Preparing People for Christ's Return
Julia Liles received a warm welcome from co-worker Myra Omictin upon her arrival in Cambodia last Sunday. She writes, "My first reaction was joy! To have landed, to be back, to hug old friends, to recognise the area! These feelings were hurriedly filled in with questions like 'Can I really do this long term? Can I really leave my family & friends in the UK who need my support? Can I settle here and be a successful witness of Jesus and teacher?' I'm feeling a little more relaxed today as I gave some Bible verses to a girl during my first solo stroll down the street and spoke a little Khmer greeting to my neighbours. I also managed to speak with my family via Skype which made me feel normal despite the distance! I need to enroll in a language course and plan out a weekly schedule following a team meeting this coming weekend. This is just the start of an incredible journey and I thank God you are with me in this!"
“Not Good Enough,” the first of four gospel tracts Dean and Sheba Padayhag plan to distribute in South Africa this year, has been published! Dean wrote the original messages for these tracts. “Not Good Enough” is designed to reach those who have been in or around church all their lives but have never entered into a genuine personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It sends a powerful message of the grace of God in freely offering salvation to all who have been trying to be good enough to merit God’s favor. Five thousand copies of the tract were printed and half of those have already been given to the churches to use for evangelism. Pray that the Lord will use these tracts to bring people to a clear understanding of salvation by grace through faith, not of works.
Benalin Chepkemoi shed tears of joy during the worship service in Eldoret, Kenya as she shared her testimony of how God delivered her from a pit of sin and death. Benalin was a traditional brew (changaa) addict before she came to know Christ. One Sunday she entered the church compound completely drunk to a point she could not understand herself and she was a nuisance to the worshippers throughout the worship service. Pastor James was told about Benalin’s life story and the following day he and a church elder went to her home. They talked to her about Jesus Christ, explaining that if she put her faith in Him, all her sins will be forgiven and her life will be changed by the transforming power of the Lord. Benalin trusted in Jesus and got saved. Truly the grace of God has power to save and to transform lives! Benalin’s life has completely changed and she is now using her singing talent to glorify God in the church!
Pastor James Bermejo and his wife Agape are stepping out in faith to follow God’s call to become missionaries! James & Agape are both graduates of IGBI, TCM's Bible School in the Philippines. They have planted two urban Grace churches and have proven faithful in their eight years of serving the Lord. At TCM's Southeast Asia Grace Conference in Kuala Lumpur last summer they made the decision to be missionaries. James has just submitted his 30 days resignation notice from his secular job in preparation for attending the missionary training program in Manila in October and November. He writes, “We will be honored once again if you please include us in your prayers that may God will continue to meet our needs during and after the training since I will no longer be receiving salary from my secular job. It is indeed a great leap of faith but, with great hope, we believe that God will make His ways possible.”
Julia Liles leaves her home in England this Saturday, September 5th, for her first assignment as a TCM missionary! She will be joining Myra Omictin in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Julia asks prayer for wisdom in prioritizing her time in these last few days at home, comfort in all the good-byes, perseverance with packing her life into a couple suitcases and safe travels without feeling too nervous! Pray also for her family, as it’s hard to see a loved one move to the other side of the world. We trust that the Lord will anoint Julia and make her bold in faith and still in Him. Visit Julia’s page on our website to see her latest updates.
TCM-Indonesia’s national leader, Harold Sigar, went to Manado to attend the Bible School graduation on August 22nd. The nine graduates have been sent to their new posts on the islands of Sulawesi and Java. Pray for the ministry in Indonesia, as Pastor Sigar plans to go to Nias this month to attend ministry training for elders and youth. (Nias is an island off the coast of Sumatra where a church was planted after the devastation of the 2004 tsunami.) After that, Pastor Sigar will visit several churches before returning to the island of Sulawesi to lead the 2016 Indonesia National Conference.
Ariel and Faith Mahilum report, “It was an amazing night of worship and fellowship in the Word and with each other. Four couples came together and shared our journey as husbands and wives, and we were challenged to build a household of Faithfulness, Affection, Insight, Truth and Hope. It was the first Grace Couples Fellowship and the birth of TCM Cambodia Board of Trustees that will provide leadership, decision making, and nurture to TCM members in Cambodia and will work alongside TCM Missionaries. Please pray for these couples that we will grow hand in hand and heart to heart, together in the Lord. To God be the glory!”
Ben Anderson reports from Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria: “The Grace Bible Church national conference was held at the YWCA in the town center. The space was adequate for around 120 people, but more kept arriving each day, eventually going well past 200! We had to move into tents in an open area. The conference set several records including total attendance, international visitors (ten people from Uganda plus me), pastor's wives attending and location in a major city. The theme of the conference was ‘Proclaiming God's Wondrous Works’ in celebration of 30 years of GBC in Kenya. I spoke four times plus gave a challenge at the cake cutting ceremony. There was a strong sense of unity and a desire to take the gospel to the rest of Kenya.”
“Praise the Lord, last Saturday we had 10 kids who studied the Bible with us! Three kids were new and two kids decided to receive Jesus Christ!” Mareewan Radtke writes from Thailand. Mareewan, a Thai believer, and her husband Allen, have a weekly outreach to children in the village where they live. They attend TCM’s Grace Church in Chiang Mai. “Seven kids went to church with us yesterday. For two, it was the first time they went to church in their life. They had a wonderful time at church. They told me they love our church because they like worship songs and friends in church. Please pray for our kids to grow up in Christ. God loves Thai kids. May God bless you all too.”
Kenyan national leader Peter Kagwi took Ben Anderson to visit the land near Mombasa which has been purchased for the Coast Grace Centre. During the visit, Peter told Ben the rather humorous story of a neighborhood goat that fell into a deep and narrow well on the property. A local man offered to go into the well to get the goat for Sh500 ($5). Unfortunately, the rope broke and the man fell into the water. When they called down to see if he was OK, the man shouted, “Throw down a stick, there's a snake down here also!” Eventually both man and goat were rescued from the well, a bit banged up but alive and well. So if you think you're having a bad day, it could probably be worse . . .
A summer ministry team from Frontline Bible Church just returned to Michigan after a very fruitful visit to the TCM work in North Brazil. The team completed a roofing project for the Dois Carneiros Bible Church and trained 32 teachers for the TCM churches in Recife. Those teachers immediately put their training into practice through VBS and youth programs. Joe Campos wrote, “We had the second meeting of our recently started youth program. It was amazing! The Lord doubled the attendance from the first meeting, and we had almost 80 young people worshiping, learning and serving! We are going to follow up with a meeting for young men to talk about specific struggles they go through. Thank you for your support and prayers!”
The South Africa ministry had an incredibly busy weekend with a visit from TCM International Director, Ben Anderson! The Padayhags reported, "Friday morning, we videotaped TCM’s Troas Strategy at our studio, and in the evening Ben spoke at a joint service in the new church in Boksburg. Saturday morning Ben met the board of Association of Berean Grace Ministries South Africa, then taught at Grace Berean Bible School the rest of the day. Sunday morning we drove to Tshepisong for a service attended by delegations from several churches and a historic ground-breaking ceremony for the Tshepisong church multi-purpose ministry center! One hundred fifty believers took part in the momentous occasion. Grace TV was also officially launched as our newest ministry and the first batch of DVD copies were released!"
Pastor Cadelina shared this story: The first night of evangelistic meetings was way up in the mountains. We left the van due to broken bridges and hiked barefoot. When I walked about one kilometer, a member told me to ride on his horse. I had not ridden a horse in quite a long time. It was exciting. Two of the three team members hiked with another horse carrying the generator, wires, amplifier, tracts, etc. The first night meeting had many problems like rain showers. Two persons who had unsolved conflicts got into a fight in the meeting hall. One was hit with a stick and the bolo (machete) was ready for stabbing. There were drops of blood. So, I stopped the show. When the two were gone, we continued. Then we almost ran out of gasoline for the generator. In the end nearly all attendees professed to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord. We are so happy!
Pastor Kenneth Ling sends this urgent request, "Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is my special prayer request: In the past two weeks there was a big rain in Myanmar resulting in floods and landslides in the Chin State. They lost many houses and many people are now homeless. Roads and bridges also collapsed. Our Chin people need your prayer and help! We are also giving our help by money, clothes and rice. One sack of rice costs 100,000 Kyats ($85 US). I do really believe that God will hear our cry from our deepest heart and He will wipe away our tears from our eyes. Please pray for our Chin State and Chin people."
As the Africa Safari team flies back to the USA, TCM national leader Titus Kivilu writes, “Thank God for the 9 successive days of ministry with the Africa Safari Team 2015. We evangelized in towns and villages, helped in church building projects, ministered to children in churches and orphanages, taught in 3 pastors and leaders seminars and preached in different churches. We saw souls come to saving faith by believing in Jesus Christ as their savior, believers being encouraged and edified through touching messages and testimonies from the Safari team members, and pastors and church leaders challenged to serve God with vision and passion as we prepare people for Christ’s return. By the end of the 9 days a preacher was made! That preacher is Safari Team member, Josiah Prindle, who preached his first ever message at a night fellowship in Ndutori Church and his second message at Sunday worship service at Kiganthi Church! Thank you Safari Team members for your service for the Lord here in Kenya.”
This past week the Grace Church in Dubai celebrated its third anniversary. Ken Omictin (pictured), shared the history of the fellowship. Ken is the sister of Myra Omictin, TCM missionary to Cambodia. She founded this fellowship made up mostly of Filipinos living and working in Dubai. The church invited Ariel Mahilum to come from Cambodia as the guest speaker for their four-day anniversary event. One of the members wrote, “Thank you Lord for the successful celebration and for all your prayers and support. To God be the Glory!!!”
The Africa Safari summer ministry team of five volunteers led by Ben Anderson arrived in Nairobi, Kenya on July 17, shortly after President Obama landed. They were delayed leaving the airport until security opened up for TCM missionary, Gardner Improso, to drive in and pick them up. The team started out in Embu, one of TCM's regional headquarters, with a building project and outreach. Ben reported, "All is well on the Safari. I think we have already worn out the one guy with me who can preach. Everyone is working hard and enjoying the opportunities to do evangelism. Interestingly, their favorite activity is evangelizing in the towns and villages."
Pastor Peter Kagwi writes from the coastal region of Kenya, “We have a great hope for the growth of the work here. More students of Berean Grace School of Ministry are being used in the ministry of church planting. We are reaching new areas through evangelism. One of those is Voi, a town along Mombasa-Nairobi highway. One of our graduates is preparing to be the pastor who shall work together with Grace Bible Church in pioneering the new work in that region. Pray for Pastor Patrick that the Lord will fully prepare him and his family for that calling.”
Carl Sommer and Neil Skinner spent two months in Cambodia as summer missionaries. One of their projects was to build this shelter for outreach to village children. During their stay Carl and Neil also taught computer classes and built a wall around the village ministry property, evangelized in the city and village and mentored college students. TCM Cambodia thanks Carl and Neil for their love and sacrifice.
The Grace Gospel Fellowship invited Tim Heath to be the opening speaker for their annual Family Bible Conference that took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. TCM sponsored a luncheon for the attendees, during which Ben Anderson outlined the Mission’s history over the past 60 years, detailing how TCM was founded, which year each field was opened and the current missionaries and ministries in those countries. The luncheon also provided an opportunity to introduce John Cook, TCM’s newest missionary, as well as TCM’s new leadership team: Ben Anderson as International Director, Tim Heath as Development Director and Valerie Anderson as Office Administrator.
Ariel Mahilum, founder of TCM’s work in Cambodia, writes, “Memories flooded over us as we celebrated the 8th Anniversary of TCM's work in Cambodia. This year’s celebration was unique because our speaker was a Cambodian Grace believer, Rathy Cheng. Youth and adults from Takeo and Siem Reap provinces joined guests in Phnom Penh for the celebration of thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness to the work in Cambodia through all these years. Our vision is to usher Cambodians into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and to plant missional and transformational Grace churches all over Cambodia and beyond. We are grateful for all your prayers and support for the ministry here. To God alone is the glory!”
Three of our missionary kids graduated this month. Andrea Maraat (pictured) lives in Thailand with her parents Genesis and Verna Maraat and brother Josiah. Andrea graduated from high school at Grace International School where she has attended since sixth grade. Andrea will enter Calvin College in August to study for a BS in Secondary Education-Biology. Keren and Kezia Improso lived in Kenya from 1996 until 2011 when they returned to the Philippines to get BS degrees in International Studies. They are now on a short trip to visit Kenya and look for jobs. Pray for our TCM missionary kids to do well in school and glorify God with their lives after school.
At the May 20th board meeting John Cook was accepted as a missionary candidate to Southeast Asia. John is passionate about reaching Chinese people with the gospel. John accepted Christ as Savior in the Altoona Bible Church in Pennsylvania. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Grace Bible College and a Master’s degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. After working with Pat and Michelle Kilgo for one month John felt called to partner with them. He is currently traveling on deputation in preparation for a December 2015 departure. Reaching the lost and teaching the Bible to church members and pastors will be John’s main ministry focus. Read John's bio.
Sheba Padayhag writes, "Here are the memories from the successful Youth Camp 2015. With the theme: "Grace Gladiators" (Ephesians 6:10-20). Held last April 2-4 at Magalies Retreat Centre, Magaliesburg, South Africa. Comprised of 36 campers, 7 staff and 2 kids (Shedea & Shedesh). Praise GOD for the 16 youth who got saved while the rest confirmed their salvation. Thank you to the donors and to our volunteer staff. Thank you to the parents who entrusted us their children for the duration of the camp. Thank you to the churches of ABGMSA and everyone around the world who prayed along with us."
TCM is so grateful to the Lord for blessing her with 14 new churches planted from April 2014 to March 2015 in various places in the Philippine islands! From April 2012 to March 2015, God has blessed the TCM ministry in the Philippines with 59 new churches. This means that we are only short of 56 churches more to reach our five-year goal of 115 by 2017. Let’s continue praying, working, supporting, and believing that God will honor our prayers to reach the goal, or even overshoot the target before holding our thanksgiving conference in 2018! (Recent survey shows that TCM-Philippines has now a total of 497 churches spread out in the big islands of Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. Indeed, God is so faithful and gracious!
Every year the Philippine TCM Grace Church hold their Grace National Annual Conference. This year the venue was in Zamboanga, a city in southwest Mindanao. In spite of the threat of rebels in the area, some 500 leaders and members attended the conference from around the Philippines. One hundred leaders started their Summit meeting on April 20 and the main conference was April 21-24. Seven men were ordained while 28 men and women graduates from the six Bible schools were accepted into the ministry. Missionary Gardner Improso attended the conference on behalf of TCM International and was a speaker during the Summit and also the opening night of the conference. Take a look at the Field Work presentation.
"What an incredible 12 weeks it has been!! So many churches, so many brothers & sisters, so many conferences and talks... and I'm still standing (and speaking!) by God's grace!! I have met so many wonderful people and had great opportunities to share what I will be doing in South East Asia for God's glory. It's so important to realise that what we do in faith comes out of a place of grace... NOT guilt! All that we do should be in LOVE because that it was reaches the heart of the broken and gives joy to those who are comforted by the Lord. 'Actions speak louder than words,' that is true, but there is great value and necessity in" More . . .
The Grace Gospel Churches of Myanmar celebrated their first anniversary on March 26-28. Pastor Kenneth Ling is the director of the churches and planned a weekend of activities. TCM-Cambodia missionary Ariel Mahilum is in Yangon to speak at the celebration, "Arrived in Yangon safe and sound and met Ptr. Kenneth and wife at the airport last night. Anniversary celebration will start tonight, one-full day seminar tomorrow and 2 more nights of sharing the Word. I will be speaking and teaching on 'Grow in Grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ'." The initial contact between TCM and Pastor Kenneth Ling came in 2011 through Henry & Lilly—a couple from Myanmar living in Indianapolis. Several ministry visits were conducted by Ben Anderson, Tim Heath, Nathan Killion and Genesis Maraat. Pray that the gospel of God's grace will continue to impact this diverse land which has only recently opened to the outside world. Pictured are Pastor Kenneth and Eunice praying for a church member.
Pat Kilgo is in the Philippines to speak at the graduations at IGBI-Ozamis and IGBI-Tagum. International Grace Bible Institute began operating in 1959 and has now grown to six campuses located throughout the Philippines. Pat is also speaking at the Grace Professionals of the Philippines organization. Pastor Cadelina is Pat's traveling companion and reports that 36 ministry students graduated from the two Bible schools. Although their vehicle was broken into and Pat lost all his clothes, they were able to maintain their busy schedule on the island of Mindanao until April 10.
From missionary Luz Gaddi: Thank you very much for your prayers and support on our mission to Uganda. Maureen and her daughter traveled with me from Kisumu and were able to reach out to the Ugandan youth. Praise God at least 10 youth will attend the Kisumu, Kenya conference in August 2015. The plan to have an inter-church youth conference between Uganda and Kenya will one day be a reality. To say the least the members were happy to meet us. We conducted Bible studies and visited homes. Often we went to the guest house past 10:00pm. Sunday Maureen taught SS and Pastor Philip asked me to deliver the message. The church was full. After the service we met the women for an hour. Read Luz's newsletter.
Philippine Grace Church leaders are planning a Grand Thanksgiving Celebration in 2016 for Godís blessing of 100 churches planted in Negros, including Panay Island. Latest reports confirmed that there are now 98 TCM churches in the Negros provinces, including Iloilo in Panay Island (Negros Oriental, 48; Negros Occidental, 48; and Iloilo, 2). Please continue praying for our co-workers from these two big islands as they work together in planting more churches to overshoot the target before the Grand Thanksgiving Celebration in 2016.
Missionary children receive their education in many different ways including homeschooling, day schools and missionary kid schools. These schools always have a need for teachers and administrators. Often these are volunteer positions although some schools provide housing for their teachers. If you are interested in teaching missionary kids overseas, please contact TCM as we have heard of several positions available including at Grace International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand. MK teachers not only have a lifetime impact on the MKs, but also have opportunities to minister to the people around the school.
TCM's newest missionary is from London, England and is on deputation in the US for four months. Julia writes, "It has only been 4 weeks and yet I feel as though I have been here for months! So far I have been to Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans; Florida- East and West coast; Indianapolis, Indiana and Olney, Illinois! Take a breath! I'm currently based in Indy at Things to Come Mission Head Quarters! I have begun an online theology course which I'm really enjoying and this week I have my Orientation too." Pray for Julia Liles as she prepares for serving in Southeast Asia. More . . .
Director Ben Anderson will be teaching an intensive class on the Theology of Mission at the Berean Bible Institute from January 12-15. Topics will include Godís overarching purpose of creating a people in his image, the purpose of mission in the life and teachings of Paul for the dispensation of grace and the saving gospel that the world needs to hear today. One of the foundational points Ben makes is that the Bible is primarily a theology of missionóGodís mission to the world. Why not take a few evenings to be challenged by the Word in this essential purpose of our Christian lives?
On a cold December day in 1955, TCM founder and former missionary Herbert Palmer incorporated Things to Come Mission in the state of Colorado, with its headquarters at his home in Craig. His vision was to send dispensational Bible study literature to anyone who requested, as well as to reach the mountain towns of Colorado with the gospel. Little did he know that after teaming up with a group of students from Milwaukee Bible Institute that the mission would be instrumental in sending missionaries with the gospel of Godís grace to over a dozen countries, resulting in tens of thousands of souls won for Christ, hundreds of churches plus radio programs, translation and printing ministries and numerous Bible schools and training programs. Although Pastor Palmer died in 1961, his life work is giving an ever greater return on investment. Join with us in celebrating our 60th year of proclaiming the wonderful grace of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth! May you truly have a Happy New Year 2015 by making our Lord the center of your daily walk.