INTO THE LAND OF PROMISE
Receiving the full grace of the Blessed One who lives in you pg. 4
ENTERING THE HARD PLACES
Bringing Christ’s presence to the lost and oppressed pg. 14
PUSH FORTH AT MIDNIGHT
Celebrating the rich history of pioneering Alliance ministries pg. 24
VOLUME 158 | No. 03 | MAY/JUN 2023 THE MAGAZINE OF THEALLIANCE SINCE 1882
by Peter Burgo, Editor-in-Chief
The remaining unreached peoples have “disadvantaged access” to the good news of Jesus. Some remain physically isolated; others live under threat of political opposition or religious persecution—or are hopelessly bound to familial or animistic belief systems. Many have been driven from their homelands because of war, instability, or natural disaster and are struggling just to survive. That’s why the task of reaching them is hard. But God remains faithful to open doors to those who have yet to experience His loving embrace. As Alliance people, we remain watchful as these doors open and eager to walk through them when they do.
Our Alliance history has shown us that going to the hard places takes time, patience, and perseverance. Early Alliance missionaries labored to launch and sustain a meaningful, impactful gospel presence in barren and perilous locations for decades without seeing a single decision for Christ. Some even surrendered their lives to establish a viable gospel outpost. But their perseverance paid off as God brought forth significant fruit in many of these dry and barren lands.
Today, the Alliance international workers you send and support continue to answer this sacrificial call. They have spent years preparing. They have left behind people and places they hold dear to live among the lost and overlooked they’ve been called to serve. They’ve learned difficult languages and immersed themselves in unfamiliar cultures—to preach Christ in word and deed where He is not yet known.
This May/June at Alliance Council 2023 in Spokane, Washington, 50 new international workers will be commissioned to go to some of the world’s last remaining hard places. Five of them will be joining a veteran Alliance worker couple who are relocating to a Middle Eastern city where there are less than 50 known believers among the 1.5 million ethnic majority. You can launch these workers’ presence through your gift to the 2023 Great Commission Day Offering.
Give now to the 2023 Great Commission Day Offering using the letter and envelope enclosed in the back of this magazine or the QR code on page 17. Visit cmalliance.org/gcday to learn more about how your Alliance workers are launching gospel presence among suffering, overlooked, and displaced people in some of the world’s remaining hard places.
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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. www.alliancelife.org
EDITORIAL VOLUME 158 | No. 03 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
is published by The Christian
“There’s a reason remaining unreached peoples remain unreached—it is hard to reach them.”
—Tim Crouch, vice president for Alliance Missions
C over : Photograph by Olivia, Alliance Video. All around the world, Alliance workers are serving in the hardest places to share the gospel with those who have never heard.
04 Christ - Centered
INTO THE LAND OF PROMISE
Receiving the full grace of the Blessed One who lives in you | by A. B. Simpson | pg. 4
A FORETASTE OF HEAVEN Bringing all peoples to the throne | by Sam Lai | pg. 8
FREE VERSE Quotes from the Kingdom | pg. 11
TOZER ANTHOLOGY compiled by Harry Verploegh | pg. 11
14 Acts 1:8
ENTERING THE HARD PLACES Bringing Christ’s presence to the lost and oppressed by Emmy Duddles | pg. 14
JESUS WITH SKIN ON Living out the Incarnation in Ishinomaki, Japan by Alan Kropp | pg. 18
TO PARADE STREET AND BEYOND Meeting the nations on our doorsteps by Sandy Mayle | pg. 22
PUSH FORTH AT MIDNIGHT
Celebrating the rich history of pioneering Alliance ministries | compiled by Alliance Life staff | pg. 24
BOARD SUMMARY LETTER by Steven C. Lausell | pg. 33
GENERAL BYLAW CHANGES | pg. 34
PRAYER IS PRIMARY
Requests from Alliance workers | pg. 35
ALLIANCE FAMILY NEWS
Personnel changes, obituaries, and classified ads | pg. 36
OUR LIFE Snapshots from around The Alliance | pg. 46
FOUNDATIONS God Is in this Place
Adapted by Alliance Life staff | pg. 48
Plus 02 EDITORIAL 07 THE PEOPLE WE SERVE 12 INFOCUS: IN THE GLOW OF EARLY MORNING | by Winfield Macomber 32 INFOCUS MAY/JUN2023 22 CONTENTS 14 8 4 24
INTO THE LAND OF PROMISE
Receiving the full grace of the Blessed One who lives in you
by A. B. Simpson,
The Land of Promise challenged me like few books had before. The Spirit used A. B. Simpson’s words to burn a fire within my soul. Simpson points to Israel and their failure to capture the fullness of their Promised Land, and I saw myself in the pages of Israel’s history—failing and choosing the same wayward paths. I am so blessed that we had the opportunity to refresh and rerelease this book. The newest edition has been updated and contains a study guide for each chapter at the end of the book.
—Marv Nelson, co-author of the modernized edition of The Land of Promise and pastor of Indiana (Pennsylvania) Alliance Church
After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses” (Josh. 1:1–3, ESV).
The Lord leads us up to the gate of the land, not any longer to look over into it, but to enter upon it and possess it. It is as real an experience as the setting out from Egypt. The steps for our entering into the Promised Land are very definite.
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Illustration by Caylie Smith
modernized by Marv Nelson
STEP 1: MOSES MUST DIE.
The first sentence of the book of Joshua is: “Moses my servant is dead” (Josh. 1:2a). The children of Israel could not go in as long as Moses was alive. He represented the Law, which could never save any human being.
There is no salvation either here or later on in the future. The Ten Commandments are not Christianity. They made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did. They show us what we have to do, but they cannot make us do it.
Punishment never makes an offender do better. The example of a good man never has this effect. It is all Law. We may try our best to do better, but we cannot. We may resolve and re-resolve, but we are the same at the end. All the efforts we can bear upon our life and character will not make us good. That is the Law. Moses himself could not enter into the land; he was killed by his own law. He disobeyed, so the Lord took him up into the heights of Pisgah and showed him the land upon which he could not enter. It is blessed to have the Law and make a strong, clear stand upon the side of right, but we need more.
Many people today are trying their best to keep, perhaps, a New Year’s resolution to live a different life, but before the year is past, they usually fail. They make these resolutions often and yet fail to keep them and so give up trying in despair. This is what the devil wants. He knew you would fail all the time. Many Christians are doing the same thing and perhaps think God has put them in hard places, and their efforts are vain to live in them.
Beloved, it is not what we can do but what God can do. Jesus Christ came not to impose taxes but to pay them. He does not command you to be right. That was the work of Moses. There is a great difference between law and grace, as great as between demand and supply. The Law says, “You must;” grace says, “I will enable you to do.” The Law says, “Be strong and be holy;” grace says, “I have come to bring you the blessings of holiness.” The first words spoken to Joshua were: “Go over into the land which I do give to you” (see Joshua 1:2b). Jesus comes to give, not to demand. He says, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30).
Beloved, have you passed from under the Law into the blessed freedom of the gospel? Have you ceased your own efforts and best endeavors to do what is right? And have you received the full grace of the Blessed One . . . so that while, in a sense, you are still living in the flesh you are walking after the Spirit?
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If we speak of the Law in this way, we are not lessening it, but we cannot keep the Law if we simply try our best, and yet, the Law’s beauty does not change because of our failure! It is righteous but can never make you righteous. Jesus has come to give us the power to keep it. A mirror will show us a dirty face, but we cannot wash the stain off with the mirror. The Law shows us the sin. Jesus gives us the cleansing from sin. You will never get into the Land of Promise until you are through striving against sin, resisting the evil one, and laboring to be pure and holy apart from Christ. You must come to the Lord Jesus in order for Him to develop within you holiness and victory.
God said, “Moses my servant” (Josh. 1:2), not, “my son.” While you are under the law, you are only a servant: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God” (Josh. 1:12) You become like children when you are living in true intimacy with Him. Then you have in you the very heart to do His will because He has sent His Spirit into your heart, and you can now recognize your Father and cry out as Jesus did, “Abba, Father” (see Romans 8). From then on, you are no more servants but sons because you have within you the nature and life of God.
Beloved, God will give you this blessed experience. Come to Him and tell Him how you have striven to obtain it but cannot. Then believe that He gives you a free gift, and you will receive it. You will walk immediately into the possession of that blessed peace that passes all understanding. It is a blessed life, for there is not only consciousness of His presence always in blessing, but there is both the will and power to do His will.
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STEP 2: NOT ONLY MUST MOSES DIE, BUT ISRAEL MUST DIE ALSO. “Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan” (Josh. 1:2). What is “this Jordan”? From time immemorial, it has been taken to represent death. The meaning of the type certainly is death and judgment. It is the act of putting off the past life, of stepping down into the floods of the Jordan, and coming out on the other side as the Israelites did—not the same people anymore. We are to go over the Jordan, not stay in it. The past life is to be buried with its imperfections and its sins, and we are to go forward in the Resurrection life on the other side.
It is the figure of a new life for the Christian heart. It is a definite committal of self in all its forms to the waves of death and a parting with everything in this life that we must cast off. It is saying goodbye to the world, to our past life, and everything in our present life that is less than the will of God.
It is a separation from the world and a coming forth from this death as if we had dropped down from heaven, made over anew; from then on, we are citizens only of the heavenly world—“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God;” “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Colo. 3:3; Gal. 5:24). There is now no dragging around of the old life or any efforts to make it better. We have got something better, even Christ Himself, our life. . . .
Beloved, may you rest in the arms of your Father without fear; and if He pointed His sword at any evil thing in you, let it go. He will not hurt you. He will only slay the evil and let you lie there upon His breast and die in the arms of His love.
Pick up your copy of The Land of Promise at Council 2023, or visit Amazon or christianbook.com to buy one now.
My name is Ank.* Both my husband and I are lawyers, and we have everything we could need—servants, cars, you name it. But I still spit when someone speaks a blessing or touch wood when something is going well because you never know when fate will change.
This year while we were away, my brother-in-law was killed in a hit-and-run. He lived with us for many years, and his wife gave birth to their first child two weeks after his death. I remembered my friend Elizabeth, who has always listened genuinely to my deep feelings. As she called to check on me in this grief, I poured out my heart once again. “I go to the temple every morning, to the gurudwara every afternoon, and another faith’s chanting group daily, but I am still up all night in fear. Why is God mad at me? What have we done? I’m exhausted, and I don’t know who to pray to.”
Elizabeth listened and again prayed for me in the name of Jesus. She sent a song for me to listen to, and I felt peace.
A year has passed, and we still miss my brother-inlaw so much. I continue to seek everywhere and fast regularly. Once I decided not to enter a cathedral in Europe to pray and then had a dream of God saying, “Why did you come to My door and not come in?” I’ve taken my family into every church I’ve seen since then. I know that faith is important, but I still feel like my soul is running a marathon. I’m just trying to find the answer.
*All names changed
MAY/JUN 2023 7 ALLIANCELIFE THE
A FORETASTE OF HEAVEN
by Sam Lai
Revelation 21:5 (NRSVUE) declares, “And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’” This year marked the beginning of a new era. The world has reopened after three years of a paralyzing pandemic. Borders reopened, new visas are being granted, and domestic and international travels have resumed. This time of hibernation fostered a resilience and a longawaited readiness in us for new things ahead.
Our resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus will certainly come back in His day to make all things new. During this state of expectancy—already but not yet—Jesus continues to show us glimpses of His new work here and now. We have a foretaste of the heavenly realm that we can now experience partially, if not wholly, today.
Living out God’s Kingdom now also includes the diversity and great multitude of people “no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (Rev. 7:9–10, ESV).
FROM ALL TRIBES AND PEOPLES
Reaching out to those who were not yet God’s people was the great burden of our founder, A. B. Simpson. It propelled him to leave a prestigious pastoral ministry to engage, evangelize, and make disciples among the recent immigrants from Europe. Such people were not accepted by the typical churches in Simpson’s time. As the C&MA mission began, workers were sent to do cross-cultural ministry in the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia. Reaching the unreached and ethnically different is embedded in the DNA of our denomination.
Today, we witness a variety of people among many ethnic groups identifying as diaspora around the world for many different reasons. In most major countries and cities, we can now easily find people from every major ethnic group. People of different ethnicities are coming together to share their lives, which often leads to the formation of new cultural groups.
Recently, during a mission trip to the Holy Land, I was able to witness the blossoming of a new ministry opportunity. One Chinese pastor plans to form an English-speaking congregation geared toward Jews who
ALLIANCELIFE 8 MAY/JUN 2023
Bringing all peoples to the throne
Photograph by Stephanie Reindel
are friends of Chinese students from different college campuses. This non-siloed approach for ministries creates a new space to experience the foretaste of all tribes and peoples in eternity.
Today, how do we continue the incarnational ministry of our forefathers who have faithfully and sacrificially committed their lives to missions? What does it mean to be relational, intentional, and missional as we fulfill the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations?
First of all, we are called continually to embrace people who are different from us with spiritual openness and cultural humility. We must be spiritually opened to a Kingdom perspective beyond our own familiar understanding. We must expose ourselves to the work of God around the world among a diversified population so that we can see other people as God sees them.
For example, Han Chinese people, one of the largest Chinese ethnic groups, are often born and raised among different cultures, which makes them unique even from each other. In order to truly understand these different ethnic groups that vary even among themselves, we must be open to hearing about their experiences.
Being culturally humble means having a willingness to listen, understand, and learn from any individual who comes from a different culture, speaks a different language, has a different worldview, or prays to a different deity than you do. Engage and make friends with people intentionally, relationally, and missionally like our Lord Jesus.
I remember an encounter I had when I first came to serve at San Francisco Chinese Alliance Church. In November 2018, the destructive Camp Fire almost destroyed the town of Paradise, California. One day, a group of 12 from our church drove up from San Francisco to provide support to those who had escaped the fire.
In the temporary shelter, I talked to a Caucasian lady who shared how her heart was broken when she only had a few minutes to gather essential items before being hurried away from her home. Although she was able to leave with her injured dog, she was desperate to find her lost cat.
As she shared in tears, I listened and offered words of encouragement. I prayed with her and guided her to trust Jesus, who is the only One granting peace and hope. She gladly accepted it, and after the prayer, she was drawn to Christ and decided to follow Him more closely. It was an important blessing to her, even amid her loss and hopelessness.
THE BALANCE BETWEEN FAITH AND WORK
Secondly, we need to explore new ways of engaging the world and sharing the gospel in a meaningful and rele-
vant way. In addition to the traditional way of doing missions, Business as Mission (BAM) programs like running coffee shops, agricultural businesses, tourist centers, or educational centers have become more popular.
However, the successful practice of BAM is complex and demands that people have multiple perspectives, a Kingdom mindset, and the know-how to operate the business. Most importantly, it calls for a renewed mission with an expectation to see a new way of doing God’s work.
It involves the delicate balance and integration of faith and work. The work itself should not be just a channel to connect and share the gospel. The work should have an intrinsic gospel significance that fundamentally transforms Christians while also drawing the lost from every ethnic group nearer to the Savior.
LEAVING OUR COMFORT ZONES
Thirdly, we need a new way of defining and viewing the Church. As the world changes so quickly and churches start adding online services and gatherings, traditional churches might become less attractive and even obsolete for the younger generations.
Many megachurches are less popular as people are seeking genuine and personal relationships in smaller spiritual communities. Small churches and even home churches, which often provide easier access to authentic fellowship, are becoming a commodity, particularly after a collective traumatic pandemic experience where people were isolated and deprived of genuine human connection. In addition, there are increasing limitations and restrictions of running churches, especially in closed countries. It is essential that we find creative ways to nurture and cultivate new life in the Church to reach all peoples.
So, what do we expect when seeking God’s work in mission? It begins by renewing the original call the Lord gave to A. B. Simpson. When he left his monoethnic, middle-class church to reach out to multiethnic diverse people groups both locally and overseas, Simpson paved the path we need to follow.
We need our great God to challenge us like He did to the Early Church in Acts 6–8, enduring suffering and difficulties so that we will be ready to leave our comfort zones in response to the Great Commission to bring the gospel to people who are different from us. Let us expect to experience God’s Kingdom and His never-paused miraculous works here and now with the renewed strength He has given to us.
Sam Lai will be one of the main speakers at Council 2023. He has served as an Alliance pastor for 15 years, currently serving at San Francisco Chinese Alliance Church. He also spent 10 years as a civil engineer in Hong Kong. Sam and his wife, Po Yee, have two children.
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Expectancy leads to anticipation, and we are readily anticipating how the Lord will lead and move us.
Your presence at Alliance Council 2023 is crucial to the growth and vitality of our work together. Come expectant of the Spirit’s presence as we gather and seek Him in:
• 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
ALLIANCELIFE 10 MAY/JUN 2023
ALLIANCE COUNCIL 2023 | SPOKANE, WASHINGTON | MAY 29–JUNE 2
compiled by Harry Verploegh
The most effective argument for Christianity is still the good lives of those who profess it.
“If you are called as a missionary—a ‘sent-out one’—then you are called to comfort those who mourn. You are called to love the broken until they understand God’s love—a love that never dies—through you.”
A company of pure-living and cheerful Christians in the community is a stronger proof that Christ is risen than any learned treatise could ever be. And a further advantage is that, while the average person could not be hired to read a theological work, no one can evade the practical argument presented by the presence of holy men and women.
To the sons and daughters of this tense and highly mechanized age, a holy life may seem unpardonably dull and altogether lacking in interest, but among all the fancy, interest-catching toys of the world, a holy life stands apart as the only thing slated to endure.
“Are we, like Abraham, willing to do the unthinkable because we trust the God of the impossible?”
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” —SCOT
“When Jesus was talking about the Kingdom of God, He was thinking of concrete realities on the earth, He was thinking of the Church being the embodiment of the Jesus dream, and He was thinking of you and I living together in a community as we should.”
To discover the good, great man (granted that it would be to our profit to do so) would require more than human wisdom. For the holy man is also the humble man, and the humble man will not advertise himself nor allow others to do it for him. Spiritual virtues run deep and silent.
The Christian who is zealous to promote the cause of Christ can begin by living in the power of the Spirit and thus reproducing the life of Christ in the sight of men. In deep humility and without ostentation, he can let his light shine. The world may pretend not to see; but it will see, nevertheless.
—from The Set of the Sail. Originally published in The Alliance Witness, April 1, 1987.
TOZER ANTHOLOG Y
In the Glow of Early Morning
by Winfield Macomber
In the glow of early morning, in the solemn hush of night, down from heaven’s open portals steals a messenger of light, whispering sweetly to my spirit, while the hosts of heaven sing: This the wondrous thrilling story— Christ is coming, Christ my King.
Oft I think I hear His footsteps, stealing down the paths of time; and the future, dark with shadows, brightens with this hope sublime. Sound the soul inspiring anthem; angel hosts, your harps attune; earth’s long night is almost over— Christ is coming, coming soon.
Long we’ve waited, blest Redeemer, waited for the first bright ray of the morn when sin and sorrow at Thy presence flee away. But our vigil’s nearly over; hope of heaven, O priceless boon! In the east the glow appearing— Christ is coming, coming soon.
Winfield Macomber was one of the eight young men who was sent out to the Congo in 1884, years before The Alliance was officially organized. He returned to America because of his health and helped write a grammar book that would enable future missionaries to learn the language and more easily minister to Congolese people.
Photo by Olivia, Alliance Video
ENTERING THE HARD PLACES
by Emmy Duddles
Despite being mentioned frequently throughout the Bible, a persecuted people group from the Middle East has gone largely unreached with the gospel. These people have a deep, rich history, but they have long suffered the effects of racism from other majority groups for hundreds of years—enduring exile, poverty, betrayal, and genocide.
In the midst of overcoming all of these obstacles and surviving violent discrimination, they’ve also experienced in-fighting and betrayal from within their own tribes and families. This has created a deep sense of mistrust within these people—mistrust of strangers and even of their own families. They still rely heavily
on their families and community for their livelihood and well-being, so even if they do hear about the love Christ has for them, they face a difficult decision. If they accept Christ, they risk being ostracized or even killed by their families and communities, the only support system they have.
The people within this group need to experience God’s love and have a safe place to land when they’ve been rejected. Reaching groups like this is hard—it takes years to build trust and show these people that following Christ is worth the sacrifice and persecution they will likely experience. But God is faithful to open doors for His people to bring His presence to those who have yet to find Him.
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Photography by Olivia and Rosie, Alliance Video
Bringing Christ’s presence to the lost and oppressed
A SENSE OF PEACE
More than a decade ago, an Alliance team in the Middle East established a community center with the intention of building a strong, trusting community for this oppressed people group. Intentionality in fostering relationships as well as the variety of programs the center conducts, such as English classes, conversation nights, and community picnics, has resulted in a meaningful presence for this team.
“When people walk through the front door of the community center, they say this sense of peace comes over them,” says Jeremiah,* an Alliance international worker serving on this team. “We attribute it to the Holy Spirit that when people come here, they can share their lives, and they have a level of comfort with us.”
Through these programs, Alliance workers are able to have conversations and build trusting relationships with people who have grown weary of their own religion. Even though it is difficult for these people to trust, they are often open to having religious conversations, offering many opportunities to share the gospel and bring more people to Jesus.
“The community center is not our ultimate purpose for being here,” Heather says. “That is how we’re able to have a meaningful, impactful presence here. Our ultimate goal, however, is to help build up the Church, to help raise up local leaders, and to spread the good news of Jesus Christ among a people who don’t know Him.”
Because of the relationships this team has built, they have been able to start Bible studies where those from this people group now pray and worship in their own language. There have been many
Opposite: Young men and women from this Middle Eastern people group, like Zakary, are being changed by the love of Christ because of this Alliance team. Above: This team will be launching a new presence in the city pictured above to reach even more from this mistrusting people group with the steadfast, faithful love of Christ.
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barriers, as people, especially women, are scared to be associated with anything Christian for fear of retaliation from their families. Despite the obstacles, these Alliance workers have still seen many people come to faith and grow deeper in their relationship with Christ because of this Bible study.
When this Alliance team first landed 15 years ago, there were hardly any believers in a city of almost 1 million people. Now, there are 150 known believers, some of whom are leading their own Bible studies and small groups to share the gospel among their own people group.
“It has been a huge encouragement to see that the Holy Spirit is working in this city,” Jeremiah says. “People are coming to faith, and we pray that the Holy Spirit continues to work and multiply.”
Jeremiah began talking to Zakary about faith. Through this conversation, it became clear to Jeremiah that Zakary had a deep interest in learning more about who Jesus is. “I could sense there was a longing in his heart for a relationship with God,” Jeremiah says.
They lined up a time to meet outside of the community center so they could continue their conversation. This quickly turned into weekly meetings where Jeremiah would lead Zakary through different passages in the Old and New Testament, discussing everything from the purpose of church to the importance of faith in Jesus. Zakary was also meeting a local pastor, and soon he committed his life to Christ.
When Zakary had to move to a neighboring city in order to find work, Jeremiah started trying to find a local believer there to continue having Bible studies with Zakary. Though this new city is twice the population of where Jeremiah and Heather currently work, Jeremiah could not find a locally led Bible study or even a single local believer to meet with and disciple Zakary.
An international worker was able to connect with Zakary, but this search showed Jeremiah what a great need this new city had for more gospel access. The Alliance team back at the community center began having discussions about who they could send to the neighboring city to bring the gospel so that these people would have a chance to hear about Jesus.
Heather and Jeremiah started praying about whether they were the ones who should be sent. Because of the life they’ve built in their current city, they weren’t sure if they should uproot themselves and their children. “But after taking a trip to that city ourselves,” Heather says, “the Lord wouldn’t allow us to close the door. He really burdened our hearts, and we knew deep down that He was asking us to take this new step of obedience.”
A LONGING OF THE HEART
One night as students filed out the door after Jeremiah dismissed his English class, one of his students, Zakary, stopped by his desk. Zakary started sharing about his struggles in the country and about the different barriers he had to finding work and establishing a good life because of his ethnicity.
In this new city, the people group Jeremiah and Heather work among are even more closed off than where they live now. There’s more devotion to the majority religion and less opportunities for Christian community, which means an even greater risk to following Christ.
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You are invited to be a vital part of Great Commission Day 2023—a special day of giving to send and sustain your Alliance workers and launch gospel presence in some of the world’s remaining hard places.
Today, more than 4,000 unreached people groups—comprised of nearly 3.4 billion people—remain throughout the world.
When you make a gift to the Great Commission Day Offering, you join the greater Alliance family in sending new workers, supporting existing ones, and launching gospel presence among lost, suffering, and overlooked people.
Will you launch gospel presence that brings the hope of Jesus to those with little hope in some of the world’s hardest places?
by scanning the code with your smart phone or by using the letter and envelope enclosed in the back of this magazine.
Visit cmalliance.org/gcday for more information.
“We feel honored to work among this people group,” Jeremiah says. “When we do see people come to faith, we feel like we’re in the first century of the church because we are seeing people who literally have to reject their entire lives to follow Him, like Jesus’ apostles. It challenges us daily to follow Jesus with more passion and with everything that we are.”
There is one area of the city that has no gospel presence at all—as far as Heather and Jeremiah know, there is not a single believer from this people group. Their plan is to establish another community center in order to meet felt needs and have opportunities to build relationships.
Among the 50 workers being commissioned at Council 2023, five of them will be joining Jeremiah and Heather to launch this project and create a gospel
presence where there isn’t one. Pray for these workers as they create a brand-new team and as they search for housing and a building for this community center.
“It’s our hope and prayer that the people of this new city will be transformed because they experience the hope and joy we have in Jesus,” Heather says.
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*All names changed
Emmy Duddles is the managing editor of Alliance Life. She and her husband, Lucas, live in Columbus, Ohio.
JESUS WITH SKIN ON
Living out the Incarnation in Ishinomaki, Japan
by Alan Kropp
On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck 50 miles off the northeast coast of Japan. It lasted over three minutes. The island of Honshu, a land mass roughly the size of Minnesota, moved eight feet to the east. The vibrations from the earthquake were so powerful they were detected by satellites in outer space. The disaster triggered a monster tsunami that ravaged the northeast coastline. In some places, the tsunami rose as high as 125 feet. In other areas, it traveled as far as six miles inland. More than 100,000 buildings were destroyed and over 22,000 lives lost. To date, this was the most costly natural disaster in recorded history at $238 billion.
My wife, Jill, and I felt the earthquake where we lived in Japan, some 500 miles south of the epicenter. Three weeks after the tsunami, I felt compelled to make the 11hour drive north to help with relief efforts and share the love of Jesus. I brought supplies like shovels and tools to help people clear their homes of debris. I delivered water and blankets and assembled bicycles so people could get to work. For the next year, I traveled monthly into the disaster zone to assist with the relief effort.
Two years later, our family moved to the tsunami-ravaged city of Ishinomaki. This is where God was calling
us to be present, being the hands and feet of Jesus in our daily lives.
INCARNATION IN THE ORDINARY
3.4 billion people—40 percent of the world’s population—have yet to experience Christ’s loving embrace. Jesus commands us all to participate in His Great Commission and sends some of us to go to these people groups without gospel access—to become like them, to live life with them, and to humbly serve them in hopes that they, too, can become part of God’s family.
The 2022–2023 Missions Emphasis theme is Be Present. In other words, as followers of Jesus, we are to be the tangible, loving presence of the Savior where we live, work, and play. As the Body of Christ, we are to be Jesus “with skin on.” Interestingly, the Japanese word for Incarnation is juniku, which is made up of two kanji characters. The first character means “take on.” The second means “flesh.” So, the Incarnation is literally, “God taking on flesh.” The Message, The Bible in Contemporary Language by Eugene Peterson, captures it this way: “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14). The Incarnation shows us
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Photography by Andy, Alliance Video
that when it comes to redeeming and restoring this broken world, God literally has skin in the game!
The Incarnation is not just a doctrine—it is our model for life and mission. We are to identify deeply with those we serve and winsomely infiltrate this world for good. Where and how we do this and the approaches we take will no doubt vary. However, our core identity and calling to be present will be the same.
During our first four years in Ishinomaki, much of what Jill and I did was ordinary. Our kids went to Japanese public school. We shopped where our neighbors shopped. Our neighborhood was full of kids, so our children played with them.
One day a new mom approached Jill asking if she would be willing to start a group for new moms and teach them how to be better mothers. Jill replied, “Yes, of course, but we are Christians, and we try to follow the wisdom and teachings of the Bible. Are you OK if we use Scripture?” The mom was fine with it, and in no time she and Jill had started a child-rearing group for new mothers.
“THANK YOU FOR TEACHING ME ABOUT JESUS”
About six years ago, a young mom started coming to the Ishinomaki New Life Center (NLC), which we started to help tsunami survivors. She had heard about our child-rearing program and decided to get connected. Her daughter had a severe case of eczema. Large patches of her skin were red, flaky, and itchy. When this mom heard that we believe God can heal, she asked us to pray for her child. A teammate and I placed our hands on this little girl, anointed her with oil, and prayed, trusting Jesus to bring her relief.
The next time we saw her mom, she told us her daughter’s skin condition had improved dramatically! We praised God and thanked Jesus that He still heals today. That miracle got this mom’s attention. Since then, she has been open to the things of Jesus. We invited her to our house church, called Family Room, and she has attended faithfully for the past four years. She prays in Jesus’ name and has told us she believes the truth about Him. However, she has not been baptized because she is unsure how her husband and Buddhist family will respond.
Two years ago, I received a birthday card from her. In it she wrote, “Thank you for teaching me about Jesus.” As a missionary serving among a people group that knows little to nothing about Jesus—and who often is the very first Christian they have met—this is about as good as it gets!
“IT’S TIME TO BE BAPTIZED”
When I met Naoki in 2016, he was going through a difficult time. After Naoki got connected with our ministry, we developed a friendship. We would have lunch togeth-
er, shoot basketball, and meet for coffee—and we would always talk about life and spiritual things. We also spent time studying the Bible together. I would invite him to special events at the NLC, and he was eager to come. He even served as a volunteer at one of our outreach events. Over the years we became good friends, and I could tell that he was moving closer to Jesus.
Then one day, amid the pandemic, I texted Naoki but received no response. I didn’t hear a word from him for six months. We were deeply concerned. We knew he had emotional highs and lows, but we also knew the enemy was working to discourage him and cause him to doubt what he had learned about Jesus. For the next six months, we prayed. Sometimes we ran out of words so we just wept. We appealed to our prayer base back in the States, asking people to intercede on Naoki’s behalf.
After those six months, I received a text from Naoki asking if we could meet. We took a walk along a waterway near my house, and he broke down, confessing his need for Jesus. I’ve never seen a person so overwhelmed by the darkness in his heart. He asked God for forgiveness, and then he just cried. As he embraced me, which is not a very Japanese thing to do, he said, “It’s time to be baptized. I
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know you have been waiting for this moment. Thank you for not being pushy. I was not ready then, but now I am.”
Naoki was baptized in July 2021 on the very beach where the tsunami waters flooded our city. After eight years of being present in Ishinomaki, this was the first Japanese person I have ever baptized. He is now being discipled and even teaching Bible stories to the kids who attend our house church.
It took five years of being present and available to see my friend Naoki decide to follow Jesus. I’ve been told that’s pretty fast for someone to come to Christ in Japan. His story was a good reminder that it’s our role to share Christ and persevere in prayer, and it’s God’s job to save.
“JESUS IS HERE!”
One of the activities I enjoy on my days off is surfing. This may be surprising, but Japan has the largest surfing community in the world—larger than its Christian population. According to Christian Surfers Japan, there are 1.5 million surfers in Japan. I try to surf once a week as part of my routine. Because I go out consistently, I see the same people and over the years have built friendships with several men.
Last summer, I was surfing one morning with two other men, one in his forties and the other in his sixties. There were no waves, so we spent most of our time sitting on our surfboards just talking. After an hour and a half, we decided to call it a day. We paddled to shore and walked back to our vehicles.
After changing out of my wet suit and back into my clothes, I approached my friends. One of them said, “I hope this isn’t rude, but I’m curious about something. Whenever a Buddhist priest performs a funeral, we must pay him around $3,000. Do you mind if I ask . . . how do you make a living?” I assured him that his question was fine and then explained how a pastor is typically compensated. His question allowed me to naturally steer the conversation to the gospel and why we even gather for worship.
I went on to share with them how Jesus’ way is completely different from all other religions. Using Ephesians 2:8–10, I explained that religion is people reaching up to God seeking salvation through their own efforts to earn His favor, but the story of the Bible is that God, in the Person of Jesus, reached down to us. In fact, Jesus is “God with us.”
After I shared this and read a passage of Scripture, one of them chimed in, “When you shared these words with us, I felt my heart burning. When I was in college, I went to a school that was started by missionaries. We had a chapel time to hear messages from the Bible. When you shared these words, it reminded me of my time at university over 30 years ago. I’m so glad the waves were not good today because we were able to hear your talk.”
I told them, “This is why I am here, and I would love to have more conversations like this in the future.”
The following week, I returned to the same spot and saw my two friends. Smiling broadly, they said, “Hey, Jesus is here!” I don’t know what was behind that statement, but here’s the cool thing: they associate me with Jesus. Isn’t this what we all want? It is because I was present, entering their world on their terms, that I was able to build trust, to naturally connect with these men, and to have a meaningful conversation about things that matter. I didn’t lead them to Jesus that day, but I’ve now joined them on their journey.
Alliance family, let’s be faithful to be fully present in the moment—to be the tangible, loving presence of Jesus where we live, work, and play for God’s glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.
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Alan Kropp and his wife, Jill, are Alliance workers who have been serving in Japan for 15 years.
Below: The Ishinomaki New Life Center, pictured below, runs many community outreaches, like the young mom’s group.
Photograph courtesy of the author
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TO PARADE STREET AND BEYOND
Meeting the nations on our doorsteps
by Sandy Mayle
Amy McCullough and Lori Uplinger walked up and down Parade Street in Erie, Pennsylvania. They wandered in and out of ethnic markets and shops, passing out flyers promoting an English as a Second Language (ESL) class for Afghan women who had recently immigrated. Amy and Lori steered clear of the Middle Eastern religious center until they saw a food truck in its parking lot.
When they approached the food truck, the employee said, “Do you see the man in that car over there? You should talk to him.”
“There’s no one in the car,” Lori replied.
“He probably went inside. You should go knock on the door. His name is Samer.”*
Amy and Lori found Samer was very excited to talk to them. He even invited them to teach an English class for the women in the center.
“I’ll come back with my husband so we can talk some more,” answered Amy.
She and her husband, Mike, visited Samer, arranging for a six-week ESL session at the center. Samer also told them, “I’ve been reading the Bible, and I have questions.” Mike replied, “I can answer them.”
That is how a locally prominent Iraqi and an Alliance elder preparing for the mission field began a Bible study together and how two missions-minded women began a Christian ESL class in a Middle Eastern religious center.
THE ROAD THAT LED TO PARADE STREET
Long before that day, Mike and Amy McCullough had heard God’s call to overseas missions. They didn’t know where they would be sent or when, only that they needed to prepare.
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Photograph by Olivia, Alliance Video
In 2019, Amy took a Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course, learning to develop and lead a team. The following spring, Amy brought this class to Erie’s First Alliance Church (FAC), teaching men and women about world missions and every believer’s role in it. Five leaders came out of that class asking, “What are we going to do about this?” Hungry to reach unreached people and mobilize the Church, they sensed God was leading them to start an ESL ministry, the same one Lori and Amy later advertised on Parade Street.
At the end of 2020, Amy was brought on as a missions intern with the church, working through the Alliance Center for Leadership Development ministerial program. She has taken Great Commission ESL training and has received her master certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language through Bridge Education Group. During this time of training, Amy and Mike continued to serve through the ESL classes and pursue new ways to meet the needs of their community.
ORCHESTRATED BY GOD
In spring 2021, over 100 migrant children from the U.S.-Mexican border were unexpectedly brought to an old sports park near Erie to wait for family members or sponsors to come and get them.
Though these children didn’t wait long, Amy asked what could be done to make an impact should it happen again. A seed was planted that resulted in an English day camp for Afghans called HOPE (Helping Others Practice English) Camp.
Amy sought input from former workers in Afghanistan to help formulate this day camp. She also called for 24–30 volunteers, held planning sessions with teachers, and solicited church-wide prayer.
Around 90 people attended this first camp, which was held in the evenings throughout August 2022. Following the camp, 15 women began attending the ESL class in the public school, including three women who—with babies in tow—had walked over an hour and a half to find the new location!
God’s timing with not only the camp but also the ESL classes was perfect. “Isn’t it amazing,” Amy marvels, “that God poised us to start right when there would be two world-recognized calamities causing refugees to pour into the United States?”
Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in August 2021, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict began in early 2022. As a result, this fledgling ESL class for Afghan women has more than doubled, and a class for 27 Ukrainian women now surpasses 100.
FAC’s entire outreach to refugees is now called HOPE Ministry and has partnered with various parts of Christ’s Body to fulfill their call. FAC used space at
a local Baptist church to offer the Perspectives class. To meet people where they are, ongoing ESL classes are held at Grandview Alliance Church, the inner-city Vietnamese Alliance Church, a public school, and FAC.
LED BY THE UNQUALIFIED
“I’m amazed at what God has done,” says Amy. “I’m not a teacher, I’m not a leader, I’m not organized, I’m not an inspirational speaker—but God is glorified through those weaknesses.”
Amy also wondered whether some who joined the team would connect well with the refugees. But remembering who has called them, Amy has just covered everything with prayer. And the people she was concerned about have become some of the best on her team.
It’s all further evidence that, “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world . . . so that no one may boast before him” (1 Cor. 1:27b–29).
A. B. Simpson echoed this in his book Serving the King: “I know God wants us to remember in our work, above everything else, the might of weakness which is the might of God.”
BEYOND PARADE STREET
Samer has become a vital partner in the work with devout followers of the Middle East’s majority religion, and more men have joined him in studying the Bible with Mike. The ESL ministry now has four locations with 16 classes, over 150 students, and 45 active volunteers.
Over a million refugees from South Asia, whom the UN has called “the most persecuted minority in the world,” have fled violence in their home country. Amy has heard that some are coming to Erie. While the reports are unconfirmed, she’s excited about the possibility of reaching out to them.
With all of these ministry opportunities at her doorstep, Amy has often been asked, “Why go overseas?”
After a pause, she finally says, “I’m looking for my replacement.”
As she and Mike prepare, their vision is narrowing toward Southeast Asia. But wherever, whenever, and whatever it means, they’re working while they wait.
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Sandy Mayle is a freelance writer. She and her husband, Dave, live in Erie, Pennsylvania, and attend First Alliance Church.
PUSH FORTH at MIDNIGHT
Celebrating the rich history of pioneering Alliance ministries
Compiled by Alliance Life staff
Left: A baptism of indigenous people in Cauca, Colombia Middle: An early Christian family in West Africa Far Right: Pilot and boatman, Layman Kon, conducted crucial ministry on his boat in 1960.
In 1923, Alliance leaders heavily emphasized the need for more workers to go into previously hard-to-reach regions and share the gospel. Former Alliance President Paul Rader urged Alliance people to “push forth into the midnight darkness to the regions beyond.”
Because of their faith, three new fields were opened that now, 100 years later, have a vibrant witness for Christ. Their perseverance in reaching the unreached resulted in innumerable healings, hundreds of new churches, thousands of new believers, and missionaries sent from their own people groups to reach even more of these hard-to-reach places. As you read these testimonies, we hope you are encouraged to pray for and go to the hard places, preaching Christ’s love in word and deed until every tribe knows His name.
Today, the vision of unreached peoples is even more vivid to our souls, the call of the Master rings more clearly in our hearts, and the fixed determination in our lives is to go forward along every path our Lord indicates to us, however high the mountain barriers, or dense the jungle, or barren the desert to be traversed. . . . Someone must tell the waiting tribes about Christ Jesus, God’s only Son and man’s only Savior.
—A. C. Snead, Alliance foreign secretary in 1923
Visit cmalliance.org/100years to read the full version of these histories.
COLOMBIA 100 YEARS IN
The Colombian Alliance will mark its centennial with three phases of celebrations. During June 2023, local churches will hold special events with their congregations. From August 17–20, their National Office in Armenia, Quindío, will host a large gathering with pastors, leaders, and international guests. The final festivities will be held in October during a celebration with pastors in different regions of the country.
According to Bob Searing, a retired Alliance missionary to this field, the C&MA’s entrance into Colombia was not planned. Until 1923, the south remained a hard place for missionaries, as it was wholly unevangelized due to inadequate roads and antagonism to the gospel. Despite these obstacles, God opened an unlikely avenue for Alliance ministry there.
One June day, Homer Crisman, the founder of the C&MA in Ecuador, was running for his life from an angry mob that was persecuting believers there. He arrived in the Colombian town of Ipiales, carrying a suitcase full of Bibles, New Testaments, and tracts. There he met a photographer named Teófilo who heard Homer’s story and opened his home to him.
“That night, Homer led Teófilo and his wife to the Lord, and that was the start of The Alliance in Colombia,” said Bob.
Within two weeks, Homer was able to lead about eight rural people to faith at the weekly market in Ipiales. This was the catalyst for six churches that were founded less than eight months later by other Alliance missionaries. The Alliance mission chose Popayan as the location of its first headquarters. Prior to this, the area had been described as one of Colombia’s most difficult mission fields. From there, the C&MA branched out toward the north, reaching Armenia, Bogota, Neiva, and other cities in central Colombia.
One of the most important works was among the Paez Indians, whose first convert, Rev. Porfirio Ocaña, came to Christ at the age of 13. Rev. Ocaña started three churches by the time he was 18 and eventually became the leader of the entire tribe, whom he represented before the Colombian government to obtain the guar-
antee of religious freedom within the tribal areas. “He founded well over 100 churches and led thousands to the feet of Jesus over his lifetime,” Bob said. When Rev. Ocaña died, 50,000 people gathered in front of the Catholic church in the city where he was buried, honoring him for his work as a pastor, an evangelist, and a tribal leader.
The mission later moved its headquarters to Cali, which was near a port city with better transportation. In the mid-1940s, a severe persecution of believers broke out within the context of violent civil war. This was followed by a decade of persecution, the severity of which rivaled some of the worst in Church history. In 1950, two Paez Indians were shot and killed for their faith; the same year, the former president of the Colombian national church and the first pastor ordained into the Colombian Alliance were shot by police. Church buildings were burned, and property was destroyed. A restriction was also placed on missionaries entering the country.
“It was during this turbulent time that the Colombian national church was born,” wrote Bob’s son Mark, who grew up in Colombia and became a C&MA missionary there. “Its health and strength could be seen almost immediately in the light of the persecution fires. The following years have seen great growth as the witness of the church has been vibrant throughout the good and the bad times.”
According to statistics from the Colombia Alliance national church network, there are 300+ Alliance churches in Colombia with a membership of over 25,000. Within 100 years, the Colombian Alliance has grown from being the recipient of missions to sending the gospel to other countries and regions—including some of the world’s hardest places—surviving religious persecution, armed conflict, sociocultural upheavals, scarcity, and pestilence.
Considering its humble beginnings, the growth of The Alliance in Colombia is a powerful testimony to the work of God’s Spirit. “You never plan to start in one of the smallest cities in a country,” Bob said. “That’s not the place to pick, but God picked it.”
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50 YEARS OF CHURCH PLANTING IN LATIN AMERICA
Encounter with God, a proven model for developing sustainable church-planting movements in urban centers, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023. In 1973, God answered prayers for a stagnating congregation in Lima, Peru, by sending in Alfred Smith, an Argentine pastor. He began 15 months of evangelistic campaigns and discipleship classes for new believers, becoming the longest evangelistic effort ever undertaken in The Alliance. In 10 years, the church’s membership swelled to 2,000, and they planted 13 daughter churches with a total of over 5,200 baptized members.
Over the years, missiologists and church leaders have come from everywhere to study the dynamics of this program. Eventually, Encounter with God formed its own network throughout Latin America, which has led to church growth and health in Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay, as well as countries in Africa and North America.
Right: Because of faithful, pioneering Alliance missionaries, Colombia has grown from no gospel presence in 1923 to 101,000 believers and counting. Above: Don Nepo in 1963, an Alliance pastor at the Mores Church
100 YEARS IN
Two countries in West Africa are celebrating 100 years of Alliance ministry in 2023. Because of security-related concerns in these two creative-access fields, there will likely be no public celebrations of these milestones, but this does not diminish the impact of their Kingdom presence over the last century.
Without ever having been to Africa, C&MA founder A. B. Simpson’s heart was gripped with conviction for the hearts of the African people. He felt there was a particular spiritual darkness on this continent. For years, Alliance people prayed and gave financially so that one day they might send workers to Africa.
Up until 1890, there was not a single mission or even one known missionary serving in a specific region of West Africa. It was then that a party of Alliance missionaries sailed for and entered West Africa for the first time—a journey that was far from easy or comfortable. One after another, the missionaries fell to disease, and many believed that this particular mission should be deserted.
Simpson was sure, though, that The Christian and Missionary Alliance was to stand firm and bring the gospel to West Africa. In 1923, four years after his death, The Alliancee entered a region in West Africa that they had yet to explore. By 1924, the C&MA had established work in different cities, and they soon after opened a girls’ school, a Bible school, and a chapel.
The establishment of the gospel, even just in creating a presence in the region, was no easy feat. Some new Christians were killed for their faith, and some of the missionaries’ lives were threatened on multiple occasions. In July 1931, the epidemic of yellow fever broke out, and three missionaries died of the disease.
Shortly after the epidemic, however, other missionaries joined the team, and by 1933, the workers in the region reported spiritual breakthrough.
During this time, 25 young men came to Christ despite extreme persecution.
In 1931, the first recorded response to the gospel occurred among a strongly pagan tribe. Jesus’ name had never been heard among them until The Alliance entered their region—the villages responded to the gospel, and many were developed as leaders.
During the late 1930s and early 1940s, the missionaries were unable to stay or return to West Africa due to World War II; the ministry was carried on by national workers. Alliance missionaries returned as soon as they were able in 1945 and opened a primary school, planted new churches, and developed specific regions.
When one missionary couple first arrived in this region of West Africa in 1931, there were reportedly only two to three Christians. When they went back to the United States in 1947, there were 125 known believers in the district.
The first native pastors were ordained in 1957— there were 13 of them! In 1958, the West African Alliance missions were reorganized, different fields were established within this region, and by 1960, the national church was established. At this time, two West African countries, which are celebrating their 100-year anniversaries this year, were established as different entities. Throughout the 60s and 70s, many Alliance primary schools, Bible schools, and camps were established.
In the early 2000s, one of these West African countries opened a women’s and children’s hospital, which later won an award for its HIV/AIDS efforts. The international workers also began soccer and youth outreach ministries.
International workers have been deeply engaged in these two countries—establishing Bible schools, hospitals, youth work, village outreaches, church formations, weekly prison and hospital visitations, a radio ministry, Christian elementary schools, and women’s ministries. Their work through leadership development, food distributions, healing prayer, friendship, and more have led hundreds, if not thousands, to the feet of Jesus.
Throughout our history, The Alliance has had an incredible impact in these two very-hard-to-reach areas of West Africa. These quiet celebrations are a result of the humble servants of Christ who have lived out the gospel and will continue to do so, being present among the masses.
An Alliance international worker serving in West Africa once wrote, “May we be a people chosen by God, sent by the Lord Jesus, and equipped by the Holy Spirit to bring spiritual and physical healing to the community around us.”
Opposite, top: West Africa has long been on the heart of Alliance leaders. Opposite, middle: Though many Alliance workers have had to leave, some have been able to remain in order to bring tangible help and love to West Africa. Opposite, bottom: Raymond P. Possiel ministering from the Gospel Truck in 1946. This truck was used to travel throughout the villages in one of these two West African countries and teach Scripture to the locals.
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In January 2023, thousands of believers gathered in Phnom Penh to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Protestant church in Cambodia. With representa tion from many people groups, the events were joyous, full of gratitude for what God has done throughout the last century and hope for what He will do in the next.
The celebration was particularly special for the Alli ance family because the first long-term Protestant mis sionaries in Cambodia were Alliance workers. In 1923, Arthur and Esther Hammond and David and Muriel Ellison began establishing a gospel presence in Phnom Penh and Battambang, Cambodia. There were only 10 known baptized believers in Cambodia at the end of 1924. By the end of the next year, there were 80!
The Hammonds and Ellisons diligently helped train and establish local Khmer pastors. In the early 1930s, most of the Khmer churches were self-supporting. Despite govern mental opposition and the turmoil of World War II, God continued to move and build His church in Cambodia.
In 1949, the Khmer churches became their own en tity as an independent C&MA national church, later called the Khmer Evangelical Church (KEC). In 1952, the Khmer translation of the Bible was completed. In the mid-1960s, Alliance missionaries were forced to leave Cambodia due to the government’s refusal to renew American visas. Two of those missionaries, Ed and Ruth Thompson, were reassigned to work with the same people group they were serving in Cambodia across the border in Vietnam. In 1968, the Thompsons were tragically killed in the Tet Offensive attack by the Viet Cong. However, the Lord took the Thompsons’ gospel witness among this group and multiplied it a hundredfold—today, there are over 34,000 believers.
While American missionaries were barred from Cambodia during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, French Alliance missionaries like Jean and Myrtle Fune were able to step in and carry on the work. Despite pastors being imprisoned and the Khmer Rouge committing atrocities during this period, God was moving in Cambodia. From 1972 to 1974, a surge of evangelism and new believers invigorated the Cambodian church. “The Christians were not necessarily students of evangelistic methods, but sharing their faith was as natural as breathing,” writes Gene Hall, a former Alliance worker in Cambodia.
to partner with the KEC to plant churches, run health-care projects, conduct outreach to minority groups, and invest in theological education and discipleship.
Today, the Khmer Evangelical Church is thriving. Pray for the KEC, in partnership with Alliance international workers, as they recruit, train, and send Cambodian missionaries. Pray for further success in leadership development and theological education and further gospel access among minority people groups.
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Opposite, top: A Buddhist Cambodian priest Above: Arthur L. Hammond working at a printing press in Cambodia in 1962. The printing press was established to create Bibles, tracts, hymnals, and other outreach tools in the Khmer language. Opposite, bottom: A Cham fisherman in Cambodia
100 YEARS IN
You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, . . . “Here is your God!”
. . . He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart (Isaiah 40:9, 11).
Photo by Olivia, Alliance Video
BOARD SUMMARY LETTER
Dear co-laborer for Christ,
The Board of Directors of The Christian and Missionary Alliance met on February 22–23, 2023, at Neighborhood Alliance Church in Longwood, Florida. Pastor Tom Myers and his staff worked tirelessly to ensure that our meeting went smoothly and the Board felt welcomed. We are grateful for their care and hospitality.
The Board meeting right before Council always has a sense of urgency as topics and presentations are finalized at the Board level. We completed all our Board work for this Council. Between now and Council, the National Office (N.O.) staff will dedicate thousands of hours to preparation. We are blessed with a great team that has provided top notch organizational support for Council meetings.
Tom Myers and Cathy Sigmund led our devotional times, and God’s Word came together powerfully. Tom spoke about how we must allow God to show us the needs of people around us and act in God’s power according to His plans to bless our lives. Cathy spoke about how our world puts too much focus on the “other” instead of “us.” We must emphasize “us” both inside the Church as children of God and outside the Church as people created by God. Only then will the Church be able to live out the gospel message.
The N.O. leaders’ reports focused on their gratefulness for how God has guided the transition from Colorado to Ohio. Underlying all of the reports was an awareness of their call to the deeper life and the need to engage those around us as ambassadors for Christ.
The Executive Committee Report brought recommendations for the proposed rewording of our Statement of Faith (available to review online) and proposed amendments regarding women in ministry. The proposals around these topics have been strengthened through the National Conversations hosted by John Stumbo and Terry Smith. The complete Report of the President to 2023 General Council with all recommendations has been posted.
The relocation assistant to the president, Robb Childs, informed the Board of the current status of the new N.O. campus. There are many milestones to celebrate, in-
cluding the development of the architectural plans for the N.O. building, approvals and endorsements from local agencies, and acquisition of the final four-acre parcel to complete the property. Updated information will be provided at Council.
God has brought new staff who reflect the multicultural and multiethnic nature of the C&MA. The proximity of the N.O. to many more of our churches has allowed greater interaction among the Alliance family.
The Church Ministries Committee Report highlighted that we finished the year with a net increase in the number of Alliance churches.
The Alliance Missions Committee Report included the joyful news that nine new international workers and two additional marketplace ministries workers have been appointed. The members prayed individually for each new appointee.
The Development Committee and Operations/Finance Committee Reports brought budget recommendations that were reviewed and approved for presentation at Council. Overall funding for our international ministry is strong, but The Alliance continues to work out the balance between general and designated giving. Adjustments are being considered to free up the available resources for greatest impact.
Reports from Orchard Alliance, the C&MA Benefit Board, and Alliance University kept the Board abreast of developments in these areas. Continue praying for Alliance University as it faces a significant financial challenge.
All in all, it was a productive and encouraging meeting as we look forward to Council 2023, always “Expectant” for what God will do through The Christian and Missionary Alliance. Looking forward to seeing you there!
In Christ’s love,
Steven C. Lausell, Corporate Secretary
MAY/JUN 2023 33 ALLIANCELIFE
GENERAL BYLAW CHANGES
The General Bylaws of The Christian and Missionary Alliance require that notification of any proposed bylaw amendments or summary of the changes to be affected shall be given within the time and in the same manner as notification of the meetings of the General Council. More specific information is presented in the Report of the Corporate Secretary to General Council and can be accessed at www.cmalliance.org on or before April 28, 2023. Following is a list of specific bylaws to be amended and a summary of the changes to be affected by the amendment proposals.
Recommendations will be brought to amend the Statement of Faith, which is located in the Third Article of Incorporation (pages A1–1–2) as well as in Article 1 in the General Bylaws (pages A2–1–2). The Statement terminology is updated and modified to be more consistent with Alliance beliefs. Amendments approved at General Council 2021 require ratification in 2023. New amendments to other sections would require approval by two Councils (2023 and 2025) verbatim.
Presidential Nomination/Election Process: The following seven recommendations are proposed to provide clearer procedures for the Committee on Nominations for the process of vetting and nominating presidential candidates, the reintroduction of presidential candidate floor nominations, and criteria for the evaluation of nominees for corporate officers and members of the Board of Directors.
• A recommendation will be brought to amend Section 6.8.A, Regular Meeting (page A2–11), in the General Bylaws
• A recommendation will be brought to amend Section 6.10.C, Presidential Nominations (pages A2–13–14), in the General Bylaws
• A recommendation will be brought to amend Section 6.10.D, Presidential Elections (page A2–14), in the General Bylaws
• A recommendation will be brought to amend Section 6.11.A, Nominations (page A2–15), in the General Bylaws
• A recommendation will be brought to amend Section 6.11.B, Elections (page A2–16), in the General Bylaws
• A recommendation will be brought to amend Section 7.3, Membership, for the Board of Directors (pages A2–17–18), in the General Bylaws
• A recommendation will be brough to amend Section 8.1, Number (regarding officers) (page A2–24), in the General Bylaws
• A recommendation will be brought to amend Article VII, Board of Directors, Section 7.15, Removal (page A2–22) in the General Bylaws. Whereas, there is no need to state that the vote comes from two-thirds of “those present” since Robert’s Rules of Order assumes that, unless otherwise stated, the group to whom the proportion applies is always the number of members present and voting.
tch John tell a story, share a devotional, issue challenge, or cast C&MA vision.
Released on the 12th of each month
Men and Women in Leadership
Statement of Faith
PRAYER IS PRIMARY
Requests from Alliance workers
There is a member of our congregation whom my wife, Stephanie, and I met 10 years ago. I’ll call him Mike. At the time, he said he was an atheist. Since then, we have walked with Mike through important life events such as marriage, the birth of his first child, and finding an apartment where his family can be secure. We have watched God work in Mike’s life over the years as he has continually become more open and engaged, and he recently took the baptism course that we taught. He has been enthusiastically involved with small group Bible studies, attends church regularly, and is a gifted teacher who helps with English camp and kids club ministries.
Building relationships with people like Mike is made possible because of your prayers and giving to the Great Commission Fund. Because of you, we can be present among those who otherwise may never hear about Jesus. Please pray for Mike as he continues his journey with Jesus.
—Bruce, an Alliance international worker
Each of us has a list of people, a loved one, or a friend for whom we have been praying for salvation. When my wife, Jaynee, and I arrived in West Africa 19 years ago, we were quickly introduced to a couple who worked in the restaurant industry. We joined with others to share God’s love with them in any way possible. Over time, they had two beautiful children.
I would go to their house with other international workers (IWs) regularly to spend quality time together. Last year, a newly arrived IW who spoke their mother tongue met this couple through a divine appointment. As the IW shared about God’s love in their first language, everything they had been hearing for the past 20 years started to make sense. Both gave their lives to Christ, and earlier this year they were baptized in the ocean. What joy filled our hearts! May we never become weary in praying for those the Lord puts on our hearts.
—Stan Walker, an Alliance international worker serving in the Africa Regional Office
Čapljina, a city of approximately 7,000 people in Herzegovina, has little gospel access. It is located on the border of Croatia, just 12 miles from the Adriatic Sea. The municipality, which includes many other small villages, has a population of just over 28,000. Currently, there is only one evangelical church in Čapljina with about 10 regularly attending members. There is also a youth ministry.
Pray for Čapljina and other locations in Bonsia-Herzegovina where there is a need for gospel presence. Ask God to give believers boldness in sharing their faith with their friends, family, and communities. Pray for wisdom and grace for those ministering to youth who are seeking a true relationship with Christ rather than just religious traditions. Also, ask God to use believers to help heal the wounds still left from the ethnic divisions that grew during the 1992–1995 war.
MAY/JUN 2023 35 ALLIANCELIFE
—Petula Myers, an Alliance international worker
A youth ministry in Herzegovina reaches mostly unbelievers.
ALLIANCE FAMILY NEWS
From around the block to the ends of the earth
TO THE FIELD CAMBODIA
Joyce A. Johns, in December. Joyce is involved in medical/ health ministries and church planting.
EL SALVADOR (ENVISION)
Laura P. Rodriguez, in January. Laura is the Envision site associate in El Salvador.
GUINEA CONAKRY (ENVISION)
Joanna K. Gregg, in January. Joanna is an Envision site associate.
Jean Paul and Judith D. Schultz, in February. The Schultzes are the Envision site coordinators.
Macie M. Ruble, in December. Macie is a CAMA resident and is currently involved in language study.
Beth A. Lund, in January. Beth is serving on staff at the International Church of Barcelona with focused ministry in the LGBTQ+ community.
David A. and Bethany J. Thomas, in January. The Thomases are Envision site associates.
Mark H. and Kora R. Taube and family, in January. The Taubes are
involved in administration and church planting.
Jennifer K. Ashby, district personnel, Metropolitan District
John C. Bobb, assistant pastor, First Alliance Church, Hilliard, Fla.
Matthew C. Boda, academic dean of Reach Training Institute, Salem (Ore.) Alliance Church
Charles A. Carter II, senior pastor, Greater Lafayette Chinese Alliance Church, West Lafayette, Ind.
Abraham Cha, pastor, Salem Community Hmong Alliance Church C&MA, Aumsville, Ore.
Joshua B. Clark, hospice chaplain, MidAmerica District
Matthew J. Cluraghty, pastor, Milaca (Minn.) Alliance Church
Robert C. Coggins, associate pastor, Belgrade (Mont.) Alliance Church
Terrance M. Davis, pastor, Dewittville (N.Y.) C&MA Church
Troy L. Dennison, special assignment, Rocky Mountain District
Joshua S. DuBois, assistant pastor, First Alliance Church, Hilliard, Fla.
Connor R. Durochia, ministry associate, Community Alliance Church, Hinesburg, Vt.
Edward M. Eastman Jr., special assignment, The Alliance Southeast
Keldon E. Ellis, non-Alliance assignment, North Central District
Michael L. Farlin, pastor, Laurel (Miss.) Alliance Fellowship
Zach B. Freitas, executive pastor, Freshwater Community Church of C&MA, St. Bonifacius, Minn.
Crystal Garnett, other ministry/ church planter, One Life of the Christian & Missionary Alliance, The Dalles, Ore.
Dennis L. Gorton, special assignment, MidAmerica District
David E. Grandy, district personnel, North Central District C&MA
Randy L. John, pastor, Heritage Bible Church, Panama City, Fla.
Willie Johnson, pastor, Redefine Church, St. Louis, Mo.
Nathan J. Karcesky, pastor, Journey Church, Conway, N.H.
John J. Kim, associate pastor, Korean District
Daniel S. Kirk, interim site director—Envision Atlanta, The Alliance South
Kirk K. Knudsen, chaplain, North Central District
Joel A. Koenigsberg, district personnel, Metropolitan District
James M. Law, Hispanic ministries pastor, Living Water Community Church of the C&MA, Bayville, N.J.
Rita M. Law, missions pastor, Living Water Community Church of the C&MA, Bayville, N.J.
James Leveille, pastor, Nvision Church, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Mark B. Little Elk, pastor, Cass Lake (Minn.) Alliance Church
Ashish J. Matthew, associate pastor, Ridgeway Alliance Church, White Plains, N.Y.
Jeremy N. Matthews, special assignment, Eastern Pennsylvania District
Samuel W. McGarvey, interim pastor, Gateway Alliance Church, Sidney, N.Y.
Ramon M. Melendez, pastor, ACM Cruce Davila, Barceloneta, P.R.
ALLIANCELIFE 36 MAY/JUN 2023
Scott H. Moats, executive vice president, Southwest Baptist University, MidAmerica District
Daniel Moua, special assignment, Hmong District
Chai Kao Moua, lay pastor, Kingdom Life Alliance Church, St. Paul, Minn.
Omar A. Ocasio, church planter, Fuente De Vida, Fountain, Colo.
Nelson Octaviani, pastor, Iglesia ACyMde Ciales (P.R.)
Felipe A. Olavarria, minister of engagement, Millard Alliance Church, Omaha, Neb.
Levi M. Owens, campus pastor, Crosstown Alliance, Rochester, N.Y.
Tae Suk Park, pastor, Good Korean Church C&MA, Orlando, Fla.
Leslie D. Parr, pastor, Vineland Native American Chapel, Onamia, Minn.
Donald T. Phan, Midwest regional youth director, Vietnamese Alliance Church, Santa Ana, Calif.
John G. Pladdys, regional director North/Central & Church Advance, The Alliance Southeast
Steven M. Rossi, lead pastor, Aliquippa (Pa.) Gospel Tabernacle
Kevin D. Sahlstrom, pastor, Onamia (Minn.) Alliance Church
Thomas J. Schmidt, site coordinator at Envision Cleveland, Central District
Jarrod J. Sechler, pastoral care and multiplication elder, Centre Church, Matilda, Pa.
Adam K. Sellen, pastor, Oconto (Wis.) Gospel Chapel
Sarah N. Sexton, administrative assistant, Oasis Community Church, Fallon, Nev.
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There are two main streams of giving to The Alliance that flow into what we call
THE GREAT COMMISSION FUND
UNDESIGNATED FOR ALL THE ALLIANCE
Undesignated gifts are a vital source of funding for the majority of Alliance gospel-advancing work in the United States and throughout the world.
DESIGNATED FOR THE WORK OR WORKER YOU LOVE
If you have a specific worker or project you are passionate about, you can give toward the specific expenses of that worker or project to further their ministry reach.
2023 FINANCIAL TARGETS
$75.6 MILLION FUNDRAISING GOAL
We will see a 12 percent increase in the total goal from last year to this year.
70 / 30
OVERALL GIVING BLEND
70% Undesignated giving
30% Designated giving
John E. Sierra, pastor administrator, ACM ManatiPueblo (P.R.)
Ger S. Soung, senior pastor, Grace Hmong Alliance Church, Wauwatosa, Wis.
Calvin Y. Tan, non-Alliance assignment, The Alliance Southeast
Timothy R. Taylor, campus pastor, CrossTown Alliance, Shinglehouse, Pa.
Tonying H. Thao, associate pastor, Hmong Alliance Church, Stevens Point, Wis.
Sheldon Williams, church planter, Western Pennsylvania District
G. David Woerner, pastor, Hoover Heights Alliance Church, New Castle, Pa.
Nha L. Yang, senior pastor, Hmong Alliance Church, Fresno, Calif.
Matthew E. Zientek, care pastor, Living Water Community Church of the C&MA, Bayville, N.J.
Alexandria, Va., C&MA Ethiopian Church, 6315 Beulah St., 22310
Apple Valley, Minn., Fullness of Christ Church, 7477 145th St. W., 55124
Arlington, Tex., Familias De Fe, 7000 Matlock Rd., 76002
Arlington, Tex., Orchard of Praise Church, 7000 Matlock Rd., 76002
Fredericksburg, Va., Good Shepherd Haitian Alliance Church, 3 Learning Ln., 22401
Kalispell, Mont., Montage Microchurch Network, 183 Arbour Dr., 59901
Los Angeles, Calif., Kerem International Ministry, 351 S. Serrano Ave., 90020
Medford, Ore., Casa Del Alfarero, 2330 N. Pacific Hwy., 97501
Ogilvie, Minn., One Degree Ministries, 1500 Jade St., 56358
Rugby, N.Dak., Christ Community Church, PO Box 142, 116 2nd St. SE, 58368
Silver Spring, Md., Vietnamese Alliance Church, 14500 New Hampshire Ave., 20904
St. Louis, Mo., Redefine Church, 2900 Moniteau Dr., 63121
Ermias G. Aberra, pastor, Fullness of Christ Church, Apple Valley, Minn.
Bradley Bennett, pastor, First Alliance Church of Franklin (N.C.)
Shuang Chen, director of children’s ministry, San Jose (Calif.) Chinese Alliance Church
Tyler J. Classen, youth pastor, Lexington (Ky.) City Church
Christian A. Cordoves, campus pastor, Grace en Espanol Church of the C&MA, Middleburg Heights, Ohio
Bradley A. Davis, pastor, Clappertown C&MA Church, Williamsburg, Pa.
Shawna Duvall, women’s ministry director, Alliance Bible Fellowship, Boone, N.C.
Melvin E. Gaines, assistant pastor, Akron (Ohio) Alliance Fellowship
Solomon T. Gebremeskel, pastor, Gospel of Peace Mission Church, Seattle, Wash.
Brian Hebert, pastor, Mountain View Community Church, Snohomish, Wash.
Tachung Hu, mission minister, Tri Cities Chinese C&MA Church, Richland, Wash.
Jackie Humrich, Citylight U intern, Citylight North Lincoln (Neb.)
Benjamin P. Hurst, youth pastor, Crossroads Neighborhood Church, Bremerton, Wash.
ALLIANCELIFE 40 MAY/JUN 2023
STORIES LIKE THIS ARE MADE POSSIBLE WHEN YOU GIVE TO THE ALLIANCE.
BECAUSE OF YOU . . .
YEARS OF PRESENCE ARE YIELDING A HARVEST
MAY/JUN 2023 41 ALLIANCELIFE Want to help but think you can’t? There are ways you can support The Alliance today while still preserving your assets for retirement and providing for your family. Here are gifts you may have never considered: • Gifts from a Will or Trust • Beneficiary Designations • Life Insurance • Business Interests, Closely Held Stock and Partnerships • Appreciated Securities • Real Property • Tangible Personal Property 8595 Explorer Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80920 / Toll Free 833.672.4255 / orchardalliance.org Scan the QR code or call us at 833.672.4255 to learn more about these types of charitable gifts and how you can make an extraordinary gift to help further the mission of The Alliance.
Michael L. Husk, short-term teams discipleship coordinator, Central District
Eric W. Jacobs, pastoral resident, Daybreak Church at Orrs Bridge Road, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Brian D. Johnston, student ministries pastor, Hope Community Church, Hudson, Ohio
Tami Jones, connections pastor, Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church, Fall City, Wash.
Kyung Sook Kang, assistant pastor, Kurios Church of the C&MA, Olympia, Wash.
Phong Q. Le, local church ministry, Vietnamese Alliance Church, Santa Ana, Calif.
Adam D. Lucas, assistant pastor for outreach and men’s ministry,North East (Pa.)
Ethan D. Martin, associate pastor, Evanston Alliance Church (Wyo.)
Sarah Morrow, pastor of life groups, Salem (Ore.) Alliance Church
Bang H. Nguyen, youth pastor, Vietnamese Alliance Church, Santa Ana, Calif.
Hieu C. Nguyen, local church ministry, Malden Vietnamese Alliance Church, Saugus, Mass.
Daniel J. Ockrin, interim pastor, Adirondack Alliance Church, Saranac Lake, N.Y.
Jerusalem Ona, youth ministry leader, Princeton Alliance Church, Plainsboro, N.J.
Efrain Perdomo-Lopez, student development director, Salem (Ore.) Alliance Church
Luke Purpuri, associate pastor, Remnant Church, West Long Branch, N.J.
Chang Seop Shim, senior pastor, Alliance Fellowship Church, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Rory D. Smith, teaching elder/ pastor, Trinity Alliance Church, Harbor City, N.J.
Todd J. St. Germain, pastor, Woodinville (Wash.) Alliance Church
Robert G. Sterie, assistant pastor, Plano (Tex.) Chinese Alliance Church
Gezahegn A. Tesema, pastor of visitation, Peniel Ethiopian Evangelical Church, Pataskala, Ohio Joshua Vang, worship pastor, First Hmong Alliance Church, Hickory, N.C.
Yee Vang, associate pastor, True Life Church, Hickory, N.C.
Josue Perez, April 29, 2022, Iglesia Alianza, Randolph, N.J. Josue is the assistant pastor.
Kam Chiu (Jeffrey) Cheng, July 30, 2022, Chinese Alliance Center, Flushing, N.Y. Jeffery is the church-planting pastor at Charis Community Church of the C&MA, Staten Island, N.Y.
Andrew P. Antoninka, Western Pennsylvania District
Richard L. Birr, North Central District
Joseph S. Boeringa, North Central District
William S. Calvin, The Alliance Midwest District
Morris S. Dirks, Alliance Northwest District
Tony W. Etris, Central District
Gerard R. Fonte, The Alliance South
Glenn W. Hanna, Western Pennsylvania District
Ronald W. Hirsch, Central Pacific District
Thomas G. Howell, Northeastern District
Leonard M. Kageler, Metropolitan District
Andrew R. Kerr, Northeastern District
Leroy E. Learn Sr., Western Pennsylvania District
Michael Marino, North Central District
Donald J. Miller, Central District
Stanley J. Sanger, Ohio Valley District
Kelly S. Sloan, Rocky Mountain District
Teng C. Thao, Hmong District
Angel Vargas, Puerto Rico District
Calvin M. Wiedemann, Western Pennsylvania District
WITH THE LORD
Robert (Bob) Glenn Short
April 28, 1943–
December 6, 2021
Bob was born in Charlotte, N.C. When he was 12 years old, his pastor, Homer Williams, led him to Christ. Bob soon went on to serve as a teen counselor at the Billy Graham crusade in his hometown of Charlotte. It was there that Bob heard God’s call to ministry. He received a BA in music and theology from Wheaton (Ill.) College in 1965 and earned his MDiv from Wheaton Graduate School. On June 8, 1965, he married Leeann White.
For more than 61 years of C&MA ministry, Bob was a youth pastor in two churches and then served senior pastorates in Ashville, N.C. (1972–1979); Burlington, Vt. (1979–1988); Port Charlotte (1988–1993) and Fort Myers (1993–2002), Fla.; New Hartford, N.Y. (2002–2007); and Brandon (2007–2010) and Lake Wales, Fla. (2011–2021). He was highly active in the music of General Council, leading song sessions, composing arrangements for the preachers’ chorus, and directing performances. He had a striking baritone voice and was proficient at the keyboard, trumpet, guitar, and accordion.
Bob is survived by his wife; son, Stephen Todd; 3 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren.
ALLIANCELIFE 42 MAY/JUN 2023
Gordon Leigh Barker
November 1, 1939–December 4, 2022
Gordon was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and attended Letourneau University, Longview, Tex. (1957–1958). He received a bachelor of science in missions in 1962 from St. Paul Bible College, now Crown College (now Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minn.). On August 21, 1960, Gordon married Janet Frankenberry in Garrison, Minn.
Gordon began his 43 years of C&MA ministry as a pastor in Battle Lake, Minn. (1962−1964). He then served as a C&MA missionary to Chile (1964–1997) and Bolivia (1997–2005). During that time, Gordon was involved in church planting, camp ministries, and Alliance Marriage Encounter; he was also a teacher and the director of the Bible Institute in Chile and Bolivia, as well as the field director in both countries. Gordon had a passion to reach lost people for Jesus. Along with Eladio Medina, he cofounded Promesa de Fe in Chile to send and support local nationals as missionaries to unreached people groups in other countries.
Gordon is survived by his wife and children, Jeff, Sherrie, Cindy, and Tim.
Jean Elizabeth (Morrison) Hotalen
December 7, 1933–January 10, 2023
Jean was born in Springfield, Ohio. While a young girl, she moved with her family to Miami, Fla. Jean attended Toccoa Falls (Ga.) College, where she married William Norwood (Bud) Hotalen. They enjoyed nearly 70 years of marriage.
Sensing God’s call to the mission field after their studies at Toccoa Falls, Jean and Bud spent nearly 40 years serving the Lord in Africa, first in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and then in Côte d’Ivoire in various ministries. Retiring to Toccoa in 1994, Jean was an active member of First Alliance Church Toccoa, where she was a gifted pianist for worship services and for the choir. Jean loved spending time in the Word and the presence of the Lord.
Jean is survived by her husband; children, Iris, Stan, Norwood, Terry, Virginia; 16 grandchildren; 40 greatgrandchildren; and 1 great-great-grandchild.
Delbert (Del) McKenzie
February 2, 1937–January 7, 2023
Del was born in Eureka, Mont. In 1955, he enrolled in Western Bible Institute (Regina, Sask.), where he met Jane Halverson. They married in the Lethbridge (Alta.) Alliance Church on September 5, 1959.
During 43 years of C&MA ministry, Del served in the Rocky Mountain District as well as in the province of Alberta. He pastored churches in Whitetail and Manhattan, Mont.; Lewiston, Idaho; and Grande Prairie and Sherwood Park, Alta. While serving as a pastor, he studied at Montana State University and Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho. Del was also superintendent of the Rocky Mountain District (2001–2003) and served several interim roles in Alliance and non-Alliance churches.
Jane was diagnosed with dementia around 2009. Del cared for her at home until April 2018 when he could no longer give her the care she needed. He passed away while attempting to exit their smoke-filled home due to a fire. Jane remains in an adult-care facility in Moses Lake, Wash.
Del is survived by his wife; son, Timothy; daughter, Melodee; and 4 grandchildren.
Donald (Don) D. Draggoo
June 20, 1933–January 8, 2023
Born in Walkerville, Mich., Don committed his life to Christ during the closing service of a B. B. Bosworth revival in 1949 in Port Huron, Mich. He received a bachelor of science in Christian education from the Missionary Training Institute (now Alliance University, New York, N.Y.) (1952–1957). There he met Anna Mae Kozy, an organ major in the music department. They married in Union City, Pa., on June 4, 1955.
During 46 years of C&MA ministry, Don pastored churches in Asheboro (1959–1965), Charlotte (1965–1973), and Greensboro, N.C. (1973–1975). He also served a non-Alliance church near Charlottesville, Va. (1957–1959). In 1975, Don became the eastern representative for Stewardship Ministries (later known as the Orchard Foundation and now Orchard Alliance). He served in this role for 27 years, conducting financial planning workshops throughout the eastern United States. Don also was a member of the District Executive Committee of the South Atlantic District as well as the district treasurer. He served on the following committees: the Home Department, the Advisory Council of North American Ministries, and the Fellowship Fund Study Committee.
Don is survived by his wife; children, Donald W., Cindy, and Carol; 8 grandchildren; and 4 great-grandchildren.
Mary Catherine (Edwards) Hazlett
January 25, 1931–January 31, 2023
Born in Bernie, Mi., Mary came to know Jesus at a young age through the influence of her mother. During the Great Depression, the family moved to
MAY/JUN 2023 43 ALLIANCELIFE
Michigan so her father, a sharecropper, could look for work in the automotive industry. Mary met John Hazlett at a C&MA church in Pontiac, where his father would become the pastor. The couple married June 12, 1953.
The Hazletts attended the Missionary Training Institute (now Alliance University, New York, N.Y.). After John graduated, he entered the education profession. Mary received a BS in elementary education from Eastern Michigan University (1960–1963) and an MA in education from Azusa (Calif.) Pacific University (1975–1979). She began teaching first grade in 1963.
In 1967, the Hazletts began their 31 years of C&MA ministry in Papua, New Guinea, Indonesia, serving for 23 years teaching the children of missionaries (1967–1990). Later, they were transferred to Quito, Ecuador, where Mary taught at the Alliance Academy (1990–1998).
After retiring from overseas ministry, Mary continued to teach full time or find opportunities to substitute in the classroom. She finally gave up teaching at the age of 88 after being an educator for 56 years. Mary was known for her warm hospitality and her love for God’s work.
Mary is survived by her husband; son, Brad; 5 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren; she was preceded in death by her daughter, Roberta (Robbi) Fanberg.
Urbane (Urb) Vaughn Travis
August 23, 1934–February 7, 2023
Urb was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam, to C&MA missionaries. In the early years of WWII, he spent part of his childhood in an internment camp in Vietnam during the Japanese occupation. On September 27, 1958, he married Elizabeth Burnett Winton in Oakland, Calif. Urb received his bachelor’s degree in 1959 from Simpson Bible College (San Francisco, Calif.) and his master’s from Simpson University (Redding, Calif.) in 1993.
During 47 years of C&MA service, Urb pastored churches in Ft. Jones (1959–1963) and Baldwin Park, Calif. (1965–1968 and 1969–1971). He was also an itinerant preacher serving Vietnamese congregations in California and nationwide (1980–2015). In 1972, Urb drove a logging truck for Trygve Onarheim and went on to log thousands of miles in a 30+ year career. Known as “Preacher” on the CB radio, he often shared Jesus with other drivers, woodsmen, and mill workers in northern California’s mountains.
Urb’s deep empathy for the outcast was likely ingrained in him from his internment camp experience. After the fall of Vietnam, he helped relocate refugees via Camp Pendleton, Calif., and worked with World Vision (1979–1980) to relocate
refugees flying into San Francisco. Urb maintained friendships with California’s Vietnamese congregations his entire life, preaching in their churches and reminiscing with them about Vietnam. Urb is survived by his wife; children, Drew, Drake, Hestia, Matt, Frankie, and Lily; 17 grandchildren; and 4 great-grandchildren.
The Fourfold Gospel
The Fourfold Gospel by A. B. Simpson is a deep and practical exploration of the all-sufficiency of Christ in the lives of those who open their door to His invitation. In this classic work, Simpson invites the reader to delve into the rich nuance of the Word of God and embrace Jesus as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King. In this modernized release, Steve Grusendorf brings fresh relevancy and application to these sacred truths about the One who offers life in its fullest to all who receive Him. Available on Amazon in English and Spanish.
New book releases from C&MA historian and theologian Paul King:
What Does The Alliance Really Believe?
What Does The Alliance Really Believe? Sorting Out Essentials, Distinctives, and Open Questions in United Loving Liberty is a theological book intended for LOCCs, candidates, students, pastors, and those seeking perspective on current issues facing The Alliance.
Anointed Women 2
Anointed Women 2: Current Issues of Women in Ministry in The Christian and Missionary Alliance and How to be Unified in Loving Liberty explores a historic view of women in ministry in The Alliance.
Both books are available on Amazon and at Council.
In the March/April “With the Lord” section, we mistakenly listed Fernando Esteban Chaves’ birthdate as July 29, 1927; his correct date of birth is July 29, 1939. We apologize for the error.
ALLIANCELIFE 44 MAY/JUN 2023
2 WASHINGTON ST, NEW YORK, NY 10004 ALLIANCEU.EDU • 212.625.0500
POTENTIAL. ETERNAL IMPACT.
Connect with Us Scan Here
The Whole Gospel to the Whole World
AN AWAKENING AT ASBURY
On Wednesday, February 9, Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, held their regularly scheduled chapel service for students led by Zach Meerkreebs, formerly with Envision. At the end of the service, about 20 students remained in the Hughes Memorial Auditorium seeking the Lord and worshiping. Shortly after, students began returning to the auditorium with a posture of repentance and praise. A unique move of God continued as students from the University of Kentucky and other area colleges—as well as people from the surrounding communities— came to Asbury’s campus with holy expectation and general curiosity. Over the next several weeks, others came from across the country— and even some from abroad. Scores of people surrendered their lives to Christ, accepted God’s call to the nations, and experienced miraculous healings. Since the awakening at Asbury, more spiritual stirrings and revivals have erupted in other parts of the country. God’s Spirit is truly moving among His people!
Please visit cmalliance.org/asbury to read a full interview with Zach Meerkreebs about his experience.
REVIVING EVANGELISM AT EXPONENTIAL
More than 120 U.S. Alliance pastors, church leaders, and church planters attended the Exponential Orlando 2023 Conference, March 6–9, themed Lost Cause: Reviving Evangelism. The event served as a call to action for ministry leaders to revitalize their efforts to share the gospel and bring others to Christ. The conference provided inspiring messages and practical tools to help boost the evangelistic fervor of the local church. Iván Martí, the Alliance national multiplication leader, notes, “The conference emphasized the reality that the mission of Jesus is ‘to seek and to save the lost.’ It is exciting to see our church multipliers reaffirm their commitment to hold biblical evangelistic values close to their hearts and their willingness to take risks to expand God’s Kingdom here in the United States and around the world.”
ALLIANCELIFE 46 MAY/JUN 2023 OUR LIFE
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GOD IS IN THIS PLACE
In the late 1800s, Virginia Field, a prominent New York socialite, was reading the Bible when she came across Matthew 25:36: “I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Virginia immediately felt burdened for the lost and soon began taking a group with her once a month to share the gospel with the inmates at Sing Sing Prison. She started regularly conducting Bible classes and even had personal interviews with the prisoners, including those on death row. Students from the Missionary Training College (now Alliance University) always accompanied her.
These Bible studies soon became a vital part of The Alliance’s work in the United States. M. T. Draper, an Alliance secretary, wrote about this ministry in The Christian Alliance in January 1894:
The Sing Sing Branch of the Christian Alliance is only three months old, yet the dear Lord has given us many wonderful tokens of His love for us and of His power to save.
The work was sealed by the instantaneous healing, in answer to prayer, of a sick woman who had been in great agony for three days. Two regular weekly meetings are held, and two all-day meetings of prayer and praise have borne rich fruit in the conversion of souls and the deepening of the spiritual lives of many Christians. A missionary spirit is rapidly growing in this little band of 21, who have pledged $300 for the support of a missionary.
After many years, Virginia became too incapacitated to go in personally, so she sent a letter to be read to the prison classes by the students who were leading the class in her stead. This ministry continued for at least 60 years after her death in 1900. Lillian Laison, who served at Sing Sing Prison for several decades, wrote this about the ministry in the 1950s:
Fifty men are assembled for Mrs. Field’s Bible class. Men who have sunk to the depths and risen to the heights are being challenged to reveal to their fellows the glory of God. Suddenly that glory seems to fill the chapel. There is an awesome peace in our midst. All eyes are fixed on the speaker. There is no sound, no movement. We seem scarcely to breathe.
The message draws to its close. The men are dismissed and file out in complete silence. The guard looks on in amazement. All know that “God is in this place.” We understand something of what Moses felt when he came down from the holy mount. We, too, have been in the presence of God.
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An illustration from 1860 of the chapel service at Sing Sing (Photo courtesy of C&MA Archives)
Compiled by Alliance Life staff