Saturday was the "Fall Kick-off" of the International College of Christian Ministries! After tasty McDonalds breakfast sandwiches, Starbucks Coffee, and two triumphant songs, Michael Kirchner, the Chairman of the Board of Regents, gave a rousing welcome for our 24 new "unpaid Interns" and ICCM Students! Then Elena delivered an inspirational charge to the women! Following this, each of our new students introduced themselves by name and the date of their baptism, read their favorite Scripture (at least for this month!), and shared why this passage meant so much to them! Then, after a short break, the lesson delivered was The Ten Commandments Of Preaching!
Michael Kirchner – the Chairman of the Board of
Regents for the ICCM – fires up the ICCM
students for the Fall Session!
For the first six months of the year, the ICCM's curriculum was "The Survey Of The 66 Books of the Bible." This Fall, the ICCM Program of Study will be a "Practicum In Ministry" where we will focus our now 75 BA candidates on Preaching, Bible Talks, Writing and World Geography! Pray for us to continue to train young men and young women to take the gospel "into all the world!"
The ICCM Faculty and Board of Regents!
This week in LA, the Lord blessed us with 11 additions – nine baptisms, two restorations and one place membership! And to God be all the glory!
And now more detailed accounts from around Los Angeles…
Brandyn Speckman: Greetings from Ventura! Today was our incredible International Sunday Service where several disciples and visitors alike dressed in varying cultural garbs! Our service began with a welcome in nine different languages! Then Luke preached an incredible message – that moved many to tears – to our record attendance of 109 with standing room only in the back! Concluding our service, we witnessed two modern day miracles with the baptisms of Cherie and her 16 year old son Jason!
With Dave Swann towering over them, Cherie and
Jason – mother and son – stand united
as sister and brother in Christ!
After church, we finished the day with an International Potluck Lunch and live entertainment – "AMS style!" What an amazing day it has been!
Lastly, we are honored and excited to announce the pregnancy of Richie & Elizabeth McDonnell! We are so proud of the McDonnells and all the work they are doing in Santa Barbara, and to think that the Santa Barbara Planting is only three months away! Please keep them and the entire Ventura Region in your prayers!
In God's arithmetic, one plus one equals three!
Jake Ramsier of the AV Sector of the Central Region: Greeting from the High Desert! We had a joy-filled "BYND" in Lancaster today with a record smashing attendance of 150! Special highlights were an intense dramatic performance by our dear sister Sarai, who was visiting from the AMS Region, and a moving vocal performance by our newest sister Reba!
Of course the greatest moment was witnessing Christ Himself give a supernatural "performance" as Moses was baptized into Christ! (Psalm 77:14) The whole AV Family has been amazed to see how Moses, a "Kingdom Kid" (son of Ed & Lona Aguirre), has been radically transformed from totally lost in the world into a totally committed disciple! Don't forget to send those prayers up "the 14!"
"Moses" is baptized into "Christ!"
Ed, Lona and the entire Aguirre Family welcome
Moses into God's Family!
Tyler Sears: "But the Word of God continued to increase and spread." (Acts 12:24) Greetings from the West Region! God continues to numerically "increase" our ministry and geographically "spread" it through "the field" we've been given! (2 Corinthians 10:13)
This week, Brandon was baptized on Wednesday evening at Santa Monica Beach after First Principles! He is the second baptism to come from our First Principles Classes, and he is a campus student at Santa Monica College! This Sunday, the Lord added Merna to His Kingdom as she confessed "Jesus is Lord" and was baptized! She is originally from Cairo, Egypt and is best friends with Alison Prescott, who was baptized just over a month ago!
Only a month old, Allison (second from the right)
welcomes her best friend Merna
to the Kingdom!
Sunday afternoon was so special as Paul & Kaitlin Kelly hosted their first Singles Devotional as our new Singles Ministry Leaders in the West Region! We are so grateful for their hearts to rise up and help "spread" the Word all over Los Angeles! Thank you for all your prayers!
Paul & Kaitlin Kelly – the West's gallant Singles
Ministry Leaders and their baby Norah!
Chris Chloupek: "How ya do'in?" from the AMS REGION! Today, we had an incredible Park Service with 100 adults in attendance! Richard Lewis, our English Law Professor brother, delivered an incredible contribution message. He addressed the "unforeseen needs" that have arisen throughout the Kingdom due to God opening pathways and performing miracles in Haiti and Denver and soon-to-be Sydney amongst others. He encouraged us to study out and seek to have the hearts of the Macedonian disciples we read about in 2 Corinthians 8. These incredible first century brothers considered it to be a privilege to meet the needs in God's Kingdom!
Then Princeton George preached the Word! The AMS Region was so proud to see our "home grown son" becoming a powerful preacher in God's Kingdom. He had us laughing and convicted at the same time! He preached about "putting on the full armor of God."
Other good news is that Bianca Bridges, who works for the world’s number one brand, Disney, has been awarded a scholarship to ICCM and accepted the charge of serving God as a self-supporting intern! She joins our two other awesome interns, Ashley Sampson and Princeton George! Sonja & I are so proud of these three and all the other brothers and sisters in the AMS! "There's no business like 'soul' business!"
Bianca Bridges, the leader of the Disney Women's
Bible Talk, accepts the invitation to become
an "unpaid intern" and ICCM Student!
Chris Broom: God blessed us today in the Orange County Region with one of our best attendances at 288, and an awesome young man named Darrius was baptized! Darrius is from Houston, Texas and moved here during the summer to play football at Fullerton College. Adam Zepeda, one of our full-time Interns and ICCM students, met him on campus and brought him to a Friday Devotional at Cal State Fullerton. Darrius started studying the Bible, and well, the rest is history!
On a very warm Sunday, Darrius' baptism refreshed
the hearts of all the OC Brothers!
Argo Arneson: "All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name." (Psalm 86:9) Greetings of love from the Inland Empire! Today was our very First International Service where we celebrated all the different nationalities that we have in our region. Different brothers and sisters dressed with their national costumes and welcomed us in Tongan, Fijian, Benigning, Swedish, Estonian, Lgbo, Spanish and of course English!
The managerie of colors in the national dress of the
IE disciples emphasizes the diversity of
cultures from their home nations!
Today also was a very special day for me as my best friend, Erik af Klint, placed membership from our Stockholm Church! He has moved here to train and help advance God's Kingdom in "the IE," and he will also be joining the ICCM! He has stood side by side with me through all the past trials, and so it is great to be "partners in the gospel" with him again!
A hero in the faith, Dr. Erik af Klint is given a
"SoldOut Movement Welcome" at LAX!
Gabe Reed of the East Region: Great news! All the college disciples in the East Region are paid and registered for the Campus Retreat!
Also we are so grateful for the ICCM! One of our ICCM interns Miguel Limon, "multiplied himself" this week by baptizing a 16 year old named "Miguel!"
"Miguel" fulfills the Great Commission by multiplying
himself in baptizing "Miguel!"
And we are excited to announce that we have two new "unpaid Interns" who will be attending the ICCM: David Green & Sonia Gonzalez (Jr.)! Not only will they be attending the ICCM, but as of Saturday night, they are engaged to be married!! Today, David & Sonia had an amazing addition to their Bible Talk with the restoration of George! George was baptized in the Mainline Church of Christ and is a fulltime student at Cal Poly and a tennis coach! George was praying to find a church of totally committed disciples because although he was a Youth Minister in the Mainline Church, he knew that there was just something not right….
Congratulations to David & Sonia on their
engagement and selection to the ICCM!
When he first came out he only believed in the New Testament and was shocked when we clapped to the songs during worship, because at his former church they only sing "a capella." After of couple of months of studying the Bible, he came to believe that God’s true church is a "Bible church," not just a "New Testament church;" therefore, it is not sin to use instruments in worship because they were used in the Old Testament! Then, he came to the conviction that for a congregation "autonomy is sin," and that every member of a congregation must be a totally committed disciple! Finally, George is so excited about his new dream – the evangelization of the nations in THIS generation!
Lastly, great news from Mexico City – our very own Richard Noches & Joy Axelson started dating! And to God be the glory!
Richard & Joy believe that there's no better place
than the mission field to find a "person
after God's own heart" to date!
HEADLINE NEWS – USA
NEWS FLASH – Lou Jack Martinez of Honolulu: "Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you ISLANDS, and all who live in them!"
(Isaiah 42:10) The disciples who live in the ISLANDS are FIRED-UP that the hand of our awesome God continues to move POWERFULLY in Honolulu!!! Following last week's baptisms, the Lord gave us TWO (2) MORE BAPTISMS this week in the Campus Ministry!!!
To begin the Fall Semester, the Honolulu Campus
Ministry has been blessed with four
baptisms in two weeks!
JAMIE comes from a loving and supportive pure Hawaiian family, but she simply did not have the spiritual guidance her soul was craving. About a month ago, Jazzy Yogi invited her out to the Campus-Singles Dodgeball/Sports Night! Then she came to church that Sunday and began to study the Bible. Jamie fell in love with the fellowship and really enjoyed the Bible studies. However, she was not URGENT about getting baptized… until she saw the baptisms of Brianna and Meaghan last week!
Jamie was moved to tears by their stories of perseverance and conviction in the face of the apathy and persecution from their immediate families and friends, and she realized what was holding her back: she didn't want to "make waves" for her family! Nevertheless, Jamie KNEW what she had to do after reading the Scriptures! She, too, counted the cost, came to the Campus-Singles Devo last Friday, and was BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST, as her family looked on!!!
Spurred on by the truth, Jamie counts the cost
realizing that only God's grace
MICHAEL is an outstanding young man and musician at UH who was part of a youth worship team from several different denominational churches on Oahu. Mike wanted to seek God and have a relationship with Him, but he was conflicted by the fact that the very worship team leaders he was following and working with were involved in brazenly immoral relationships with each other outside of worship!!! The Seeking God Study, The Word, Discipleship and Light & Darkness challenged Mike immensely! Then, these studies all began to come together and make sense for him, as he realized that the "worship leaders" he was playing Christian music with didn't feel that they needed to repent because they did not attend churches that boldly teach discipleship or repentance! And they certainly haven't been reading their Bibles!!!
So Mike gave up his position with the worship team (2 Timothy 3:5), studied the Bible with ALL his heart, came out to the Campus-Singles Friday Night Devotional this past Friday, counted the cost on the way to the event (which was over an hour drive), and was BORN AGAIN!!!
Jamie and Mike will now join "the angels in righteous
singing that scares the Devil!"
Finally, we had our largest attendance ever today at 160, and we set up a whole crop of new studies, so the harvest should be plentiful over the next several weeks!!! Please keep praying for all of us out here in the ISLANDS!!! "ONE HUNDRED FOR HAWAII!!!"
Jay Hernandez of Hilo: Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii! "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:17-18) We began this weekend with our 24 hour prayer chain!
I am very proud of one of our married groups led by Robbie & Linda Robinson – one of our Shepherding Couples! Linda and the women in her group decided to stay up all night praying. And when I heard of their plans, I just knew that God would be looking down on those women and was going to bless them tremendously! Today, we saw the answer to many of their prayers as Jodee Lally was baptized! Jodee came to us a woman with a broken heart, but left the water rejoicing as God has healed her heart! Continue to pray for the boldness of the Hilo Waterdogs!
Jodee has grasped hold of the Bible's promise
to "heal the brokenhearted!"
Jeremiah Clark of Denver: "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden." (Matthew 5:14) I send you greetings from the Denver Church – the light in the "Mile High City" atop the great Rocky Mountains! It has been so encouraging holding out our light to the people of Denver and watching many stream to it! In the last 12 weeks, the Lord has blessed us with 11 additions!
Today, Joey Sand placed membership in our Campus Ministry! This is especially encouraging for me, as I had the opportunity to baptize Joey in 2010 while I was leading the Eugene International Christian Church! Today, service was truly amazing as we had our largest attendance ever outside of our Inaugural Service! Even with over 10 people out sick that normally attend, we still had an attendance of 67! To God be all the glory!
The Clarks welcome their "son in the faith"
Joey into the Denver Church Family!
Maria Franklin from Chicago: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12) The Campus Ministry did an amazing job today leading the charge for a mighty Campus Sunday Service! Dustin & Amanda Miller have done an outstanding job with the college disciples in Chicago! Service was opened with inspiring good news shared by Campus Bible Talk Leaders at Loyola University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, Morton College, Columbia College, Harold Washington College, School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Triton College, DePaul University, Northern Illinois University, University of Chicago and Chicago State University!
Our awesome Campus Minister preached an incredible lesson for the church! Service was closed with two stirring baptisms! First, Kwabena, a zealous young Nigerian student at UIC, was baptized! His major challenge was dealing with fear. He knew that he would be heavily persecuted from his family and he was! Right after service today, he was challenged by his father for four hours but the brothers stood by his side and Kwabena stood firm in the Lord!
Kwabena takes his stand to become a disciple,
because "perfect love drives out fear!"
After him, Ray was baptized! Ray is lifeguard and an amazing addition to the Singles Ministry in the North Region! It was so encouraging and faith building to see Ray make his decision to become a disciple of Jesus Christ! Ray has a very religious background, but didn't allow his pride and sentimentality to get in the way of truth. What was particularly amazing was his immense gratitude that he displayed after each study. We could tell that he was "taken back" by the realization that he had been living a lie, but each time he was asked how he felt his response was always, "I'm so grateful to see the truth!"
After the scales of denominational false teachings
fall from his eyes, Ray experiences a "peace
that passes understanding!"
We are also very excited to announce that this weekend, our family along with Jay & Barb Shelbrack will be driving up to Toronto, Canada to do a worship service with a few remnant disciples there! We are thrilled to go out and encourage our brothers and sisters whose hearts the Lord has stirred to join us in fulfilling God’s dream in this generation! (Ezra 1:5)
Coltin Rohn of Boston: "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!" (Ephesians 3:20-21) How do you describe one of the most amazing days in a short "Good News Email?"
Today we celebrated the First Anniversary of the Boston International Christian Church! When you came into the room, the ambiance of the service was breath-taking! As we began our worship service, we were all in awe of God especially since 105 were in attendance! Also, it was one of our highest contributions as 45 members raised close to $3,000 dollars!
105 attended the First Anniversary
Service of the BICC!
After a few songs to begin this historic service, Angelique delivered a poem posing to the crowd the provoking question, "Christian or Disciple?" Then Kevin and Janah (soon to be Dawson!) put us back in our seats with a special a capella performance. Following, we all enjoyed a short film highlighting the special moments of the BICC. (http://youtu.be/lpXzQTJ9x9Q) After a brief fellowship break, Andrew & Patrique Smellie (our dear partners and overseers in the gospel) gave a powerful communion message helping us to know that even our persecutors can become disciples of Jesus! (Luke 23:32-43) Then our hearts were moved by Joel & Courtney Parlour (great friends to both Mandee & me) with some cheerful comedy calling us to give with a good "Contribution Face On!"
Angelique, the extremely gifted Harvard student,
moves the crowd with her poem,
"Christian or Disciple?"
Before the sermon, Stephen Rydstedt performed one of my favorite songs by Shawn McDonald, Take My Hand. The points of the sermon A Light Has Dawned were quite simple: A Dim Light Of Faith, A Bright Light Of Hope, and A Blinding Light Of Love! Also today, Will Stevens & Chelsea Duke tied the knot down in Georgia!!! I was sad my plane was cancelled and I wasn't able to make it down to be with them, but God was still glorified as "the two became one!"
A remarkable couple, Will & Chelsea
Stevens are married in Georgia!
Next week we will be meeting at our new Venue – the Hyatt Regency Cambridge Hotel! A special thanks to everyone who came to support us and/or sent in a video to encourage us! It is greatly appreciated! We love you all with the love of the Lord!
Joel Parlour of Syracuse: I send you greetings from Boston where Courtney & I were privileged to participate in the First Anniversary Service of the Boston ICC! Of course, we were very encouraged to be with this amazing church as my parents serve as the Shepherding Couple!
Back home, God continued to strengthen the great Syracuse Church as it did not miss a beat! During the summer transition, Bob & Mary Thomas courageously stood in the gap until our arrival. Since then they have begun training alongside Rod & Sarah Carter as our Shepherds-in-Training. It has been nothing short of a pleasure to serve alongside these men and their wives! Every Tuesday night, we all meet together for a dinner, lesson and a time to talk through the needs of the church. They have stepped up to joyfully accept any challenge thus far no matter what the cost physically or emotionally! Today Bob preached a creative sermon entitled, Breaking Sad! We are also excited to see the many people close to getting baptized! Thanks for all your prayers!
Subbing for Joel, Bob Thomas "brings it"
during the sermon!
Andrew Smellie of New York City: Greetings from Boston! It was so very encouraging to celebrate the First Anniversary of the Boston International Christian Church today with members from the Syracuse & New York City Churches!
Andrew & Patrique deliver a moving communion
at Boston's First Anniversary Service!
I still vividly remember as if it were only yesterday, the seven sold-out disciples from New York City who were sent on the Boston Mission Team! That team of 16 disciples has now grown to a church of 45 disciples under the courageous leadership of Coltin & Mandee Rohn! God has blessed the faith and hard work of the Rohns that is now bearing fruit all over Boston and even New Hampshire!
God also blessed the faith of the saints in New York City as Maria Paguaga was baptized into our Queens Ministry! Maria was referred to us by our dear sister Geraldine Blackwell in Los Angeles, who is one of Maria’s best friends! Maria is a married, former Catholic who works for the New York State Department of Education. At her baptism, she joyfully proclaimed "Jesus is Lord!" as she was united with the Lord and His fellowship! Maria is our 10th baptism for the month of September! God is working powerfully throughout the Northeast for His glory! We love you!
One of Geraldine Blackwell's best friends –
Maria – is baptized in NYC!
Jeremy Ciaramella of Phoenix: Greetings from the Valley of "The Son!" "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" (Psalm 133:1) We are having a blast going through the First Principles as a congregation on Wednesdays and Sundays! (http://phxicc.org/streaming-media/2013-first-principles/) These awesome lessons are certainly serving to "Solidify," "Unify" and equip us to "Multiply!"
Today, we had the privilege of having Chantelle Anderson visiting with us from the Houston Remnant Group! Chantelle is Kristin Smith’s recently baptized older sister! Both Kristin's older and younger sisters are now disciples of Jesus thanks to the combined efforts of disciples all over the nation! How amazing it is to be part of a unified movement of churches that is teaching the same thing "everywhere in every church!" (1 Corinthians 4:17) Kristin & Josiah Smith were also excited to announce that they are expecting! Lord willing, the baby is due in late April!
What a year for Kristin as her two sisters are baptized
into Christ and Josiah & her find out
that they are expecting!
The Campus, Singles and Teens are gearing up for Young Guns Sunday on October 6th, while the Marrieds Ministry is having its first retreat in beautiful Sedona! We are very excited to host Matt & Helen Sullivan as our keynote speakers this year!
While the Phoenix Single, Campus and Teen
Ministries gather for "Young Gun Sunday,"
the Marrieds will be on their
retreat in Sedona!
Speaking of disciples from Florida, God moved powerfully to make it abundantly clear to a couple of dearly loved disciples that they are being called by the Holy Spirit to join the team that is planting the Gainesville International Christian Church! Rob & Jenny Bolton were filled with bittersweet joy as they shared their hearts during communion today, announcing to the Phoenix Church Family their decision to answer the Spirit's call! I believe that in time, they will come to serve as a great pillar of faith in what will be our newest church planting! And to Him be the glory!
Daniela Payan of Las Vegas: Greetings from Saint City! It was incredible to return from the ICCM this morning and hear Jason preach an inspiring lesson entitled, The Army Of God! He challenged and encouraged the church to stay true to the purposes of God; to preach "life into dry bones" (Ezekiel 37); and to "put on the full armor of God!" (Ephesians 6:10-20)
Also, another blessing of God was the baptism of Rocio, a young student from the College of Southern Nevada (CSN)! It was moving to hear Rocio share about how she had been praying for months asking God to show her the ultimate purpose of her life! After receiving heavy persecution from her mom just hours before her baptism, Rocio stood firm to the truth and was baptized at our Friday Night Campus Devotional! Please pray that we will reap an incredible harvest this week as we have many who could make it into the saving waters of baptism!
Built up by the Scriptures, Rosio becomes "strong
and courageous" and is baptized!
Ron Harding of Washington DC: Greetings from the Dynamic DC Church! Today, after our First Principle Class on the Discipleship Study, we saw the fruits of our local CyberMinistry (and great follow-up) as DuWayne Hamilton – who found our Northern Virginia group on Meetup.com – made Jesus Lord of his life!
DuWayne proclaims, "Jesus is Lord!"
Also "good news" is that over the last three months – since July 1st – while sending out 23 disciples and over $2,000/week from our then $6,770 in our weekly pledge to Boston, Dallas, Houston and Denver, the Lord has blessed the DC Church with 28 additions and brought our pledged back up to $6,700! The Lord truly has been so gracious to us, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!"
HEADLINE NEWS – INTERNATIONAL
NEWS FLASH – Blaise Feumba of London, the Overseeing Evangelist of Haiti: "They replied, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.' Then they spoke the Word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized!" (Acts 16:31-33) Despite the heavy rains yesterday on Haiti and flooded roads making the transport really challenging, 108 persons gathered to worship the Lord this Sunday in our four Haitian Churches!
In Port-au-Prince, Alexis & Maryse had the honour of seeing their two children, Van Hendel (16) and Bill Richardson (14) baptized!
Fulfilling a life-long dream, Alexis has the honor to
baptize his first son – Van Hendel!
Immediately following, Alexis' joy is doubled when
he baptizes his second son – Bill Richardson!
The Lord also blessed the church with the baptism of MYRIAM, the wife of our dear brother, Pierre MICHELET one of "the Seven Preachers" baptized three weeks ago!
With the baptism of Myriam Michelet, six of The
Seven Preachers' wives have been
baptized as disciples!
Praise God that now six of those seven brothers have seen their wives baptized! Please keep praying for the 63 studies currently going on in Haiti!
NEWS FLASH – Lola Lof: "The soldiers of the Lord" in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo greet you! We have just said ''good-bye'' to the dry-season and we sadly welcome the rainy-season which starts with sunny days every morning! Despite the sun that heats our head, the disciples of Christ are getting more and more fired up in the mission battle!
This week, the Lord has blessed our efforts as three ladies and two guys were powerfully baptized in the body of Christ: Oreline, Olga, Christine, Pidou and Heritier were warmly welcome as new brothers and sisters! Of note, we were richly nourished by the spiritual meal (sermon) provided by Micky Ngungu, as well as by the presence his loving and charming wife Lily who spent almost two weeks with us but next week she heads back to South Africa where she works for the Embassy! Keep us in your daily prayers as God gives us the strength to face all of our daily challenges!
Micky & Lily encouraging the Mighty Kinshasa Church!
NEWS FLASH – Amadou Sountoura: "Don't you have a saying, 'It's still four months until harvest?' I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (John 4:35) The Lord blessed the disciples in Abidjan with 210 in attendance in their three services this Sunday! Of note, the Biankouma Remnant Group led by Bamba and his wife with only two disciples had 17 in attendance! Abidjan is closing the month of September with 11 baptisms and one restoration! Jesus is right when He challenges us to, "OPEN OUR EYES AND LOOK AT THE FIELDS!" To our Mighty King be all the glory!
Raul Moreno of Sao Paulo: "The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah' (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus." (John 1:41-42) The future Apostle Andrew was so fired up about being with Jesus that "the first thing" he did was to find his brother Simon Peter and "introduce" him to Jesus! Likewise, Joao Carlos, who was baptized three months ago in our Singles Ministry, brought his brother Pedro (Peter) to Jesus and His Kingdom, into which Pedro was baptized this last Saturday!
Jubilant, Joao Carlos (left) with his younger
brother Pedro after his baptism!
Also, Fernando & Elisangela ,who were restored about two months ago, brought their son Cesar to Jesus and His Kingdom, and Cesar was baptized at the same time as Pedro! So they are now "spiritual twins" and teen disciples as they are both 17 years old! The Lord is moving in Sao Paulo's Teen Ministry which we have named, "Supernova!" We love you with the love of the Lord!
Through the influence of the Supernova Teen Ministry,
Fernando (left) baptizes his son Cesar!
Carlos Mejia: Saludos de Santiago! We are learning and growing here in Santiago! The first half of this year was particularly tough because we were having a lot baptisms but we also had a lot of fall-aways! It was painful to watch the fall-aways as we questioned ourselves, "What are we doing wrong?"
Being a missionary is tough as you have to learn a new culture, a new language, a new way of thinking, new foods, new diseases, new environmental issues, in essence a whole new life! It can be very lonely at times being so far from family and not being able to celebrate birthdays and American holidays to which we are so accustomed.
As the USA enters Winter, we are beginning our Summer and we just finished Winter! It gets confusing! The hardest of all this is to miss our friends in our home churches! We live in a society where this common phrase is easily applied in our lives, "Out of sight, out of mind." For many of the American missionaries in Santiago, we so appreciate contact – phone calls, emails, texts – from the dear disciples in our home churches from where we were sent out, as well as from other disciples. I would like to start the unofficial, "Call And Connect With Your Missionary Program" where we don't forget the missionaries but we "call and connect!" That said, we are unbelievably grateful for all your financial support because without you we would not be able to evangelize this geographic area of the world where God has called us to be!
Recently, at our Staff Meeting here in Santiago, we went through each disciple that had fallen away and then asked ourselves why? There were a couple things missing in our effort to "teach them to obey everything!" The first was that we needed to implement the Persecution Study right after the Discipleship Study. This has helped us so much to deal with the persecution our disciples receive here in Santiago, particularly on campus!
The Santiago Staff humbly finds the keys to retaining
Jesus' precious new disciples!
The second thing we had to change was to make sure that all of our newborn disciples were not just being baptized but also nourished after their baptisms so they could sustain their relationships to God when Satan attacked. A lot of the young disciples were feeling like they were being paid attention to in the studies but as soon as the studies were completed and they were baptized, the attention greatly decreased. After repenting in these two areas, I am encouraged to report that in the past six weeks, we have had 12 additions which brings our awesome congregation to 114 sold-out disciples! And during this time, we have had only one fall-away! Glory be to God!
Maria Hart: Greetings from London! A few weeks ago, I contacted the Overman Family via Facebook and invited them to the first official service of the Amsterdam ICC. On September 1st, Thirza their daughter (and the first baptism of the Curaçao ICOC) brought out her three children, her parents Burney & Heidy, and her younger sister Jessika. They were blown away by the zeal, the singing, and the love and personal sacrifice of the disciples from London, Paris and Stockholm who had come for the weekend to evangelize for Amsterdam’s first service. Therefore, I'm so excited by the news in Amsterdam that Burney & Heidy Overman were restored this Sunday!
This amazing couple was the second and third baptisms of the Willemstad ICOC back in 1996! During that time, Heidy was the most fruitful sister in the church helping more than 13 women become disciples! Unfortunately, with the change of doctrine in our former fellowship, the Overmans both fell away in 2003. During the last decade, they have visited many churches looking for revival but to no avail. Interestingly, they even visited what’s left of the ICOC in Amsterdam a few months ago in an attempt to come back to God. Sadly, they were discouraged at the state of the church, and in their own words, "The zeal and passion for God are gone."
The Amsterdam Church Leaders – Menno & Yuklin
Zoutendijk and Renee & Anita Vermaat – pull into
God's movement Burney & Heidy (center)!
This last Friday evening in London, we had an incredible baptism of my neighbor Sandra! I met Sandra a month ago walking home with her three kids from attending her church! Sandra is a cardiologist from Nigeria who graduated from medical school Magna Cum Laude! She came to London almost a year ago to pursue her Master's Degree in Preventive Cardiology.
We have been studying the Bible almost every day, sometimes twice a day, and I have been impressed by Sandra's heart to examine and wrestle with the Scriptures. Even though she had to defend her dissertation this past Wednesday, she could not put her Bible down as it was the first time she was confronted with God's truth about "how to be saved" as the Bible did its own heart surgery! (Hebrews 4:12-13) Amazingly, as she sought first God's Kingdom (Matthew 6:33), she was able to defend her dissertation without studying for it! Today, "Dr. Sandra" is able to not only help women with their physical hearts but their spiritual hearts as well! To God be all the glory!
Sandra, a doctor, will now be "attending"
the Great Physician in healing many
Pieth-Bernard N'zonzi: Greetings from Paris – the City of Light! Our church has taken the capital of France by storm with our first campaign ever entitled, At The Speed Of Light! We believe that God can change a person's life at lightning speed!
As our campaign unfolded, God has been our lantern and our guide as the disciples made over 200 contacts by the end of the first week! All of the university students are back to school and we are determined to turn them from the allure of the world into blazing disciples in the Kingdom! We are also overjoyed by the addition of our sister Monica Vasquez whom the Lord generously placed in our church from the City of Angels Church in LA! Once dying in our former fellowship, Monica – a 52 year old French teacher from America – is "living her dream to serve the Lord in a foreign land" and is now shining like a radiant star in Paris!
New partners in the gospel, Monica has been warmly
welcomed by Prisca – the Paris Women's
Finally, we praise God for the recovery of Lianne and Tim Jr. Kernan in the Chennai Church, and are continually grateful for the prayers disciples everywhere! Au revoir… until next week!
NEWS FLASH – Tim Kernan: Greetings from Chennai, India! This was an incredible Sunday as 84 disciples had a record 203 people at our Invitation Service! The service was beautifully prepared with amazing refreshments and a special stage for our first "AMS skit!" Even guests were in tears as the disciples brought the gospel to life without words!
A record 203 attended the Chennai Invitation Service!
Johnny Palani inspired the entire gathering to sing
with all their hearts in glorifying God!
As a church, we have had an extremely productive and exciting month-and-a-half of building four House Churches, fourteen Bible Talks, an Arts Media Sports (AMS) Ministry, a CyberMinistry, and a Campus Ministry! During this time, we have had nine additions! We must never forget the difference between being busy and being productive! On this Invitation Sunday, this newly organized church has truly burst out of the gate to begin our Harvest Month with one collective dream – abundant fruit to glorify our Savior! (John 15:8)
While Tim was preaching in the English Service,
Thomas Vijayan was preaching
in the Tamil Service!
Sonal shares vulnerably about her
life during communion!
As with the feeding of the 5,000, there was plenty of
food for all the visitors and the disciples!
Especially encouraging for me this week was to have our whole family out of the hospital and happy at home again! Lianne transferred home as an "out-patient" after a terrible and sobering bout of Dengue Fever. Dengue Fever operates much the same as "lower tract infections" except where lower tract infections (diarrhea) causes water to be absorbed into the intestines and purged from the body, Dengue Fever causes the blood vessels in our bodies to reject its own blood and then be absorbed into the digestive tract and then eliminated! It is a very serious and potentially fatal tropical illness. Indeed, it is one of the major causes of death is South India!
The average individual has 150,000 platelets/microliter of blood, but in Lianne’s case the Dengue Fever had lowered this count to only 60,000 when we entered the hospital! Therefore, she was very "listless" as platelets carry our bodies' oxygen supply. Great care at the hospital and prayer by the disciples around the world allowed Lianne "to escape" a blood transfusion necessary to save the life of many victims of Dengue Fever.
Our sister Maria stayed many hours
in the hospital with Lianne!
Dengue Fever is very hard to detect in children so it is hard to tell what Junior had. However, after five days of fever, vomiting and severe dehydration he too was in a critical condition! That said, Junior has now completely bounced back and returned to his normal boisterous self!
During Junior's hospital stay, Auntie Granma
June enjoys the movies as much as Junior!
My youngest son David was being taken care of in the expert hands of Debs Rajan and the Rajan Family, and after almost a week away, David has become fully Indian!
With Lianne in the hospital and Tim ministering
to her, Debs takes David into
her family and care!
On Friday, when everyone was finally back together under one roof, we prayed together as a family and also with "Auntie Granma June" our precious part time babysitter, along with Roger and Pradeep of the Campus! It was an amazing moment I will never forget. A special thank you to all the Chennai disciples who encouraged us, as well as to Kip & Elena and the whole movement for the generous spiritual and material support to get us through this challenge. We are eternally grateful!
Excitingly, we have 54 studies on the go this coming week! Our dear brother Raja is acting as "Spiritual Dispatcher" to daily track all the studies since they are held in multiple languages so that we get the right disciples with the right skills, cultural background and language on each study to create a "gang tackle" effect! In classic SoldOut Discipling Movement fashion, we will also be having a weekly "Chariot Ride" to boldly convince those studies who may be on the fence to gain a personal urgency and commitment to be with the Lord!
It’s been a wild and crazy ride, but "NEVERTHELESS" (2 Samuel 5:7) we boldly surge into our Harvest Month! Pray for us!
The Chennai International Christian Church Logo!
Dearest Brothers and Sisters, Praise God that our collective prayers for Lianne and Junior have been answered! As for Chennai like the entire movement, October, November and December should yield an incredible Autumn Harvest! So let us strive to continue to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen!" (2 Peter 3:18)