November 22, 2013

Feedback from Recent Ministry Trips in Ontario and Virginia (Steve)

Over the past month you may have noticed that Debs and I have been traveling a little more than usual. It has been an abnormally busy season for us in our role as team members on the New Covenant Ministries International translocal ministry team but a wonderfully fruitful season too. Here is some feedback from these ministry trips.

Oct 22-27th Debs and I visited a number of churches in the Toronto area…

Central Church, Waterloo ONT (Fred & Catherine Serez)

Some of you might remember CITC praying for Fred Serez. For over a year he has been severely debilitated by a neurological condition that leaves him almost paralyzed by extreme pain in his lower right leg. Not only have he and his family suffered but his church and small eldership team have too. Some of the NCMI and CITC leaders (Debs and I, Nate and Jamie and Dave and Kathy, along with James) who are friends with the Serez’ and their church will be ministering every 6-8 weeks over the next 7 months as we help them through this difficult season. We are full of faith though that God’s grace will be upon Central Church’s leaders and the Serez’s and we’re trusting for complete healing and restoration. Please stand with us in prayer. James and I travel this weekend (Nov 22nd – 24th) to minister and kick-start this season of partnership.

LifeHouse Church, Mississauga ONT (James & Leigh Colgan)

I spent a very encouraging 2 days with James and Leigh, building off a lot of the work Ken Grenfell has done in helping their eldership team through a difficult season.

Elders & Wives from NCMI Partnering churches in the eastern half of Canada

Over the weekend, the eldership teams from all the partnering churches in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa and then a few churches from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick gathered at The Bridge Church led by Mark & Bridget Elwood (Pickering, ONT) for a two day get together of worship, fellowship, ministry and teaching that Debs and I led. It was a wonderfully encouraging time seeing the Lord strengthen and equip these great leadership teams.

The Bridge Church, Pickering ONT (Mark & Bridget Elwood)

Debs and I stayed on to minister Sunday morning at The Bridge Church. The church is nearly 100 years old and although it was recently shaken by poor leadership from the previous lead-elder, God has brought great strength and stability through Mark and Bridget and their eldership team’s leadership. Mark sent the following feedback about our time with their church; “We are grateful that CITC was able to release Steve and Debs to come at short notice. The message he brought on Sunday was helpful, as it was along the lines of where we are at as a church, so it spoke directly into our context. Hugely helpful. As one of the elders said “I thought we finished our series last week?” Debs’ prophetic words were in line with other words brought by prophetically gifted people we trust, so that too was helpful. Hopefully the church was able to make the connections, as we did. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know them better. All in all a great weekend.”
While I was in the area I was able to spend a day and night  in downtown Toronto walking the city streets and praying for God to send church planters to this extremely strategic city. Any interest from anyone? 🙂

Nov 8-10th Sudworths & Whiteleys ministered in Virginia…

Last weekend the Whiteleys joined Debs and I on our ministry visit to FreeLife Church in Leesburg VA led by Ken and Michelle Grenfell. Here is some feedback from Nancy; “Our church was strengthened when the Grenfells came to us from Leesburg. How good it was to be able to offer encouragement to Free Life Church, that the Grenfells along with their eldership team lead. It really is good to be in relationship with other churches. We’re blessed by the friendships and the partnerships.

On Friday evening, we joined the youth group. Steve and Chris had to go through an initiation that made for some laughter but the ice was broken. We entered into a powerful time of youth-led worship. This paved the way for Steve to share the Word. A time of ministry followed where Debbie sang over the group. There were prophetic words shared by our team over the group as well as individuals. The youth opened their hearts to the Lord and us and I believe they were encouraged.

(Saturday morning Steve and Chris attended a men’s breakfast where Steve taught out of Ps 23 and they both ministered prophetically over the men.) On Saturday we met with the core leadership team of the church where Steve taught on preaching and teaching and encouraged the group to see this as one of the greater works. He shared insight and keys. This also was followed by a time of ministry where many responded to prayer to be released more in preaching and teaching. Again prophetic words were released to folk by the team. Finally, we all connected over dinner together. Our hearts were warmed once more by this time.

Our last day was Sunday. As CITC does, the church meet in a large high school auditorium and like us are trusting God to fill it with lives given to Jesus. Ministry continued as Steve taught on Acts 16 and our team joined theirs to pray for people afterwards. We trust the church was strengthened as together we worshipped Jesus, enjoyed the Lord’s presence in our midst and also enjoyed continuing to build the friendship we have with FreeLife.”
This past weekend Dave Swart ministered at churches in Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island BC. I’m sure he’ll send feedback in due course but I mention that as a testimony that God has blessed us with a wonderfully strong and gifted leadership team that has enabled CITC to become a base church that seeks to resource Kingdom work in our city and beyond alongside churches that we partner with as the Lord leads.

October 30, 2013

Protected & Sustained (Mark)

Listen to this great testimony of God’s protection and sustaining shared by Mark Nelson:

Recorded Sunday, October 27th, 2013 at Church in the City

September 25, 2013

Feedback from Ministry Trip to Fusion Point Church (Durham, NC) Sep 13th-15th, 2013

“Having Steve in for the weekend was wonderful. To teach about being part of the NCMI family, to welcome the gifts that Jesus gave to the church in the form of the five-fold ministers, is part of what my wife Debs and I have taught Fusion Point Church over a number of years. However, for many of our people, his ministry into our church became an ‘Aha moment!’ Many of our people were able to see it play out before their eyes. It was fantastic to see their responses. Furthermore, Steve serves as an elder in the church until such time as we are able to raise up local elders from within our congregation. We have spoken about and longed for a team of elders to lead the church and it was great to feel the dynamic of team and for the people to meet him and form a relationship with him for the first time.

“I was so thankful for his passionate teaching and the way that he got close to the people, it meant a lot to them. The Kingdom teaching was dynamic and yet so simply and clearly taught. To see the apostolic in action, to see faith rise in the lives of Fusion Point Church for our future is very exciting. To me, this is critical, without the function of the five fold ministry into the life of a local church, we will not grow into all that God has planned for us to be and do.  His input brought a sense of security to the body. We might be small, but we are making an impact and the kingdom is advancing. In a traditional mindset, we treat the apostolic gifts as itinerant guest speakers who are there to present their best sermons for the benefit of the listeners, but we welcome them as gifts to the church as the Bible encourages us to. Without saying the obvious he was able to identify with Fusion Point Church as a friend who is part of our family and yet challenged them to expect the Kingdom of God to come in our context. This is why Jesus gave gifts to His church, to allow these gifts to bring his church into maturity so that all the body of Christ can do the work of the ministry. Thank you for releasing Steve this weekend which allowed God to do what He did through him this past weekend. We look forward to a continuing relationship with Church in the City for the glory of Jesus.”

– Barry Engelbrecht

August 14, 2013

My mom knows Jesus (Nok)

I became a Christian 14 years ago in Thailand, in the Buddhist context. Almost everyone in Thailand are Buddhists. It is not easy for one person to accept Christ. It means a major paradigm shift. Since I came to faith, I told my family about it, hoping that they too will come to know Him one day.

God has indeed done a lot in my family. I saw the softening of the hearts in my family, I even saw curiosity in their life about Christian faith at times. I always felt I needed to move to Thailand soon, because the only way my family would know God is through me, the only person who is a Christian.

But then about two years ago, my aunt and my cousins came to know the LORD. I was so amazed by that. They witnessed to my mom a lot. My aunt said Buddhism never made her happy. And her neighbor kept witnessing to her for four years. One day she just got up and walked to church. Since then, her life and her son’s family have changed, filled with true love and true joy for the first time. And my mom saw that.

Meanwhile, God has already put a lot of believers in her life, myself, my husband and his family. Then came my mom’s neighbor who came to know Christ through Moody Bible Institute team’s visiting Thailand, and then her mom. My mom saw the life before and after, and the joy in them. God also put another witness in her life, a blind masseuse (In Thailand, it is $5/hour of massage). This person while massaging could not stop talking about the goodness of Jesus.

My mom probably noticed how God ambushed her in His grace. These past few months, my mom’s heart has been opened more to the Good News. She visited my aunt’s church regularly, and started listening to the message. When we talked on the phone, she liked to say the Christian messages are really good and easily applicable to my life, unlike the Buddhist teaching. Then, she began sharing with me more excitedly about lessons she learned, such as Jesus is the Good Shepherd. What a joy that brought to my ears!

One day she told me that she was looking for something to fix a pair of pants and came across my old Bible and started reading it. That is when I knew she was close to accepting Christ. Her heart has never been this open before, so that is when I told people to start praying for her. A Korean missionary who does the bible study with my sister (she is still not a believer) wrote me that he would pray and fast for her salvation for twenty days. I myself prayed and prayed, asking the LORD to reap her soul.

Then, this past Friday, all the prayer for 14 years from many many people was answered. My aunt invited her to a revival service at her church. My mom did not want to go but God gave her a dream on Thursday night that she was sitting in a church, so she decided to go. The sermon was so captivating to her that, she could not resist any longer and went to the front to accept Jesus.

When I heard of the news, I was so amazed and I called her the next day, just to check her faith. She believes that she is a sinner (very hard for a Thai Buddhist to accept that) and she believes that Jesus came to die for her to liberate her from sin. She still has some fear about the business, now that she can no longer offer incense and food to or worship the little guardian gods/spirits. What would happen to the business? I asked her if she wanted all the fear and doubt removed and she said yes, so I prayed for her. She was in tears during the prayer (And my mom is a tough woman who does not cry.) I know the Spirit was moving in her heart.

Next day my sister took her out for a special dinner, celebrating Mother’s day one day early. (It falls on august 12 in Thailand). It was so neat that my dad even noticed the change in my mom. He said from now on I will give you a new name, Mrs. Patience (because she is quite an impatient person and liked to fight with my dad daily). My sis said Dad has a new wife (a joke) but that is the same thing with the transformation message that Steve preached today.

The American mother’s day this year was May 12th. That was the day when I called my mom to share with her something in my heart and she said on the phone “Nok, let me tell you what your problem is, you trust your God too much.” Those words really hurt me that when I bear my heart to my earthly mother, she could not relate and even told me the opposite to the truth, that I ought to trust God for He alone is good and sovereign. God knows my desire to have a mother who is both earthly and spiritual. But now, just a few months later, that prayer has been answered. My mom is now in my family of faith. She will no longer told me to not trust God too much, for she too knows the riches of His glory.

Many people told me when I came to Christ that they prayed for their parents for 10 years, some 20 years. I was hoping that it would not take too long, but now 14 years past, I know that the return of joy from this persistent prayer is so worth it. My mom knows the Lord. She is saved. I am amazed at God’s mercy. Praise the Lord. And I believe that my sister and my dad will come to know Him as well.

So if anyone of you have an unsaved loved one, do not give up. Just keep praying and waiting to see with expectancy when God’s wind is moving. And let us be faithful in prayer :> God hears our cry.

– Nok

 

——

Wow. An amazing story of God working to bring salvation — a perfect follow-up to what Steve preached on Sunday.  Let’s trust for more stories like this one!

July 16, 2013

Testimonies from Street Outreach (Tommy & Clive)

Tommy & Clive shared some incredible testimonies on Sunday about how God is working in our community and city through us sharing His love! — You can listen to those stories, and how they tied into Sunday’s sermon on our podcast

April 30, 2013

To The Awesome Aggregation Of The CITC Community (Marie)

Hey everyone — Thank you for helping & blessing Marie! Read her thanks/testimony below:

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TO:  The awesome aggregation of the CITC community ……

 
When the Lord told Moses to build the temple, He gave him specific instructions.  Moses then asked Israel to bring their resources of gold, silver, bronze, linen, jewelry and so on.   The people brought their freewill offerings so the workers could start the work on the temple. The Israelite came morning  after morning bringing their offerings. The workers soon came to Moses and told him the people are bringing TOO much.   So, Moses gave an order for the people to restrain from bringing their offerings because the laborers had quite enough or I should say more than enough to build the temple.
 
Now, I said all that to say, Hands and Feet Ministry sent out the call for whosoever will to be a blessing to one of our family members.  CITC responded in such an abundance that the recipient, Marie Fields, is requesting you to restrain from bringing your offerings of food.  I appreciate every dish and they all taste like more…..I even have some left-overs in my freezer.
 
CITC, your generosity has truly baffled me…… you have gone out of your way to be a blessing to me….. you have spent of your resources, labored in your kitchens ….. took time out to visit and pray with me and much more …. if that isn’t LOVE, I don’t know what love is.
 
It rejoices my heart to be part of this body of believers.  I thank the Lord for each of you and I love you all so very much.
 
Yours in Christ …. love always ….
 
marie fields
April 10, 2013

Healing in Mongolia (Quantas)

Check out this amazing testimony from the recent ministry trip to Mongolia!

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I received a healing testimony from Mongolia today via FB. Ganji, one of the pastors of the local church, sent me an email saying that an old woman I prayed for was healed of her heart condition. After the church service where Mat spoke, he called up people who needed healing and people who wanted to start a business. He laid hands on each of them and then sometimes he would have me to continue to pray for them. One of them was this old woman who had a heart condition. I prayed in English, she spoke Mongolian. Below is the email I got from Ganji.

**
Dear Quantas,

How are you doing?

Do you remember that you helped with the clinic check up for church people here. One of the old lady who had heart problem and you prayed for her healing.
She came to me and said her heart healed completely after you prayed and didn’t have pain again.
And she asked your name and said -I will be praying for him.
I believe this is encouraging for you.
If you have any prayer requests write to me and I will tell her to pray about when she pray for you.
Blessings
Ganji
**

WOOT!

– Quantas

March 27, 2013

God’s Provision (Coates)

Listen to this great story of God’s provision shared by Jacqui:

Recorded Sunday, March 24th, 2013 at Church in the City

March 14, 2013

Feedback from Ministry Trip to Westside Church (Placerville, CA) Feb 28th – Mar 3rd, 2013

Westside Church (www.westsideinfo.com) in Placerville, CA is led by Steve & Teri Barr who visited CITC last year. Westside, like Church in the City, partner with the Eph-4 team called New Covenant Ministries International (www.ncmi.net). Hue & Vanessa and Debs & I had the opportunity to minister in their church and help lead a leaders retreat. Below is some feedback from the weekend.

– Steve

 

From Hue:

Visiting Westside church, in Placerville, CA, was an incredible experience for Vanessa and I as we accompanied Steve and Debs on their apostolic trip.  Steve did exceptionally well in teaching at their leadership retreat, and preaching at all three of their services (you read that correctly, three services). We went there with the desire to bless Westside in whatever capacity we could; friendship, encouragement, sharing testimonies, praying, etc.  I felt we were able to minister to their leadership team in so many different areas.  It was exciting to see that Westside, even though they are different to our church, carry a similar heart.  Their desire to carry Jesus’ mandate of advancing the Kingdom was evident.  Vanessa and I were able to share some of strengths of CITC to Westside through prophetic words, encouragement, and building relationships with their leaders. At the same time, we learned about their strengths, some of which CITC is growing in, and we have brought that back with us to help us be a more mature body.  I always understood the verses from Eph 4:12-13 but got to experience these truths at a different level will on this trip. It was a delight to use gifts to help churches grow and mature.

 

From Vanessa:

It was so great to travel with Steve and Debs to Westside church.  Hue and I absolutely loved the church and the people so much and felt an instant connection to them when we went.   I couldn’t believe how much God expanded our hearts while we were there, just in saying “yes” to Him and going.  I did not know how much we would be enlarged by it but I also came away with such an appreciation of the partnership we have with other churches.  We really are “co-laborers” together in this work and it brought me so much comfort to know we have these partners across the country and in other nations even, who are in it with us, fighting for the same things, praying for us, working together with us, and advancing the Kingdom together.  That was the best part or me.  I have much to grow in, in the area of surrender, but for me, I really saw that when God is pressing on our hearts to do something, even when it costs us something, a flight ticket, time away from your families, getting out of your comfort zone, a lost weekend to do all the things you want to do, He really comes through and we were more blessed I’m sure, than the people we went to bless.

February 26, 2013

Declaring God’s Goodness (Sabrina)

Thanks to Sabrina for sharing her story of how God has been good to her family.

Hi Everyone!

I want to declare God’s goodness toward me and my sons Kevin and Kameron. They both have autism and it is a struggle, but God is giving me continued grace to deal with their different spectrum levels. I love how God sets things in motion in order to take care of us. Kevin was recently complaining of chest pains and Kameron was bitten by one of his classmates. God blessed for me to get them to see a doctor without having to go to the emergency room; both turned out fine and I just want to give God the glory for that. Continue to hold us up in prayer as I’m looking for God to do more miraculous things for us!

– Sabrina