Once again this year we have been profoundly aware of God’s provision for Proclaim’s ministries and in the lives of our missionaries through times of both prosperity and adversity. We have been blessed by God’s lavish outpouring exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.
We gratefully acknowledge that God’s supply comes through the generous response of those who faithfully pray and give out of full hearts. As our opportunities and the cost of ministry increase, we look with faith-filled expectation to where God will lead us. We thank you for your investment and invite you to pray with us for His guidance and provision in the coming year.
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. Read more
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 was in Peru with a 12-member Proclaim! team February 13-27. As people were attracted to the band’s pop, jazz and Latin music at daily outreach events, they heard the good news and had the opportunity to connect personally with the team and with local churches.
THE BLUE DOOR BAND – LISTEN HERE (Click on Videos at the site)
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. Read more
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.
Kim Peterson, Latin America Ministry Coordinator
Recently I played in the orchestra at a local church for their Royal Wedding musical. I got a text late the night before asking if I could substitute for their sax player in this production. I said “yes” and am very glad I did. It was a powerful play that creatively and emotively told the gospel story. I cried during it, even though I was sight reading and needed to keep a clear head, focused on playing the music. There were over 20 in the orchestra, a choir of about a hundred, and about 20 actors.
All the effort and expense to reach the community with the gospel reminded me of the effort and expense God invested and continues to invest in us. Serving God well can’t be done “economically.” We serve him lavishly and sacrificially. When we do that, the power of God’s love is displayed. Audiences sense it and feel it, and many come to understand and live it.
Our Proclaim team is going to Chile next month, sacrificially and lavishly, because we are going to love Chileans like God loves us. As we continue to work hard to prepare, we are going to see more and more God’s awesome love and truth displayed in and through us.
We do this for our Lavish Lord.
The Sunrise Church four who are part of the team
January 25-February 2 Proclaim members Kim Peterson and Jeff Aslesen return to the Island of Hispañola and the Dominican Republic where Columbus first set foot in the New World. They will work with believers there to help people place their faith’s footing on the Rock of Ages and discover the New Life.
This is the Carnaval season in the D.R. a dark, dangerous and disappointing time where people look for what they long for in places where their needs can’t be satisfied. We will spend this week in La Vega, Dominican Republic, reaching out to seekers and rallying Christians to join the rescue party. We will be calling out through music and the Word to invite people to eat the only True Bread that satisfies. From Monday to Saturday we’ll be in churches, on the street, and in a jazz club. On Sunday we participate in the kick-off event of Unidos Por El (United By Him). This is the first event of an entire month of February activities sponsored by UPE which offer Living Water to the thirsty of LaVega, D.R.
Here is one of the songs in Spanish that Kim wrote for this outreach:
Lyrics in English:
Jeanne and Kim Peterson led a team of 15, age 13 to 59,
to Lima, Peru with the Good News.
Their outreach tools were dance and music. For two weeks, dancers danced and spoke the gospel during 30 presentations.
And He filled them with joy as hundreds said “yes” to Jesus’ invitation to receive forgiveness and life.
Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Rom 10:14
Photos Jeanne Peterson
Dominic Bijan (outstanding guitarist) is our German staff member. He works with Steve Liberti in Germany in our band “Soul Tattoo.” Dominic is a motivated and effective personal evangelist, and always wears a smile of joy – even when he had a toothache!
Diana and I are thankful for our calling to minister and work together as we use our gifts and lives to tell the good news.
Though the vast majority of Swedes speak English usually we are dependent on translators like Olga for communication in places where none of us speak the language.
Steve Liberti is one of our fulltime staff members who first came as a short termer. He and his family now live and minister in Germany. Steve is a great musician and a gifted evangelist.
Steve Wallace playing bass is one of hundreds of folks who have come over the years as short term workers. We can’t do ministry without them!
Of course there are BIG things not seen in this photo. Like the four churches of Åmål who worked together on the outreach.
And most importantly the hundreds who heard the good news of salvation!
In much of the USA the World Cup seems to be hardly more than a blip on the evening news. But in many parts of the world, life revolves around the daily results, even after the country’s team has been eliminated.
For Proclaim ministries in July in Peru and Croatia, this event will take center stage — and not for the results of the match.
In Croatia an international band is taking their music to the streets and along with youth teams from local churches sharing their faith, plugging into the excitement of this event that brings people into the streets and public venues.
In Peru a dance company from Florida and Proclaim’s local team in Lima, will join together for several days of ministry. A highlight will be an evangelistic event for their new church plant with a showing of the championship game and an evangelistic dance performance and message at half time.
When you see a match or results of the World Cup in the news, let it remind you to pray for these ministries. It’s about much more than the winning of games.
I have become all things to all people so that by all means I might save some.
I Cor. 9:22
God answered prayer! Our entire team met weekly for over a month before the Gala for prayer, planning, updating, and encouragement. Board members invited many guests and helped with planning, and one member took the event photos you see here.
From all we experienced and heard from others, it is evident that God answered. We made every effort to get an on-time start, and even with a shorter than optimal set up time everything was ready to go right on the dot.
We were thrilled that table hosts and guests took their commitments seriously and almost all of the people who had registered were actually there! And thanks to a few additional guests, every place was filled. That was a specific prayer request and God answered decisively.
The program went very well. Everyone loved the performance of the Switzerland Dance School team! Even some problems with the rented stage did not phase the girls who dealt with the conditions that couldn’t be changed like the professionals (and servants) they are.
The dance team’s involvement and other aspects of Proclaim’s ministry were well communicated by Proclaim Co-director John Bowers, Dance Company Director Stacey Dumdei, and Proclaim Latin America Ministry Coordinator Kim Peterson. And an excellent video production by Russ and Marj Speiser explained the satellite broadcast ministry into North Africa and the Middle East that they head.
Many of the guests had seen the Chinese orchestra Proclaim brought to the US in March to perform at university and cultural events, including 3 venues in Jacksonville. We were excited to be able to share followup stories indicating changes spiritually in a couple of their members since their time here.
As for contributions . . . besides all the other profitable aspects of the evening, we were blessed to receive financial gifts and pledges greater than the amount that we received last year when we had a significantly higher attendance.
We trust that God is continuing to use the Gala in people’s lives. And please continue to pray for additional finances for Proclaim as ministry opportunities abound. If you are able to add to the funds for these ministries, you can donate at the secure link below:
Photos by Jeff Westcott Photography
February 26th 7:30 pm
Jacksonville University, Terry Concert Hall, Jacksonville, FL
Guest Artist Series purchase tickets in advance* or at the door
Adults $15 Seniors (62+) & Military $10 Students/Children $5
* To secure advance tickets or arrange for them to be set aside for pick up at the box office the night of the event at Jacksonville University, call:
Division of Music
Columbia International University and Ben Lippen Prep school
March 2nd 3:00 pm
University of Arkansas – Little Rock, AR
Artspree Series (afternoon concert)
UALR Event on Facebook
March 3rd 10:50 am
LeTourneau University, Longview, TX
S.E. Belcher Performance Center
LeTourneau Event on Facebook
March 6th 7:30 pm
University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL
suggested donation $15
UNF Event on Facebook
Christmas marks a beginning. The dawn of redemption. The commencement of the life of the Savior. The opening of the door to the Kingdom. The first coming which guarantees the second. The beginning of the end of the reign of death, pain sorrow and fear. It is the starting blocks for the race of enduring faith. Christmas is the opening movement to the great opus that leads to a cross, an empty grave, a triumphant return, a throne, a shining city and eternal joy.
Remember this as you “put away” Christmas. The birth is a start, not the finish – savor the promise of things to come.
John Bowers – Co-director
See more information: Qingdao University Orchestra Tour on Facebook
That’s what John Denver would have been singing if he had been at the Proclaim! International Gathering on the Mediterranean coast of Spain at the end of November!
The surroundings were stunning as far as the eye could see. What a setting for singing the glory of the God of all creation. And with a mission full of gifted and devoted musicians we were led into heartfelt praise and worship daily.
Tim Lusk from Jacksonville, a fellow missionary and kindred spirit, challenged and encouraged us from the word each day to unity in Christ with family and our mission community. And he and his wife Allison blessed all of us simply by their presence and interaction with us during the week.
There were 33 of us from 6 countries where Proclaim has ministry. One of the goals of our time together is catching up on the latest developments in colleagues’ ministries, in scheduled reporting times or just around the dinner table or a cup of coffee. One of the satisfying and very practical outcomes of that is seeing our community members find ways to work together and contribute to each others’ ministries.
Of course there is always time left free for just spending time together. These people have too much fun!