Happy New Year from the Sydney
International Christian Church!
Then on the first weekend of 2014, the City of Angels Church hosted all of our SoldOut Movement Church Leaders from around the world at our Annual Winter Workshop entitled, A House Of Prayer For All Nations. From this Scripture comes our congregational theme for 2014: The Year of Prayer! At the workshop in answer to many prayers, the 10th Mainline Church of Christ preacher – Jean-Bonard Colin – from Haiti was baptized as he saw from his visit that he was not originally baptized as a disciple! (John 4:1-2)
Alexis – the first of the 10 preachers baptized – gives
a thumbs up to Jean-Bonard’s decision to
come out of the blindness of the
Nick Bordieri – one of our Movement Shepherds –
prays for boldness for the Santa
Barbara Mission Team!
As I reflect back on 2013, the hand of God is so evident! Beginning 2013 with 602 disciples in the City of Angels Church, God added 459 precious souls to our number – 346 baptisms, 62 restorations and 51 place memberships – many of whom came to us directly from our former fellowship seeking revival! For Elena & me, unquestionably the highlight of the year was the First Commencement Ceremony of the International College of Christian Ministry!
Elena is awarded a Master’s Degree at the
First Commencement of the ICCM!
As we begin our Year of Prayer in 2014, be ever mindful that next week is the Inaugural Service of the Gainesville International Christian Church; the following week on January 26th is the Inaugural Service of our sister church in Santa Barbara; and then on February 2nd, the Sydney Church will celebrate their Inaugural Service!
Since the Sunday Service of the Winter Workshop
more than packed out the Sheraton Hotel,
the City of Angels Congregation is now
searching for a new “church home!”
Amazingly, in the first 12 days of 2014, we have witnessed the Lord add 16 to our number: 10 baptisms and six place memberships – Krista Cameron and Tim & Lianne Kernan from Paris, Richard Noches and Joy Axelson from Mexico City, and coming to train on the Moscow Mission Team, Dmitry Serafonov! And to God be the glory!
Dmitry (Dema) – who traveled all the way from
Moscow – is welcomed by the Sisters of
Encouragement into the City of
Angels Church Family!
And now more detailed reports from around Los Angeles…
Jake Ramsier of the new AV Region: Today we celebrated as God added an incredible brother to the family by baptism! Arnett and his wife Catherine were originally met and befriended by Pete & Helena Nichols. Then Arnett started attending our Palmdale Bible Talk and studying weekly about a month ago, but then he became truly urgent! Over the last two days, the brothers and Arnett did two marathon studies, one of which was over six hours! Arnett has a big heart and big plans for his friends and family to join him in the Kingdom! His wife Catherine has already set up to study after witnessing the love of the disciples!
Arnett enthusiastically rejoices in his salvation!
Garrett Bradley of the Inland Empire: “When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the Word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. The Word of the Lord spread through the whole region.” (Acts 13:48-49) God has been spreading the gospel “through the whole region” in the Inland Empire! At the Winter Workshop Sunday Service last week, we had the ultimate privilege of sending off the Palm Springs Sector Mission Team, led by our own Cesar Limon and Debbie Bosch, along with seven other heroic disciples!
Operation Desert Storm – the Palm
Springs Sector Planting!
the IE Sisters in issuing the challenge,
“You will be next!”
Last but certainly not least, today we were able to witness the baptism of Terrance, a campus student at San Francisco State University who is home on break! It is amazing to see how God is moving in the IE, and the doors He is opening to help “the Word of the Lord spread through the whole region!” And to God be all the glory!
Kyle Bartholomew: Greetings from the Central Region! This past Monday evening was a night of inspiration as all of our Bible Talk Leaders and Shepherding Couples in the Central Region got together and vowed to make 2014, “a year to remember!” After we each shared our faith goals for each of our Bible Talks, we set our hearts on seeing at least 60 souls added through baptism to our region this coming year! However, after considering this daunting task for a region of only 60 disciples, we determined that this would only be possible with the power of God! Therefore, in keeping with this year’s theme of “prayer,” we all vowed to pray daily that God would not only bless us with “fruit” but with “fruit that would last!” (John 15:16)
God has begun to answer our prayers as this Sunday night at 11:45 pm, Shantia – a campus student from CSULA – was baptized into Christ! She not only is our first baptism of the year, but also our first baptism from our newly started All Women’s Bible Talk at CSULA! In this coming year, please join us in praying for our region!!!
Shantia is the “first fruit” of the All Women’s
Bible Talk at CSULA!
Cory Blackwell of the Southland Region: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19) On behalf of my outstanding co-leader Megan Matthew and myself we want to thank our Father in Heaven for the amazing year of 2013! God added 39 disciples – 27 baptisms, 8 restorations and 4 place memberships. Because of the growth, we have now added four new Bible Talks for a total of 11 Bible Talks! (All of our new Bible Talk Leaders are additions from 2013!) So from a group of just nine disciple three years ago, we now have nearly 150 on Sunday mornings! On a personal note, God did a miraculous “new thing” – He showed mercy on me by opening the heart of a beautiful Christian woman, Jerladine Luque to become my wife, truly more than I could ask or imagine!
Cory & Jee Blackwell!
Keywanta is congratulated by Brian and Manny!
Brandyn Speckman: Greetings from Ventura! As we begin 2014, it is only natural to reflect upon 2013 and be amazed with all that God has done in this beautiful city by the beach! In 2013, we have doubled from 31 to 62 disciples; sent out Eileen and Scot to Dallas; David to Central (to get ready for Guam); Marcel and Bobby to Gainesville; and of course our Santa Barbara Sector is now the Santa Barbara ICC!! God has done “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine!” (Ephesians 3:20)
The CAICC Winter Workshop was absolutely blow away! A House Of Prayer For All Nations couldn’t have been a more perfect theme to carry us through the entire year! The lessons were incredibly convicting. Thank you Kip & Elena for leading the way and providing focus and vision for the new year. Aside from all the awesome lessons, we were absolutely thrilled to host the Rajans for a week during the workshop; watching the Santa Barbara Mission Team be sent out; appointing Evan & Kelly as Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader; and baptizing Keion!!!
Luke appoints the dynamic church builder of San
Diego – Evan Bartholomew – an Evangelist
in the Kingdom of God!
Happy New Year to all! We love you! Please continue to pray for Ventura as we will be praying for you!
Capil Marhatta: Greetings from the Sensational South! The Lord added to our number during the holidays by giving us a baptism – Carolina Riggs who was met by Jen Garcia a childhood friend from the 6th grade!
childhood friend – Carolina!
future Mr. & Mrs. Morici!
Fred & Alya Muratov – the Moscow Remnant
Group Leaders – join the Sirotkin and
Wademan Families of the South
Region for Christmas Eve!
Then it was back to LA for our 2014 Winter Workshop! I was overwhelmed at the spirit of unity and vision that we shared with the leaders that came in from all over the world! I was swept with emotions when arm-in-arm we closed the Sunday Service as Lou Jack Martinez led us in the “International Version” of The Glory Song!
This past Thursday, Theresa & I traveled to San Francisco to be a part of their Winter Workshop, For God’s Honor. At the same time, Sal & Patricia Velasco went to Portland to preach and teach at their Winter Workshop, and Sal met a man on the plane that went to church in Portland today! We are so proud to be “partners in the gospel” with incredible young couples like the Underhills (San Francisco) and the Challinors (Portland)!
Then we flew back late Saturday so we could worship with Orange County today! Again, the spirit of the church was powerful and the crowd erupted in joy when we announced that Luke & Brandyn Speckman would be coming to lead Orange County when the spirit takes Theresa & me to New York City this summer! They were equally excited for Chris & Kerri-Sue Adams when we announced that they would be going to lead the Ventura Region!
We have many goals for 2014 beginning with a record attendance for our Bring Your Neighbor Day on January 26th! Another one of our goals is to continue to build our dynamic Teen Ministry. With a growing ministry comes growing challenges, so God willing, at our Bring Your Neighbor Day, we will appoint Russ & Lana Preston as an OC Regional Shepherding Couple with a specific focus on the Teens and their parents. But that’s not all… there’s more besides! We have also made a decision to invest by hiring our first interns specifically for the Teen Ministry: Kirk Hamula & Margie Flores! Please continue to pray for us in Orange County!
Kirk, Margie and the Prestons – the leaders of
the rapidly growing OC Teen Ministry!
Victor Gonzalez Sr. of the East Region: Greetings! 2014 has already started off amazingly! Today was our first Sunday meeting in our new location at Cal Poly Pomona! Last semester, we officially became a club on campus, which allows us to meet on campus for FREE!! I can tell all the disciples were incredibly inspired by the Winter Workshop as today we had our largest service ever with 72 people in attendance! Today, we also started a Spanish Ministry here in the East Region!
Our service concluded with the amazing baptism of our new brother Kevin! Kevin first came to our New Year’s Eve celebration looking for a new church. He came with many questions that night, so the brothers literally started 2014 preaching the Word!!
God has given the East Region a tremendous start
to the new year with a record attendance
and the baptism of Kevin!
NEWS FLASH – Mike Patterson: Greetings from Gainesville – home of the University of Florida Gators! God blessed us with 32 in attendance with 16 disciples! Today, Rob & Jenny Bolton from Phoenix, Summer White and Kerryann Kanch from Chicago, and Daniel Morales from Portland placed membership as all but one of our mission team has arrived! So encouraging were the visiting remnant disciples who loved church and gave a generous donation as well! Currently, 21 people are studying the Bible and a couple are very close to baptism! Please be praying as our Inaugural Service will take place this Sunday January 19th at 10AM at the Holiday Inn 1250 W. University Avenue, Gainesville, Florida. Please join us for this historic event!
Pray for the Inaugural Service of the
Gainesville ICC next Sunday!
NEWS FLASH – Tim Kernan: Greetings from the Toronto Mission Team Headquarters in sunny Los Angeles! First of all, Lianne & I are so very grateful for everyone’s prayers and financial sacrifices that made our time in Chennai, Paris and now LA possible! Also, we are incredibly appreciative to God to be used to plant the Toronto International Christian Church this Spring alongside Jake & Megan Studer of NYC, Craig & Elizabeth Wademan of LA, Eric Boomer of Hawaii, and our dear Steve Fraser from London, England! Please continue praying as two courageous remnant disciples – Harvey & Nanette Weber whose email address still holds onto the vision of evangelizing the world: firstname.lastname@example.org – are waiting to join us day one!
Tim & Lianne in their beloved city of Paris!
America’s famous Liberty Bell!
To commemorate the historic Northeastern Winter
Workshop, Coltin (Boston), Andrew (NYC),
Ron (DC) and Joel (Syracuse) are each
presented with a miniature
We were also joined by Chip & Ashley Moody from Los Angeles, who are eager to move to Philadelphia to help build our remnant group there, as Chip’s mom is the CEO for the Girl Scouts of America in Philadelphia! It is remarkable to note that during the American Revolution, Philadelphia played an instrumental role as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776! 238 years later, our Northeast Churches met in the town of Plymouth Meeting to celebrate our unity and dream to bring God’s Declaration of Independence from the slavery of sin and death to this great city and the entire world!
Andrew Smellie preaches about
The Hope Of All Nations!
Danielle’s baptism brings smiles to
the NYC Campus Sisters!
Albert turns his back on the world to follow Jesus!
As we begin 2014, I am encouraged to pray daily through our movement’s prayer goals, so please also pray for God to send the resources and leadership to plant a mighty church in Philadelphia that will be a “ringing bell” of hope to the world! And to Him be all the glory!
Ron Harding of Washington DC: “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:9-10) Greetings from the Capital of the United States! Certainly in 2013 the DC Church has labored in the pains of childbirth adding 69 precious souls to the DC family (45 baptisms, 9 restorations, 15 place memberships); giving $221,418 – 48% of all our church’s income to world missions; and sending out 29 disciples to four cities which helped to birth the Mighty Denver Church!
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward” 2014, we have just returned from the life-changing 2014 LA Winter Workshop and the equally powerful Northeastern United States Winter Workshop! What struck me most was the fact all of our disciples are “one in heart and mind” (Acts 2:42) and that the love, spirit, power and purpose of our workshops have brought all of us to “complete unity [letting] the world know” (John 17:23) that God has sent us to be The Hope Of All Nations! (Matthew 12:21) All of the preaching was powerful… but, I have to lift up my wife Tracy who preached the sermon of her life, entitled A Hope That Purifies. In my 21 years as a disciple, I have rarely seen a room full of women moved not only to tears, but to brokenness and repentance the way I witnessed –Watch Here!
Tracy delivers an unforgettable message –
A Hope That Purifies!
All four churches were so encouraged to see our first addition of the year as our dear brother Michael Wise was restored to the fellowship in tears! We are looking forward to this next week when God-willing his wife Regi, who was baptized in Boston in 1984, will officially join as well! To God be all the glory!
Ron tenderly restores our dear brother Michael!
Jeremiah Clark: “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19) Greetings from the Mighty Denver Church! What a truly powerful weekend it was as we had our First Annual Winter Workshop entitled Empowered. We ended the workshop weekend with a powerful service from start to finish! It was an honor to have Kip & Elena McKean in town for the weekend strengthening and encouraging the church and to watch Kip masterfully teach the church from Ezekiel 47 as he spoke on The River of Life this morning! Nothing can even come close to the power that God has given each and every disciple through the gift of Holy Spirit!
God has “empowered” the Denver Church for
2014 at this weekend’s Winter Workshop!
God has continued to remind us of this power over and over again as we have seen so many miracles since the planting of the Denver Church just over six months ago! Since July when the mission team landed, we have watched God add 24 to our number, over doubling the size of the congregation! Amazingly, God has also brought to us nine powerful remnant disciples from as far away as Alaska and Kansas to build a SoldOut Church in the Rocky Mountains! Going forward in the new year, we are praying to become self-supporting, to establish a CR Ministry, to train and raise up 12 new Bible Talk Leaders, and for every disciple in the Denver Church to meet and baptize at least one person – “each one reach one!” We here in Denver cannot wait to see what God is going to do through the “empowered” disciples in 2014! And to God be the glory!
Clarks have inspired the Denver Church to be
one of the fastest growing churches
in the Movement!
Javier & Danielle will lead the new Spanish-speaking
Bible Talk in Phoenix!
We are also very excited to announce the engagement of John Smoot & Brittany Miller! Both of these dear disciples were a gift from our sister church in Orlando, sent by the Holy Spirit to Phoenix! “Smoot” & Brittany (aka “BAM”) have been instrumental in coordinating our Music Ministry and taking it much, much higher with their musical gifts!
“Smoot” & “BAM” have brought a godly “harmony”
into the Phoenix Church and their relationship!
We had an amazing workshop with Argo & Anu Arneson as our special guest speakers! They were powerful in inspiring the disciples here in their amazing example in the Inland Empire of LA, as well as in their rich experience and Bible knowledge! Of note, Argo shared a profound understanding of Heaven during his sermon on Sunday, My Answered Prayers. Argo preached about how he looks so forward to the day that he can speak to his son as Aron is in a “body that is broken” with severe autism, but Aron has a “spirit that is whole” which is eternal. Many of us were touched powerfully by Argo’s honest life-sharing and preaching!
Argo & Anu so inspired Jeremy and
the Awesome Phoenix Church!
Maria Franklin: Greetings from Chicago! Although our city was literally frozen with the polar vortex that hit us last week with record breaking temperatures, our hearts still burn with fire for the Lord as He continues to work miracles on our behalf as over the holidays we had two baptisms!
Jorge (center) celebrates the Christmas
holidays by being baptized!
The “Dynamic Duo” of Summer (left),
her son Jeremy and Kerryann
are sent off to Gainesville!
Lou Jack Martinez: What an amazing time we had in the Honolulu ICC in 2013!!! The Spirit sent Cathi & me to this paradise on July 3, 2013, and we haven’t stopped running since!!!
Even over the last few weeks, the LORD has given us THREE (3) baptisms!!! Shawn Bacio, Kyra Kurita and Daylyn Peralta!!! Shawn is an awesome single adult/campus student with a true heart for and fear of the LORD.
Shawn is welcomed into the light during
his night time baptism!
Kyra is an amazing 16-year-old campus student with a wonderful family, tremendous God-given talents, a grateful heart for God, and a confidence that assures us all that she will be a “force to be reckoned with” at KCC!!!
the beautiful Hawaiian waters!
As for our time in L.A., IT WAS THE BEST WINTER WORKSHOP WE HAVE EVER BEEN TO, thanks to the heart-changing preaching of Blaise Feumba, Kip McKean, et al!!! Thank you McKeans, Chris Broom and City of Angels Staff for hosting such a phenomenal year-starting event!!! We can’t wait for the GLC in Palm Springs this year! It will indeed be a BAD YEAR FOR THE DEVIL!!!
Please take a look at our YouTube Video here to see a little glimpse of what God did all year in Honolulu in 2013!!!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m9Sfot5CX8
Matt Sullivan of Orlando: “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.'” (Isaiah 2:2-3) Our theme for 2014 and the title of our New Year’s Workshop is, The Mountain Of The Lord. The church is intended by God to be the head of the nations and His desire is to raise it “above the hills” so that the whole world will know that the greatest nation on earth is His Kingdom!
A special thanks to all the awesome brothers and sisters in LA who hosted us for their Winter Workshop. It was quite possibly the best conference I’ve been to since I began going to conferences in 1985! In conclusion, on Sunday, the Lord blessed us with a full house! There were so many visitors that some of the brothers got stressed and asked me, “Bro, how are we going to study with all of them?” I redirected a few guys quickly and said, “This is a great PROBLEM!” The Lord is moving as many are studying the Bible and our contribution was higher than BEFORE we sent out the “Gainesville 11!”
Excitingly, an amazing sister Janice Bocage, from the awesome New York City Church, placed membership today! We brought Janice and her two boys, Timothy (16) and David (13), forward to honor them, give them our “traditional” Starbucks cards and then we closed out singing, We Love You With The Love Of The Lord! What an incredible Lord’s Day! “He stoops down to make us great!” (Psalm 18:35)
The Sullivans make Janice, Timothy and David
feel “totally at home” at their first
service in Orlando!
Jason Dimitry of Las Vegas: I bring you greetings from the Portland/Eugene 2014 Winter Workshop! Sarah & I were absolutely honored to have the opportunity to speak and oversee this incredible event with some of our greatest friends and partners in the gospel, Ricky & Coleen Challinor!
The Challinors and the Dimitrys are dear friends
and close partners in the gospel!
I will forever cherish the memories of 2013! On April 15, 2013, fifteen disciples were sent out from LA to start the Las Vegas International Christian Church! In nine months, God has blessed us with 28 baptisms and 3 restorations! But disciples are not the only ones that are multiplying in “Saint City!” We have also increased from two interns to six interns, who are now all ICCM students! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in 2014!
Coltin Rohn: Good news from Boston – the city of many “Hahvast” Fields! At midweek, God allowed us to witness an answered prayer – the baptism of Jessica! Thanks to Jen DiFusco, Mercedes Bonilla and Jenelle Piche, Jessica is now the second woman to be a part of the Mass Maritime Bible Talk! Jenelle, our faithful sister who along with four brothers have been preaching the Word at the Mass Maritime Campus, had prayed long and hard to God to “give” her a sister with whom she could preach the Word side by side on campus! God is so good!
Mike Underhill: The church in San Francisco has been rejoicing as God has allowed us to witness miracles within our “family of churches!” On Christmas, our beloved intern, Aaron Viscichini, returned home to see his family and greeted his mom, Nancy, who is now a baptized disciple in the Phoenix Church! She originally visited San Francisco to hear Aaron preach and witnessed the sunrise baptism of Christina Haynes, the mother of James Haynes in our DC Church! Nancy was so inspired that she exchanged numbers with SF’s own Cyndee Ochs and committed to studying in SF and then in Phoenix! God worked out the rest! Now Aaron can relate to James in the joy of seeing his mother also added to God’s Kingdom!
Nancy thanks her dear son Aaron for
sharing the gospel with her!
HEADLINE NEWS – INTERNATIONAL
NEWS FLASH – Fred Muratov: Greetings from Moscow! This week one amazing former full-time couple – Oleg & Elena Zezulin – were restored to their “first love!” Elena, as a Russian campus student, was baptized in 1997 in Long Beach (Los Angeles area) – the same region which Oleg & Aliona Sirotkin, Moscow Mission Team Leaders, are leading right now!!! Oleg Zezulin was baptized in 1999 in Moscow. Last November in Moscow, Kip and Oleg Sirotkin met with him to help the Zezulins make the decision to join the modern movement of God! After considering the Scriptures that were shared by Kip and Oleg, the Zezulins wholeheartedly joined us today!
The Zezulins (fourth and fifth from the left) and
several Moscow Brothers and Sisters imitate
the IE Region in proclaiming,
“You will be next!”
Anthony, Omarr, Jessy and Bernard
will never forget this amazing day!
We then then had our monthly MERCY activity. With the help our dear brother Victor from London, we took to the streets of Paris and gave out food to the poor. These MERCY activities are so important to the Paris Church because they not only move many hearts but MERCY also continues to open up new doors for the gospel!
Lastly, many were moved to tears as we watched the sending out of three dearly loved disciples: Krista Cameron one of our valiant interns and our “tribe” leaders the Kernans! We know that Krista and the Kernans will go on to do amazing things all around the world, but we will selfishly miss them immensely! Please remember us in your prayers as we have many new studies on the go and a few near baptism. We love you all with the love of the Lord!
Amadou Sountoura of Abidjan: Happy New Years to all our brothers and sisters around the world from all of us in Ivory Coast! God so encouraged us with an extraordinary 2013! We started in 2013 with 108 disciples and God blessed us with 90 baptisms! We began this year with a string of 40 days of fasting and God has already begun to answer our prayers as we had our first baptism on the first Sunday of the year – our sister Brigite!
Fasting by the Great Abidjan Church moves
God to bring Brigite into His Kingdom!
Carlos Mejia: Happy New Year from Santiago! 2013 was an awesome year as the Lord blessed the church with 51 baptisms, 6 restorations and 7 place memberships for a total of 64 additions! God also allowed us to appoint two Evangelists and two Women’s Ministry Leaders: Jared & Rachel McGee alongside the first Chilean couple to be appointed – Alfredo & Alejandra Anuch! We also now have a total of four regions throughout Santiago!
Lucy & I also just returned from the most incredible Winter Workshop with the City of Angels ICC! Our hearts were so inspired and moved because of the focus on prayer. We came back to Santiago with renewed spirits to continue to live out the dream to evangelize the whole world in this generation by completely relying on God through our prayers to Him.
Carlos & Lucy at the City of Angels
Church Winter Workshop!
Make your plans now for the 2014
CSA Missions Conference!
Michael Williamson: Greetings from London! What a fantastic year it was! Starting with 60 disciples, this past year God blessed us with 45 additions – 34 baptisms, 6 restorations and 5 place memberships! The incredible additions of mature disciples like George & Angelica Grima, alongside Michael & Maria Hart have totally changed the church! George & Angelica have not only started the West Region, but also inspirationally led our Marrieds Retreat, Open Mic Nights, and directed our best EMC to date! They have also been personally fruitful and doubled their Abbey Road Bible Talk!
Michael & Maria have been key in shepherding the church here in London, organizing our first New Christian Dinner, and printing the First 40 Days as Disciple Handbooks for all our “baby Christians.” They also kick started the Amsterdam Remnant Group, and raised up a new leader for the Curacao Remnant Group, Eldrin Rojas who eventually baptized his wife last summer! God also raised up an amazing single woman to be a part time self-supporting intern – Christine Alamu! She voluntary gave up her well-paid position as head teacher over Physical Education studies in a private London high school to lead our Teen Ministry with our dynamic campus brother Isaac!
leaders of the Amsterdam Remnant Group!
Last year, we also saw our largest attendance ever with 236 at the European Missions Conference! We also were able to appoint four amazing couples: the Harts as our first Shepherding Couple, the Kukoyis as our Deacon of Finance, the Grimas as our Deacon of Special Events, and the Groenewalds as our Deacon of Church Governance! Also, a dear young disciple turned down her inheritance worth £100,000 for the full time ministry! We became a club on our newest campus “Middlesex” while converting a brother there who may very well be accepted to OXFORD UNIVERSITY this year! We financially helped support the efforts in Haiti and took on the challenge to support the Kiev Remnant Group!
Also, we baptized the movement’s first Buddhist Priest who is literally a descendent of Buddha! We shared our faith with musician James McCartney, and British actor Idris Elba (star of the movie MANDELA), and with only 3-4 weeks’ notice, we raised an additional $22,000 US dollars (our Christmas Gift to God) to support the efforts here in Europe!
And finally we ended the year with a Christmas Service and International Potluck where we baptized “Emmanuelle” whose name means GOD IS WITH US! Our confidence is in the promise that we will see “even greater things” in 2014! (John 12:14)
The Incredible London International Christian Church!
Vic Gonzalez Jr.: Greetings from the plentiful harvest field of Mexico City! Aurora & I were very encouraged in Los Angeles at the Winter Workshop by the faith of many of our courageous brothers and sisters from around the world!
Last week we celebrated Fernando Chavez’s restoration to his “first love!” Fernando initially came out to church as a result of our “Metro Ministry!” (There are 12 different metro lines and over 200 stops here in Mexico City!) Weekly, Josue and the guys post eye-catching and soul-stirring signs with tape on the metro trains. Fernando saw such a sign with the word, “Levántate” (Spanish for RISE) and he decided to come and check out the church but did not come back the next week. Little did we know that he was a fallen away disciple from the ICOC!
A few months later, he, along with his now “friend” (or should we say girlfriend, Cynthia) were blown to us by the Spirit! Cynthia and Fernando broke up and she was baptized a month ago! It never fails to amaze me how God works in His mysterious ways! So in the last 23 weeks, God has added to our 15 disciples 19 additions: 15 baptisms, 1 restoration and 3 place memberships! See you next week! Much love and a big hug from Mexico City!
Fernando (right), Josue, Sara and Cynthia have
formed a new Bible Talk at UAM where
Fernando is a student!
The Rajans traveled literally half way around the
world to attend LA’s Winter Workshop!
For the Chennai disciples the theme for 2014 is The Year of Excellence and as a church we want to have a closer walk with our Heavenly Father. While we were away, Johnson & Vandana, one of our new Shepherding Couples, were in charge of the Chennai Church and did a fabulous job of taking care of the disciples. In our absence, Nazira – whom we affectionately call “Silver” – was baptized on New Year’s Day! Silver hails from the state of Assam. For a lot of reasons (like her hostel being torched), she had to escape from her hometown. Her parents decided to send her to Chennai. Upon arriving in Chennai, she was wondering if could somehow start life all over again.
Within two weeks of her arrival, she was met by our student intern Shimrah. Being a Hindu, Silver had no idea about Jesus. The sisters studied the Bible with her and she decided to make Jesus her Lord and Savior! For various security reasons Debs has asked Silver to move into our house. She has now become a member of our family! Silver was crowned Miss Guwahati in 2011! And to God be the glory!
Shefali, Isheeta and Debs welcome “Silver”
into their home and family!
On Christmas Eve, we celebrated each of my
parents’ 85th Birthdays! The cake was a
tribute to my Dad with an Admiral’s cap
and to my Mom – who was an artist –
with a paint pallet!
Our youngest granddaughter Scarlett made
opening all the presents on Christmas
Day a lot of fun!
Keep Elena & me in your prayers as we travel to Gainesville, Florida for their Inaugural Service! In that great college town, Elena & I both became disciples and graduated from the University of Florida! Interestingly, Elena grew up there since arriving as a refugee from Cuba with her family when she was just four years old!
Elena (right) at four years old in Gainesville with
her sister Carmen and brother George!
Let us all draw closer to our Father in Heaven and each other than ever before in this Year of Prayer! “And may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)