From Special Relations, Appointments, and Ministry Partners
International Child Care Ministries
Special Relations and Appointments
God is always good. I am looking forward to what this next year holds for my family, my ministry and the continuing of the work of the Kingdom.
I send greetings to my brothers and sisters in Christ. God has been so gracious in these later years giving me the strength and stamina to go back in the workforce due to lack of funds. He encourages me by reports coming from my past ministries that his work continues to grow. Much of what I do and who I am is evangelistic, sharing my faith to Muslim, skeptics and non-religious neighbors and friends. God brings in counseling opportunities to my door with people in crisis often. I continue to develop my writing career and am publishing a book this month with a message of endurance for believers in these final days of the persecution of the church. God is so good. God has been supernaturally laying on my heart a deeper longing to win Jews and Israelis to Jesus their Messiah. I’ve formed close ties with 2 Israeli families. One couple is visiting me in my home in May. Both families know of my faith in Jesus Christ and embrace me as an intimate friend. I see God at work in them. Please join me in praying for their salvation. Our families are meeting together soon.
I am so grateful for the Lord’s faithfulness, and for those who have encouraged me during this difficult season of life. For those who may not be aware, in the last five years, I have experienced four serious heart events, I have had a defibrillator/pacemaker inserted and I have been through a serious bout with cancer. These conditions come through my family line and came as a complete surprise. Further, it has been a time of many questions, loneliness, many prayers, lifestyle changes, visiting churches, and enjoying many unique experiences of worship. I’m so thankful for the Lord’s amazing love, His joy and His tender care during times of trials. I am truly learning to “rejoice in all things” and depend on God’s Word and promises with greater passion. Thanks for your prayers. If I’m not scheduled for surgery, I plan to join you at conference this year. Blessings on the conference and may the Spirit of God continue to blow mightily throughout the Southland.
I continue in my life long goal of knowing Christ and making Him known
I’m ever grateful for God’s gracious love and how wonderfully he works through His Body. May your hearts be ever open to his leading.
Hello to everyone from the VA Loma Linda. God is good. There are plenty of ministry opportunities here with the staff, 1,000s of Veterans and the Clinical Pastoral Education residents. I appreciate the support I receive from my FM colleagues and the community for the work of the gospel that happens here day in and day out. Blessings to you all.
Greetings to my fellow pastors. It is my prayer that God will continue to use you to build His Church here in Southern California. I want to see the FM Church grow as my grandfather, age 10, was in attendance when the Free Methodist Church was formed in 1860. My brother and 4 uncles were Free Methodist pastors.
I’m still following the Lord and his calling on my life in discipling homeless men. I’m sure much has changed in the pastors and leaders in the FMCSC. I regret the distance and how it affects my participation in the conference team. Love to you all.
Greetings to my Southern California brothers and sisters. I remain encouraged and excited about what GOD is doing with Black Sheep: Harley-Davidsons for Christ. We are growing and expanding in all respects. Please pray with us for the harvest and discipleship of bikers. These are people who will not likely ever come to our churches – so we go to them. Please continue to pray for the safety of our members as they ride tens of thousands of miles every year.
To the pastors and delegates of the conference: May the Lord Bless You
Greetings, This year has brought new relationships and experiences that have enriched and expanded my life. I’m grateful to be sharing the journey with the APU community and the larger FM family. The opportunity to work with students continues to be life-giving. Please join me in heartfelt thankfulness for God’s goodness and grace!
At our age (87 & 88), the challenge of remembering names and faces is definitely a handicap. However, seeing the Holy Spirit at work in contemporary ministries is well worth the effort.
God is good. On the macro side of the equation 2016 proved to be a breakthrough year for Eden with a leap of 53% in income growth. Now 2017 is off with even greater strength and momentum. For the first time since departing the Superintendent role, Eden and the Fitch family are not struggling financially. I’m thankful for the Lord’s provision in and out of season. In 2015 Eden launched Nepal as a new partner nation. Truthfully, you never know with certainty how well (or poorly) a new cultural setting will turn out. After two and a half years of work in Nepal I am pleased to report the work is thriving well beyond my expectations. Eden’s work is now proven replicable in four nations. Tens of thousands of additional acres are being restored as healthy forest each year, and thousands of villagers are being lifted out of extreme poverty through fair wage employment. In most settings, the dual process of caring for the poor and caring for God’s creations is opening the villagers to verbal expressions of the Gospel. Churches are being planted. Finally, I want to express my thanks to those FMCSC congregations and individuals who continue to support Eden’s work. I am blessed to serve the Lord with you.
Roger Ruiz Garza
I want to thank all who prayed for my wife Carmen, who was very ill. She was very grateful and praising Jesus as she entered into Eternity, on our anniversary last year.
“I am so grateful to see the amazing doors God in His mercy has opened for me in the ministry of comfort and the joy of being able to alleviate another human being’s suffering by offering pastoral care and presence at such crucial and vulnerable times in someone’s life.
To follow Christ and bring comfort to those who are hurting continues to be one of my greatest joys in life.
Christ in us – the Hope of Glory!”
God continues to give me opportunities to minister for him in spite of my health challenges. His grace is sufficient! I miss my brothers and sisters in Southern California and we welcome visits. If you are in central Oregon please stop in!
I rejoice in the many dynamic and innovative ways the conference leaders and local pastors are reaching out to serve those who are needy and the lost. This dynamic is essential to keep the church alive and relevant.
It is a joy for me to report my constant experience of God’s grace in my life as I continue to study His Word, pray, serve and worship. His joy is ever present. I love to serve His people. I enjoy hearing of the work in the Southern California conference. God is blessing your work in amazing ways.
Our family is experiencing deep healing and blessing from Jesus. As we continue to abide in Jesus we are seeing fruit individually and as a family. Our time in new vocations (Fitness for me and House Cleaning for Crystal) has allowed us to reconnect with neighbors and understand new rhythms of life and ways to share Jesus. We are currently in conversation with several churches about possible reappointment.
“It has been another year of deepening and growing in the Lord’s life changing work and healing among His dying and grieving children… continuing to discover and experience the holy and sanctifying life of Jesus in me, through me, and around me – every day.
I appreciate the invitation to share briefly about the wonderful, life-giving engagement in Kingdom work that God has opened in these years. I realize that it’s not easy to describe quickly what I do as it seems to spill over into so many things. That is the joy of following Christ for me! As you know, I serve as Chaplain at APU. That means that I oversee spiritual care to 7800 graduate students through the 13 Chaplains on my team. It also means that I invest in centering the university spiritually, my focusing specifically on the 550 faculty members and 1500 staff members at APU. And it means that I engage with the churches and Christian organizations that have a collaborative relationship with the school. It is full of wonderful ministry in keeping the identity of the university anchored in the Wesleyan Holiness stream of the church.
In addition, the Wesleyan Holiness Connection (WHC) — where I serve as founder and chair — continues to expand in unexpected ways through networks and guidance to denominations as well as colleges/universities in this tradition. This has become more important than ever before as presidents, provosts, faculty, and boards seek to anchor themselves in the WH stream in order to more effectively engage current issues. This is extremely dynamic and continues to bring me back into engagement with the political and social issues at a state and national level. It is truly wonderful to see our schools and churches embrace their heritage as a referent to leaning into influence for the Kingdom
Further, the International Council for Higher Education (ICHE)–where I serve as President — is an international counterpart to the CCCU providing accreditation and resources to 103 schools mostly in restricted parts of the world. As a non-American organization it is Christ-centered and a wonderfully vibrant group of people who seek to raise leaders that change the future of their nations. Beyond these, it is a privilege to serve a number of organizations or churches as a board member — Roberts Wesleyan College, Northeastern Seminary, ACCU, Rock Church-San Diego. I am so honored to walk with key leaders in framing the impact of these organizations for maximum Kingdom impact.
Of course involvement in these things often takes Kathy and me on the road in speaking, teaching, or visiting. But when we are home, we are blessed by the fellowship of Free Methodists at Foothill Community Church in Azusa. And, of course, I always love being involved with the FMC in any way I am able. The thrill of service in partnership with the Holy Spirit has never been more invigorating. I am full of joy for being involved in the work of God advancing around the world.
Currently enjoying raising my daughter, serving in our local church, and eager for opportunities to share my story.
I have some concerns about how divided our country is becoming. Like most evangelical Christians I voted for our current president and I believe that he is doing some good things. But I think what we really need is a spiritual renewal that begins with us Christians. 2 Chronicles 7:14 expresses what I think we should do. “…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
God has been so good to us as a family and we look forward to our retirement and the continuation of ministry now that Joann has retired from the Hacienda La Puente School District and I from Biola. Our third daughter and son-in-law and two grandkids are living with us as he attends seminary, and they both are very active in their church as they prepare for eventual ministry in East Asia. They will be our second missionary family.
2016/2017 has been and are years of significant spiritual growth! Many of you have passed me up, I am sure, but I have been able to get to a deeper place of surrendering to him to, “whatever the plan!” My TRUST in him is now “gloved” with my heart, soul, strength. As a witness to his faithfulness, I believe that has turned His heart closer to mine. I have a deeper and more settled peace in my work and in my life. It also helps to be a grandmother of a 2.5 year old, Riggs, and a three week old, Titus. Love and prayers for you all!
Earl Schamehorn, Sr.
Julie joins me in sending warm greetings to the many co-workers and friends whose fellowship we have enjoyed since coming to the Conference in 1960. We pray that this year’s session will be an encouragement to all.
V. Eugene Smith Jr.
Praise God for His love, grace, compassion and fellowship we all so richly enjoy. May God bless each of you in your personal relationship with our precious Lord and Savior and the work He has called you to accomplish.
As I get older and approach retirement, I find it easier to focus on the things that are of eternal significance. Meanwhile, I continue to maintain a teachable spirit and am seeking to make a difference for my Lord in a world that needs all that Christ has to offer. I am so grateful for God’s mercies that I see each day and am so thankful for His amazing blessings!
This has been a challenging season as I’ve been learning in what ways the Lord has called me to serve in my hometown (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada) while not currently being actively engaged with an FM congregation. I dearly miss my FMCSC spiritual family! (I’m very thankful for a few visits to Verdugo Community Church and Foothill Community Church and being able to attend the 2016 FMx!) Nonetheless, I am seeing the Lord’s hand at work in my city and I am looking forward to being used by Him to a greater extent. I’ll be spending the summer months seeking His guidance for the coming season and hope to connect more with my FMCSC brothers and sisters soon!
Greetings from Escondido. I am blessed to say that through a very difficult season, the Lord has sustained and blessed. I am grateful to continue to be part of His Kingdom work in Escondido, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Praise the Lord brothers and sisters! We had approximately 300 people come to Christ, 75 people rededicate their lives to Christ and over 150 get baptized this last year here at Oak Glen Christian Conference Center. The Lord is moving! What a blessing it is to be a part of what God is doing. Amen!