Australia Holy Work Report
Australia Coordinating Center includes five churches, one house of prayer, and one worship place. It also takes care of the pioneering work in Fiji. Aside from the routine pastoral, evangelical, and training work last year, this update will briefly introduce the status of each church,
prayer house, and pioneering areas.
First is the Adelaide prayer house, which had its dedication in May 2016. They began to diligently establish the church holy work, including Religious Education, Children Bible Camp, Spiritual Convocation, Gospel Tea Fellowship, and all types of seminars. There is also regularpastoral visits to Roxby Downs (5 hours away from Adelaide) to care for a family that emigrated from the Philippines.
Golden Coast worship place, which belongs to Brisbane church, started having regular Sabbath services from December 2015 until now. It currently has consistent truth seekers attending services. Brisbane church also established construction funds for Gold Coast in 2018, hoping that a stable worship location will be established in the near future so that the growth of all the holy work will be more complete.
Photo of Brisbane members
There are ten members in the Darwin worship place that used to worship at a location provided by a member for the past ten years. Since 2018, the member returned to use the place for himself, so Darwin members will take turns to worship at different members’ houses. The
Darwin working team is seeking a solution for this. For example, having video Sabbath services face to face with the assigned workers every two weeks. As well as regular video conference for Religious Education Service every Sunday. They are hoping to find a suitable location to hold regular services so that the Gospel may be spread out.
About twenty years ago, Fiji pioneering region was entrusted to Australia by East Region Evangelical Department. Australia coordination center established Fiji Evangelical team to be in charge of the pastoral and evangelical work in Fiji. Thank the Lord, through God’s great
guidance, it has been nineteen years since the start of the work in Fiji. It started with only one family that emigrated from Taiwan, to having local residents that studied the truth and believed. In addition, nine years ago, a few brothers from Fuching, China started their sand mining business from Fiji Navua. Until now, more and more members immigrated from China to Fiji. Currently there are 35 members and 7 regular truth seekers at five service regions. Thank the Lord, these members also brought their children to study here; therefore, the Religious Education work will be one of the important works in the future.
Melbourne church has been growing in the area of evangelical work. Many members also moved from other areas to reside in Melbourne. Therefore, Croydon church that was dedicated in 2012 is starting to get full. The church council has been diligently looking for another service location in North Melbourne, hoping that there will be an additional service location in the Melbourne region through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Perth currently has two churches, Dianella church and Cannington church. Although Dianella church has fewer members, the church is proactively establishing the training work, especially for evangelical work. Cannington church was dedicated in 2017. Thank the Lord! The church purchased an additional three-bedroom house in the back of the chapel to solve the lack of RE classroom location issue. There are also quite a few truth seekers who would attend service consistently. Of that, three truth seekers are non-Asian, may the Lord continue to guide them.
Photos of Perth members
Bexley church that was branched out from Sydney church has recently completed the renovation of the chapel in September 2018. It will start having Friday night Sabbath service in November and plan to officially start Sabbath and RE services on January 26, 2019. Thank the
guidance of the Lord, the work of branching out was clearly guided by God. For example, there were 83 members that attended service the first time Bexley held service. After that, there would consistently have 70-75 members. If adding the members from Parramatha church that used to have about 75 members attending service, it would be more than the 100 member attendance in the old Parramatha church. The council members intend to re-organize the workflow between the two churches in the future. If all the planning work becomes stable, Bexley church will be dedicating its chapel in 2020. May God work greatly in Sydney and branch out a third church in the near future.
There are members from three families that moved from China in Waga Waga, which is in New South Wale State, five-hour drive from Sydney. In order to provide pastoral care, Sydney church holds weekly video conference religious education as well as sending volunteer workers to their location for service. The three families also hold group audio prayer sessions every night. May the Lord greatly care, guide, and bless the work in Waga Waga.
Thank the Lord! Australia has a great land with abundant resources. It is a country with a high level of financial growth. We believe that God will be willing to flourish the work in Australia. Not only to allow immigrated members to enjoy a stable life, but also to use the abundant blessings from God to carry out their entrusted mission. We hope that churches from all over the world will pray for the work in Australia so that it will become a place that will carry out the promised mission entrusted to the True church of end times.
Ontario Church Dedication Invitation
Thanks to God’s abundant grace and guidance, Ontario Church was able to acquire our chapel in May 2018. We cannot thank enough the prayers and contributions of all loving brothers and sisters. With much joy and gratitude , we would like to extend our warmest welcome and sincere invitation to our brothers and sisters to the Dedication Ceremony of Ontario Church.
Dedication Ceremony will be held at 10:30 AM on Sunday, February 2nd, 2020. To help prepare for the holy event, please kindly inform your attendance to your local church council by January 11, 2020.
The closest airport to Ontario Church is Ontario International Airport (ONT). If further information is needed, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please keep the holy work and growth in ministry of the Ontario Church in your prayers. We look forward to sharing the joy together for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May all the glory be unto His Name!
Fundraising Request for New Church Building in Vancouver
By the grace and guidance of the Lord, the Holy Works of Vancouver church has progressed continually. The membership has now reached 402 and the Lord continues to increase it. The church had a plan to branch out for more than 10 years ago and for this purpose there are regular Sabbath services in Surrey area established for several years now.
They have found a church building in the Burnaby area with a sitting capacity of 240, which the location and size are ideal for their use. If acquired, this new church can accommodate members from Burnaby and Eastside, which account for half of the membership of Vancouver church. The purchasing cost of this church building plus renovation is about $4,075,000 (Canadian dollars). They will need $1,225,000 (Canadian dollars) by December 15, 2019 in preparation to close the deal.
The Vancouver church humbly seeks your generous financial support for this church purchase. If you’d like to contribute financially, please issue your check payable to International Assembly of the True Jesus Church (note that it is for the Vancouver area church purchase fund in the memo section) and mail the check to the IA office at 21217 Bloomfield Ave., Lakewood, California 90715. After all the offering checks have been collected, the IA will wire the total offering amount to Vancouver church.
Your support in prayer for this church purchase is as importance in seeking God’s guidance. May the Lord bless you for your kindness, care and love for the extension of His Kingdom.
Philippines Holy Work Briefing
Philippines Church News
Mindanao Island is the second largest island in the Philippines. Because of the abundant resources and land, Filipinos call this place the promised land. Due to political instability, however, sixty percent of the residents live in poverty. In this beautiful land, kidnapping and battles against the government are constant occurrences. Yet God has especially loved the residents of Mindanao Island. In 1983, a Pentecostal pastor came to seek the truth in Bacolod and became our member. He then brought the gospel back to Pagadian within the island. There are 8 churches established in Mindanao Island and six houses of prayer, nine places of worship, three pastors, and two theological students. In terms of holy work, this is the most prosperous region in the Philippines.
Status of the Cagayan De Oro House of Prayer
In 2010, sister Jenny Lin who came from Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay House of Prayer married and moved to Cagayan De Oro, which is in the northern part of Mindanao Island. There was no True Jesus Church at that time, so Jenny Lin and her cousin Melanie Padilla observed Sabbath at their own home. In 2014, Pastor Ezekiel visited them and Pastor Zacahi Yang and other holy workers also assisted in pastoring.
In 2016, Sister Jenny Lin’s father, Jaime Pasad Opmia was inflicted with headache. The local doctor diagnosed it as high blood pressure. However, the illness got worse and he would often vomit, was not able to function normally, and was bedridden. Sister Jenny Lin took care of her father at her home in Cagayan De Oro. Through the diagnosis of the doctors there, they confirmed he had a brain tumor and hospitalized him. They informed the family that her father needed a high-risk brain surgery. The family was greatly worried at this news and saddened by the thought that their father had labored his whole life but had not had a chance to enjoy life. Jenny and her family prayed to prolong their father’s life. The entire family relied on God with one heart and requested intercession from churches from various areas. After one month of prayer, her father’s illness was obviously getting better. They took their father in for another scan and the doctor confirmed that the brain tumor disappeared! Sister Jenny’s father was then discharged from the hospital. This miracle has strengthened the faith of members in Cagayan De Oro.
In 2016, Jenny Lin’s house was not big enough, so they built a simple hut with three white cloths on land nearby and used it as a place of worship for a year. In 2017, the members increased to fifteen, so they bought a land together and built a small twelve by sixteen-foot chapel. They put on the True Jesus Church sign and lifted up the name of the Lord.
The Hut for Service in 2016
Second Wave of the Work of the Holy Spirit
In 2018, a spiritual wind arose again. On October 25, the Philippines Evangelical team received a letter from an International Assembly worker informing them that a pastor named Rebecca Regino from Cagayan De Oro started studying our doctrines after receiving our church’s Manna magazine. The pastor would use the information from Manna to teach his members during service. This pastor wrote a letter on October 3 to our International Assembly office and got in contact. In November, the Philippines Evangelical team sent Pastor Ezekiel, Pastor John, and Deacon Joseph to Cagayan De Oro to meet with pastor Rebecca Regino and six other pastors. They held two days of seminars where the attendees were very diligent in learning, especially pastor Rebecca Regino. There were no debates; the attendees raised questions on the topic of God and were able to humble themselves to kneel and pray for the Holy Spirit. They then agreed to hold monthly seminars after this trip. The next day, another pastor came and inquired on the topic of Sabbath and infant baptism. Several days later, pastor Rebecca Regino texted and expressed his willingness to baptize his entire family in the True Jesus Church.
Two pastors with our workers
Mindanao Island residents have lived with a lack of material abundance for a prolonged period of time, but their hearts have longed and thirsted for the hope of heaven. Like most Filipinos, they love to sing, so they sing mostly about the heavenly kingdom. From this we can see that their hearts desire for the promised beautiful land of heaven. Let us raise our hands in prayer and remember the brethren in the Philippine churches. May the name of the Lord Jesus be even more glorified in the Philippines.
South Africa Ministry Update
Thank God for taking care of our churches in South Africa! Since the mid-1990s, our believers from Taiwan and Fujian have been working and living in South Africa, hence they also brought the gospel to this country. In the beginning, they only had family service to sustain their faith, but did not keep the Sabbath. In these 23 years under God’s care, brothers and sisters in this country have seen much guidance and care from God; with limited resources, through hardships and vicissitudes, they finally established a True Jesus Church in South Africa. From a church in the early days that was unable to keep the Sabbath to the current church that is able to hold two Spiritual Convocations in Autumn and Spring every year (in Johannesburg and Cape Town, respectively), it is indeed the grace of God. They also began to see the importance of keeping the Sabbath as it is a commandment.
In January 2018, the new South African Ministry Committee was established (3 people) and officially completed the handover from the old to new committee. Currently, there are 2 churches in South Africa, in Johannesburg and Cape Town. There are also 4 worship points, and the attendance at the services in the Port Elizabeth location is the highest.
From July 28, 2018, the Johannesburg Church began having regular Sabbath services at 11 am, and worship service mainly consisted of Bible reading, prayers, and hymn singing. Since January 2019, they also started having sermons on the Sabbath.
Cape Town Church
This church was dedicated on January 25, 2015. There are more than 100 believers and about 50-60 people attending church service regularly. Cape Town Church held a spiritual convocation in January 2017. About 60-70 people attended this event. Five were baptized and 59 received the cup. Thank God! There was a Caucasian local who received baptism. He was acquainted with one of our believers. Our believer took him to the church for a period of time. When our workers visited Cape Town, they preached to him about the true salvation. He accepted the truth with full joy. He was baptized by faith under the name of the Lord. After baptism, he is now very zealous in helping with church work and assisting believers with some difficult problems. In 2018, some believers returned to China, and the number of members attending service decreased to 30-45.
Port Elizabeth Worship Place
After 2017, some believers returned to China and moved to the vicinity of Johannesburg to do business. The number attending service has decreased. Currently, there are about 15 believers, and there is church service every week.
Welkom Worship Place
Since 2015, Sabbath service has been held at Bro. Kao’s store every third week of the month. There are about 10 believers.
In August 2016, the worship place was moved to Zhuang Zhifeng’s home for church service. Sabbath services are held every third week of the month, led by the workers assigned by Johannesburg Church. The attendance at services is between 10-15.
Limpopo Worship Place and Nelspruit Worship Place
Since January 2018, both places have Friday night services and Sabbath afternoon services at 5 pm. There are about 10 believers.
Our churches in South Africa employed a local brother as a full-time voluntary worker since 2006. He has been training in China for two years. We hope that after the training he can carry on the pastoral works in South Africa so the church can continually and steadily grow for the long term.
In recent years, the security situation in South Africa has deteriorated. Robberies and murders have occurred weekly and it is hard to stay safe there. The economy has declined, which greatly influences members who run businesses. Coupled with the difficulty in renewing their work permits and processing their visa applications, some of the believers closed their shops, some returned to China, and some migrated to other countries. The membership dropped from 800 last year to about 700 this year. Please pray for the churches and the brethren in South Africa, so that our members can settle their lives in this unsafe environment and the churches can be kept by God. May all the glory be to our God in heaven. Amen!
News Report from Europe
In 2015, the European Coordination Center (ECC) was established and started to coordinate the holy work in continental Europe. In the beginning, we had to think about how ECC can support the local churches and their members. What work should be done by the ECC council? How can we get brothers and sisters in so many different countries to get close to each other like one big family in Christ?
Thanks to God, He gave us wisdom, strength, and peace to bring all the brethren closer. Although we have different cultural backgrounds and speak different languages, we are one family and take care of each other, just as the Bible described in Ephesians 4,15-16. Many brothers and sisters visit other places during their local spiritual convocations or special services. In the past, our members only went once a year to visit other churches, but now many brethren travel several times to attend the service at other churches in Europe. This helps our brethren at smaller places to grow. Everyone can share their testimonies and experiences in church work to strengthen the faith of each other.
In 2017 ECC started a newsletter. Because ECC is a multi-language area, this newsletter is written in four languages (English, French, German and Mandarin). Although it requires much effort, the benefit is very high. It is a very good way to share past events and church activities including their good memories. People will also get a forecast of upcoming events so that they are able to plan ahead and attend. A very important part of the newsletter is the section for intercessions. Especially if brethren who live far away and have worries, or are weak in faith and need our intercession. Then everyone in Continental Europe will be informed through the newsletter and can pray for them. Some are not able to visit other places, but the newsletter still connects them with one another within Christ.
Another strong pillar is our Continental Youth Fellowship (ECCYF). It is an event mainly for the second generation of TJC in continental Europe. They already became young adults and are very active in evangelism. The youth in Europe had to grow up quicker than in other areas. Some of them have already taken responsibilities such as church board members, preaching during the Sabbath service or leading Bible studies. ECCYF also organizes convocations, training and visits to different churches. Our younger generation is also very active supporting the holy work in the pioneering area of South Europe. As for the volunteer team, they help to teach the RE classes in Spain, Italy, Greece, and Hungary. May God continue to support their holy work and keep their strength.
For two places, 2018 was also a very special year in a different way. After a very long time, Heidelberg house of prayer finally found a new church building. With God’s grace, the church could buy a suitable building in Mannheim (a city close to Heidelberg). Currently, there is a lot of renovation work ongoing so that the new place can be ready to use as a church for the continuously increasing number of brethren in 2019.
Another great event was the church dedication last August in Madrid. Although Madrid belongs to the pioneering area of Europe, the number of brethren increased in the last years to over 60 people. Everyone who attended the dedication could see the blessing of Christ. Nevertheless, the care team of ECC will continue to go to Madrid on a regular basis and help the church continue to grow as with the whole pioneering area.
Since 2017, we have also added a new place of worship in our European pioneering area. Some families who live in Budapest (the capital of Hungary) started to have regular Sabbath services. Our care and volunteer team already visited the families two times last year. In 2019 we will increase the number of visits not only to Hungary but also to Greece, Italy, and Spain. The goal is to establish Sabbath Service and Religion Education at all the places so that the holy work increases and the gospel can be preached throughout Europe.
All glory and honor to our Lord Jesus.
Benin Ministry Report
Following the problems related to Yang Yuh-Minh, for several years the Church of Benin was left to its own. The members were able to unmask the false prophet except for about ten people.
During this period, guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church of Cotonou was able to organize itself for its survival with local offerings by renting a classroom in a school on Saturdays in order to keep the Sabbath and the unity of the Assembly.
The adversary tried to bring them back under his influence, going so far as to offer them money. Despite their poverty, understanding the real issue, the brothers and sisters were able to resist.
In the conflict with Mr. Yang, they had to leave the church building and enter a court trial. This has led to discouragement and dispersion of members. After numerous postponements of the trial, the court ruled in favor of the church; but the adversary appealed, preventing the brothers and sisters from recuperating their building.
At the same time, by the grace of God, spiritual and material help from a brother from Nigeria not only allowed the brothers and sisters to have a place to keep the Sabbath and preach, it also enabled them to progress in their spiritual practice.
In 2016, the FAMC (French AMC) was established to help the church of Cotonou. Since then, regular missions have been carried out twice a year with the goal to strengthen the Church, carry out sacraments, and also correct the heresies brought by YM, such as the dualism that had affected the members of Cotonou.
Regular follow-ups are also done by the missionaries and the brother of Nigeria through phone calls, internet and instant messaging.
Members are invited to a one-hour morning prayer service that continues today.
Evangelism in Pahou, a village near Cotonou, has established a new point of worship and a brother from Cotonou has built a church in his house so that there is a meeting point in the village.
In 2018, a leaflet containing all the verses of our foundations was printed and given to the church. A specimen of the hymns in French were also left in places of worship.
The more detailed booklets on the foundations are also ready for printing.
This year, the missions aim to establish religious education and teach more church hymns and then pass on the relay of regular follow-up work to pastors from neighboring countries: Nigeria and Ghana, in order to space visits and continue to spread the Gospel to other francophone countries.
2 new leaflets are to be printed before the next mission, namely:
- One on the Holy Spirit
- One on the Sabbath
The next one in progress concerns baptism.
A document for religious education teachers with the basis of our belief has been translated from “Just for me”. It must be formatted and also printed.
The handover from neighboring countries is not yet established and is part of the year’s objectives.
In conclusion, the hard trials that the church of Cotonou has been able to go through have made it possible to highlight the fidelity and perseverance of the members for God and His church.
Continuing to rely on His faith, strengthened by His experience, knowledge and perseverance in daily prayer, the church must continue to move forward with confidence.
For this to happen, members must progress in offering and preaching in order to allow God to continue to bless and grow the church in Benin, with the help of future pastors from English-speaking churches and the follow-up of the FAMC.