This month John and other National Office team members share stories that encourage and inspire.View Transcript
– It’s Thanksgiving season. Alliance family, celebrate with me some of the expressions of God’s goodness among us. I’ve invited a variety of voices to join me in the storytelling today. It is my joy to work with a gifted, called, and fantastic staff here at the National Office, and I want you to hear some of the stories directly from them. First up is Amy Roedding. We’ve just completed our first Alliance Young Adult event. Time after time at LIFE Conference, I would hear from students there, “We love LIFE, but what happens after we graduate from high school? Can’t you have something for us when we become young adults?” And so finally, Amy, we’ve done something. Tell us about it.
– It was such an honor to be together with over 300 young adults at our first ever regional Alliance Young Adults Conference hosted in Cleveland, Ohio. We had people coming from 15 districts from around the United States—some as far east as New Jersey and New York, and then the west was Omaha, and we had some churches coming as far as Georgia and Florida, and of course, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois all showed up. It was my privilege to help lead the conference with Josiah Stumbo, who leads the young adults at his church, Grace Church in Cleveland, Ohio. What Josiah noted is that over 86 churches were represented at our conference, which helped him realize that maybe one or two young adults were coming by themselves from their local church, and he really sensed they were on pilgrimage. They were like leaning into our themes of “deeper life” and “finding my purpose in the local church.”
And some of the stories that came out were such an encouragement to us because we realized they really understood what our conference was all about. Some noted for the first time that they were going to be able to really lean into the Holy Spirit daily for their living, their everyday life, and what God had called them to do. Some noted for the first time, “I understand my gifting.” One person said, “I have the gift of shepherding. I feel like I need to go home and shepherd the youth at my local church.” We also had somebody who said, “I love seeing how many young adults helped lead this conference.” There was a young woman who was 22 years old who led all the prayer ministry, and so many people found healing just because of her ministry. In the 28 hours that we were able to spend together, it was such a joy to see the young adults hungry for God and leaning in, and there was such a spirit of unity. I want to tell you that we are planning another regional conference for young adults somewhere in the West, so stay tuned for that information.
– On this theme of the next generation, we continue to grieve the loss of Alliance University while rejoicing in this beginning relationship with Asbury Seminary. They are working with us in continuing the heritage of Alliance Theological Seminary in New York City, and we look forward to the continuation and further development of that relationship. Meanwhile, I’m pleased to report that Crown, Simpson, and Toccoa, our three schools, are in a good place. They report every year to the Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors has met on all three of those campuses in recent years. And at our most recent meeting at Crown College, it was very clear that each of the schools has stable enrollment, facility improvements, and strong leadership, and the healthy spiritual atmosphere of each of our schools encourages us that there is another generation arising to own the gospel and the Church for themselves. While our Board met at Crown last month, it was our joy for the 30th Board meeting of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in a row for us to appoint a new wave of international workers. And to tell us about that is my friend, Meesh.
– Hey, Alliance family. On behalf of the International Placement Office, I’m so excited to share that as John just mentioned, when our Board meeting met, they officially appointed 12 new international workers to serve with Alliance Missions. In addition to that, our office is working with almost 60 people who have applications in—that’s double what we’ve had in the past, and seven of those are getting interviewed in the next month. This is about celebrating God continuing to help us reach our goal of 52 new workers this year, but it’s bigger than that. We’re praising God for the way that He’s answering our prayer, “Lord of the Harvest, send more workers.” Thank you for praying that He would send them. And if He’s talking to you about potentially going, we would celebrate getting to talk to you as well.
– Well, that’s encouraging to hear that we’re on track towards our goal of sending out one new international worker a week. And as to our now. campaign goal of one new open door each year, I’ve invited Tim Crouch to give us some updates on that subject and a few other topics.
– Hey, I’m really excited about seeking open doors because while we are trusting God for at least one this year and one next year, right now we’re looking at four possibilities across three regions of the globe. So, we are seeking clarity from God about precisely how He’s leading and who He’s going to bring together to be able to walk through these open doors. I just returned from Lima, Peru, where there was a big celebration because 50 years ago, a movement that we call “Lima on an Encounter with God” began. This was really what’s become the most significant church-planting movement in the history of Alliance Missions. From those days 50 years ago, dozens and dozens of churches have been planted—and large churches. In Lima alone, there are 90 churches as a result of this movement, with over 50,000 people attending.
On the last night of that celebration, about 10,000 of those people gathered in one big arena and we gave praise to God for the many lives that have come to Christ because of the ministry of these churches. And what I’m excited about is this thing is still going. The next 50 years could be bigger than the last 50 years as Encounter churches are started in now four countries of Latin America. Meanwhile, we’re all aware of what’s happening in the Middle East, specifically in Israel and Palestine. I want you to know that our workers are safe and have been able to make various decisions about who should be where and how they can continue in what God’s called them to do. But let’s be praying for peace. Let’s be praying for God at work, and you can continue to follow worker updates on our website as they become available.
– Thank you, Tim. We have workers serving in hard places all over the globe. Our friend, Lisa, is here to tell us about one more of those places and a bonus story that I just heard for the first time today.
– We want to thank you for your generosity over this past year in supporting CAMA and the work in Ukraine. The church in Ukraine has adopted a group of local men and women in the conflict. These people have been caught in the conflict for a long time. As the church has cared for the community, the communities begin to come together, and we see that the relationships have been built with the sharing of socks and food and blankets. People that didn’t know the church before are now coming for prayer. As you know, CAMA integrates word and deed as we serve around the world. And I want to share with you a real-life representation of that. This Bible was just translated for the people in Papua, Indonesia. This is a long project. It started 30 years ago and has had many, many people in the making. We were able to see them open up the package for the first time and present it to the elders of the district there as they were able to read both the Old and the New Testament in their own tongue.
– This is a holy moment for me to hold in my hands one more Scripture in one more language for one more people group as one more expression of the Christian and Missionary Alliance privilege of being involved in what the Scripture itself prophesies, that there will be representatives in heaven from every tribe and people and language and nation. And once again, we get to be part of this. Now, prayer is essential for us to keep this work moving forward, and it’s my delight to announce that we have 1,500 people who have registered for our 40 Days of Prayer. If you’ve not yet done so, we invite you to join us in this fourth consecutive year of us calling out to God together as we start the new year in prayer. I also celebrate that we have 103 institutional chaplains serving in hospice, hospital, marketplace, et cetera, and 65 federal chaplains in military, VA, and prisons and so on, including our first ever Space Force chaplain and an ongoing chaplaincy presence in the Pentagon.
There’s so much more that could be said on so many topics, such as Alliance Benefits has announced that our premium increases for this next year’s health plan is once again, for the seventh year in a row, below 5%—well below the industry standard. And they’re rolling out a new product for those needing a lower-cost health plan. Every year, the Alliance family entrusts millions of dollars to this office for the global advance of the name of Jesus. And once again, this year we received a clean audit report, evidencing that we have the highest standards of integrity and transparency as we handle these funds. Thank you for following the ongoing progress of our dream of One Alliance Place. There’s a live feed camera available for you online. Just in recent days, the unglamorous phase of the site work has been launched where the asphalt gets removed and things like water retention and all of those things that have to happen underground are now taking place—all of the funds provided outside the Great Commission Fund, as has been every phase of this project, monies provided by the generosity of the Alliance family above and beyond our giving to our local churches and the GCF.
Thank you for your investment; thank you for your prayers. And would you pray for us at this moment because now in the next few months, we need to raise the funds for the core and the shell, to get the exterior of that building out of the ground, up and enclosed. Join us in that venture. So, these are the kind of reports that our Board of Directors just received in our last meeting. Now, I need to admit that 10 years into this role, I get a little concerned every Council, when we elect a new wave of Board Members and a significant turnover for the Board. “How will the new Board members interact? What will the new chemistry be?” And I say with joy that once again, God has brought together a Board that is fully engaged, fully committed, and seem to be the right team for this moment in time. So, pray with us as we work together for the good and future of this ministry called The Christian and Missionary Alliance that we love so deeply. And I say that in closing because I realize that for many of us in the local church, this is also the time of year when we are in the nominating committee and election phase for our next Board and elders and other key ministry positions. And I just want to trust with you that we will be taking a listening posture to the Spirit, who wants to guide His Church, not only in where we go but who leads us there and in what spirit we get led—a spirit of humility, a spirit of grace, a spirit of unity.
So, in the words of Paul to the Church of Thessalonica, “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones. May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”