Alliance Life: March/April 2023

Page 1



Developing healthy leaders for a strong gospel witness pg. 6



Preparing for God’s mission is an outward and inward work pg. 20


Empowering young Thai pastors to follow God’s call pg. 24



Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness (Phil. 2:4–7).

I still remember the words of an elder’s wife who said to me, “We want to restore you, develop you, and then send you out.” This invitation came right after I had resigned from my very first ministry position, which had left me with deep wounding and discouragement from the toxic environment and lack of healthy leadership. I had actually considered stepping out of ministry altogether.

But after hearing the invitation to be restored and developed, I had a renewed sense of hope for how God would be able to continue to use me in ministry. Over the next few years as promised, I experienced a culture of love and care with leaders who developed me with the heart of Philippians 2:1–7. My family and I were then sent out to participate in the next chapter of what God had for us. And though this church loved us deeply, they were committed to eventually sending us out as leaders. This is the kind of culture and environment Envision wants to provide.

Envision exists to identify and develop missional leaders through short-term missions’ opportunities and innovative ministry strategies. We want to invite people to see the heart of God for the world by going on short-term mission trips, discovering their place in the mission of God through internships, and being developed to serve long-term in God’s Kingdom through our two-year residencies.

Our world desperately needs Jesus. The gospel can go forth in the world through a variety of creative initiatives, projects, and ministries, but it will take people to make it happen. To provide true and effective gospel access for and from all peoples, it will take healthy and deeply formed leaders who love God and love people. May we be challenged to be individuals, ministries, and a movement that is committed to identifying and developing these kinds of leaders and sending them out!

Paul Huneycutt is the director of Envision. He graduated from Toccoa Falls College and has served with The Alliance in church ministry and Alliance Missions for 18 years. Paul has a heart for mobilizing and developing leaders who are passionate for Jesus and the lost.


is published by The Christian and Missionary Alliance, One Alliance Place, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068. Member, Evangelical Press Association and Associated Church Press. Printed in the USA.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ALLIANCE LIFE , One Alliance Place, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068.

When requesting a change of address, please give both the old and new addresses. Direct all correspondence and changes of address to ALLIANCE LIFE , One Alliance Place, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068. Toll free: (877) 284-3262; email: Website:

The Alliance is committed to world missions, stressing the fullness of Christ in personal experience, building the Church, and preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth. ALLIANCELIFE carries on the tradition of more than 140 years of publishing stories of God at work through Alliance people in the United States and throughout the world.

GUEST EDITORIAL VOLUME 158 | No. 02 ALLIANCELIFE Founder A. B. Simpson E ditor - in - C hie F Peter Burgo M anaging e ditor Emmy Duddles g raphi C d esigner Caylie Smith a ssistant e ditor Julie Daubé sta FF Writers / e ditors Julie Daubé Hannah Castro Hannah Packard e ditorial a ssistant Mandy Gove C irC ulation Ful Fill M ent Julie Connon © ALLIANCE LIFE
C over : Photograph by Olivia McCash. Leaders are being cultivated and sent out from every segment of the Alliance family in the United States and around the world.

04 Christ - Centered


Forming a clear theology of discipleship by Leah Broach | pg. 4


Developing healthy leaders for a strong gospel witness | by Zach Meerkreebs | pg. 6

RUACH KADOSH by Zach Osbrink | pg. 12

( שדוקה חור)

FREE VERSE Quotes from the Kingdom | pg. 13


Compiled by Harry Verploegh | pg. 13

16 Acts 1:8


Building rich community for TCKs by Hannah Castro | pg. 16


Preparing for God’s mission is an outward and inward work by Ciro Castro | pg. 20

RISE UP LIKE PAUL Empowering young Thai pastors to follow God’s call by Emmy Duddles | pg. 24

FORMED BY JESUS Developing new Alliance leaders through hands-on ministry by Hannah Packard | pg. 28


Courage in Christ | by an Alliance international worker serving in Indonesia | pg. 32

36 Family


Requests from Alliance workers | pg. 36


Personnel changes, obituaries, and classified ads | pg. 37

OUR LIFE Snapshots from around The Alliance | pg. 46

FOUNDATIONS When The Sun Rose Over Minnesota | Adapted by Alliance Life staff | pg. 48


34 INFOCUS MAR/APR2023 CONTENTS 24 16 20 6


Most Christ followers have some understanding of discipleship, but in many Christian circles, defining it becomes convoluted as people wrestle with context and purpose. All of the implications and definitions leave many believers wondering if they fully grasp the idea of discipleship, have been discipled themselves, or know what it means to truly disciple another. The Church needs a renewed, clear theology of discipleship.


In our modern church, we often muddy the waters between conversion and discipleship. We understand the importance of relationship and the critical awareness that all must choose to accept salvation through Jesus or deny it. Conversion is paramount to every soul, but it isn’t discipleship. In Conversion and Discipleship, Bill Hull makes this distinction:

Conversion: “theological slang” for when a person decides to become a Christian.

Discipleship: occurs when someone answers the call to learn from Jesus and others how

to live his or her life as though Jesus were living it. As a result, the disciple becomes the kind of person who naturally does what Jesus did.

Discipleship begins once conversion is experienced. Those who trust Christ become aware that living requires a new purpose as they live as Jesus would. Disciples don’t just believe; they release their personality, gifts, and talents to Christ so that His purposes might be lived out through them. A theology of discipleship, then, must press us beyond conversion toward a releasing of Christ’s purposes to the Kingdom.

If we remember the original 12 disciples, we recognize that Jesus called them, taught them, and released them. Taking only a glimpse at the Gospels, we understand that when Jesus called the Twelve, He asked them to follow Him. We see Jesus engaging these followers in relationships, challenging their perceptions, and releasing them to do Kingdom work. They were known by Christ, invested in, and trusted with bringing the good news to the world. They were disciples, and they had the divine

Forming a clear theology of discipleship Photography by Olivia McCash

purpose of knowing Christ and making Him known.

The New Testament shows believers today that these called ones came first as ordinary, sinful people. They learned of Christ and experienced His ways. Their thinking was challenged, their weaknesses exposed, and their humanity revealed as they stumbled through their release into what Christ had trusted them with—the Great Commission. Their brokenness did not preclude them from release; instead, it was fundamental in realizing the sheer power of conversion, which affords every believer the opportunity to let the Redeemer transform their purpose into one that serves the Kingdom.


The Church was born through this process and continues today as people respond to Christ and are released to do Kingdom work. Because of this, our discipleship theology will shape the believer and the Church’s future. While conversion is suffcient for the soul, discipleship is paramount for the Church. While there are layers to growing and following Christ, the first disciples show us a pathway to disciple others.

First, we know that discipleship is a calling. Jesus Himself personally called people to come and follow Him. The Great Commission also tells us that we are to do likewise. Conviction from the Holy Spirit leads a soul to Christ, and a clear calling to follow begins the journey of discipleship. Are we calling others to the journey? Are we asking people to drop their nets and follow, to learn and live with purpose?

Disciples need no prequalification outside of conversion. Once the discipleship call is made, then comes the learning. It is easy to see throughout the Gospels how much the disciples learned as they followed Jesus. As we call others to discipleship, we are engaging them in understanding the ways of Christ alongside us. We dive into Scripture and fill our minds with truth. We learn of the Savior and learn of our purpose.

One clear distinctive about biblical discipleship is that it must involve releasing. Jesus was not content to let the disciples only follow or only learn. He entrusted them, weak and unlearned, to use their lives in Kingdom work. We must learn to release if we engage anyone in the discipleship journey.

Release should happen early. Jesus shows us clearly in His Word that He was releasing His disciples before they were pros. Releasing disciples to the work of the

Church is what keeps the Church thriving. We can’t be content to release others to serve and lead only if they reach certain pinnacles in their expertise. To be a disciple is to serve, lead, and call others. Certainly, discipleship isn’t about prematurely throwing followers over cliffs they cannot jump, but it also isn’t holding people back due to preference.

The sooner disciples are released to use their gifts and talents for the Kingdom, the sooner they can begin calling others to Christ and living out the Great Commission. Watching new disciples learn to use their lives for Christ is one of the most splendid parts of being a disciplemaker. If there is never release, we aren’t discipling. We are merely calling others to walk in our shadows. This was not the way of Jesus. That Great Commission He gave us was the release, and we do well to remember that.

In our churches today, we need to adopt a robust theology of discipleship so that we can confidently call and empower people to know Christ, make Him known, and join in Kingdom work. With Scripture as our guide, we know discipling is calling, learning, and releasing. It is the pattern Christ set for us, and it allows the world to see the Body of Christ in a way that gives all glory to the One who saves, calls, and uses us to reach the world. Discipleship isn’t only for the learned or the aged but for all who claim Christ as King. It’s a lifetime commitment that fulfills our souls and glorifies God. It is the essence of the Church and the stunning work of Christ.

Leah Broach currently serves as the national director for Alliance Kids. She has also served in international ministry and Christian education. Her commitment to empowering the local church toward discipling life-long believers remains steadfast for the Church of today and tomorrow.

In our churches today, we need to adopt a robust theology of discipleship so that we can confidently call and empower people to know Christ, make Him known, and join in Kingdom work.
Opposite: Chase and Katherine Connolly will soon be sent out as Alliance international workers to Japan. They hope to be involved in church planting by starting a café where they can disciple new believers.

Developing healthy leaders for a strong gospel witness

Acouple of years ago, I walked through the doors of our local Apple® store. As I was speaking to the salesperson, I was suddenly interrupted. Their assistant manager had finished his training and was leaving the store for the last time before launching a new store across town.

As soon as the ceremony began, the salesperson, who I was about to hand lots of money to, totally disengaged and helped form a tunnel from the back room to the front of the store. It was clear that the manager’s development mattered to the store, and sending him off well superseded my purchase of gadgets to the point that they facilitated a send-off just short of a small-town pep rally. In this moment, I was tremendously convicted.

Does Apple outdo us in identifying, developing, and sending off leaders?

Apple and other leading organizations have the development of leaders down to a science. Not only is the system constructed and implemented effectively, but it is also celebrated among their own industries and beyond. The Church doesn’t have a shortage of resources or a lack of clarity on vision; nor do we have to be worried about what we’re “selling.” More than any secular company, we need to prioritize the identification, development, and sending of leaders to cultivate a healthy, growing Church.


The state of leadership in and outside the Church deserves some weeping. One of the most popular podcasts in 2021 was The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, exposing the unhealth and spiritual abuse of an influential evangelical leader. In my own city, we have had four moral

Illustration by Caylie Smith

failures in local church leadership in the last few years. This is felt not only in U.S. churches but also in brokenness, burnout, and collapse among missionaries and missions agencies around the world.

This failure in the Church should break our hearts and cause us to respond as Christ did in Luke 19. Jesus broke into tears during His triumphal entry. As people were praising “God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest’” (Luke 19:37–38), Jesus was weeping over a city that did not understand. He saw their status and allowed it to wreck Him.

The current state of Church leadership deserves this kind of heartbreak—heartbreak that fuels our passion and leads us to intercession and solutions. The Church is supposed to be a prophetic witness in our communities, so our leaders must stick out with integrity, love, and other Christlike characteristics.

Following possibly the greatest example of leadership spelled out in Philippians 2:5–11, the next five verses, Philippians 2:12–16, call us to stand out as innocent and blameless children, above reproach, in the midst of a

Lord, break our hearts for the state of Christian leadership. Guard us from gossip, comparison, competition, and slander. Would You raise up men and women who are clearly transformed by Your gospel and continually drawing from the deep well of Your Spirit? Amen.

corrupt and perverse generation. As we do this, we will shine like stars in the sky (see Philippians 2:15).

Our Christian witness can be strengthened and extended or tripped up and subdued by the health and vibrancy of our leaders, whether they’re stewarding our churches or living boldly as laypeople at your community’s bank, library, hospital, police department, and more. To have this kind of impact, it is necessary for us to lean into the development of holistically healthy, gospel-saturated leaders. This witness will not only bring stability and health to our churches and organizations but also will inevitably produce meaningful presence and gospel impact.


Though it might be inconve nient, when a community truly accepts the burden and cost of leadership development, they’ll be positioned to make an impact. Just like a church that is broken and stirred up after a natural disaster to respond with unique outreaches, our congregations must be stirred up and reorient themselves for the sake of emerging and established leaders to expand God’s Kingdom.

In their book Designed to Lead, Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck explain the importance of the Church’s role in leadership development:

The center of the Church is the gospel, but the center of leadership development must be the Church—meaning, that the leaders who will ultimately transform communities and change the world come from the Church. These leaders carry with them, into all spheres of life and culture, the conviction of a people who are called-out ones, of a people who have been brought from death to life through Jesus.

A church that owns this call might find themselves sacrificing things that other communities feel uncomfortable with. Idols are torn down, and these churches become workshops to build and stir up people who will honor God through their sacrificial leadership. We might idolize the Sunday morning gathering, but it could become a place where people explore their callings. We might idolize a worship night, but it’s also the perfect time for a first-time worship leader to explore their passion. We might idolize teaching in Sunday

school classes, but it could be an important opportunity for young people to be trained in preaching.

When I was 19, I preached to a youth group on Ephesians 2:14: “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” As I slammed a cinderblock with a sledgehammer to drive home the point, spraying concrete shrapnel into the crowd of on-looking youth, my church paid the leadership development tax. Any leader or community that prioritizes the identification, development, and sending of emerging leaders will pay the cost of a less than captivating sermon, a band that’s not on beat, or the loss of a leader once they’ve been raised up and sent out. Despite the sacrifice, this tax creates a platform for gospel expansion that many churches have not experienced and creates space for those who are wondering if they’ll have to watch and wait until they’re perfect to say “yes”

The funny thing about this tax is when you establish it and live with it for a while, you almost forget about the cost—it becomes a piece of the culture.

I was honored to be part of a community that carried this same burden and established the conviction at the core of its growing church to pay the leadership development tax. Shy individuals, sweating through their first sermon, discovered that God had anointed them to preach His Word. Overconfident seminary students preached sermons that lasted over an hour and made no sense. Worship leaders forgot lyrics, but many of them blossomed and ushered in the presence of God. Lawyers started affordable housing ministries, and college students launched afterschool programs.

As our community paid the tax, leaders were developed. Was it costly? Yes! Was it awkward? Often! But was it worth it? 100 percent!


No one likes a ball hog—someone who won’t utilize those around them and their unique gifts to accomplish the goal. Many leaders, out of earthly fear or pride, are ball hogs. The secular culture we live in prioritizes climbing the ladder, and this has seeped into our churches. “Do you have a master of divinity?” they might ask. “How long have you been on the field?” Though these questions communicate competency and experience, they can create environments that perpetuate an


Thank you, Jesus, that You are still identifying, developing, and deploying men and women to lead Your mission.

Would You grant us perspective and stir up a posture in us, in our churches, within our denomination, to know where to sacrifice for the sake of the harvest?


unattainable expectation of perfection, and emerging leaders may forgo stepping into their call.

Where in your leadership can you “pass the ball?” I understand that some things at this time cannot be passed, but there is something that you are doing that could be handed to an emerging leader. Don’t pass them busywork to prove a point. Pass them something they can take ownership of and apprentice with you. Though it is impressive when you run all the yards, break all the tackles, and score that touchdown, how about doing most of that work and passing the ball so that a humble and hungry leader in your midst can score their first touchdown ever?

Think of Jesus sending His disciples two by two in Mark 6:6–13 or the disciples’ role in feeding the 4,000 in Matthew 15:29–39. Jesus passed the ball, sending them out empowered with authority over impure spirits and as participants to distribute fish and loaves to the hungry onlookers. What if Jesus wanted the press? What if Jesus decided to receive the affrmation that day? What if Jesus was too afraid that they’d mess it up?

Pay attention to their character and be sensitive to their capacity and competency, but take a chance and pass the ball.


There is a small army within your Alliance family that has alarms set for 10:02 every day to pray a simple prayer given to us by Jesus in Luke 10:2. You’ll hear their phones

ring at Council, field forums, and other gatherings. Luke 10:2 reads: “He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”

These words from Jesus must have been white hot in the heart of A. B. Simpson, our Alliance family’s founder, who had a passion to see the completion of the Great Commission and to bring back the King. I believe that allowing our hearts to break for the state of Church leadership, curating cultures to pay the tax, and boldly passing the ball will have a part in accomplishing our mission.

Our message is substantially more important than an iPad or laptop. The gospel for and from all people will require our investment in all people—even those who are still in development like you and me.

Zach Meerkreebs lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife, Kristin, and his three daughters. He loves investing in and cheering on leaders, which he gets to do as the leadership development and engagement manager with Envision.

Jesus, would You give us supernatural insight into those who we are entrusted with and give us the courage to pass the ball? Would You search our hearts and help us be Christlike, gracious, and gentle as we celebrate their wins or debrief their fumbles? Amen.
World Connect with Us Scan Here
The Whole Gospel to

Ihear the Wind over the heights. It will soon be upon us. My doors are open and windows wide. I stand upon the promise.

Perhaps a mighty tempest will form, or a gentle breeze will guide my heart. To be sure this is no winter storm, lest I be hesitant from the start.

The Holy Wind from above, the Spirit of the living God, raining gifts of awaited love, talents shepherded by His rod.

The ancient people knew its sound. They knew the power of His name. To Him I am forever bound, my heart surrendered yet untamed.

Stir up within me, O Holy One, disturb the slumber of my blood, Your Spirit near, my sin undone, bring light to the truth amidst the mud.

Zach Osbrink is serving with The Alliance as an intern with Envision Berlin. He currently lives in Germany with his wife, Anna, and their daughter, Mae. Zach grew up as a TCK in France, Morocco, Israel, and Germany. He is studying emergency management through Crown College.

שדוקה חור
Photography by Olivia McCash

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.”


“What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness. Buffeted by the fickle winds of failure, battered by rejection and ridicule, authentic disciples may have stumbled and frequently fallen . . . yet, they kept coming back to Jesus.”


The local church is a community of ransomed men; a minority group; a colony of heavenly souls dwelling apart on the earth; a division of soldiers on a foreign soil; a band of reapers, working under the direction of the Lord of the Harvest; a flock of sheep following the Good Shepherd; a brotherhood of like-minded men; a visible representative of the invisible God.

Not all the pooled efforts of any church can make a Christian out of a lost man. But once the “great transaction’s done,” the communion of believers will be found to be the best environment for the new life.

The Church will produce a spiritual culture all its own, wholly unlike anything created by the mind of man and superior to any culture known on earth, ancient or modern. God is getting His people ready for another world, and He uses the local church as a workshop in which to carry on His blessed work.

That Christian is a happy one who has found a company of true believers in whose heavenly fellowship he can live and love and labor. And nothing else on earth should be as dear to him nor command from him such a degree of loyalty and devotion.

All else being equal, the individual Christian will find in the communion of a local church the most perfect atmosphere for the fullest development of his spiritual life. There also he will find the best arena for the largest exercise of those gifts and powers with which God may have endowed him.

—from The Set of the Sail. Originally published in The Alliance Witness, April 29 and May 13, 1987

“Oh, let Thy sacred word impart its generous influence to my heart: With power, and light, and love divine, assure my soul that Thou art mine.”


While the Alliance video team was visiting Tlaquepaque, Guadalajara, they witnessed this dance troupe from Jalisco, Mexico, dressed in folklorico attire. Their dancing was in celebration of the anniversary of Mexico's independence from Spain on September 16, 1810. This Mexican national holiday is marked by a week of celebrations with an array of dance routines, fireworks, and other performances like a reenactment of a historic moment from the revolution's leader.

Photo by Olivia McCash


Building rich community for TCKs

Many of us struggle with feeling as though we don’t belong. We weren’t created to be isolated or alone; we trust that the Lord invites us into communion with Him and with others (see Ecclesiastes 4:9–12; Hebrews 10:24–25, 13:1–2), but feeling connected, being in rich community, is often diffcult.

For third culture kids (TCKs), longing to belong seems common. TCKs—often previously referred to as “missionary kids” or “MKs”—are individuals who were raised in a culture that is different from their nationality or their parents’ culture. They are influenced by their their upbringing but also, perhaps most notably, by the culture they grow up in.

Because they often spend a significant part of their childhood in a country different from their origin, they have many experiences that others may not, which can also lead to feelings of isolation.

Marie (17) and Abigail (14) are U.S. Alliance TCKs. They grew up in East Asia, lived in the United States for a few years, and recently moved to Germany. When their parents were international workers (IWs) in East Asia, they came back to the United States only once every four years for home assignment—a diffcult transition for both of them.

“I’m an American citizen, but I wouldn’t consider myself an American or East Asian,” Abigail says. “It’s weird being a TCK because you don’t feel like you belong anywhere or grow up in one place.”

“Nobody understands what it’s like to live somewhere you don’t necessarily belong, which is the TCK experience,” Marie agrees. “I think it really develops the ‘third culture’ part of it. You have your parents’ culture and your host country’s culture, but the third culture is what you make up from the experience of living somewhere

Photography by Emma Schell

you don’t necessarily belong. When I came back to America, I felt like I didn’t belong there either. I thought I belonged with my expat friends who understand what it’s like to be different.”

Being “different” is perhaps the basis of a TCK life because there’s so much change and so many diverse experiences in their lives, but really, that “difference” is a blessing. Typically, a large part of a TCK’s story has to do with adapting quickly and having deep, almost immediate, relationships with others who grew up in similar circumstances.

“I don’t feel weird around other TCKs,” Abigail says, “because I feel like they understand. I don’t have to explain myself. It’s a heartwarming thing that makes you feel special.”

“You meet other TCKs, and it’s just a different kind of connection where you can develop strong bonds really, really quickly,” Marie adds.


Connection is crucial, and though often on opposite sides of the world than their extended families, TCKs find and develop deep relationships based on shared experiences. It’s often also an opportunity to cultivate a deeper relationship with Christ.

“I think being a TCK strengthens my relationship with God,” Marie explains. “Being a TCK, at least for me, is a central part of my identity, and it’s a big part of my relationship with God because my experiences have affected my relationship with Him, and they’ve made me grow.”

Walking beside our Alliance family members, including our TCKs, is an act of love that includes listening to and understanding them to best recognize how we can come alongside them through encouragement and community as we help cultivate their relationship with the Lord as well. TCK Advocates is doing just that.

Teri Newburn and Melanie Wendel are the leaders of The Alliance’s TCK Advocates, a group of people who have a caring heart for TCKs. The Advocates, originally called TCK Affnity Group, are now under the AM Member Care Team and include IWs from aXcess, CAMA, marketplace ministries, Envision, Regional Educational

Consultants, and National Office staff. They meet regularly to pray, facilitate programs and workshops, and support IW families, particularly TCKs.

In spring 2020, the group began meeting weekly on Zoom to connect and share ideas with one another. They started by completing a “SWOT analysis,” which measures strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Based on that analysis, they created a master plan to help them accomplish their objectives.

“We are focusing on seven or eight different objectives,” says Melanie. They include prayer, training/ equipping, communication, networking, professional development, child safety, education, and wellness. They have also conducted specific events, like virtual book-readings for kids, a webinar on navigating the college process for teens, parenting and transition workshops, and a class for new appointees on how to involve TCKs on their team.

“My dream is that every IW, our whole Alliance Missions family, and all of our Alliance churches would care for and love our TCKs. It has to be all of us,” Teri says. “It can’t be the parents’ thing or the mission’s thing; it has to be us as a family. Every one of us has to play an important part in the TCKs’ lives.”

Not only do the Advocates long to walk beside IW families on the field, but they also want to walk beside them when they return to the United States for home assignment.

One major initiative they recently launched is family debrief. After every IW’s term, they meet with Member Care in order to check in and talk through their past

Every one of us has to play an important part in the TCKs’ lives.

years and experience on the field. The Advocates realized that these check-ins weren’t necessarily happening with the kids, so they aspired to change that.

“That’s a big hole we are trying to fill because it’s really important to generate that conversation with our kids,” Teri says. “And we, as the TCK Advocates, can’t take on the responsibility of debriefing every TCK ourselves, but we can provide opportunities for parents to do it and to give them the tools they need.”

In partnership with Alliance Member Care professionals, the Advocates led a family debrief at this past

year’s Family HAMS—the Home Assignment Ministry Seminar for Alliance IWs coming to the United States for home assignment. The Advocates are working on bringing family debriefs to other Alliance events.

Working with Alliance Women, The Advocates have also produced the TCK Connect Handbook—a go-to manual for Alliance family members who want to gather ideas on how they can connect with and support TCKs.

The Advocates hope that one day, every TCK will be connected to a church family that cares for them, remembers their birthdays, prays for them, and welcomes them when they are back in the United States—especially during the crucial post–high school years when their parents are still overseas. This community is a valuable resource for our college-age TCKs.

“TCKs are amazing individuals who have incredible power to reach the world for Jesus because they’re multilingual and can adapt to different cultures” Teri mentions. “TCKS are the future of multicultural church ministry—both in the United States and around the world.”

“We want to make sure that our TCKs know they are seen,” says Melanie, “that they’re part of a family, and that they have resources and people to come alongside them.”

If you want to learn more about TCKs, please email or visit to access the TCK Connect Handbook.

John Stumbo VIDEO BLOG

tch John tell a story, share a devotional, issue challenge, or cast C&MA vision.

Released on the 12th of each month

Recent Releases: A Reimagined Presence

Cambodia: Worthy of Celebration

Hannah Castro is a content writer for the Alliance National Office. She just received her master of theological studies from Asbury Theological Seminary, and she is passionate about cultivating stories in order to glorify the Lord. Photography by Olivia McCash

When I decided to leave my home in the Middle East and go to Kentucky for a seminary degree and Greenhouse experience (GHE, see sidebar), I knew how long I’d be there and why I was going. Those two years were about gaining practical ministry experience in a church setting and intellectual knowledge through an academic institution, preparing me to jump back on a plane to serve the Lord overseas with The Alliance. What I didn’t know was why God was taking me there.


The church I joined, New City Church in Lexington, Kentucky, was a young church plant with lots of emerging leaders hungry to lead and to serve. I arrived anticipating all that God would do, excited to grow and be developed as a minister of the gospel, and eager to serve alongside my soon-to-be co-laborers and friends. However, my time in GHE looked much different than I expected. On our very first day, one of the other four res-

Preparing for God’s mission is an outward and inward work Photography by Olivia McCash; design by Caylie Smith


GHE is a 24-month residency program facilitated by Alliance churches that have been approved to be Greenhouse environments. These environments provide a space for emerging leaders to experience holistic formation to be launched for Kingdom impact. The purpose is for each

emerging leader to discover who God has created them to be and how they may participate in Kingdom advancement, to be developed in a safe environment alongside experienced ministry leaders, and to be deployed where God may be calling them next.

idents’ cousins took his own life. A week later, I found out my parents were kicked out of the Middle Eastern country that had become home to us, where they had served as missionaries for more than 20 years. Later that summer, I was told I may not be able to be sent overseas as an international worker because I wasn’t a U.S. citizen. In the fall, the pastor who invited me to join the church for the residency left. In early spring, just as we were about to launch a ministry to reach the international students and refugees within our community—something I had been dreaming about from the very beginning—the pandemic hit and everything shut down. On top of that, I wasn’t able to see most of my family for years.

Each of those moments, and others like them, marked my time with GHE in a significant way. I didn’t prepare for those moments, and they were not the parts that I would have been excited for. Instead of preventing those situations from happening, God placed me in a safe environment that graciously allowed me to go through those experiences within community and shape my leadership journey through them.

As part of GHE, I was paired with a mentor who walked with me and poured into me during those two years. He grew up overseas like I did and served as a missionary in his adult life, just as I had dreamed of doing. We did very practical things like budgeting and changing my car’s oil–which a third culture kid (TCK) like me had never done before. We also discussed more complex things like

discerning the will of God, specifically in regard to calling and marriage.

This mentorship was a key component to my growth, as were our weekly residency cohort meetings that were facilitated by our Greenhouse coordinator. We talked about the hard things we were going through, our wrestling with our callings, and why it was important to care for our souls. We explored topics like personality assessments, racial reconciliation, the LGBTQ+ community, and the role of men and women in ministry. It was an environment that allowed us to ask questions, to try something new and fail, to be uncomfortable, to be stretched, and to discover what we were passionate about or what was diffcult for us in ministry.

Below: Several U.S. Alliance churches are Greenhouse Environments, giving young leaders like Ciro the opportunity to explore and strengthen their faith while also receiving valuable ministry experience.

Whether it was preaching a sermon, leading worship, engaging in hospitality, launching a ministry within the church, helping with finances, or leading a community group, we were all given responsibilities and opportunities to lead and to serve. We were not polished or refined leaders, but we did not need to be. We were imperfect and broken but positioned to be shaped and formed by God in our weaknesses and challenges.


As I reflect on my GHE residency, I am less impressed by all the things I got to do and much more grateful for all that God did and continues to do in me. That is not because I choose to look inwardly alone, as if I value myself above anyone else. It is because as I relinquish more and more control to God, I get to look more like Jesus and be better positioned for Him to do all He wants to do through me.

I approached GHE with the idea that I would be gaining experience and growing in competence in different areas, which would help me become a better minister of the gospel. I wanted to be the agent of God’s transforma-

deeper life God invites us into so that the disciples and leaders we are being developed into—and that we are developing—are not fueled by passion or competence alone but by the inner workings of the Spirit of God in and through each of us.

Ciro Castro was born in Brazil and grew up in the Middle East as a TCK. He now serves as the trips and marketing coordinator for Envision. He and his wife, Hannah, live in Columbus, Ohio.

tive mission and did not anticipate being the object of it. God wanted me to experience what Gene Edwards, in his book, A Tale of Three Kings, calls the inward transformation of the “hidden man of the heart.”

I carried a lot in the hidden man of my heart–sin, wounds, and pain. I was broken by the needs around me and the lostness around the world and was eager to do something about it. God instead was unhurried with what He wanted to do through me because He knew there was deep work that needed to be done in me—a work that continues to this day.

The Alliance is not only a missions movement but also a deeper life and missions movement. I was zealous about God’s mission when I began GHE—and I still am today. Now, I am also zealous about the deep work and

God was unhurried with what He wanted to do through me because He knew there was deep work that needed to be done in me.
APPLY TODAY ALLIANCE.EDU Shaping Leaders to Shape the Future SEMINARY DEGREES TO EQUIP THE CALLED Doctor of Ministry | Master of Professional Studies | Master of Arts in Biblical Literature Master of Divinity | Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies | Master of Arts in Biblical Studies Theological Seminary


When Sittichai traveled hundreds of miles from his tribe in the mountains of Thailand to a Bible college in Bangkok, he struggled with confidence about where he should serve God. Three years into his degree, Sittichai attended an Alliance church plant in Baan Paeo, which aXcess workers Ed and Sue Danneker had recently helped plant.

“We liked him immediately,” Ed says. Ed and Sue were looking for a Thai leader to pastor Mahapawn Baan Paeo Church and thought Sittichai was just the man they had been praying for. “We saw all the qualities you need in a pastor—he loved God, loved people, and was eager to serve in whatever capacity was needed.”


The Dannekers began mentoring Pastor Sittichai, encouraging him and giving him space to sense the Lord’s direction. Sittichai started by serving in weekend ministries at the church and then did a nine-month internship. Once he graduated from Bible school, he started

serving as the full-time pastor of the church. However, he still wrestled with whether or not he was called to preach the gospel in this distant place and even considered going home to help his parents with their coffee orchard.

One day, Sittichai was reading through Isaiah. When he got to chapter 41, these words jumped off the page:

I took you from the ends of the earth; from its farthest corners I called you. I said, “You are my servant.” I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:9–10).

For Sittichai, this small city more than 300 miles away from his home in the mountains might as well have been the ends of the earth. He excitedly came to the Dannekers and said, “God called me!”

Empowering young Thai pastors to follow God’s call

“That was June 2021,” Ed says. “We have seen a clear difference in him—new confidence, new anointing in his preaching, new boldness in his leadership, and new vision for the church.”

Mahapawn Baan Paeo Church is thriving under Pastor Sittichai’s leadership. Even before he felt truly called to stay in Baan Paeo, Pastor Sittichai partnered with Ed to start a center for leadership development to train lay leaders in Mahapawn Baan Paeo Church. In 2022, two young women graduated from this program and started teaching adult Sunday school once a month. The church is now completely self-sustaining and cares for about 35 members every Sunday.

“We have an even wider, more positive reputation in the area,” Sue says. “Even though we’re only a church of 35, people know where we are now.”

This wide reputation is due in large part to Baan Paeo’s annual agricultural fair in December 2021. Over 1,000 people attended this event, and Mahapawn Baan Paeo Church was given 30 minutes every night for three nights to share the gospel and worship God for everyone to hear. They also had a booth just beside the stage where they were able to pass out donations and more than 800 packets of Christian literature with the name of their church. “God just opened the doorwide,” Ed says.


The Dannekers have been church planting and raising up Thai leaders, like Pastor Sittichai, for many years. Mahapawn Baan Paeo Church was the fourth church they have helped plant, always working with local Thai churches to determine the next region to plant in and usually finding young Bible students, like Sittichai, to disciple to become the lead pastor.

“We have tried to be like Barnabas, the encourager,” Ed says. “We want our Thai pastors to rise up like Paul.”

“God has just been answering prayers,” Sue adds. “And we have loved seeing the giftings of these young men flourish over the years.”

Ed and Sue have also been working on soul care with these men and other lay leaders in the churches they serve. “Soul care has really helped people because there is such a spiritual darkness here,” Sue says.

“In the Thai culture, saving face is a big issue,” Ed adds. “It’s very hard for people to admit they have sin. They hide it deeper and deeper in secret, and they carry all this shame.”

Opposite: When we are invested in raising up young leaders, God’s Kingdom reaches the farthest corners. Below: The Dannekers are partnering with local Thai churches to see more people come to know the Father.
I took you from the ends of the earth; from the farthest corners
I called you.
Photography by Olivia McCash


Mahapawn Living Water Church, the mother church of Mahapawn Baan Paeo Church, previously rented a small storefront that was only large enough to fit around 40 people. The congregation was growing, and people were crowding inside to come worship every Sunday morning.

In the January/February 2021 issue of Alliance Life, we asked you to consider giving toward the purchase of a new building for Mahapawn Living Water Church. Because of your generosity, the project was soon fully funded!

Ed and Sue Danneker worked with Pastor Sukprasan to scope out a new building. They found a 25-year-old building right in the middle of Mahachai, but the place had not been taken care of properly by the previous owners. The building and its necessary renovations were still within budget, so they decided to purchase it, knowing the location was exactly what they needed to share the love of Christ with this city.

After several months of renovations and a new coat of paint, the building was dedicated in March 2022. Mahapawn Living Water Church now has space to seat 80 congregants every Sunday and host community outreaches, such as Christmas events and clothes donations. They are also hoping to continue planting churches like their plants in both Baan Paeo and Baan Bo.

However, as they have worked through soul care, Ed and Sue have seen great amounts of breakthrough. A young Bible student, Attapon, said to Ed and Sue, “In Bible college, we’re supposed to be talking about spiritual formation and aligning your life with what the Bible says, but nobody has been able to talk to me on this level.”

“Attapon’s the kind of guy who wants to be 100 percent for Jesus,” Ed says. “We were able to be really transparent with one another, and I saw him get free and experience healing, cleansing, and deliverance. It’s powerful.”

Soul care has also led to greater transparency between Ed, Sue, and Pastor Sittichai. When Pastor Sittichai has experienced hurt from them, he feels comfortable enough to tell them what happened and seek reconciliation.

“I love that we’re on that level,” Sue says, “where we can be vulnerable and honest. If he had kept his hurt in, he would have had a bitter heart. Instead, we left for home assignment as friends and at peace.”

As Ed and Sue have walked alongside these young men, they have taken great ownership over their congregations and have discipled others. Pastor Sukprasan of Mahapawn Living Water Church, the third church Ed and Sue helped plant, was instrumental in planting Mahapawn Baan Paeo Church and took a large role in developing and mentoring Pastor Sittichai.

Pastor Sittichai and Pastor Sukprasan are now partnering together to plant a new church in Baan Bo, a small town of 30,000 with no visible church presence. Sittichai, Sukprasan, Ed, and Sue, all went on a prayer walk in the town with Attapon, who they will all disciple to become the pastor of this new church. “We prayed a blessing on the people that they will open their hearts to let the King of Glory in,” Sue says. This church plant will be launched this year, and Ed and Sue plan to partner with these three young men when they return after home assignment in June 2023.

Lord, pour out Your Spirit on this town. May the wind of Your Spirit blow across this land.
Opposite: As more Thai leaders are empowered to lead, more and more people are opening their hearts to let the King of Glory in.

“As I’m walking over the bridge near our church,” Ed says. “I often pray, ‘Lord, pour out Your Spirit on this town. May the wind of Your Spirit blow across this land.’” Please join Ed and Sue in prayer for the continued growth of the church in Thailand.


The Alliance Arts Festival exists to glorify Christ, to celebrate and elevate the arts in our movement, and to foster community among its creatives. We believe that God’s Creation was the first work of art. Being made in His image, our creation reflects the Creator and is an expression of worship. We believe that that a strong, Christ-centered, creative community has the potential to transform our culture. For these reasons, we invite you to join us for The Alliance Arts Festival at Council 2023 in Spokane!

Scan the QR code or visit for more information and to submit your work!

Submissions open between February 1 and April 7, 2023

Emmy Duddles is the managing editor of Alliance Life. She and her husband, Lucas, live in Columbus, Ohio. TH


According to Jesus’ Commission, the Body of Christ is called and compelled to make disciples. This is how the Kingdom grows. A significant part of the work of disciplemaking lies in the development of new leaders.

I recently had the opportunity to hear the experiences of three individuals who have worked with Envision, the specialized structure within Alliance Missions that works to identify and develop missional leaders through short-term missions opportunities and innovative ministry strategies. Envision is one of the most approachable points of entry to Alliance work; they provide excellent places for people, especially teens and young adults, to learn about Alliance Missions and be developed. Cassandra is an international worker serving with Envision Indonesia. Emily is a student at Toccoa Falls College (TFC) and completed an eight-week internship with Envision Bangkok during the summer of 2022. Mathias is currently an Envision intern serving for ten months at a CAMA Services site in south Asia.

Tell me a bit about yourself.

Cassandra: I grew up in the C&MA when my parents helped start a church plant in Missouri. After graduating from Toccoa Falls College in 2011, I started working with Edgewater Alliance Church in the Alliance Southeast District as their youth director where I took students on yearly mission trips in-country and served our IW teams at two Field Forums. I am currently serving with Envision in Indonesia as a representative of Fellowship Alliance Church in Columbia Falls, Montana. In all the places I have lived and served, there has always been a sense of family and community through the Church.

Emily: I’m originally from Waynesboro, Georgia, and I was very involved in my local church as I was growing up. Right before I went to high school, my family moved,

Photograph Courtesy of Mathias

which was a formative time for my walk with God. I began having a greater passion for missions and ministry. When I toured Toccoa Falls (TFC), I didn’t know what The Alliance was. I told my parents on that trip, “There is something so peaceful about this place.” So, I went to TFC, and I have loved my time there. I’ve been given leadership opportunities, been challenged on my views of the world and God, and had people walk alongside me through difficult times. A huge part of my leadership development has been my view of God being so expanded—He’s so much bigger, so much more powerful, so much more loving, kind, and gentle than I ever imagined.

Mathias: My parents were international workers with The Alliance as I grew up, so “home” includes many places for me—South America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Each of these places has shaped me. In the United States, I make my home in Grove City, Pennsylvania, and after being there for three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have truly come to think of my community there and at Grove City Alliance Church as “home.”

How did you get involved with Envision?

Cassandra: I first heard about Envision in 2012 at a district meeting with the Alliance Southeast after I first started working with Edgewater Alliance Church. I didn’t go on an Envision trip until June 2018 when my church took a small group of students up to Envision Cleveland because of the work they were doing to minister to immigrants. Our state had experienced a mass influx of immigrants, so we were excited to learn how to better serve our new neighbors.

Years later, when I started looking at serving overseas, I came across a job posting with Envision Indonesia. The opportunity was too good to miss, and I’m so thankful God opened the door so I could serve with them.

Emily: I’m a cross-cultural adult education major with a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), which requires a cross-cultural internship between our junior and senior years of college. I knew several people who had done their internships with Envision and loved it. I was looking through all the Envision sites, praying through it, and I felt God say, “Hey, don’t put pressure on yourself to find the perfect internship. Just choose somewhere, and I will bless you there.” And so, I went on my internship to Bangkok, Thailand. I worked with Tou Lee and Tang Thao, and they are amazing.

Mathias: My internship is in partnership with both Envision and CAMA. It came about as many things do in the Kingdom—through relationship. In 2019, I visited the country I am now living in, having felt called to explore potential ministry there. In the end, though, many things fell through, and I was left wondering why I had gone at all. But some years later, a dear friend in leadership with CAMA at the time invited me to explore with him what returning would look like. I was so excited! Eventually, he created a way for me to join some

Opposite: Mathias, Cassandra, and Emily deepened their relationships with God and their understanding of full-time ministry through their time with Envision.
He’s so much bigger, so much more powerful, so much more loving, kind, and gentle than I ever imagined.
Developing new Alliance leaders through hands-on ministry

CAMA workers here as an intern with Envision. I am so grateful to God for providing a way back.

Tell me more about the work you did or are currently doing.

Cassandra: On the trip to Envision Cleveland, we did a lot of projects similar to other short-term mission trips, but there was much more continued training and development. The team at Envision Cleveland did a fantastic job of giving us knowledge and tools to use on the trip, as well as back home. We were able to pour into existing partnerships, support local churches, and help build more relational bridges in the city! We walked away knowing more about domestic missions, needs new immigrants to America have, and how the Church is equipped to meet those needs.

Right now, at Envision Indonesia, I am in language study and working on establishing relationships with new friends and neighbors as our team looks to partner with local churches and organizations. We have a Monday night English club which has gained a decent-sized crowd in the last several months. We host an event once a month where we gather for fellowship and a variety of fun activities— karaoke, board games, holiday traditions, etc. After language school, I will be working with local churches and doing more ongoing partnership, as well as helping to host interns and teams who come to our site.

Emily: The three main things I did were to take part in the ministries of Deeper Life Church, which the Thaos lead, build relationships with the locals, and teach English. To help with my TESOL minor, Tou Lee sent out a message to the church offering free English tutoring, so I did that throughout the time I was there.

Mathias: My internship with CAMA and Envision feels unique—tailored for my location, experience, and gifts. The CAMA workers I have joined here do not have a formal program such as a church plant or English center and are free to grow relationships and ministry organically, seeking the Lord’s leading for how best to use their gifts and resources for the Kingdom. I have felt invited into this relational way of doing ministry—living

in a local community, learning the language, and building relationships of my own. I’ve been connected to some key people and ministries, which I have been able to help through photography and writing to capture the amazing work they are doing. Our local church is an indigenous Alliance congregation and has seven daughter churches scattered all throughout our nation. I’ve been able to serve them by leading some Bible studies and visiting some daughter churches.

Being with both Envision and CAMA has been a blessing—it feels like I get the “double portion” of having two ministry families caring for me! Envision is so well suited for short-term work and has been so good at arranging the practical sides of life abroad–fundraising, answering the ever-present questions I have, and spiritual support in the form of praying and checking on me. CAMA has also been amazing at creatively finding a way for me to serve in this nation. The CAMA workers have been so good at helping me in daily life here, as well as shaping a larger understanding of what a life of ministry overseas looks like.

What have you learned about ministry—and your calling—through your experience with Envision?

Cassandra: Serving with Envision Cleveland felt like everything came together the way it should when the Church is doing what it should. Not everything was perfect, but life isn’t perfect. One way to see authenticity in the life of a believer, church, or organization is how they handle mistakes and work toward restoration. We saw this through the Envision Cleveland staff, the local partners, and our own team. That missions trip set the standard for how we can do better in our cities and around the world. My experience there showed me that if we can serve well and partner well in our own context— something we are not always prone to do in the United States—we can do it well overseas where the only option is to partner with other Kingdom-minded individuals or organizations.

Emily: I learned so much from Tou Lee and Tang and how they have plugged into their community in Thailand. I was so impressed by how Tou Lee gave so much ownership to the church body, to the Thai believers, and how he was leading them from behind. He pushed them toward Jesus, prayer, worship, and good rhythms. I was gaining a lot of skills that are helpful for daily life back home, learning to make evangelism and discipleship a part of my life and a part of building relationships with people.

If I had to choose a specific thing God has developed in me, it would be empathy. I think I assumed development was me just getting a lot of great skills, especially

I am called to live a life of formation under Jesus before anything else!

some soft skills that are helpful for working with people and being flexible. But I never expected this new depth of empathy and of being willing to sit with people going through hard things to just be a listening ear.

Mathias: I feel that, in the diffculties of transitioning overseas, Jesus has been whispering to me what it means to depend on Him, to find a home in Him. To meet with Jesus is to come home, even in this foreign place. As I interact with my leaders and locals here, I am consistently reminded that ministry doesn’t only look like programs or “hourly work” but is most truly about relationships. We see this idea shine brightly in Jesus’ life. I feel challenged to change the way I view productivity within ministry. Yes, to count hours and projects and to meet practical needs, but also to consider a coffee with a friend, a meaningful conversation, or a simple kind deed as immeasurably valuable in the Kingdom.

This internship has been a huge part of an ongoing lesson that our first and highest calling is to be like Jesus, following Him. If I do good work and help many people but my life does not look like Jesus, my work will be meaningless. Though a calling to ministry or a certain country is definitely valid, this foundational calling of discipleship is key for each of us. As I consider doing a work of my own in the future, I feel an urgency to keep Jesus at the center of all things, to resist the temptation to find my value in what I do for Him. I am called to live a life of formation under Jesus before anything else!

Hannah Packard is the digital content writer for the Alliance National Office. She recently earned her master’s of divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and is pleased to serve the Lord through storytelling.

My name is Pheap. When I was a little girl, my abusive father drank himself to death, and my mother died soon after. To survive, I wandered from village to village in northern Cambodia begging for food. Sometimes, I offered to work for a family in exchange for food and place to stay.

Initially, they welcomed me as one of their own. But as time went on, they began to mistreat me and made me work like a slave, and the men tried to rape me at night. These nightly routines took away my sleep. I was always tired and clumsy during the day, so the women would yell or beat me up. When it was too hard to bear, I ran away and tried again with another family and repeated the same pattern. At 17, I eloped, and my husband’s family abused me. I thought this was my lot in life—perhaps I was not meant to experience love.

Three years ago, I met an Alliance couple who were kind, considerate, and loving. They introduced me to Jesus, and the more I studied God’s Word, the more I realized that I was loved by God. This couple told me God loves me so much that He was willing to trade His life for me! For the first time in my life, I felt loved and cherished.




The frontline workers in God’s army rarely look like the square-jawed Navy SEALs you see in movies. Most don’t wear military fatigues and armor or carry weapons. Often, God’s bravest workers look like Briana.* A multiracial carpenter’s daughter, she’s five feet tall and so soft spoken you might assume she’s a timid soul. Yet, as we continually see on the frontlines of ministry in this turbulent and often violent region, God uses the most unlikely sorts.


Briana was born in the highlands of Papua. When she was six, her father was hit and killed by a truck. At the funeral, the extended families bickered over who would take which of the deceased man’s children.

“We don’t want Briana,” her mother’s family said. “She is too frail. We want her sister.” According to local tradition, each girl’s value is based on the bride price she brings her maternal uncles. This can range from $5,000 to $50,000—paid in the currency of pigs.

Fortunately, her father’s best friend, a gentle carpenter, married her mother to protect Briana and her sister. But the threat of kidnapping forced the family to live in seclusion. Although some 70-80 percent of Papuans claim to be Christian, New Guinea is, for women, one of the most dangerous places on earth.

About 90 percent of highland girls don’t finish high school. As teenagers, many of them are forced to marry before they run off with the man of their choice. Eloping makes collecting a bride price diffcult. Briana’s stepfather did everything he could to enable her to finish high school, however, and she earned a scholarship to a teacher training college in Java. She wanted to live somewhere women were respected and protected. She had found her ticket out—or so she thought. Upon graduation, though, she was assigned to complete four years of mandatory service in a village next to her birthplace.

Strangely enough, after a few years of serving in the village, she began to see beyond her fears. God was at

Photo from Alliance Photo Archive an Alliance international worker serving in Indonesia

work in her. She flourished as one of our teachers at Ob Anggen Jr. and Sr. High School, which provides an international standard of Christian education to empower families of village farmers. I’m so grateful for those who have made Briana’s story possible. If not for the generous people who fund our work, Briana never would have received an opportunity to teach at our school—to provide a safe place and brighter future for so many girls whose fear, brokenness, and desperation mirror her own.


Although Briana had begun to realize her God-given purpose as an educator, her trials were far from over. One afternoon, as she and two other female teachers walked along a road near our campus, a man named Leo* grabbed one of the women and, holding a machete to her throat, dragged her into the tall grass. Briana pelted him with rocks, and the other teacher rushed to find cell service. Our son was one of the first to get word, and he raced up the mountain and chased away the attacker, leaving Briana and her friends temporarily safe but traumatized.

After we caught Leo, we decided to process the case according to Indonesian law. While our three teachers endured more traumatizing interviews, Leo was put in a cell. The next day, however, his clan arrived heavily armed and threatened to burn down the police station— and our school—if he was not released. By tribal rights, they can do whatever they want to “foreigners” on their land. So, Leo “escaped” from the police holding cell and has been our closest neighbor these last years. He often passes brazenly through our campus.

A feeling of powerlessness overcame Briana as she slipped back into a pool of debilitating fear. We had no idea what Leo—or his clan—would do next. What Satan meant for evil, though, God used for good. Through a weekly growth group, counseling, and the power of the Holy Spirit, Briana found courage to forgive Leo and has faithfully prayed for his transformation. Forgiveness freed Briana from the power of fear, and some of our male students, recognizing the injustice she and her female colleagues had endured, offered their protection. Today, whenever Briana—or any other woman—leaves campus, at least two male bodyguards quickly volunteer to be at her side. These brave young men are committed to change and offer hope amidst a culture that often condones and perpetuates the mistreatment of women.


Early one morning last October, while I was sitting down to coffee in Tucson, Arizona, I received a text from one of our staff members: “War has broken out. Lots of gunfire.” Another message provided more star-

tling details: “Everyone is running around with spears, bows and arrows, axes, and machetes. What do we do?” Then, I read a message from Briana: “Can you contact Mission Aviation Fellowship to see if they could come and get some of our new teachers out? They are afraid. For us old teachers, we are used to this, but they aren’t.” I responded, “From the safety and comfort of America, this sounds so crazy.” She texted back, “Jesus was crazy too. He left the safety of heaven to come and be with us.” Her text was punctuated with several smiley faces. I held back tears of pride for her Christlike courage.

Briana recently agreed to serve with Ob Anggen for the next 20 years. My wife and I are honored to support 65 other national missionaries like Briana who spur us on with their grit, knowledge, empathy, and commitment. Our prayer and financial partners also inspire us. Our school, which receives only about 10 percent of its funding from the local government, relies heavily on the generosity of those who give to The Alliance. Although we must constantly expand our facilities to accommodate our ever-increasing student population, God always provides for our needs through faithful ministry partners who, like Briana, advance boldly alongside us in God’s Kingdom armies.

*Name changed


In the highlands of Papua, God has used the gifts and prayers of Alliance friends and family to create a safe learning environment for underserved students as they advance in their studies and become lifelong disciples of Jesus. Yet, as Ob Anggen Jr. and Sr. High School continues to grow, administrators must build two additional dorms. To provide for the educational and spiritual needs of Papuan youth, visit; select “a project you love/Find a project”; and type in “West Papua Dorms.”

Learn more about Alliance strategic projects throughout the world in need of your prayers and financial support by accessing the 202223 Strategic Giving Opportunities Gift Catalog at or by calling toll free (866) 443-8262.



In October 2022, members of the Alliance video team traveled to Thailand. While near Udon Thani, they encountered flooding caused by heavy rainfall, which had affected the northern and central provinces since late September, causing extreme damage and significant population displacement. A local Alliance church brought emergency relief kits— floating them in plastic bins—to everyone they could reach in the area.

Photo by Olivia McCash


Requests from Alliance workers


Praise God for a historic Christian conference I attended with a group of medical professionals. The site was chosen in honor of Dr. S., a believer who had a vision to return to his hometown and start a hospital. It opened just months before his unexpected death. Several believers from the mission and community united to continue the ministry. This culminated in choosing the town as the site for the annual Christian Medical Association Conference, bringing over 100 believers there. We worshiped together, learned from other medical professionals, engaged in street evangelism, visited the hospital, and prayed over the new site for a house of prayer. The response was incredible, and the gospel was even shared in the home of a local religious leader.

During the worship, one of the hospital workers who had been hired by Dr. S. had a vision of Jesus holding out His hand to him. The worker prayed to receive Christ after having all his questions answered and counting the cost, as there can be much fear among this people group in making a commitment to Christ. The man said he has never had so much peace and joy in his life. He also had a vision of many following him as he followed Jesus. Dr. S.’s wife has shown signs of openness; pray for her to surrender to Christ.


“He doesn’t want it to end yet!” said one father when he came to get his son on the last night of our team’s Kids Club. The boy had tears streaming down his face. His mom told me, “He never engages in other activities— this is the ONLY one he loves. On Thursdays, he wakes up happy and energized because he knows THIS day is Kids Club. I think he enjoys it so much because he can be himself, and you just accept him for who is and don’t try to change him.”

Thank you for your prayers for Alliance ministries like this one. The prayers of people like you brought this boy closer to Jesus as he experienced the Father’s agape love. Recently, a large group of sixth graders “graduated” from Kids Club. We are hoping to transition them to youth group, which will have a more spiritual focus. Please pray that they will be excited to participate in the activities and that as a result, they and their families will choose to follow Jesus.


Four high school students have been coming to church since last fall, and they are loving it. Three of them have started their faith journey, and one of the boys, Jason, was baptized in December. Pastor Sukprasan, who shepherds the church, says they like the atmosphere there, which makes them feel like they belong. Pray that the fourth boy will decide to follow Jesus. Pray, too, that all will grow in their faith and that God will add to their number.

—an Alliance international worker serving with marketplace ministries —Ed and Sue Danneker, Alliance international workers serving with aXcess —Teri, an aXcess worker serving in Uruguay The prayers of people like you bring these kids closer to Jesus.


From around the block to the ends of the earth


Michael A. and Elissa J. Picconatto and family, in November. The Picconattos are involved in church ministries, discipleship ministries, and focused people-group ministries.


Miguel A. Alicea, pastor, Iglesia Bliblica Gracia y Misericordia, Allentown, Pa.

Joel A. Arndt, pastor, Arise Church, Sheboygan, Wis.

Madeline C. Ashcraft, RTI ministry intern, Salem (Ore.) Alliance Church

Efrain Avila Jr., reserve chaplain, Alliance South Central District

Robert E. Baker Jr., associate pastor, Oasis Community Church, Fallon, Nev.

Cameron H. Booze, adult discipleship resident, Christ Community Church C&MA, Omaha, Neb.

YNo Buonkrong, pastor, First Mont–agnard Alliance of Raleigh (N.C.)

Aaron M. Burtner, special assignment, Alliance Northwest District

Eun Hee Choi, other ministry, New Jersey Manna Church C&MA, Bergenfield, N.J.

Noel Cintron, assistant pastor, ACM Vega Baja (P.R.) III

Steven P. Dangaran, special assignment, Alliance Northwest District

Craig Daughterty, veterans administration chaplain, C&MA National Office

Doyle N. DeGraw, pastor, Trinity Christian Chapel, Sewell, N.J. Christian P. Destremps, Christian student apologist, Midwest District

Joseph A. DiLuzio, associate pastor, Alliance Bible Church, Waco, Tex.

Amanda K. Edin, district personnel, North Central District

Daniel F. Edwards, pastor, Calvary Alliance Church, Pocatello, Idaho

Stephen V. Elliott, special assignment, The Alliance Southeast

Aaron D. Ellis, pastor of worship arts and administration, East Gate Alliance Church, Marshfield, Wis.

Mark A. Epperson, pastor, Grace Alliance Church, Charleston, S.C.

Aaron L. Foor, church advance specialist, Alliance South Central District

Kailey D. Fritts, Envision intern, Envision France field

Adam L. Garman, minister for discipleship, Fordham Manor Church, Bronx, N.Y.

Amanda E. Gosline, special assignment, The Alliance South

David J. Hardie, youth pastor, Eastern Pennsylvania District

Joseph A. Hernandez, senior pastor, Fordham Manor Church, Bronx, N.Y.

Eun Ju Hwang, assistant pastor, Mahanaim Global Mission Church, Sierra Vista, Ariz.

Sung Soo Hwang, senior pastor, Morgantown (W.Va.) Korean Church

Michael A. Labrum, special assignment, Alliance Northwest District

Jose F. Lara, church planter, Familias De Fe, Palmview, Tex.

Brice A. Lifer, military chaplain, C&MA National Office

Darren L. Lim, other ministry, Alliance South Central District

Rui Li, associate pastor, San Gabriel Valley Alliance Church, Arcadia, Calif.

Matthew Lower, reserve chaplain, Western Pennsylvania District

Frank A. Lucenti, church-planting pastor, Lighthouse Church, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jonathan T. Luu, assistant pastor, Vietnamese Evangelical Church, Garden Grove, Calif.

Jeffrey K. McCullough, mission specialist, Midwest District

John P. Moi, church-planting pastor, Awaken Community Church, Elizabeth, N.J.

Brett R. Monge, teaching and equipping pastor, Citylight North Lincoln

Robert A. Murphy, director of care and outreach, One Hope Church, Omaha, Neb.

Trong H. Nguyen, pastor, Seattle (Wash.) Vietnamese Christian Fellowship Church

Luis A. Pagan, assistant pastor, ACyM Fajardo (P.R.)

Joel Pantojas, pastor recurso y director oficina de emergencias, Puerto Rico District

Matthew C. Parker, associate pastor, Fremont (Neb.) C&MA Church

Juan M. Parra, pastor, Iglesia Sinai de la ACyM, McAllen, Tex.

John H. Pavlica Jr., family outreach pastor, Oak Hill C&MA Church, Cranberry Township, Pa.

Alyonushka D. Pavlova, children’s director, Heart Church, Fox Island, Wash.

Hung V. Pham, interim district superintendent, Vietnamese District


Douglas L. Prentice, coordinator for U.S. disaster relief, Alliance South Central

Jeffrey D. Price, reserve chaplain, Midwest District

Scott A. Reed, associate pastor, Bloomingdale (Ill.) Alliance Church

Jennifer K. Rivera, minister, Building on the Rock Community Church, Manchester, N.J.

Tim J. Ruesch, marriage ministry, Fairhaven Church, Springboro, Ohio

Gary H. Russell, director of senior and care ministries, Christ Community Church C&MA, Omaha, Neb.

Stanley Samuel, associate pastor, Redemption Point Alliance Church, McKinney, Tex.

Daniel L. Seaman, pastor, North Ridge Church of the C&MA, Raleigh, N.C.

Reatha M. Searing, district missions mobilizer, Alliance South Central

Daih Siu, assistant pastor, Grace Community Church, Greensboro, N.C.

Jerry E. Thompson, reserve chaplain, C&MA National Office

Richard W. Todd, assistant vice president for Orchard Alliance, MidAmerica District

Junior B. Vang, youth pastor, Providence (R.I.) Hmong Church

Olivia H. Vinson, college personnel, Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minn.

Logan C. White, pastor, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Nchaiv Pao Xiong, pastor, Grace Alliance Church of the C&MA, Anchorage, Alaska

Chong Za Yang, pastor, Hmong Alliance Church of Chico (Calif.)

Kenneth E. Young, district personnel, Central District


Wadsworth, Ohio, All for Jesus Christian Fellowship, 1231 High St., 44281-9421





Jacques Bamogo, Envision site associate, Metropolitan District

Psalm C. Baradi, assistant pastor for youth ministry, All Nations Alliance Church, White Settlement, Tex.

Daniel N. Bidne, director of college ministry, Providence Church, Omaha, Neb.

Marlena D. Burrow, kids ministry director, Westgate Chapel, Toledo, Ohio

Jacob Butters, youth pastor, Kailua (Hawaii) Community Church

Danny Cheong, director of outreach and engagement, Bedford Community Church, Bedford Hills, N.Y.

Youn Dong Choi, administrator, Korean District

Jeremy T. Flye, associate high school pastor, The Grove Community Church, Riverside, Calif.

Richard Griffith, special assignment, The Alliance South

Nicole K. Hall, worship director, Citylight North Lincoln (Neb.)

James P. Herbert, pastor, Glenview C&MA Church, Glen Rock, Pa.

Chengguang Jin, assistant pastor, Redemption Point Alliance Church, McKinney, Tex.

Willie Johnson, church planter, MidAmerica District

Timothy M. Kelman, youth pastor, Long Hill Chapel C&MA, Chatham, N.J.

Doyeun Kim, seminary personnel, Korean District

Michael T. Little, family pastor, Reveal Fellowship, Lake Worth, Fla.


Caleb J. Maka, pastor of student ministries, Lighthouse Church, May Court House, N.J.

James C. Marion, Youth United ministry leader, Relevant Community Church, Elkhorn, Neb.

Jonatan L. Martinez Otero, associate pastor, Iglesia y Academia Alianza Theopolis, Mayaguez, P.R.

Tanner McNeil, associate pastor, Anchor Church, Denver, Colo.

Harrison C. Moore, assistant pastor, Connexion Church, Bowling Green, Ky.

David Muckel, pastor, Lewisburg (Pa.) Alliance Church

Lauren R. Muniak, director of children’s ministries, Hope Church of the C&MA, Brunswick, Ohio

Judd A. Parker, pastoral resident, Christ Community Alliance Church, Orange, Vt.

Todd Roome, pastor, Central Pacific District

Jeffrey D. Ryan, executive pastor, Citylight Lincoln (Neb.)

Londa R. Schnell, director of children’s ministries, Community Heights Alliance Church, Newton, Iowa

Reginald Silencieux, pastor, First Haitian Evangelical Church of Springfield (Ohio)

Sherri R. Singley, children’s ministry director, Cranford (N.J.) Alliance Church

Khil Siu, assistant pastor, First Montagnard Alliance of Raleigh (N.C.)

Michael Southworth, pastor, Cornerstone Community Church, Hobart, Ind.

Matthew Suter, veterans administration chaplain, C&MA National Office

Fue Thao, lay pastor, Hmong New Hope Alliance Church, Auburn, Ga. Devin J. Tickle, youth pastor, Paradise (Calif.) Alliance Church

Veronica J. Torgerson, city groups director, Citylight North Lincoln (Neb.)

Chrisger K. Vang, associate pastor, True Life Alliance Church Tulsa (Okla.)


John G. Grusendorf, Ohio Valley District


Brian R. Heinen, Alliance South Central

Randall B. Junker, North Central District

Jeffrey T. Kiel, Western Pennsylvania District

Mark W. Kohl, Rocky Mountain District

Edgar L. Manns, Eastern Pennsylvania District

Bruce A. Nelson, South Pacific Alliance

William J. Rudge, Western Pennsylvania District

John G. Teschan, Western Great Lakes District

Daniel K. Yang, Central Pacific District


The following six ordinations took place April 29, 2022, during District Conference at Iglesia Alianza, Randolph, N.J.

Jose Flores. Jose is the pastor at Vida Nueva, Suwanee, Ga.

Franklin G. Mariscal. Franklin is the evangelism and discipleship pastor at Iglesia ACM de Nutley (N.J.)

Marlon Martinez. Marlon is the pastor at Cristo La Roca, Danbury, Conn.

Roberto Joel Melendez. Joel is the lead pastor at ACM de Leesburg, Fla.

Hazael L. Morell. Hazael is the lead pastor at Centro Cristiano de Adoracion, Providence, R.I.

Marcelo Realpe. Marcelo is the lead pastor at ACM de Nutley (N.J.).

Bruce James Farley, September 12, 2022, Elkins (W.Va.) Alliance Church. Bruce is the director of Alpha USA Great Lakes Associate Network (non-Alliance assignment).

Herman Sanchez, November 8, 2022, Alliance South Central District Office,

At Shell Point® , you’ll enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle where you can explore, worship, learn, grow and even continue to serve. And with new additions to our campus, like Tribby Arts Center, a sparkling centerpiece for the arts, and the state-of-the-art Larsen Health Center, you can rest on a firm foundation, knowing that your needs will be taken care of – both now and in the future.

in Fort Myers, Florida, just minutes from the islands of Sanibel and Captiva.

Unparalleled setting. Unparalleled lifestyle.™ Shell Point is located
Shell Point is a nonprofit ministry of The Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc. ©2021 Shell Point. All rights reserved. SLS-4424-21 ® Joyful
Vibrant Faithful Artful Healthy Fulfilled Southwest Florida Retirement Living Resort Amenities | State-of-the-art Health Care
Join the C&MA Family for Your Retirement VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.SHELLPOINT.ORG

Arlington, Tex. Herman is lead pastor at Iglesia Alianza Vida of the C&MA, Houston, Tex., and is the Alliance South Central District’s multiplication coach for Houston.

Stanley Samuel, January 22, 2023, Redemption Point Alliance Church, McKinney, Tex. Stanley is the assistant pastor for discipleship and missions.

Joseph (Joe) DiLuzio, January 29, 2023, Alliance Bible Church, Waco, Tex. Joe is the teaching pastor.


Timothy (Kirk) Petterson

November 1, 1950–March 8, 2019

Editor’s note: Although Rev. Petterson passed into glory in 2019, Alliance Life was only recently informed of his passing. We apologize for the resulting delay in publishing his obituary.

Born on All Saint’s Day in Wichita, Kans., with a name that means “honoring God,” Kirk was destined to be a man of prayer. He received his Bible/theology degree from Crown College (St. Bonifacius, Minn.). Kirk served as president of the Wisconsin College of Prayer, pastored the Lake Park Alliance Church (Shell Lake, Wis.), and served as the assistant pastor at the Chetek (Wis.) Alliance Church. He was also a chaplain at Luther Mayo Hospital (Eau Claire, Wis.).

On behalf of his community, Kirk organized the Chetek Area Prayer Initiative and spent countless hours in prayer at the Chetek House of Prayer and at Northside Christian Fellowship. For 20 years, he participated in the community’s vacation Bible school. Twice weekly, Kirk met with pastors and mentored others over breakfast served at local cafés. Kirk also prayed biweekly at The Well International, seeking to promote the gospel and English language learning among neighboring immigrants from Somalia. Kirk is survived by his wife; children, Joanna, Sarah, and Carl; 6 grandchildren; and 1 great-grandchild.

Sylvester (Stub) Belcher

July 1, 1931– July 31, 2022

Stub was born in Lafayette, N.J. While in high school, he met Shirley Fritts; they married December 23, 1950. In 1948, Stub joined the Navy, where he served for 23 years as a fighter pilot and then a test pilot. He retired as a lieutenant commander in 1972. After his military career, Stub received a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Seattle Pacific College in 1975. From 1973–1988, he pastored churches in Roy, Wash.; Hagerstown, Md.; Canton, Ohio; Chula Vista, Calif.; Grainger, Wash.; Ashland, Mont.; and Rapid City, S.Dak. While pastoring

Woodhaven Church in Rapid City, Stub served as a hospital chaplain until his retirement in 2002. He performed weddings, baptisms, and dedications for his children and grandchildren and was an avid Bible scholar all his life.

Stub is survived by his wife; children, Allen, Sally, and Sandy; 5 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Don E. Anderson Sr.

January 6, 1930–September 20, 2022

Don was born in Rahway, N.J. He graduated from the Missionary Training Institute (now Alliance University, New York, N.Y.) with a bachelor’s degree in theology. On November 25, 1948, he married Peggy I. Aungst.

Don was a licensed C&MA worker for 60 years. He served pastorates in Baltimore, Md. (1954–1957); Manchester (1957–1960), Coopersburg (1960–1964), and Williamsport, Pa. (1964–1971); New London, Ohio (1980–1983); and DeLand, Fla. (2002–2014). Don was also superintendent of the C&MA Eastern District in Mechanicsburg, Pa. (1971–1980), and served on the administrative staff at the Alliance Community for Retirement Living in DeLand, Fla. (1983–2002).

Don was preceded in death by his wife; sons Don Jr. and Stephen; and 2 grandchildren; he is survived by sons David and William (Bill); foster daughter Francis Ruth; 6 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren.


(Bob) Lucas Livingston

January 23, 1928–October 26, 2022

Born in Oak Park, Ill., Bob moved with his family to Iowa, where they owned a farm. He enlisted in the Army after graduating from high school and was sent to Korea. After being discharged in 1948, Bob attended Iowa State University to study animal husbandry, intending to return to Iowa to run the farm. In 1950, his brother, Dave, led him to the Lord, and he transferred to Bob Jones University (BJU). Bob received his MDiv at Grace Theological Seminary (Winona Lake, Ind.).

While at BJU, Bob was challenged to become a missionary to Korea, where he had said he would never return. There he met Claire Beckwith, who served with the Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM). They married in Japan at the TEAM annual missions conference. Upon their return to Korea, Bob was involved in evangelism, church planting, and other ministries. He also served as station manager for HLKX Radio, broadcasting into Korea, China, and Russia and in English to American servicemen in Korea. For two years, Bob worked at TEAM’s headquarters as a purchasing agent supporting 1,000 missionaries worldwide. He then worked as


executive secretary for the American Institute of Holy Land Studies.

Originally ordained in the Presbyterian Church, Bob was ordained by the C&MA in 1979. He and Claire then moved to Salem, Ore., where Bob was pastor of administration at Salem Alliance Church. For four years, the couple ran a C&MA guesthouse in Israel, and Bob served as recording secretary for the United Christian Council in Israel.

After they returned stateside, Bob was associate pastor at All Nations Baptist Church (Iowa City, Iowa) with a predominately Korean congregation. Later, he was a minister to seniors at Christ Community Church (Omaha, Neb.) while studying for his DMin. He also led tours to Israel, taking dozens of groups to the Holy Land for 40 years and baptizing people in the Jordan River, including his children and two grandchildren.

Bob was preceded in death by his wife; he is survived by son, Stephen; daughter, Ruth; 3 grandchildren; and 3 great-grandchildren.

Jerome K. Jackson

February 13, 1936–November 14, 2022

Jerome grew up in Cedar Lake, Ind. As a teen, he surrendered his life to Jesus during the tabernacle meetings at Cedar Lake Conference Grounds. There he met Harriet Schuldt; they married on August 24, 1957. Jerome earned his BS degree from Ouachita Baptist College (Arkadelphia, Ark.).

During 30 years of C&MA ministry, Jerome pastored churches in Kalispell (1977–1984) and Belgrade, Mont. (1984–1990); and Port St. Lucie (1990–1998), Largo (1998–2002), and Daytona Beach, Fla. After retiring, Jerome and Harriet continued to be involved in a variety of ministries. They taught Sunday school classes, led Bible studies, and held VBS in their garage for 13 years. In addition, they hosted neighborhood hayrides, carol singing, and a “Walk to Bethlehem” in their yard during the Christmas season. Jerome was a member of New Hope Fellowship Church, where he served as a teacher and Bible study leader for the past 20 years.

Jerome is survived by his wife; children, Daniel, Sandra, Pam, Jerry, Berry, and Kerry; 21 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren with 3 more on the way at this writing.

Kathleen (Kathy) Baughman

December 23, 1957–November 16, 2022

Kathy was married to Kelly R. Baughman. For 18 years, she served alongside him in his pastoral ministry

at Mountain View Community Church in Snohomish, Wash. Kathy was also a beloved teacher and paraeducator before she was a full-time mother. She was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer and went to be with her Savior after a sixweek battle.

Kathy was preceded in death by 7-year-old daughter, Melissa. She is survived by her husband; sons, Bradley and Jacob; and 3 grandchildren.

Hazel (Betty) Elizabeth (Smith) Miles

December 18, 1931–November 18, 2022

Born in Milltown, Pa., Betty graduated from Seneca Hills High School in 1949. She married Donald G. Miles on June 24, 1950, in North Bessemer, Pa.

Betty worked for Paul Beatty Jewelers in Punxsutawney for many years but was mainly known as being the pastor’s wife in various C&MA churches. For more than 41 years, the couple served pastorates in Butler (1956–1958), Coalport (1958–1961), Oil City (1961–1968), North East (1968–1973), Indiana (1973–1984), and Cambridge Springs, Pa. (1984–1990); Fort Myers, Fla. (1990–1992); and Tionesta, Pa. (1992–1997). In her free time, Betty loved to hunt and fish with her husband and was a gifted artist.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband and grandson Erik; she is survived by children, Larry, Celia, and Donna; 5 grandchildren; and 5 great-grandchildren.

Arni Shareski

November 5, 1929–November 22, 2022

Arni grew up on a farm in Morden, Manitoba. He received his BS in theology from the Canadian Bible Institute in Regina, Sask. (now Ambrose University, Calgary, Alta.). While there, he met Irene; they married on August 15, 1952.

For 10 years, Arni served as a missionary to the Congo. He also worked at the C&MA National Office and pastored a church in South Hampton, N.Y. For the past 26 years, Arni and Irene lived at Shell Point Retirement Community (Fort Myers, Fla.). He enjoyed staying active by helping with the mail, singing in the church choir, volunteering on church committees, preaching, and leading Bible studies. Seven months after Irene passed away, Arni died following a courageous battle with cancer.

Arni was preceded in death by his wife; he is survived by his son, Wayne, and daughter, Sandy; 5 grandchildren; and 5 great-grandchildren.


FOR OVER 60 YEARS, Orchard Alliance has partnered with Alliance pastors and church leaders working to accomplish their vision. Through property funding, relief, education, and other partnerships, we’ve been on mission with Alliance leaders.

If you’re planning for expansion or want to help your congregation grow in generosity, call us today. As part of The Alliance family, we’d be honored to partner with you as you pursue your unique vision.

Call 833.672.4255 to start the conversation.

MAR/APR 2023 43 ALLIANCELIFE Start the conversation. CALL US TOLL FREE 833.672.4255 EMAIL US Loans Investments Planned Giving 8595 Explorer Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80920 / Toll Free 833.672.4255 / IN MINISTRY, SHARED VALUES MATTER.

November 6, 1922−November 29, 2022

Raised in Danville, Ill., Jack met Wanda Marie Wakeland at Danville High School. They married on November 29, 1941, at the Bible Gospel Center, now Danville (Ill.) Alliance Church, and enjoyed 74 years of marriage. A World War II Army veteran who served in Japan, Jack was a staff motor pool sergeant and was awarded several medals including two Bronze Stars for valor. Upon returning to Danville, the Wagoners felt called to ministry, so Jack enrolled in St. Paul Bible Institute (now Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minn.), earning his degree in Bible and theology. He graduated at the top of his class and served as class president. During more than 60 years of ministry, Jack pastored C&MA churches in Cable, Wis. (1953–1958); Tyler, Minn. (1958–1961); and Greeley, Colo. (1981–1984), where he started a C&MA church with his son and daughter-in-law. He also pastored First Baptist Church (Hoopeston, Ill.) for 19 years.

While in Hoopeston, Jack served as civil defense director, chaplain of the Hoopeston Police Department, and chaplain for the Vermillion County Sheriff’s Department. He later became pastor of Pleasant Grove Chapel in Danville, where he served for nearly 18 years. Jack was also an interim pastor at various churches. He died just after celebrating his 100th birthday on what would have been the Wagoners’ 81st wedding anniversary.

Jack was preceded in death by his wife; he is survived by children, Wanetta, Tom, Dawn, and Mark; 17 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

Fernando Esteban Chaves

July 29, 1927–December 4, 2022

Born in Colombia, Fernando served with the C&MA for 61 years. He was involved in ministry as a teenager and sang for the Alliance Quartet, ministering in churches and on the radio. Fernando attended Colegio Americano-Cali, a prestigious expatriate school where he was hired as a teacher upon graduation. He also taught at Colegio Bolivar–Cali and the Alliance Bible Institute. While at the institute, Fernando, also a theology student there, met Ligia Carvajal, a fellow student. They married in June 1961 and served their first pastorate in Tumaco, Nariño, Colombia.

In 1963, the couple moved to Los Angeles, Calif., and Fernando enrolled in the Baptist seminary. He pastored at the Iglesia Bautista Fundamental and ministered to Spanish speakers in Silver Lake and Echo Park. Fernando decided to get his U.S. high school equivalency diploma and received his GED from Lincoln High School (Lincoln Heights). Later, he moved his family to Chicago, Ill., where he served as a youth minister and then head pastor at the first Spanishlanguage C&MA church in Chicago. With the help of his congregation, Fernando founded several Spanishspeaking C&MA churches in the greater Chicago area.

The Chaveses returned to Southern California in the 1980s, and Fernando continued his ministry to C&MA Spanish-speaking congregations in Lincoln Heights, Lynwood/South Gate, Manhattan Beach, and Gardena. During retirement, Fernando continued leading Bible studies until shortly before his death.

Fernando is survived by his wife; daughters, Fabiola, Ligia Edith, Catalina Rosa, and Mirian; and 7 grandchildren; he was preceded in death by his infant son, Carlos Fernando.




It is my privilege to announce that the regular meeting of The Christian and Missionary Alliance is hereby called to take place beginning at 7 p.m., Monday, May 29, 2023, and ending Friday evening, June 2, 2023, at the Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, Washington 99201. It will be a delight to share these days with you in Spokane and a great joy to be identified with you in our joint labor to change the world for Jesus!

Expectancy leads to anticipation, and we are readily anticipating how the Lord will lead and move us.

Your presence at Alliance Council 2023 is vital to the growth and vitality of our work together. Come expectant of the Spirit’s presence as we gather and seek Him in:

• Worship

• The updating of our Alliance Statement of Faith

• Polity on men and women in leadership

• The election of new Board members

• Project ReImagine architectural renderings

• Healing and Communion

• The commissioning of new international workers

• The forward momentum of our All of Jesus for All the World vision

For more information and to register, go to COUNCIL.CMALLIANCE.ORG



On November 20, 2022, New York Chinese Alliance Church (NYCAC) celebrated its 50th anniversary. The church was birthed on the lower east side of Manhattan as one of the first ethnic churches of the Metropolitan District and remains committed to A. B. Simpson’s passion to reach the vulnerable, outcasts, and immigrants. Though the church almost went bankrupt with a building project intended to better service its community, NYCAC’s faithfilled risk resulted in a vibrant, multilingual congregation that is now debt free. “God has sustained our church through literal and metaphoric hurricanes,” note pastors Gustav Hung and Stephen Ko. “Though born an immigrant church, God is calling us to share the gospel with residents and immigrants, ethnic minorities and majorities, and the rich and poor. The gospel remains the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We pray we will not forsake our calling: to be salt and light in a city without hope, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to witness while waiting for the Lord’s return.”


More than 300 Alliance pastors, international workers, and missions leaders/advocates met in Columbus, Ohio, in early January for the annual Converge gathering, themed Finishing the Task in Challenging Times. Alliance leaders delivered compelling messages about reaching the remaining hard places, and attendees interacted in table talks to share ideas and answer questions like, Why does The Alliance go to the hardest and riskiest places in the world? How can my church care for international workers struggling with growing pressures and stress? How does my church raise up new workers to be well-prepared to finish the task? Attendees from over 100 Alliance churches—representing every U.S. Alliance district—left with a shared conviction that The Alliance is a unique, end-times family with a rich history of taking the best news to the hardest places—and we fulfill our calling best when we do it together.


AS OF JANUARY 1, Charitable Gift Annuity rates are higher than they have been in over a decade. Now is a great time to consider this gift that benefits you and The Alliance. Based on your age, annual payout rates are 5.4% to 9.7%.

Gift annuities provide you with a stable, regular income—regardless of the economy— and an immediate tax deduction. After your lifetime, the remaining amount becomes part of your charitable legacy.

MAR/APR 2023 47 ALLIANCELIFE 8595 Explorer Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80920 / Toll Free 866.824.4172 / Charitable Gift Annuities (CGAs) are issued by Orchard Alliance (Orchard) or as agent for The Christian and Missionary Alliance (the C&MA). Orchard or the C&MA, respectively, is
for and liable for the CGAs that are issued in their individual names. The Christian and Missionary Alliance issues annuities in the states of NY, NJ and CA. Charitable Gift Annuity rates have gone up! A Charitable Gift Payments For Life A Tax
SCAN THE CODE , visit incomeforlife, or call 866.824.4172 to explore your options.



For over 20 years, many concerned Christians, both Native American and white, had been praying for and working toward the establishment of a school where Native American converts could gain a better understanding of Christianity and learn how to tell others of their faith.

Drawing upon their own meager income to pay all the costs, several Alliance workers held camps for Native American young people during the summers of 1944 and 1945. So successful was the venture that the missionaries subsequently accumulated $450 and “pestered” the district until they finally gained support. In 1946, the Northwestern District unanimously approved the undertaking of a camp and Bible school for the Native Americans of the district and gave an offering of $480.

Later that year, a Native American believer donated his 40-acre allotment of land near Cass Lake, Minnesota. Many people volunteered to work on the project, and gifts and donations aided the work. In 1947, the campground was named Mo-Kah-um, the Chippewa word for “sunrise.” By the end of the year, the buildings were up, the grounds were ready, and hopes were high.

On October 7, 1948, the school was dedicated in a special service. The highlight of this service was the ordination of Selam Ross as the first ordained Native American pastor in The Christian and Missionary Alliance. The next day, six Native American people from four tribes were enrolled and classes began.

Since those early years, the school has increased in all areas. Mokahum now offers a two-year and a fouryear program of education aimed at helping students achieve spiritual maturity and knowledge of faith and to become pastors, evangelists, missionaries, lay workers, and witnesses among their people.

The outreach of the school includes the Chippewa Bible Broadcast to reach Chippewa-speaking Native Americans in the United States and Canada. There is also a ministry engaged in reaching people through literature, much of which is written by Native Americans in Native American languages. Scripture translation is also associated with this work.

The greatest ministry of the school, however, is its students. After graduation, students from Mokahum have taken various places of ministry with many organizations throughout the United States and Canada. Mokahum has been responsible for training to various degrees over 100 Native American people.

For 25 years, Mokahum has been training Native American people, the task remains great, and our purpose is still clear: to teach Native American people to reach their own people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the hope of all associated with Mokahum that this will truly be the “sunrise” of a genuine Native American church.

The Mokahum choir practicing for an upcoming performance (Photo courtesy of C&MA Archives) —by Alex S. Muntean. Adapted from “25 Years,” a brochure celebrating the anniversary of Mokahum school in 1973