Ministry Update — My Jerusalem

Local churches in Dallas welcomed visiting missionaries from Tampa and Miami for a week of sharing the gospel with neighbors during the Crossover Dallas project in collaboration with International Commission, National Hispanic Fellowship, and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.


June was a busy, but fun month with an IC board meeting, an evangelism project, the SBC annual meeting, VBS for the kids, and more — all right here in Dallas. Here’s what happened:

  • Crossover Dallas N2N: One of my IC mission trips this year didn’t require any flights; I had the privilege of working with Hispanic churches right here in our Jerusalem to share the gospel in their communities during a national-to-national project in cooperation with Crossover Dallas. We saw 164 salvations during the week! See the video above. Overall, Crossover projects throughout the DFW metroplex (involving seminaries and other local churches) reported 4,229 professions of faith!

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  • SBC Meeting: Several of our staff attended the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in downtown Dallas to meet with friends and network with new contacts to share missions opportunities with churches and other ministries from around the country. It was a blessing to connect with old friends, former LifeWay coworkers, and denominational leaders including Russell Moore and David Platt. And of our new contacts is talking with our leadership about joining our staff. Not a bad week!
  • Book Project: IC’s first book project is under way! Reanna and I are in the editing phase, and plan to launch our first edition eBook in August. You’ll enjoy reading stories from our staff about how we have seen God move in miraculous ways on the mission field.

What’s Next?

  • Mongolia: It’s almost go-time for the Mongolia trip! I’m super excited to go share Jesus with those who have never heard His name. Our American team will be working with churches based in Ulaanbaatar to share the gospel with people in their homes in and around the city. The predominant religions in Mongolia are Tibetan Buddhism and traditional shamanism. Half of the country’s population lives in Ulaanbaatar, and the other half are still nomadic. Previous IC teams have found the people to be very receptive and responsive to the gospel, so I’m looking forward to seeing a great harvest!

Mongolia


Family Updates:

  • VBS: The girls enjoyed attending VBS with friends at a church near our home, and Kim and Ella also participated in Cross Training, our home church’s similar skills-based camp with a gospel focus.
  • Walker: Mia is walking at 10 months of age! Girl has to keep up with her big sisters.

As always, thank you for your support, prayers, and encouragement. We were especially grateful to see those of you who have come through town in recent weeks. Please be in prayer for the Mongolia project, as well as for Kim and the girls as they travel to and from Tennessee while I’m gone. Pray also for Allison, who is considering joining our IC staff.

Let us know how we can be praying for you. Blessings!

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Ministry Update — 7 Salvations for 1 Dollar

Here’s the new IC intro video I shot & edited for our events and website. Thanks to Juan Lavado for his contribution and Dan Kassis for the fantastic voiceover! 
One note: following recently received additional reports from end-of-year projects in Asia, we have not 1.1 million, but 3.4 million decisions for Christ in 2017! 


Y’all. Based on those 3,378,834 reported professions of faith and total IC donations for 2017, our number-crunchers determined that for every dollar given through our organization, seven people came to know Jesus last year!
Understandably, Spring Celebration season has been a busy, but indeed celebratory time! Here’s what’s up:

What’s New?

  • Celebrations: Our Granbury, Houston, and Winston-Salem Celebration Dinners are complete! These events require a lot of preparation, production, prayer, and time on the road for our development team and the other staff and volunteers involved. But they’re worthwhile, especially when we get to tell new faces about what God is doing through IC and long-time ministry partners what has been accomplished through their investments and participation. This year in particular, we got to share that result of 3.4 million salvations at all of the dinners and we had our biggest Winston-Salem event ever in terms of both attendance and giving over $150,000 came in to support N2N projects!

 

  • Planned Giving: We will host our first estate planning seminar at our IC HQ on June 7.

 

  • A/V Upgrades: In response to the FCC’s 1600mHz band auction (nerdy stuff – just Google it if you’re not familiar), we’ve replaced our wireless mic system for events. It was more of a necessary expense (to comply with the law) than an optional upgrade, but that means we’ll be able to bless an overseas church with the old system, which is still in great shape.

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What’s Next?

  • Crossover Dallas N2N: I’m really stoked about this Operation Andrew evangelism project which starts this week! Churches in Dallas have been preparing for this project for months; praying for friends and family in their communities and setting up home visits for this week. Visiting churches from Florida and other places (I think some are from Central and South America) will split into small teams to make those home visits to share their testimonies, lead people to Christ, and connect them with the local churches to begin their discipleship journeys. And I get to be part of it!If that’s not already awesome enough, this cross-cultural project is organized and resourced by IC’s leaders for Latin America, headed up by V.P. Juan Lavado in Venezuela and led locally by our own Jorge Jimenez. And in conjunction with Crossover Dallas, we’re also inviting SBC meeting attendees to join us. Speaking of which…
  • SBC Meeting: I will be attending the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Dallas with a few other staff members to meet current and new minister and messenger friends from around the country and share missions opportunities with them. Please pray for openness and clarity; sometimes in this context, it’s hard to communicate IC’s relationship to (and distinction from) the International Mission Board (the SBC’s official sending agency). Case in point: we were not able to register as an exhibitor and set up a booth, so we’ll be networking instead. However, our ministry runs on relationships, so I know God will bless our time.

 

  • Mongolia: The Mongolia team has started our preparation meetings and prayer, and we’re getting excited! Several IC staffers and veteran participants will be part of this A-team and the local churches are reportedly well-prepared, so we expect big results. You should get a prayer calendar shortly before our departure in mid-July.

 

  • Book Project: This project (a collection of staff stories from the field) is still underway, and we’ll begin the editing phase in June.

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Family Updates:

  • Vehicle News: I’ll spare you the story, but we ultimately had to replace my 2007 Saturn Vue with a 2008 Suzuki LX7. Nope, it’s not a motorcycle, but a small third-row SUV. Though it wasn’t quite a planned expense, we really like it and it’s better for our family in case the van needs maintenance or we need to haul kids to separate events.

 

  • School’s out: The girls have finished their homeschooling for the semester, and now it’s onto day camp/art class/VBS/Cross Training/VBS time! Kim will be serving at Cross Training again this year (a skills and discipleship-focused VBS-style event at our church).

 

  • Visitors: We enjoyed hosting the Emrath family in May! Our home was full of life with 8 kids running around, and the girls loved playing with former neighbors and longtime friends again.

Thank you so much for your prayers and friendship. Ministry can be lonely sometimes — even when we’re living in the U.S., serving on a mission staff, and part of a good church — so we really do value your intercession and encouragement.

I’m stoked about working with Jesus to see souls saved in Dallas and Mongolia this summer! Where will you go? Check out the schedule and apply to go!

Let us know how we can be praying for you. Blessings!

Ministry Update — In Like a Lion

What sets International Commission apart? Hear believers around the world tell why IC projects are different.


These past couple of months have been roaring with activity as IC’s year is off to a busy start here and around the world. Here’s what’s up:

What’s New?

  • Founder Interviews: Reanna and I had the privilege to begin filming interviews with our organization’s founders, Ben and Bertha Mieth. Be on the lookout for some incredible stories from the early days of IC in the 1970s!
  • Book Project: We now have a small team working on the book (a collection of staff miracle stories) and a plan in place to release an eBook version in August.
  • Crescendo Training: I’ve been working with our development team and our coaches at Crescendo to learn and implement our planned giving tools. This past month, we attended several in-person and online seminars and got our communication campaigns rolling.
  • More Open Doors: Some of our leaders recently had amazing, God-ordained meetings to develop relationships and projects in hard-to-reach places. I wish I could tell you more, but know that nowhere is beyond the reach of the gospel or the transformational power of Christ. And of course, be praying for believers, churches, and leaders in the persecuted world.
  • Tennessee Trip: My partnership development trip to Tennessee in February was busy and fruitful. Thanks to all of you who took time to meet with me, and a very big welcome to our new ministry partners! While there, I was also blessed to meet with several current partners and to attend NRB for some valuable networking.
  • 2018 Trips: Remember to check out the schedule to learn more about where you can go in 2018. I’m planning to go to Mongolia in July — Join me!

Mieths


What’s Next?

  • Intro Video: Thanks to fantastic voiceovers from Dan Kassis and clips from Hemanta (in SE Asia) and Juan (Latin America), I’m in the editing phase for the new IC intro video and will be finishing it this week. It’s fun to work with footage I’ve been privileged to shoot around the globe while on mission for Jesus.
  • Celebrations: Our Spring Celebration Dinners are coming up swiftly, with the Granbury and Houston events in April.
  • Social Media: The new engagement strategy is going well, as meaningful interactions and followers continue to grow. Do you Like and Follow us on Facebook and Instagram? If not, you’re missing out on inspiring stories of how God is transforming lives through ordinary believers around the world.

Ella sings

Family Updates

  • Birthdays: Evie, Kim, and I all had birthdays in February and March! Evie hit the big 5!
  • JoyJam: Ella performed with her Wednesday night group in front of our church two weeks ago, singing songs about carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth. She was nervous about her first time on stage, but she loved it, did great, and brought glory to the Lord and we couldn’t be prouder. A common motto around our house is “do it scared.”
  • Nursing Home Ministry: The girls visited a local nursing home to minister to residents through games, crafts, songs, and conversation.

nursing home


If you’re thinking about mission trips for 2018, check out the schedule and apply to go!

Let us know how we can be praying for you. Blessings!

 

Ministry Update – New Year, New Staff

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This year’s staff retreat was my favorite one so far. With a new official IC president, several new staff members, amazing results from 2017, and lots of exciting plans for this year, we had a powerful and encouraging time celebrating what God is doing through our ministry

 

What’s New?

  • Staff Members: In addition to the office staff who joined us last quarter, we have just welcomed a new Executive Director of Development, a new Area Strategy Team VP, and two Mobilization Coordinators! Now we’re looking for someone to join my media team to focus on email campaigns, graphic design, and social media. If you know a digital creative who wants to use their skills for the Kingdom full or part-time, please send them my way.
  • Book Project: I’m working with Reanna (our Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives) to compile and edit stories from the mission field submitted by our own staff members into a book! We’re planning to film some of these stories for a later documentary, as well.
  • Open Doors: Our staff prays every day for the Lord to open doors to the countries in which we haven’t yet worked, and we’ve seen miraculous answers for a few of those in hard-to-reach places in the past weeks.
  • Crossover Dallas: I met with local Baptist association leaders this month to connect our N2N evangelism project in June with the Crossover Dallas initiative preceding the SBC Annual Meeting. Our teams will focus on Spanish-speaking communities downtown. Stay tuned for more developments, and pray for me as I work on my Spanish.
  • 2018 Trips: Remember to check out the schedule to learn more about where you can go in 2018. I’m planning to go to Mongolia in July — Join me!

Over a MILLION salvations were reported in 2017 from our projects around the world!

What’s Next?

  • Intro Video: God has done so much in the past year that our current IC intro video is out of date — so I’ve begun production on a new one.
  • Ministry Partnership Development: The Lord is providing for my family well, but I’m still building our support team in order to be fully-funded for the long run and better able to focus on work. I’m praying and planning to finally meet that goal by April. Because we didn’t make it to Tennessee in December, I’ll make a trip at the end of February (or early March) to visit partners and invite new ones to join us on mission.
  • Social Media: In response to Facebook’s newly-announced intentional suppression of official Pages and prioritization of “meaningful interactions”, I’ll be tweaking our social media strategy to focus more on organic engagement, personal testimonies, and conversations. Our ministry is based on relationships, so this is really a natural extension of our culture — but it requires participation and buy-in. So please pray for our staff and friends to get on board to help us share our stories and opportunities with people who Jesus is calling to join us in the Great Commission.

Family Updates

  • Vehicle issues: We experienced a brief season where both of our vehicles were out of commission, but God intervened and provided. Thanks for all of your prayers, and special thanks to those who offered their generous help.
  • New Small Group: Our church “small” group got big, so we multiplied out and we’ve just started a new one led by former foreign missionaries. We get along pretty well so far and are excited 🙂
  • Worship Center Prep: We just started volunteering to fill seat backs in the worship center (with connect cards, sermon note sheets, and envelopes) as a family. Hopefully it’ll go well.
  • Ella Jane turned 8 this month! 

If you know someone I should talk to about ministry partnership, I would highly value an introduction. Especially you, Tennessee folks! If you’re considering a special gift or monthly financial partnership, I’d love to chat with you.

Jesus is going to do BIG things this year beyond what we can ask or imagine. I’m so glad my ministry partners are with us on this journey — thank you for your effective prayers!

If you’re thinking about mission trips for 2018, check out the schedule and apply to go!

Let us know how we can be praying for you. Blessings!

Ministry Update — Call Me Colorado

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“We will do the work of God 365 days a year, because you showed us how it can be done.”

– Silvio Quiroga, Iglesia Bautista Philadelphia

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Highlights

  • 535 souls were saved this month in Buenos Aires, Argentina! I joined 18 Americans, 6 Brazilians, 5 Chileans, and 42 nationals to train and work with members of 12 local churches to share the gospel in their communities. 

 

  • My team spent the week winning souls with members of Iglesia Bautista Philadelphia in the Dock Sud neighborhood just outside of downtown Buenos Aires. This fellowship lived up to their name; they showed us incredible brotherly love.

 

  • The project got off to a slow start, because this church didn’t have as many home visits arranged as we had hoped. But God had a plan that was better than ours. During the last few days, the young adults and teens of the church were able to join us and they caught the fire after experiencing the thrill of evangelism. They started taking us to friends, neighbors, and family members. They went with us to the park and around the streets to strike up conversations with strangers. They easily took over sharing the gospel when we put Evangecubes in their hands and said, “your turn!”

 

  • I love seeing hundreds or thousands of salvations during an IC trip, and our little team did see about 35, but sometimes the project is about more than that. Our main job is to equip and enable the local churches to share the love and message of Jesus with their communities. During the closing rally at the end of the week, four of the church members who had been working with us walked up to give their lives to ministry!  Lisandro, Rocio, Luna, and Silvio are committed to continuing this work throughout the year. That’s what it’s all about.

 

  • I got another mission trip nickname from Rocio, Luna, Delphina, and other new friends. They call me “Colorado” (which they say means “red-faced, like blushed”) because of my beard.

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Family Ministry/Updates

  • Family Time: We loved hosting Bucky’s parents for Thanksgiving and sharing very Texan experiences with them; visiting the Ft. Worth Stockyards and a Buc-ees gas Station (just believe us; it’s a big deal).
  • Adoption: Amariah’s adoption finalization is December 8!
  • Neighborhood reach: We’re planning to host another Christmas party to engage with our neighbors this year. Pray for new and cultivated friendships!

Thank you for supporting us through your encouragement and prayer! We’re only able to do this work because we’re equipped and empowered by the Holy Spirit and enabled by our ministry partners.

Let us know how what practical or prayer needs you have this Christmas season.

Blessings!

Ministry Update — Celebration Time – C’mon


What’s New?

  • Celebration Season: We had our last Celebration Dinners in Ft. Worth, Lubbock, and Amarillo this month. It was a joy to hear more stories and music from our visiting Brazilian, Russian, and Israeli friends and to meet some I.C. founders and long-time participants out west. I also enjoyed reconnecting with some of my Ghana team members. New friendships are one of the many blessings that come along with this ministry. Less enjoyable was my sickness on the day of the Lubbock event, but God blessed me with a private hotel room and some cancelled meetings so I could recover the following day before we headed to Amarillo. In all honesty, I’d much rather be sick on a trip in the U.S. than overseas.
  • 2018 Projects:  Remember to check out the schedule to learn more about where you can go in 2018!

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What’s Next?

  • Argentina: I’m geared up to capture stories, shoot photos, share the gospel, and lead part of our team in Buenos Aires next month. I can’t wait to work with the local believers and internationals to win souls there!
  • Giving Tuesday! There’s #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday…and then there’s #GivingTuesday, an international day of giving! After Thanksgiving, lock arms with us to give the hope of Christ to the lost around the globe. The success of our Giving Tuesday campaign depends on the participation of friends and partners like you who will give, like and share posts, and tell the world why you support International Commission.  Stay tuned on IC’s social media to learn more about what exciting things we’re cooking up for this year and to join in on the fun!

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Family Updates

  • There’s a common theme in missionary newsletters that you’ve not seen in one of ours yet: vehicle needs. Alas, we have finally been christened with such a dilemma, as my SUV needs an engine replacement that will cost about $2,300. We certainly don’t have that lying around, so we’re praying about what to do. We know God will provide in some cool way as always, so we simply ask that you will join us in prayer — for favor with mechanics, for wisdom, for God to meet our need however He deems fit, and for peace as we wait.
  • We were blessed to visit family in Missouri on our way to Tennessee for a wedding this month, and although our time in Spring HIll was very brief, we got to see several of our beloved ministry partners — miraculously, on a couple of occasions! We plan to be back to spend more time with others in December. If you’re part of our TN crew, let me know if you’ll be around the week after Christmas.

Thank you for enabling us to do this. It’s a crazy, adventurous life, but we wouldn’t have it any other way and we couldn’t ask for better ministry partners.

If you’re thinking about year-end giving and would like to support this Great Commission work financially, you can do that here. I’m still working on completing out monthly partnership team, so we would be honored if you would consider getting on board next year.

If you’re thinking about mission trips for 2018, check out the schedule and apply to go!

Let us know how we can be praying for you. Blessings!

Ministry Update – Very International Commission

We had a very international month at the International Commission headquarters with eight countries represented among our staff at the office and our celebration dinners.

Visiting leaders from Brazil, Austria, Israel, and Russia joined office staff members originally from Romania, Mexico, Germany, Brazil, and the United States for a time of encouragement, planning, celebration, and prayer. This is what Jesus had in mind.


What’s New?

  • Celebration Season: We had very successful and inspiring celebration dinners in Oklahoma City, Tyler, and Dallas in September. We’ve introduced new people to our mission projects, told stories of life change around the world, and raised funds to grow IC’s work throughout the nations.
  • 2018 Projects:  We’re still developing international projects for next year, so keep your eye on the schedule to learn more about our projects and see where you’ll follow the Lord in 2018!
  • New staff: We just welcomed a new part-time staff member and a new volunteer at the HQ office, and I couldn’t be happier about it!
  • Nerdy stuff: I recently switched our organization to Zoom for video/teleconferencing, which is much cheaper, higher-quality, and frustration-free than our previous platform. We’re still in development for our planned giving resources.

Family Updates

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  • We had Amariah’s baby dedication on the 24th at our local church. We’re beyond thrilled that the Lord chose us to be her parents! She’s already being used by Him to impact lives, and we look forward to raising her into a woman who continues to do so.
  • We’re coming to Tennessee again in mid-October! With four girls, including a baby. So yeah. Please pray for that.

What’s Next?

  • Projects: My Argentina trip is in the travel arrangements phase, so pray that all goes smoothly. I’m excited to go share the gospel in a new place and capture testimonies and stories of what Jesus is doing in churches and communities there!
  • More Celebrations: Our Fort Worth celebration is coming up this week. In late October, some of our staff will road trip out to Lubbock and Amarillo for our final celebration dinners for the year.
  • Internship: IC is launching a new internship program soon, which will give students an opportunity to get international missions experience — and hopefully convince them to stay long-term 🙂

God continues to do more than I can ask or imagine through my ministry at IC, and it’s all enabled by my team of financial and prayer partners. Thank you so much for your prayers! The Lord answers, and none of this is possible without that support.

Now is a great time to consider your giving commitments for 2018 or year-end gifts, and I’d be honored to put your generosity to work for Kingdom growth here in Texas and around the globe. Go here to invest financially or feel free to ask any questions you have.

If you haven’t followed Jesus on a mission trip with IC, check out the 2018 schedule and apply to go! It will be an experience you’ll never forget — and you’ll probably get hooked.

Let us know how we can be praying for you. Blessings!