By Dave Taylor on Feb 04, 2021 06:59 am
In Isaiah 66.1-2a we read the following,
'Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD.”’
This is the sheer magnificence of God. He is the author and creator and sustainer of all creation. For from Him and to Him and through Him are all things… And what confidence that powerful reality should give us as we pray to Him. All of creation, His wonderful hand has made, and so here’s how we can be praying to Him in the month ahead…
Please pray for Jeffrey Jo in Manila, Philippines; Cornelio Ebo in Cebu City, Philippines; Dyonah Thomas in Liberia, JP Ravuri in India & Mario Vucenovic in Croatia, as they continue to work through the Sovereign Grace Churches ordination process and begin then to take their exams in the next few months.
Please pray for Ben Kreps, Josh Blount & Jeff Purswell as they teach at the Grace Life Pastors College in Monrovia, Liberia, 8th-19th February. Although the teaching will be online, may it be a rich time of teaching and training for our brothers in Liberia, and would many hearts be refreshed, and many relationships be formed and blessed as a result.
Please pray for Jorge and David Del Castillo who at the end of a fruitful season (report below), now find their recent church plant, Iglesia Gracia Soberana in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, having to once again meet online due to the second wave of the covid pandemic. Please pray that God would continue to provide for this new church in resources, grace and wisdom.
Please pray for Zicky Chanda, her four sons, and the members of Christ Community Church in Ndola, Zambia, as they mourn the death of our dear Wilbroad. Our friend and fellow Sovereign Grace Pastor, indeed the first to ever be officially ordained in Africa, will be dearly missed. Please pray also for Doug Hayes, our Sovereign Grace Representative to Zambia, as he seeks to care for the family and Church by taking a trip to be with them, 3th-10th February.
And finally, please pray for the 38 countries that we have Sovereign Grace work going on in, outside of the United States... Australia, Bahamas, Belarus, Benin Republic, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Liberia, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leonne, Somalia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, Venezuela & Zambia So many Nations, yet all held in His Hands.
… May we trust Him, may we keep looking up, and may His grace abound to us all.
Read in browser »
By Dave Taylor on Feb 01, 2021 05:16 am
The following is an update from Michael Granger, Lead Pastor of Trinity Fellowship in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Over the course of our Covid-19 quarantine Trinity Fellowship wrote, recorded, and produced a music album about sin and the gospel… Wow! I’ve attached the Christmas song they produced entitled “Kidus” at the end of the this report. Please don’t miss it. Enjoy…
Our plan for planting a church in Ethiopia was always broken up into two phases, firstly a Soft Launch with our planting team; followed by the second, a Hard Launch (or Official Launch) in which we begin publicly ministering to our community. I am so pleased to report that on Sunday October 4th of 2020, Trinity Fellowship in Addis Ababa had its soft launch in our home. We began with a call to worship from Isaiah 40:9-11 “Behold your God”. That was followed by Abenezer beginning the singing portion of our worship service with Bob Kauflin and Jon Althoff’s song He is Our God.
Our singing was followed by a pastoral prayer and then I preached from Hebrews 11:39-12:2 Looking Unto Jesus. It was the first sermon of a 3-part series entitled Why We’re Gospel Centered. Finally we ended our service by taking communion together. It was a sweet time with one another and with our dear Savior. The last words of the service were, “As my dear pastor and friend CJ Mahaney always says, “I wish tomorrow were Sunday!”
Then, in mid-November we moved from our house to a 200 seat theater in the Bisrate Gebriel neighborhood of Addis Ababa. That was a massive answer to prayer because it is right smack dab in the middle of where we had been praying for a location to meet. Finally on the very last Sunday of the year, December 27th, we celebrated the official launch of Trinity Fellowship in Addis Ababa. We called it a Very Merry Church Plant and with much merriment of heart I’m so pleased to report that by the grace of God we made in as a 2020 church plant! Our text for that Sunday came from Luke 2:25-35 on Simeon’s response to the Messiah. The sermon was entitled God in our Hands. And we had the chance to sing one of our very own Christmas songs. Abenezer Dejene, our Director of Music wrote and recorded Kidus (attached below) which we sang as a church.
In my opinion, it felt like a very fruitful Sunday, and we're stunned by the grace of God. My brother-in-law, who was serving as usher tells me there were around 150 people in attendance. That might be an exaggeration of 1 or 2 dozen, but he’s confident with his figure. And, after the service there was a buzz of excitement in the air. As for me, my heart is full of joy, a very very deep joy that I get to be a part of what God is doing in East Africa. I just can’t believe it! My heart is also flooded with thanksgiving at the generosity of the Lord in giving us such wonderful friends and such a marvelous Ethiopian planting team. And now, by the grace of God, we find ourselves two sermons into our series on Paul’s epistle to the Philippians. Praise God!
Read in browser »
By Dave Taylor on Jan 27, 2021 06:34 am
An update from Joselo Mercado, Lead Pastor of Iglesia Gracia Soberana in Gaithersburg, on a trip he took to Colombia in late 2020…
A couple of days ago in comfortable 80 degree weather, and we are today expecting 3-6 inches of snow!
I arrived home late on Monday night from Santa Marta, Colombia after visiting Iglesia Biblica Soberana Gracia and Pastor Jacobis Aldana. To be honest, I really did not feel like getting on a plane and visiting another continent in the middle of the pandemic, but my wife, Kathy, really encouraged me to continue the work of encouraging pastors and churches. I am so pleased she did, as the trip could not have been better!
I will just give you some of the highlights...
The main purpose of the trip, which was accomplished, was to present the church membership with the possibility of starting an adoption process. The church response was very encouraging, about 5 of the keys leaders of the church communicated their gratefulness to SGC and the impact that Jacobis relationship with me have had in the life of the church.
I Was able to spend time with Jacobis and his family, his wife was super grateful for conversations, laughter and care. Kathy also sent her a very touching note, that she said was something she needed to hear at this time.
A prospective church planter from Bogota came to spend the weekend with his wife. I have been meeting with him for some time and Jacobis has been reaching out to him. He is considering moving to Santa Marta to be at Jacobis’ church and walk a process there.
I had a meeting on Friday with two pastors in Barranquilla. This church was planted by the church in Santa Marta. For a couple of years Jacobis would take a two hour bus ride every Sunday after completing his sermon in Santa Marta to preach in Barranquilla. Out of that effort Iglesia Biblica de la Ciudad was born. Barranquilla is a city of 2 million. The two elders of the church in Barranquilla are interested to see the possibility of adoption. I already have a relationship with one of the elders, I meet with him on a monthly basis for the past 18 months.
The Santa Marta church is helping plant a church in Valencia, Jacobis native town. This is a rural community 10 hours away. Our local church help them buy a vehicle that is allowing Jacobis do trip to invest in the leaders in Valencia.
I’m very optimistic about the relationship with the Santa Marta Church. Jacobis is a very bright, godly man. His main desire to be part of SGC is because of the centrality of the Gospel, he gets that and from my perspective that is the hardest value to get. In my opinion, of all the relationships I have, he is very ahead in the process.
Jacobis will be starting the 9 month ordination process early in 2021. We will hopefully have another trip with a mid-Atlantic elder to continue the process, and then in early 2022 me and my family will look to go and spend 3 weeks there to once again move things forward.
Thank you so much for allowing this ministry to happen!
Read in browser »
By Dave Taylor on Jan 25, 2021 04:41 am
An update from David Del Castillo, Pastor of Gracia Soberana Santa Cruz…
Last time we made a report was in August and we were ready to start the face to face meetings again. In this process there were many considerations, but we saw fit to start again and with the help of the Lord, we were able to gather from September to December without interruption.
Although it has not been easy to effectively invite people to Church during this time, we see how the hand of God has not left us and several people have come. Because not all churches have been able to return to face-to-face meetings, there are people who have visited us and in some way the fact of being able to meet has been a great opportunity for people to meet us and come. Also the series of ¨Knowing our brothers of Sovereign Grace¨ has represented a great way to receive support and enable some to know us when they see the videos, and so thank you to the ones who made them.
Since we have returned to gathering, we are preaching on the book of Mark and it is being a great blessing for us.
In the previous report we presented Fabricio and Gigliana Salazar as a point of prayer, a couple who wanted to be part of the plant, and we want to inform you that they are here now from the beginning of January 2021. Fabricio is praying to serve in the ministry and studies in “Integridad y Sabiduria” , a ministry of Pastor Miguel Nuñez. Gigliana has a lot of experience in children's ministry, having served and been a part of it for many years. They are a true answer to prayer!
Something else that we want to tell you, where we saw God's faithfulness and his incredible sovereignty, was in a children's activity. Brother Frank Huck from the Arche church in Germany, included us in his program of Christmas gifts to children, they have this program where they help ministries to give gifts at Christmas time, they give them to the children while Gospel is preach to them. We were notified that the money had already been sent, something we did not ask for, but we appreciate the generosity.
When we found out, we were happy, but we did not know how we would do the event, that same week we learned that Fabricio and Gigliana would have to come to Santa Cruz to sign a document. So we took advantage of their visit and skills, so that together with them we held the event, as Frank's church was very generous and they gave us enough for 80 children and in our event we only gave away 42 gifts, the next day we went to the Oncological Hospital and gave the rest to the children who were there. They were two beautiful opportunities to tell children about the true meaning of Christmas.
This time has also been very good in training, as Jorge, David, Fabricio and another brother from the church (Jose Manuel) have taken workshops at Simon Trust on the recommendation of Abelardo Muñoz from the church of Mexico in Juarez, who told us that due to the pandemic they were doing them online. Likewise, I was invited to a pilot workshop given by “predica fiel” Ministry which has been very good and in parallel, I was also able to start again classes at Southern Baptist Seminar after a break for over a year for moving and planting the church.
Please join us in praying that the Lord will let us go back to face to face meetings, something we have had to stop again due to the increasing cases of Covid in the second wave here in Bolivia.
Thank you so much for the support you are for this church, God has really been faithful.
I hope God is blessing you as well.
Read in browser »
By Dave Taylor on Jan 24, 2021 05:57 am
An update from Mike Seaver, Lead Pastor of Risen Hope Church in Summerville, SC, USA, and head of our Global Coach Training… We are so grateful for his labours!!
One of the greatest assets we have as Sovereign Grace Churches is church planters. These are gifted, called, and qualified men that will preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and plant new congregations throughout the world. At Sovereign Grace, we want to give these men a great theological education (Pastors College) and we want to give them practical help when they hit the ground in church planting (gospel coaching). It is with this second aspect in view that we sought to train SG Certified Global Coaches to help our global church planters.
Under Dave Taylor's leadership, Greg Dirnberger and I spent several months training these Global Coaches. The Coaching Certification consisted of a four day intensive training, followed by monthly "Trihorts" where those students being trained would be coached, observe coaching, and then coach another student. These monthly sessions then turn into longer experiences of coaching where the student grows in his ability and confidence to coach as well as receives feedback on his coaching. The student also receives monthly coaching on real life situations of his current pastoral ministry.
Well, in early December 2020, ten Sovereign Grace pastors completed this certification. (Ken Delage, Bert Turner, Kyle Huber, Allen Dicharry, Erik Rangel, Ed O'Mara, John Reyes, CB Eder, Pat Tedeschi, and Josh Murphy). Our "Zoom Graduation" turned into a time of encouragement with each guy recounting how he had grown during the training and the benefit each of them felt as they were regularly coaching and being coached through a global pandemic.
This team of Global Coaches have already been a blessing to our global church planters and we look forward to seeing how this investment will bless SG in years to come.
Read in browser »
By Dave Taylor on Jan 23, 2021 04:20 am
While the global pandemic that started in 2020 brought many challenges, not surprisingly, the light of Christ has shone brightly in the darkness. Over the past two or three years, Todd Peterson, an elder at Cross of Grace Church in El Paso, TX (led by Ricky Alcantar) and a member of our Emerging Nations Team, developed a relationship with a pastor in India from the Andrha Pradesh region. His name is Jayaprakash. We call him JP.
Todd has had the opportunity to visit JP in India. And as the pandemic affected JP’s village, Todd sought to find a way to help. Asking his local church for help, the members there raised money to help JP buy food to share with the villagers. This is particularly significant for two reasons: one is that most of the villagers are day laborers so food was scarce and two, the village is very segregated. Hindus live on one side. A few Christians and Muslims live on the other side. But when JP was able to purchase this food and create bundles to share, some of his church members went to the Hindu side of the village and gave it away. The result is that some Hindus have visited JP’s church, some even being born again! What a glorious gospel! What a glorious partnership between one small church in El Paso and a small church in India! As one church shares resources with another the result is life changing—Hindus becoming Christians!
If you are interested in more details, please watch the video below. It’s an update that Todd gave Cross of Grace Church.
Read in browser »
Things To Pray For In January
2020 Global Update
Things To Pray For In December
Serving Churches In Belarus
Writing For A Spanish Speaking World