December 2, 2012

Greetings from Paris! God is moving! In November 2011, Tim & Lianne Kernan and Elena & I traveled to Paris to “spy out the land!” While there, we met with and gathered a small group of “remnant disciples” to share about all that God was doing in His new movement. Among those contacted were Philippe & Prisca Scheidecker, and after our visit Prisca began to once again attend church alongside her husband. In time, Philippe came to our January 2012 Winter Workshop and later Prisca participated in our March Women’s Day! When the team arrived in Paris in August of this year, the Scheideckers were on fire and became the “Shepherding Couple” for the new congregation! Philippe also dynamically leads the singing as few others!

Philippe & Prisca Scheidecker in front of the meeting
place of the Paris Church – Le Gare de l’Est!

In three months, the Paris International Christian Church more than doubled from 11 members on the mission team to a fiery church of 23 sold-out disciples! Then in early November, the Kernans left to Canada to apply for their permanent working visa. Sadly, on November 26th, we received a letter from the French government stating that the Kernans’ visas had been denied.

I informed Philippe & Prisca of this heartbreaking news a few hours later. In reply, Philippe wrote to me, “Bro, first of all, we wake up this morning with a great sense of destiny. We are ready to do anything for the Lord. If there is no money and all the interns need to go back, we will hold (and grow) the fort waiting for reinforcements after the April 2013 Special Collect. If you decide that Anthony should lead the church, or anyone else, Prisca & I will be submitted, supportive and give all our hearts. The glory of God is at stake. Tonight we will have men and women separated mid-weeks, and I am super confident that the Paris Church will react spiritually to the news. We are looking forward to your visit on Friday and the Friday night devotional. Our hearts go out to the Kernans. Praying knowing that our God is Sovereign. Shalom (Peace), Philippe.”

The Friday Night Devotional in Paris!

During my weekend in Paris, the Paris Church – expertly built on the“foundation of Christ” by the Kernans – indeed “received the news spiritually,” and I found that each disciple had exactly the same gallant heart as Philippe! Upon my leaving from Paris, I placed the Scheideckers as the Lead Ministry Couple until Tim & Lianne return, which at the soonest will be in five months. Please continue to pray for this amazing congregation! While I was away, the Lord blessed the City of Angels Church with three baptisms and one restoration!

More news from Los Angeles…

Chris Chloupek: Greetings from the AMS Region! Sunday service was so electric with excitement and love! We had a record 103 in attendance! The title of the sermon was IS YOUR LIFE BUILT TO STAND FOR ETERNITY? Ashley Dunn did a special song for communion. Alissa was baptized Saturday in our neighbor’s Jacuzzi across the street! Our other neighbors are both studying the Bible as well! We already have four disciples currently living in two houses on our street!

Pray for the AMS Play entitled, Playing Christmas that will debut next Sunday, December 9th at 5PM in Hollywood! Then on December 16th, it will be performed for the City of Angels Church All Congregational Christmas Service at the Los Angeles Downtown Sheraton! Please pray for many people to be moved to seek God from it! Truly, the “ultimate party” will be in Heaven!

Lou Jack Martinez: ANOTHER BAD DAY FOR THE DEVIL IN THE ANTELOPE VALLEY AS CHAQUITA HATCHER IS RESTORED and the AV HAS A RECORD ATTENDANCE OF 120!!! “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.”(Acts 2:42) Well, the Downtown Sector of the Central Region lived up to this Scripture this week as they braved the 14 Freeway and traveled a total of 75 miles to join us – the AV Sector – for our very first Regional Service up here in the Antelope Valley!!!

Kyle Bartholomew preached the Word challenging us all to “drink the cup” that God has assigned to each of us!!! It was a life-changing time for all, and many more studies were set up right afterward! We also had our first Antelope Valley College Campus Devo here in Lancaster this past week, and it was a fun and inspiring time, as each of us shared the gift we were going to give to God this Christmas!!!

Jason Dimitry: The mighty South Region strikes again as Toighnn was added to our Downtown Singles Bible Talk – led by Oleg & Aliona Sirotkin! Toighnn was met numerous times by various disciples, showing that God truly does “determine the times… and places.” (Acts 17:26-27) Please pray for us, as we work to have our last three Bible Talks fruitful by December 31, 2012! Also pray for the Dimitry family to be fruitful by the beginning of 2013, as we are expecting the birth of our little boy – Michael Dominic Dimitry!

And now more good news from around the world… 

Philippe Scheidecker of Paris: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) This week we experienced fully this verse as we learned that our incredible leaders Tim & Lianne were denied their visa to come back to France. I am so proud of the brothers and sisters of the Paris Church, as everybody felt the emotional cost (we are so attached to our Canadian couple), yet they responded with faith and conviction that God is “the [true] builder and architect”of the Paris Church and His movement! (Hebrews 11:10)

Saturday dinner with many of the Single Sisters of the Paris
Church, most of whom are enjoying “French hamburgers!”

Just three days later, we had the privilege to have the visit of the founding father, Kip, that encouraged us “to see the obvious” that God is sovereign and thus either allows or makes every event happen! As a response, this Sunday we had a better attendance than the last few weeks, and Bible studies were set-up as the mission must and will go on! It is on God’s heart to have a pillar church in Paris! Rest assured, this conviction is on each member’s heart! This time is so exciting (and somewhat scary) to feel this incredible sense of destiny, to see God calling me, a “Gideon type of guy” to be chosen “out of the blue” (human perspective) and to discover that God has had this in mind since the beginning. Now the glory and honor of God are at stake, and we will not let Satan, persecution or our own self-doubts get in “God’s way!” Please keep Tim & Lianne in your prayers. Que Dieu vous bénisse au delà de toute mesure! (May God bless you beyond measure!)

The Single Brother Leaders in the Paris
Church – Anthony, Phil and Omarr!

John Malnegro of Manila: Mabuhay! “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”(John 15:8) This week has been so glorious for God’s remnant church here in Manila! God allowed us to witness a miracle of a changed life, as we finally restored Jason Alejandro in the Lord’s church! Jason is our first addition after Kip & Elena’s effort to gather the remnants in Manila. Out of Jason’s overflowing gratefulness to God, he now offers his leased office training room (located at the heart of Makati City – the “New York City” of Metro Manila) that can hold 30 to 40 persons (with a childcare room) to be our regular venue for Sunday worship services, Wednesday devotionals, and Friday Bible Talks!

Another exciting development is that Bernie, the brother of Alvin Panlilio – our Manila Church Administrator, attended yesterday’s worship service! Bernie was converted in 1996! At one time, he led a house church, but he fell away in 2009. Yet when he saw the church yesterday, he now wants to get restored to his “first love!” (Revelation 2:5-6) By the way, Bernie is a song-leader and plays the guitar! Amen! The men now have four moving studies, two for restoration and the other two are on their way to getting baptized!

Our awesome Women’s Ministry Leader Gina Dela Pena, has four studies – one of them is for restoration! Then one last thing, our SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) registration is done! We now have the certificate and are officially registered as Metro Manila International Christian Church! Thanks to the huge effort of our dear brother Alvin! God is truly awesome! All the praises and the glory belongs to Him alone!

Alvin Panlilio, his wife Merlyn and Elena!

Victor Gonzalez: Greetings from “your” humble missionaries in Mexico City! Yesterday was stupendous as we witnessed two more souls added to God’s awesome Kingdom! The first baptism was a bilingual single man named Carlos. Carlos first came to our Inaugural Service seven weeks ago, and today, he finally said “Jesus es mi Señor” before “a great cloud of witnesses” and was baptized into Christ!

The second baptism was from our recently started Politécnico Bible Talk. Your new sister’s name is Yami!! I am so proud of Brandon Farrell. Brandon was so desperate to be fruitful that he decided to go on a fast until he met someone who studied the Bible and was baptized! Yami was that someone and let me tell you she is a great someone! Yami is an Accounting major and is in her last year. To God’s glory we now have disciples at the two biggest universities in Mexico City – UNAM with 269,000 students and the Politécnico with 153,000 students! So in the last seven weeks since our church’s Inaugural Service, God has blessed us with 14 additions – 9 baptisms, 1 restoration, and 4 place memberships! Please keep us in your prayers as we are entering the holiday baptizing frenzy! ¡Ponte Las Pilas!

Our new brother Carlos is welcomed
into the Kingdom by Josue!

Coleen Challinor of Portland: Greetings from Portland! As usual, it has been pouring down rain here, but God has been pouring down blessings on the church! On Saturday, we had a combined Portland and Eugene Staff Meeting. We were able to make the 2013 Calendar and come up with our Northwest Winter Workshop theme: Thy Will Be Done. We are so excited about it as it is centered around every disciple surrendering to our God.

Later that night, God allowed us to see an incredible campus woman named Cynthia baptized into Christ! Aaron Turner, Tomas Gonzalez and Dan Upshaw crashed Portland’s Salsa Club and like Paul and his companions in Acts 16:13 who “expected to find a place of prayer,”these brothers “expected to find a person open to becoming a disciple!” They met Cynthia and invited her to Bible Talk. The next day, Gabby Jimenez and I shared with her and she told us she met the brothers and was going to Bible Talk that night! From there, this woman has studied the Scriptures diligently, because she realized God wanted her that badly!

At Cynthia’s baptism, she shared a letter of gratitude to God. The Campus Ministry then went to our apartment fountain – in the rain – to baptize her since this was the only running fountain in the city! We were able to share our faith with our security guard, Joe, who stayed for the baptism, and instead of kicking us out, he generously allowed us in… And Joe, himself, was inspired!

Cynthia has a deep desire to preach to all nations since she is from Michoacán, Mexico! Cynthia will be going home for Christmas and dreams of bringing her entire family to our Mexico City Church, which is six hours away! She is our first convert in the dorms and lives on the “International Floor,” which opens more doors to world evangelism here on campus! Please keep praying for us as we are looking forward to a “December to Remember!”

Kithy Ranga of Syracuse: “But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.'” (Genesis 50:19-20) The saints here in Syracuse are utterly amazed by God and His timing of blessings! We are super excited to have the Kernans here in our mists. It is an absolute breath of fresh air! Tim preached the message on the account of David and Goliath. His three points were: 1) The Fear That Must Be Faced; 2) The Price That Must Be Won; and 3) The Power That Must Be Used. This sermon inspired us to face the “Goliaths” in our lives and in the church. We thank God for our answered prayers by landing the Kernans here for the time being! We are happy to continue serving the Kernans, showing this to be the Kingdom of our heavenly Father.

Steve & Kithy Ranga!

Last week we announced blowing out our November Mission Contribution by around $4,000, and today an additional $1,250 was collected and to God be all this glory!

Jay Shelbrack of Chicago: “So there was great joy in that city!”(Acts 8:8) We here in Chicago are so fired-up to see so many young disciples raising-up to take on roles of leadership and leading studies! Our First Principles Class is packed with 58 young disciples learning to“preach the Word” effectively! It’s obvious to us that these young, prayer warriors are now up to the challenge of discipling the many newly baptized disciples! As of today – with two more baptized into Christ – we have had 39 new additions since sending out our part of the mission team to San Francisco at the end of June!

Kate, who is a Professor of Teaching, Writing, and Rhetoric at Columbia College, was baptized today! She was met by Maiya Eubanks, one of our Campus Interns. Kate shared how she had gone through a number of studies and then realized she hadn’t been serious and needed to start over. Scott, who was met by K.C. – one of our young Timothy’s in the North Region, was also baptized today! Scott had been in the fellowship for months and had many challenges to overcome. He had to end an engagement, a worldly lifestyle, and give-up his pride to make Jesus his Lord! Unfortunately, we couldn’t baptize him at the building because he stands over 6’6″ tall and only lake Michigan would do!

Coltin Rohn: Greetings from Boston! Today was an amazing day as we were so blessed to see The Royal Wedding of the Lamb (Revelation 21-22) – the last of our Revelation Series. Meanwhile Jibriel Graham & Jasmine Miller had a “Royal Wedding” in New York City!!! With almost 1/3 of the church already in NYC for the wedding, we still had 32 in attendance! We are so excited to have another married couple in the Boston Church! It’s amazing the plans God has for His Kingdom! Leaders Meeting was spent going over the Prayer Goals for the remainder of 2012. We praise our God that the Boston Mission Team of 16 disciples who landed in August have now grown to 35 disciples strong! “With man this is impossible, but not with God, all things are possible with God!” (Mark10:27)

Andrew Smellie: “‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – and with persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.'” (Mark 10:29-30) Greetings from New York City! What a weekend! After moving the Chin family on Saturday to a new location in Long Island, many disciples entered Sunday morning service having returned home at 4:30AM in the morning! However, their “feeble arms and weak knees” (Hebrews 12:12) were strengthened at our joyful worship service, as we celebrated the baptism of another campus student – Yessina!

Yesinia is a student at the University of Staten Island, and was first introduced to us as we studied with her former boyfriend, Carl, a freshman City College student, who was one of the three baptisms that occurred a month ago after Hurricane Sandy! In accordance with 2 Corinthians 6:14, which states, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers,” Carl made the radical decision to break-up his relationship with Yesinia in order to protect his heart and please the Lord! Today, God blessed Carl’s courage as Yesinia humbly confessed before her baptism that despite her religious background, she was not taught the true doctrine of repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38), and was shocked at the blindness of her former church leaders after having met and debated these issues! The church rejoiced as she proclaimed that“Jesus is Lord” and not her religious traditions! It was encouraging to see the blessing of the Lord as these two young people gave-up everything they held dear in order to please Him alone!

The New York City Sisters embrace
Yesinia after her baptism!

It was also a pleasure to have Frank & Cydnee Hines join us for service and share for communion as they were in town for the wedding of Jibreil & Jasmine Graham! Frank & Cyndee were in the ministry in the Jamaica and Boston ICOC churches for 15 years, yet were sadly taken out of the ministry after the time of the Kriete Letter. Courageously, they left the Boston ICOC this year due to their lack of discipling relationships and the inconsistency of a Biblical standard throughout the church. Then, they placed membership with our SoldOut church in Boston just a couple months ago! During the communion, they both shared vulnerably and powerfully about how the cross gave them the hope to overcome the world and strengthen their relationship with God! We also had a great time in fellowship with their sons, David and Daniel, a freshman in college and a junior in high school respectively!

After we rejoiced at the end of service for Yessina, we all headed out to Long Island to celebrate the wedding of Jibreil & Jasmine, who had come back from the Boston mission field to be married in the city of their physical and spiritual births! Their families were blown away by the love of the disciples as Jibreil & Jasmine became the newest members of the “Fellowship of the Ring!”

Carlos Mejia of Santiago: “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.'” (Nehemiah 1:8-9) Greetings from God’s people from the“farthest horizons” of South America! It is so thrilling to be in a church where God allows His Name to dwell, and it has been so heartening to behold our God gather His remnant here in Santiago! It is just so refreshing to see these “scattered” souls commit again to their “first love” through restoration! Today, Miguel was restored, and we all rejoiced to have our brother back! We know that there are many other sheep like Miguel in this great city, anxious to once again be in a relationship with God!

Additionally, we announced to the church our three new regions! Of course, to have powerful regions, you need powerful leaders, and God has made His choices very clear! Carlos & Maria Elena Gallardo will take the helm in the South; Alfredo & Alejandra Anuch will be leading the East; and Jared & Rachel McGee will be firing-up the North-Central portion of the church! We are excited to see these key leaders grow, and also to see the explosive fruitfulness that comes from regionalizing and mobilizing all of the incredible disciples here in Santiago! Please be praying for the Central & South America Missions Conference on February 15-17, 2013 entitled, Ha Llegado La Hora (Juan 17:1) Visit our website and register today! And to God be all the glory!

Matt Sullivan of Orlando: This has been an extraordinary week and I am reminded of Jesus’ words in John 15:1-4, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” After the pruning hand of God worked with us for a few weeks, we are again seeing what He is able to do when there is repentance and a restored faith! This past Wednesday, an incredible young man named Justin was baptized! Justin was serving as a youth leader in his church and yet was searching with all his heart for the truth. Mike Patterson met him on campus at UCF a few weeks ago, and they quickly got into the Bible. Justin couldn’t believe he had overlooked so much of what the Bible teaches and was deeply cut that his “life and doctrine” were not in line with Scriptures. He stepped-down from his role with the other church, renounced his false beliefs, and broke-up with his girlfriend – Arielle!

At first, Arielle was so confused about all the changes in Justin. Although uncertain these were changes from God, she too began digging into the Word with Chenelle and the campus sisters. Arielle attends a conservative “Christian” college called Florida Christian College here in Orlando and was concerned that her now ex-boyfriend was renouncing his past and radically changing! As she studied for just eight days, it became very clear that although she had pursued God, she had never become a disciple! Arielle was baptized Sunday and is now your sold-out sister!

The UCF Campus Ministry Leaders –
Mike & Chenelle Patterson!

In addition, Travis, another UCF student who was met by Chris Jones was baptized on Sunday! Finally, our brand new brother from UCF, Mitch, shared his faith right after being baptized with Tremaine. He studied the Bible almost all the way through. The most powerful part of Tremaine’s conversion is that after a few weeks of studying the Bible, Tremaine just stopped. However, he kept on reading his Bible everyday and like a Berean wanted to see if what he was being taught was true. After wrestling with his very devoted Catholic background and seeing that only the Scriptures are God’s standard… and that “his” church could no longer be the standard… he too was baptized yesterday! Very exciting is that the REALITY Campus Ministry had decided on a faith goal for this semester to have 12 disciples baptized and as of yesterday – one day before the last class of the semester – they have had 13 baptisms! To God be all the glory!

Jeremy Ciaramella of Phoenix: Greetings from the beautiful Valley of the “Son!” Despite the challenges that we have faced recently, we had an incredibly powerful service where we concluded with two baptisms — Brenda and Alexander. Brenda is a single mother who has gone through major life changes in the last few weeks moving from California to Arizona without any friends. In fact, her only friend was her boyfriend, but willingly she surrendered that relationship for Jesus during her studies. She now is “overwhelmed” by her new family as she humbly turned herself over to her God today! Alx (pronounced “Alex”) is a young single man who made a great deal of changes which impacted both of his parents… His mother tearfully witnessed his baptism today! We love you with the love of the Lord! 

Raja Rajan of Chennai: Greetings from the land of the multitudes!“Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord!” (Haggai 1:12) While Kip was in Chennai, he gave a charge which the disciples took to heart: “Crank your Bible Talks!” The “most cranking Bible Talk” last week was the one at the Women’s Christian College led by my awesome wife Debs. Just Debs and Maria had 11 visitors! At another Women’s Campus Bible Talk, they had five visitors, of which four of them were brought by Shimrah, a young Christian! Rhea, our only teen disciple wanted to start a Teens Bible Talk. So last Saturday, Debs and Rhea had a Bible Talk in a mall and they had five teen visitors!

Lastly, Divya was invited by Pamela and Leno, and she first came to church during Kip & Elena’s recent visit. She heard the Word preached that Sunday, studied the Bible, and was baptized today! God is moving powerfully in Chennai and may the multitudes give Him alone all the glory!

Divya is congratulated by Pamela
after her baptism!

Lola Lof of Kinshasa: Greetings from the Democratic Republic of Congo! We can’t miss words to express our gratitude to what God has done for the Kinshasa Church this year! At the beginning of the year, we held our Leaders Workshop entitled, A Year Of Revolution! Decisions were made: to grow in number AND maturity! Fortunately, God is with us and has helped this dream to come true as God so far this year has added 188 – 150 placed membership, 30 baptisms and 8 restorations! Also last week, we threw cold water on the Devil! During our Sunday worship service, three men (Didier, Serge and Thierry) and two women (Lesline and Fidelise) were added to our number through baptism! Of note: Serge, our new brother is the son of our sister Cecile, one of the scores who placed membership. She has already helped seven members of her family and Serge is the eighth to be saved, and as well, two others are studying the Bible! To conclude, I thank all of you for your support and prayers, as God has healed me and restored my health. I love you very much.

Didier is being plunged into the waters of baptism!

Michael Williamson of London: “The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, ‘You will not get in here…’ Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David!” (2 Samuel 5:6-7) Greetings from the UK! God is moving powerfully in London! Over 100 gathered on Sunday to worship the Almighty God as another two souls were added to our number!

Although the Bible teaches that it is “hard for the rich [and gifted] to enter the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:23), the Lord has been answering our prayers for campus baptisms at two of the world’s top colleges! En Wei Loy is a first year Mechanical Engineering student attending University College London, who was met by our brother Victor Komo. Loy passionately shared with the congregation that “Jesus is Lord” …for about ten minutes! LOL! We have faith that Loy will be a great leader taking the gospel back to his home country of Malaysia!

Our other campus baptism was Annie, a first year Bio Chemistry student who was met by Kia at our SWAG table (Students Who Apply God) during the Kings College “Freshers Fair!” Annie shared passionately how grateful she was to be in the Kingdom!

Our new “spiritual twins” in London – Loy and Annie!

We are only about three weeks away from welcoming Michael & Maria Hart from Curacao along with their two beautiful children Dylan and Kyara! The church here is earnestly praying! We have been having 24-hour prayer-chains each week for our churches and leaders around the world and especially our dear “partners in the gospel,” Tim & Lianne Kernan! Lastly, we’re happy to announce the 2013 European Missions Conference entitled, GOD ALMIGHTY REIGNS slated for November 7-10, 2013 here in London, England!

Dearest Brothers and Sisters, as Satan’s fury grows as God’s Word is spreading so rapidly, Philippe’s statement of faith should rally us, “The glory and honor of God is at stake!” This is true in Paris and around the world! Let us meditate and place on our hearts 1 Timothy 2:3-4, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth!” It is the will of God for all men to be saved! Is God’s will your will? After all, for this verse to be fulfilled we must disciple “all nations and baptize them…” Remember, only God saves, but He gave us the charge to teach “a knowledge of the truth” thus “making disciples” who will share in Heaven’s glory forever and ever! Every soul is worth all the sacrifice and suffering! Amen!
Much love,