Greetings from Seattle, Manila, Lagos, Dallas, Mexico City and Los Angeles! The Lord blessed Elena’s and my most recent missionary journey “beyond anything we could ask or imagine!” (Ephesians 3:20) At the Seattle Inaugural Service, to accommodate the 191 in attendance, several were standing in the back of the auditorium and even more were seated on the floor in front of the podium! In Manila, at the First Austral Pacific Rim Missions Conference, we held the First ICCM Commencement Ceremony outside the United States! In Lagos, we celebrated not only the Second African Missions Conference, but the Inaugural Service of the Lagos International Christian Church where God brought together an amazing 155 souls and we saw three baptisms! In Dallas, it was so awesome to hear about the non-Christian visitors to the University of Texas – Arlington Bible Talk where in successive weeks God has given them 17, 18 and 23 visitors! Then, I was able to make a quick trip to Mexico City to spend two days with Hector Gomez and the Mejias doing the final edits on Elena’s book ELEVATE, which will come out at the 2016 Global Leadership Conference (GLC) in just 21 days! Finally, it was so good to be home in Los Angeles and to see my beloved brother-in-law restored to the Lord and His Church! And to God be all the glory!
Courtney Parlour – Women’s Ministry Leader of Seattle: On June 12th, we participated in the incredible Seattle International Christian Church Inaugural Service… in my hometown!
On that morning, Mark 2:2 came to mind as “there was no room left,” and people were sitting on the floor and standing along the back wall…. The only thing missing was someone being lowered from the roof! With 24 members on the Mission Team, about 50 visiting disciples, and a prayer goal of 140 total, the Lord gave us an amazing attendance of 191!
Tim & Lianne Kernan – the World Sector Leaders for
the Western USA – gave a rousing welcome
followed by a passionate prayer by
Brian Carr of Eugene!
Joel’s powerful and humorous sermon entitled, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE kept the crowd not only awake but energized! His three memorable points were 1) ASLEEP IN THE LIGHT, 2) A GLEAM IN THE NIGHT, and 3) ARISE AND FIGHT!
LuJack Martinez closes this exciting service with
The Glory Song – Seattle Version!
And most excitingly for me personally… After having lunch with the McKeans, God answered my years of prayers as my parents begun studying the Bible!
Since the Inaugural Service five weeks ago, we have seen six impactful additions: Eric (who was restored at the Inaugural), Arian, Tyler, Deann, Tim and Erin! God is already multiplying the disciples and in my hometown!
Joel & I are super grateful for each sacrificial disciple on this team! They moved here, essentially, on their own dime with no jobs or homes… And yet the Lord blessed everyone’s faith as the church exceeded the Missions Collection Goal of $12,000!
We are all excited about this week leading up to our Bring Your Neighbor Day at which Adam Zepeda will be preaching! Please continue to keep us in your prayers! We will see you at the GLC!
Tim Kernan – Director of the 2016 Global Leadership Conference: Jesus’ radical vision for the first century church was for it to spread “to the ends of the earth” in the lifetime of the Apostles! Therefore, the stirring theme for the 2016 GLC is REVOLUTION! The date for this momentous occasion is Sunday, July 31st through Tuesday, August 2nd!
On Friday, July 29th will be the exciting Church Builders Workshop and the inspirational International Campus Devotional! On Saturday will be CyberCon, The MERCYWORLDWIDE Summit, The International Teen Devo and the fun-filled Talent Show and PURE Dance! The 2016 GLC registration this year is $185. You may register and secure housing by going to the City of Angels International Christian Church Webpage at CAICC.net. Let’s be praying for Jesus’ REVOLUTION to extend “to the ends of the earth” in this generation!
With a little less than three weeks till the opening session of the GLC, a total of 753 have registered – 371 from the USA Churches, 74 from our International Churches, and 308 from LA! Our financial break even goal is 1,600 registrations! Pray for us to smash this godly objective!
Nick & Denise Bordieri – World Sector Leaders for MERCYWORLDWIDE: “But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving.“ (2 Corinthians 8:7) On June 18, 2016, the SoldOut Movement Disciples – MERCY Ambassadors – celebrated the Eighth Annual International Day of MERCY!
Over 100 projects and thousands of man hours were dedicated to serving the poor and less fortunate around the globe during this year’s International Day of MERCY! As always, it was such a joy for Denise & me to receive the reports, the photos and the videos from the MERCY Directors around the world!
This year’s projects included medical and dental care; serving children with cancer; working in orphanages; caring for veterans, the elderly and the disabled; blood drives; gardening and beautification projects; helping local food banks; and training and education! Ongoing partnerships included the Red Cross; the City of Hilo, Hawaii; the Ashford House and Melrose Place in London; Sunshine Acres Orphanage in Phoenix; Habitat for Humanity; El Valor; Anxiety Center and Hope House in Chicago; the Highland Coalition in Lynn, Massachusetts; Help USA New Horizon Shelter in NYC; Whole Foods and the Home Depot!
It was also extremely encouraging to receive the reports from our new churches in Lagos, Johannesburg and Bogota!
Denise & I had the privilege to participate in the medical and dental clinic for over 90 children at the Asociacion De Demas De Filipinas Orphanage, the oldest in the Philippines (founded in 1913), during the Austral Pac Rim Mission Conference! Ronnie Gonzalez and his team did an incredible job organizing the event, which included games, performances and activities! Both kids and adults alike had a day full of food, fun and laughter! We were all very proud of the kids for their bravery through all the testing.
To close, we want to share with you a few quotes from those who were served during the International Day of MERCY:
“I wish everyday was the Day of MERCY! Then there would be no starving!”
An elementary student who received a full meal as part of the special training session on health, sanitation and personal hygiene for 50 children in Jacmel, Haiti.
“Your team’s work was beyond words! We completed and started so many projects that are now easier to understand and move forward. Thank you, thank you, thank you.“ Cheryl the Lead Gardner for the Gilpin Summer Youth Program in Denver, Colorado.
On the verge of tears, Matilda, a resident of the Hope House (for people with disabilities) stated, “I just want to thank you all for your kind and giving hearts. Times have been really hard on me, so it’s so nice to see such kind people give back. It’s been a long time since someone has given me a gift from the heart. I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done. God bless you all.”
A gift from the heart! Thank you brothers and sisters for your hearts to “excel in the grace of giving” during the International Day of MERCY!
Mike Patterson – new Lead Evangelist of Boston: Chenelle & I recently celebrated the Fourth of July in Boston which has one of the largest and longest fireworks displays that I have ever seen! Even more exciting are the fireworks within God’s church here! Since arriving with the Supplemental Mission Team a little over a month ago, God has blessed us with three baptisms and one restoration! One brother I have been very proud of is our “veteran” Sal Difusco! He recently preached a sermon of the ages on discipleship in the church and also baptized last week a student from the class he teaches at Berklee College of Music, as Sal has recently been promoted from Associate Professor to Professor! Our new brother has an Indian heritage and his name is Kevin!
With the recent tragedies and chaos going on in our nation, we had a powerful service where I preached, Who Would Jesus Vote for President? I talked about how Jesus believed the real way to change the world was not through politics but through making disciples of all nations! Through Him all hostilities are broken down! (Ephesians 2:14-18) We have put before the church “The New England Revolution” which is our evangelism plan of three phases to evangelize New England starting first with the colleges! Also encouraging is the amazing feedback I have received on social media for an article I wrote to strengthen our convictions, Living In The Book of Acts: An Apology For The SoldOut Movement’s Five Core Convictions. (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7Ns_ax_JvRkUW54LV9RZ0l2Zjg/view?usp=sharing) Keep us in your prayers! We can’t wait to see you at the GLC!
Carlos Mejia – Lead Evangelist of Mexico City: God is moving in unprecedented ways! We are extremely excited to unveil the movement’s new publishing company – SoldOut Press International!
We are very proud and honored to introduce our first book, ELEVATE – Jesus’ Global Revolution For Women by Dr. Elena Garcia McKean! ELEVATE is a comprehensive study on the “Women’s Elevation Section” in Chapters 7-8 in the Book of Luke. It is also Elena’s story of faith from the time she was four years old when she and her family fled her birthplace of Cuba in 1959 following the communist revolution of Fidel Castro until today! Here are some excerpts from the book’s endorsements:
“What is the role of women in church today? How should they serve? What should they be allowed to do? Dr. Elena McKean in ELEVATE gives revolutionary insight into these very topics through an in-depth study of women in Jesus’ ministry.” Helen Sullivan of Orlando
“Someone said this was a book for women! Well, let me tell you, this is a book for every Christian man too! A gentle word breaks a bone, and I am walking out of ‘this read’ in a body cast!” Dr. Tim Kernan of Los Angeles
“I have known ‘about’ Elena since 1998, but I have personally known her since 2004 and she practices all that she preaches to women in this marvelous book.” Lynda Moreno of São Paulo
“My husband and I are praying for this masterpiece to be translated into Russian as soon as possible!” Elena Sirotkina of Moscow
“ELEVATE is easily the best book on women’s ministry that I have ever read.” Lucy Mejia of Mexico City
This amazing work will be available at the upcoming Global Leadership Conference in Los Angeles, California! Starting July 20th, you will be able to pre-order your copy of ELEVATE through our website www.soldoutpressinternational.com.
I thank God for bringing Hector & Adriana Gomez, our amazing missionaries from Colombia, into the New Movement as they have greatly contributed their publishing expertise, their wisdom and the fruit of their labor to the Kingdom of God! I pray that through SoldOut Press International, we will bring our awesome God glory as many more will be inspired to love Him through the written works inspired by faith in Christ!
Oh yes, the Mexico City Church continues to be blessed by baptisms and restorations as already in 2016 God has increased our number from exactly 50 disciples on January 1st to now 109 disciples just six months later! To God be all the glory!
José Otero – Lead Evangelist of Bogotá: Greetings from Colombia! I am super grateful to see all that our God is doing here in the Bogotá Church! To date the church has grown from 26 to 47 since arriving here in March with the five on the Mission Team from Mexico City! Our attendances now vary from 65 to 85! There is so much to share but I especially wanted share about our dear brother Cesar Pachón who has been a disciple for only one year. He has been making a tremendous impact within his family and friends! This month his mother Nancy Narváez (60) – who has been in a relationship for 35 years with her companion Gabriel Moreno (63) – both took the challenge to separate, make Jesus Lord of their lives, and be baptized! Also a good friend of Cesar, Luz Amparo, also was baptized the same day allowing our brother to be fruitful three times in one day! Lord willing, in a couple of weeks, Gabriel & Nancy will be married as disciples in God’s Kingdom!
For the International Day of MERCY, we spent the day at the Centro Gerontológico Manantial de Vida (Spring of Life Center for the Elderly)! The 30 senior citizens and five on staff were first encouraged by us making a Colombian-style tamale breakfast! We also provided each person living there with a care package consisting of tooth paste, a tooth brush, soap and body cream! We also sang songs for them, gave manicures, told stories, donated clothes and cleaning supplies and took them for a walk at a nearby park all with plenty of love and encouragement! That said, we came home tired but more encouraged than most of our new friends!
Elena Sirotkina – Women’s Ministry Leader of Moscow: The last three weeks, God has given us seven baptisms! Of note are two amazing teens Oleg and Zoya, who are also physical brother and sister!
Also baptized is Aleksey, a 19 year old man, who was invited by my husband Oleg during our Mission Campaign with the Campus and Teens Ministry! Alex is the European Champion of Combat Sambo and the world prizewinner in jive funk!
Another beautiful addition to the Moscow Family was Svetlana! She was a young woman, who lived in the city of Tula and found us through our website! Her first Sunday, she woke up at 4:30AM to be able travel to the service! She moved to Moscow and was baptized as a sold-out disciple!
Last week, almost all our baby Christians totaling 31 went to a Missions Campaign in Nizhny Novgorod – the fifth largest city in Russia! And that Sunday, we had at service 71 in attendance! Sergey & Lena Lamekins were Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader for 20 years in our former fellowship, as they worked full-time in Novosibirsk and Vladivostok and had overseeing responsibility for five churches on the Volga River! They joined God’s movement just five months ago, and now will lead this new young remnant church in Nizhny Novgorod! Please pray for baptisms!
Mark Garrido – new Lead Evangelist of Hilo: Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii! It’s been about a month-and-a-half since the arrival of all of us on the Supplemental Mission Team from LA and God has blessed the Big Island in many ways! Levi & Mel Bartholomew have done an incredible job of “standing in the gap” of leadership for the last six months until we arrived in late May! Since that time, God has added three amazing people to His Kingdom!
The Fourth of July Weekend was unbelievable as the church gathered together and camped on a beautiful camp ground near the ocean! That Sunday, we had an amazing service as we witnessed an incredible young man Kainalu Burley baptized! Kainalu was met by our awesome brother Nate Carr who came from LA and was part of our Supplemental Mission Team. Kainalu grew up going to church and when he met Nate and studied the Bible he knew right away that the church that he was attending was teaching false doctrine. He was so convicted by the Word of God that he immediately radically repented and changed his work schedule to attend all the meetings of the body! What an amazing heart!
Tiffany Smith was met by our sister Gretchen Paglinawan from our Kona House Church. Tiffany was going through a rough time in her life and her mother-in-law encouraged Tiffany to get into the Bible more. When Gretchen met Tiffany and asked her to study the Bible, Tiffany was blown away and pretty much on the spot started studying! Now Tiffany is our sister in Christ!
Since the landing of the Mission Team as well, the Big Island (with Hilo on the east and Kona on the west) has added one more Bible Talk and our average giving has increased by almost $10 per disciple! Thanks for your prayers!
Joe Willis – Lead Evangelist of Sydney: Greeting from the Land of Oz! We had an amazing time taking several in the church to the Austral Pac Rim Mission Conference in Manila, where we were able to provide school supplies for the orphans from the Sydney Church on our Annual Day of MERCY! This has really inspired our future leader of the Hong Kong Mission Team – Chi Leong – to dream of helping the orphanages in China!
It was also great to come to back to the immediate baptism of our first male Islander in the church, “Scotty” named after the fact that he was actually born in Scotland! He is from Samoa and attends the University of New South Wales, which is led by Chi!
Marcel Turner – the new Lead Minister of Gainesville: Greetings from the “Swamp!” In the past four weeks, God has added four to our number – one restoration and three baptisms! Of special note is Stevie, a nursing student with a full ride to the University of Florida (UF), who my wife Tia met at Powerhouse Gym! Tia prayed earnestly to meet someone at the gym as “physical training is of some value!” (1 Timothy 4:8) After studying the Bible for three weeks, Stevie decided to make Jesus Lord!
Another incredible addition is Johnnie, the son of a professional fisherman and entrepreneur! Johnnie was awarded a full ride to play football at the UF, but after a serious injury his scholarship was revoked. This turn of events humbled Johnnie to lead him to God. Before his baptism, he shared vulnerably and expressed his eagerness to be a disciple of Christ with the phrase, “I’m football ready!”
Please pray for us as next week is our very first Bring Your Neighbor Day and our goal is to have 128 in attendance – which is coincidentally double our membership and the Gainesville Church’s highest attendance!
Alfredo Anuch – Lead Evangelist of Santiago: Greetings from Chile! Although we’re in the middle of winter and the cold is intense (32°F = 0.0°C ) the church is still hot for God! Especially the Campus Ministry… In 2016, the Spirit has multiplied these vibrant disciples from 9 to 23 for the glory of God! The last of them, Ivo – third year student of Kinesiology – was reached out to by Raul Moreno in 2014, Stefano Barbis in 2015, and this June by Cristobal and Felipe, who decided to share their faith before classes started each morning! This third time, Ivo didn’t miss his chance and after three weeks of studying the Bible and leaving his girlfriend, church and traditions, he was baptized!
Keep on praying for us, as the 13 that are flying 5,576 miles (8,974 km) to LA for the GLC can’t wait to be with everyone!
Raul Moreno – Lead Evangelist of São Paulo: “Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you!” (2 Corinthians 10:15-16) Greeting from Brazil – the home of the Summer Olympics! I am thrilled to announce that two weeks ago we sent out seven valiant disciples to start the Rio de Janeiro House Church! Rio is the second largest city in Brazil with a growing population of over 12 million and only a 270 mile – 436 km – drive from São Paulo! The awesome House Church Leaders are Caio Lopes and Malu Dias! They were both campus conversions at USP! Excitingly, in just two short weeks, the Rio Disciples all have housing and they have 25 studies!
As the fledgling Rio House Church grows, it will form the base for our Rio de Janeiro Church planting, God willing, in February 2017! Of note as well is that the São Paulo Church has had five additions in the past three weeks! God is good!
Richie McDonnell – Lead Evangelist of Washington DC: Greetings from the powerful Capital of the United States of America! It’s been a great start to the summer here in DC! On June 26th, we had our International Sunday Service at the Lincoln Memorial! Incredibly, with 108 disciples, God gave us 412 in attendance at the service with many, many more passersby’s who heard the message being preached over our amplified sound system that projected the preaching half-way down the National Mall! It was definitely nerve-racking and exciting all at the same time, being able to preach on the steps below the Lincoln Memorial, as one can’t help but be reminded of that historic day in 1963, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech” to 250,000 men and women calling the nation to believe in the dream of freedom for all men and all races! It was an honor to preach the Gospel just 50 yards from where he stood to give his speech that historic day, where I called everyone to believe in Jesus’ dream of world evangelism!
At the conclusion of the service we witnessed a University of Maryland Aerospace Engineering student, who is on the university hockey team, Cole, repent and be baptized on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial! We closed out the afternoon with a delicious international potluck!
Lastly, we are very excited about the GLC just 21 days away! Last year, the church had 43 disciples attend the GLC. This year, after a lot of fundraising, personal sacrifice and hard work, Lord willing, we will have over 60 disciples participating! See you very soon!
Sonia Gonzalez – Women’s Ministry Leader of Las Vegas: Greetings from what is fast becoming “Saint City!” Two sisters in particular have truly grown since their time spent in ICCM – Erin and Yine! Erin has been co-leading the Campus Ministry for the last few months, and after much prayer, God has granted her “the desires of her heart,” as she and her co-leader Joel are now engaged!
Yine also has shown much growth in her commitment to making disciples at any cost! After meeting our now sister Joanna, Yine – through daily Bible studies for two weeks – molded Joanna into the disciple God was calling her to be. Joanna endured much persecution, which included being kicked out of her house for studying the Bible, was baptized into Christ today!
Maria Franklin – Women’s Ministry Leader of Syracuse: “Sing to God, sing in praise of His name, extol Him who rides on the clouds rejoice before Him – His name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” (Psalm 68:4-6) Greetings from the saints in upper New York State! God has been working in powerful ways! Today, we celebrated 23 Year Anniversary of the planting of the Syracuse ICC, as at one time it was the Syracuse ICOC! Service closed with a bang with two amazing baptisms! First, Marie shared so vulnerably about how after her partner of 18 years passed away only 6 months ago, she found her purpose when our new brother Mike invited her to church!
Her spiritual twin James, like Apollos, was well learned in the Scriptures. When our intern Kwaku reached out to him on campus and he studied the Bible, James was not only fervently eager to repent of sins he had in his life for many years; but also to cast off the false doctrine he firmly believed all his life. It’s amazing that James had not been to a church for 24 years, and now God has placed him, not only in just any church, but in God’s household! Please keep us in your prayers as we have so many on the verge of baptism!
Michael Williamson – Lead Evangelist of London: God has been good to the London Church as an incredible single professional from the Philippines (Mica) was baptized last week, and five more were added to our number at this week’s International Sunday!
Also, at the First Principles Class last Friday, Tre – an amazing campus student dubbed the “AMERICAN EUNUCH” – was baptized! Tre strengthened everyone’s ambition to go onto maturity as he studied the Bible and was baptized in less than a week! He then “went on his way rejoicing” back to our church in Dallas as a sold-out disciple! (Acts 8:39) In tears, Tre publicly renounced his homosexual background and is slated to return to London this fall to begin studying his Master’s Degree in Journalism at the prestigious Oxford University! This is such good news as our brother Charles Nwbwaze – currently living in Lagos – has also been accepted to Cambridge University!
Sunday’s International Day was electric as Jurij “the Fury” Zykov, Arni “the Thrilla from Manilla” Sicam, and Anthony “Instant Impact” Olmos all preached sermons that had several in tears – including myself! The titles were GO ANYWHERE, DO ANYTHING, and GIVE UP EVERYTHING! Also announced at this amazing service was a new dating couple, alongside two new engagements!
Now I know it’s hard to imagine, but the angelic voices of original London Mission Team member Hillary Donnelly and former X-Factor Finalist Jeanette Yeboah just keep getting better and better! Not to mention Kahri Dennis who baptized Tre has officially been named the “Lujack of London!” His song leadership alongside Hillary and Jeanette has taken our worship to the next level!
After service, we baptized an amazing semi-pro Spanish Boxer and an incredible single Australian woman – a former Seventh Day Adventist – who passionately shared how she found true family for the first time in her life!
We then welcomed heroes in the faith George & Angelica Grima into the fellowship closing out with an incredible international feast organized by my lovely wife! See you at the GLC!
Jake Studer – Lead Evangelist of Toronto: Greetings from Canada, EH! God has richly blessed the Toronto Disciples with 4 additions in the last 3 weeks! First, Andrew Weber, the son of our dear brother Harvey Weber was baptized into Christ on Father’s Day!
As well, we were also so refreshed to see our brother Erik Boomer restored to the faith in June! And finally, another miracle of miracles was the two latest additions of our newest brother and sister, Jovan & Belinda St. Ville from the Island of St. Lucia! The couple was met in a parking lot by Tony Ventura! We were overjoyed to celebrate not only the birthday of the great country of Canada this month, but also the spiritual births of an incredible husband and wife! Just like Tony was baptized and then turned around and baptized his wife, in true imitation of discipleship, Jovan was baptized and turned around to baptize Belinda! See ya at the GLC!
Brandyn Speckman – new Women’s Ministry Leader of New York City: Wow! What an incredible journey it has been thus far! The Supplemental Mission Team graciously sent from LA landed on June 24th! So, the past three Sundays have been a call “Back to the Basics” and true Biblical unity within the leadership and church! We have enjoyed the displays of the vast talent we have here in the NYC Church – incredible dancers, singers and entertainers are all within our fellowship! Since our arrival, God has given us two baptisms (with several more well on their way this week)! As well, so far 61 disciples are currently registered to go to the GLC and there are more to come!
Jay & Barb Shelbrack have truly done a remarkable job over the past six months building an a solid foundation for us to land on! They rallied the disciples together and have made our transition easy and fun! However, God has allowed us to endure hardship as discipline… From the day we landed, we have had leaking gas pipes which led to our gas getting shut off (to this day!), no hot water, no stove, our washing machine flooded our basement, we have no dryer, and our moving truck arrived FINALLY last Sunday! To top it off, our downstairs can smell like sewage occasionally… Yet we are filled with joy and awe of God because we know that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthian 4:17) We cannot wait to see you all at the GLC! We love you!!
Debs Rajan – Women’s Ministry Leader of Chennai: Greetings from India! “But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.’” (Ruth 1:16) I want to share with you the story of Simran Johnson. She comes from a Sikh background, but during her teens she turned into an atheist. According to Indian traditions, she was forced to marry a man she hardly knew. In her 12 years of marriage, she has two wonderful boys but her husband mistreated her badly. She stayed with her in-laws who also mistreated her. Her days seemed like years of pain and loneliness.
One day as she was locked-up after being beaten, she mustered all her courage and decided to walk out. After three years of being a single parent to her boys, she just knew that she needed a partner in life. Through the internet, she met Johnson Selvaraj, a fallen away Evangelist from our former fellowship who also was separated. They were married in February this year.
Johnson realized that if he wanted to make this marriage work, he needed God and His church. So he contacted Raja and was restored into our fellowship in the month of April and his daughter, Samantha – a teen, was also baptized! Simran came to church and started understanding God’s plan in her life. She started reading the Bible and this was her comment, “This book is AMAZING! If everyone follows it, the world will be a better place!” Long story short, Simran was baptized into Christ! Now I am amazed to see the transformation in her – she prays many times a day and never wants to put the Bible down. As they had already moved to Chandigarh, so a new remnant group has started in the state of Punjab!
On a final note, as the campuses have opened, we had the Campus Chronicles meet! Our 24 campus disciples brought 35 campus friends! To God be all glory!
The Austral Pacific Rim Missions Conference
A very enthusiastic SoldOut Movement Welcome was given by the endearing Manila Disciples to all of us that came from outside the Philippines to participate in the First Austral Pacific Rim Missions Conference (APRMC) in Manila! This meant that immediately coming out of customs at the airport, we were greeted with big hugs, warm smiles and the angelic singing of We Love You With The Love Of The Lord!
The theme for this historic program was HEROES OF THE FAITH! THE CHURCH BUILDERS PROGRAM spanned all Thursday morning, June 16th.
Kyle & Joan Bartholomew – the Manila Church Leaders – gave the opening remarks! Then we heard a needed sermon on THE HERO OF HEROES! Following were short but very inspiring charges on CHURCH GROWTH PRACTICALS which included: HEROES OF PRAYER by Sean Valenzuela, HEROES OF WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP by Joan Bartholomew, HEROES OF EVANGELISM by Cathy Manresa, and HEROES OF CYBEREVANGELISM by Ron Harding!
The opening lesson was on THE HERO
OF HEROES – Jesus!
Then it was off to the SPEAKERS LUNCH at Bacolod Chicken Inasal – a genuine Filipino restaurant! This scrumptious meal featured a barbeque style chicken from Bacolod City in Southern Philippines, garlic yellow rice, bangus lumpia ni mom (Filipino eggrolls), and for dessert, we were served buko pandan delight (lime jello in coconut milk)! Well… I think so! It was a tremendous time of fellowship as the “outside speakers” were able to become acquainted with all of the amazing Filipino Leaders!
Then the actual first session was held that evening at the Makati Diamond Hotel! All of us were nervous and very excited so having a powerful pre-service huddle and prayer was so necessary!
The singing was incredible from the first song and then throughout the evening! We then watched a moving Opening Video on the Pacific Rim and Austral China World Sectors! Immediately following came an unforgettable Cultural Dance Show put on by the Manila Disciples who had been practicing for two months!
Then after the Welcome by the Bartholomews, Elena & I were privileged to share GOOD NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD! After a very noisy and picture-filled fellowship break, Joe Willis – the Sydney Church Leader and Austral China World Sector Leader – delivered a sobering lesson entitled, ELIJAH – A MAN JUST LIKE US! All of us were profoundly challenged to have the faith not only of Elijah, but of the many prayer warriors in the Sydney Church cited by Joe whose answered prayers were astonishing!
One group of disciples that was particularly on fire
after the lesson was Warrior Nation – the RTU
Campus Ministry that has grown
from zero to 25 in 2016!
In this amazing Campus Ministry is Maruja (right)
and Janien who are respectively Miss RTU 2014
and Miss RTU 2015!
We came back together on Friday morning, June 17th for the next GENERAL SESSION! The day’s festivities began with the appointment of Zach & Ariel Shields to be Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader in the Kingdom of God! As is our custom in all of the SoldOut Movement Churches, Zach & Ariel were given Bibles with a charge written in them by their mentors – Kyle & Joan! As well, in keeping with a Filipino custom added in our former fellowship, each appointed Evangelist is given a sword! Zach enjoyed his!
Then came a speech I was very much looking forward to because it was Sean Valenzuela’s first major conference sermon. I was very proud of Sean as he spoke with great passion and depth on NOAH – BLAMELESS AMONGST THE PEOPLE OF HIS TIME! Following we heard several short charges, of whom the “veteran disciples” of Manila, Ronnie Gonzalez and Cathy Manresa, spoke on CALEB – I AM JUST AS VIGOROUS TO GO OUT TO BATTLE NOW and the young heroes of Sydney, Chi Leong and Jenna Loheed, inspired us with GIDEON – GO IN THE STRENGTH YOU HAVE! Kyle closed out the morning session with an insightful message, PAUL – THIS MAN IS MY CHOSEN INSTRUMENT!
In the afternoon were the MEN’S and WOMEN’S PROGRAMS! For the brothers, Ron Harding and Zach Shields – who gave his first major seminar sermon – were outstanding! The sisters shared very similar convictions from the lessons by Kerry Willis and Elena! The evening was free for fellowship!
Since Saturday, June 18th was the International Day of MERCY around the globe, the entire day was set aside in the APRMC to reach out to the orphans of the Association De Damar Filipinas. What a time we had! It was so encouraging to see the children laughing, performing dance numbers, and not only enjoying their gifts, but all 93 children received medical and dental check-ups. Tooth extractions were done on the spot! It was discovered that 90% tested positive for childhood TB. (This is not contagious.)
Sunday was the grand finale on Father’s Day! We were treated to a wonderful Welcome and Day of MERCY Report by the World Sector Leaders of MERCYWORLDWIDE – Nick & Denise Bordieri! Then came the Kingdom Appointments of John & Anna Malnegro as Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader respectively! When the Manila Remnant Group officially began with just six disciples in November 2012, John was the leader! By the time the nine on the Mission Team from LA arrived in 2015, the Manila Remnant Group numbered 49 sold-out disciples! Amazingly, in their first year since the Metro Manila ICC Inaugural Service on June 7, 2015, the Lord blessed this young congregation with 166 additions – 132 baptisms, 25 restorations and 9 place membership directly from our former fellowship who were seeking revival!
Following one of our Manila Women’s Ministry Leaders – Gina Dela Pena – shared from her heart about what the cross meant to her during our Communion! Marc & Maika Carbonell of the Manila Mission Team gave a rousing lesson for Contribution!
Then another historic moment: The First ICCM Commencement Ceremony outside of the United States! At the playing of Wagner’s Ride Of The Valkyries and the appearing of the ICCM-Manila Faculty and the four graduates, the applause and shouting were deafening! The 26 students that are presently enrolled in the ICCM-Manila were mesmerized by this event and particularly the presentation of diplomas!
Joan – the Dean of Women for ICCM-Manila – gives a
warm congratulatory hug to Cathy!
Cathy is also congratulated by the African Sisters
in the Manila Church!
The proud graduates – Cathy, John, Anna and Gina!
The sermon of the hour was JOSHUA – I WILL GIVE YOU EVERY PLACE THAT YOU SET YOUR FOOT! Jesus’ great global vision was lifted up and the subsequent call to lay down our lives for the cause of world evangelism energized all 289 in attendance! That Sunday as well two were restored to the Lord and three teens were baptized into Christ – Jethro, Irwin and Kayla! We closed with the sending off of the Singapore Remnant Group and singing arm-in-arm! The fellowship went on and on as no one wanted to leave their newly met family in Metro Manila!
Here’s a follow up to the APRMC given by Maika Carbonell: After the Austral Pac Rim Missions Conference, all the Manila Disciples dedicated themselves to become God’s new HEROES OF THE FAITH! This Sunday, the church was on fire as 10 souls were added to God’s Kingdom – 5 baptisms, 4 restorations and 1 place membership from our former fellowship!
One of the baptisms that moved everyone to tears was the baptism of Czyra, Cathy Manresa’s daughter! Cathy is a Women’s Ministry Leader and one of our most fruitful and zealous sisters! Despite that, she shared how it was the first time ever that she was nervous and trembling on stage! She shared how her daughter Czyra has been wanting to be baptized for quite some time, but Cathy herself was the one who kept delaying out of fear that Czyra wasn’t completely sold-out! But as Czyra repented from her sins and courageously stood firm in her convictions through persecution, there was no denying that this 14 year old was a true woman of God who would “give up everything, do anything, and go anywhere!” Once she was baptized, Cathy breathed a sigh of relief knowing that her daughter was a true disciple!
It’s been such an encouragement to see the MMICC disciples praying and working diligently to produce many more stories of faith, courage and revival! In 2016 alone, God has blessed us with 95 additions – 77 baptisms, 16 restorations and 2 place memberships directly from our former fellowship!
The African Missions Conference
It was with great anticipation that Elena & I flew from Manila through Istanbul and then on to Lagos, Nigeria arriving there Wednesday night, June 22nd after 29 hours of travel! After all, though the Lord had allowed us to visit various cities and nations in Africa, we had never been to Lagos – now the largest city in Africa with a population of over 21 million lost souls!
As well, we could not wait to be reunited with dear friends Benedict Atason, his son GoodHope, the Lagos Mission Team, our dear son and daughter in the faith Andrew & Patrique Smellie, and especially our grandchildren in the faith Naomi and the young prophet Isaiah Smellie!
Thursday and Friday were spent with getting to know several remnant disciples from both the Mainline Churches of Christ and the ICOC. We were thrilled to meet Bolaji & Chinyere Akinfenwa – former Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leaders in the Lagos ICOC. Other highlights included meeting for the first time the wives of Benedict and GoodHope – Felicia and Bonita!
The Second African Missions Conference (AMC) entitled, A GREAT LIGHT HAS DAWNED was designed to be abbreviated because of funds and because we wanted to focus on bringing as many visitors as possible to the Lagos ICC Inaugural Service on Sunday! So Friday night was the first official session – THE WELCOME BANQUET! Though Lagos is unsafe for most visitors, Andrew & Patrique wanted everyone to enjoy some Nigerian cuisine! So for the banquet, they picked Terra Kulture which is not only a small restaurant but a library, bookstore and art museum!
After Andrew & Patrique gave the formal welcome, all 61 of us so enjoyed the fellowship and an amazing meal! Some tremendous singing followed and the Andrew delivered the stirring lesson, A WITNESS TO THE LIGHT!
Saturday morning was held at the Four Points Sheraton! We had planned to begin the program at 9AM, but we were informed since it was the last Saturday of the month, it was Sanitation Day – a city clean-up day – and no cars were allowed into the city until 10AM! So we postponed the beginning of the conference that day till 11AM!
GOOD NEWS was shared Jacques Groenewald of Johannesburg, South Africa; Tamru Belihu of Addis Abba, Ethiopia; Micky Ngungu of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Nick Winn of Gordon’s Bay, South Africa; Amadou Sountoura of Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Ighodaro Odighizuwa of Lagos; and Elena!
Though it was a small room, Andrew remembered Micky Ngungu leading the song in French at the First African Missions Conference… It was entitled, There Is A Joy! So he had Micky lead it and immediately all the brothers and sisters from the French African Churches began to form a line and dance… but there was not much room to maneuver! Most of the Westerners – including the Lagos Mission Team – were a bit stunned… but really started to enjoy it!
Then on the program I was to give a special presentation of A HISTORY OF THE MAINLINE CHURCH OF CHRIST, THE INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF CHRIST AND THE INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CHURCHES. Many remnant disciples came to hear about “their history” as most were unfamiliar. Several disciples said the sermon really helped them to see that it was God who started the new movement!
Then we broke into MEN’S and WOMEN’S PROGRAMS. Yomi Bello and Patrique Smellie gave close-out speeches in their respective programs, which were entitled, A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES!
Then, we all quickly changed into our green MERCY t-shirts and headed out about an hour ride to the orphanage, Vigilant Heart Charitable Society Home! It was quite a journey to get there and an equally challenging one home as the standing water on the streets often was over one foot deep!
The time with the children was so touching! Most Westerners expect the poor orphans to be sad but generally they are very happy and fun to be with, since their joy has nothing to do with material possessions. Such was the case with the 63 children at this orphanage!
Sunday was the big day – the Inaugural Service of the Lagos International Christian Church! Andrew and I arrived quite early to get everything in place!
Joshua Ajayi, one of the missions team members who will be appointed a CyberEvangelist at the GLC, created our moving AMC Welcome Video in just one week! Check it out at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbJTG-MnuV8.
As the service continued to escalate in enthusiasm and joy, Micky once again led There Is A Joy – in French and English – but this time Andrew had cleared a path around the room so that everyone could dance in a line all around the auditorium! And in fact almost all of the 155 in attendance did dance… even Elena & me!
After a talented Nigerian drum and dance troupe performed, Deji & Davina Falope placed membership! The Falopes were leaders in our former fellowship’s Lagos AMS Ministry!
Then our very dear partners in the Gospel – Blaise & Patricia Feumba of LA – reinstated Micky & Lyly Ngungu as Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader as together they lead the Kinshasa ICC – which is the SoldOut Movement’s largest remnant group as it numbers 300 disciples! There was laughter and tears all at the same time! So glorious, their daughter Lena was the first baptism of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Church and four weeks ago, the Johannesburg Remnant Group baptized their other daughter Sarah! Praise God for a unified global movement of disciples of Jesus!
Communion was powerfully delivered by GoodHope & Bonita and Contribution was joyfully presided over by Bolaji & Chinyere! Then Andrew gave what I believe was his best sermon to date on A GREAT LIGHT HAS DAWNED! Andrew used Isaiah 61 and talked about Satan’s reign on “the dark continent of Africa” was ending as God was officially planting the Lagos ICC!
To close the service, three were baptized – Lawrence, Ife and Femi – largely through the efforts of the Campus Ministry led by Iggy! Interestingly, Femi’s brother was recently baptized in the London Church and then gave the name of his brother to the mission team to follow up on!
That night, the McKeans celebrated the historic day
with their grandchildren in the faith – Naomi
and Isaiah Smellie – with melted
chocolate ice cream cones!
Isaiah is looking for
So as of today July 10, 2016, God has used the Lagos Mission Team of 11 joined by the 8 in the Remnant Group to have 8 baptisms, 1 restoration and 2 place memberships so that the Lagos ICC now has exactly 30 disciples… and counting! And to God be all the glory!
Sydney: Pete Wade asked Paulina Rivera to be his wife under the massive “love heart” while at the Austral Pacific Rim Missions Conference! The following day, they were perhaps the most joyful MERCY Ambassadors at the Day of MERCY Event!
Congratulations Pete & Paulina!
The day after their engagement, Pete & Paulina
were among the happiest of the
San Francisco: Greetings from “the Bay Area!” We are very happy to introduce you to the most adorable and new addition to the SF Family! On June 24th at 10:07AM, Titus was born to the proud parents of James & Becky Mitchell, who are doing great and enjoying their new role as parents!
Phoenix: Greetings from the Valley of the “Son!” Our dear sister Angelica Rivera and her husband Anthony celebrated the birth of their lovely daughter Aliviah Monroe at 8:00AM, Monday, June 27th 2016! Aliviah has a “big sister” named Aviana (whose only 2) whose really excited to have a little sister! The whole Phoenix Church Family loves them very much and we thank God that Aliviah is healthy and happy and with us!
Stockholm: Congratulations to Martynas Justinevicius & Kristin Kivi who are our newest engaged couple! They are going to have their wedding here in Stockholm on October 7, 2016! God is good!
Emilio Bonilla – Coachella Valley Region Leader of the City of Angels Church: We have just witnessed a true miracle of God! Ruben, the father of our dear sister Veronica Rey, had been in and out of the hospital for the past three months. Veronica had been praying diligently for her father to have the opportunity to study the Bible and become a sold-out disciple. “There is nothing more that we can do for him,” the doctor’s said upon his release a couple of weeks ago. After his release, Ruben requested to take less of his medication in order to think more clearly.
During one of my visits, I had the opportunity to study the Bible with him. Ruben, full of gratitude, called me into his room and told me how he saw and felt the love of the disciples. He said, “I know that the only reason that I am alive is because you all have been praying for me!” Within the same day, he saw the need to be saved and confessed all his sin. After confessing he shared, “I don’t deserve to be forgiven, I’m not ready to be baptized.” I begged and pleaded with him to see God’s grace, but he said that he needed more time. When I left, he called his wife into the room and apologized for all his shortcomings. The next day, Ruben’s condition worsened due to severe pain. He was unable to study the Bible because he was sedated from the medication.
When I visited the following day, he still had not woken up. His nurse said that he had very little time to live. We prayed continuously that God would wake him up in order for him to make Jesus his Lord! We tried everything to wake him. We sang; we comforted; we talked; we read; and we prayed for hours! By faith, we went to get a pool knowing that God would answer our call. After more than four hours of prayer, the Lord answered our prayers! Ruben woke up! He made Jesus Lord and was baptized! 23 hours after this grand miracle, our new brother Ruben passed away to join our Father in Heaven! Now Ruben is rejoicing and singing with God and His angels!
Please pray for the rest of Veronica’s and Ruben’s family as many have been moved by this incredible miracle and are set to study the Bible!
LOCAL LA NEWS
Tim Kernan – Lead Evangelist of the City of Angels Church: “So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…“ (Ephesians 4:11-12) Greetings from beautiful Los Angeles, California! Lianne & I want to share about the incredible victory of the “Khyber Pass Project!” We are very proud of the City of Angels Church, which has had the honor and privilege in 2016 to send out 71 of our best leaders to support sister churches and plant new fields, as well as receiving some incredible disciples from Boston and Chicago in particular! The Movement is moving and the right people are now in the right places to advance God’s Kingdom! To give you an idea of the magnitude of the move, by the time Khyber Pass is complete, we will have 18 less full-time leaders than we had in December 2015! We genuinely see this as an incredible opportunity to raise up new leaders for service in God’s Kingdom! We have also shaved about 35% from our budget, and we are working hard to continue finding ways to make the church more streamlined financially.
Another incredible plan that we are working on here in Los Angeles is called, “Project Shepherd’s Voice.” It is based on John 10:3-5: “[A shepherd] calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” We want to begin to apply some of the same principles that we apply to churches outside LA to the regions here. Namely, we want to keep LA Region Leaders in place until they have built self-supporting regions. Some of the LA Regions have been through annual leadership changes for years! For example, the Sensational South Region has been through eight leadership changes since 2010! Instead of a turnover every year or so, we want to reduce our staff turnover to every 6-8 years. This is one or two Region Leader Couples being sent out per year. Through the miracle of multiplication, as we “sectorize” and grow, we will be able to send out more seasoned workers for the Lord than ever before! We believe “Shepherd’s Voice” will result in less fall aways, more leaders raised up, more self-supporting regions, and in the end, more missionaries sent out than ever! As they say: “Slow is smooth; smooth is fast!”
Coming out of all the awesome but unavoidable disruptions of Khyber Pass, the City of Angels Church needed a complete overhaul and ramp up! Over the past month, God has guided us through a massive time of repentance and retooling that we called the “Prepared For Service Project.” Prepared For Service is a plan for each region to participate in a Night of Atonement, Life Talks (or Love Talks as they affectionately called them in the East Region!), a total review of our discipling structure, a Bible Talk Expo, and a powerful Worship Service Devotional! We also raised up countless leaders through appointments that included the roles of Shepherd-in-Training Couples, Chemical Recovery Leaders, Deacons and Interns “to equip [God’s] people for works of service!” Today we stand as prepared, united and eager to serve the Lord as we have ever been! Prepared For Service is going to end with a powerful crescendo of Men’s Forums and Regional Bring Your Neighbor Days!
Each Region, now completely refreshed and eager to seek the lost, is praying and working hard to surpass their best attendances! As a testimony to all the hard work done this month through Prepared For Service, this Sunday the Lord blessed us with 11 baptisms and 2 restorations! Please continue to pray for us here in LA as we plan to have the church at a pinnacle of fruitfulness and glory for God by the GLC!
EDITORIAL by Kip McKean
Dearest Brothers and Sisters: Though Winston Churchill was known for his eloquent but at times lengthy addresses, one of his most memorable was given to his high school alma mater Harrow School in 1941 – a place where he did not have all that much scholastic success! Some have reported that at the 1941 Commencement, Winston Churchill rose from his seat, walked to the lectern and simply said, “Never! Never! Never! Never give up!” And then sat down! Whether this fabled event occurred or not, the sentiment must be grasped by every disciple! In Luke 18, Jesus tells the Parable of the Persistent Widow “to show [us that we] should always pray and not give up!” (Luke 18:1)
I became a baptized disciple at 17 years old on April 11, 1972! My passion like all disciples was to see my family saved! My brother was baptized a year-and-a-half later! My sister and her husband 16 years later – a week after I gave our grandfather’s eulogy! Sadly in 2002-2003 when the ICOC returned to a Mainline Church of Christ Theology, my brother and his family embraced this new course. My sister and her husband began to attend a Mainline Church of Christ but with the lack of commitment they slowly faded in their walk with the Lord. Then, my brother-in-law Bob – who was the President of his own firm – in the Fall of 2007 had a massive stroke. Though we were by my sister’s side daily, these were extremely difficult hours as Bob lay motionless in the hospital. Two days after the stroke, on Thanksgiving Day, some of the doctors advised my sister to pull the plug! Courageously empowered by prayer, she did not.
I spent almost every Saturday for three years going to a region of LA about an hour away from where I lived to help with Bob’s therapy and rehab as Bob’s main disability was similar to John the Baptist’s father – he could not talk. Yet the more I seemed to try, the more my sister and Bob drifted. Yet I have prayed every day since the crash of the ICOC, for all of my family “to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4) Thanks to the ongoing help of Ryan Keenan, Dave & Jill Swann, Michael & Sharon Kirchner, Nick & Denise Bordieri, and now Evan Bartholomew, God graciously restored His prodigal son Bob on Sunday at the AV Super Region Service! Now, I am more resolved than ever to “always pray and not give up” on my entire extended family being saved and for the evangelization of all the nations of this generation! Will you not join me in a similar prayer for your family?
In closing, Elena & I just want to thank from the bottom of our hearts our dear daughter in the faith Rebecca Rico who the Spirit has called to serve the Lord in London! Over the last three years, Rebecca’s persistence, tireless efforts and spiritual insights as our assistant tremendously helped us to build the Good News Emails and the City of Angels Church Bulletins! As well, she was very instrumental in typing and editing Elena’s book ELEVATE! All during this time, because of her incredible zeal for excellence, Rebecca not only became the 2015 ICCM Class Valedictorian, but was promoted from a “Teacher Assistant” in the ICCM-LA to diligently serving as Provost of Academics for ICCM-Global! All of this while leading the ever-fruitful IE Region Women of the City of Angels Church! She reminds me of Phoebe – Paul’s reliable partner in the Gospel – who was entrusted by him to deliver the Letter to the Romans traveling all the way from Corinth (Cenchrea) to Rome! Phoebe means “radiant” – and that is what you Rebecca are for us and indeed the entire movement! May God bless you even more as a Women’s Ministry Leader in the Mighty London Church!
As for a replacement that might be impossible, but the Lord has given to us a powerful and creative young sister that we believe can continue to forcefully advance the Kingdom by our side! Interestingly, without anyone even considering this future opportunity, she has been discipled by Rebecca over the past several months! Welcome to the Good News Email Staff – Karen Maciel!
Please pray for Karen, Elena and me as we strive to share with you and a lost world the best news of all time in the Good News Email! And to God be all the glory!
We are family… to the end,