Dallas, Texas January 7-9
This is my first time being part of what is known as the Texas Roundup. This annual gathering consists of Christian leaders from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and this year, Kansas. More than 140 leaders gather for fellowship, teaching and inspiration to lead God's church in the coming year. This meeting has been going on for at least 12 years.
Editor's note: The following is shared from the North River Church of Christ newsletter.
Every new birth in Christ is, of course, exciting. We, along with angels in heaven, rejoice! The North River Church family was grateful that God's grace allowed 113 more souls to enter his family through our outreach in 2017.
Caryn and I served for 20 years in the full-time ministry, starting in 1989 as interns in the Boston Church of Christ campus ministry. Appointed in 1994 by Randy and Kay McKean, we were sent out with a small team to plant the church in Bucharest, Romania. There we witnessed miracles—over 500 attended the first service, 200 came back the following night to study the Bible, and dozens were baptized in that first year! We lived Jehoshaphat’s prayer (“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you”, 2 Chronicles 20:12b). In those early years, ministry life was hard, chaotic, wonderful, and full. We felt God using us in great ways. The call to serve, the sacrifice, the work—it all made sense.
Over the weekend of November 4, 2017, in Moscow, during the national holiday weekend for Unification of Russia Day and the 100th anniversary of the Communist Bolshevik Revolution, 36 very inspiring, aspiring ministers from seven cities across Eurasia gathered to study an overview of the New Testament at the second session of the new Eurasian Churches' Mission School for young ministry interns.
2017 has been a year of milestones for the Central Jersey Church of Christ and Shore Points Church. Earlier this year we were able to appoint an eldership, and on Sunday, November 19th we were blessed to see our first evangelist and women's ministry appointed in the Shore Points Church - Khai & Victoria Le.
My wife, La Micia and I began our new journey leading the Youth and Family Ministry in Southern Connecticut Church of Christ on May 1, 2017. If you would have told me how this all would have happened, I wouldn't have believed you. As I think back on the last three years, I am in awe of the way God works.
At the end of the summer of 2014, thirty disciples began the Ocean State Church of Christ. Sent out from an inspiring New England Christian Conference with 3,000+ participants, our team knew that God would do amazing things. And he did. But not exactly how we thought he would.
Lagos Nigeria, June 28-July 3
This is my fourth visit to Lagos. It is a sprawling city on the western coast of Nigeria with a population of just over twenty million. It is the economic and cultural heart of the most populous country in Africa. This is a very religious city, with a church on almost every corner. Most of the billboards advertise various churches. The form of Christianity here is prosperity gospel, with a charismatic flavor. The traffic here is legendary, but it is not a legend: It is true. However, I see many improvements from my past visits. Drivers have begun to obey traffic laws and the streets are in much better condition. The government here is very corrupt, but it is good to see that things have at least turned in a better direction. Of course, Nigeria is going through a very troubled time with the battle against Boko Haram militants, but this fighting is far away in the north of the country, where Islam is the dominant religion. The dominant religion in the south is Christianity.
We are Christians, and we are on mission. We believe the Spirit of God has orchestrated this. We are calling it the “Midlands Mission Project.”
Early in 2017, a small group of the Columbia Church of Christ (led by Brett Caswell) was moved to hold evangelistic Bible talks in Orangeburg, South Carolina where some of their group members lived (in between Charleston and Columbia, about an hour south of Columbia). At the same time, the evangelists of the Columbia church (Scott Kirkpatrick) and Charleston Church of Christ (Lowell Hoover) were discussing the opportunity to evangelize and bring the gospel to Orangeburg.