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.
Many have asked about how Space Coast Church is doing since being planted in January of 2016. We are happy to report that the church has grown by 71%, with the greatest share of that growth coming through baptisms! God has blessed us greatly as we have experienced many victories in our outreach to the community, including several married couples.
"It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation...But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain." -- Romans 15:20, 23-24
Paul’s ambition was to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, and eventually to do so in Spain. That dream is coming to fruition in Madrid as La Iglesia de los Discípulos de Cristo en Madrid strives to preach the word to the 6.5 million people in our city. We pray every day for God to connect us to people who are seeking him, and he is answering our prayers in amazing ways.
Editor's note: The following is shared from the North River Church of Christ newsletter.
Though we are miles away from you, we feel your love, support and presence daily. We literally feel that we have been carried by your prayers. Thank you to everyone who put a reminder in their phone to pray for us daily. You have been a part of every heartfelt talk, every honest conversation and every changed heart. Thank you.
God is on the move in South Dakota!
My name is Shannon Van Zee, and together with my wife Janella and daughter Daniella, we are excited to officially announce our move to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the beginning of a house church in the city. We just recently transitioned to Sioux Falls to help start what we believe is God's desire to see people here come to a great relationship with him. Sioux Falls is the largest and most influential city in the state and region, a city with a thriving economy and growing diversity.
God of wonders!
What an appropriate theme for the 25th anniversary of the Kiev Church of Christ, which was planted on June 7, 1992, from the one-year-old Moscow church. After arriving on a Tuesday, we had only five days to share our faith and wait for God to bring a harvest. God did just that, as over 500 people came to service that first Sunday! The next night, God brought over 270 open hearts with a desire to know the Bible. After daily Bible studies, 28 people where baptized into Christ the very next Sunday! By the end of the first month God added 77 people to the Kiev Church and he has now multiplied them to a Sunday attendance of 1800. God blessed us with planting eight more churches in Ukraine as well!
Another glorifying miracle has happened in the Lebanon Church of Christ. God is collecting his lost children, even those who have grown up following traditional Christianity. Nicolas is the father of Said, who got baptized a year ago.
Nicolas came to his son’s baptism and didn’t fight his son’s decision even though the whole event was strange to him because Said was already baptized as a child! Then he had a painful accident that kept him at the hospital for months. That crisis broke him down because he felt death was so close to a man of his age. When I sat down with him to talk, he realized that his relationship with God was not right!