The Bangalore (India) Mission Team was gloriously
sent out by the Spirit at the First South Asia
Missions Conference in Chennai!
BREAKING NEWS2017 Global Leadership Conference (GLC): For the first time, the GLC will be celebrated outside the United States further signifying that we are a worldwide family! The location for this historic event will be Metro Manila, Philippines at the Makati Shangri La Hotel! Since we are centering all the lessons on the Book of Revelation, the inspirational theme for the 2017 GLC is VICTORIOUS! The dates are August 3-6, 2017.
Since the 2017 GLC will be based on the Book
of Revelation, we have selected the
thrilling theme – VICTORIOUS!
During this epic occasion, a whole day will be devoted for every MERCY Ambassador to serve in some of the poorest communities of Metro Manila! As well, we will witness the Fifth Commencement of the International College of Christian Ministries! And perhaps most excitingly, Lord willing, three mission teams will be sent out: Miami (Florida), Cebu (Philippines), and Hong Kong (China) – the Twelfth (and last) Crown of Thorns City!
2,000 MERCY Ambassadors participated
in the 2016 GLC!
At the 2016 ICCM Commencement, we awarded
65 Bachelor’s Degrees, 5 Master’s Degrees
and 1 Doctorate Degree in Ministry!
We are encouraging every Church Leader Couple, every Shepherding Couple and every LA Region Leader Couple to stay at the Shangri La Hotel as we have agreed in our contract to have at least 400 room nights. The cost of a room (which includes an incredible breakfast) is $158/night. There are many considerably less expensive hotels in the area that others may select online. If you chose to do so, strive to find an option that is in or close to Makati as the traffic in Metro Manila is considered by many to be the worst in the world! We will send out a link to register at the Makati Shangri La ASAP!
The entire 2017 GLC Program will be held in the
magnificent Makati Shangri-La Hotel
in Metro Manila!
Once in the Philippines, food is relatively inexpensive. However, plane tickets will surely increase in price as the event draws near, so consider asking for a ticket as your Christmas present! Let’s be praying daily for the 2017 GLC
to be such a momentous event that we will still be talking about it in Heaven! Please feel free to contact Tim Kernan – the GLC
Director – with any questions at email@example.com
! Andrew Smellie – Lead Evangelist of Lagos: “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.”
(2 Thessalonians 3:1) Greetings from Nigeria! Tonight at our Family Fun Night (Congregational Midweek Service), we celebrated the work of the Lord over the six months of our Lagos Missionary Journey with food, fun and fellowship – a cranking dance party! By the grace of God, we have seen 55 additions from June 2016 to the present – 46 baptisms, 5 restorations and 4 place memberships! To God be all the glory!
The Family Fun Night celebrated all of the additions
that God has graciously given to the Lagos
Church! A highlight was everyone
dancing to the Cupid Shuffle!
Tonight we witnessed two more remarkable additions as Charles Anate was restored and Stephen Effiong was baptized into Christ! Charles was baptized in the London Church in 2012, but had to return to his hometown of Abuja, Nigeria because of his expired student visa in 2014. While he tried to remain faithful, the absence of the body of Christ and his desire for comfortability eventually led to him to “wander from the faith.” (James 5:19-20) In June of this year, on his own he came to the Lagos Inaugural Service where we first met him. We then connected him with a valiant remnant couple in Abuja – Paul & Bernice Ede! As the Edes are making plans to move to Lagos for training, Charles also realized he too needed “to seek first the Kingdom” and even gave up a job offer in Abuja to move to Lagos to be restored!
Simon rejoiced in Stephen’s incredible baptism!
Stephen is another miracle story, as he was invited out by our sister Abigail who was just baptized two weeks ago! Despite being the number two man in his cult (gang), he was humble to the Word of God and forgave his polygamous father who had abandoned and embittered him. Tonight he declared, “I am the happiest man in this room” as he confessed, “Jesus is Lord!” Please continue to pray for us as we seek to honor the Lord with many “gifts” during the Christmas season – the harvest of souls who declare that “Jesus is Lord” and are baptized!
Andrew & Patrique’s wonderful children – Naomi
and Isaiah – have fallen in love with Nigeria!
Carlos Mejia – Lead Evangelist of Mexico City: “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!” 2016 was an amazing year for the Mexico City Church, as this congregation was blessed in more ways than we could have imagined!
Carlos & Lucy Mejia – the heroic Mexico City Church
Leaders – and their two sons Carlitos
(right) and Andrew!
The latest and greatest news is our Women’s Day entitled, Hasta Que Te Conocí (Until I Met You). We were inspired by Dr. Elena McKean’s book “ELEVATE” which focuses on chapters 7 & 8 in the Book of Luke. We had four women share their lives based on the encounters Jesus had with the women found in these accounts. Cristina Corona (church leader/missionary) shared about how her life relates to “The Jewish Widow,” who had experienced tremendous loss including the death of her only son. Daniela Burlando, an AMS Sister (model/actress/talk show host), shared about her life as “The Sinful Woman.” Adriana Casa (shepherdess-in-training/voice-over professional) shared about her life in relation to “The Bleeding Woman,” and finally, Vicki Negrin (young teen) shared about the 12 year-old “Dead Girl” and how Jesus revived her from spiritual and emotional death.
As the President of the newly formed SoldOut Press
International, Carlos Mejia has been instrumental
in not only publishing Elena’s book ELEVATE,
but distributing it around the world!
Also, instead of a main speaker, this year we had three brothers share about how they viewed women before they entered the Kingdom! The highlight of the evening was the attendance of so many women… 60 disciples had 265 in attendance at Women’s Day! Indeed way more than we asked or imagined!
At the Mexico City Women’s Day, the 60 Sisters
were blessed by God with an
attendance of 265!
By God’s grace every ministry has been fruitful as we have grown in the past 11 months from 59 disciples to almost 140! Yet the greatest highlight has been the growth of the Teen Ministry! At the beginning of 2016, we had only one teen. Today, we have 16 sold-out teens, and there are many more studying the Bible as these disciples are intensely evangelistic! We believe that God has rewarded the faith, sacrifice and tireless efforts of our entire leadership group as so much love, prayer and time has gone into building this ministry! We are eternally grateful for Miguel & soon-to-be Myrna Limon – our amazing Teen Leaders – and for the parents of our teen disciples who have built such a wonderful partnership and have undoubtedly reaped a great harvest! Lucy & I are especially grateful as both of our teenage sons – Carlos and Andrew – were baptized this year!
Diego Torres – who is being treated for cancer – is
baptized by his mom and best friend Daniel!
He was inspired to start studying when his
big sister Kenya was baptized into the
Teen Ministry earlier this year!
Finally, we are so proud of Anthony & Alejandra Rodriguez who we had the privilege of baptizing in Santiago, Chile! Anthony & Alejandra gave up everything in Chile and came with us to Mexico City as missionaries! They have done an outstanding job building the church as they work tirelessly and are consistently fruitful in every way! It is evident that God is with them! That is why we are ecstatic to announce, that Lord willing, they will be sent out by the Spirit to plant the Monterrey International Christian Church at the 2017 Latin American Missions Conference (LAMC) here in Mexico City!
The powerful theme of the 2017 Latin American
Missions Conference is THE KINGDOM!
will be held again this year at the Hotel Hilton Reforma from February 9-12, 2017! Registration is $175 athttps://277453476.planningpod.com/
. See you in February and to God be all the glory forever and ever, amen!Jason Dimitry – Lead Evangelist of San Francisco:
What a wild ride 2016 has been! Filled with great victories and even greater lessons learned! The highlights would have to be the appointments of Dustin & Amanda Miller, the development of COP’s (Company of Prophets) which is a leadership training program, the 62 baptisms and 20 restorations and place memberships. The San Francisco Church is now exactly 135 disciples!
One of the highlights of 2016 for the San Francisco
Church was the appointment of Dustin & Amanda
Miller to be an Evangelist and Women’s Ministry
Leader! The Millers will become the Denver
Church Leaders in March!
In addition to that, I continue to be inspired by the generosity of the disciples in blowing out both our June and November Special Missions by almost 150% on each occasion! Also, in September, God blessed us with our biggest service to date with 239 in attendance at our Fourth Anniversary Service,
where we aired our Anniversary Video which has now received more than 3,000 views on Facebook! (https://youtu.be/PAj_yAmIihM
) This video beautifully describes the unforgettable year that God gave us in San Francisco! As great as the last year has been we know that God wants to do immeasurably more and we are determined to take the REVOLUTION
of love into 2017! To God be all the glory!Jacob Beas – Lead Evangelist of Sacramento:
Greetings from “SACred City” – Sacramento, California! There have been many amazing miracles in the church over the last several weeks, one of them being the beautiful wedding of Andrey & Cynthia Astanin, the church’s second wedding!
Congratulations to Andrey & Cynthia Astanin!
Secondly, the congregation blew out our Thanksgiving Missions Contribution by turning in 110% of our goal this last Sunday! So inspiring to the church was ending our Thanksgiving Missions Service with the baptism of Jason Taylor who is a longtime friend of Jazz, baptized last year in our campus ministry! It is truly remarkable to see our young Christians bearing fruit in “SACred City!”
After Jason’s (second from the left) baptism,
Ryan, Jazz and Tyler welcome him to
the Sacramento Family!
Keep us in your prayers as we close out the rest of the year strong for the Lord!Elena Sirotkina – Lead Woman’s Ministry Leader of Moscow: In the beginning of November, we had an awesome Bible Talk Leaders Conference in Kiev, Ukraine, where we gathered leaders from Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, as well as from Kiev! Argo & Anu Arneson – very special and dear friends from the Stockholm Church – were the guest speakers! Prayerfully, they will lead the Kiev Mission Team next spring and Kaspar & Ashley Tambaur will become the Stockholm Church Leaders!
In February, Argo & Anu Arneson will leave their
beloved city of Stockholm to begin preparations
to plant the Kiev ICC!
Kaspar & Ashley Tambaur dream of
leading the Stockholm Church
early next year!
Amazingly at our Sunday service – after one week of a missions campaign – we had for 22 Kiev disciples and 20 visiting disciples more than 200 in attendance! Several visitors were our brothers and sisters from the ICOC as well as many more fallen away brothers and sisters who want to return to God and His family! This was a very touching service!
In a special Sunday Service, Argo preached
to over 200 in Kiev!
Last month in Moscow, we had an amazing six baptisms and two restorations! Of these, three were campus students and one was an awesome teen named Marianna!
Sophia (left) and Misha – the Women’s Teen
Leader – affectionately embrace the newest
Moscow Teen Sister Marianna!
Miraculously in just two years starting with our daughter Sophia as the only teen, we now have nine baptized teen disciples! Just two weeks ago, Sophia started to help to lead this group of teens alongside a very spiritual and talented young brother Alexey! Please pray for our new generation of young leaders! All glory to God!Michael Williamson – Lead Evangelist of London: It’s been quite the year for Europe! History was made in June when the UK voted to leave the European Union sparking an intellectual civil war that exposed the obvious divide in the country. Sadly, many non-Christians here have spent their time “biting and devouring one another” (Galatians 5:15) and adopting ancient Greek terms like Xenophobia (fear of foreigners) highlighting the clear need for the one and only bridge-building solution in the entire world – THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST! With 50 additions so far in 2016, London has been eventful! In April, we held our Sixth Annual Women’s Day and our 69 sisters had 319 in attendance! Shepherdess Maria Hart had 35 personal visitors and two of them were baptized a few months later!
Michael & Michele Williamson serve the Lord as
not only the Lead Ministry Couple for London,
but as the World Sector Leaders for Europe!
The church through the power of God raised $72,774 USD in March to continue supporting the efforts in Stockholm, Sweden alongside hiring “Cranking” Kolbe Gray and “Radical” Rebecca Rico in the fulltime ministry!
Elena is so proud of Kolbe & Rebecca as they have
been selected to be London’s new
East Region Leaders!
Last week, we saw our first London School of Economics convert (one of the top business schools in the world!) and we are now officially a club at one of the toughest universities in London UCL/SOAS!This year’s EMC entitled LIVING BY FAITH was dubbed by many who previously attended our other conferences as our best ever, largely because of the outstanding preaching! God blessed the conference with four incredible additions alongside the Birmingham House Church send off! It was also the coming out party for our faithful Shepherd Michael Hart, as he is now training to be the Evangelist for the Amsterdam International Christian Church planting in 2017!
Lord willing at the 2017 EMC, Michael & Maria
Hart will be sent out from London to lead
the Amsterdam Mission Team!
Sean Hurditt & MJ Amaegbe, who lead the Birmingham House Church, are now engaged and pulling in remnant disciples in Birmingham (thanks to the efforts of Joe & Kerry Willis) and look to be officially appointed at our Winter Workshop in London in January!
Congratulations to Sean & MJ on their engagement!
Lastly, I could not be more proud of the church as we are officially starting four mighty regions in London and are poised to “Divide and Conquer” (our Winter Workshop theme) in 2017! Keep your ever growing London Family in your prayers!Joe Willis – Lead Evangelist of Sydney: Greetings from Down Under! The Sydney Church is ending the year with a bang as we are seeing many baptisms from all the main universities from our various outreach efforts! Most notably this year Chi Leong and Jenna Loheed have built the University of New South Wales from zero to now 16 students! Our overall church membership has steadily climbed to 52 disciples!
Chi and “Samoan Scotty” baptized Aaron at the
fast-growing University of New
South Wales Ministry!
Before heading back to Los Angeles, Brain Lee
(second from left) baptized his friend from
Sydney University “Manny” (on his left)
replacing himself to continue
the work there!
At our Annual Church Camping Retreat, we enjoyed our “Church Olympics,” beach parties, fellowship, awesome food and deep teachings on prayer! We welcomed back Pete & Paulina Wade from their honeymoon on the last night of the retreat! We are now preparing for Sean Valenzuela & Teigan Fraley’s wedding on December 10th!
Teigan (left) baptized her friend Emma even though
Teigan’s wedding is fast approaching!
Lastly, pray for us as the Sydney Church is planning on bringing every disciple to the 2017 GLC where our Hong Kong Mission Team will be sent out!Jermaine Peacock – Lead Evangelist of San Diego: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) So proud of the disciples here, as we have grown to 45 sold-out disciples and have raised almost $22,000 for our Thanksgiving Missions! The joy is returning, as the hard work and faith to move mountains is on the rise! What a faith-building Sunday for my wife Stefanie & me as we witnessed our son Jaxon Peacock be restored in the Lord! Keep praying for us as we continue to build God’s church here in San Diego!
A very grateful Jaxon Peacock – the youngest son of
Jermaine & Stefanie – is restored to the Lord!
Raul Moreno – Lead Evangelist of São Paulo: “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:15) Greetings from the saints in São Paulo, Brazil! 2016 has been a great year for the São Paulo Church as many “noble plans” were achieved so that God’s grace could reach “more and more people” for His glory! The year started strongly as we hosted our First Brazil Missions Conference which had been a dream for us! God blessed us with 250 in attendance!
God answered Raul’s prayers for the São Paulo
Church to host the First Brazil Missions
Conference, whose theme was
EM CHAMAS (ON FIRE!)
Secondly, we were able to divide the congregation into three regions (East, West, South) so that growth could be multiplied as well as more leaders raised up! Thirdly, we sent a house church composed of seven awesome disciples to Rio de Janeiro to give us a foothold!
God gave Rio three baptisms last week! Two of
them were Ventura & Elisa who are engaged
to be married! Ventura is from Angola!
The third baptism was Mylena!
Fourthly, 90 women disciples had an attendance of 300 at our Annual Women’s Day! And last but not least, the church grew from 137 disciples in January to 179 disciples as of this writing, and we still have one month to go in 2016! Thank you LA Church for sending us one of your best in the charismatic evangelist Adam Zepeda to further propel God’s plan in Brazil!
Raul, Tulio and Adam had a blast at the São Paulo
Church Costume Party! Raul was the most fired
up as he exclaimed, “It is good to have
hair once again!”
God has been so good, and we look forward to what He will do in 2017 starting with our Second Brazil Missions Conference simply entitled, REDEMPTION! Mark the dates: February 19-21, 2017 as on that Sunday the Rio de Janeiro Mission Team will be officially sent off!
REDEMPTION is the stirring theme for the
2017 Brazil Missions Conference!
We love you with the love of the Lord, and it is very uplifting to hear all that God is doing through all the churches all over the world!Kyle Bartholomew – Lead Evangelist of Manila: 2016 has been a year of almost daily miracles! Recently we had a service of almost 300 people!
Almost 300 people attended the MMICC
two weeks ago!
These past two weeks have been nothing short of spectacular as we have seen 11 baptisms and one place membership! Most of those who have been converted these past two weeks certainly reflect our theme, “The Year of Family!” Some of the family members who were baptized include: Andrew – the husband of Jocy, who has been faithfully praying for Andrew since becoming a disciple many years ago! Janese – a young woman who is the sister of Janien, one of our amazing sisters from the awesome Warrior Nation Campus Ministry, was baptized! Janien has now helped both her mom and her sisters to become disciples!
Janien – with the help of her mom Margie who
she also converted – baptized her
little sister Janese!
Baptized as well were Vera and Violeta – who are the wife and mother-in-law of Ato, who has been praying for them both since getting restored a little over a year ago! Miggy – a student at Ateneo High School, who is the son of Oliver a former fulltime staff member from our former fellowship that was just restored less than a month ago! Lance – who has been dreaming of the day that he would be old enough to get baptized! Upon Lance’s 12th birthday, he finished his studies and was baptized, completely uniting his immediately family in Christ – Nimrod, Vis and Michael! Certainly, God has been good to us as a church as He is working to bring families together in the Lord!
With Lance’s baptism, the Malnegro Family
is united in Christ!
Also, equally exciting is that we received back from Dubai our very own missionary Gina Dela Pena! Our dear sister faithfully served in Dubai for the past four months and was able to help bring into the church four other disciples from our former fellowship with Filipino roots!
Gina is given a “hero’s welcome” back
home in Manila from serving
the Lord in Dubai!
Of special note is the Barn Bible Talk, that is led by Marc & Maika Carbonell who had four of the 11 baptisms these two weeks come from their Bible Talk! The Barn Bible Talk has now grown from 11 to 23 sold-out disciples in just four short months! Also, the Single Professional Ministry had three of the 11 baptisms these past two weeks and as a ministry has now grown from 27 to 47 fired up disciples in the last four months!
The Barn Bible Talk – led by Marc & Maika Carbonell –
baptized four disciples last Sunday!
So the Manila Church has now witnessed in the 11 months of 2016, the Spirit add 165 to our number: 135 baptisms, 27 restorations and 3 place memberships… And we are now 215 members strong for the Lord!!! Pray for us as we begin to prepare to host the first GLC
outside of the USA in August 2017! HEADLINE NEWS
The McKeans’ Latest Missionary Journey
New York City was our first stop on our nearly month long missionary journey, as LA, Chicago and New York City have been the three key USA Churches upon which we have focused our efforts this year! While in New York City, we had the opportunity to pray and plan with Luke & Brandyn Speckman! We prayed about moving the New York City Church into regions, having a greater focus on the campus, and how the Speckmans can live a balanced life while leading the great New York Church and overseeing the work in India, while also taking the time to build a godly family.
The vision for evangelizing the 20 million people of
NYC is to establish regions in the five boroughs,
then in New Jersey (north of Staten Island in
Newark), and finally in Long Island
(which is east of Queens)!
Church on Sunday morning, October 23rd at the Sarah Anderson Elementary School in the heart of Manhattan was incredible!
After Luke & Brandyn Speckman (right) gave an
invigorating welcome, Ken Chin – one of the
Shepherds of NYC – guided our hearts
to God with his prayer!
In particular, the singing led by Mark Hair was extraordinary! As well, he leads the NYC Church Choir that closed this amazing service with the rousing hymn, I Feel The Spirit! I was honored to deliver the sermon to this radiant group of disciples!
Mark Hair did a tremendous job of leading the
singing, as well as directing the NYC Choir!
After a great d-time during lunch with the right hand couple of the New York Church – Jay & Barb Shelbrack, we headed back to the school to get ready for the “Women’s Tea!” Three weeks earlier when Brandyn heard that Elena & I were stopping by on our way to London, she quickly organized a women’s event for Elena to speak and have a book signing for her new book, ELEVATE – Jesus’ Global Revolution For Women!
After signing her book ELEVATE in LA, Chicago,
Orlando, Mexico City, Dubai and Manila, Elena
was very honored to do this in one of the
“book capitals of the world” –
New York City!
By using the school building that afternoon for the Women’s Tea during the usual time of the Bible Talk Leaders Meeting, there were no rental expenses! And though the NYC Sisters had but three weeks to prepare invitations and decorations, God moved as over 250 women were in attendance!
The Women’s Tea closed with a moving baptism and then lots and lots of fellowship!
After the baptism, the NYC Sisters and their
guests enjoyed a fun-filled fellowship!
On Monday evening, we flew to London arriving late morning on Tuesday at Heathrow Airport to be joyfully greeted by the zealous London Disciples!
RD & April Baker of Dubai were given a warm
SoldOut Movement Welcome by the
zealous London Disciples!
That evening, we had dinner with our dear son and daughter in the faith – Michael & Michele Williamson! They have done a brilliant job in leading London, planning the European Missions Conference, and strategizing the evangelization of Europe!
The McKeans’ first night in London was spent
enjoying a meal with Michael & Michele
Williamson – their trusted son and
daughter in the faith!
The exciting theme for the 2016 European Missions Conference (EMC)came from Romans 1:17 – LIVING BY FAITH! This annual festival began on Wednesday evening with the Speakers Dinner! Over Indian food, we were able to fellowship with so many different church leaders from all over Europe as well as from Australia, Mexico, America, Russia, Philippines and the United Arab Emirates!
On Thursday morning was the Church Builders Workshop! After a stirring opening video, Michael & Michele gave a warm Welcome which was followed by a heart-moving prayer by Scott Lunde of Phoenix! Then Jason Dimitry of San Francisco powerfully preached the opening sermon entitled, CALLED TO BE AN APOSTLE!
Jason Dimitry preaches with deep conviction that
a preacher is called by God and must never quit!
Then we participated in MEN’S and WOMEN’S SESSIONS! The main address of FAITH COMES FROM HEARING THE MESSAGE was delivered respectively by Anthony Olmos soon-to-be of Paris and Sarah Dimitry! Short dynamic charges on Planting Churches On The Mission Field were given by Coltin Rohn of LA, RD Baker of Dubai, Carlos Mejia of Mexico City, LuJack Martinez of LA, Oleg Sirotkin of Moscow, and Joe Willis of Sydney in the MEN’S SESSION!
Joe & Kerry were very excited about being given
six different speaking assignments at the EMC!
In a similar program in the WOMEN’S SESSION, the sisters heard such heroines in the faith as Mandee Rohn, April Baker, Rebecca Rico of London, Cathi Martinez, Maria Hart of London, and Kerry Willis! Both sessions were followed by d-groups filled with Biblical discussions, heartfelt personal sharing and the confessions of sin.
Mandee Rohn of Los Angeles!
Rebecca Rico of London!
Cathi Martinez of Los Angeles!
After an afternoon break, we came together for the FIRST GENERAL SESSION of the EMC! Striving to capture the spirit of our first century brothers and sisters, Sean & Sandra Corrigan dressed in “first century attire” and welcomed everyone!
After unfurling a parchment of the Book of Romans
and reading Romans 1:16-17, the Corrigans
welcomed everyone to the 2016 EMC –
LIVING BY FAITH!
Then Elena & I shared GOOD NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD!Unquestionably, the evening’s highlight was the lesson by Joe Willis, FAITH THAT MOVES MOUNTAINS! One of his many insights was that Jesus’ reference in Mark 11 to a “mountain thrown in the sea” could well be a reference to a “nation” as mountains are equated to nations throughout much of the Old Testament!
Carlos Mejia and Sadhvi Monfleur brought from
Mexico City – home of SoldOut Press
International – several Christian
books to sell at the EMC that
are geared to strengthen
Elena graciously signed books for Yuklin,
Cassidy and Michael!
RD and Anthony were intimidated to ask
Elena for a selfie in person!
In the morning, there were MEN’S and WOMEN’S PROGRAMS! Each began with a main address, IF GOD IS FOR US WHO CAN BE AGAINST US. These were given by Carlos Mejia and Michele Williamson! Then came a series of brief but powerful lessons on MEN OF FAITH andWOMEN OF FAITH! In the MEN’S PROGRAM, the lessons by Kolbe Gray on Abraham – Tested By God, Michael Hart’s Gideon – Transformed By God, and Moses – Humble Before God by Argo Arneson of Stockholm particularly touched my heart!
Carlos stirs the hearts of the brothers with
the message IF GOD IS FOR US
WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?
In the WOMEN’S PROGRAM, Elena was greatly encouraged by all the sisters’ lessons!
Elena was assigned the charge: Abigail – Wisdom
From God! Since topics are assigned to match
the strength of the speaker, Kip was
wondering if the Williamsons
thought of him as Nabal
The EMC’s Women Speakers – who came from the
four corners of the globe – are all beautiful
on the inside and the outside!
During the lunch hour, there were three optional but very needed workshops: The Song Leaders Workshop by LuJack Martinez and Chris Adams both of LA, The CyberMinistry Workshop by Jeremy Ciaramella of Phoenix, and Overcoming Abuse Workshop by Carlos Mejia, who quite vulnerably shared about the ungodly abuse from adults during his youth from which God healed him!
LuJack Martinez preaching for the Song Leaders
Workshop – THE JOY IN SINGING HIS PRAISES!
At the Cyber Workshop, Jeremy Ciaramella preached
on CASTING YOUR NET ON THE “NET!”
That Friday evening was the SECOND GENERAL SESSION where Michael Williamson inspired us all to NOT BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL!
Michael delivered the ancient charge to
NOT BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL!
Afterward was an entertaining Concert emceed by Paul Busari and where the new dating couple that very day of James Gordine & Hillary Donelly performed together! The evening schedule ended with a fun-filled Pure Dance!
There were so many stellar performances at
the EMC Concert especially James
Gordine & Hillary Donelly who
just started dating that day!
On Saturday morning the THIRD GENERAL SESSION began with a MERCY Presentation by London’s hardworking MERCY Director – Michael Ochwa! So instead of the customary “MERCY Night” at each of our missions conferences, everyone donned their green MERCY t-shirts for a lovely “MERCY Morning!”
This was followed by a strong call by Oleg Sirotkin “to make the ideals of the Scriptures to be our standards” in the sermon, EXCHANGING THE TRUTH FOR A LIE!
Through their friendship, Oleg Sirotkin and
Michael Williamson have knit together
the London and Moscow Churches!
Then I was asked to give a detailed, hour-and-a-half overview of the History of the Mainline Churches of Christ, the International Churches of Christ, and God’s new Movement – the International Christian Churches! It was awesome having several from the ICOC visiting for this presentation!
Each of these three spiritual generations – Kip,
Michael and RD – cling to the same vision
of the evangelization of the nations in
THIS physical generation!
That afternoon was the always entertaining England vs. “The World” Football Match! This year, the British squad redeemed themselves as they overcame the devastating defeat at the 2015 GLC by winning this year 4 – 2!
“The World” Football Team was victorious
at the 2015 EMC…
However, the All England Team secured the victory
at this year’s EMC by a score of 4 – 2!
Saturday evening was “off” for the Marrieds, Singles and Teens, but the college students participated in the INTERNATIONAL CAMPUS DEVOTIONAL led by London’s Campus Ministry Leaders – Anthony & Cassidy Olmos!
Jurij Zykov – the Berlin (Germany) Mission Team
Leader – gives an enthusiastic welcome at
the International Campus Devotional!
Though tired having flown all the way from the
Philippines, Joan Bartholomew gives her
heart in sharing about the fast growing
Manila Campus Ministry!
Lord willing, Anthony & Cassidy Olmos – the
International Campus Devotional Leaders –
will become the Evangelist and
Women’s Ministry Leader
for Paris in June!
When the Olmoses come to Paris in June, Philippe
& Prisca Scheidecker will become the Shepherding
Couple for this great congregation!
Sunday was a tremendous Worship Service with almost 300 in attendance! After an inspiring few songs we joined in an International Prayer in seven languages!
The Sunday Worship Service of the EMC was
appropriately initiated with an International
Prayer in seven languages!
Then came the much awaited for Football Trophy Presentation by the overseer of the game – Michael Hart!
Isaac Ojo – the Captain of the English Squad – lifts
up the World Championship Football Trophy!
Following this, a more worshipful atmosphere was created for the Communion by Chris & Kerri-Sue Adams. Joe Willis then gave a very humorous and practical Contribution message!
Chris & Kerri-Sue Adams impacted the entire
EMC audience through their Communion!
Then RD Baker then gave the keynote address – LIVING BY FAITH – in which he shared incredible acts of faith in the planting in September of our pillar church for the Middle East – Dubai! One of the most stirring stories was about RD’s wife April who has braved very serious physical heart issues to preach the Word on the challenging mission field of the Gulf States!
The Sunday Worship crowd at the EMC!
RD Baker of Dubai dynamically preached the
keynote address – LIVING BY FAITH!
Then we witnessed three glorious baptisms! As one older brother has said, “It’s just not church unless there are baptisms!” Also a dear sister Keithra was restored to the Lord!
Babatunde – a teen – was one of three
baptisms at the EMC!
To end the service, we fell on our knees to send out London’s first mission team to Birmingham, England!
The Birmingham (England) Mission Team is led by
the newly engaged couple Sean & MJ (right)!
This year the EMC did not conclude after the Sunday Service, but that evening we were blessed with a Kingdom Banquet and a Play aptly entitled Paul: Living By Faith which truly was a grand finale!
The Kingdom Banquet!
In the play Paul – Living By Faith
, Ananias (Michael
Peterson of LA) reaches out to Saul (Menno
Zoutendijk of London) to baptize him!
The 2017 EMC Speakers were instrumental in calling
the participants to believe that no matter what
is going on in their lives, the only thing
that counts is LIVING BY FAITH!
Monday morning, Elena & I met with the new London Region Leaders: the Williamsons who will lead the North, the Olmoses – the West, the Harts – the South, and Kolbe Gray & Rebecca Rico will lead the East Region! During our time we studied Scriptures such as 2 Corinthians 10:13-17 where Paul shares that regions are assigned by God! This is one of the greatest differences between God’s Movement and denominations. A minister in a denomination is simply given the charge of the membership in his local church. However, in the Bible and in God’s Movement, the preacher not only is a shepherd to his flock, but God has given him a charge to evangelize all of the lost people of his entire geographic region! All seemed greatly encouraged by the lesson! So by Michael & Michele discipling their hearts into these three other wonderful couples, the multiplication of disciples in London will surely commence!
The Monday “Wrap Up” Meeting of the EMC with
the McKeans and the new London
On Tuesday, Elena & I left for Chennai where the historic First South Asian Missions Conference was held! Since the Apostle Thomas ministered in Chennai from 52AD till his martyrdom in 72AD, the theme of the seminar was Thomas’ words to the resurrected Jesus, MY LORD AND MY GOD!
The incredibly creative Co-Directors of the First
South Asia Missions Conference were Luke
& Brandyn Speckman and Raja
& Debs Rajan!
Though we were a bit drained form the incredible EMC and our two flights from London to Chennai, our spirits soared when we received an unparalleled greeting at the Chennai Airport at around midnight by 125 Indian Disciples singing loudly, We Love You With The Love Of The Lord!
Though the McKeans arrived in Chennai near
midnight, their spirits were revived by the
“SoldOut Movement Welcome” given
by 125 Indian Disciples!
Wednesday evening, we gathered for the Shepherds Dinner at the quaint restaurant called Seashells! It was so awesome to see once again so many dear Indian Leaders such as Raja & Debs Rajan, Johnson & Vandana Gona, Thomas & Shirly Vijayan, and Roger & Yassa Green! Also, we were so encouraged by the presence of Luke & Brandyn Speckman of New York City, Oleg Sirotkin of Moscow, Richie & Elizabeth McDonnell of Washington DC, Evan & Kelly Bartholomew of LA, and of course long time partners in the Gospel Nick & Denise Bordieri! Simply the coming of these church leaders outside of India as well as about 40 other visiting (and very sacrificial) disciples from around the world had an incredible impact!
At the amazing Shepherds Dinner, Luke helped
to serve his favorite dessert – falooda!
It is hard to put into words, but many disciples in international churches are very isolated, because they are in third world countries with salaries way too low to travel outside their country to worship in a church such as Los Angeles. As well, more and more there are visa constraints that likewise stop our dear brothers and sisters from visiting us in the States. So, “if Moses cannot go to the mountain, then we must bring the mountain (the Kingdom) to Moses!” This is why we have geographic missions conferences in many international locations and not just the Global Leadership Conference in LA!
Another aspect of bringing a greater understanding
and appreciation of the Movement to isolated third
world churches is Elena’s book – ELEVATE! The
NYC Church graciously supplemented the cost
so that the book was sold in India for just $5!
Not only were the Indian Disciples impacted by
those visiting, but as with Elizabeth McDonnell
of Washington DC everyone went home
Johnson & Simran Selvaraj – the leaders of the
Chandigarh (India) Remnant Group – traveled
1,250 miles (2,000 km) to participate
in the SAMC!
In fact, since the Chennai Remnant Group began in February 2008 with just five disciples – Raja, Debs, Mr. Peter and Thomas & Shirly – only four outside speaker couples have preached in Chennai. Even these meager efforts were only possible because their home churches made the necessary sacrifices to pay for the trip. So the First South Asia Missions Conference was quite a celebration and indeed a time of spiritual enlightenment for the Indian Disciples! Now it is no longer just by faith, the Indian Disciples “know” that they are a vital part of God’s worldwide Family – the SoldOut Movement!
Mr. Peter (second from left) – one of the “Founding
Five” of the Chennai Remnant Group in 2008 –
helps to place a beautiful blanket on Kip!
The Chennai Church was so grateful for the
McKeans’ vision for the SAMC that they
expressed appreciation by taking a
moment to acknowledge
Thursday noontime was the Speakers Lunch! Here the younger leaders – both Indian and international – joined the older leaders for an incredible meal and then a time of sharing!
At the Speakers Lunch, the young aspiring preachers,
Parthiban (middle) and “John the Baptist” (right),
were so encouraged to finally meet their older
brother Oleg of Moscow, Russia!
The Speakers Lunch was a time of sharing dreams
by the young and the “more mature!” (Acts 2:17)
Three Forums were held that afternoon: the MERCYWORLDWIDEForum was overseen by Nick & Denise; the Teen Worker Forum was led by the newly engaged couple – Jonathan Davis & Kiana Lindsey; and the Kids Kingdom Coordinators Forum was conducted by Evan & Kelly Bartholomew!
Evan & Kelly Bartholomew of LA conducted
the Kids Kingdom Coordinators Forum and
added soooooo much to the entire SAMC!
On their return home they spent their own
money to stop by the Taj Mahal!
Kelly’s magnetic personality drew her close to
sisters like Yassa Green! As well her golden
hair (rarely seen in India) drew two children
to come to her the first night of the SAMC
to ask if they could touch it!
Thursday evening was the Bible Talk Leaders Workshop! The Rajans gave a moving Welcome! Then, Elena & I shared GOOD NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD!
Kip & Elena shared the good news about the
phenomenal European Missions
Following, we witnessed a beautiful Tamil Cultural Dance!
The big smiles, the colorful outfits and the
synchronized dance moves
Our amazing Chennai Sisters!
After this memorable performance, Raja introduced his best friend and discipler Luke Speckman as “Luke the Nuke!” And Luke really did set off an explosion of inspiration from God’s Word with faith-building examples from his life and the Mighty New York Church!
The room was packed to hear Luke preach at
the Bible Talk Leaders Workshop!
Friday morning, all of the visiting SAMC participants awoke with great expectations and put on our MERCY t-shirts! We climbed into a huge bus and traveled across town to the Gremaltes Hospital which treats leprosy patients!
The bus ride to the Gremaltes Hospital provided
an opportunity for more rich fellowship as well
as seeing the poverty of the third world!
Very interestingly, for the first hour we were treated to a lecture on Leprosy originally called Hanson’s Disease, as Dr. Gerhard Hanson first diagnosed this disease in 1873 that affected staggering numbers of people. Most know that Leprosy is a disease that causes severe deformities and disabilities. Most do not know that every year in India over 1,000,000 cases develop! Most as well do not know that for only $153 USD, a leprosy patient can be completely cured through a 12 month treatment of injections!
Amazingly for only $153 USD, leprosy
can be totally cured!
We also learned that Leprosy does not spread through touching so we were encouraged to touch the leprosy patients just like Jesus! (Mark 1:41)
This leprosy patient is on her way to being cured,
but the deformities of her hands and her
feet (above) cannot be reversed!
Nick, Oleg and I spent most of our time encouraging and sharing our faith with a young man with leprosy. His name was Mahendran and he was 32 years old! He shared with us that he had acted in five Bollywood films! His favorite was Anjana – which when translated means two eyes! It was a horror movie where he played the janitor! He had been in the hospital for six weeks and the doctor said that he had two weeks to go! Mahendran promised that he would come to church when he was released! Oleg said to me that there was no better way to celebrate his 25th spiritual birthday than to reach out to the lepers!
On his 25th Spiritual Birthday, Oleg found
unfathomable joy sharing his faith with
Mahendran – who promised to come
to church when he is healed!
After visiting patients for about an hour, it was off to the A-2-B Vegetable Restaurant where we ate off of banana leaves with our hands! Fun!
The A-2-B Restaurant specializes in Southern
Indian foods and decor!
Kiana was so fired up that these inexpensive
plates and non-utensils will cut down on
her wedding expenses!
Following, we jumped into the bus and some of us into cars to visit the actual place that the Apostle Thomas lived in Chennai! It was a small cave! A short distance from the cave, we gathered in a circle and reverently sang Sanctuary.
Johnson & Vandana Gona – Chennia’s Shepherding
Couple – with Kip in the Apostle Thomas’
home – a meager cave!
Called higher by seeing the Apostle Thomas’
sacrificial living conditions, the SAMC
participants sung Sanctuary!
Then we drove a ways to what’s called St. Thomas Mount as this is the place that Thomas was martyred with a spear through his back! We then again gathered in a circle and sang, I Have Decided To Follow Jesus. This was very moving.
Peter Paul Ruben’s graphic painting of the martyrdom
of the Apostle Thomas depicts the horror of the
moment… but then there’s Heaven!
At St. Thomas Mount where Thomas was martyred in
72AD, Thomas (Kip) McKean gave a brief lesson
about his namesake’s faith changing
from doubting to dauntless!
After a quick shower (and fresh clothes), all of the SAMC delegates head to eat at BBQ Nation!
Saturday morning was the FIRST GENERAL SESSION of the SAMC!Raja & Debs gave a heartsy welcome and the cheers from the 200 Indian Disciples and those of us visiting were deafening! The Bordieris then gave a very uplifting MERCY Report!
THE FIRST GENERAL SESSION begun with Raja
leading the SAMC in song!
The Bordieris gave a sensational
global MERCY Report!
So that the Indian Disciples in particular could appreciate all that God has done to initiate a new global Movement, I once again delivered the message The History Of The Mainline Churches Of Christ, The International Churches Of Christ, And The SoldOut Movement.
Kip preached out of the Books of 2 Chronicles,
Ezra, Nehemiah and Haggai as he discoursed
on the History of the Movements!
After a break, we headed into MEN’S and WOMEN’S PROGRAMS. For the brothers, Parthiban (Ben) Angamuthu and Richie McDonnell preached the main messages: WE MUST DO THE WORK OF HIM WHO SENT MEand STOP DOUBTING AND BELIEVE! Tremendous short charges on CHARACTER STUDIES FROM THE BOOK OF JOHN were eloquently discoursed by Samuel Jayakran, Prathap Kumar, Roger Green, Simon Davis and Christy Christopher of Chennai, as well as by Evan Bartholomew of LA and Jonathan Davis of NYC!
Richie’s insightful preaching endeared him
to the Chennai Brothers!
Elena and Brandyn taught the main lessons for the sisters with identical titles as in the MEN’S PROGRAM! Elena gushed over the WOMEN CHARACTER STUDIES FROM THE BOOK OF JOHN by Maria Christopher, Elizabeth Davis and Yassa Green of Chennai, as well as by Kelly Bartholomew, Tracy Shelbrack of NYC, Kiana Lindsey from NYC, and Elizabeth McDonnell!
Elena earnestly preached on WE MUST DO
THE WORK OF HIM WHO SENT ME!
Debs introduced Kelly who taught about Mary The
Mother Of Jesus; Maria who spoke on The
Samaritan Woman; and Tracy who
preached about Mary The
Wife Of Clopas!
Following lunch at 3:00pm was the SECOND GENERAL SESSION! Tears were shed as Simon & Elizabeth Davis were appointed Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leaders by the Rajans! The Davises lead 100 Tamil-speaking Disciples in the Chennai Church!
After Elizabeth Davis was appointed by Debs,
she was presented with her BA Degree in
Ministry Diploma from the ICCM!
After Simon was appointed an Evangelist by Raja,
Luke came forward and led the SAMC delegates
in singing to Simon & Elizabeth, We Love
You With The Love Of The Lord!
Then one of my dearest brothers Oleg closed out this session with the much needed humorous (and convicting) sermon, HOW CAN WE KNOW THE WAY?
Oleg captivated the audience with the lesson
HOW CAN WE KNOW THE WAY?
To close the SECOND GENERAL SESSION, our breath was taken away by the colorful spectacle of the Seven Dances Of India performed by the Chennai Disciples! Each of the dances were from different states in India!
The Seven Dances of India brought
the house down!
Elena and the beautiful Sister Dancers of
the Chennai Church!
That night was spent with a dear friend and brother from Elena’s & my three years in Portland – Paul Reddy! Sadly, Paul and his wife were swept away in the departure of the Portland Church in 2008, which was after Elena & I had moved to plant the City of Angels Church in 2007. So the Reddys never joined the new Movement. Interestingly, Paul – a high-powered consultant who is Indian and works from time to time in India – met Luke Speckman in Portland and baptized him while Elena & I were leading the Portland Church! Ironically, now that Luke is the Overseeing Evangelist of India, he invited Paul to the SAMC to join the new Movement! Another tremendous friend to Paul through the years has been Nick Bordieri. So after a very warm but direct conversation at dinner, Paul was really considering joining the new Movement!
The Speckmans, the Bordieris and the McKeans
were thrilled to have dinner with Paul Reddy
on Saturday night!
Upon leaving the SAMC, Paul returned to Portland. Then the Bordieris flew from LA to Portland to spend time and to study the Bible with the Reddys. After their visit, Paul went to the leader of the Portland Church of Christ and resigned as the Chairman of the Board of HOPEworldwide – Portland and expressed that he had found revival in God’s new Movement! (HOPEworldwide is the benevolent arm of what’s left of the ICOC.) Then because of his Biblical convictions, Paul placed membership in the Portland International Christian Church on Sunday, November 20th!
Excitingly, two weeks after the SAMC, Paul joined
the new Movement by placing membership in
the Portland International Christian Church!
At Sunday morning church in Chennai at the SAMC on November 6th, the singing by almost 300 in attendance was angelic and the prayers were so passionate! Then came the Kingdom appointments of Parthiban Angamuthu and Christy & Maria Anthony! Parthiban as a very young boy was literally a sheep herder. His parents were illiterate. By the grace of God he was given successive scholarships from elementary school through high school and into college! Then he received scholarships to graduate school and Lord willing will receive his Doctorate Degree in Mathematics next year! His overseeing professor was in attendance to see Parthiban appointed an Evangelist! Parthiban leads the Chennai Campus Ministry! Oh yes… His parents are now sold-out baptized disciples!
Parthiban’s parents were so proud of his
appointment as an Evangelist
in the Kingdom of God!
Christy & Maria are as talented of a ministry couple that we have in the entire Movement! His charisma and raw zeal coupled with Maria’s powerful “quiet and gentle spirit” will certainly have a tremendous impact in Bangalore as they are the leaders of Chennai’s first mission team! During her appointment Maria shared with Raja, “Thanks for being the father that I never really had.”
When Maria was appointed a Women’s Ministry
Leader, she thanked both Raja & Debs
for being her spiritual parents!
not to show favoritism to either one of his two
sons in the faith, Raja appointed Christy (left)
and Parthiban at the same moment!
The keynote sermon MY LORD AND MY GOD was delivered by our brother Raja! What a message of hope, determination and vision! Raja is God’s man for India!
Thomas Vijayan translated Raja’s keynote sermon
MY LORD AND MY GOD into Tamil – the most
common language of Southern India!
As God’s man for India, Raja has raised up an army
of preachers (from left to right): Jeffrey,
Christy, Simon, Johnson, Thomas,
Parthiban, Samuel (John the
Baptist) and Satish!
Then came the presentation of upside down globes for each Bangalore Mission Team Member! Following was the prayer by the Shepherds – Johnson Gona and Nick Bordieri – for the Spirit to send out and bless this incredible mission team!
Following the example in Los Angeles, upside down
globes were awarded to each member
of the Bangalore Mission Team!
After a powerful closing song, we went outside and cheered on the 12 baptisms: Vinith, Santhosh, Vignesh, Sathya, Loganayagi, Viyili, Sangpunla, Shanthi, Nishpa, Melvin, Alwinraj, and from Bangalore – Tingki!
Vinith – a campus student doing his Bachelor’s in
Mathematics from Loyola College – was the
first of the 12 baptisms on the last
day of the SAMC!
After Tingki’s good confession and minutes before she was baptized, Luke gave her an upside down globe as she became the eighth Bangalore Mission Team Member! Amazingly, the Chennai Church has had 114 baptisms so far in 2016!
Tingki – who would become the first baptism
of Bangalore – gave her good confession…
Then Luke surprised Tingki with an upside down
globe as she would become at baptism the
newest member of the Bangalore
Minutes later, Tingki rejoiced as she became
part of God’s global family!
After church, a delicious buffet lunch was served, and following Elena & I retired to our room to rest! Two hours later, I came back downstairs to where the buffet was held and not one disciple had left! In fact, most were having so much fun that they literally were still dancing four hours after the end of the SAMC! Then I saw Luke & Brandyn… They had huge smiles and were drenched in sweat from dancing!
At the SAMC, Julie Stevenson of New York City was
the on sight reporter for ICC Hot News!
The next night, “Elena Auntie” & “Kip Uncle” had dinner with their nephew and nieces in the faith – Ashwin, Shefali and Isheeta Rajan – and their parents Raja & Debs!
“Elena Auntie” & “Kip Uncle” so love their nephew
and nieces in the faith – Ashwin, Shefali
and Isheeta Rajan!
Then we flew through Bangkok, then Tokyo, and finally arrived in Honolulu! We relaxed for two days and then met up with Jake & Jen Ramsier for dinner! Leading the church had been tough for them and so they concluded that they wanted to take a step back for now. Therefore, after much prayer, Kyle & Joan Bartholomew – the Pacific Rim World Sector Leaders – and us chose Mark & Keri Garrido to be the new Honolulu Leaders and in fact the Overseeing Ministry Couple for the entire Hawaiian Islands! In only six months, Mark & Keri have done a dynamite job in Hilo (Hawaii) completely turning it around and having so many baptisms that at 61 disciples it is the largest that a discipling ministry has ever been in Hilo – ICOC or the new Movement!
Hawaii’s largest populated cities are: Honolulu,
Hilo, Kahului and Kona!
Friday morning, we met with the Garridos and Dave & Beth Kelly, who will be the Kona Church Leaders. The main reason for meeting was to solidify all the plans that would be announced that evening when we all met with the Honolulu Church!
Friday morning breakfast was a tremendous planning
session for the evangelization of the Hawaiian
Islands with the Garrdios, Kellys
As we began on Friday night, I sensed that the Honolulu Church felt a little “down” because the Ramsiers were stepping aside. It was my great honor though to formally introduce the Garridos as the new Island Leaders! As well, I went on to say that Jake & Jen wanted to serve as a Shepherding Couple with Jake remaining in the fulltime ministry supported by his wonderful wife just like many of the Apostles! (1 Corinthians 9:5-6) Then the Honolulu Church seemed to get fired up! I also announced that the Kona House Church of Hilo would “transform” and become the Kona Mission Team to be sent out at the January 2017 All Hawaii Workshopin Honolulu! Then the Honolulu Church was really pumped up! Victory was in the air!
The new Hawaiian Leadership Team: The Garridos
(center) will serve as the Overseeing Ministry
Couple alongside the Santoses (left)
and the Ramsiers as the
On Saturday, Elena delivered a message to all the Honolulu Sisters as well as to many who came over from Hilo and Kona on the Big Island! Her message inspired by her book ELEVATE was RISE UP O WOMEN OF GOD!
Sunday, Keri humbly shared her life during Communion! Then Mark preached the lesson that he entitled, WHATEVER IT COSTS! He had two simple points: 1) THERE’S THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND NOTHING ELSE and 2) THERE’S THE KINGDOM OF GOD SO PAY WHATEVER IT COSTS! His main text was the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. Mark shared about difficult times in his life as a non-Christian and as a Christian. All could relate! Always after the Word is preached there is a buzz of excitement in the fellowship! And so there was that day!
On Sunday night, we were looking forward to returning home to LA! So, Elena & I were filled with joy and went to bed at peace knowing that God’s Movement was forcefully advancing around the world!UPDATE on the Bangalore ICC by Luke Speckman: Greetings from India – a nation of 1.2 billion lost souls! Today, December 4th was the glorious Inaugural Service of the Bangalore International Christian Church! The team of seven disciples was sent out from Chennai at the SAMC four weeks ago on November 6th. They had their first baptism Tingki on the day that they were sent out! Last week, they had two more baptisms, and today, after service, they had their fourth baptism – Mercy!
Mercy was baptized at the Bangalore ICC
So the church has grown from 7 to 11 in only four weeks! Including Matt & Helen Sullivan, myself, visiting disciples from Chennai, and the Bangalore Church, there were a total of 26 disciples who saw God bless us with 63 in attendance!
Standing with Luke and the Sullivans are the first
four disciples that God added to the Bangalore
Church (from left to right): Lari, Tingki,
Pramod and Mercy!
FAMILY NEWSNew York City: Love is in the air, and the Lord has blessed the New York City Church with five engagements in five weeks! The first two were on the same day on October 22nd: Jonathan Davis & Kiana Lindsey and Umberto Muniz & Sausha Cutler! Making it all the more special, Jonathan secretly arranged for both moms to be there when he popped the question!
Next, Gerard Gayle & Yesenia Ordonez were engaged on November 5th!
Gerard wanting to spend the rest of his life with
Yesenia hid her ring for her to find
in an anniversary clock!
After that, Saul Saavedra & Chanelle Howell were engaged on November 11th!
Warm wishes for a beautiful wedding to
a beautiful couple Saul & Chanelle!
The entire New York City Church is so fired up that
Ernest & Shannon will be dancing
through life together!
Sydney: After coming on the original mission team from LA to Sydney, Pete Wade married the beautiful Paulina Rivera from Phoenix as God gave him the girl and day of his dreams! Still living on missionary financial fumes, the whole church came together to provide everything for the wedding: food, venue, dress, cake and then God provided the exceptional weather!
Congratulations to Pete & Paulina Wade!
We have started a new custom in the Sydney Church, as normally when couples get married the sisters “shower” the upcoming bride with gifts at the Bridal Shower! However, not to be outdone in Sydney, the brothers’ Groom Honoring Parties here have taken on the same spirit, as we asked our latest groom Pete what theme of gifts he would like. After prayer and talking with Paulina, Pete listed all the things he would like for their kitchen! Knowing his needs, then as each brother shared at the Groom Honoring Party, they presented Pete with gifts of all sizes and values for the kitchen! Pete is so fired up about all of his new kitchen utensils: a slow cooker, a waffle maker, towels and much, much more!
The Groom Honoring Party of Pete Wade will
begin a new custom in the SoldOut
Movement – the “showering” of
needed gifts to begin
London: Victor & Krista Ochieng were fruitful with their precious daughter Felgona Anne Ochieng who arrived at 10:30am on November 9th!
Little Felgona, Welcome to God’s Family!
Orlando: After being restored to the Lord on November 6th, Joey Favela & Amanda Sullivan were united in Christ through marriage two weeks later on November 19th! Longtime family friend Alfredo & Alejandra Anuch flew all the way from Chile just to celebrate with the Sullivan Family! Kip & Elena flew to Orlando after only 36 hours in LA after their missionary journey as Amanda asked “Uncle Kip” to preside over the wedding!
Two weeks before their wedding, Joey & Amanda
were wholeheartedly restored to God!
Kip was very honored to preside
over their glorious wedding!
Bogotá: Congratulations to Albert Wagers & Jeny Fonseca who were married on Saturday, December 3rd in Bogotá, Colombia in a beautiful ceremony attended by family and disciples from all over the North and South American continents! They met and fell in love in the Kingdom and are the fruit of international missions!
Albert & Jeny met on the mission field!
The Wedding Party came from Mexico City, Santiago
and Bogotá! Carlos Mejia (back row second
from the left) performed the ceremony!
Albert Wagers (baptized in LA) has been a disciple for 23 years and has served as a missionary in Chile and Mexico! He is doing a superb job as the CyberEvangelist for the Mexico City Church! Jeny was the first person baptized in the Bogotá Church when the Remnant Group formed three years ago! Albert & Jeny will live in Mexico as a family with Jeny’s 16 year-old daughter Laura, whom Albert has adopted as his own!
Albert, Jeny and Laura are a loving familia!
Los Angeles – Antelope Valley Region: Creatively, Johnny Cortez proposed to Tori Wallace in front of Tori’s family, who held up signs in the background showing their wholehearted approval!
Johnny & Tori’s dating relationship inspired her
family and the entire AV Region!
East Region: Jairo & Christina Serrano’s new baby boy is Jairo, Jr.! He weighed a healthy 7.14 pounds and was 19.5 inches long!
Remember always Jairo Jr., “God grants sleep
to those He loves!” (Psalm 127:2)
Southland Region: Andres & Brigette Sanchez were boyfriend and girlfriend since 12 years old. Later they had a daughter. Then broke up when she became a disciple in February 2013. Two months later, Andres – inspired by her faith – became a disciple! Praise God, on October 22nd they united their family in Christ!
Andres & Brigette were married in a gorgeous
ceremony overlooking the ocean
in San Pedro!
Michael Peterson & Jasmine Jennings fell in love in the Kingdom! They have been exemplary in their purity and their leadership! On November 13th, Michael & Jasmine were happily engaged at Michael’s Birthday Bonfire!
Michael & Jasmine consider that “Love burns like
a blazing fire like the very flame of the Lord.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers
cannot wash it away.”
(Song of Songs 8:6)
West Region: Herb Lemus & Hilary Babcock were engaged on an adventurous hike up Big Bear Mountain on November 12th!
Herb & Hilary had a “mountain top experience”
while getting engaged!
LOCAL LA NEWSTim Kernan – Lead Evangelist of the City of Angels Church:Greetings from sunny Southern California! It has been an incredible year for the City of Angels International Christian Church, as we have been privileged to send out an astonishing 116 disciples to either plant new churches or to strengthen existing churches! Included in this number which is a tenth of our membership are: the Woodys, who were sent to Dallas; the Bonds, who were sent to Denver; the Peacocks, who were sent to lead the San Diego Church; the Sarkodies, who were sent to San Francisco; the Boeas (Jr. and Sr.), Miguel Mendez, and the dearly beloved Blackwells, who were all sent to Chicago; the Chloupeks, who were sent to Orlando; Adam Zepeda, who was sent to Brazil; Kolbe Gray, Rebecca Rico, and the Grimas, who were sent by the Spirit to London; the Hamulas, who were sent to lead the Las Vegas Church; the Bakers, who were sent to plant the Dubai (United Arab Emirates) Church; the Garridos, who were sent to lead the Hilo Church; the Speckmans, who were sent to lead the New York City Church; the Smellies, who were sent to plant the church in Lagos, Nigeria; and the McKeans who have now been freed up to strengthen all the churches globally!
The Holy Spirit sent the Blackwells to Chicago
six months ago, and since that time, the
church has grown from 117 to 160! Pray
for Cory and his extended family as
his father passed away in Chicago
on November 18th.
To replace some of these leaders, we have been fortunate to receive several high-powered leaders such as the Rohns, Bonillas and Underhills who serve as Region Leaders and Super Region Leaders here in the LA Church! Despite the many challenges we have encountered, God is moving more powerfully than ever! In May, the church miraculously raised a record $611,040 for Special Missions Contribution! Then recently, in mid-November, the church pulled together to once again take up a collection in which we raised an amazing $440,747! Thus, the total amount collected for Special Missions this year in Los Angeles was $1,051,787!
Mike & Brittany Underhill lead the entire City of
Angels Church Campus Ministry! Mike is a
graduate of USC and is euphoric about
personally leading that charge!
Also exciting in the first 11 months of the year (334 days), the Spirit has blessed us with 345 additions – 285 baptisms and 60 restorations! We have also set a new record for a non-GLC Sunday attendance of 1,535 on July 17th! This led to some of our most fruitful months! This past October, 43 precious souls were all baptized in a single month, including 19 baptized in one week – both of these numbers are new records for the LA Church! Along with all the training through First Principles and ICCM, I believe that this is a sign that the church is set up for an incredible 2017!
Tim & Lianne have been remarkable servants of the
Lord in leading the City of Angels Church
to unparalleled heights!
Please pray for Lianne & me and the entire City of Angels Church and prayerfully, we’ll see you all soon at the 2017 Winter Workshop
entitled, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE – WITH GOD! THE YEAR END EDITORIAL
The Hope Of The Nations
Over the Thanksgiving Holidays, Elena & I were so grateful to God for all the blessings that He has so abundantly poured out on us through the years…
In 2016, the Spirit launched seven new churches:
Bogotá, Seattle, Lagos, Tampa, Dubai,
Birmingham and Bangalore! The
Bogotá Mission Team Leaders
were the charismatic Jose
& Daniela Otero!
In particular, we remembered 2003. During this time, while we were deeply hurting over the Satanic destruction of the ICOC upon its return to Mainline Church of Christ Theology, the Spirit carried us from LA to lead the Portland International Church of Christ. Only 25 disciples remained in this devastated congregation from the 300 earlier in the year.We remembered God’s amazing grace that our repentance from arrogance, bitterness, acedia and a lack of mercy to the weak and our subsequent call to the 25 to return to their “first love” led to a revival in Portland. We recalled that Nehemiah prayed, “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘if you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the furthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to a place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.'” (Nehemiah 1:8-9) Indeed, who could argue that our former fellowship became unfaithful and was scattered by God? We remembered God fulfilling His promise of collecting His people by bringing to Portland from the “furthest horizon”scores of remnant disciples that shared our Biblical convictions about discipling being a command of God, the church universal is composed of only sold-out disciples, God’s Movement needs a centralized leadership and leader, and the dream for the evangelization of the nations in this generation.
Joel & Courtney Parlour courageously led the
Seattle Mission Team!
Many of these thoughts came to us when reading an excerpt of Gordon Ferguson’s new book My Three Lives – The Story Of One Man And Three Movements. Gordon remains in what is left of the ICOC and is a fierce critic of the SoldOut Movement, yet he shared the following statistics about the ICOC, “We have 667 congregations overall, 381 of which baptized between 1 and 10 people, and 122 had zero baptisms. Thus, of our 667 churches, 503 (75%) baptized between 0 and 10 people in a year’s time. And let me state the obvious here – when seventy-five percent of our congregations are baptizing between zero to ten people per year, things are not close to going well.”
The explosive Lagos Mission Team was led by
Andrew & Patrique Smellie!
As the father of faith and “human founder” of the ICOC, Gordon’s statistics deeply grieved me but did not surprise me. Literally tens of thousands walked away or fell away from the ICOC in the early 2000’s when the Kingdom Teachers – of whom Gordon was one – deceitfully led the ICOC to return back to Mainline Church of Christ Theology. The grave consequence of that decision is that the ICOC – once the mighty Movement of God – is dead.
Anthony & Elizabeth Eckels led the gallant
Tampa Bay Mission Team!
The Scripture in Revelation 3:1-5 comes to mind, “These are the words of [Jesus] who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds [Sardis Church]; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead… yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white for they are worthy.” As Jesus spoke of the dead Sardis Church, I do believe there are still faithful disciples in our former fellowship, but these autonomous few offer no hope or vision to save the nations. However, we must not have a mindset that “we are better than them,” but we must continue to graciously reach out to these wounded and confused dear brothers and sisters to bring them into God’s vibrant new Movement… just as Luke Speckman reached out to Paul Reddy!
The Spirit working through the prayers of RD
& April Baker guided them to select
the stalwart Dubai Mission Team!
On Sunday, December 4th in all SoldOut Movement Churches around the world, my letter commending particularly the USA Churches was read:Dear SoldOut Movement Church Family,
Greetings from Los Angeles! Paul wrote to his beloved Philippian Church these words of encouragement, “In the early days of your acquaintance with the Gospel, [you] shared with me in the matter of giving and of receiving… aid again and again when I was in need… The gifts you sent… are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever! Amen!”
Like Paul, I am so grateful for your financial sacrifice for World Missions “again and again!” Your sacrifice in 2016 has allowed the Spirit to plant Bogotá, Colombia; Seattle, Washington; Lagos, Nigeria; Tampa, Florida; Birmingham, England; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and today, Bangalore, India! In the Middle East, Dubai started with nine on the Mission Team – and with only Elena & me as visiting disciples – God gave us 56 at the Inaugural Service in September! The Dubai Church has already grown by five disciples! Equally encouraging are the miracles of Lagos, Nigeria! The Inaugural Service was in late June and the Spirit has used the 11 on this Mission Team and the 8 in the Remnant Group since that time to have 45 baptisms, 5 restorations and 4 place memberships from our former fellowship who were seeking revival! Amazingly, there are now 68 sold-out disciples in Lagos!
Not only has your “giving aid” allowed the planting of these seven churches, but your ongoing financial sacrifice has also allowed the already established churches of the third world to continue to multiply! Of special note is Manila, Philippines – planted only a year and a half ago – has been blessed by God in 2016 with 135 baptisms, 27 restorations and is now 215 disciples! Also encouraging is Chennai, India which just three weeks ago hosted their First South Asia Missions Conference where 12 were baptized on Sunday as well as sending out their first church planting to Bangalore, India! Excitingly, Chennai also numbers 200 disciples!
In particular, the USA Churches are to be commended for your Thanksgiving Missions Contribution! Our goal was $1,100,000, yet you gave over $1,200,000! So amazingly this year for missions from the USA Churches alone you have given almost $3,000,000! Astoundingly, in 2016, the City of Angels Church in Los Angeles has given over $1,000,000! Yes, we are supporting courageous men and women like RD & April Baker in Dubai, Andrew & Patrique Smellie in Lagos, Kyle & Joan Bartholomew in Manila, and Raja & Debs Rajan in Chennai! Yet Paul reminded the Philippian Church that their support of him – as is your support of these valiant couples – was indeed a “fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God!” Indeed, as with the fishes and the loaves, God is multiplying your financial offerings to Him to evangelize the nations in this generation! And to God be all the glory!
We are family… into eternity,
With the departure of the Portland Church back to Mainline Church of Christ Theology in 2008, it became clear that God “distilled” from the Portland Church the 42 sold-out disciples that came to LA to plant the City of Angels Church on May 6, 2007! Similar to the “remaining” 120 from Jesus’ ministry in Acts 1 and 2 when the church began, this was the true commencement of the SoldOut Movement! Amazingly, that first year in LA, God gave us 104 baptisms! Today God has multiplied those 42 disciples into 5,000 disciples, in 73 churches, in 32 nations, and on all six populated continents of the world! Indeed, this is not a movement of man, but it is the Movement of God!
Kip & Elena were extra thankful to God over
Thanksgiving as they were looking forward
to celebrating their 40th Wedding
Anniversary on Sunday,
December 11, 2016!
So the 2017 GLC – VICTORIOUS in Manila is going to be not only historic in our sending out the Twelfth (and last) Crown of Thorns Planting – Hong Kong, but in effect it will be our Tenth Anniversary Celebration!
2017 for God’s SoldOut Movement promises to
be our most VICTORIOUS year… yet!
As we close this incredible year and enter 2017, we must all act upon our deep conviction that God’s SoldOut Movement is the ONLY hope of the nations! And to God be all the glory!
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year,