Compiled by Jim Nieman and Chris Moon
The International Conference On Missions shared some statistics from last month’s gathering in Kansas City, Mo., even as it makes plans for its next annual get-together in Indianapolis Nov. 19-22, 2020.
The total attendance of about 8,500 during the Nov. 14-17 Kansas City gathering was on track with ICOM events of the recent past, while the Student ICOM—or SICOM—remained strong with 575 attending. There were 47 colleges and universities represented, along with 42 public decisions to enter missionary service.
ICOM set records for its biggest KidZone attendance (585), total number of exhibitors (356), and record attendances at the Bible Study Breakfast and Lunch with Missionaries events. The total offering of $63,362 surpassed the goal.
All four main-session speakers were urban workers who spoke on the theme “Mind the Gap: Embracing the City”; they included Jeff Fife (president), Nick Dunn, Jay Greer, and Dr. Kang Pyng Lee.
“The speakers were very encouraging and challenging,” said one ICOM attendee. “Sometimes we laughed, and sometimes we nearly cried. We were blessed by the messages we heard, as well as the many personal testimonies that were shared. God was at work at this ICOM.”
ON DECK IN 2020
Jeff Vines will serve as president for the upcoming ICOM at the Indianapolis Convention Center. The 2020 theme will be “The Cross Before Me.”
Vines is a former missionary to New Zealand and Zimbabwe who has served as lead pastor of ONE&ALL Church—until recently known as Christ’s Church of the Valley of San Dimas, Calif.—since 2008. (Read our article from last week about the church’s name change and international ministry emphasis.)
Additional speakers for 2020 will include Ravi Zacharias, a noted Christian apologist, author, and founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries; Danny Guglielmucci, founder of Edge Church International with campuses in Australia and overseas; and Dr. Ajai Lall, one of the founder directors of Central India Christian Mission (which has planted more than 2,500 churches) and Christian Medical Training Center.
Much more information about the upcoming ICOM in Indianapolis is available at theicom.org.
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Exponential’s Global Conference will take place March 2-5 in Orlando. The theme is “Together,” based on John 17 and Jesus’ call to come together. More than 5,000 are expected for equipping, training, and encouraging. Discounted registration rates are available through the end of the year at exponential.org.
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Gateway Christian Church in St. Albans, W.Va., is planning a recovery home for people working their way out of drug addictions. The recovery home for men would be in a house adjacent to the church. Those living in the home would submit to random drug testing. They also must obtain jobs, pay rent, and attend church twice weekly, in addition to having a recovery coach, according to WSAZ. Plans for the recovery home are receiving some community pushback in part because of the home’s proximity to the church’s childcare center.
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The annual Lawrence County Bike Giveaway will take place at Central Christian Church, Ironton, Ohio, on Saturday. Two local business owners who have made it their mission to help kids in need by ensuring they receive at least one big gift—a new bicycle—for Christmas have organized the event since 2011. The men anticipate giving away about 150 bikes this year.
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Ozark Christian College president Matt Proctor shared a testimony about longtime professor Wilbur Fields, who died last May, as he appealed for funds to pay for improvements and updates to the basement classrooms located in the college library.
Proctor wrote that he didn’t know what to expect in 1988 during his first class (“Old Testament History”) at Ozark, at 7 a.m., there in the basement of that library. But Fields’s engaging, informative, and entertaining teaching style quickly won him over. “Within those four walls, we met God, and that classroom became holy ground (Exodus 3:5).”
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Betty Sensibaugh, 99, widow of Hugh F. Sensibaugh, longtime senior minister with Lockland (Ohio) Christian Church, died Dec. 2 at The Christian Village at Mason (Ohio). The Sensibaughs served LCC together for more than 45 years. They were married 56 years until her husband’s death in 1997. Hugh F. Sensibaugh was president of the North American Christian Convention in 1966 and served as chairman of the Publishing Committee at Standard Publishing—former publisher of this magazine—for 40 years. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until noon services Saturday at The Christian Village at Mason. Vorhis & Ryan Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
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Fortville (Ind.) Christian Church is teaming up with five other local churches to form a community food pantry. The effort called “For Fortville Christians United” is searching for a permanent food pantry location, according to the Daily Reporter newspaper.
FCC has been operating its own small pantry, but the need continues to grow.
“Our church has had a huge growth in the number of people coming to the food pantry over the past year,” volunteer Erin Flick told the newspaper. She said hours and services could be expanded.
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Westerville (Ohio) Christian Church’s “Central Park” made Columbus Parent magazine’s list of top play places for kids in central Ohio.
“This play place for ages 2-12 offers an enclosed tunnels-and-nets area and a place for kids to socialize,” the magazine wrote. “The area is free and open to the public during scheduled times.”
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A recent pie auction by First Christian Church, West Plains, Mo., raised more than $5,000 for the Ozarks Medical Center Cancer Patient Emergency Fund. It was the third year for the fundraiser.
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