“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:23-26)
Ana of the Jedi Sector of OC! The first baptism of 2021!
Today is “Bring Your Neighbor Day!” It is always so exciting to see new faces and to watch our visitor’s expressions as they come in contact with the Kingdom of God for the first time. As we read in the Scripture above, faith in God is synonymous with hearing Jesus’ words, and believing that God will give us whatever we ask for in His name. This is faith that can change this hurting world in our generation!
After sending out the San Diego / Tijuana Mission Team in 2020, God blessed His humble servants here in LA with a remarkable net growth of seven disciples in August, fourteen in September, six in ROCKtober, thirteen in November, and another thirteen in December. By year’s end, we achieved our prayer goal of 930 disciples for the Lord, an exceptional +63 net growth in five months. In spite of the pandemic, fires, and social and political upheavals, God has poured out His blessings on His people. We are a “going and growing” church for a coming Christ! Thank you, Lord! God is awesome and we give Him all the glory.
Excitingly, selfless MERCYworldwide ambassadors from the City of Angels International Christian Church (CAICC) donated 213 pints of blood during our November Blood Drive, which could potentially save up to 639 lives. MERCYworldwide has made a significant impact here in LA. We are looking forward to supporting many more awesome MERCYworldwide events!
Josiah and Kristin Smith – The newly appointed leaders of the AMS Region and MERCYworldwide LA!
Furthermore, the Spirit has expanded the LA Church to thirteen Regions with the addition of our Spanish Region, valiantly led by Victor and Sonia Gonzalez. The Inland Empire (IE) Region has now “sectorized!” The three new sectors are “Down By The Riverside,” (DBTR) led by Caleb & Lizbeth Cohen, “High Desert,” (HD) led by Matthew and Marlo Lovacheff, and “Vine,” led by Steven & Nancy Stancil! Equally exciting is the sectorizing of the Southland Region: “The Diamond Brigade,” led by Stacy and Lynette Ybarra, and “Living Waters,” led by newly appointed Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader Michael and Jasmin Peterson! We also witnessed the incredible appointments of Josiah and Kristin Smith (photo above) and Nick Kley and Jessie Rojo!
The inspiring appointment of Nick Kley and Jessie Rojo! (From left to right: Tim and Lianne Kernan, Jessie Rojo, Nick Kley, Elizabeth and Richie McDonnell.)
The moving appointment of (right) Michael and Jasmin Peterson by (left) Stacy and Lynette Ybarra!
I would also like to commend the church on a successful new year’s pledge drive. Congratulations on shattering our goals in both weekly contribution pledges of over $51,000, and our Spring Special Missions pledge of $1,166,000! Because of your extraordinary faith and generosity, God has set us up to see some miraculous plantings this year: Yaoundé, Cameroon, led by Amadou and Angele Sountoura, Brazzaville, Congo, led by Daniel and Patricia Manza, Colombo, Sri Lanka, led by Tamil and Jayasree Selvan, Edinburgh, Scotland, led by Kolbe and Rebecca Gray, Lisbon, Portugal, led by Tulio and Vaitsa Amaral, Blue Camel 2 (in the middle east locations of our churches and leaders are confidential), Baguio City, Philippines, led by Marc and Maika Carbonell, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, led by Nick and Dao Enfantino, Boise, Idaho, led by Jorge and Valeria Castillo, Providence, Rhode Island, led by Calder and Cassandra Akin, Detroit, Michigan, led by Jeremiah and Julie Clark, St. Louis, Missouri, led by our very own Jay and Alicia Causey, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, led by Mike and Stephanie Schaffer!
The exciting appointment of Matt and Anna Granados as Shepherds in the Heat Sector of the OC Region! (Left to right: Jose Caranza, Monica Vazquez, Matt and Anna Granados, and Therese and Tony Untalan.)
The incredible appointment of the Manels in the Jedi Sector of the OC Region! (Left to right: Rob and Burgundie Onekea, David and Maricela Manell, and Therese and Tony Untalan.)
Jose Carranza Leon and Monica Vasquez, leaders of the OC Heat Sector are now engaged!
As we fund the mission around the world we must make sure that every attendee to today’s Bring Your Neighbor Day here in LA has an opportunity to be in personal First Principles Bible Studies! We are so excited to hear about all the amazing fresh studies that are set up in every Region today! We are also really looking forward to our March Women’s Day entitled “Be a Light!” Thank you April Baker for all your hard work directing this incredible event for all the women of LA!
As we head into this incredible year, let us remember some of the extraordinary challenges we heard issued at our Winter Workshop:
- Set A Personal Example Early: (Titus 2:7, 1 Timothy 4:12) Jesus led by example and we must imitate this! Ask yourself, “What if everyone in the church was exactly like me?”
- Call Everyone To Pray And Fast For Fruit: (Matthew 9:38) Fast from something you love and pray for God to help you meet someone who will become a true disciple of Jesus Christ! There are no obstacles to fruitfulness, only costs!
- Set Up A New Study At Least Every Week: (Galatians 6:7) Being in Bible studies with a non-Christian is one of the most fun and encouraging things you can do! Do not hold back!
- Go And Make Family: (Matthew 12:48) Commit to converting a son or daughter and a brother or a sister in the faith!
- Evangelistic Social Media: (Colossians 4:3) Baptize your social media platforms into Christ! Photos, posts, videos can go viral and impact many people!
- Every Household A Church: (Acts 5:42) Commit yourself to family devotionals in your homes, consistant marriage counselling and/or discipling, and make every home a healthy place of refuge in our community!
- Love The Battle – Stay Zealous, Gritty, And Loyal, No Matter What Happens: (Hebrews 12:7) Whatever happens, our God has caused it or allowed it to happen. He has not surrendered His sovereignty. Face what comes with courage – “We are built for this and built for that!”
Finally, we would like to ask everyone to pray for our 2021 Congregational prayer goals!
- To appoint at least two more Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader Couples and have at least one Shepherding Couple in every Region and Sector.
- To establish, at minimum, a strong house church in Bakersfield and Santa Barbara.
- To reach 1,000 disciples for the Lord here in the CAICC by instilling a godly love for the lost in every disciple.
- To reach 10,000 disciples in our Movement and blow out our May Special Missions Contribution.
- For every sister in the CAICC to have the most studies and baptisms ever coming out of this year’s Women’s Day.
- To add at least two more Bible Talks in every Region.
- To ensure that every disciple who needs Life Skills, Brave Hearts (Emotional Recovery), or Chemical Recovery training receives it.
Lastly, Lianne and I just want to say how grateful we are for the Super Region Leaders: the Bakers, Carrs, McDonnells, and Gregorys; for each Region Leader; for the Congregational Shepherds: the Untalans and Kirchners, who ensure the spiritual health of the Staff; and for the Keenans, our CAICC / Tribe World Sector Admin Couple, who support us all as we advance the church. Each staff member and each disciple in LA is so important. In particular, we are all so grateful for Kip and Elena, who provide daily encouragement, insight, and discipling for Lianne and me.
Thank you all and God bless you as we venture out boldly to move mountains and evangelize the world in this generation!