God smiled on us with an incredible Going Away Party for the invincible Gainesville Mission Team! We met at Barnett Park at 1PM and were supposed to finish at 3PM but the heartfelt and tearful sharing went on until 4:30PM! Gainesville will be "officially sent off" next week on December 15th at our Christmas Service. What a beautiful Christmas gift to be able to send out our first church planting after just 17 months since the planting of Orlando!
The Zealous Gainesville Mission Team!
The gallant leaders of the Gainesville
International Christian Church –
Mike & Chenelle Patterson!
To end out the time of sharing, Brady Vaughn, one of the team members, shared about Mike & Chenelle. Brady is a military man and wanted to honor his new "General" with a sword! He had the whole team shouting "a sword for the Lord and a sword for Mike" as each shared their heart for their leaders and the mission they are going on! What a glorious sight and truly God was honored today… "We were like men who dreamed!"
The Gainesville International Christian Church will be having their first meeting on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at the Holiday Inn located at 1250 W. University Avenue Gainesville, FL 32601 at 10:00AM. The Inaugural Service will be January 19, 2014 at the same location. If you have any friends, family or know anyone in Florida who may attend please call them this week and invite them to this historic church planting as we seek to evangelize all of Florida, the Southeastern US, and the Caribbean from Orlando and Gainesville!
NEWS FLASH – Evan Bartholomew: Greetings from the Mission Bay Church in San Diego! God is good to those who love Him, and this week He has been so good to us as we were able to witness Ruth fully giving her life over to the Lord on Monday night when she took the glorious plunge into the waters of baptism! Ruth is the manager at one of the Chipotle's in San Diego, which hired two disciples at the beginning of this past year. As they diligently worked on being great examples to their "earthly masters," they were able to convince her that there was something special about our (God's) church. She came, she studied, and the rest was history!
Ruth's baptism is very significant to our fellowship because she is the 25th addition of 2013: 20 baptisms and five place memberships! Since we started the year with 25 disciples, we have now fulfilled the "discipleship model" that we teach everyone in the Discipleship First Principles Bible Study. That is, that one disciples focuses on making one other disciple in one year, and teaches them to make other disciples so that the church can multiply! The disciples have nicknamed Ruth "Baby Ruth," (see picture) and she is a Spanish-speaking Latina whom we believe has the potential to win many more "Latinas" to the Lord! A Dios sea la gloria!
Our "sweet" new sister – "Baby Ruth!"
Ricky Challinor of Portland: Greetings from the City of Bridges!!! This Sunday we were blessed to have two baptized into Christ!
The first is an extraordinary story of a man named Jaime Layton! Jaime is in his early 50's and from Santiago, Chile!!! For the past 20 years, he has lived and worked in Seattle, Washington about a three hour drive from Portland. A few years ago, his family moved back to Chile and Jaime stayed back in Seattle to work and help out his family. Recently, his wife was invited to church and she and her three sons started studying the Bible in Santiago. Jaime then took initiative and contacted Carlos Mejia, and so Carlos soon had Jaime and I connected! For the past week, Jaime was staying at our house while he studied the Bible every day! Today in Chile, his wife was baptized and Jaime as well proclaimed, "Jesus es [mi] Señor!!!!"
Jaime humbly praises God for
the gift of his salvation!
Our second baptism was Sonya Burgess, the mother of Tiffany Fefelov! A year and a half ago, Tiffany became a disciple then her husband, Fred, became a disciple five months later. Since then, they have been persecuted by their families. The incredible thing is that through their perseverance of faith, Sonya saw their lives and wanted to be close to God. Sonya is an incredible woman of the Word; her convictions were deepened by the Scriptures the more they were shared with her.
One of Sonya's biggest costs was that if she became a disciple she would be persecuted by her family. However because of her love for God, she was willing to take that chance so she can save her family the same way that Fred & Tiffany took that chance and now saved her! This was so fulfilling for me personally as my mom was able to ask her "the two questions!" It's incredible to have moms baptizing moms here in Portland – the "mother church" of God's new movement!
Sonya and Tiffany – mother and daughter – are
now sisters in Christ!
Brian Carr of Boston: This past Sunday was historical as we had our Financial Sermon and Presentation for our first full-year as a church! It's been so incredible to see the faith and sacrifice of all the disciples to make the Boston Church a congregation that glorifies our awesome God!
Immediately after the presentation, Jerry Cooper, a 20 year old from the Boston area, stood before the congregation as a great example of joy and faith. We witnessed Jerry speak of how grateful he was for Mahleek Grant and Preston Inkley who studied the Bible with him to teach him "the ways of God more accurately!" After weeks of studying the Bible, Jerry was baptized as a disciple of Jesus!
Jerry's baptism inspired the
entire Boston Church!
Andrew Smellie: "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come…" (Ecclesiastes 12:1) Greetings from New York City! The Lord blessed us to have an incredible Campus Ministry Service today, led by our spirited Campus Ministry Intern, Kwaku Sarkodie! Please pray for our Campus Ministry as they have begun a campaign to pray, fast and share their faith to reproduce themselves BEFORE the New Year!
To close this powerful service, the baptism of Omar Reyes from the Manhattan Singles Ministry also brought much rejoicing! Omar was searching the "Meetup" internet site; found our Downtown Singles Bible Talk; and with a rare "child-like" heart (Matthew 18:3) was eager to change his life and become a disciple of Jesus! While studying the Bible, Omar showed his servant heart as he helped to get food to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving and is working with the brothers to set up an ongoing program to distribute food to families in need! Despite persecution from his family and friends he showed the grit of true commitment by studying the Bible late into the night after working double shifts! Season's Greetings!
Omar's heart to serve is an upward
call to most disciples!
Jeremy Ciaramella of Phoenix: Greetings from the Valley Of "The Son!" Religion that God considers "pure and faultless" is "to look after orphans and widows in their distress…" (James 1:27) We have the privilege of working with the Sunshine Acres Children's Home which provides care for children whose parents have been imprisoned, seriously addicted to drugs, homeless or similar situations. Due to this partnership, God has provided a couple of awesome ways for us to be MERCYworldwide Ambassadors to our community and these children. First, through the generous donations of brothers and sisters, we were able to provide a Thanksgiving feast for the children and their families – about 150 people!
Secondly, our MERCY Toy Drive this year was a bit different. Instead of a typical $10 toy, MERCY Ambassadors were encouraged to draw a child's name and then purchase them a $10 gift card from a store they'd like to shop at. As well, each disciple will give a personalized greeting card to "their" child. So this week, we'll give these gift cards and personal cards to the children, meeting them at a special Christmas event where we'll play games, decorate cookies, and sing Christmas carol's with them!
The Phoenix Church displays great creativity
in their "partnering" with Sunshine Acres!
We are very grateful to see God reunite the Barrett Family in Christ! A couple of months ago, Laura Barrett was restored to the fellowship here in Phoenix. She and her daughter were living separately from her husband Dan. After much prayer, Biblical counseling and sincere repentance, Dan moved back in with his wife and their daughter Cassie after being separated for about a year! At church today, Dan tearfully apologized for how much he'd hurt his physical and spiritual families. It is amazingly refreshing to see God heal wounds through repentance and reunite families in His Kingdom! (Acts 3:19) To our God be all the glory!
Dan, Laura and Cassie are reunited through God's
grace and the loving discipling of
the Phoenix Church!
Lou Jack Martinez: ANOTHER BAD DAY FOR THE DEVIL IN HONOLULU, HI as NATHANAEL "NATE" HOWARD from Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) is baptized into Christ, and then RUNS THE HONOLULU MARATHON!!!
Nathanael is an awesome young man from a fervent religious background and a very close and loving family of believers. His brother is even an ordained minister!!! But as he compared his life after his "first baptism," and the lives of true disciples in the Book of Acts (Acts 11:19-26), he realized that he was never really born-again the way the Scriptures teach!!! That can be a very rude awakening for a religious person! But, like his namesake, Nathanael did not want to be "false" (John 1:47), and so he was obedient to the teachings of Jesus, Peter and Paul, and was BAPTIZED into the body of Christ!!!
In baptism, Nathanael experiences "the death, the
burial and the [glorious] resurrection
to a new life!"
That now gives us FOUR (4) disciples at HPU, which is located in Downtown Honolulu! So we're going to start a Downtown Bible Talk, made up of HPU students, single adults and a few married disciples who work Downtown!!! Please keep praying for the Islands!!!
Jay Hernandez of Hilo: Aloha from your brothers and sisters on the Big Island of Hawaii! The "Waterdogs" keep plugging away motivated by the amazing grace of our God! This weekend began with our Friday Night Financial Devotional. What an electric night, as we saw "the evidence of our God's grace" in the finances of the church! (Acts 11:23)
We also looked back at how God has diligently answered almost every one of our Prayer Goals for this year! One Prayer Goal in particular was super exciting to the disciples here… It was our prayer to begin a Bible Talk in Kona on the other side of the Big Island – about an hour and a half away! I am happy to announce that the "Kona Five" will be going out in the next couple of weeks at our New Year's Workshop! Please pray for these bold and courageous disciples as they step out on faith to expand God's Kingdom on the Big Island, and if any brothers or sisters out there might like to join them, get some advice and then give me a call!
The largest cities of the Big Island of
Hawaii are Hilo and Kona – both of
which have airports!
We ended the weekend seeing yet another baptism as Tana was baptized today! He is a freshman from the Island of Maui, and makes the fifth campus brother baptized this semester! Pretty inspiring when you consider that we began the school year with just Marley Depew and Loa'a Pine as the men of our Campus Bible Talk. We love you and look forward to seeing you at the LA Winter Workshop!
Tana is the fifth man baptized in the Hilo
Campus Ministry this Fall!
Julie Clark: Greetings from the Mighty Denver Church! It is so encouraging to see God being exalted in His church! Today Christina Martinez, a 52-year-old woman, was baptized while her daughter looked on in tears!
Christina opens her eyes "to
see" the Kingdom!
We recently discovered that Christina's daughter was baptized in our former fellowship several years ago, but unfortunately made the decision to walk away. Now years later, Christina was met while working at Wal-Mart by one of our courageous Campus Bible Talk Leaders, Sarah Carnes! While Wal-Mart was a temporary position, God had in store for her a job at the University of Colorado Boulder where she also leads the Campus Ministry alongside Kevin Horton. However, Sarah prayed, "God, let me be fruitful at Wal-Mart so I know it mattered that I worked here."
Sarah shared her faith with Christina yet she initially declined the invitation to attend church. Soon after, Sarah began her job at CU Boulder. When Sarah followed up with Christina, she found that her phone had been disconnected. Nevertheless, God had a plan as Christina's brother-in-law was reached out to and began studying with the campus brothers at Metro State University! Christina's brother-in-law invited her to church and she decided to come not knowing that it was the same church that her former co-worker Sarah had invited her to! God truly picks the times and places so His children can "seek Him with all of their heart."
Through it all, God certainly revealed His masterful plan as Christina became a disciple! We are so proud to have Christina as part of our fellowship and a faithful partner in the gospel. She is the 17th addition since our Inaugural Service 11 weeks ago and the 22nd addition to the church since we first arrived in July! To God be all the glory!
the University of Colorado!
Camille Santiago of Las Vegas: "As Jesus sat down to watch the crowd put money into the temple treasury, many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, 'Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.'" (Mark 2:41-44) Last week, the Las Vegas Church exceeded our Special Missions Goal by an incredible 34%! Truly, everyone "put in everything" they had to make this victory for God possible! Especially, in a church "rich" with poor campus disciples, there were many sacrifices and fund-raising to make this possible – from donating plasma to an early morning yard sale!
Another victory for God this week is the baptism of Misty! She was inspired by Malena Stasher's restoration and started seeking God. After wrestling with the Scriptures the last few months, she made the wholehearted decision to go by faith in having "confidence in what [she] hopes for and assurance about what [she does] not see." (Hebrews 11:1) Misty quit her job as a bartender and was added to the Kingdom today! As always, to God be all the glory – forever and always! Amen!
Our dear new sister Misty leaves her life of
bartending to drink the living
waters of Christ!
HEADLINE NEWS – INTERNATIONAL
NEWS FLASH – Blaise Feumba reporting from Abidjan: "In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to Him, and his resting place will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out His hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of His people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt… and from the islands of the Mediterranean. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth." (Isaiah 11:10-12)
First of all I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the "extra" financial sacrifice that the LA Church made to fly Micky and Lola – the Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) Church Leaders – to meet me during my visit to Abidjan, Ivory Coast! Micky and I – even though we have already reconciled through our many interactions by phone and emails – had the opportunity to talk face to face in the presence of Lola, Amadou and Paul our Shepherd-in-Training about the past issues in the ICOC and the lies they have spread over the years to divide us.
I confessed how I have sinned against my brother and dear friend Micky with my poor leadership decisions while in charge of the French Africa Region of the ICOC Churches and begged for forgiveness again for the hurts he has suffered. Satan's schemes were exposed and with tears we hugged each other and decided to give our very best "to rebuild the broken walls" of God's Kingdom in our generation!
Through forgiveness and mercy, Micky (left) and
Blaise are now joyfully preaching side by side!
This time was also a great opportunity from God to help Micky and Lola forge a complete unity. We discussed the idea of breaking the church into five regions for more amazing growth! We talked about imitating the heart and attitude of Jesus in Philippians 2:3-11, crushing the walls of suspicion, by getting the disciples' eyes focus on Jesus not on men! (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:3-8) These two brothers are "heroes in the faith" as their walk with God and their humility towards each other has now produced a vibrant church of 260 disciples in Kinshasa!
It was also a time of pruning for the Abidjan Church as we went through the membership list name by name and made sure all disciples were completely sold-out! Bible Talks were restructured with some changes in discipling partners. The church welcomed with great enthusiasm my brother and "Timothy" Stephen Fraser from the London Church East Region who was eager to travel to Abidjan with me to be inspired by the zeal of his African brothers and sisters! Not only did he preached the Word with great power, Stephen was "adopted" by the entire village of Korezouzoua through its chief who after a ceremonial speech clothed Stephen with a Royal garment and sandals during a packed Sunday Service as a "true" son of their community. Stephen was given the new name of BROMA GUIGUI ELEBEY – "The warrior and founder of the village!"
the entire village of Korezouzoua!
In our one week, seven people were baptized: two in Abidjan and five in Korezouzoua!
Micky and Blaise with the five that were
baptized in Korezouzoua!
Another unforgettable highlight was three weddings that were celebrated!
married at the same time!
Sunday, we had 224 in attendance in Korezouzoua – a region started in February this year with only one disciple but today now numbers 70 disciples!
NEWS FLASH – Kyle Bartholomew: "Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.'" (Nehemiah 1:8-9) Joan & I were overjoyed at the good news coming back with Kip & Elena from Manila, Philippines! Amazingly, in just three days, the McKeans were able to strengthen the hearts of many disciples and totally reorganize the church into functioning Bible Talks that will be even more effective at winning souls!
Also, upon their return to LA, we collectively reached the decision to send four strong couples to strengthen the Manila Church within the next six months! Arnold & Masah Amelicor, who are disciples that currently live in Bulacan a province that is eight hours outside of Manila, will be moving into Manila and joining the church on April 1st. Lord willing, at this same time, Nimrod & Vis Malnegro, an incredible couple who currently lead the Davao Remnant Group on the Island of Mindanao, will also be moving to Manila!
to Manila in April!
Nimrod & Vis (left) will also be moving to Manila to
strengthen this vibrant Remnant Group!
Then, two couples from Los Angeles that are currently serving in the Central Region will be moving to Manila as well! Jake & Dada Tuason, who were both born in Metro Manila but have been in America for almost 30 years, will be giving up the "Filipino dream" (which is living in American while pursuing the American dream!) so they can fulfill the dream of Jesus and evangelize their home nation! They will move March 1st!
With the dream of Jesus on their hearts, Jake &
Dada Tuason answer the call to return to their
homeland of the Philippines!
Then, Rich & Angie Tabizon, who are both American citizens that have a heart for Asia and currently fulfill a Shepherding Couple role in the Central Region, will be moving to the Manila Church at the end of May! Please keep the Manila Church in your prayers as God is moving powerfully once again as He has begun to gather together a movement of sold-out disciples that will be able to evangelize the Philippines in our generation!
NEWS FLASH – Raul Moreno: "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Luke 11:9) Warm greetings from São Paulo my dear brothers and sisters! The past two weeks, the Lord has blessed the church with five baptisms! First, Vitor was baptized! He is a 16 year old teen and the brother of Joao (20) and Pedro (17) who are also disciples! Now, all three brothers are in the Kingdom ready to win souls for Jesus!
Joao and Pedro in picking up his cross
and following Jesus!
Then we had Vinicius and Beatriz baptized! They are both Engineering students at our prestigious USP University! They have soft hearts and are ready to serve the Lord in any capacity.
disciples of the USP Campus Minisitry!
Last but not least, Jose & Rosa were baptized! They are a mature couple in their 60's who have been coming to church for months. Their daughter Edileine is in the church and invited them. After much studying of the Bible, they decided to turn themselves in to Jesus! Now they are our brother and sister! This comes to show that we should never give up on sharing with our parents as they can make it one day! The Lord is good! (Psalm 106:1)
The Sao Paulo Disciples warmly welcome Jose &
Rosa to God's Family – "Brazilian style!"
NEWS FLASH – George Grima of London: "So the Word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith." (Acts 6:7) There was great rejoicing on November 30th at the service of London ICC as Anup Shakya – a Buddhist priest from Kathmandu, Nepal – was baptized into Christ! Anup originally contacted the church through the internet where he found my phone number. He then proceeded to faithfully attend the Abbey Road Bible Talk in St. John's Wood at Angelica's & my flat. Through four months of intense studying, Anup is now our brother in Christ!
Anup's background is quite a story! At age eight, his parents in Nepal sent him to a Buddhist temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka where he studied and trained for 10 years in order to become a Buddhist priest! Anup rarely saw his parents during this period. After receiving his BS Degree in Anthropology in a Buddhist University in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Anup went on to give many lectures on Buddhism in several Sri Lankan Colleges until 2004. During this period, he also gave many lectures on local and national radio throughout Sri Lanka! Anup's numerous articles on Buddhism have been published throughout Nepal and Sri Lanka!
As Director, Anup was heading up the Singapore Head Office for SE Asia Buddhist Education and Foundation. Having gained a strong conviction that the Word of God should become the sole authority for his life, Anup quickly resigned from his Buddhists duties in order to become a disciple of Jesus Christ! The most staggering part of Anup's ancestry is that he is a direct descendent from the tribe of Buddha! His decision of becoming a disciple of Christ has sent shock waves across Nepal and Sri Lanka! Anup has withstood great persecution – men traveling from these countries to London "to win" Anup back to Buddhism!
son in the faith – Anup!
Also, today in London, we had another new brother baptized into Christ – Appiah from Ghana! Appiah was originally met by Jurij Zykof. Appiah has also attended the Abbey Road Bible Talk for the last two months! He is a single father with two children Lucy and Tony.
waters of salvation!
We're trying to "KEEP OUR FOOT ON THE GAS" in London as well as sending five radical interns to Oxford University (about an hour and a half away) to begin initiating a Campus Bible Talk! We met several open individuals studying at Oxford!
Christ Church. John Wesley studied here,
alongside it being a location for the
filming of Harry Potter!
Pray for our 4X Christmas Contribution as well as our first open Bible discussion right outside of Oxford next week!
Anita Vermaat-Lucardie of Amsterdam: "Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit." (Proverbs 25:13) It was an awesome service today as God was glorified and His Word was preached powerfully by our dear brother Michael Hart visiting from London! He preached in Dutch and everyone was so inspired! We had 29 in attendance with only six disciples!
the Word in Dutch!
One visitor Susan, who came today for the first time, was met during our Evangelism Campaign for our first service on September 1st! She was invited by Deirdre Morgan visiting from London and was followed up by Yuklin. She is studying at the University of Amsterdam and we have a study set up with her for this Wednesday. Please pray for all the people that will study the Bible! We can't wait to see them get baptized and saved!
Carlos Mejia: "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine!" (Ephesians 3:20) Greetings from Santiago! In the past nine days, God has done more than "we could ask or imagine" by giving us eight additions! A couple of months ago, Jared McGee and I reached out a young man named Harim at a restaurant and invited him to church. Harim began to attend our English services, and brought his younger brother Yamin. Yamin was quickly baptized, as Harim, his other brother Matt, and their mother Eugenia continued to study the Bible.
by his brother and his mother Eugenia – who
was baptized on Sunday!
Today, we witnessed the mother, Eugenia, be baptized into Christ, and what an amazing testimony she had! She shared that for decades, she had been praying to the Lord to find the truth, and that finally, after studying the Scriptures, she'd be able to rise from the waters a new person and go on teaching others!
Eugenia, who returned to Chile with her three sons two years ago after living in the States for 15 years, is an incredible mother and wife! But it has not been easy being apart from her husband for quite some time, as Jaime (Eugenia's husband), stayed back in the United States to continue to work and support his family. But God moves in mysterious ways. With the motivation of his family studying the Bible and making radical decisions for God, Jaime was prompted to go down to Portland from Seattle and study the Bible, and today, along with his wife, thousands of miles away, was baptized and is now your brother in Christ! What an amazing God we serve!
I could never imagine this happening as our dear friends and Shepherding Couple in the movement of God, Jack & Jeanne McGee, arrived here in Chile with all they own to move here! God has already blessed them with an apartment within two days of arrival! The church is ecstatic to have Jack & Jeanne here to serve and help us grow in our shepherding!
on the mission field! They join the Mejias
and their son Jared and his family
in evangelizing Santiago!
Our final good news is our upcoming Central & South America Missions Conference on February 14-16, 2014! Please register at our website www.icisantiago.cl.
Anthony Olmos of Paris: "Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Return to me,' declares the Lord Almighty, 'and I will return to you,' says the Lord Almighty." (Zechariah 1:3) Greetings from the "City of Light!" The last couple of weeks have been an incredible time of refinement and encouragement as we have been called back to God in so many ways by our "torn away" leaders Tim & Lianne Kernan! As a result, we have truly seen God’s hand working! In the last couple of weeks, we have averaged "one for one visitors" on Sundays; five disciples had 15 guests out at Campus Bible Talk; and we rolled out two new Bibles Talks! One guest of special note was Junior's wresting coach who is one of the top coaches in Europe! Also, we are very excited to follow the example of the LA Church and select our first unpaid intern – Sandra!
The major catalyst to our revitalization undoubtedly was our "Day of Atonement!" The Kernans prepared the church for a week through one on one meetings, to be able to share our hearts vulnerably with each other at this extraordinary occasion. Then on Sunday, instead of a Leaders Meeting, we came together as a church and confessed our sins to one another. The level of vulnerability by everyone was something that could only happen in God's Kingdom! I was especially moved by the openness of the Kernans, Scheideckers, and all the interns! Everyone had tears!
have been inspired by Tim & Lianne's return!
Please continue to pray for the Paris Church as we "press towards what's ahead" and fight to get the many who are studying the Bible into the waters of salvation! We love you with the love of the Lord!
Vic Gonzalez Jr.: Greetings from the plentiful harvest field of Mexico City! A few months ago, frustrated by his lack of fruit and effectiveness, Josue (one of our interns) asked me what he should do. I simply told him, "Bro, you need to make friends and then win those friends to Christ." He soon began to make some Honduran friends (he's from Honduras) and he has been reaching out to several from his home country. So, it's so awesome to see how God has blessed Josue's heart! Jenny from Tegucigalpa, Honduras was baptized last week and after her counting the cost is ready to go back home to preach the gospel! Her sister and sister's fiancé are also studying the Bible!
Jenny's heart is to someday return to her beloved
Honduras on the Tegucigalpa Mission Team!
Last but not least, we were able to see our brother Rafael Duke place membership! Rafael lives in Puebla, Mexico and after visiting us for almost a year, he has firmly decided to move here and be part of God's new movement. He simply puts it, "Things are just not the same in the ICOC; a lot has been lost."
NEWS FLASH – Debs Rajan of Chennai: The World Is Changing – By What And Who? Madras Christian College (MCC) was hit by this powerful message delivered by my awesome husband, Raja! MCC ranks in the top 10 colleges in India and is one of the biggest in Chennai!
Dr. Suresh David, the Head of the Department of Commerce, invited Raja to deliver the Christmas Message to the entire Commerce Department! The theme for Raja's lesson creatively woven from the Scriptures centered around "Hope." Raja preached to about 350 students that unless you change from within you cannot bring "hope" to others! There was "pin drop silence" in the audience when Raja shared his life openly and shocked the students about his conversion from Hinduism and the heavy persecutions he endured on his way to baptism! The Head of the Department was so impressed that he wanted Raja to be part of the College Retreat for the coming year and later we had lunch with him!
350 MCC Students of the Commerce Department
gather to hear Raja preach the
when he shares his conversion it produced
a "pin drop silence!"
This past week we also had Sylvester a professional and Philomena a campus student of Jain College get baptized!
Pradeep and Christopher embrace their
new brother Sylvester!
wearing the t-shirt that identifies her as a
SoldOut Movement disciple and
Raja & I are looking forward to seeing many of you at the LA Winter Workshop!
Dearest Brothers and Sisters: Lord willing, this coming Sunday is the Sydney Mission Team Send-off in Los Angeles at our Christmas Service! As well this Sunday, the City of Angels Church will be participating in the Global MERCYworldwide Toy Drive! Not only is the Sydney Mission Team being sent-off, but in Orlando the Spirit is sending off the Gainesville Mission Team! So be praying for the Gainesville ICC Inaugural Service on January 19, 2014 and the Sydney ICC Inaugural Service on February 2, 2014!
In addition for your prayer list, in January the Santa Barbara Mission Team will be sent out from LA at the 2014 Winter Workshop! Then in February, the Toronto Mission Team – led by Tim & Lianne Kernan – will head out to this amazing capital of Canada! At the 2014 Global Leadership Conference in August, the Dallas-Ft. Worth Mission Team – led by Tyler & Shay Sears – will be launched, and then just one year from now in December 2014, plans are being made for the Moscow Mission Team – led by Oleg & Aliona Sirotkin – to be sent out!
anticipation and even greater expectations
of the return of the Sirotkins in
Truly, we are witnessing the evangelization of the nations in this generation! And to God be all the glory!