Alejandro and His Daughter

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Alejandro Colindres and his now grown daughter.

I am still reflecting on the power and inspiration of the weekend with Alejandro Colendres and Fraternidad Chrisiana, his network of churches, in their annual Christin Fellowship Conference in Stamford, Connecticut, attended by over 1000.

Alejandro’s ministry here in the States began 30 years ago when he came to the United States from Honduras for 10 months to be with his infant daughter who was suffering from a life-threatening illness and being treated in a hospital in Baltimore.

As he waited for the recovery of his daughter he very naturally shared his faith with every one he met. God arranged special encounters and miracles. People began coming to faith in Christ. The first cell group was held in a McDonald’s.

As people moved on from that location and were scattered they started cell groups; cell groups multiplied and became churches; churches multiplied. Today there are over 50 churches in the eastern USA and internationally.

The focus of this network of churches is training every believer to become a trainer of new believers who become trainers of new believers. This work is seen as a partnership with the Holy Spirit who arranges divine encounters and performs miracles which lead to increased faith and faithfulness.

The theme of the conference was ‘activate’. I was invited to address the conference on Sunday morning on that theme.

I can testify that my faith was ‘activated’ to a new level as a result of being with these people of God.

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Healing for the World

Tonight is the night! Tonight we have a Healing and Evangelistic Service at Grace Chapel, 2535 Colebrook Road, Elizabethtown, PA at 7 pm. Everyone is welcome. Just come expecting a miracle.

But why is this meeting so special? The entire Kingdom Life Network (KLN) Impact 2015 Conference since the opening service on Wednesday evening has been special. The Conference was true to its theme: Kingdom Ethics in an Unethical World: Baptize Us with Fire.

And the Fire of His presence has come. Bishop Lawrence Chiles gave a powerful word on Wednesday evening on the importance of knowing Christ. And Thursday morning, 87-year old Don Jacobs, world teacher on leadership development and now continuing to focus on leaving a written legacy, gave a foundational teaching on the Kingdom of God. Young men and young women spoke. A pastor and a lawyer spoke on how the church should position herself in this new legal and social situation. And last evening Bishop Joseph Kamau from Kenya, whom God has used to powerfully impact me and my family, spoke a life-giving word on preparing ourselves for a breakthrough change of seasons. And the worship each session transported us into the presence of God.

And today is going to be special as Alejandro Colindres and Team conduct a retreat day of foundational Christian teaching followed by Spirit- empowered ministry. We expect to see people healed today, saved today, delivered from all types of bondages and filled with the Holy Spirit today. All because the Resurrected Jesus is walking among us. Of course, anyone is welcome to today’s sessions which begin at 9 am and continue till 5 pm.

But why am I so singularly focused on tonight?

Tonight is for the community; it is for the world. It is for unbelievers and pre-believers and not just for believers.

You remember when Jesus walked the roads of Judea, He was focused on bringing the gospel to the nations. He became very angry in Jerusalem one day when he saw how the money changers had taken over the “court of the Gentiles” and turned it into a place for changing money. This court was one place where Gentiles could draw near to God. And now God’s people had actually excluded the Gentiles from this one place where they could draw near to God.

And Jesus was angry that His people had made it difficult for the people who had not known God to draw near and to come to know Him. (This was a point made by Don Jacobs in his lecture on the Kingdom of God).

Now I know why this anticipation for tonight is so strong within me. Meetings to encourage Christians are necessary and important and wonderful. But the Gospel is for the world, and God is always calling “Who will go for us? Who will be one of my harvesters? Who will clear their agenda so the Court of the Gentiles is once again a place where those who have not heard can hear and be impacted by the glorious Gospel of the Kingdom?”

So tonight the Gospel goes forth, not just to the church, but to the world. Tonight the Court of the Gentiles is cleared so that all may come into the presence of God!

May the the church meeting house at Grace Chapel become filled with ‘Gentiles’ tonight. May tonight be the night when those who have not known God, enter into their destiny as sons and daughters of the King, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Come to think of it. I also have been a Gentile. So tonight, I too will draw near!

 

Soul Watchers

soul-watchersThe writer of the book of Hebrews 13:17 says that spiritual leaders “watch out for your souls as those who must give an account”

There are people willing to watch your weight,watch your finances, or watch your educational development but there are not many people willing to watch out for your soul.

So it was a joy today as a bishop in New Testament Fellowship of Churches to ordain six new pastors who will watch out for the souls of the people God puts under their care.

The ordination occurred at a church in Reading called “Feet On The Street.” This church founded by Marv and Beverly Zimmerman has just become a member of the New Testament Fellowship of Churches.

Those ordained were Marv and Beverly Zimmerman, Daryl and Rebecca Zimmerman, current pastors of Feet on the Street, and Matt and Megan Chambers who have just finished a pastorate in Texas and are waiting for God’s direction for a pastorate in this area.

Allan and Rose Chambers, parents of Matt Chambers have served as mentors to the Zimmermans in the development of this church. They also participated in today’s ordination service.

The Feet On The Street Church is comprised of an amazing group of young people from the inner city of Reading, first generation Christians, who are turning their world upside down for Christ.

Feet on the Street Ministry

Feet on the Street Ministry

I found myself fighting back the tears throughout much of the Christmas program by the ‘Feet on the Street Ministry’ in inner city Reading last night. The musical was well done and was even moving at points. But that was not what touched me. It was what these young people represent. There were several dozen teenagers and young adults- hispanic, black and white -all united in their love for Jesus.

Fourteen years ago Marvin Zimmerman, a local businessman, and his wife and family , felt called to start a ministry in the inner city of Reading. He purchased a building and began attempting to minister to the teens in the area. But no one seemed to want his pizza or his gospel. The only ones responding were the 7 year olds; the 8 and 9 and the 10 and 11 year olds. So the Zimmermans began to minister to this young group. They loved them; they prayed for them and with them; they saw them respond to their love and to the love of God in Jesus Christ.

The Zimmermans had been told that most inner city ministries do not last beyond about four years. But although they felt like quitting at times, they persevered. They kept on loving and believing.

Now those 7 to 11 year olds are 21 to 25 and their younger siblings are a part of the youth group also. The Feet on the Street Ministry is now a church of teenagers and young adults. Marvin’s son Daryl and his wife Rebecca pastor this young church.

It suddenly dawned on me that my tears were of joy that in a culture almost totally destroyed by hatred, violence, drug addiction, immorality, racism and family breakdown , God is developing an amazing community; a community in which young people are walking in love and exuberant worship of Jesus Christ and in love for one another. They are ‘leaning in to the future’ with Jesus confident that He who has called them out of darkness is leading them into a glorious future with Himself. They are establishing godly families and ending the cycle of brokenness which was passed down from their past.

Yes God is a ‘defiant gardener.’ He is planting beautiful gardens of love and life and beauty in inhospitable places all over the globe. I want to keep gardening with Him.

 

Passing On The Legacy

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Passing On The Legacy

Kingdom Life Network (KLN) had an amazing Fall Family Festival at LifeGate this weekend. People from eight different nations participated. We observed/participated in the preparation of a goat and two sheep on Friday evening for the feast Saturday noon. Dr. Allan Chambers gave an inspirational presentation on the role of animal sacrifice in the Old Testament as a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. A talent show capped Friday evening activities.

After breakfast on Saturday morning, we experienced a live “Food Channel” as Irvin Peiffer demonstrated bread baking; Ruth Bett demonstrated the making of chapati, Ruth Martin the baking of a cherry pie, Elvin Weaver the making of hand-churned ice cream, and Nketchi Uwaga discussed the preparation of plantains.

The noon meal on Saturday included all the foods just mentioned as well as goat and mutton. I had earlier proclaimed that I did not like goat meat but Bishop Lawrence Chiles declared that he could prepare goat meat that was excellent to the taste. He was true to his word and the roasted goat was truly excellent.

The purpose of this KLN festival was to have a great time of fun and fellowship and to pass on a legacy, including food preparation methods, to the next generation.

On Saturday afternoon we had a presentation by Chinedum Uwaga of Nigeria and P.C. Alexander of India which focused on the legacy which we pass on.

Chinedum quoted a Nigerian proverb: If a son grows up and refuses to discover what killed his father, what killed his father will kill him. He said we need to turn away from the negative in our parents lives and to affirm that which was positive and life giving.

Alex said that we need to pass on the ‘wealth’ of what God has given and taught us to the next generation. He urged us not to leave emotional and spiritual ‘debts’ that our children are required to pay.

Ruth Bett and the worship team from Light House Congregation, where she and her husband Peter pastor, led us in a joyful Kenyan dance to conclude the Festival.

 

Lavish Love

welcome backLavish Love

Upon arriving home from Kenya this evening I went to out to supper with my dear wife Ruth and with Lawrence and Nereida Chiles. Was surprised at supper by Sonya and Horeb and their four children: Ana, Lorena, Ian and Israel all presenting a welcome sign. Dinner with Lawrence, (Chinedum left us at Newark to return to his home in Brooklyn) gave time to reflect on the experiences of the last two weeks.

I conclude that love is the power that changes people. Yes, their were great presentations and wonderful strategizing for the Kingdom at the Maturity Convention. But it is love that heals; love that transforms and loves that opens our eyes to new possibilities .

So I pray, ‘Lord, thanks for lavishing your love in our hearts so that we can in turn lavish our love on others for their healing and transformation.’

 

10 Day (Energizing) Marathon

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Even though the ten day Happy Church Maturity Convention seemed initially like a marathon it was an energizing marathon. By the grand finale yesterday with over a thousand in attendace there was a clear sense of having been blessed by a ‘breakthrough’ which was the theme of the conference. A significant benefit of the week was the fellowship with the people of Happy Church. Here we share a meal with Bishop James Karanja and his wife Rose.

The presence of the Lord was very clearly experienced by all who participated. We learned as much and perhaps even more than we ministered.

I leave for home tremendously blessed and of course with priceless memories of what God did as our team walked and served together.

Happy Church Maturity Convention

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Happy Church Maturity Convention

Happy Church Maturity Convention: Five one hour presentations each day; each presentation preceded by a half hour or more of worship. First session at 10 am and last is over at 7:30 pm. Lunch from 1pm till 2:30 pm. Dinner after sessions finished at 7:30pm.

Crowd expands to several hundred by evening when people join the conference after work. Conference theme is “ This is the year of Breakthrough.”

God has faithfully ‘fed’ each speaker so what has been shared has been life-giving and has truly equipped participants to ‘position themselves for a breakthrough’.

 

Anticipation

Anticipation

P.C. Alexander of PTL-India joined Lawrence Chiles, Chinedum Uwaga and myself to participate in the Happy Church Maturity Convention. We are all hosted in the home of Bishop Joseph and Pastor Jane Kamau. The conference starts tonight but we have already had a great time of stories and laughter and hearing the Lord together for the Conference. KLN pastors africa

IMPACT Conference

KLN July retreat 2KLN July conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMPACT Conference

The Trinity has been likened to a dance in which the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: 1) Honor one another; 2) Defer to one another; and 3) Commune with one another. (The Devil does not honor, or defer to anyone but rather wants every one to revolve around him.) The Trinity invites us into this eternal dance whereby we honor, defer and commune with the God-head and we honor, defer and commune with one another in the family of God.

I experienced just such a dance this past week, July 23-26, in the Kingdom Life Network (KLN) annual IMPACT Conference at Grace Chapel, Elizabethtown, PA. It felt like a first century church conference. Leaders with giftings from the Holy Spirit ministered powerfully yet they deferred to one another, honored one another and communed with one another.

A brother with an apostolic and healing anointing whom God had used to plant over 75 churches and raise five people from the dead, deferred to a young sister, whom He sensed God was anointing with healing gifts, to pray a healing prayer over a pastor suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Young men and women were teamed with seasoned leaders to bring the word of God to the conference in the plenary sessions. Worship teams brought us all to the feet of Jesus in joyful celebration. Participants from around the globe blessed and honored one another. A Bible college in India, directed by P.C. Alexander, bestowed an honorary doctorate on an elderly brother, Pastor Luke Weaver, who was mightily used of God regionally as well as internationally to open the door for a move of the Holy Spirit that has impacted the nations.

Conference participants were challenged to become ‘Resurrection Cells’ to transform our culture, bringing the salvation of God to people devastated by the terror of these days.

A nominal Syrian Christian living in Staten Island had been dramatically rescued from death by God during Hurricane Sandy. Upon being rescued he immediately began helping others devastated by the storm. He has been used by God to pass out millions of dollars worth of relief supplies as he daily listens for God’s direction and then simply does what God asks him to do. During the conference he stated that he is now sensing that God wants him to plant a church in Staten Island. Pastors from KLN, Doug Lamb and Chinedum Uwaga, who were divinely connected with this Syrian brother, are now committed to walking with him in the church planting process.

A Ugandan missionary to the United States, David Kandole, who was used by God to plant a very successful church in the inner city of Harrisburg, introduced a young man whom he is mentoring , Nashon Walker, who was facing 85 years in jail for crimes he had committed but who met the Lord in prison and is now, several years later, planting a church in Harrisburg and developing a program to disciple and mentor persons in prison and post release from prison.

Conference participants were ministered to individually by a prophetic presbytery composed of ministers from South Africa, Nigeria, South Carolina and PA: Allan and Rose Chambers, Chinedum and Nkechi Uwaga,John Harris, David Hoeflin and Vard Gainor.

Don Hess served the conference by producing a daily report of the conference in a newspaper entitled KLN Kronicles.

During this conference Pastors Dean Landis, Don Lamb and Mel Weaver gave leadership to a youth camp, ages 8-12, called Camp Awake. Sixty youth participated in this camp held on the grounds of Grace Chapel at the same time that the Impact Conference was being held. Approximately 75% of the youth were from non-Christian homes and over half of the campers made commitments to Christ during the week.

Campers were powerfully impacted by the experience and testimony of three of their counselors from the same family who lost their home when a powerful explosion totally obliterated their home during the week as they were ministering to the campers in Camp Awake.

Conference participants were challenged with the word that through Jesus, authority has been given unto us to go into all nations and bring Kingdom Life and by so doing to plunder the strong man’s house, for Satan, the strong man, has been bound, and our ultimate victory is assured.

 

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