What an incredible City of Angels Church Marrieds Retreat this weekend! The theme of the retreat was from Savage Garden's 1997 hit – Truly Madly Deeply!
Around 250 attended the City of Angels Church
Marrieds Retreat in Palm Desert!
Truly Madly Deeply was this
year's exciting theme!
Joe & Kerry Willis were outstanding as the
Directors of the Marrieds Retreat!
After a warm welcome, to capture everyone’s attention and to lift our spirits, a short game of Family Feud was "hosted" by Cory Blackwell! The game was between the Mature Marrieds – the Fentons and the Boeas – verses the Young Marrieds – the Sears and the Fetelikas! In an extremely close game, the Young Marrieds prevailed!
Cory Blackwell introduces the contestants
of "Family Feud!"
With seasoned wisdom, the Mature Marrieds jumped
out to a big lead over the Young Marrieds!
"Hard pressed, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in
despair" (2 Corinthians 4:8), the Young
Marrieds begin to rally!
Inspired by "wisdom from above" (James 3:17), the
Young Marrieds are crowned this year's
"Family Feud Champs!"
Then Joe & Kerry Willis – the Directors of the Marrieds Retreat – spoke together inspiring all on God's Love TRULY Made Complete In You! Afterward were separate classes for the Men and the Women – The Biblical Secrets Of Staying MADLY In Love. Then we were "off" the rest of the day to "enjoy life with [our] wife!" (Ecclesiastes 9:9) On Sunday, separate English and Spanish Services were conducted with Chris Broom and Victor Gonzalez respectively as our main speakers on the theme – DEEPLY Loving One Another From The Heart!
All of the Las Vegas and San Francisco Marrieds
attended the Retreat!
Oleg & Aliona move the hearts of the
Marrieds during Communion!
Chris Broom delivering a tremendous
close out sermon!
In closing, we were reminded of Song of Songs 8:6-7 and the words to the first verse of Truly Madly Deeply: I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy, I'll be your hope, I'll be your love, Be everything thing that you need! I'll love you more with every breath, Truly Madly Deeply do. I will be strong, I will be faithful cause I'm counting on a new beginning, a reason for living, a deeper meaning!
Mason & Nathalie Fetelika accompanied by
AJ Penedo sing Truly Madly Deeply!
Very creatively, Joe & Kerry – to help us remember our "one decision" for a new beginning… a deeper meaning from the lessons at this life changing event – had us write on our Retreat Coffee Cup the decision we made! As for me, after being reminded that insensitivity is a sin (1 Peter 3:7) and that all sin is stupid, I had decided that my cup will read – Don't Be Stupid! However, after being inspired by Chris Broom's sermon, I choose to change it slightly to – Don't Be A Knucklehead! (I think that Elena was quite pleased by my decision!) Yes, all of us were so encouraged by this excellent "get-a-way in the Lord!"
Enjoying a night out, Kyle & Joan Bartholomew
step into the boat that cruises around the
JW Marriott Desert Springs
Resort – the site of
the 2014 GLC!
This week, the Lord added to the City of Angels Church 10 more precious souls – eight baptisms and two restorations! And to God be the glory!
And now more refreshing good news from around LA…
Chris Chloupek: "HOW YA DO'IN?" from the AMS Region! Life is just one huge blessing! Sonja & I just returned from the City of Angels Annual Marriage Retreat! I love my wife more today than I did when I married her almost 19 years ago! We had what I call an "HOW YA DO'IN TIME" over the weekend! "With God all things are possible" and with God all things are AWESOME! Hats off to Joe & Kerry Willis for overseeing this year's retreat!
Chris & Sonja Chloupek welcoming everyone
to the Marrieds Retreat!
While I was at the Marrieds Retreat, our awesome AMS Intern, Princeton George, was in charge of overseeing the City of Angels Congregational Singles Masquerade Dance Party at the Downtown LA Sheraton Hotel. The event was a total success! He also brought "his swag" as the DJ! Then on Sunday, Princeton led the AMS Region Sunday Service! I heard that he preached a powerful message! Also shared with me was that Heather Harvin, who is an amazing disciple and artist with the singing voice caliber talent of Whitney Houston, opened up her life with powerful humility for communion.
Princeton's preaching is "like cold water
to a weary soul!" (Proverbs 25:25)
Then later at 7:30 that evening at the beach in Santa Monica, Destiny was baptized! In the last two weeks, two awesome women, Casey and Destiny, have become our sisters in Christ!
Casey and Destiny (the two girls in the middle)
were baptized in the past two weeks!
Lastly, Anthony Wise & Keshawna Bradford are now a dating couple in the AMS! I am so proud of my wife Sonja and the amazing women in the AMS Region! They are truly women on a mission! THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE "SOUL" BUSINESS!
Capil Marhatta: Greetings from the Sensational South! We have been having a harvest of joy as our very dear brother Carlos Gonzalez was restored back to the Father at the Marrieds Retreat! We believe that he and his wife Linda will add a much needed sense of maturity to the flock to strengthen our recent baptisms!
Since Linda was restored last week, with Carlos'
restoration this week, the Gonzalezes are
now united in Christ!
Finally, the South Singles know how to have fun at "the feast in the Kingdom" as we joined the other City of Angels Church Singles at the Masquerade Dance!
Ramiro – on his way to the Singles Dance –
seems to be in need of a good D-time!
Ighodaro Odighizuwa: Greetings of love from the Inland Empire! Although our marrieds were gone at the retreat, today's service was electric as Jason Woody preached the Word inspiring us to do the impossible, and Debbie Bosch shared one of the best communions to date!
This week was very inspiring and faith building as our brother Dr. Erik af Klint of Stockholm prayed on Monday to baptize someone on Sunday, but since he had no Bible studies he began to fast and pray! Then on Tuesday, he met William! And today, a great UCR student William became our brother in Christ! It's only in the Kingdom of God that a Nigerian college student gets to work side-by-side with a Swedish doctor to baptize someone! We truly do serve a God that can do the impossible!
Alongside Erik and the IE Brothers, our new
brother William issues the challenge, "You
will be next… maybe this week!"
RJ Castro and Shauna Edwards of the AV Sector of the Central Region: Greetings from the High Desert! These past two weeks have been incredible as God has blessed us with three baptisms! Last Wednesday, James became our brother as he declared, "Jesus is Lord!" Interestingly enough, no one actually reached out to James, but he came over and joined our daily Bible Talk at AVC when he saw us reading our Bibles! Right away he began studying and immediately became a "fisher of men" as he was bringing his friends to each Bible study!
The Holy Spirit evangelizes James and the
AV Brothers baptize him!
Next to enter the saving waters of baptism was Adam! Our brother Eddie, who is Adam's workout buddy at school, persistently shared his faith with Adam, so Adam finally agreed to come to Bible Talk and study the Bible! After studying out Light & Darkness, Adam's heart had an urgency to get right with God and enter the light! Adam committed to studying almost every day, even late into the night, until he was baptized at 11:30PM this past Friday!
Our third addition was one very dear to all of our hearts, as Brianna – a "Kingdom Kid" and daughter of Gloria & Serafin and sister of Eddie Montez – eagerly gave her life up for God! We began studying with Brianna once a week before the Campus Retreat, but after being greatly inspired by all of the lessons, she worked around her busy high school schedule and began studying 2-3 times a week! Breaking out of her quiet shell, Brianna encouraged all of us ladies as she repeatedly declared how excited she was to go back to school a completely new person! She even is excited about receiving persecution from her classmates because that would mean she was "doing it right!" Being greatly talented in school, ROTC, tennis and singing, Brianna is showing to be a great addition to not only our AV Teen Ministry, but to the entire LA Church as well! Please keep sending prayers up "the 14!"
Eddie, Gloria, Brianna, and Serafin exemplify the
love of a family united by Christ!
Chris Broom of the OC Region: "All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation… We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us!" (2 Corinthians 5:18-20) Friday, God allowed us to be His "ambassadors" to over 400 teens through "180 Worldwide" – the benevolent arm of the CR Ministry that Russ Preston, a Shepherd-in-Training here in Orange County, has founded! Two of our "Mighty Men" in the Teen Ministry, Eliseo Escobar and Emanuel Jimenez, approached their teacher wanting Carl Buckner – a disciple and Gospel Hip Hop Artist in the OC Region – to perform at their high school assembly. Carl, along with Russ and his amazing wife Lana, were excited when this incredible opportunity came!
Russ & Lana share their love for God and each other
by leading the OC Teen Ministry and the City
of Angels Church CR Ministry!
At the school assembly, Carl shared his testimony while vulnerably addressing his past; being in a gang, drug and alcohol abuse and eventually going to prison. Russ was also able to share about his past and how his addiction caused such devastation in his life. Afterward, Carl did an amazing job preforming two songs off of his new album which both the teachers and students loved!
Carl Buckner shares about his drug and alcohol
abuse (above) and then raps about his
new life in Christ! (below)
During one part of the assembly, the students were given a piece of paper asking them three questions: 1) Has your life been negatively impacted due to drugs? 2) Do you use drugs? and 3) Have you ever been offered help for you or someone else because of drug abuse? Sadly, 70% of all the students answered that they had been negatively affected as a result of drug and alcohol abuse within their families or themselves, and 50% said that they currently use drugs or alcohol on a daily basis.
Excitedly, many teens approached us wanting to change their lives! We exchanged numbers and emails. Most exciting of all is that we had some of those students show up for Teen Devotional that night!
During the Devotional, Russ received a text message from one of the teachers saying, "Russ, thank you for today, it was a powerful message! It's something that kids at a public school rarely hear or talk about. Praise God!"
And we continue to "Praise God" for the three souls that were added to God's Kingdom in the OC this week! First, Morgan Thompson was baptized immediately after Women's Midweek this past Wednesday! Kiana & Azia reached out to her months ago and unfortunately she decided to stop studying. Four weeks ago, Morgan frantically called the disciples desperate for help to seek God. Her twin sister Meagan (just baptized two weeks ago in the Central Region) came to visit as they both started to study the Bible with the OC Sisters. They both had been fighting the "spiritual forces of evil" of witchcraft! After studying the Bible every day and attending every "meeting of the body," Morgan was eagerly awaiting the waters of baptism and became your sister in Christ!
Morgan (center) joins her physical twin Meagan
as a sister in God's Family!
Then Jessica, who is the older sister of Kim and Patty, was baptized on Thursday Night!
Jessica is so impacted by watching the lives of her
younger sisters – Kim (far right) and Patty (far
left) – that she becomes a sold-out disciple!
Finally, Dennis Sloan was restored tonight at the Orange County Singles, Campus and Teen Service! Though an officer in the military who understands both sides of authority, Dennis humbly confessed his rebelling against God's love and sovereignty in his life. What an amazing picture to watch unfold over the past few months as Dennis not only learned again how to trust his God, but he also learned how to entrust himself to his brothers. Encouragingly, the OC Singles Ministry with the addition of Dennis (restored), Eddie Alvarado (placed membership from IE) and Jessica (baptized) all this week, has grown from four singles (all sisters) in January to 14 sold-out singles in the Lord's Army!
HEADLINE NEWS – USA
NEWS FLASH – Daniela Payan of Las Vegas: "The Lord looked down from His sanctuary on high, from Heaven He viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death." (Psalm 102:19-20) Greetings from "Saint City!" God has definitely been hearing "the groans of the prisoners" in Las Vegas, and has answered by adding two campus students to our ministry! With Jason & Sarah out of town for LA's Married Retreat, the Vegas Church didn't miss a beat! The sermon was entitled, The Real Jesus and focused on the book of John. We were privileged to hear three of our "Young Gunz:" James Mitchell, David Jefferson and Emilio Bonilla! We were both inspired and challenged to keep Jesus as Lord, focus on real miracles, and show real love!
I'm super fired up for, and proud of, the CSN Campus Sisters and their tireless efforts! Today, Kristina – a CSN campus student – was baptized! Having had a troubled and abusive past, Kristina was contemplating suicide. However, when she saw some of our campus disciples having a Bible study, she immediately approached and asked if she could study the Bible! Her heart when she began studying the Bible was, "Whatever the Bible says about my life, I'm going to change it!" Tears were shed, and hearts were mended as Kristina put her past to rest by making Jesus the Lord of her life!
Even with the Dimitrys away, the LV Disciples
continue to multiply with Kristina's baptism!
Also, God blessed our group with the addition of Jessica Pengra, placing membership from Eugene, Oregon! Having recently been restored to the Kingdom, she drove 16 hours straight to join our church here in the desert! We're super grateful to God for this amazing young woman, who will undoubtedly be a tremendous inspiration to our campus ministries!
Jessica is a very welcomed addition to
the LV Campus Ministry!
These additions mean that in the first 28 weeks since the 15 disciples from LA and Portland planted the LV Church, God has poured out His blessings "from His sanctuary on high" with 26 additions! Amen!
Maria Franklin of Chicago: "To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'" (John 8:31-32) God has poured His grace upon us here in Chicago as we had three additions this week! On Friday night, Sharon became our sister in Christ through the efforts of the mature singles in the West Region!
At service today, many were brought to tears as Helena was restored to Jesus! Helena vulnerably and powerfully shared how foolish she had been to leave God for a month. She shared that when she first left, she wrongfully thought, "Now I have the freedom to do whatever I want" and compared it to the feeling of riding a bicycle and feeling the gentle and peaceful breeze upon her. She quickly realized that instead of feeling free, she felt the chains of slavery heavier than ever! She contacted the sisters and hastily sought to repent and be brought back to the freedom that only comes by the truth! (John 8:31-32)
Helena (left) discovers that true freedom can
only be found in Christ! (Galatians 5:1, 13)
This amazing day was encouragingly closed by the baptism of a wonderful young woman named Vallisha who works with inner city youth through Americorps! She is the roommate of our dear young sister in the faith Lyndsei, who was baptized only five weeks ago! Lyndsei, after becoming a disciple, prayed that she could convert her roommate so that she may have a "partner in the gospel" in her own home! God answered her bold prayer today!
As an Americorps worker, Vallisha now has a greater
message for Chicago's inner city youth!
We are so grateful to God, and are diligently preparing to blow out the Thanksgiving Contribution next month! We love you all!
Julie Clark: Greetings from the Mighty Denver Church! We had an amazing service today! The singing was inspiring; the fellowship was sweet; and my husband preached the Word powerfully! Many were impacted as we had several calls and emails about people's responses of repentance and newfound conviction and inspiration!
What was equally as amazing was that Rowina Faye was baptized on Thursday! Morgan Valdez, who is an Intern in the Central Region in the LA Church, went to care for her grandmother, for a week. She lives a few hours outside of Denver. As Morgan received the call to come, she saw an opportunity for an answered prayer. She had been praying since her baptism that her grandmother would become a disciple! So even from the first night of her arrival, Morgan began studying the Bible with her!
As it became more and more clear that she was open, they went through all of the studies and then talked about baptism. Rowina agreed that she needed to be! Morgan was ecstatic! She called me and I drove the 3½ hour drive (each way) and got there to count the cost! What I found amazed me! I met a fragile 74-year-old woman whose body was failing, but her mind certainly was not. She was bright with excitement at all she had learned!
But what arrested my attention was her humility. Truly, it stunned me, and inspired me! She has been religious all of her life, but when we showed her the Scriptures she completely humbled herself to them. She threw out her opinion, did not cling to her own emotion, and laid down all that she had been taught for nearly a century! She trusted that God’s Words were more reliable than any preacher or teacher who clearly did not ever show her the whole truth. She was baptized that day and her example of humility will forever stir in my heart. She proved that you are never too old to learn, and so be saved! She is an inspiration and hope for our families everywhere!
God answers Morgan's heartfelt prayers with the
baptism of her grandma – Rowina!
Andrew Smellie of New York City: "Marriage should be honored by all." (Hebrews 13:4) The beautiful State of Connecticut was the site of the First Northeast Marrieds Retreat this past weekend! It was a much-needed time of encouragement and renewal as 48 disciples from the NYC, DC and Syracuse Churches came together to honor their marriages that spanned in length from five months to 34 years! I thank God for the gracious gift to be married to the woman of my dreams for the past eight years – Patrique! The NYC Church continued to "forcefully advance" as our Campus Ministry Intern, Kwaku Sarkodie, preached the Word boldly while we were away!
With "integrity, seriousness and soundness of
speech," Kwaku boldly preaches
the Word! (Titus 2:7-8)
We are very grateful to our NYC Congregational Shepherds – Mike & Pam O'Donnell and Drs. Kenneth & Cheryl Chin – who worked tirelessly to make the weekend one to remember, as well as the LA Church, whose inspiration encouraged us to imitate their theme – Truly Madly Deeply! From Saturday’s opening "Truly-Wed Game" icebreaker to the closing Sunday Worship song, the atmosphere of the retreat was one of laughter, conviction and a desire to take our relationships to new heights!
Please pray for the NYC Church to blow out our Thanksgiving Missions fundraising goals as we prepare for our 13.4 Mile Walk-a-thon this Saturday, spanning the entire length of the Island of Manhattan, from Broadway Bridge to Battery Park! We love you!
Ricky Challinor of Portland: Greetings from the City of Bridges! This weekend was incredible as we had our Annual Northwest Marrieds Retreat at Cannon Beach entitled, The Proposal! Friday night, the lesson to the leaders was, The Proposal To Save Souls, and we ended the night with a bonfire, singing songs and watching the shooting stars! It was awesome!
Saturday, we had our English and Spanish Tracks. Later that night, we had our customary "dessert and dance," in which we had fun games with doughnut eating and dancing with a lime between our foreheads! It was truly a unifying weekend for the spouses as well as the two churches of Eugene and Portland! One of the coolest activities was each husband was given a fake ring and were challenged to "re-propose" to our wives! It was cool seeing the wives fired up and wearing their new rings!
Osvoldo & Fabiola are the Champions of the
Doughnut Game, where the wife runs and
grabs a doughnut with her mouth only,
and the first couple to eat the
doughnut – without their
hands – wins!
Sunday was incredible as we had our lesson, The Ultimate Proposal explaining how God proposed to us first by sending His Son! However not everyone says "yes" or even worse "let me think about it!"
We headed back for the Singles, Campus and Teen Service at 4PM and witnessed Fernando Mengis baptized! He is the younger brother of Eileen Mengis – our Dallas-Ft. Worth Woman's Ministry Leader! So incredible was that he was "randomly" met by Aaron Turner on campus, so he began to study and build relationships with the campus! A huge congrats to Eileen as she has been praying for him specifically for the past couple of months! How encouraging that we are a part of a worldwide movement that gives our families hope even though we are not physically there to convert them ourselves! Please continue to pray for us that we continue to bring in fruit for the Lord!
Through a unified movement of disciples, the
Spirit works through Eileen's prayers to
bring salvation to her
Jeremy Ciaramella of Phoenix: Greetings from the Valley of "The Son!" "Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest?' I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (John 4:35) God is faithful! He blessed our 2013 Bring Your Neighbor Day Service with a record smashing 200 in attendance! From the welcome to the final act at our Talent Show, this service was absolutely inspiring! Rico and Janelle started us off with a hilarious skit which included our newest local super hero, "Bible Man!" whose mission is to "get us all back to the Bible!"
"It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's Bible Man!"
Our dear sister Kristin Smith shared very humbly from her past life before becoming a disciple. What made it so moving is that Kristin is a celebrated local news anchor and yet her vulnerability helped us all understand – no matter how "successful" you are while living for yourself, you are empty and need the cross! Rick Romney offered a forthright contribution message about how much God gave to us (John 3:16) because of His love for us, and therefore how we should have the heart to give back to Him, because we love Him! The response to the contribution was astounding, as God blessed us today with an anonymous cash donation which brought our weekly contribution total to $13,794! That's $10,000 over our operating budget!
The sermon was a call to get Back To The Bible and study it with whomever brought you! Afterward, we had an amazing BBQ thanks to Daryl Jansen and Crew, who happens to be the Kitchen Manager at "Joe's BBQ!" During the lunch, we had a talent show where disciples and friends shared poetry, monologues, (even an amazing rendering of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" Speech verbatim by our head usher, Tony Stanley!), excellent R&B vocalists, some amazing rapping, classical music, and some good ol' rock music!
The band of Yvonne, Janelle, Bam and
Smoot "bring down the house!"
There are tons of new studies and new opportunities to reap a harvest for our Lord! Please pray for us here in The Valley of "The Son!"
Lou Jack Martinez of Honolulu: The Kingdom of God strikes again, as JOSEPH ORTIZ is BAPTIZED into CHRIST!!! "Joe" was first reached out to in the SAN FRAN AREA by a brother from our former fellowship during the "Great Apostasy of AUTONOMY" that occurred in 2002-2003, and sadly, Joe was quickly dropped and forgotten.
But God NEVER forgets those who "seek Him with all their heart." So 10 years later, JOSEPH ORTIZ spots a CHURCH INVITATION AD on Craigslist from the Honolulu ICC – inspired by one of the Kingdom's Social Media Experts MARTIN deCAMPO from the IE!!! Joseph called my number, came to church, and quickly realizes "this is the church my cousin invited me to that seemed to vanish from the face of the earth!"
He was quickly born-again, but not without a fight expertly fought by JOSHUA AGUIRRE who helped Joe to work through some very tough issues in his life! It feels "SOOOOO good" to do something that a first seems "SOOOO FOOLISH" – placing an ad on Craig's List – and then God blessing your faith with personal fruit!
With a boldness that is "foolish" even to some
Christians, Lou Jack – through Craigslist – is
personally fruitful with Joe!
One ADDITIONAL good news – MARTIN JUSTINEVICIUS & SARAH CHANG ARE NOW DATING!!! Please pray for the Island harvest!!!
HEADLINE NEWS – INTERNATIONAL
NEWS FLASH – Michael Williamson of London: "Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. They hired counselors to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia." (Ezra 4:4-5) We are just 10 days away from the 2013 European Missions Conference – GOD ALMIGHTY REIGNS!
The EMC is only 10 days away!!!
The disciples are excited at the explosion of faith that will occur as result of this incredible event! However Satan has been on the prowl. This week, I received several phone calls and emails from a journalist writer for arguably London’s most prestigious newspaper – The Sunday Times. His call was prompted by two disciples who fell away and went to the media claiming our church is a "Psychological Bullying Cult." After a quick call to Kip on dealing with persecution, I tried my best to refute his false claims via email and several phone conversations! Miraculously, the article scheduled to come out this Sunday laced with all kinds of criticism was not printed… At least not YET!
So for Sunday's lesson, we looked at how God's people in the book of Ezra dealt with persecution. I was so proud of the church on Sunday as almost all the brothers and sisters rejoiced at being counted worthy of suffering disgrace for His name! (Hebrews 10:37-38) See you very soon!
NEWS FLASH – Raul Moreno: "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (1Timothy 4:8) Greetings from São Paulo to all of our beloved brothers and sisters around the world! This week was truly awesome as we put the above Scripture into practice! We all need some "physical training!" In our spirit to imitate the City of Angels Church and the rest of the US Churches, we had an Olympic Sunday! This is our equivalent to The Labor Day Play Day And Picnic in the States, since we don't have that holiday! So, we rented a gym and had service there!
The Sao Paulo Church on Olympic Sunday!
Afterward, we had lunch and proceeded to participate in many sporting events which was an incredible time of fellowship! The events were: Men's and Women's Soccer, Men's and Women's Volleyball, Basketball and Tug of War! We also had a competition for the best fans among our two regions! And as it turns out, the East Region narrowly beat the noble efforts of the undermanned Center/South Region!
No one has as much fun as disciples!
But the highlight of the week was witnessing two incredible campus men be baptized into Christ! Ramon, who happens to be an USP student, was baptized after Men's Night on Wednesday! Then, Friday after our Campus Devotional, Eduardo was baptized from FATEC University! Both of them are fired up for Jesus and His mission!
Eduardo and Ramon become disciples just in time
to participate in Olympic Sunday!
Philippe Scheidecker: Bonjour de Paris! Psalms 133:1 reads, "How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!" As for finding an apartment in Paris, this is an "official challenge," because the law protects the renter more than the owner, so you are required to produce so many documents and if you do not have an official and permanent income, you really need a "solid miracle" as it is "mission impossible!" But, in the spirit of Luke 1:37, "Nothing is impossible with God," God was so gracious with the brothers – Anthony, Bernard and Omarr – giving them an apartment just 20 minutes walking distance from the sisters!
Though quite sad, we held a Good-bye Party for our dear sister Carol from Mozambique, as her visa required her to return home to her husband and family! We will be striving to sustain her spiritually with prayer and Bible study, as well as praying for her return to Paris!
Carol's (in yellow) Going Away Party!
We are excited by the coming of the 2013 European Missions Conference (EMC) and, in spite of visa issues, 10 of us will attend this promising conference!
Lola Lof of Kinshasa: Greetings from the Democratic Republic of Congo! "For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness, love and joy by the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17) It was a week full of joy for us in Kinshasa to see our sister Laurette completing her studies at the university as she is now an engineer in computer science! On this grand occasion, her parents Hermando & Lili, who are Bible Talk Leaders, invited brothers and sisters to celebrate together with them and it was awesome!
Whether at church or a graduation party, the
Kinshasa Disciples celebrate
After eating, drinking and dancing, we all have our eyes focused on the main objective of saving souls. Of special note, the power of the Holy Spirit had impact over four people and plunged them into the waters of baptism: Jean, Rocky, Sylvie and Betty! They then were introduced to the church during our congregational service which gathered 317 in attendance! We hope to conquer all the territories in Christ and to God be all the glory!
Lola Lof – the Kinshasa Church Leader!
Tim Kernan: Greetings from Chennai, India! As Lianne & I get ready to leave in seven days for the EMC in London, we are blown away by how much we have learned from the Chennai disciples and in fact from the culturally rich Southern Indian people – especially the amazing Tamils! The Tamil people are one of the tiny number of ancient civilizations who have survived, uninterrupted to this day, by isolating themselves in many ways from foreign influence.
In 2008, Raja & Debs Rajan join God's new
movement and heroically initiate the
Chennai Remnant Group!
Today, for the first time in thousands of years, this ancient way of life is in danger of being totally destroyed. Cargo ships, freight trains, container trucks and heavy haul aircraft from industrialized nations daily deliver rice, wheat and thousands of other products that are cheaper, of higher quality, and in greater variety than any small farmer in Asia can compete with. If that wasn't bad enough, this modern global system of transport means that competitive local businesses are able to sell their goods internationally for a much better price than they can receive locally. This means for example that rice is the same price in India as it is in the US even though the average wage here is only $2 a day! Small farmers are making less money because they can't compete and at the same time prices have soared! What's the solution? They move to the city to search for work.
Globalization has brought poverty into the
cities of India such as Chennai!
Globalization – though producing wealth for some
such as car ownership – for the most part has
produced tremendous overcrowding
This phenomena that has been called "Globalization" is a juggernaut that has forced over one billion people in each of China and India to move away from their ancestral lands, tribes and ways of life. It has landed them on the dusty streets of cities like Chennai to seek a living there. Every day I pass by thousands of these precious souls lining the streets. With isolation in the village no longer an option India must change, or perish.
I asked God in prayer many times why He was letting all this happen. The suffering of the people was always before me and troubling me almost every moment.
The suffering children in Chennai must
turn to begging to support themselves
and their families!
After really wrestling for an answer it struck me like a lightning bolt! Acts 17:27-28, "God marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us." What we are witnessing in Asia is the very hand of God moving! After two millennia of trying to reach into the landscape of pagan villages, God has decided to lower His heavy hand and move the population of whole nations to the cities, into humbling poverty, and to loneliness so that they can be evangelized! In India alone nearly four hundred million people have been uprooted! I now have a conviction that it's the only reason God allows this incredible suffering. God’s frightening and awesome power is my good news!
If this is what God is willing to do to reach the nations, then what will be our reply? I believe God dreams of nothing less than a massive scale and dramatic multiplication of trained evangelists who will preach the gospel to all of mankind! He dreams of these "maniacs" (Hosea 9:7) who will spread out like a relentless army of liberators to plant a church in every major urban center in Asia in the next twenty years! The window of opportunity is here and the world may never see anything like it again! The time is now to act!
Tim preaching the message of "hope and a
future" to the Chennai Church!
Pray for Lianne, Junior, David and me, because next Sunday is our last in our beloved Chennai, as we fly to London to see many of you at the EMC!
Tim Jr. will miss all his friends
in the Chennai Church!
Dearest Brothers and Sisters, Continue to pray for each other as our "enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know your brothers THROUGHOUT THE WORLD are undergoing the same kind of suffering." (1 Peter 5:8-9) Pray especially for the EMC as this will be an excellent opportunity to minister to disciples and remnant "veterans" seeking to find revival in God's new movement from all over Europe!
As Daniel was delivered from the Lions Den by God's
Angel, let us pray that all the saints around
the world will be delivered from our
enemy – Satan – who "prowls like
a lion… throughout the world!"
Since, Elena & I will be in London for the EMC and then preaching in Moscow and Manila, the next Good News Email will be November 24th! Please, keep us in your prayers!