On July 25 our dear friend and colleague Ed Stephenson experienced what it is to be “absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” — whose salvation Ed has faithfully spent his life proclaiming. Ed holds a record for short term participation in Proclaim evangelism tours, having been on at least one tour nearly every year since 1995, except during a period when he was recovering from having half a lung removed! But he came back from that temporary setback more motivated than ever, and after another 15 years of dedicated ministry he completed 2016 with two evangelism tours – a sax quartet in Greece and, a week later, on to China with a jazz band.
Four years ago Ed became a Proclaim Associate in recognition of the ongoing commitment that he and his wife Gail have had in personal sacrifice for the ministry of the gospel through Proclaim. He is part of us. How we will miss the exceptional musical ability and creativity, the humor, and the humble, gentle, generous spirit of this multi-faceted half musical genius, half brilliant engineer. He lived out Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
June 17 – July 1
This weekend kicked off the first of 6 Proclaim tours this summer, a very exciting and innovative evangelistic music tour in the South of France.
Proclaim’s Soul Tattoo band, along with the technical team, church members and other participants, will do 4 full concerts and 4 open air concerts throughout the region.
The purpose of the tour is to serve as a catalyst and resource to the few known small evangelical churches in this area with a population of well over 200,000, as they reach out with the love of Jesus.
The church in Mackovec, Croatia, home of Ima Nade-Proclaim ministry, was already filled to capacity when we first were introduced and began what has become a ministry partnership of over 30 years. During these years the church has adapted the facilities, started other churches, and just enjoyed close fellowship, as they faithfully continued to build the true church, the body of believers, and tirelessly reached out to the lost in their local community and far beyond. They never let the limited resources hold them back, but never lost the vision of one day having a building that could facilitate even more growth and capacity for ministry to those outside.
After years of planning, praying, and patiently waiting for God’s timing, property and administrative issues were resolved and the church broke ground for their new building in February 2016.
Since then, God has blessed with provision and significant progress through the work and sacrifice of believers in the body. The construction goal for the first year was met ahead of schedule with the building completely enclosed!
Needed to meet the goal for this year: Givers and Workers!
- $70,000 will be needed to meet the payment schedule for the roof contractor.
- Projects inside the building (dry wall, tile, carpeting …) are planned for local volunteers or work teams: Specifically – teams from the US who can finance their trip to do the work on various projects.
The church is ready for a big step forward. God has provided what we needed to begin, and we know that He will fulfill our needs according to the riches of His glory. We ask you to join with us in this project. Please pray for us, and help financially if you can.
Link to Donate at Proclaim! US https://secure-q.net/donations/ProclaimInt/1467
Select Ima Nade – Croatia 100101 on the dropdown menu
The Blue Door Band from California will be in Peru with a 12-member Proclaim! team February 13-27. As people are attracted to the band’s pop, jazz and Latin music at daily outreach events, they will hear the good news and have the opportunity to connect personally with the team and with local churches. See more at the Blue Door Band site.
THE BLUE DOOR BAND – LISTEN HERE (Click on Videos at the site)
We have 2 teams returning to for teaching opportunities
with children and teens in South Africa and Asia
SOUTH AFRICA March 24-April 10, 2017 – Teachers to
impact middle to high school children and teens in a needy area
ASIA – TEFL July 13-30, 2017 Teaching elementary
age children and reaching out to families
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Our prayer for you in the new year: that you experience every spiritual blessing in Christ.
SAX 4TH AVENUE saxophone quartet has returned home from Greece. On arrival they hit the ground running after a 2 day delay because of a strike in Greece.
In 11 days there were 18 performances — the first week traveling in the north of Greece and the second week ministering in Athens.
Concerts were for:
-Refugee camps or centers
-A training center for addicts
-Church and church plant outreaches
-Christian Artists Seminar
-City parks and plazas
We are thankful for all God has done in Greece through the efforts of the band and our ministry partners there!
Proclaim! International as a community of missionaries has taken a historic step forward.
From the inception of Proclaim in 2000 we determined that we were going to be a mission led by missionaries, trusting the Holy Spirit in each other, and seeking God’s leading together. And what a time of blessing and growth we have had in the past 15 years under the leadership of our founding co-directors, John Bowers, Bob McIntyre, and Bob Johnson. New Proclaim national ministries have been established and are growing in Croatia, France, Germany, Peru, and Belarus, and new or ongoing partnerships for evangelism and training are increasing.
As we grow we are always looking for ways that God is leading us to adapt and advance the ministry as good stewards, and a critical aspect of that responsibility is preparing new leaders. Even well before Bob Johnson was promoted to heaven over three years ago, the Co-directors were actively planning strategies for developing new leadership.
Now after a lengthy process of prayer, discussion and discernment, with thankfulness we begin 2016 with four new Co-directors who have been decisively led by God, recommended by the International Council, and affirmed by the Proclaim Community. They represent the whole of the Community, come from four different national backgrounds, and are all experienced leaders in Proclaim. Each has a depth of understanding of our structure, values and ministries through service on the International Council and significant interaction with many of the Proclaim ministries.
Previous Co-directors Bob and John are not leaving or retiring, but continuing in leadership of Proclaim’s US ministries and involvement in other worldwide Proclaim efforts. In John’s words,
Bob and I are full of confident joy that we have come to this place at the right time. A time for the community to advance new leaders and for us to continue to serve as the Lord leads us in new roles and ministry responsibilities in Proclaim. So we have, as Bob Johnson used to say, expectant faith, as Proclaim! moves forward with our new Co-directors who will lead us in the years to come.
For many of the cultural contexts in which Proclaim is working, this season is one of the best times of the year to talk with creativity and boldness about the Hope that is within us.
Annual Christmas Production – Ima Nade, Croatia
And the Proclaim community has been doing exactly that: a concert for refugees in Germany, Christmas concerts in Belarus, a “Christmas Lord’s Supper” banquet in France, four nights of Christmas concerts with a refugee theme in Croatia with 1000 people from the community attending, a theater play in Peru, with church members participating — as well as the many personal contacts and conversations with friends and neighbors.
At Christmas, as always, we trust that God will use each point of contact, whether a high profile public event or a brief conversation with a neighbor talking about the Real meaning of Christmas, as a powerful entry point for His Spirit into lives.