Greetings from Special Relations Ministers
Special Relations and Special Appointments ministers are Free Methodist Elders engaged in ministry in non-traditional ways. Usually these are conference members supporting para-church ministries and church plants but may also be retired pastors or educators who continue to follow God’s calling in their communities.
Each year we receive special greetings from these treasured partners and share them with the Free Methodist Church to encourage and challenge our members to pray and support these ministries and ministers.
I am learning how to be grateful to God during all seasons of life. I miss being in the “active ministry” but rejoice for the opportunities I have to touch lives with Jesus’ love. God has been so good to us. Getting stronger and healthier has been our goal and that seems to be happening but it is a slow process. The cancer seems to be at bay, the heart seems to be getting stronger, the trials due to radiation are being resolved — there is so much to be grateful for. I do exercise and eat a whole food/plant based diet. I also love the opportunity to give God my worship through music, prayer and scripture. My accountability friends help to keep me very focused. May God continue to bless our conference and its activities and ministries.
Serving God by serving His Church.
I thank God that I can partner with such wonderful men and women who serve the Lord in so many ways. Thanks for your friendship and love.
Greetings from Hawaii, FMCSC family. It is incredibly sad not to be with you in person this year. Annual Conference is one of my favorite events of the year because the body of Christ comes together in its diversity and creativity and God is worshipped from beginning to end. Stacey and I pray that your ministries continue to be fruitful and point all, near and far, to Christ. Thank you for your prayers and know that we pray for you often.
Jesus is the sweetest name I know,
And He’s just the same as his lovely name,
And that’s the reason why I love him so…
Financially it’s been a tough year. Pretty much no ministry income. However, God has faithfully provided for our needs. It’s also been a time of great growth as my wife and my faith has been tested. Again, we’ve been blessed to see God provide in supernatural ways.
I am so thankful that 53 years ago I was appointed as pastor at our church in San Bernardino and went on to serve in the conference for 31 years. So now the young pastors take over and are living what used to be our dream. Now, we need to pray for them to keep the faith and build the Church.
Greeting to you all from Kansas. We continue to reach out to men broken by addiction, violence, and homelessness with love and hope in Jesus Christ. We have been away from our home conference for 10 years now and still miss you all.
Lorraine joins me in sending greetings to the ministers and delegates of the Annual Conference and prayers for a great time and many blessings to all.
Yaik Wong Eong
Work hard for Christ when you can!
Claudette and I love the Lord. We also love the Church of Jesus Christ. We continue to seek the leading of the Holy Spirit for life and ministry. These are wonderful days for the Fitch household. All of our children and grandchildren love the Lord, which is perhaps the greatest satisfaction at this point in life.
Keep looking up!
I have so many that come to my mind as everyday I journey with a father who is losing their 21 year old son/daughter. A mother who is witnessing her young boy losing his battle with cancer. I see a sibling crying by the bedside of their brother/sister and this is where I feel I am called to display the God of All comfort and the God of all compassion.
“We can not wipe someone else’s tears without getting our own hands wet.” Zulu Proverb ( I love to be immersed in the messiness of life and see the power of God to redeem and bring the oil of gladness in the place of sadness and ashes.)
“You who bring good news to Zion, go up on the high mountain…say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God! He tends His flock like a shepherd… Isaiah 40:9
I am delighted to receive visitors periodically from various members of the Conference, especially when the visitors pray over me. Today, David Knight of the PCJC Conference came for a few hours to discuss ways to reach people with the Gospel. From time to time I have visitors from Yorba Linda Friends Church. They share approaches they are developing to reach unchurched people in their neighborhood. Some of the methods may help local FM churches reach out to people in their neighborhoods. Some international students who have attended APU periodically come by my house for guidance on a text and for reaching people with the Word on returning to their homeland. One couple wants to start a Christian school/seminary in Cambodia. They are students at Fuller Seminary. A highly intelligent student from China has visited me several times. Their high goal is to set up a school for teaching the Gospel and training ministers to reach their people with the Gospel. It is good to have these opportunities to build faith in international students.
Press on, it is worth the sacrifice to make God known to those around us.
Greetings from New York, FMCSC family! Jeff, Ethan and I are settling in nicely to our new home in Hartsdale, NY. This past year was a big transition for us, but we are so thankful for God’s faithfulness and the grace we have experienced through all of it! We’ve spent this year connecting with our families and getting to know the people in our community. We are patiently praying and seeking how God can continue to use our family to serve our neighbors. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Miss you all so much!!!
Greetings in the name of Christ our Lord from Riner, Virginia. I am so happy with the work God is doing in the Conference, and I pray for the three superintendents as they lead the active pastors. May the Kingdom of God go forward “on earth as it is in heaven” in the year ahead.
Greetings to the Conference! May this Conference be more successful than all the others for the Lord and praying for more Chinese ministries in the Conference. I shall be glad to help.
Jason Le Shana
Thank you for your continued prayers as my wife, children, and I continue to walk through a challenging season as we continue to deal with cancer. While I will be in Texas recovering from surgery during Annual Conference, know that I will be there in spirit!
Greetings to everyone in the Conference! I have been greatly blessed in the last year, teaching public school in Santa Ana. I am available for pulpit supply, if you need me.
Leobert “Bob” Managbanag
Growing and deepening in the experience of the Lord’s presence in my life and finding myself intricately involved in the Lord’s continuing work in our hurting and lost world,
I am in love with God and walk daily with Jesus in vibrant, growing and life-giving partnership. What a privilege to be a servant of God in Kingdom work. I am sorry I cannot be at AC as I am at a Board meeting in the east. Many blessings.
It feels as though our Conference is on the cusp of a great new move of God’s Spirit in a culture that desperately needs wisdom, direction, and healing. I believe in you all very much, and although I’m not able to attend this Annual Conference, I’ll definitely be praying that God’s Kingdom will come and His will be done in us and through us in ways far beyond what we could ask or imagine!
Greetings to anyone that still remembers me.
I believe God is re-making my heart and vision for the ministries he has called me to. I am in a season of waiting, learning and intense listening for what’s next. This is such a deepening and transformational season for me. I am thankful for the FMC’s support through Superintendent Charles Latchison.
I am grateful for those churches that still believe that the Bible is God’s Word and promote its teachings. I believe that we should support persecuted Christians around the world. I believe that we need a spiritual renewal in our country that begins with us Christians!
A year ago, I remember saying that something had to change. Shortly thereafter, God gave me a dream. I was on the outside of a room looking in. I didn’t belong there and felt a great sadness. Then a baby was placed into my arms and peace came to me. When I woke, I recognized the dream as a prophetic promise. Instead of the baby being an actual person, I was impressed that the baby represented something new. Over the last year, new opportunities have begun to arrive. I am saying, “yes!” At the same time, I am letting go of so many other things where I do not belong. The mix of joy and pain of letting go is surprising. And yet, I am impressed firmly that this is an act of obedience. I look forward to God’s leading in the new year.
Together we are igniting world-changers and I thank God for you! What was once a Ministry has become a Movement and right now we are seeing the greatest impact in 24-year ministry history of Empowering Lives International. The Lord has directed our leadership to refine our core mission as this: “We empower orphans and families with life skills to CRUSH poverty, embrace Christ, and share this transformation with others.” We have also been given a clear strategic plan that invites everyone to Embrace, Invest in, and Advance this Movement in a variety of ways. Free Methodist Pastors and churches who have partnered with Empowering Lives International to provide life skills and training to orphans and impoverished families in Africa have been catalysts for radical transformation of countless individuals, families, and communities. Illegal Brewers of dangerous alcohol in Kenya are coming in record numbers to ELI for alternative skills training and we are witnessing a great revival that is reaching thousands with new skills and the majority are coming to Christ!
We are asking you to support this Kingdom Movement in Kenya by “adopting” a village area where the Holy Spirit is breaking strongholds loose. Your involvement will bring new life skills, the Gospel of Grace, and Kingdom Change to a village AND impact the people in your local church as well.
We covet your prayers for these precious people and we ask for your partnership. Please Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, The Harvest is Ripe – and the right time for your involvement is now.
PS: Empowering Lives International is an approved ministry partner of the So Cal FMC. Don & Amy Rogers are Associate FM Missionaries. Learn more at http://empoweringlives.org
I ran into a guy who retired as a chief in the military. He was looking to buy a new motorcycle. Come to find out he was a Believer. He and his wife lost their little 8 year old girl a month after he retired. He had big plans and goals for her. She was ran down by a lady who was driving under the influence. She was walking to dance class when the lady drove up into the sidewalk and killed her. His pastor was there through the turmoil. But when 2018 came his pastor abandoned him. That’s when God connected us at the Harley Davidson dealership. He was looking for answers. I began to minister to him and let him know he wasn’t alone. I shared my story and that I’m a pastor. He began to be moved and as of today we meet weekly for prayer and bible study. This may be the start of something even greater. I was able to be the man who can help him in this horrible journey. We are planning on introducing the wives soon. HIs wife has really taken it hard along with the other siblings. In this moment I will be a pastor to him and encourage and pray him through this time. Another great thing is I’m mentoring him to the ministry of Black Sheep. He will be one of outreach bikers and we will continue to serve and reach the biker community together. Praise God because he was looking for a pastor to come alongside him, as his pastor abandoned him. Thank you, Jesus.
Earl Schamehorn, Sr.
Julie joins me in greeting our many friends from our active years in the Conference. We are greatly excited when we hear of the many new ministers who are serving in Southern California. We pray that your years of service will be fulfilling ones, blessed by our Lord. We trust that you will have a great Conference, both spiritually and in caring for its ongoing ministry.
V Eugene Smith, Jr
I am rejoicing and enjoying our Lord Jesus more and more. I also continue to grow in grace and intimacy with Him. My life is full and I am grateful for His continual bountiful blessings.
Psalm 46:10 has made me aware of how important it is to cease striving in this crazy world of ours and just listen to the things that God wants to show me. I continue to realize that I have more years behind me than I do ahead of me, which makes me want to make each day count for advancing God’s Kingdom in any way that I can. I am so thankful for God’s new mercies that I experience every day.
It has been my honor to be a part of the Free Methodist Church in Southern California and I lift up in prayer our superintendents, pastors and laity daily. I am enjoying the freedom to work on various projects of my own as well as respond to both the Bishop’s and Superintendent Team’s requests. I am back east with my sons and grandchildren as you are gathering for this conferencing event and will pray for you all. God bless you all!
I deal with end of life with families almost daily. I recently have been a part of a sudden death of a young 3 month newborn. I was able to be with the young 16 year old mother and her family. The family were Roman Catholic, some of them Spanish speaking. In the stillness of the loss, we were able to transcend all theology and be human in this heavy spiritual moment. The simple pastoral presence ruminated with the family and the chaplain remained present after the clinicians all left. It is a reminder of why we do the work of being able to sit with the uncomfortable and be present with God’s people in their suffering.
The rhythms and traditions of the Church, as well as Wesleyan theology, its openness and verve, become more meaningful to me each year. We have seen God respond to prayers for direction, help, and healing, as well as providing for and rejoicing with people from all nations who are enlivened by our worshipping community at FCC. We have heard so many say, they feel at home at FCC and are drawn to join us. I love reflecting on the Word, sensing, the Spirit, and sharing in the Lord’s Supper each week with our wonderful and always growing cluster of God’s children.
Though unable to attend, know of my continued interest in and prayer for your collective and individual ministry on behalf of God’s Kingdom. Blessings as you meet this year!