Be Encouraged to Know – John Stumbo Video Blog No. 101

John invites some of our U.S. Alliance leaders to tell us about how God is moving in their communities.

– [John Stumbo] Today, I’m excited for us to hear stories of God at work right here in the United States. Last month, I had the privilege of being in Ecuador at our Alliance World Fellowship gathering. And if you saw that video blog, know that we were able to tell stories of God at work internationally. Today, I’m in Columbus, Ohio, at the gathering of our district superintendents and association presidents. I’ve asked some of them if they would give us the story line of God at work right now, here in the United States. Let’s hear from them.

– [Man] I believe you will be encouraged to know that the Hmong District has launched a TV studio in our office broadcasting on Facebook and YouTube every Thursday, 7 p.m. MST, touching and reaching thousands of Hmong people around the world for Jesus Christ every week.

– [Man] You’d be excited to know that within our district, the Alliance South Central District, God is opening new fields of ministry. Like for example, in the north part of Dallas, amongst the Muslim community, we have a church planter whose name was Achmed, and now is Kamal, and he is planting a church amongst the Arab speaking community there, and we are excited for what God is doing in that community.

– [Man] So, I think you’d be encouraged to know, back in May of 2021, 12 Deaf church planters from five districts gathered for church-planting basics training, where they spent three days planning and praying and thinking and asking the Lord how to plant Deaf churches that plant Deaf churches that plant Deaf churches. They would say that was the first time in the history of The Alliance that that many Deaf people were in the same room asking the Lord, “How do we reach our people?”

– [Woman] Through the PEAK program that we’ve started within the Metro District, we’ve identified three areas that our churches are really advancing through, and that’s when: churches are empowered within their spiritual leadership; when they’re activated in their discipleship; and when they’re deeply connected in the mission of the church to the needs of their community. We have one church that’s a Chinese and English-speaking church. They have two congregations, and when we’re working with them through the PEAK process, they realize that they had not met together to discern the will of God, to really listen and receive from the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. And so, through our process, they were able to sit together at the table and just have a moment when they met the Holy Spirit in their midst, and it encouraged their life and their leadership so much as a church. Another church, in farm country South Jersey, they recognized that, of their congregation, many people worked on farms, and there were farm laborers coming up from Mexico and from other Latin American countries that they had not been reaching out to. So, they decided to change their summer VBS to a time period late in the evening, 7-9 p.m., and to send out buses to the farm so that they could bring these children in from the farm laborer families, into their church, and they provided Spanish language translation to reach out to the neighbors right around them and the needs that their church could be connected to.

– [Man] God is still in control, and He is still reaching out to people, calling people to His Kingdom, even though the world is changing. 2020—it was the year that we were approached by the national leaders to whether a Cambodian district should become an association. And by God’s grace, that process was gracefully going very well. Pacific Northwest, Central Pacific District, South Pacific District, and every other district leader, district superintendents, are very open and very helpful while we are serving God.

– [Man] I can’t even begin to keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit. For example, here in Columbus, one of our church planters has a heart for those in the mixed martial arts and has planted two brand new churches among those who, to be honest, don’t fit into any kind of a normal pattern that I’m used to. And yet, time and again, people are coming to know Jesus, having their lives transformed, set free, and baptized, and we’re thrilled.

– [Man] I think you’ll be encouraged to know that we’re raising up young Native leaders, Indigenous leaders, here in the United States. Some time back, we had no Native pastors in our seven association churches. Now we have nine association churches, and they’re Native-led by seven of the nine churches.

– [Man] I think you’d be encouraged to know that in Missoula, Montana, we have a Congolese church meeting at Missoula Alliance Church. In fact, there is a Congolese congregation, and then there are people from the Congo, refugees, who are actually worshiping with our already existing Missoula Alliance Church.

– [Man] I want to encourage you. Two months ago, I was reaching a Muslim Sheikh, he is the Imam of a mosque in Staten Island. Last week, I saw him, and he said, “Pastor, I’m praying so together we can be in Jannah.” Jannah—it means “heaven.” I said, “How do you follow your God or your profit if you don’t know where you’re gonna be? Even Mohammed, when they asked him, he said, ‘I don’t know where I’m gonna be.'” I said, “Ask me. I’m gonna tell you if I close my eyes, I will be with the Lord.” I said, “Listen, there’s two guides in the desert, and you are following them to take you out of the desert. One of them died. So, what are you gonna do? Are you gonna sit next to the dead body?” He said, “No. I’m gonna follow the other guy.” I said then, “Mohammed died, and Jesus still alive.” When I told him that last week, he stopped for a few seconds and he said, “Pastor, I need a Bible.” I said, “Next Friday, I’m gonna bring you a Bible.” Please pray. I believe God is gonna do miracles.

– [Man] I believe you’d be encouraged to know that we have a street witnessing outreach to Jewish people, where there are 2 million Jewish people, and we’re on the streets two hours at a time, three times a day. We saw 32 decisions for Jesus, five Jews and 27 gentiles. We thank God for that.

– [Man] I think you’d be encouraged to know that we belong to a movement that values collaboration. Right now, in the city of Akron, Alliance churches are functioning in alliance with other gospel-driven churches in the city of Akron to own the lost of Akron together and to take responsibility to saturate that city with the gospel.

– [Man] At the very beginning of COVID, a small Hispanic church of 20 people took on prayer seriously, and every weekday at 6 a.m. would gather together. Sometimes it was only one or two people, but here we are a year and a half later -that church of 20 is now 120. They’re still gathering every day, every weekday, for an hour of prayer, and they’ll have up to 20 people gathered for prayer. God is at work, and He is responding to the people who cry out to Him.

– [Man] I believe you will be encouraged to know that Puerto Rico is in full speed after all that we’ve been through. We are having plans of starting new churches. Also, we have our beautiful seminary doing bachelor, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral ministry in full speed also. We are very encouraged, and I know you will be also.

– [Man] I think you’d be encouraged to know that on September 19 in Eastern Pennsylvania, we launched two new churches—one in a coffee house, one in a church that was a building that was about dead three years ago, and already, we’re seeing people come to faith in Christ and baptisms. We’re pretty excited about that.

– [Man] I believe you would be encouraged to know the Korean District has 90 churches throughout the nation from the West Coast to the East Coast, even including one church in Alaska. The Korean C&MA missionaries, they’re working hard in Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, and even in the Arabic countries.

– [Man] In Mid-America District this last year, we celebrated two churches that had their hundredth-year anniversary. One church, Christ Community, is an Omaha, Nebraska, population about 1 million people. The other church, on the other side of Nebraska, Hamlet, Nebraska-population 50 people. Both churches celebrating 100 years of ministry, of making disciples, both in their Jerusalem and around the world—very different contexts, very different cultures, but know that both have significant ministries in the Kingdom.

– [Man] The Vietnamese District in the United States has been established for nearly 45 years. We currently have 106 churches, spread across 26 states. We have encouraged God’s people in our district; just take 100 churches, we ask God to give each church ten new believers, leading these people to God, ten people each year. We would have 1,000 people a year. And in two years, we would have 2,000, and three years, four years like that, we would like to offer 4,000 new believers to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Vietnamese District in the United States.

– [Woman] I believe you’ll be encouraged to know that there is a steady stream of people contacting our district office about serving with The Christian and Missionary Alliance. We see young adults coming out of college, who got saved in college, seeking to serve Him overseas. We see middle-aged women coming to us from the professional world, bringing their gifts to the church, and we see young people raised out of the drug culture, planting churches among addicted people.

– [Man] The Envision site in Atlanta, Georgia, in Clarkston area, has been so effective that we have seen the beginning of a church-planting movement there. We now have, in addition to three churches that have been planted among some of the ethnic immigrants there, we have now seen nine different groups come together in house churches of predominantly Muslim people, including a children’s group and a youth group. And we’re excited to see—we’ve had many people who have made professions of faith, and everyone has opened their homes to hear about Jesus and to read the Bible together.

– [Man] You’ll be encouraged to know that two years ago, God gave us a facility in Flushing, Queens. But as you know, immediately after that, we got hit by COVID, and we were undergoing a huge renovation, and we wanted to put a coffee shop in the center, but all of a sudden, everything stopped. But by God’s grace, we have been praying for the certificate of occupancy. In September, God has granted a full C.O. for us. Because of that, we were able to open up a coffee shop to the public. In the last two months, God is amazing. Not only were we able to hit the benchmark that we are able to break even, but also, I have seen more than 10 different ethnic groups come to the coffee shop. Our coffee shop is called The Well. It’s from the John chapter four when Jesus Christ met the Samaritan woman, where she has experienced a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. And after that, she’s dashing out back to the village, and declares, “I met the Messiah! Jesus is the Messiah!” This is what we want to do at the coffee shop. People come in here, experience their encounter with Jesus Christ, and they will go back to their home, their families, their workplace, and declare, “I met Jesus at The Well.” After COVID, after all these disasters and difficulties, it’s time for us to build and connect relationships with our neighbors, with our community—share all of Jesus Christ with them so that they all will receive the blessing from above.