What an incredible weekend: the CAICC Basketball Championship Game, the 3 Point Contest, the All-Star Game on Friday; the gorgeous Dylan & Kayla Erickson Wedding on Saturday; and by Sunday, the Lord had blessed the City of Angels Church with nine additions – seven baptisms, one restoration, and one place membership!
The City of Angels Church gathers on Friday evening
for the CAICC Basketball League Championship!
At 7:30PM on Friday evening, the opening ceremonies for the CAICC Basketball Championship Game began! The atmosphere was electric as the famed Inglewood High School Gym was packed with disciples! The young prophet, Princeton George magnificently hosted the evening! The opening prayer was given by the CAICC Basketball Commissioner Tony Untalan. Then Heather Harvin beautifully sang the Star Spangled Banner acapella and it was "game on" as the talented OC Knicks faced the undefeated Southland Bulls!
Heather's phenomenal singing of the National
Anthem made the trip to Inglewood
worthwhile even before the
The Knicks raced out to a six point lead by the end of the first quarter led by the "Brown Mamba" – Amar Panduranga, the league's leading scorer! However, by halftime, the "Silver Fox" – Cory Blackwell – had inspired the Bulls to surge ahead to stay! The final score was Bulls 53 and Knicks 44!
The Southland Bulls overcome the OC Knicks 53 – 44!
Congratulations to each member
of the undefeated Bulls!
The leading scorers for the game were Isaiah Todd (17) for the Bulls and Amar (16) for the Knicks, even though he did not play the entire game as he was severely injured with a little over a minute to play! (Let's keep Amar in our prayers.) Amazingly, Carl Buckner of the Knicks led the rebounding with 14! To be commended are Chris Broom and Pat Boea who were outstanding in coaching the Knicks and Bulls respectively!
Coach Boea savors the moment!
The 3 Point Championship was very exciting as the best eight "3 Point Shooters" from the CAICC League Regular Season went head-to-head! In the final round, Carl Buckner was narrowly defeated by the sharp-shooting Kyle Bartholomew – aka the Bald Eagle – of the Central Region Heat!
Kyle Bartholomew (aka The "Bald" Eagle) wins
this year's "3 Point Championship!"
Then came the All Star Game! What incredible talent was on display!
The entire City of Angels Church was so proud of
each of the brothers that were selected for
the North and South All Star Teams!
The game had several lead changes, but in the end Kyle Bartholomew's play gave the North All Stars a thrilling 51 – 50 victory over the heavily favored South All Stars! Kyle was named MVP for the All Star Game!
Kyle Bartholomew – All Star Game MVP!
The North All Stars were selected from the
Heat, Lakers and Maverick Teams!
For the season, Cory Blackwell received the League MVP Award, Levi Bartholomew of the Heat received the Top Rebounder Award, and Gavin Proctor of the Knicks received the Sportsmanship Award! Only in the Kingdom could everyone have so much fun – win or lose!
The League MVP – Cory Blackwell and the League
Sportsmanship Award Winner –
After the All Star Game, the Silver Fox graciously
congratulates one of his best friends,
the Bald Eagle!
To view the highlights of the Championship Game just go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njn6-11e18M&feature=youtu.be. And to God be all the glory!
And now more detailed reports from around LA…
Jake Ramsier: Greetings from the Antelope Valley Region! This past weekend was so inspiring and encouraging as we all celebrated the wedding of Dylan & Kayla Erickson! Of note, Lou Jack Martinez preached the Word at the wedding, and all were full of praise for God when Lou Jack shared that Dylan & Kayla dated purely according to the Bible's standard!
Congratulations to Dylan & Kayla Erickson!
The celebration brought together a multicultural group of supporters: of course the entire AV Region, many disciples from the ICOC, members of the Mormon Church who are friends of Kayla's family, even some of Dylan's extended family from India, and Lou Jack & Cathi Martinez along with their children Christine and Philip from Hawaii! Truly the Lord's "light was shining before men" as the disciples tirelessly served the families and the guests from early morning to late that night! I might even add that the AV disciples did an especially excellent job of expressing their joy on the dance floor!
As married disciples, Dylan & Kayla will dance
together in life for each other
to get to Heaven!
A special "thank you" from the whole AV Family to Lou Jack & Cathi who also encouraged us again on Sunday! Lou Jack not only preached his heart out but sang as well, and Cathi shared a creative and vulnerable testimony for communion!
Having initiated the AV Planting, Lou Jack &
Cathi are dearly cherished
in the High Desert!
Don't forget to send those prayers up the 14 freeway!
Curtis Valdez: "So Jacob was left alone, and wrestled [with the Angel of God] till daybreak." (Genesis 32:24) Greetings from the Central Region! This week God blessed us by adding another brother to His Kingdom in the East Los Angeles College (ELAC) Ministry! Estaban is a wrestler for the university who quickly began applying the principles in his sport as he "wrestled" with the Scriptures! Estaban's heart was just like that of Jacob, as he was eager to be blessed by God and receive the forgiveness of sins as soon as possible! Estaban received "his blessing" on Wednesday night as he was plunged into the waters of baptism!
Just as Jacob "wrestled" with God's Angel, Estaban
"wrestles" with God's Word to receive the
blessing of salvation!
Two more pieces of not good, not great but "awesome" news: 1) Melissa Sullivan of Orlando has decided to attend USC in the Fall! Everyone in the Campus Ministry is so fired up to have this "awesome" sister join us!
After deciding to attend USC, Melissa is no
longer "up a tree" in selecting a college!
2) Those of us from Hawaii are so proud of our Honolulu Evangelist as he passed both the Old Testament and New Testament Exams to officially enter the ICCM Master's Degree Program! Congratulations to our "awesome" brother Lou Jack Martinez!!!
Capil Marhatta: Greetings from the Sensational South! The South Region seems a bit like Long Beach Airport at times with continuous "arrivals and departures" for mission teams – Paris (2012), Las Vegas (2013), and the Wademans, Daniela Juarez and Michelle Miranda to Toronto! (May 25, 2014) Swirling around as well are disciples returning from the mission field such as Anthony & Cassidy, and Russian-speaking disciples moving from former Soviet Union Nations to train with Oleg & Aliona Sirotkin for the Moscow Mission Team which leaves in December 2014!
The Spirit selects Michelle and Daniela to
be the newest additions to the
Toronto Mission Team!
After the arrivals of five baptisms on Easter Sunday, we had a New Christian Orientation for all those baptized (11), restored (4), and placed membership (6) in the last few months! The room was full of miracles because we believe that every addition is a miracle!
Yesterday, we made over $1,000 in tagging and today Lance challenged everyone in the congregation to sell "something" just like in Acts 4:32-37 where from "time to time" the disciples sold their possessions and laid them at the apostles feet! We are praying for a "Son/Daughter of Encouragement" to step up so we can blow out our 20X Special Missions Goal!
Kierra, Elizabeth and Helena joyfully tag to blow out
the South Region's Missions Contribution Goal!
Finally, be praying for us in the South "to strike while the iron is hot" to capitalize on the "many studies" and see Long Beach – as our brother Stacy Ybarra always says, "The Greatest City in the World" – to be evangelized on every corner and in every neighborhood! To God be the glory!
Sparkle Boea: "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" (Psalm 133:1) Greetings from the Southland Region! This past Friday was victorious as we witnessed how God blessed our Southland Basketball Team – the Bulls – giving them an undefeated season! The great thing about it is that this unity can been seen in our ministry both on and off the court, as God has blessed us with many additions during the CAICC Basketball Season!
Recently, Gabriel Barbosa, who was originally baptized in our former fellowship in 2005, was restored! Despite his family's persecution and disbelief about his repentance after having once fallen away, Gabriel fought hard to not let it hinder him from being right with God. He was restored during this Sunday's service!
Leslie – a single mom of two and a long-time friend of nine years to our sister Charlette Newton, an awesome ICCM student – had studied the Bible about a year ago but wasn't ready to commit to making Jesus Lord of all. She recently called Charlette and wanted to study again! After showing a consistency to God by attending "the meetings of the body" on a regular basis, giving up a 12 year relationship, and her partying ways, Leslie went from being unwilling to even pray to allowing God to soften her heart to become your sister in Christ!
Leslie is warmly welcomed into the
We are convinced that God will continue to do amazing things through our unified commitment to serve Him!
Chris Adams: Good News from the Orange County Singles! "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) God is definitely blessing the OC Singles Ministry with abundant fruit! Two weeks ago, immediately following Ryan & Nikki Williams' Friday Night Bible Talk, Viri was baptized into Christ! Viri fasted and prayed to have a humble, broken heart and even went with the sisters to the beach at 4:30AM to ask God for a spirit of openness!
Viri (third from the left) enjoys the OC Sisterhood!
Today, a young woman named Janet, who was met by Dennis (OC) and Corina (AMS) four months ago, overcame all her fears and "ran" to the light! Ever since seeing 12 people confess, "Jesus is Lord!" at our Congregational Easter Service two weeks ago, Janet was determined and inspired that she too could confess, repent and be baptized! I'm so proud of my wife Kerri-Sue, who loves to baptize and even more… loves to train other women to be fruitful!
Janet's little brother (fourth from the left) tells Chris
Broom after service, "This is the first 'mass'
I've not fallen asleep in!"
God is also blessing us with Missions Miracles! Abby Chien shared today that a couple of years ago, she had asked a man who wasn't open to studying the Bible if he would give to Missions… He gave $20 the first time… then $200 and then $300 as each time she asked for more, God moved his heart to give that amount! Then she changed jobs and lost contact with him; however, HE found HER at her new job and asked her if she needed any help this year for Missions Contribution! She had a quick "Nehemiah prayer" and responded with even more faith and asked him for $500… and he promptly wrote the check out for that very amount!
God grants Abby a missions victory in raising
$500 from someone that sought
her to give to missions!
Our OC Missions' secret weapon is the family team of Lenny and her daughter Lizbeth, who was born with spina bifita. They tagged together for less than two hours and raised almost $100 on the streets of Santa Ana! As well, this past Saturday night into Sunday, Daniel Granger ran a "Ninja Night" at his Martial Arts Dojo for $60 per kid and gave up sleep for 24 hours… He had over 30 kids show up and all profits will be donated to missions!
Daniel teaching at his Dojo!
Lastly, my wife & I are going after pledges for my participation in our upcoming OC Region 50 Mile Bike-a-thon that Wayne Willoughby and John Astwood have masterminded! The first 10 people that I have asked to sponsor me have all said "yes" and pledged between $30 (thanks, Mom!) and $250 (gifted by a generous remnant disciple who I've known for 20 years)! By God's grace, I will not only go over the $1,000 mark this week, but also hit $2,000 by May 17th!
Myrna Lopez: "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." (Acts 3:19) Greetings of love from the Inland Empire! During the last two weeks, the Lord worked incredible miracles as His grace allowed us to see five souls "repent and turn to God" as they were added to our number through the refreshing waters of baptism!
First off was Jesse, a UCR student, who was baptized at our Friday Night Devotional! Jesse's eagerness to study the Bible was inspiring to all of us as she came to believe in Jesus for the very first time!
Jesse alongside her new IE Sisters issues the
IE Challenge, "You will be next!"
Second to be added to God's family was Desmond, who was baptized into our incredible TNT Teen Ministry! Desmond, despite being 15 years old, showed a very mature understanding of the Word of God. Moved and inspired by all the baptisms after our Easter Congregational Service, Desmond came to his Bible study getting open about his sins and expressed his desire to be baptized as soon as possible! Five days later, he became our brother in Christ!
Desmond joins the IE Chorus in proclaiming,
"You will be next!"
Very inspiringly, his older sister Deven was baptized today!! Deven, despite only being 17, showed an urgency to study the Word as she realized that her earthly success of being one of the top students in California and receiving several acceptance letters from prestigious universities, all counts for nothing if she is not walking with God! And so Deven became the second addition to our incredible TNT Teen Ministry this past week!
…and his sister Deven was next!
Sunday service was over but the miracles were certainly not! Chrisna, an RCC student, was feeling so deeply troubled, convicted and challenged by the message preached by Argo Arneson that she decided to keep studying until she was baptized and so Sunday before midnight she became our sister!
"Next" the Spirit drew Chrisna to the Kingdom!
Also we had Sabrina join the family of God in the Palms Springs Sector through baptism! Sabrina's family was persecuting her for her decision to get baptized and so they came to "check it out," but little did they know they were going to be hit with the power of the Kingdom! Her family quickly shared after service that they saw that she was "in good hands" and her uncle was sharing in tears about how impacted he was from the service!
Sabrina makes sure that the Palm Springs Sector
as well issues the IE Challenge,
"You will be next!"
Pray for us as our Lord is not only working miracles in the lives of those around us, but also in our Special Missions as these past two weeks we have raised close to $1,400 through tagging and concession stands at special events such as the basketball games and concerts at the local university! We are praying to blow out our goal with just two Sundays left!
Tyler Sears: Greetings from the West Region! What an incredible few weeks it has been! God has been so gracious and faithful to us and we're so amazed at all He is doing through the disciples! This week, the Lord added two to our number through baptism with Herbert and Soyoloo – a very talented woman from Mongolia!
Herbert's prayers were answered when
he found the Kingdom!
Herbert was converted through our Singles Ministry after studying all week, while Soyoloo took a little more time – beginning back in October of last year! Her friends from Washington DC, Doku & Zula, became disciples and then reached out to make sure that Soyoloo and the father of her child "Bill" connected to Michael & Sharon Kirchner. Michael & Sharon persevered with them… They were married on Saturday, and Sharon "counted the cost" with Soyoloo and baptized her the next day!
Soyoloo (fourth from the right) is overwhelmed with
joy after her long awaited baptism!
I am especially proud of Michael for his serving heart as last week he officiated a wedding and then this week hosted the Mongolian couple from DC who came for the wedding and baptism, coordinated Bill & Soyoloo's wedding, helped his ministry be fruitful, and brought out a friend to church!
We are equally excited about Special Missions and several disciples helped to make an amazing board for us to track our progress! Already we're 75% of the way to 20X our weekly pledge!
Walter and Kristtina inspire the entire West Region
by making a "detailed missions board!"
Lastly, we are honored to be able to send out Miguel Limon to Mexico City to help support the church. He has already become such a dear brother to so many in the West and it is "bittersweet" to see him go. We are faithful that he will do amazing things while there, and Lord willing, Miguel will come back and be part of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Mission Team after our August Global Leadership Conference! Please continue to pray for the West Region!
Victor Gonzalez Sr.: Greetings from the East Region! If you asked me to described the disciples here in the East Region, I would simply tell you that they "GET IT!" They GET that God wants them to bear MUCH fruit! They GET that we must financially support the vision of the evangelization of the nations in this generation! And they GET that God wants them to go to all nations!
Three miracles that attest to the disciples' convictions here: The first miracle is that in the past three weeks we saw God add three to our number through baptism! First was Gilbert who gave up his job at a medical marijuana dispensary to become a disciple! The second baptism was Mauricio. Initially the brothers planned to go support our Celtics Basketball Team in the playoffs, but the game "just happened" to be postponed! So the brothers went and shared their faith instead. They met Mauricio, who came to church the next day, and was baptized a week later!
The third one to be baptized was Jose DeLeon, or JD as we call him! He moved all the way from Boston to play quarterback for the Mt. SAC Football Team! But when he heard about the Kingdom of God, he decided to put his football career on hold so that he could focus on becoming a disciple, and JD was baptized last week as well!
As a college quarterback, leadership is JD's God
given talent! Now he'll use this talent to
"tackle" becoming a leader
in the Kingdom!
The second miracle, is that after much fundraising, including tagging everyday Monday through Saturday for three weeks straight, we were able to blow out our Special Missions Goal one month early!
The third miracle that brings us great joy, as we have the privilege of sending three more disciples down to Mexico City to help with the church there! Sara Oros and Josue Soriano are returning to Mexico City after being a part of the original mission team. And now one of our ICCM students, Dulce Jimenez will join them! We have full confidence in them and know that they will do an excellent job there!
The Spirit is sending Josue, Dulce and Sara to
strengthen the Mexico City Church!
Here in the East, we have no greater joy than contributing in whatever way we can for the salvation of the world in this generation! Much love, mercy and grace to all!
HEADLINE NEWS – USA & CANADA
NEWS FLASH – Richie McDonnell: "Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to His name, for that is pleasant." (Psalm 135:3) Greetings from beautiful Santa Barbara! God has been very good to the Santa Barbara Church just planted with 11 disciples in January and we are especially grateful to Him! In the last five weeks, God has added eight to our number – five through place membership and three through baptism!
Richie & Elizabeth are doing an outstanding job
in leading the Santa Barbara ICC!
Last week was incredible as Gabrielle Murillo and Chris Baty from the great San Diego Church placed membership; Dashawn Kelly – a campus student at SBCC was baptized into Christ; and we successfully collected a 19X Special Missions Contribution, overshooting our 15X Goal by collecting almost $12,000!
Dashawn is an incredible young man that was met in our neighborhood and invited to a Friday Night Devotional. He came and immediately fell in love with the church, and spent a lot of time with the disciples afterwards even joining us for our 10.5 Mile Walk-a-thon for Special Missions! During his very first Bible study, he boldly declared, "I'm all in!" He came to almost every church meeting for the next couple of weeks, continued studying the Bible, and was baptized last Sunday night! Dashawn has been such a great addition to the church, bringing much "refreshment to the hearts of the saints" (Philemon 7) in Santa Barbara because of his pure, humble heart.
Dashawn declared himself "all in"
after his very first study!
Lastly, God has blessed us with an incredible new meeting location for our Sunday services, a huge upgrade from where we were previously meeting, and still within our budget! We now meet at the Fess Parker Double Tree by Hilton Resort (633 E Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 93103) located right on the beach in gorgeous Downtown Santa Barbara! Please be praying for us as many others are close to making Jesus their Lord and Savior!
The Fess Parker Hotel is the new home
for the Santa Barbara Church!
NEWS FLASH – Jason Dimitry of Las Vegas: Greetings from Saint City! Our awesome Father in Heaven has blessed us with two more incredible weeks with the additions of three more souls to the Kingdom of God!
First, Anthony Jacobs, an ex-Minnesota Vikings NFL defensive end who has very deep convictions about the Bible, moved to Vegas a couple weeks ago for a job but Anthony now believes that the real reason God brought him here was to hear the truth and become a sold-out disciple of Christ!
Anthony – a former NFL Vikings Player – joins a
"team" that will never trade him!
Next to be baptized was Vanessa Perez, who truly had the Acts 2 "What shall I do?" attitude, as she gave up whatever she had to give up to enter the body of Christ!
Vanessa's "What shall I do?" attitude
inspires the LV Sisters!
Lastly, Mariah Robinson – our second dorm and sorority student – was baptized on Wednesday during Women's Midweek! This gives us seven baptisms in the last three weeks! God is working powerfully here in "Saint City!"
Ricky Challinor of Portland: Good news from the City of Bridges!!!! Last Sunday was incredible having Seth Roy baptized! This story goes back over one year ago when Seth was first brought out by Jeff Eitelbach, who is now in Las Vegas! Seth reached the Discipleship Study but wasn't ready for the call to GO ANYWHERE, DO ANYTHING and GIVE UP EVERYTHING!
A few months ago, Seth reconnected with Jeff and myself. God "had done work in his life" and Seth came back ready to give his life to God! Though it has been a battle, Seth has overcome SO MUCH to become a sold-out disciple of Jesus Christ!!!
Seth is "beyond words" jubilant about his salvation!
I was personally encouraged as Seth was a state champion wrestler in high school and wrestled in college as well! Seth has been an answered prayer for me personally to baptize a wrestler! Continue to pray that God may bless the church with open hearts toward the Word!
Andrew Smellie: "Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the Lord, and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God." (Zechariah 6:15) Greetings from New York City or "La Ciudad de Nueva York" in Spanish! Today was an inspiring day for both our English and Latin Ministries as our dear friends Joel & Courtney Parlour (Evangelist & WML of the Syracuse Church) preached and shared powerfully for our English Service, and another dear brother and future Latin Minister Saul Saveedra preached for our third Latin Ministry Service only hours later!
Since New York City is privileged to have a large racial diversity – almost 30% of New Yorkers come from a Hispanic background – there is an urgent need to reach these 2.4 million lost souls! As a result, Saul preached a powerful lesson entitled, When God Speaks, You Should Listen, and two dynamic couples from the Chicago Church Latin Ministry – Juan Carlos & Betty Garcia and Josue & Maria Guerrero – shared for Communion and Contribution! Both of these couples were also in town to "scout out the land" as they prepare to move to NYC this summer!
Like his New Testament Bible namesake, Saul
fearlessly preaches the Word!
As Patrique & I get ready to move to LA in July in preparation to lead the Johannesburg Mission Team, the NYC Church will welcome the new leadership of Chris & Theresa Broom and also Mike & Brittany Underhill to continue building a powerful pillar church here for all of the East Coast! In order to financially sustain these two incredible ministry couples, 25 disciples from across the movement have accepted the call to "come and help build the temple of the Lord" here in New York City! It was so encouraging to host seven of these visiting disciples today as they journeyed to NYC to "scout out the land!" Please pray for God to work powerfully for them to find new housing and jobs as they give their hearts to "diligently obey" the call of the Lord! We love you!
Pray for the 25 disciples that will be moving from all
over America to strengthen the NYC Church!
Mike Patterson of Gainesville: "After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. The Twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases… These women were helping to support them out of their own means." (Luke 8:1-3) Today was a celebration as we collected our Special Missions Contribution! Jesus called His Twelve to leave everything and train for the ministry full-time. The people impacted by their ministry gave out of their own means in order to help the Twelve train full-time in the ministry with Jesus!
Through prayer and counsel, we decided to use our first Special Missions of 10X to put on a full-time campus intern at the University of Florida. It is a sacrifice for us personally and the church but we believe as Jesus, the best way to train is full-time! Our goal was $10,000 and our amazing God gave us $13,398 and there is more coming in!
Mike & Chenelle have learned to not only
forcefully advance their church through
proclamation, but also through
We are also very excited to announce that because of this miracle, Marcel Turner will be our "UF Campus Intern!" Marcel was baptized in Portland, Oregon in 2007! Matt Sullivan who was leading the Phoenix ICC at the time took out of his own funds to hire me full-time as their Campus Minister and I asked Marcel to come with me. Building upon the Sullivans' campus work, Marcel and I continued to build the ministry at Arizona State University, where many leaders of God's movement were baptized: Coltin Rohn (Boston), Richie & Elizabeth McDonnell (Santa Barbara), Ashley Godwin (Los Angeles), and my beautiful wife Chenelle Patterson (Gainesville)!
Sadly, Marcel left the Lord three times since those early days. I'm reminded of Peter who disowned Jesus three times and when he was restored Jesus asked him, "Simon son of John do you love me more than these?" (John 21:17) Jesus then commissions him to "Feed [His] sheep." Thanks to the efforts of Luke & Brandyn Speckman of LA and a unified brotherhood around the world, I believe Marcel has radically changed. Since being restored last year, he has been very fruitful but most of all I have seen a broken man who relies on God in his weaknesses. We are very excited to have Marcel on staff! Please pray for this internship as Marcel continues to train, work on his character, and prove himself to God and to men!
Marcel and Mike are best of friends
and partners in the gospel!
Jeremy Ciaramella of Phoenix: Greetings from the "Valley of the Son!" God blessed us at our Men's Night Out with an incredible ASU student, Brice, being baptized! It was very refreshing for all of us to study with someone who had the heart of a Berean! As well, Brice also was somewhat like Apollos – as he was a recognized teacher in his former church! After Brice's baptism into Christ, his former pastor/mentor "shut-down" his church literally this week and Brice promptly invited them all out to our service! We are grateful that our Father has brought us another brother, another soldier, to help us build the ASU Campus Ministry. Pray for us as we pray for you!
Brice is so grateful to God that the ASU Campus
Ministry taught him "the way of God more
accurately!" (Acts 18:26 RSV)
Jay Hernandez of Hilo: Greetings from the "Waterdogs" of the Big Island of Hawaii! God continues to bless us as we raise money for Special Missions, and as we raise up His banner for the lost! Joanne was baptized this evening despite some difficult times in our Campus Ministry. It was a great reminder to me that God makes us grow; He does the work; and He gives us the strength! Joanne first came to the Kingdom with her boyfriend who had studied the Bible a few years ago. Every week she became stronger in her faith as the sisters loved her enough to call her to give up her boyfriend of a couple of years. Despite some very emotional days, Joanna gratefully made Jesus her Lord this beautiful Hawaiian evening!
The "Waterdogs" strike again with the
baptism of Joanna!
Mike Underhill: Greetings from the San Francisco Bay! This year we are excited to be doing three different Women's Days to better evangelize the different geographic regions in the Bay Area. Last Saturday, five San Jose women had an attendance of 31! This week, 12 sisters from San Francisco and San Mateo had an attendance of 38! Everyone was very moved by the inspiring preaching from our very own Cyndee Ochs, as well as the sisters who so vulnerably shared their testimonies!
Additionally, last week, the church was so glad to have James & Becky Mitchell of Las Vegas place membership with us! They are the first of the 13 moving here from Las Vegas this summer! Today, we were honored to have our brother Johnny Rock Page in town from LA, and he shared joyfully for contribution from Malachi 3 about "having fun with God" by testing Him with radical financial giving! Thank you for all your prayers and we are praying for you as well!
Maria Franklin of Chicago: "Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: 'The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!'" (Psalm 118:15) The Lord continues to do mighty deeds for us here in Chicago! Last Sunday, with a challenging goal of $101,000 for our 15X Special Missions Contribution, the generosity of the disciples overflowed as we collected just under $107,000!
Love is in the air as in the last two weeks, four new couples have started dating! Congratulations to Jasmine & Cordero, Wendy & Daanyel, Erica & Umberto, and last but not least, Ashley & Velmont!
An inspiration to singles everywhere – four
dating couples in the last two weeks!
Of great excitement for us ladies, our Annual Women's Day was held yesterday! Our theme was PASSIONATE! It was such a phenomenal and excellent event all around and completed with a chocolate dessert party! We were honored as Helen Sullivan spoke to us about being "passionate" for our relationship with God! In the English Program, 81 sisters had 171 in attendance, and in the Spanish Program, 26 sisters had 81 in attendance for a combined attendance 257! Although the preparation work for Women's Day is over, the real work has just begun for us as we seek to gather an incredible harvest from this event!
Helen Sullivan preaches passionately
at the Chicago Women's Day!
To close out an incredible weekend, at church today, John was baptized into Christ! John had been faithfully attending church and Bible Talk every week for the past two years ever since his awesome daughter Tiffany (a student at UIC) was baptized! Tears were shed as our hearts were stirred to see a father and daughter bonded by the precious blood of Jesus!
John and Tiffany are the fulfillment of Malachi 4:6,
"The Lord will turn the hearts of fathers to
their children and the hearts of
children to their fathers!"
Coltin Rohn of Boston: "Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. 'Follow me,' Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed Him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at His house!" (Luke 5:27-29) What a great time we had this past weekend at our New Christian Orientation! After Jesus called Matthew to "follow him" they celebrated with a feast!
We also had a feast for those who have decided to make Jesus Lord of their lives and follow Him over the past few months! Each new disciple was given a folder with a bunch of "Disciple Needed Goodies!" With five charges from the Scriptures, the disciples were solidified in their recent decision of becoming true Christians! Fellowship was sweet as we ate and truly "feasted" the night away! We are so grateful for the amazing disciples God has blessed us with here in Boston!
Boston's New Christian Orientation!
Ron Harding: Greetings from Washington DC! Jashana, a Howard University student who was a high school valedictorian, hailing from the Virgin Islands, humbled herself like the Eunuch, studied the Scriptures like a Berean, literally memorized the entire First Principles Study Series, confessed "Jesus is Lord," was baptized and entered God's Kingdom! Please pray for her sister Vanessa who is also studying the Bible to be become a true disciple of Jesus!
Jashana memorized the entire First Principle
Studies before she was baptized!
HEADLINE NEWS – INTERNATIONAL
NEWS FLASH – Carlos Mejia of Santiago: I am excited and grateful to announce the birth of the Bogotá ICC Remnant Group! One of the highlights of the 2014 Central and South America Missions Conference was the announcement of the Bogota, Colombia Church Planting scheduled for February, 2015! As God is always at work, a remnant group has come out of this great city of eight million, where there was once a church in our former fellowship of 1,900 disciples! As the church became lukewarm, fractured and splintered from returning to Mainline theology, today there are only 400 "members" left.
Carlos & Lucy after praying over Bogatá – a city
of eight million lost souls!
Lucy & I had the privilege to visit and work with Hector & Adriana Gomez, the former ICOC Lead Evangelist and Women's Ministry Leader, who built this once glorious church from 800 to 1,865! During their years of service, they sent out two other mission teams to key cities in Colombia – Medellin and Cali! These two awesome disciples joined by five other amazing disciples are fired up to join God's new SoldOut Movement and build a base for us as we prepare to send the mission team next year! At the first service of the Bogotá International Christian Church, the Lord blessed us with 45 in attendance!
The Bogatá International Christian Church!
Carlos and Hector bond through the common
vision of the evangelization of Colombia!
This is so exciting for the Santiago Church as we approach our Special Missions Contribution on June 1st! The disciples are beyond motivated and jubilant as we will have the honor and privilege to participate in "Phase Two" of the Crown of Thorns Project by Lord willing, planting Bogatá, Colombia!
Upon our return to Santiago we were blessed to see two baptized into Christ: Belen a teen and sister of our dear sister Claudia, and Edwin, a young single man were added to God's Kingdom!
Claudia and Edwin are spiritual twins!
Finally, we were so sad to say "goodbye" to our beloved Jared & Rachel McGee, who the Spirit is sending to lead the church in Mexico City! The Going Away Party was amazing as usual in the Kingdom, complete with heartfelt sharing, a video to honor the McGees, music and food! The Santiago Church will greatly miss Jared, Rachel and their awesome missionary baby, Priscilla, as they have become amazing leaders for God's Kingdom. It was so heart-moving to see not only the campus and teens, but also marrieds and singles share with tears about how they have been transformed because of the love of Christ shown through Jared & Rachel.
The Santiago Campus Ministry gathers around
the McGee's to say goodbye… for now!
Pray for the evangelization of Central & South America in THIS generation!
Gina Dela Pena: "Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told!" (Habakkuk 1:5) Amazing news from the Metro Manila International Christian Church! Our Women's Day has continued to bear fruit as Analyn Corminal, another woman whose first attendance was during our Women's Day, was baptized after service today!
Analyn gives "two thumbs up" after her baptism!
So from eight remnant disciples in November 2012, the Metro Manila International Christian Church has grown to 40 sold-out disciples… and still counting and growing! We are looking forward to seeing many more baptisms as another 17 people are studying the Bible! Lastly, everyone is looking forward to Kyle Bartholomew's visit at the end of the month, when he will introduce the Tabizon Family – a newly appointed Shepherding Couple in LA – who are moving here permanently to be partners in the gospel and win the Philippines for Christ! To God be the glory!
Blaise Feumba reporting on Haiti: The Lord is continuing to use to the SoldOut Movement disciples in Haiti, as three more souls were baptized in Port-au-prince and in Camp Perrin: Dulva Alva, Gethro and Valmont!
Dulva after being baptized by Daudier Jean, the
Leader of the Camp Perrin ICC!
Gethro being baptized in Camp Perrin!
Anel, one of the first seven preachers baptized
last year, baptizing and making disciples!
Equally moving news was about the "50 street kids" that were invited and gathered for a meal by Jean Bonard, Loverlie his wife, and the Jacmel ICC disciples! For those kids that Saturday looked like a "taste of Heaven" as they barely have a proper meal each day!
Jean Bonard, the leader of the Jacmel ICC, with
the 50 street children the church
hosted for a lunch!
Jean looks like Jesus for these hungry children!
Please be praying for Alexis Turgeau – the first our Haitian Preachers to be baptized – as two of his sons were kidnapped for two hours by unknown gunmen who threatened to kill them! Praise God, through a series of events – some we know, some we don't know – they were delivered by God's hand! This happened shortly after Alexis has ministered to a Restoration Movement Church pleading for revival and teaching how to make disciples! It has been "suggested by outsiders" that this was the reason for the attack! To God be the glory!
Alexis preaching at the cost of his family's lives!
Blaise Feumba reporting on Abidjan: A month ago, Amadou Sountoura the Abidjan ICC Leader started a Radio Program that is turning the city upsidedown! Every Friday from 8:30PM to 10PM, the gospel is preached through the radio waves "with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction." (1 Thessalonians 1:5) After every program, 20 to 30 people respond by calling directly to study with Amadou! The Muslim journalist who directs the program has been so impacted by Amadou's messages that he stopped attending his mosque and has bought himself a Bible to study! This Sunday this program bared its first fruit with the baptism of Sophie – a 25 years old student in French Literature!
Sold-out singing before Sophie's baptism!
Sophie becomes the first fruits of
Amadou's Radio Ministry!
Also baptized this Sunday with Sophie were three more young students: Serge, Guy and Serge! To God be the glory!
Guy was baptized shortly after Sophie!
Blaise Feumba: Greetings from the London Church! Sunday was the Feumba Family's last Sunday Service with the awesome disciples of the London Church! We can't believe three years have passed since we first landed in London in July 2011. We will always cherish the memory of the gracious reception at Heathrow Airport and the incredible love that the disciples here have shown to us.
The Feumbas arrival in London in July 2011!
The London Church has been for us a "city of refuge" and we are so thankful to Michael & Michele for their hospitality, friendship and support! We have become part of the amazing family of SoldOut Movement disciples here. The sharing today at our Send-off Party from our dear brothers and sisters tore our hearts apart as they expressed what we meant to them with so much love and grace. We are so looking forward to the next chapter in our lives in moving to LA to serve in the awe-inspiring City of Angels Church!
Partners in the gospel forever – the Williamsons
and the Feumbas!
During Blaise's three year stay in London he had
many opportunities to teach Michael some
"real African dance moves!"
Blaise & Patricia and their beautiful three children
will arrive at LAX next Sunday!
The Lord made this last Sunday even more special with the baptism of Thomas, a talented young sports coach from Poland! Three years ago, Thomas was invited to the first Bible Talk I attended in East London and for three long years he has resisted and doubted the Lord's call for his life! A few weeks ago, Thomas finally made the decision – through the perseverance of Michael Ochwa – to surrender to the cross. He studied daily this past week with eagerness and great fervor! Today at church for his baptism, Thomas had four guests out including his roommate "Peter" who is also now studying the Bible! Suffice to say he's no longer "DOUBTING THOMAS!"
Like his Bible namesake, London's former "Doubting
Thomas" proclaims, "My Lord and
my God!" (John 20:28)
Raul Moreno: "Paul took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus." (Acts 19:19) Greetings from São Paulo! In the spirit mentioned in this passage, two campus men were baptized! First, Douglas was baptized and he studies Civil Engineering at FMU University! Then, Benjamin was baptized and he studies Electrical Engineering at USP University! He is a very talented young man as he is Chinese Brazilian and is fluent in five languages – one of them being Mandarin Chinese!
Caio is so fired up that he was able to
baptize his good friend Benjamin!
We are excited to see what the Lord is continuing to do around the world! We love you with the love of the Lord!
Debs Rajan of Chennai: Greetings! (English) Namaste! (Hindi) Vanakkam! (Tamil) This weekend, Yesuraj (means Jesus reigns) was baptized and now he lives up to his name of Jesus reigning in his life!
Jesus now reigns in Yesuraj's life!
The month of May has always been fun with Summer Interns and campaigning for souls! On May Day (May 1st), the whole church joined the campaign for souls! We gathered in five locations to do Bible studies and in one day we had 33 personal Bible studies! Looking forward to the harvest of souls and seeing everyone at the GLC!
The hard-working Chennai ICC Leadership!
NEWS FLASH – Joe Willis: G'day from Sydney! Last weekend, our first stunning All Church Retreat was set in Australia's breath-taking Blue Mountains! The fireside devotional, the early morning quiet times, and the powerful sermons were just what the Sydney Church needed to be refreshed to once again be "poured out like a drink offering" for the incredible Australian people! (2 Timothy 4:6)
The Sydney Church Retreat!
Having come down from this mountain top experience, this weekend, God showered us with love from above as two very special people were added to Gods Kingdom in Sydney! Lennox (a professional soccer player) and Keira (a massage therapist for two of the top rugby clubs) arrived at our Sunday service in March after searching online for (in Lennox's own words) "a church that believed in repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of sins."
Lennox had become a Christian in our former fellowship three years prior, but had drifted from God and in that time had started dating Keira. However, always knowing what the truth was, he decided to look for God once again and after studying the Scriptures was restored this Sunday at church! Then to make God's joy complete, Lennox baptized Keira at the beach later that afternoon!
After Lennox was restored in the morning, Joe
helps Lennox baptize his adored wife – Keira!
Kerry and Nathalie embrace Keira after
her unforgettable baptism!
Lennox & Keira find peace as they
are united in Christ!
The night before, Keira had kindly given many of us free tickets to see the International Rugby Game between Samoa and Fiji. Mason was able to see more of his "Samoan countrymen" than ever before and through their heartsy victory was truly inspired to be the leader for his people and take the Word to the Islands!
While watching the Samoa vs. Fiji Rugby Match,
Mason & Nathalie (bottom left taking the
picture) renew their vision to take
the gospel to Somoa and
Dearest Brothers and Sisters: Just a quick reminder that this coming Sunday is Mother’s Day! So let's "give honor to whom honor is due" by letting our Moms, Grandmas, Spiritual Moms and Spiritual Grandmothers know how very much we appreciate their love expressed in so many ways in our lives! (Romans 13:7)
Seated between Elena and Sharon, Kip's beloved
mom celebrates an early Mother's Day during
the CAICC Championship Game Weekend!
Lastly, please keep Elena & me in your prayers as we travel to Mexico City this weekend. We will be assisting in the leadership hand-off from Vic & Aurora Gonzalez to Jared & Rachel McGee! We are excited to have the Gonzalez Jr. Familia coming back home to LA! Also, coming with us from LA to stay and build up the Mexico City Church are: Dulce Jimenez, Miguel Limon and Josue Soriano!
Then the following weekend, we travel to San Francisco to familiarize Jason & Sarah Dimitry – the new leaders of this great church – with all the exciting evangelistic opportunities in this metropolis of 7.5 million lost souls! As well, we will be participating in the worship at the San Francisco Bay Church that Sunday morning! Then, Lord willing, on Sunday May 25, 2014 is the Send off Service for the Tabizons and Tuasons to Manila and the Toronto Mission Team! Pray for these gallant disciples!
One last piece of good news, my awesome co-editor of the Good News Email celebrates her 25th Birthday today on Cinco de Mayo! Congrats Sis!
Happy 25th Birthday to Rebecca!
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)