February 3rd 2013

Dear All,
Greetings from Los Angeles! Indeed, our All Congregational Service was a “Super Sunday!” Since the Super Bowl American Football Championship was to be held later in the day, DJ Comisford creatively selected brothers to lead our service that had great accomplishments in American Football! Cory Blackwell, a former NBA player – and unknown to most – a High School All American in football, gave a very powerful welcome! Nick Bordieri – a Division Three College All American – delivered a dynamic prayer! Sal Velasco – a Junior College All American – shared a very moving communion! And Tyler Sears – Defensive High School Player of the Year in Oregon and Full Scholarship Athlete for the Oregon Ducks – was very vulnerable during contribution about the crash caused by a drunken driver that should have killed Tyler! This “Super Service” concluded with three baptisms, bringing our total number of baptisms for the week to nine!

And now more reports from around LA…

DJ Comisford: Great news from the West Region of LA! This past week, the Lord blessed us with three baptisms! On Monday night, about 30 disciples gathered in the Kirchners’ backyard to witness Gio, a single man from our Beverly Hills Bible Talk, make Jesus his Lord and get baptized! Then on Thursday night, about 50 disciples gathered on the UCLA brothers’ rooftop to watch Josh, a sophomore UCLA Basketball player, get baptized! Josh was reached out to by Owa, our brother who is a defensive end on the UCLA Football Team!

Towering above even our dear brother Owa, Josh’s
radiance beams as the joy of the Lord is
now his strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)

Finally, on Saturday, the Kirchners and Kacie & myself made the 110 mile drive from West LA to Bakersfield with Elizabeth and Taryne McKnight to baptize Alice – Elizabeth’s mom and Taryne’s grandma! Alice is 92 years old and is in a nursing home… But undeterred by the circumstances, Elizabeth and Taryne studied the Bible with her week after week. Alice came to understand that her destiny was hell if she did not repent and get baptized. After counting the cost on Saturday, Michael and I literally lifted her out of her wheelchair and immersed her in the baptismal that our sister Dena Onekea had brought all the way from LA! After the baptism, Alice sang Amazing Grace wholeheartedly with all the “other” sold-out disciples!

Three generations of disciples – Elizabeth,
Taryne and Alice!

As we sang, I remembered this verse, from 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Truly, our God is an awesome God!

Kyle Bartholomew: Greetings from the Central Region! This past week, we had a “Super” Midweek Service, as Maricio was plunged into the waters of baptism! Maricio is a CSULA student that was in a serious motorcycle accident a year ago and just barely escaped death. Upon hearing the message, Maricio was fired-up to understand that God had given him a second chance at life and joyfully proclaimed that Jesus would now be Lord of it! Pray for us as many more are on the way!

Luke Speckman: Greetings from Ventura! We are standing in awe of God, as we see so many amazing events happening in the Ventura Region! To sum everything up for the past two weeks, we’ve had a transformed campus girl – Julniza – added to God’s Kingdom through baptism last week; five incredible “unpaid interns” chosen from Ventura to be a part of the International College of Christian Ministries; and finally, we announced the Santa Barbara Sector Mission Team Leaders, who are our very dear “son & daughter in the faith” – Richie & Elizabeth McDonnell! We are so proud of them! God willing, we will send 12 disciples out this June – Richie & Elizabeth with four other disciples from Ventura and six more from the awesome Chicago Church! Then at that time, Richie & Elizabeth will become paid Staff!

The soon-to-be full-time Santa Barbara Sector
Leaders – Richie & Elizabeth McDonnell!

Also, Brandyn & I are excited to see God moving in the Teen Ministry of the City of Angels Church! We are very humbled to be given this amazing leadership charge! At our first Congregational Teen Devotional on Friday night, we had over 60 in attendance! Today, at our Congregational Worship Service, we had a separate lesson for the Teens with over 70 in attendance!! Both events were amazing and gave both the Teens as well as the parents a vision for our future! Austin Broom and Nate Kerry (Teens!!!) received the opportunity to song lead during the service. Since they blew it out, now the whole Teen Ministry has a greater vision for Teens to lead all aspects of the Teen Church Services! Please pray for Ventura and the now blossoming Teen Ministry in LA!

Cory Blackwell of the South Central Region: “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3) Satan tried to hit us hard with many of our disciples being very sick with the flu. Our dear Women’s Region Leader Megan Matthews could not even make it to church. I thought she was on her death bed, because that is the only thing that could keep this fearless woman down!

However, we did not allow sickness and obstacles to distract us! “With labor prompted by [the] love” of the disciples, whole families are coming to Christ in South Central! Esther, a college student at Cal State Dominguez Hills University, was baptized a few weeks ago… Then, Ashley – following Christ as her sister did through many persecutions – was baptized a short time later! Furthermore, on Saturday morning at 7:30AM, 20 disciples gathered at Manhattan Beach to witness Esther’s and Ashley’s oldest sister Patricia and her husband Robert get baptized and become one in Christ! A special thanks to Eric & Jennifer Gayton who have worked so hard with Robert & Patricia!

Ashley, Patricia and Esther are united as “double
sisters” and Robert (centered behind them) is
united with Patricia as one in Christ!

Also, I want to lift-up and thank two of my best friends – Nick & Denise Bordieri – for the powerful way they are leading our Marrieds with an“endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus!” Even though all three of us are very different in taste and personality, our God has bonded us as “partners in the gospel!” They have become “my” Aquila & Priscilla in the South Central Region!

Nick & Denise Bordieri serve the Lord as the
Shepherding Couple for the South Central
Region as well as the Directors of MERCY
for the SoldOut Movement!

Gabe Reed of the East Region: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”(Matthew 5:10-12) Things are heating up here in the East Region particularly in our Campus Ministry!

In the East Region, our main campus of emphasis is Cal Poly Pomona – a four year university with over 25,000 lost souls! We started this year (2013) with just one student on this campus, so we took action and did two things: 1) We took all our community college disciples and had daily Bible Talks at Cal Poly; and 2) We consistently met on Monday nights for prayer and leadership training. As a result, Pete, a Cal Poly student, made Jesus Lord of his life and was baptized two weeks ago! And today, Esther, another Cal Poly student, was baptized into Christ, thus giving us two baptisms during the first four weeks of the term!

But these baptisms haven’t come without opposition. Two sisters I really want to lift-up in the Lord are Dulce and Bryanna. Both of these sisters have undergone intense persecution from their families in recent weeks. Their parents have taken away their cars and have threatened to kick them out of their houses if they don’t stop attending church.

In light of this persecution, however, not only have these sisters stood-up for Jesus and the gospel, but they have invested even more in the Kingdom by being committed to two Bible Talks a week and attending our Monday Night Leadership Meetings! They have become great “armor bearers” to my girlfriend Stephanie, and recently, the three of them shared in the victory of Esther’s radical proclamation as she made her good confession today in front of many witnesses!

Very interestingly, though Esther had her doubts at first, through our amazing Global Internet Ministry, she was able to go online to discover the truth about God’s church! During her sharing at our All Congregational Service, she publicly thanked Kip for his online sermons! This so encouraged me because in the past, the internet was used by our enemy Satan to “poison” possible disciples and their families! (Acts 14:2) So now I praise God that He has raised-up such amazing WebDeacons and CyberEvangelists throughout the Kingdom, who are“daily… proclaiming the GOOD NEWS” on the “invisible continent” – the internet! (Acts 5:42) Please pray for us as we have one more counting the cost this week to get baptized and begin our Book of Joshua Series in the Campus Ministry!

Having searched for and then finding the truth in
the Scriptures and the internet, Esther is at
peace as she enters the Kingdom of God!

Argo (Lips) Arneson – IE Region Leader and overseeing Evangelist of Russia: Today our Father in Heaven blessed us with an awesome Congregational Super Bowl Sunday, as two more students from the University of California Riverside were added to our number! A young man Oly with a great heart for God and an incredible woman named Renee were baptized as sold-out disciples of Christ. Renee was so inspired by God’s love that she invited five of her family members and friends to church to see her baptism. Her father, sister, aunt, niece and her best friend were blown away by the sermon that they heard, and because of the love they felt, they have promised to come back next Sunday! “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Anu Arneson warmly embraces her new
“daughter in the faith” – Renee!

To quote our dear brother Lou Jack, “It was another bad day for the Devil” also in Moscow, Russia, as a great young woman Lena was restored to God’s family! Lena is the wife of our brother Slava, who was restored to God just this past week! They worked as a full-time ministry couple in our former fellowship and are incredibly happy to be part of God’s movement again! And to God, be always the glory!

Now more refreshing news from other parts of the globe…

Ricky Challinor of Portland: Greetings from the City of Bridges!!! The Portland Church has been busy, as we had a “best friend” of mine Jason Dimitry visit the church from LA. His primary purpose for coming was to select five of our members to join the 10 from LA on the Las Vegas Mission Team – prayerfully to be sent out this April! In Jason’s Sunday sermon entitled, The Courage To Continue, he lifted-up the Portland Church, taught us, challenged us, and of course, made us laugh! It was amazing to see how much Jason has grown in his wisdom and preaching!

The Las Vegas Mission Team Leaders – Jason
& Sarah Dimitry and their lovely
children, Lian and Micky!

Also at service, we had two more who were baptized! The first was Johan, who preached the Word in his sharing before his baptism. This is an incredible young man who has been humbled by God and yet he decided to fast from last Sunday until today on nothing but water! His zeal and repentance was truly seen in his sharing! The second baptism was Andre! This young man is incredible! The coolest thing is that he is the brother of Yelena, Margarita and Marina Astanin! It was faith building as he was able to have his whole family out to service, even his cousins! On Friday, a brother asked him, “Are you excited about the Super Bowl?” Andre replied, “Bro, I’m excited about my baptism on Sunday!!!!”

The prayers of the Astanin Sisters – Yelena,
Margarita and Marina – are answered as
their brother Andre is baptized!

We were able to end out the day with Super Bowl Parties by House Church in five different locations! After the game, we had a “”Las Vegas Night,” where we met with 15 people, who came to hear Jason present an awesome slide show that he had made about “Sin City.” We are praying and will soon select our “Vegas Five” for the Las Vegas Mission Team! Please pray for the continued boldness of the Portland Church!

John Malnegro of Manila: God is continually moving here in Metro Manila, Philippines! The following quote from Wikipedia will help define our challenge: “Metropolitan Manila (Filipino: Kalakhang Maynila, Kamaynilaan), or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines. It is composed of 16 cities, namely Manila, Caloocan, Las Pinas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Pasay, Pasig, Paranaque, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, Valenzula and the Municipality of Patros. The region is the political, economic, social, cultural and educational center of the Philippines. As proclaimed by Presidential Decree No. 940, Metro Manila as a whole is the Philippines’ seat of government, while the City of Manila is the capital. The largest city in the Metropolis is Quezon City, (the location of the University of the Philippines – UP), while the largest business district is the Makati Central Business District.”

“Metro Manila is the most populous of the twelve defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines and the 11th most populous in the world… In a contiguous zone with Metro Manila is 25.5 million people as of the 2007 census.”

Metro Manila has a population of
over 25 million lost souls!

We now have 11 men and 12 women studying the Bible: Campus from UP – four men and two women; Single professionals – six men and seven women; Marrieds – two men and two women! We are so encouraged that the Bartholomews and the McKeans will be coming to strengthen us in the Lord in late April! Keep praying for us to have an incredible harvest of souls!

Jay Hernandez of Hilo: Aloha from your brothers and sisters on the Big Island of Hawaii! God has given us a great start to the new year! Today at service, we were able to see God’s infinite mercy as Richard & Krystallyn Udtohan (brother and sister-in-law of Joan Bartholomew and Jen Ramsier) were restored to God!

Embraced by Mel & Levi Bartholomew, Richard – Joan
Bartholomew’s and Jen Ramsier’s brother –
is restored with his wife Krystallyn!

Richard reminded me of this incredible verse in Job, as he shared about the constant dreams he had been having about missing salvation for eternity, “But I tell you, in this you are not right, for God is greater than man. Why do you complain to Him that He answers none of man’s words? For God does speak — now one way, now another — though man may not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, He may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride, to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.” (Job 33:12-18) Though he did not immediately act upon the dreams and the intense feelings he was having, God was persistent in getting him back to church – His Kingdom. We now have exactly 50 fired-up disciples here in Hilo, and we are looking forward to eclipsing the “all-time high” membership in the ICOC of 61 very soon! Me ke aloha pau ole a hui hou! (With everlasting love and affection until we meet again!)

Coltin Rohn of Boston: God blessed us with a “Super Sunday,” as we had a record attendance of 56! Amazing is our “Super” brother – Preston Inkley, who was baptized last December! He brought to service three family members, two childhood friends, and a “new” friend from his local gym! Also, Brian Carr’s older brother, Kevin, traveled from Louisiana in a day’s notice to come check-out the church and visit his brother!

Later, 34 gathered for food, fellowship, and of course, the Super Bowl Game! Please join us in prayer for our 2013 Goals for the Boston International Christian Church – found in this week’s article atwww.bostonicc.org. I’m also very excited as a friend of mine from the Boston University Hockey Team, Ryan, will be giving Mandee & I tickets to witness the “2013 Beanpot Tournament” at the Boston Garden! I believe God is giving me vision for our future meeting place! To our “Super God” be all the glory!

Tamru Belihu of Addis Ababa: Greetings from Ethiopia! What a great Lord’s Day it was! We had an awesome time with two baptisms and both of them are from the same family! More fruit on this branch is near, as one brother and two other sisters from this same family are studying and are close to baptism! Please be praying for them!

Ron Harding of Washington DC: Greetings from the City of Magnificent Intentions! The Lord continues to bless the DC Church with fruit and additions “beyond anything that we could ask or imagine!”Thursday evening, Chuck & Elizabeth Hess were fruitful, as they welcomed their incredibly beautiful baby girl – Rebecca May Hess – 7lbs. 6oz.! Then Friday evening, Christopher & Patricia Carrothers arrived from Charlotte, North Carolina! On Saturday, they joined us for their first Marrieds Devotional (with 53 in attendance), since they were married just six months ago! Also receiving marriage training and attending their first Marrieds Devotional was our recently engaged couple – Afa Maile & Tromila Wheat.

Christopher & Patricia Carrothers have moved
to DC to train for the full-time ministry!

The next day, the Lord continued to bless our six House Church Services with another record attendance of 199 and a record contribution of $7,420!!! That’s an average of $73 per member! I almost forgot to mention our local Baltimore Ravens WON THE SUPER BOWL in dramatic fashion, giving us even more zeal to plant the Baltimore House Church – Lord willing – in the late summer! So in the first five weeks of 2013, the Lord has added seven to our number and allowed us to have two record attendances, as we are fast approaching a membership of 100 disciples with regular attendances of over 200! We want to give ALL the glory to our Lord and Savior who has made it all possible!

Philippe Scheidecker: Bonjour de Paris! We on the European continent are fighting for the cause of Jesus! My adorable wife & I had the privilege to be invited to the London Church Winter Workshop and had an incredible fellowship with our sister church and especially with the Williamsons, who welcomed us and hosted us like angels. (Galatians 4:14) The church in London is on fire and inspired us to dream bigger and rely more on God’s power. I was given the honor to deliver my first sermon in English to the brothers! That is a miracle, showing to the world that in the Kingdom of God there are no cultural or racial differences, as we do not think the way the world thinks!

Imitating London, we had our first Winter Workshop on the same topic:Seek First His Kingdom. Prisca & I hosted the sisters at our place and the Grimas hosted the brothers’ side! Thank you Lord (and LA Church!) for the Grimas! What an incredible couple with so much wisdom – as they have proven themselves faithful before our God for years! We are so blessed to have them here!

Mike Underhill: In San Francisco, our football team saw an “almost” epic victory for the Super Bowl Championship! However, at our morning church service, we did see a completely epic victory as a young man, Christian Casarez, was restored to our Father and His Kingdom today! Having recently turned 20 years old, Christian was born into the Kingdom and was baptized at 14 years old. He has been in the battle for his walk with God for the past six years.

During service today, it was incredible as he cried before the church and shared how grateful he was to be a part of God’s Kingdom and how he knew he didn’t deserve it. He related to a story from a show called, I Shouldn’t Be Alive… A man had drifted in a boat for 76 days and needed rescuing. It moved everyone’s hearts as he was vulnerable about where his heart had drifted and how God has brought him back! The prodigal son had truly returned home! It’s incredible to see Christian not only restored now to the same congregation as his physical father, but to see the Father of us all, our Lord, also have His spiritual son back in His household. We know there is much rejoicing in heaven! (Luke 15)

Lola Lof of Kinshasa: Greetings from your brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo! Let us start with the love we witnessed to our sister Rughette (our brother Clovis’ wife) who gave birth to a dead baby boy, but she has been encouraged by the assistance of brothers and sisters who daily go to the hospital to pray, console and spend big time with her. Some others of the patients around her were also comforted by the true and practical love of the disciples of Jesus in the Kinshasa Church.

Now let’s talk about our Sunday Service, as our brother Clement opened it with a warm welcome and prayer! Then came the moving communion of our brother Patrick and the challenging sermon, Heart Of Promise by John Itetsi, who has been transferred into West Region from the East Region, since he is very talented not only in preaching but also in music – so we are blessed by his presence here in West Region! Of note, John Itetsi is Micky’s nephew – who has his uncle Micky’s God-given musical talent.

We cannot conclude without sharing about the good news which moves God’s throne – baptisms! In the West Region, God gave us two: Josué and Bob; and in the East Region, Raline was baptized! Therefore, since our Lord is sovereign, through everything – bad and good – our God be glorified!

Andrew Smellie of New York City: “In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about 120) and said, ‘Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago…'” (Acts 1:15-16a – emphasis added) Greetings from the East Coast on Super Bowl Sunday! Patrique’s family from Baltimore is rejoicing at the Ravens’ win! Today marked a special day in the history of the New York City Church, as we officially “fulfilled” our dream to welcome the 100th member to our church family of sold-out disciples!

At the end of our service, Abe, a single professional, was joyfully baptized into Christ! As a businessman and part-owner of a graphics company, Abe prepared for his baptism by making a shirt to commemorate the occasion (see picture) and shared how grateful he was to see other men who are eagerly studying the Bible to be baptized soon! We rejoiced as he shouted his good confession, “JESUS IS LORD!!!” Please pray for our 2013 Prayer Goal to reach 200 disciples by the end of the year, as we work to achieve Jesus’ dream to evangelize this great city and bring God the glory only He deserves! We love you!

Abe makes a t-shirt that commemorates
his baptism as the 100th member
of the NYC Church!

Michael Williamson: God is on the move in London! Wednesday night, we an incredibly packed and inspirational Men’s Midweek Service, as we saw the baptism of a young single man – Austin! Austin shared right before his baptism how the persistent phone calls from our brother Alan were literally the voice of God saying, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!” (Matthew 4:17) That taught all the London brothers to “keep on keeping on” with our visitors who at first do not respond! In addition, it was so awesome seeing God use Martin Scott, who only recently moved to London, along with Jacques Groenewald, and Sean Corrigan to study and baptize this great addition for our Singles Ministry!

Friday night was our best “Open Mic” thus far with almost 100 in attendance! We had a live band, over a dozen acts listed to perform, and so God gave us a plethora of new contacts and studies! Sunday’s service was electric! The title of the sermon was, The God Who Answers By Fire keying off of 1 Kings 18 and Revelation 3:14-21! No sooner had I finished by challenging the church to have marriages “ON FIRE” not “UNDER FIRE,” that a sister from the ICOC baptized 25 years ago came straight up to me afterward saying, “I’m going back to the ICOC and I’m going to tell them everything I just heard… We just aren’t on fire for GOD!” Pray she joins us soon!

Matt Sullivan of Orlando: The first few weeks of 2013 have been outstanding, as God has continued to bless us here in the Orlando Church with seven new additions in the first five weeks of this year! We are humbled and honored to see God work powerfully in the Marrieds Ministry with three baptisms, the Singles with one baptism, and in the Campus with now three baptisms in just their first few weeks of the semester!

Our Campus Ministry was very fired-up today as Kalio, who is on the University of Central Florida Soccer Team, was baptized! Mike Patterson met him just about two weeks ago, and Kalio immediately just fell in love with the Bible, took every challenge, and forcefully entered the Kingdom!

Kalio – a member of the UCF Soccer Team – is warmly
embraced into the Orlando Church Family!

Also, today on “Super Sunday,” we had one of our highest attendances of 126 and we are now maintaining a weekly contribution of $2,700! Our service was extra special today as Curtis White, a great brother from the “old days of San Francisco,” was visiting! (He and I were there in the late 80’s at the same time!) Once he saw the church, the love and passion of each member, he was convinced and so we will be laying out plans before God today for his move from New Orleans to Orlando as soon as possible!

Matt Sullivan preaches to a full house!

Lastly, I had the honor today of appointing our first Deacon Couples ever in the OICC! Steve & Melanie Coyle, who serve tirelessly as our new Administration Couple and Kevin & Patrice Hunt (from Charlotte) for our Kids Kingdom, were all appointed today after “a time of testing,” which they “passed” with flying colors! (1 Timothy 3:10) Truly, “Our God stoops down to make us great!” (Psalm 18:35)

Dearest Brothers & Sisters, Since we have entered February, prayer and fasting is needed for the following: 1) The Central & South American Missions Conference in Santiago, Chile on February 14-17, 2013; and 2) Our movement-wide 15X Missions Contribution to be collected in April – though a 20X Missions Contribution will be collected on June 30th from the City of Angels Church in Los Angeles! These collections are necessary to sustain and propel the Spirit’s efforts in London, Paris, Chennai, Kinshasa, Manila, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Santiago, as well as to launch our 2013 Church Plantings to: Las Vegas (April), Denver (August), Dallas (December), and the Crown of Thorns Mission Team to Sydney, Australia (December)!

The Sydney Mission Team Leaders – Mason &
Nathalie for the Campus and Joe & Kerry
Willis for the Congregation!

Therefore, let us collectively look “to [our God] who is able to establish you by… the proclamation of Jesus Christ, [that He may guide us] to all nations, [so that they] might believe and obey Him – to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen!” (Romans 16:25-27)
Much love,