“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
Appreciatively in the Lord,
Dr. Robert H. Turrill
President & CEO
Evangelical Church Alliance
The ECA’s Dr. Jangbaeg Lim ministering in Japan
Leading worship with my wife, Eunjeong
In September 2009, my wife, Eunjeong, and I arrived in Japan and took up residence in the city of Kyoto near Osaka in the central part of the country. This is a very traditional and historical area for the nation. As Kyoto was the capital of Japan 1000 years before Tokyo assumed that prominent role, many Buddhists temples exist in and around the city, which still hosts cultural festivals celebrating idol worship.
My children, Shion and Eunhye
Many people who live the Kyoto area are very conservative in their lifestyle and traditional in upholding their ancient, native religious beliefs. During the launch of our ministry, this made for a very challenging situation for our family as the spiritual warfare proved to be intense. This situation, as well as our efforts to learn the new culture and language, required much prayer. I began preaching the Gospel to local people and brought them to church. Through our evangelistic efforts, we made many friends, and step by step God opened the doors for ministry in many local churches.
Baptizing one of my congregants
So far, we have served in three churches, and I am now working in Uzumasa Church, located in central Kyoto. For a long time this church had many difficulties, but through the grace of God, it changed little by little. In association with the church, I was recently involved in large evangelism conference called Love Sonata. Since in Asia, Korean culture has won popularity, and many Korean stars are Christian, for the event, we invited them to assist in the effort to evangelize the local people. There was a strong Gospel message similar to that for a Billy Graham crusade. About 1900 Japanese people attended, and by the grace of God 101 of them trusted Christ as Savior. It was not just the number of conversions that were surprising, but also the cooperation of local churches as well in acting with one mind. In Japan God is indeed at work in this generation.
Our Family with some
Uzumasa Church members
I praise the Lord for his wonderful work in the midst of many difficulties we have experienced. Japan needs Jesus, the living God, more than anything else. Please continue to pray for this country, the Kyoto area in particular, Uzumasa church, our family, and the associated evangelistic efforts and mobilization ministry. Thank you very much!
Dr. Bill Bray
Overseas Students Mission (OSM)
Mission Launch Labs Open to ECA Members
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia – ECA Member Bill Bray has opened OSM 2015 New Mission Launch Labs ECA members who are support raising missionaries or ministry leaders. Applications are available online at www.OSMissions.org
The OSM New Mission Launch Labs train mission’s staff and students in how to raise up prayer and support teams for student-led short term missions or organize other new initiatives to neglected, unreached or underserved ethnic groups. They are excellent for bi-vocational missionary leaders.
Except for New Mission Launch Lab IV during Winter Break in St. Louis, all the regular New Mission 2015 Launch Labs are planned for Virginia or the Chicago area. “Launch Lab IV” is expected to start immediately following the Urbana 15 student mission’s conference January 1, 2016.
Other conferences are planned for May 22-23 in Chicago, May 28 in Wheaton, July 10-11, and October 2-3 in Charlottesville, and December 31 to January 2 in St. Louis. The conferences are sponsored and subsidized by the OSM Legacy Fund so that students and international visitors pay only a nominal fee to take the training.
“We as Christians are always only one generation away from genocide and extinction,” said President Bill Bray at a Friday night dinner that opened the last weekend workshop. “God has no grandchildren! That’s why these New Mission Launch Labs are so critical to igniting the next generation of missions.”
The OSM New Mission Launch Labs are open to campus missionary staff, short-term mission leaders, international students, and other leaders from ethnic diaspora groups who are now in the USA. The workshops focus on helping leaders: (1) discern the vision God has for them, (2) cast the vision to American friends, (3) communicate the vision, and (4) support the vision through prayer and financial aid.
Bill Bray and OSM team have trained over 300 indigenous mission leaders in the mission support raising program that began in 2003 at Christian Aid Mission. The sessions are usually held at the OSM National Headquarters at 3045 Ivy Road. Call 434-227-0811 or visit www.OSMission.org for details or to register.
Dr. George L. Miller
Dear members and friends of the Evangelical Church Alliance:
It is with a sense of loss, but also celebration for his life and legacy, that I announce Saturday’s home going of Dr. George L. Miller December 6, 2014, due to a sudden turn in his health after coping well during an almost year-long battle with leukemia. For the benefit of those who have more recently become acquainted with the ECA, Dr. Miller, ordained with the ECA since 1978, served the organization in the ensuing years in the capacities of President, Chairman of the International Board of Directors and Military Chaplain Commission Director, a post he held up until his death. A remarkable visionary and leader, he modernized the ECA and was used of the Lord to continue to expand it to the worldwide family of faith the work is today. His gentle spirit, pastor’s heart, and humor will be missed by both all of us here at headquarters and those to whom he so faithfully ministered. A beautiful service celebrating his life was held December 10, 2014 in Bourbonnais, IL at River Valley Christian Fellowship, where Dr. Miller served since 2006 as Pastor of Congregational Life and previously there as Senior Pastor, the office held since then by his son, ECA Board member Rev. Derick Miller. Please remember the Miller family in your prayers. Any condolences may be sent to them at the following:
For the obituary, please click here.
Now on a related note I would like to address the ECA’s military chaplains. I mourn with you but am grateful for our brother's investment of labor and love that resulted in the ECA becoming the third largest endorser of Protestant military chaplains in the U.S.A. In honoring his recommendation to assure there would be no interruption in endorsement service of signing off on official government chaplaincy documents, the Board of Directors has appointed me to serve temporarily as Military Chaplain Commission Director/Endorser until the position is permanently filled. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Elmon Krupnik will both maintain his vital role as Military Chaplain Commission Chairman in continuing to vet the military qualifications of applicants, and field e-mails and phone calls from them and member chaplains.
May the Lord be praised for the life of Dr. George L. Miller. Indeed, our loss is heaven’s gain. “Blessed in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Ps. 116:15).
To God be the glory, Dr. Robert H. Turrill President/CEO
The ECA’s Lee Behnken: On Assignment in Israel… Yom Kippur at the Wailing Wall
Rev. Lee Behnken, accomplished songwriter, producer, and concert artist, photographed on location at Russian-Jewish church in Jerusalem, Israel
On Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) I left my Jerusalem apartment a little after 7:00 AM and made my way along the barricaded streets toward the Damascus Gate...and into the Old City...on my way to the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall or Kotel) …at the Temple Mount…the ancient sacred site of Jewish prayer. On this annual holiday there is no driving allowed in Jerusalem...and you only see people and bicycles (with soldiers and barricades) on the streets...where normally there are buses and trucks and cars and trams and vans and motorcycles flying by in busy city traffic. It’s been my heart’s desire to spend Yom Kippur this year at the Western Wall, praying and worshipping through the entire eight chapters of my song commentary on the Song of Solomon... as an offering to the Lord... and as intercession for the land and people of Israel... before I begin recording my lead vocals north of Haifa in two weeks. In my backpack I had my laptop computer, my Bible, my hard copy of the lyrics to all 80 songs, a notebook...and the earphones that would allow me to quietly sit in my favorite corner of the Wall…and go through all eight CDs of the Song Of All Songs. The Israeli guards would look through all of these things as I passed through the metal detector...just before entering the Western Wall Plaza.
To continue reading article, click here.
ECA Chaplain Assists Red Cross in San Diego Firestorms
Chaplain Connie Regener, MA., BCC
COMPASSIONATE HEARTS SERVICES, INC.
It really hit me when I picked up the clipboard and read “All addresses destroyed except 22835”.
It was the route assignment for our American Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) from which we would be serving meals to victims of the recent firestorms in a subdivision in San Diego County.
Although I had trained for such events, the utter devastation caught me by surprise. I only asked once “Were you able to save anything?” On the scene, I surveyed lot after lot with nothing but gray and white ashes, interrupted by an occasional chimney, sink, or appliance.
Mostly I learned to stand still with the homeowners, who from time to time would voice a memory or grieve a loss. Some wanted a hug, and some shook my hand. Others just wanted to share the moment or needed a shoulder to cry on.
To continue reading article, click here.
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EVENTS & NEW MEMBERS
Dear ECA members, candidates and friends:
Hardly a day passes without news of yet another instance of Christian persecution, now pandemic and affecting almost every region of the globe, whether in the form of confiscation of property, employment discrimination, denial of tenure for university professors, the burning of churches, public executions, biased media coverage, or a host of other venues. The reticence of even Western governments to acknowledge Christians as the target of these attacks reveals a political correctness that in some cases appears to condone such acts, or at least to disallow specifying the association of the perpetrators for fear of offending other related parties. Even so, this time of persecution is not unlike that for first-century Christians in Asia Minor to whom under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the fourth chapter of his first epistle to them the Apostle Peter wrote, 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation (NASB). Many brothers and sisters under our care may be experiencing other hardships, such as disease, wayward family members, or financial pressures. Whatever the trials, how do we as ministers persevere and prevail when also in those valleys in order that we can effectively lead the flock through them as well? In search of an answer I invite you to join me at one of our 2015 conferences or gatherings (which will now be scheduled seasonally versus specifically geographically), whose theme for the year is “Facing the Fires of Affliction”. At these venues, you will hear uplifting messages that engage the issue and challenge you to that end. A time of worship, holy service of ordination and licensure, as well as fellowship and refreshment with new members and old friends, will also be part of the occasion. We just concluded our Canadian National Conference, which proved to be a wonderful time of fellowship and encouragement, where the ECA ordained and received four new members, who can be viewed by scrolling further down this column. The next event for the year is our International Conference for adults, youth and children, to be held July 21-23, at the beautiful Cincinnati Airport Hilton in Florence, Kentucky, just minutes form the world-famous 70,000 square foot Answers in Genesis Creation Museum. To view the agenda and register for the occasion, as well as to see our events planned for the remainder of the year, simply click here! -Bob Turrill
Cincinnati Airport Hilton in Florence, Kentucky
Welcome New Members!
Highlights of Former ECA Annual Conferences
For highlights of former ECA Annual Conferences, the session recordings are available for download on the left hand margin of the Events page.
MILITARY CHAPLAIN MEMBERS
Dr. Elmon R. Krupnik, ECA Military Chaplain Commission Chairman
ECA Board Chairman Dr. Rob Schenck presents his ministry's Faith and Action "Ten Commandments Leadership Award" to Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon
(l to r.) Chaplain Melvin, Chaplain Friedley, ECA Board Chairman Dr. Rob Schenck, ECA Military Chaplain Commission Chairman Dr. Elmon Krupnik, Congressman Salmon, Rev. Moeser, Chaplain Walgren.
Submitted 27APR15 by CH (MAJ) Brad Walgren Arizona Army National Guard
Rev. Schenck teaching the lesson on developing the "third dimension" and increasing spiritual resilience to the Soldiers.
The Arizona Army National Guard (AZARNG ) and the 98th Aviation Troop Command (ATC ) received nutritional and spiritual nourishment Tuesday, 21 April, at the Silverbell Spiritual Resilience Luncheon. After enjoying fellowship and a delicious lunch, the Soldiers of the 98th ATC were treated to a special guest speaker, Reverend Dr. Rob Schenck. Dr. Schenck is a leading American Evangelical minister to elected and appointed officials in Washington, D.C., serves as Chairman of the Evangelical Church Alliance International and is a Senior Fellow, Oxford Centre for the Study of Law and Public Policy at Oxford University, in the field of religious freedom for minority faiths.
Rev. Schenck eyes the target on the gunner simulator at the Silverbell Army Heliport, Marana, Arizona. Home of the 98th Aviation Troop Command.
The Soldiers were challenged to develop, what Rev. Schenck referred to as their “third dimension.” The body and mind make up the first two dimensions, but the third dimension, or the “ spiritual dimension ” is what completes us and gives us access “ to an unlimited capacity for resilience, to rebound and bounce back from setbacks and adversity. ” He went on to teach, “ The spiritual dimension gives us super– and supranatural tools to get back on course in life and beyond life… we need to pursue, cultivate and acquire this third dimension. ”
Rev. Schenck along with Jon McHatton in an Apache. Mr. McHatton serves on the staff of Congressman Matt Salmon.
How do we develop our spiritual capacities? Rev. Schenck encouraged a three-prong approach. First, prayer and meditation. Second, study and seek spiritual counsel. Finally, talk to your chaplain, visit your chapel regularly and attend prayer gatherings and worship in your faith tradition. “ These are the best I can give you, ” he said, “ they are the tested and true practices that have been proved throughout the ages. ”
The lesson from this scholar was received with gratitude and will serve the Soldiers well, as many of them prepare for another deployment overseas. “ May God Bless us all”.
The ECA's Lieutenant Jason Dillon commissioned 3/19/2015 for active-duty chaplaincy in the U.S. Navy
Chaplain (LT) Dillon
ECA represented at the Armed Forces Chaplains Board Annual Ecclesiastical Endorsers Conference held 01/15/15 in Washington, D.C.
(l. to r) Dr. Rob Schenck-ECA Chairman of the Board, Dr. Elmon Krupnik-ECA Military Chaplain Commission Chairman, Chaplain Major General Donald L. Rutherford -Chief of Chaplains-United States Army, Dr. Robert H. Turrill-ECA President & CEO
1st Lieutenant Anthony Amos accessioned to become a chaplain in the Georgia Army National Guard 221st Military Intelligence Battalion
Chaplain Amos at December 7, 2014 Pinning Ceremony
ECA US Military Chaplain Wins Birrer-Brooks Award
“Chaplain Major Valeria Van Dress holding MMAS diploma”
The ECA is honored to recognize U.S. Army Chaplain Major Valeria Van Dress as the recent recipient of the distinguished Birrer-Brooks Award for her thesis, a monumental work evaluating the legitimacy of atheist chaplains in the military. Possessing a D. Min. from Erskine Theological Seminary, Chaplain Van Dress’s extensive experience includes, among many posts, deployment to Afghanistan, ministering at the Burn Center at Brook Army Medical Center in Ft. Sam Houston, Texas and serving as an instructor and writer for the Chaplain Basic Officer Leader Course of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School. The following is a statement from Brigadier General Christopher P. Hughes, Deputy Commanding General, Combined Arms Center Leader Development & Education Deputy Commandant, Command and General Staff School, acknowledging her accomplishment:
Subject: The Birrer-Brooks Award for Outstanding MMAS Thesis Winner for CGSOC Class 14-01 (UNCLASSIFIED)
Ladies & Gentlemen,
***Sent on behalf of BG Hughes***
The Birrer-Brookes Award recognizes the author of the "most outstanding thesis" from each graduating Master of Military Art and Science degree cohort of the Command and General Staff School. The name of the award honors the contributions to CGSC of Dr. Ivan Birrer and Dr. Phillip Brookes. Dr. Birrer nurtured the concept of a Master of Military Art and Science degree for CGSC from its initial proposal in the early 1960s through its formal authorization in public law in 1974. The Faculty thesis committee chairpersons submit nominations for the award to the CGSC Graduate Faculty Council, which in turn forms a panel of scholars to review and rank the nominated theses.
From 20 very commendable theses nominated this year, the CGSOC Class 14-01 winner of best thesis is, "For Man and Country: Atheist Chaplains in the U.S. Army," by CH (MAJ) Valeria Van Dress.
Congratulations on a job well done!
…and the ECA congratulates her too! To view this impressive thesis, click here.
In praise to God,
Dr. Elmon Krupnik speaks with Doug Carver about ECA chaplains at the Chaplain Alliance for Relgious Liberty meeting 09/29/2014 in Washington, D.C.
Captain Lance Sellon's swearing in as one of ECA's newly accessioned chaplains in the Florida National Guard on 08/22/2014.