I Am ICOM: Teddy Haubner

I joined the ICOM staff in March of 2016 and I am responsible for giving vision and direction to our children and student environments, along with some other duties that include, but are not limited to, technology, grounds, adult main sessions, and any other needs that our team requires at any moment in time.

I grew up in Brazil, South America, where my parents have been missionaries now for almost 50 years. Portuguese is my first language.

Anytime, growing up, that we were in the States, we would attend the National Missionary Convention (now ICOM). Attending ICOM was the highlight of the year, for me. It was an opportunity to be around other missionary kids and an opportunity to watch my parents be encouraged for what they had giving their lives to.

Knowing that ministry was the direction I wanted to take in my career, I attended Kentucky Christian College (now University). After two years of classes there, I transferred to the University of Kentucky to major in business/marketing. Throughout the summers of school years, I traveled as a missionary for Vacation Bible Schools and church camps.

While attending UK, I worked with the student ministries at Broadway Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Upon graduation, I was offered a secular job that a boy my age just couldn’t turn down (good pay and to live/work by the beach, in Florida). Sounds great, huh? Well, not really! Life changed drastically at that point. The bottom line was that I wasn’t going to be happy until I was doing what GOD wanted me to do. That is when I began working full time in the ministry.

My first full time ministry job was in Centerville, Indiana. There, I was leader over birth through twelfth graders. I trained and guided volunteers, led small groups and taught classes, planned and led teams in mission work (locally and in Brazil), directed Vacation Bible School and other children’s events, and took the teens on many various camps/conferences and built the student-led worship band.

After that, I joined a church plant in Plainfield, Illinois. I saw the vision, developed the Family Ministries environments, and with a team of leaders was able to carry it out completely. Within a few months of ministry, I had trained volunteers, built relationships with kids, students, parents, and was able to kick-off the ‘Orange’ philosophy. Ever since then I have been an Orange Coach.

My wife is Jeri Rae (Gilliland). Jeri Rae has always been fully involved in Ministry with me. Many people ask how the two of us can work together so well, but we love ministering together and bringing families closer to HIM.

Existing to encourage, equip, and enlist missionaries is no easy task but it is extremely important and necessary. I take my role very seriously and I believe that God has called us to do this unique work to fulfill His great commission. I believed that God has uniquely given me the experiences, talents, and abilities necessary to be a positive part of this amazing ICOM team.


Kelsey’s ICOM Story

Like most people, as a senior in highschool I found myself questioning what God’s plans were for me as I had some pretty big decisions to make, such as what to do with the rest of my life. 🙂  I struggled with the fear of making the wrong decision or taking the wrong path, but knew I had to decide something as graduation was quickly approaching.  I chose to attend IUPUI to major in communications (why, I have no idea!).  I very quickly realized that was not the program for me! While on campus I learned about a program called Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management.  That sounded interesting enough, so I added the intro course to my schedule.  I fell in love with the idea of a profession in that field, and decided that is where I would devote my time and energy.

The following year one of my dreams came true, becoming a cheerleader at Indiana University. I transferred to IU and also changed my major to Recreational Sport Management.  Once again, God had different plans for my life and called me back to my hometown.  The following year I re-enrolled at IUPUI and changed my major yet again, back to Event Management.  So,  I completed an Event Management Certification and had one last requirement to fulfil…an internship.  I had been a competitive cheerleader my entire life and wanted to use my schooling to work in the cheerleading industry, and secured an internship with a competitive cheerleading company in North Carolina. But, God had a different plan!

Just weeks before I was supposed to leave for my internship with the cheerleading company, I got cold feet.  I was uneasy that I was making the right decision, so I reevaluated and began praying again to see what God had to say.  A couple weeks later David Empson called and mentioned they were looking for part time help in the office leading up to conference.  He offered me an internship opportunity and there was no question, that is where God wanted me to go.

I began by being an office assistant, doing anything and everything I could to help during the busy conference season. It has now been three years since I started, and coming up on my fourth ICOM! My role has immensely changed! I am now the Executive Assistant in the office and have the privilege of being the pre-con liaison, handling SICOM registration, designing and organizing the MSA missionary mailings, and doing all kinds of design work for the conference! God has blessed me with an incredible job, amazing coworkers, and unique opportunities at just the right times in my life.  I can’t imagine what my life would’ve been like without ICOM the past 3 years and I’m so excited to know that God is not done writing the rest of my story yet!


Prayer Vlog for September



It is a great pleasure to take this opportunity to present ICOM 2017 before our Lord so that once again His glory will continue to shine through ICOM 2017.

I bless God for all members and participants of ICOM who will be traveling from different corners of the earth to come and celebrate the work that each mission is doing both locally here in the USA but also globally and all this JUST for the LORD’s Glory.

May God provides and helps them all as they make necessary arrangements for traveling. For those in the USA, I pray for security on the roads, security in the Air and Sea so that nothing will stop the conference to take place. I pray for security for both people and their belongings. For those coming from outside the USA, I pray that immigration services facilitate traveling through issuance of visas and any other services missionaries and supporters of ICOM may need as they move from their homes, mission fields to the Conference Center in Peoria.

May Peoria be a city for God to touch the lives of many through this Conference and allow visitors to see this as an opportunity to join themselves to the call to serve fellow human beings? May Peoria become a center for a new wave to serve God in greater love and humility as Christ himself served the world to the point of His supreme sacrifice, laying his own life in order to offer salvation.

May all who come see the needs to get involved either as missionaries or supporters of missions and supporters of other Christian or Non-Government Relief and Development Organizations. May God enlarge the territories where his work has been done since mission works started.

I pray that this ICOM becomes an opportunity for more Unity of faith that will lead to more actions to serve the lost. May the Lord speaks through the Speakers of ICOM to expose sin and all its consequences as well as challenges of serving Christ in a way that will call for more determination and passion to serve without fear and favor for we know that the Lord is always with us as He promised in His great commission (Matthew 28:20) to His first Disciples whose works have been stretched from the first Century to this 21st Century.

Yes, ICOM is an opportunity to join together ourselves for more work for His Kingdom. Whether we serve individually or as a group (Mission), we need each other. We need to pray for each other. Whatever we do needs to be known and inspired by the work of others. I pray today that we all strive to maintain the unity of the body of Christ without which we cannot grow and be successful. Yes, we need to work together, to join ourselves for His cause as we remain connected to him so that we all bear more and much fruits for the Kingdom.

This is in accord with Ephesians 4:16. In this verse Paul says, “and the body depends on him. All the parts of the body are joined and held together, with each part doing its own work. This causes the whole body to grow and to be stronger in love.”

I pray for ICOM Executive Director brother David Empson and the 2017 ICOM President brother Enoch Nyador and all their families so that God grant them his mercy as they continue to pray, plan, and prepare for the conference. May God give them energy and health and protect their families as they continue to selflessly serve the ICOM. May the Lord provides to their needs for this great ministry.

Finally I pray for Peggy Welch, our Prayer Minister for ICOM 2017. May God continue to powerfully use her for his glory during ICOM. I thank God for all her prayers since the beginning of this ICOM planning. She has been praying and she will continue to pray until the end of ICOM and thereafter. God be with her and protect her from both sickness and any other plans of the evil one. Dear heavenly father, be with and continue to use her powerfully for the sake of your glory.

I pray believing and trusting in you Lord that ICOM 2017, will be held and you will use this great event for your glory and for the growth of your church here in the USA and elsewhere in the world. As we serve you together, grow all of us for your glory.

Dear God, our Lord, we love you! May you be honored and glorified from now and forever by every human being that you created to reflect your glory and ICOM is an organization set to make your mighty deeds seen. Bless The ICOM  2017 as you have with previous ICOMs.

Dwain Illmlan

O, Lord God, Creator of all we see and feel, We glorify you for the kindness and forgiveness you have shown us through your Son Jesus. We pray along with the Psalmist in number 67 when he said: May God be gracious to us and bless us, And make His face shine upon us, That your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, O God; May all the peoples praise you. God will bless us, And all the ends of the earth will fear him”

ICOM is close to our hearts and we pray earnestly daily that your Spirit will enter the lives of all the attendees, speakers and logistic personnel.  We pray that 200 people will come forward to give their lives to vocational Christian service.

Encourage and enliven are devoted President Nyador as he leads this wonderful outreach.

May his words be your words; may your Spirit overflow through him.

And as the Psalmist encourages us in number 7: Even when I am old and gray Do not forsake me O God Till I declare your power to all who are to come.

This we pray in the name of the almighty Son of God who gave His life that we might live, Amen

Mike Nichols

Abba Father, I pray that your presence and power will be very evident in every aspect of ICOM this year in Peoria.  I especially pray that authentic relationships will be built between American Christians and Christians from other countries.  I pray that these relationships will go beyond surface friendships and strategic partnerships to the level of a loving spiritual family.  Father, help us see that we are truly a global church, a global family–working TOGETHER for your Kingdom! I ask in the name of the one who makes it possible for us to be family, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!



My ICOM Story – Outreach at ICOM

by Sherree Empson

Soooo….I can do some name dropping…..I know the Executive Director of ICOM!!  He’s my husband, David Empson! Just typing that reminds me of the ‘God path’ that leads to my ICOM story.

I was a happy stay at home mom while David was serving as youth minister at Hazelwood Christian Church. I was his helpmeet with the youth group and mother to two precious girls. When the girls were ready for school, I began teaching again and later became the Reading Coach at Mill Creek East.

It was during this time that Doug Lucas encouraged David to bring our HCC teens to the ICOM. We took 47 students and I can still remember sitting in the main sessions with them and hearing amazing stories of God at work. David and I were both hooked! THAT was the beginning of our ICOM story as David soon began as the Teen Director for ICOM.  For the next 22 years, I was a full time teacher and still got to attend ICOM.  It has been so much fun!

Some of my favorite memories of those early days include all the great youth ministers who believed in missions and who brought their students. I served at the Teen Registration with Emily and Jenny, along with David’s family. I would like to apologize here and now to those youth ministers for those loooonnnngggg waits in the registration line back in the day! Hopefully, the hammering  of wall building let them vent their frustration!

In 2008, David was asked to be the Executive Director. We dreamed even more about ICOM and what God would do. Our whole family loves ICOM and if you could only hear the conversations we’ve had around the family table and the ideas that have been sprouted! There were many times I wished I worked with ICOM and could help David when he visited churches and conferences. On the other hand, I also felt called to teach the children in our community and to welcome their sweet faces at church. There was one more thing….. David and I really loved being married and didn’t want to put a strain on our relationship by working together!

God started moving in the last couple of years to allow me to join the ICOM team. Every year at ICOM, I would go around the Exhibit Hall and just try and talk to everyone. I really love our missionaries and care about how they were doing. David was thinking about our missionaries and how we could serve them better with an outreach person; someone to learn more about them and where they were located. David shared his vision with the corporate officers and after getting their approval, I was asked to come on board!  I retired from teaching and said yes to working at ICOM!  David and I knew things were going to work out for us to work together when he had back surgery after ICOM 2016.  We were literally together 24/7 and had a ball!

I am so thankful to get to share in God’s glorious work! I get to learn about so many great people, missions and churches that are sacrificing and doing outstanding things for our Lord!  When I started teaching, I was amazed that I got to do something I loved AND get paid for it and now that is happening for me again at ICOM!  I couldn’t be more grateful!


2017 ICOM Schedule

2017 ICOM Schedule

Click To Download the 2017 ICOM Schedule

Wednesday, November 15th

7:30 am – 6:30 pm – All Pre-Con Registration Open

8:00 am – 5:00 pm – Disciple Making Movements

9:00 am – 4:00 pm – Community Health Evangelism (CHE)

12:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Exhibitor Move-In

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm – For Missionaries Only Dinner & Program (FMO)

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions (SOE)


Thursday, November 16th

7:30 am – 10:00 am – All Pre-Con Registration Open

8:00 am – 3:00 pm – Exhibitor Move In

8:00 am – 9:00 am – For Missionaries Only Breakfast

8:00 am – 5:00 pm – Disciple Making Movements

8:30 am – 4:30 pm – Metamorphosis: Transforming Your Church to Make Disciples

9:00 am – 12:00 pm – For Missionaries Only Program

9:00 am – 3:00 pm – Mission Trainers (Registration begins at 8:30 am)

9:00 am – 3:00 pm – Community Health Evangelism (CHE)

9:00 am – 3:00 pm – Reaching International Students Together

9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions (SOE)

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm – ICOM Store and Information Desk Open

3:00 pm – 6:30 pm – ICOM Registration Opens in Convention Center

3:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Exhibit Hall Opens to Public

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Opening Main Session

8:45 pm – 10:00 pm – President’s Reception

10:00 pm – Exhibit Hall Closes


Friday, November 17th

7:30 am – 8:30 am – Bible Study Breakfast

8:00 am – ICOM Registration & Exhibit Hall Opens

9:00 am – 10:00 am – Workshop Period 1

10:30 am – 11:45 am – Morning Main Session

Noon to 2:00 pm – Break for Lunch & Lunch with Missionaries

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Workshop Period 2

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Workshop Period 3

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Break for Dinner

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Evening Main Session  

8:45 pm – 10:00 pm – Visit Exhibit Hall & College Receptions

10:00 pm – Exhibit Hall Closes


Saturday, November 18th

7:30 am – 8:30 am – Bible Study Breakfast

8:00 am – ICOM Registration & Exhibit Hall Opens

9:00 am – 10:00 am – Workshop Period 4

10:30 am – 11:45 am – Morning Main Session

Noon to 2:00 pm – Break for Lunch & Lunch with Missionaries

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Workshop Period 5

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Gente Unida Band (Arena)

3:00 pm  – 4:00 pm – Ewe Tribe Drum and Dance Group (Triangle Lobby)

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Common Ground: Ladies Only!

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Workshop Period 6

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Break for Dinner

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Evening Main Session

8:45 pm – 10:00 pm – Visit Exhibit Hall & College Receptions

10:00 pm – Exhibit Hall Closes – Optional Tear Down for Exhibitors


Sunday, November 19th

8:00 am – 9:00 am – Bible Study Breakfast

9:30 am – 11:00 – Morning Main Session

11:00 am – ICOM Ends – Tear Down for Exhibitors Begins


*Exhibit Hall open all day except during main sessions. Lights will be dimmed*

*Registration is open all day except during the evening main session*



The President’s Blog – August 2017

Enoch Nyador
Greetings from Ghana, West Africa from where I am preparing to come to the U.S.A by August 30, 2017 to do my third and final round of speaking in churches, colleges and homes in preparation of ICOM 2017 which will take place in Peoria, IL from November 16 to 19. I have been very well received everywhere I have gone on my first two tours through Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts , Iowa and Delaware. I thank all who have hosted me in their homes, churches and offices and showed me warm hospitality, especially Dave Empson, Executive Director of ICOM and his wife Sheree as well as Robin White, Director of Development of Ghana Christian Mission and his wife Belinda.

I look forward to meeting you all in Peoria, IL so that we may worship, fellowship and learn under the theme “TOGETHER, God’s Plan to Redeem the world” based on Ephesians 4:1-16. I continue to receive positive and encouraging comments on this theme everywhere I go. I can feel that men, women, youth, professionals, politicians, Americans, Africans, Europeans, Asians, believers from diverse ethnicities  and language backgrounds are poised to explore new, deeper and challenging ways to network, collaborate and create synergy for the work of God on this planet. Helen Keller once said “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.

I want to share a story of how God continues to create opportunities for like-minded people in missions to network more and more for Kingdom results. At the North American Christian Convention (NACC) in Kansas City this June, I was in line to get some food on the closing day when I noticed that the one in front of me was Greg Pruett, President of Pioneers Bible Translators. We started a conversation on possible ways to collaborate between our fieldworks in Ghana and Guinea Conakry, both in West Africa, and quickly found mutual grounds to compliment soul-winning and teaching efforts on both fields.

Furthermore, we discovered that both of us had talked earlier in the day to different team leaders for Stadia, Brent Foulke, Resource Development Executive and Phyllis Fox – Marketing Director, about collaboration among our different organizations to enhance our various missions endeavors.  The result is ongoing correspondence and brainstorming about exploratory field surveys in the near future. How exciting that Ghana Christian Mission, Pioneers Bible Translators and Stadia could be working together for the spread of the Gospel in West Africa! ICOM exists to facilitate more and more of such networking.

May I ask you to continue to pray for all the Speakers, Workshop Leaders, Exhibitors, Volunteers and hundreds of people who are working behind the scene to make ICOM 2017 in Peoria, IL a gathering to impact all of us who will attend so that we may return to our various corners of the world to continue to work TOGETHER to encourage, equip and enlist new workers for the harvest.


Central Brazil Mission

An Interview with Earl Haubner of Central Brazil Mission


Earl Haubner is the father of ICOM’s very own Student Director, Teddy Haubner!

Read the full interview here!

Interview With Earl Haubner




My I am ICOM Moment

by Emily Drayne

I have so many thoughts when I think about ICOM! My first conference was in 1998, and one of the only things I can honestly remember is pulling up to a hotel in the middle of the night. I didn’t really understand what we were doing there or what I was about to experience. In my 9 year old mind, it was just another [long] road trip with my family!

A few years later, my dad told us that he would no longer be working at our home church and he was going to work for the NMC. I was SO upset!! I loved being a preacher’s kid in our small town; I remember crying and crying that night and the Sunday when he announced it to our church. Over the next few years, we were faithful NMC/ICOM attenders. My sister and I got to hang with the Missionary Kid group, met some amazing servants of God, and even got to help out at registration with our parents!

Fast forward to 2010, my senior year at Kentucky Christian University. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do after graduation – with no success.  I had seen powerful things happen during the ICOM weekend in the past, so I thought “Why couldn’t that be me?”. I had a prayer time on my way to the conference and just lifted up to Him: “God, do something crazy with my life this weekend.”  God has a funny way of answering prayers because one round in the Exhibit Hall and 7 months later, I was on my way to China for the summer with C.R.A.M.! It was the best summer of my life! I got to experience God in so many ways, learned more about myself than I even thought possible, and formed a love for the people in China!

When the summer ended, I came back with still no direction on where my life was headed. My dad came to me and said he needed some work done at his office. So for a month, I cleaned out old boxes, purged through office files and things that could be thrown away, and emptied and cleaned out the garage.  I got to know the staff and fell in love with the work of ICOM. That was my in.
Well, now it’s 6 years later and I’m still here! My role has changed many times, but my love and passion for the people of this world has not. I’ve been able to travel to see some missionaries overseas, developed friendships with people all over the world and have heard more stories of God and His miracles than I could count! One of the best moments of the last few years has been introducing ICOM to my husband! His first year to attend was 2016 (pictured here). I’ve also been able to develop my skills on a professional level and find out more about myself in an everyday kind of way.   The staff is an amazing group of supportive, energetic and passionate people! I’m so so so blessed to be part of the ICOM team.



Prayer Vlog for July


Bon Jour and welcome to the ICOM Prayer Vlog for July. I’m Peggy Welch, the 2017 Prayer Chair, and I am recording this inside Notre Dame—not Paris, but Montreal, and in this church, I am surrounded by paintings and reminders of men and women who came to Quebec as missionaries.  My husband and I have been in Montreal for a few days, and as I have traveled about the city, I have been impressed with the diversity.  Every color, race, religion are here.  And I have thought of ICOM, and that we will be gathering in November with multiple colors and races but under one God, the only God.  At ICOM we will be encouraged, equipped, and enlisted to go, whether that is next door or half-way around the world.  This month we are praying for the third leg of the ICOM mission:  to enlist.  One does not find the word enlist in a Bible word search, but the directive is clear in words like joined, engaged, and called.  So, please pray with me:

Father, You told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved of you as My chosen instrument, and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you,  and I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Lord, not all are called to be prophets to the nations, but You still set us apart and consecrate us to serve You and Your children in some capacity.  To serve our next door neighbor, be a church usher, a mentor for students, to teach at a college, rescue those in slavery, serve in a homeless shelter, or yes, maybe leave home to serve in a foreign country.   No matter where You call us, You call us all to be bright lights in a dark world offering the Word of Life.

We pray for all associated with ICOM that You will use the convention through fellowship, teachings, and divine appointments to call and challenge every attendee to defined and divine service for You. 

I pray that we answer You as Samuel did when he said, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” Yet may we not just listen, but may we hear and be obedient. 

Holy Spirit, anoint ICOM 2017 to be Your instrument at which we all will listen, hear, and be obedient as You enlist us to Your service. 

Jesus, You told Your disciples and You tell us that the harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few.  So, we pray to You, the Lord of the harvest, to send out, even thrust out, laborers into the fields.

In the Name of the Lord Who enlists us to the harvest. Amen.



Prayer Vlog for June


Father, we thank you and pray for ICOM, Executive Director Dave Empson, President Enoch Nyador, the keynote and session speakers, exhibitors, volunteers, and attendees, especially the missionaries.  We pray that You will use ICOM to equip men and women around this country and world to be Your ambassadors, making Your appeal through them.  Empower everyone associated with ICOM to equip these women and men to be Your representatives to guide those who don’t know You and need to be reconciled to You.  Use what happens at ICOM to prepare them to minister so that others come to know that You, Jesus, the One Who knew no sin but was made sin so that in and through You they might become Your righteousness—approved and acceptable and in right standing with You.  

May the attendees be reminded that it is You who motivates and fits and works effectively through them.  That it is not in their own strength that they serve You, but it You Who is effectually at work in them—energizing and creating in them the power and desire to will and to work for Your good pleasure.  

Holy Spirit, use the activities and divine appointments to remind our missionaries that in their lives and work they have the strength to do all things in Jesus, Who empowers them; that they are self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.  Equip them with the passion and the strength to be bright lights in a dark world, holding out and offering the Word of Life.  

Use the fellowship of ICOM to equip and challenge all of them to be energized by faith and motivated by love and to maintain an unwavering hope in the return of Jesus Christ.  Lord, may these men and women be reminded that You are their Potter and they are the clay, and that they are the works of Your hand.  

Raise up fellow Christ followers at ICOM and in our churches to pray for these missionary-driven women and men to be filled with the full, deep, and clear knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom, having comprehensive insight into Your ways and purposes.  And may many pray for these missionary servants that they may walk and live and conduct themselves in a manner worthy of You, pleasing to You and desiring to please You in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of You.  

And we pray that they may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of Your glory to exercise every kind of endurance and patience and perseverance and forbearance with joy, giving thanks to You, Who has qualified and made them fit for their work.  And may prayers be lifted up for them to continue to stay with and in the faith in Christ—well-grounded and settled and steadfast, not shifting or moving away from the hope which rests on and is inspired by the glad tidings of the Gospel—which is what they are sharing around the world.  

In the ICOM prayer room, Holy Spirit, direct and guide and equip the attendees to be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in their prayers for themselves and others—being alert and intent in their praying with thanksgiving.  

Use the breakout sessions for the missionaries to be reminded how to make the very most of the time and seizing up opportunities; and how to let their speech at all times be gracious, pleasant, and winsome, seasoned with salt, so that they may never be at a loss to know how they should answer anyone who questions them.  

Use the keynote speakers to help the attendees grow so that they will be known by Your fruit, Holy Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control and use the speakers to give instruction on how the attendees can be good farmers in planting the seeds of the fruit we all wish to harvest.

Equip them through all means to understand and embrace that they are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but against the spirit forces of wickedness and then how to stand their ground and how to put on and tighten the belt of Truth—and Jesus, You are our Truth; how to take up and put on the breastplate of integrity and right-standing with You; how to shod their feet in preparation to face the enemy with firm-footed stability, which is produced by the Gospel of peace; how to lift up and use the shield of faith to quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked one and sometimes of their own brothers and sisters; how to put on the helmet of salvation; and to take up and effectively use      the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word, O God!  

Lord, use ICOM to equip and prepare them like horses that were prepared for battle, but imprint on them that they always can rest in knowing that deliverance and victory are of You!  

Jesus, when our missionaries are weary and want to give up, equip them with what they need to finish their course and their ministry, which has been entrusted to them by You.  

And in closing, for our missionaries and all of us, please strengthen and make us what we ought to be and equip us with everything good that we may carry out Your will, and that You work in us and accomplish that which is pleasing in Your sight.  Through You, Jesus Christ, our Messiah, to Whom be the glory forever and ever.  




Prayer Vlog for May

Greetings from Bloomington, Indiana.

I am excited to share with you in this month’s Vlog my recent visit to the Peoria Civic Center and Arena, which is the venue for 2017 ICOM. I am visual, so I needed to see the site, most especially the room designated to be our Prayer Room.  You will see in the Vlog Enoch Nyador, the 2017 ICOM President, prayer walking the room. We then went outside to walk and pray around the whole building.

We invite you to join us in this prayer adventure! I apologize for the quality of the video. Something about my phone flipping the video, which then had to be reflipped, which affected the quality. Maybe by the time of my last Vlog in October, I will be more proficient!

Thanks for watching the Vlog and for praying!


Prayer Vlog for April


Deut 1:38  But Joshua son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there.  Encourage him for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.

Deut 3:28  But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall go over before this people and he shall cause them to possess the land which you shall see.  

Joshua 1:9  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous.  Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Judges 20:22  But the people, the men of Israel, took courage and strengthened themselves and again set their battle line in the same place where they formed it the first day.

I Chron 16:11  Seek the Lord and His strength; yearn for and seek His face and to be in His presence continually.  

II Chron 35:2  He appointed the priests to their positions and encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord.

Acts 4:36  Now Joseph, a Levite and native of Cyprus who was surnamed Barnabas by the apostles, which interpreted means Son of Encouragement.

Acts 15:32  And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, urged and warned and consoled and encouraged the brethren with many words and strengthened them.  Acts 16:40; Acts 20:2

Romans 1:11-12  For I am yearning to see you, that I may impart and share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen and establish you; that is, that we may be mutually strengthened and encouraged and comforted by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Romans 15:5  Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Thess 5:11  Therefore encourage, admonish, and exhort one another and edify, strengthen, and build up one another, just as you are doing.  

II Thess 2:16 17  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, Who loved us and gave us everlasting consolation and encouragement and well-founded hope through His grace, His unmerited favor, comfort and encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.

Titus 1:9  He must hold fast to the sure and trustworthy Word of God as he was taught it, so that he may be able both to give stimulating instruction and encouragement in sound wholesome doctrine and to refute and convict those who contradict and oppose it.

Please join me in praying for ICOM, Dave Empson, and Enoch Nyador.

Father, we thank you that in 1948, missionaries and people who love the work of missionaries gathered as a community to encourage each other.  And that assembly is still happening every year.  So, we pray Your Word for this 2017 gathering…everything that is leading up to it and then those days in November.  

Lord, Paul tells us that You are the One Who gives the power of patient endurance and supplies encouragement.  Thank you!  But You allow us to be Your instruments of encouragement.  And there is even the gift of encouragement, but we each are charged to be encouraging and at times, we each need to be encouraged.  Help us to give and receive.

In the Hebrew Testament, the people of Israel were called on to encourage Joshua to go into Israel.  They were to encourage and strengthen him for the work You had given him.  And Joshua later issued an encouragement for the Israelites to be strong, vigorous, and very courageous.  To not be afraid or dismayed, because You, their God, would be with them wherever they went.  Lord, we pray for the men and women who serve You on mission fields and who need encouragement to go; who need Your strength; who need to be reminded that they are not to be afraid or dismayed, because You are with them wherever they go.  

In Judges, the men of Israel took courage and strengthened themselves and prepared for battle.  O God, all those who serve You abroad and at home are doing battle…not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  May they be daily be suiting up in Your armor.

In II Chronicles, it is stated that priests were appointed to their positions and were encouraged in their service.  May we each be aware of how You are using us, but may we also be aware that we are to encourage those around us who, too, are serving You.  And we pray that You will use ICOM 2017 to encourage Your missionary servants in their service.

Lord, thank you for using Barnabas, Son of Encouragement, in Paul’s life as an encourager and fellow servant in the spreading of Your love and grace.  We ask that You provide Barnabases in the lives of our missionaries.  Friends abroad and at home to help hold up them up, especially when they are fatigued and weary.  Please use ICOM to inspire us how to be a Barnabas, and how to come along side those who have been called to serve You as missionaries.  

Father, as Paul wrote to Titus about the overseers of the Church, we pray the same for our missionaries that they hold fast to the Your sure and trustworthy Word as they have been taught, so that they may be able both to give stimulating instruction and encouragement in sound wholesome doctrine and to refute and convict those who contradict and oppose it.

There are many places in Your Word that urged, warned, consoled, strengthened, comforted, and encouraged are used together. Holy Spirit, we ask that You be present at ICOM to meet each of us where we are in what we need.  May ICOM 2017 be a place that all those attending be used in different ways to minister. Give us divine appointments to be used as urgers, warners consolers, strengtheners, comforters and/or encouragers.

Paul tells us that he was yearning to see the Romans so that he could impart and share with them some spiritual gift to strengthen and establish them; that they would be mutually strengthened and encouraged and comforted by each other’s faith.  Lord, may the faith of all the attendees at ICOM mutually strengthen and encourage and comfort each other.

So, in closing Lord, I use Paul’s exhortation and encouragement to the Romans and Thessalonians:  

Now O God, You Who gives the power of patient endurance and Who supplies encouragement, grant us—our missionaries, the leadership of ICOM, those praying for ICOM, and all the attendees–to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together we may with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify You, our God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

And may You Lord Jesus and You, God our Father, Who loved us and gave us everlasting consolation and encouragement and well-founded hope through Your grace, comfort and encourage our hearts and strengthen us in every good work and word.

Holy Sprit, encourage, urge, exhort us to seek the Lord and His strength; may we yearn for and seek His face and to be in His presence continually.

And I pray with all my brothers and sisters In the Name of the Great Encourager.  Amen



Ruksha’s Story

Ruksha was trapped in “the business.” Aatma Vikas provided a way for her to escape and find a life the provided hope and dignity.

Our merger with MSA is developing and coming to fruition this summer, we are beginning to highlight stories from their website on our blog and social media! Stay tuned each month for MSA stories!

Read More Stores Here!




We are leading a trip to Israel!

From David Empson:
My wife, Sherree, and I are leading a trip to Israel! This is an unexpected trip for both of us. We hadn’t really considered going to Israel until Dann Spader asked us to lead a trip with him. As soon as he asked us – we were all in! We have become more excited about this as we’ve begun preparing to announce this trip. Dann Spader is an amazing teacher, mentor and friend.

That is the key difference about this trip for us – Dann. I attended a series of classes over a 9 month period taught by Dann Spader about the life of Jesus that challenged me to the core. I wish I had $50 for every time Dann said to me, “Dave, I need to take you with me to Israel”. I tended to write it off when he mentioned it. By the end of studying the life of Christ during these classes, I had done a complete 180 degree turnaround in my attitude. Now I can’t wait to go. Seriously! I have never had the life of Christ given to me the way Dann has taught me.  I have always heard of people who have gone and experienced some things being near the place where maybe Jesus might have sat or stepped. One of the real joys for me will be to get to experience it all with my wife!

There are some things to note about this trip:

  • This trip will be a financial commitment.
    • The cost for the trip is $2,600 for a double occupancy room. There is an additional cost for a single occupancy room. This does not include the cost of your flights.
      • The good news is that we have a “payment plan” of sorts set up where we take payments for the trip in 4 installments!
  • The bus only holds 45 people.  I know of 14 going already!
  • Registration is open now! Your first payment of $600 is due with registration.

You can see the info on our website,  Read all the details, talk it over with your spouse, your church missions team, your friends – anyone who would help you go or who would want to go with you!

Let me repeat the words of Dann, “Come and go with me to Israel”.  Come with us! Come ready to be blessed and the land of Israel will come alive with the times and teachings of Jesus. We would love to have you join us on this trip!

David Empson

Executive Director, ICOM


Prayer Vlog For March

Spend some time in prayer for ICOM with 2017 Prayer Chair Peggy Welch as she prays for the conference, the president, the staff and the people coming to ICOM. Thanks for your encouraging words, Peggy! Join us here the 3rd week of each month for a dedicated prayer time leading up to ICOM.


Registration Now Open

Here Are Your QUICK LINKS To Register!

ICOM Registration   –    Register By Mail

Register Your Group For SICOM

Register For Israel 2018   –    Payments - Israel 2018

Register For Reset 2




Change Lives By Volunteering

How are you getting involved in your local community?
Have you thought about getting involved at a local non-profit?
Watch this video to see how one person is changing lives by volunteering!


Galatians Stolen

Some view missionaries and ministry leaders as Christian “heroes.”  In reality, they are ordinary people…just like our friends down the street, in the next condo, or even sitting with us around the table.  God stories are extraordinary, just the characters are ordinary.  The universal lesson is, “God can use me to bring glory to His name!”

Greg Pruett, President of Pioneer Bible Translators, shares a powerful story that highlights the hunger for scripture that exists among Bibleless people.

See More Stories





Enoch Nyador

Pastor Enoch Nyador – President – ICOM 2017

Pastor Nyador invites you to the International Conference On Missions – 2017, in Peoria, IL




Join the ICOM Volunteer Team!

In December, I joined the ICOM team as an Administrative Assistant. My three main responsibilities are helping with the development aspect of ICOM, recruiting volunteers and assisting with bulk mailings in the office. I am humbled to witness many hands and many hearts to make ICOM possible to Encourage, Equip and Enlist missionaries for Kingdom service. ICOM’s prayers were answered recently with the merging of The Missions Network.  This will help do two things. One, it will help further our knowledge of on-the-field activities and give us opportunities to share stories from across the world and highlight global missions within our network. The second thing is that we will continue to prepare and send out newsletters to missionaries. That is what part of my new role will be, helping put together the mailings for missionary newsletters and sending them out!

ICOM is like a huge puzzle of many pieces being put together throughout the year.  A very important piece is the awesome group of volunteers that have served in many different ways. That’s how I got my start at ICOM – volunteering at conference! With the merge of The Missions Network, the mailings will greatly increase. ICOM is needing more volunteers who are willing to serve the Lord in this area. These mailings consist mainly of stuffing and labeling envelopes. Part of the time while working, we will listen to stories of missionaries on the field and also take time to pray for them.

If you or your friends want to serve, please contact me.  I will be happy to be flexible with your days or hours of availability.  The time and energy spent for this important piece of the puzzle will be greatly appreciated and also is a lot of fun!!!! ICOM is located in the little town of Hazelwood, Indiana but your volunteer service will have a huge impact on missionaries serving here and around the world.  I hope and pray you will join the ICOM VOLUNTEER TEAM!

Our theme for this year’s conference is “TOGETHER.”  We CAN do more TOGETHER to further the message of Hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Vicki Hacker
Office: 317-539-4231
Cell Phone:  317-697-1067


2017 ICOM Prayer Chair

Peggy Welch

Greetings from Bloomington, Indiana. I am Peggy Welch and I have the humbling privilege of serving as the 2017 ICOM Prayer Chair. Thank you for joining the ICOM blog to stay connected and prepared for our time in Peoria.

When I meet someone new, I ask lots of questions, so I thought I would answer some questions I would ask if I was just meeting me.

Peggy, tell us a few things about yourself.
I am a girl from Mississippi, who met an Indiana boy on a blind date in Washington, DC, and became a Bloomington Hoosier—many years ago. Still married to that boy and with him, we have one beloved son, who has blessed us with a wonderful daughter-in-law and three incredible and delightful grandchildren. I grew up in a Christian home; came to understand the difference between just being saved and Jesus being Lord at the age of 14—and of course, still learning what that means; and my husband and I are active members of Sherwood Oaks Christian Church (SOCC). My professional life has been varied, but in each position I have known that the Lord placed me to work as unto Him and to positively reflect Him to others. If you really want to know more details, you can go to:

How did you come to be the ICOM Prayer Chair?
Great question, which I can only answer with “it is a God-thing!” I have done various mission trips, but my heart is drawn to Africa. I have traveled to Africa five times, with three of those being medical mission trips to Ghana. My first trip was with FAME, and the last two have been with Global Health Outreach (GHO). Each time we connected and worked with Enoch Nyador and his team at Ghana Christian Mission. As you may know, Enoch is the 2017 ICOM President. Over the years, Enoch and I have come to know and trust each other. In August 2016, after returning from Ghana and having lunch with Enoch and friends in Bloomington, Enoch surprised me with an invitation to serve as his prayer chair for the 2017 ICOM. To be completely transparent, I knew nothing about ICOM, even though many members of my church have attended the conferences. I told Enoch I would need to learn about ICOM and ask the Lord what He wanted me to do. After prayer and consideration, I accepted the invitation, and the leadership of ICOM has kindly embraced me and is educating me.

What have you been doing to prepare for the 2017 ICOM?
I love praying the Word, so I purposed that I would pray a section of Scripture each Sunday for Enoch and Dave Empson, the ICOM Executive Director, and email it to them. On Sunday, January 1, 2017, I started this weekly missive by praying all of Colossians for them, and each subsequent Sunday, they have received a prayer of Scripture that I have been led to pray or they have requested.
Dave Empson did a virtual introduction of me and several past prayer chairs. I am still in the process of “interviewing” them about what they did and how they did it. Their passion and insights are continuing to inspire me, and ideas are coming!
I have requested that a small group of friends be committed to praying for me, specifically, as I lead intercession for ICOM.

What are you praying for currently?
To have the Lord’s eyes, ears, and heart for what and how He wants these next nine months to be used in intercession and preparation.
For many prayer partners who will join me in regular prayer for ICOM. There will be frequent messages of prayer requests via this blog, emails, and possibly other social media. And as expected those messages will become more frequent as we get closer to November 16th.
For a core of prayer warriors…men and women who are committed to praying with fervency for ICOM 2017. It was suggested by a past prayer chair that I have at least 40 prayer warriors.
That the Lord raise up someone in the Peoria area who will help me with the ICOM Prayer Room….someone with Holy Spirit-directed creativity.
Direction to understand enough to know what questions to ask and what to pray for!!

What are you currently envisioning?
I would like to share the weekly Sunday prayer for Enoch and Dave with anyone who wishes to receive it.
I plan on leading a prayer preparation 40 days leading up to the conference. Unless the Lord directs another way, I will use Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle as our guide.
If you are familiar with spiritual retreats like Walk to Emmaus and the Great Banquet, you know that each retreat is covered by continuous prayer from the beginning to the end of the weekend. I would like to have brothers and sisters across the globe commit to a designated 30-minute period on a structured prayer calendar to cover the 2017 ICOM event, beginning to end, with continuous prayer.
In the prayer room, I would like to have a big world map with a small bowl of olive oil close by that a pray-er can dip a finger into and specifically anoint and pray for a country and/or missionary. At the end of the conference I would like to see a drippy map covered in dots of oil –a visual representation of all the prayers that were lifted up to our Heavenly Father!

Please let me hear from you with your suggestions, ideas, concerns, and/or if you wish to join us as a prayer partner or warrior. I want to hear from you!! My email is:

In closing, I want to share a suggested link to a wonderful presentation on prayer. I had the great privilege to attend the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. The keynote speaker was US Senate Chaplain Barry Black. Wow! His talk was about having your voice heard in heaven. I think you will enjoy it. Be sure to have pen and paper on hand because Chaplain Black references numerous Bible verses you will want to read for yourself.

Oh, Eternal Godhead, I look forward to joining with You and many sisters and brothers from around Your world as we pray for ICOM 2017 and all the details and challenges that go along with such an event. May we be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in our prayer lives, being alert, intent, watching, and waiting, as we pray with thanksgiving. And I pray this in the Name of the One Who is both alert and intentional regarding us. Amen (Colossians 4:2 and Psalms 5:2, Amplified)

Grace and Peace, Peggy



2017 Speaker Lineup

The International Conference On Missions Presents:
Together God’s Plan To Redeem The World.

Henry Burgea
I was born In Bukavu on April 27 1963. In Bukavu, Eastern DRC, I gave my life to Christ on August 2nd 1975. I studied Bible and spent some years in Theological Education then worked for 2 years training medical and nursing students in Katana, Eastern DR Congo. After more medical training, I went back to Bukavu and was requested to coordinate the medical program of my Church in the Country (DR Congo) where I served for 6 years.

My love for the Church and ministry was nurtured and developed by missionaries who devoted themselves to the cause of the Gospel amidst numerous challenges. In 1996, I started my Master’s in Communication with leaning on Intercultural Communication. After completion,  I joined Christian Missionary Fellowship International and was assigned a short term mission to Ivory Coast.

In 2011, I was called to help start LivingStone International University, a new project of the New Testament Churches of Christ for the Eastern Region of Uganda. I am serving now as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and a Volunteer Church servant with Mbale Church of Christ.

I am currently enrolled in a PhD program that will give me a specialty in Leadership, Policy, and Change. I am expected to graduate, God willing, early 2018. Africa and the world need “TRUE SERVANT LEADERS”. We are called by God so that through us He molds a new breed of leaders: TRUE SERVANT LEADERS.

I am happily married to Yvette Bisimwa Chibalonza. We have 5 children, and 2 grandchildren. My family and the family of my daughter are very stable and strong in faith.

Vivert Lall
Vivert did his early education in the mission’s school in his hometown, Damoh. He did  his Masters of Science, (Mathematics) from Dr. Hari Singh Gour University, Sagar, India and Bachelor of Theology from Atlanta Christian College, (Point University) Atlanta, GA. U.S.A. He received his Doctor of Divinity from The United Theological Seminary, India

Vivert serves as Chairman of Mid-India Mission in Damoh. He focuses on planting churches and in preaching the Gospel. Other than this, God has also used him to do ministry for the persecuted in India. Vivert & Neelam have a ministry for children from persecuted families as well as for the children from their Church plants. He has recently put together a book/study in Hindi language which gives steps towards becoming a Christian. It is being published in several regional languages in India now. God has used Vivert to preach the Gospel throughout India, Nepal, the United States, Russia and Poland. He has also been asked to speak at Pepperdine this year.

He has also been Assistant Governor of Rotary and the President for the town. During his college years in India, he captained the cricket team of his University.  Now he serves as the Chairman of District Olympic and Cricket Associations of the town.

Vivert Lall is the son of Dr. Stanley Lalit and Dr. (Mrs.) Dolly Lall. He is married to Neelam for 22 years now. God has blessed them with two children, Monica (21) and Lae Stanley (19).

Mike Nichols
Mike was born in 1958 and raised in central Illinois as a “preacher’s kid.”  His father, Ed Nichols, has been involved in the preaching ministry and cross-cultural missions for over forty years.  Mike graduated with a B.A. degree from Lincoln Christian College (now Lincoln Christian University) in 1980 and a M.A. degree from Lincoln Christian Seminary in 1983.  Mike was youth minister at the Greenview Christian Church in Greenview, Illinois for about five years before becoming a missionary.

He and his family served as missionaries with ACM International in The Democratic Republic of the Congo, from 1983 to 1993.  From 1994 to present, Mike has been teaching at Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, Illinois.  He is currently Professor and Director for the Intercultural Studies Program in the undergraduate school.  Mike has made numerous short-term ministry trips to over twenty countries.  He is a 2014 graduate of Trinity International University (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, TEDS) where he earned a PhD degree in Intercultural Studies with a minor in Education. Mike has published articles on missions topics in two different professional journals and has recently completed the manuscript of his first book, “Short Life: Living for What Matters During our Few Days on Earth.”

The Nichols’ family resides near Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. Mike and his wife Julie have been married for thirty-four years and have three adult children; Sarah (husband Jake), Jason (wife Chelsea), and Samantha (fiancé Josh).  Mike and Julie have two grandchildren; Mike has also been a spiritual father to several “spiritually adopted” children.

Jerry Harris
Jerry Harris is Lead Pastor of The Crossing, a multi-site mega-church, based in Quincy, Illinois and planted in several  communities ranging in population from 125 to 40,000. Under Jerry’s leadership, The Crossing has grown from 230 people to over 8000 at 11 locations in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Kentucky. Outreach Magazine has consistently named The Crossing among the top 100 fastest growing and largest churches in America.  Jerry is the author of Micropolitan Church (Crossbooks/Lifeway 2011), 50 Days (Crossing publications 2011), and Shifted: The Crossing Story (an Exponential E-book).  He is an original board member of The Solomon Foundation and also Chairman of the Board of Care India, a mission located in southeastern India.  He and his wife Allison have 4 grown children, all in ministry.

Enoch Nyador
Enoch Nyador is a native of Ghana,West Africa. He has been married to Lydia, a family doctor and ophthalmologist for 32 years, and they are blessed with a daughter, Yayra Odame-Akrofi, an optometrist, and two sons, Makafui and Jacob who are both college graduates. Eyram, the grandson has the most attention in the family. For the past 29 years, Enoch has served as the founder and executive director of Ghana Christian Mission, leading a team of 26 evangelists and 59 midwives, nurses and para- medicals in planting churches and treating the sick in the name of Christ among 11 unreached people groups in Ghana.  He taught at Ghana Christian College from 1986-1992 and continues to serve on the University Council for over 15 years. He served as a student minister (1978-1982) and later as the first minister of the Abeka Christian Church in Accra, Ghana where he was ordained into the ministry in 1982. He loves to read detective novels and play ping pong for recreation. He and his family make their home in Gbetsile, Tema, where they are active members of the Pistis Christian Church, Gbetsile, near Michel Camp on the Tema-Akosombo road.

Dwain Illman
At LaMoine Christian Service Camp in Western Illinois I became a “life recruit” and went to Lincoln Christian College to get my undergraduate degree in Bible. While a student, I served as youth minister of Webber Street Church of Christ in Urbana and preaching minister at Ripley Christian Church, Ripley, Illinois. During that time, I was challenged by a speaker to enter medicine. I spent 4 years at the University of Illinois Abraham Lincoln College of Medicine in Chicago and graduated with my MD. Degree. I married my wonderful wife Marilyn while in medical school. We had daughters Christine and Julia while I was a resident in Dallas and our son Drew came later. After residency, we moved to serve at Mashoko Christian Hospital in Zimbabwe. For some of this time I was medical director as well as principal of the secondary school. Because of the civil war, we left Rhodesia after 3 years. Once back in the States, I joined a newly formed group of emergency medicine physicians in Bloomington, IN. For nearly 30 years I worked in the Bloomington Hospital emergency department as well as helping develop emergency and urgent care throughout Indiana. After retirement 13 years ago I took the challenge of short-term medical missions. I have now served on 45 teams, mostly as team leader and ministered in a dozen countries.



Say Yes to Japan

We (Mark and Lynn Pratt) had not been missionaries to Japan since 1985. And had not attended ICOM after that. But I was asked to speak at the Ladies’ Tea at the 1998 convention. I’d just assumed that current missionaries from Japan were regularly exhibiting–but was terribly shocked to find that Japan was not represented. Japan is such a strategic country. But the older missionaries were retiring/dying, and no one was in the wings to replace them. What was going to happen with Japan missions? 

After the Ladies’ Tea, I was wandering the exhibit hall, not even thinking about Japan. Suddenly . . . well, it was kind of like a vision. An idea stopped me in my tracks: someone could host a cooperative exhibit for all Japan so that Japan missions wouldn’t fall through the cracks, even when the missionaries themselves could not attend the convention. Then the question entered my mind, “Who could do that?” And the next thing I knew, I was responding, “Well, um . . . I could!” 
The missionaries applauded this idea, and I named my effort Say Yes To Japan (which was the title of a little booklet written years before by veteran missionary Mark Maxey). So at the 1999 convention, I hosted the first Say Yes To Japan exhibit–along with great help from some former Japan missionaries (and that’s been the pattern ever since). The exhibit helps keep Japan in the minds of the churches. I’ve lost track of how many new missionaries have gone to Japan since that time. And at the exhibit we often meet people who have Japanese exchange students or who want to help someone find a church in Japan. We do what we can to help, and often hear, “You guys are an answer to prayer!”
At the convention we also cooperate with other exhibitors who send workers to Japan; most recently, that’s Team Expansion, Let’s Start Talking, and OMF. We send people who want to go to Japan to those exhibits to talk with those groups about real possibilities, and they send people to us to chat with our experienced staff and to learn general information about Japan.
My website, aims to feature all the Christian Church/Church of Christ missionaries in Japan, along with providing some general resources for fans of Japan. And  I help connect the dots for people who contact me personally. 
A terrific but unexpected by-product also resulted from the Say Yes To Japan exhibit at ICOM. At my first convention I set up an origami table. Little did I know it would be swarmed with kids, some of whom not only camped out there for big hunks of time but also returned year after year to hang out with us. As  these young people grew up, they were hearing the adults answer questions about Japan missions and explain the spiritual situation in Japan—just naturally absorbing it all while they had fun with origami. Some of the origami crowd have gone on to do mission work in Japan.
I could go on and on about the encouragement, the incredible God encounters, and more that happens at the Say Yes To Japan exhibit. But the truth is, without ICOM as the perfect arena for all that, I  . . . well, I can’t imagine.
Lynn Lusby Pratt

Say Yes To Japan

Want to read more stories like this one?? Check out the ICOM Stories page!! See how God is using ICOM to touch lives in many ways.


ICOM Trip to Israel: March 2018

Israel 2018 Waiting List     Payments - Israel 2018

ICOM is thrilled to announce that on March 14-25, 2018,  David & Sherree Empson will be leading a trip to Israel with Dann Spader as our guide and leading the study and commentary for the whole trip.

I hadn’t given much thought about going to Israel until I took classes taught by Dann Spader a couple of years ago.  You are receiving this email because you have attended one of the 4 Chair seminars that have gone across the country in the last couple of years.  You have heard Dann and have heard about his knowledge and his passion for our Lord Jesus Christ.  So you know that this is going to be an incredible trip!

Where will we be going during the trip?
We will be traveling by coach during this whole trip, and there will be some hiking on some days as we visit particular spots where Dann will teach from. There will be a 120 page study guide given to every person.  We will spend 3 nights on the Sea of Galilee and 5 nights in Jerusalem as we trace the sites associated with the teaching and passion of Christ. We will see Bethlehem, the Wilderness (Masada, Qumran, the Dead Sea), the Philistine Plain, Galilee (Mt. Carmel, Nazareth, Bethsaida, Capernaum, and more), and Jerusalem (Mount of Olives, western wall, Temple Mount, Garden Tomb, Gethsemane), and much more!

What’s the cost?

The cost is $2,600 for double occupancy, singles will cost an additional $925.00.  This covers: 10 nights lodging, deluxe bus transportation, daily breakfast & dinner, all entrance fees, the services of a professional guide and driver and all tips for drivers, guide and hotel staff. This does not include your airfare, which should be about $1,500.00 each. This will also NOT include your lunch every day and personal expenses.  This price is based upon maximum capacity of 45 participants.The total cost is about $4,100.00; the airfare & tour fees based on 45 ppl.  If less than 45 people go, this could raise the prices a little bit. This trip will only take place if at least 35 people sign up.

How & when can I register?

Registration will begin in March of 2017 with the first payment due of $600.00 with registration.  After your deposit is paid, the first installment is due September 15th 2017 and your final payment is due December 15th, 2017.  NOTE: This does not include your airfare that you will have to secure on your own.  You will have to have a passport that is valid beyond October 2018.Registration will be done on the ICOM website. More exact details on that coming soon!  My wife, Sherree, and I will be dealing with all the details on behalf of ICOM.  We have some materials that will give you more details about this trip.  You can write to: for more information.

We hope you join us!

This is going to be an awesome adventure. Dann has a way of bringing Jesus to life. I can’t wait to learn more and experience Christ in a whole new way! I believe this is going to be a trip of a lifetime. 16 people have already reserved their spot – think & pray about joining us!

In Christ,
David Empson
ICOM Executive Director

Register For Israel 2018     Payments - Israel 2018

CLICK HERE  to Download a printed flyer with more details on the trip

CLICK HERE  for Instructions on booking your flight!

Want to see more about the trip?  CLICK HERE for the promo video that shows locations and footage from past trips. You must enter the password to view the video: Israel




Etienne Prophete

Some view missionaries and ministry leaders as Christian “heroes.”  In reality, they are ordinary people…just like our friends down the street, in the next condo, or even sitting with us around the table.  God stories are extraordinary, just the characters are ordinary.  The universal lesson is, “God can use me to bring glory to His name!”

No one can ever predict the impact of just one person, just one meeting, just one discussion…when God is inolved.

See More Stories




Alia Alzyoud

Some view missionaries and ministry leaders as Christian “heroes.”  In reality, they are ordinary people…just like our friends down the street, in the next condo, or even sitting with us around the table.  God stories are extraordinary, just the characters are ordinary.  The universal lesson is, “God can use me to bring glory to His name!”

No one can ever predict the impact of just one person, just one meeting, just one discussion…when God is inolved.

See More Stories





By Keith Wood

If I had to sum up my recent trip to India in one word, that would be it. There were 12 of us total in the ICOM contingency that attended the World Convention/Global Gathering in Damoh, India, on January 12-15 (5 from White Oak Christian Church in Cincinnati and 7 from churches here in central Indiana).  Ajai and Indu Lall, Josh and Lashi Howard, and the entire Central India Christian Mission team were the most gracious of hosts as anyone could ever hope for. Serving as President of the Convention, Ajai helped to put together a powerful line-up of speakers sharing on the theme “Breaking Down Walls to Build Bridges.”

The first session opened with a parade of flags from the 29 countries represented at the conference and also the 22 states of India in attendance. Ajai set the tone for the conference with his opening message.  He spoke on the assembly theme, identifying three walls that Jesus came to tear down: the wall between head and heart, the wall between faith and action, and the wall between traditionalism and truth. It was powerful. Other speakers at the World Convention who have also spoken and/or presented at ICOM included Jeff Fife, Andrzej Bajenski, Usha Rees, Denford Chizinga, Leroy Lawson, Oscar Muriu, and Jeff Vines. There were other presenters at the Women’s sessions, the youth sessions, and the workshops who have also been a part of ICOM.  It was great to reconnect as well as meet dozens of new brethren from across the globe. It was a blessing to be a part of the sweet fellowship we experienced there.

I had the opportunity to present a workshop on “Unity and Mission in the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ.” I was able to share about the ministry of ICOM as well as highlight what has been going on in mission efforts through our churches. I want to thank Dr. Clay Perkins, Bill Warren, and Kevin Dooley for sharing in the presentation. One attendee who regularly attends ICOM said, “It was like attending a mini-ICOM in an afternoon. It was wonderful!” So glad folks were blessed by it.

After the conference was over, I helped to lead the team from here in central Indiana to visit the Malvi people located in the region around the city of Indore. It is an unreached people group, less than 2000 believers in a people group of over 14 million, that many on our team had been praying for. CICM supports a relatively new church planter in that area who is now discipling 3 more church planters. We were able to meet with the preachers and a couple of the churches that have been planted there. It was such a blessing to see their enthusiasm for their new found faith and their desire to continue spreading the message of Jesus to this unreached area.

“Jah masih ki!” was a Hindi phrase many of us learned while in India. Loosely translated it means, “Praise the Lord!” As we left India motivated, encouraged and challenged it will continue to be a phrase that will echo in our hearts as we remember the blessed time we shared together in India.


Christmas wishes from ICOM

By Keith Wood

When I was a kid, I admit, it was all about the presents. Couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to see what my parents had wrapped for me under the tree. I would venture to say that is true for most of us. I mean, what kid doesn’t get excited about presents at Christmas! As I have gotten older, my sentiments have certainly changed. I still enjoy presents, but now I much more enjoy giving presents rather than receiving them. However, I’ve come to realize one of the things I really like most about Christmas (besides the obvious of celebrating the birth of Jesus) is the thought of being together with friends and family. Just taking some time to slow down and be with one another, to enjoy the time we have together at Christmas.

The theme for ICOM 2017 in Peoria, IL, is “TOGETHER: God’s plan to redeem the world!” As much as I enjoy being together with friends and family at Christmas, one thing I think that could excite me even more is to see God’s people come together and really be serious about getting the job of world evangelism done. To realize we need one another in order to win this world for Jesus. The scripture is pretty clear in its description of Jesus’ disciples being a body that works together, that needs one another in order to be successful. This coming November, in Peoria, I think you are going to see that emphasized in many challenging ways by our President, Enoch Nyador, and many others who will be sharing their heart on this inspiring theme.

I can’t help but think that as I enjoy the holidays over the next couple of weeks and I particularly enjoy the times of being “together” with my family and friends, that my mind won’t escape for a brief time to what God might be planning as friends and family gather “together” for ICOM 2017 in Peoria.  Knowing that God is a giver of good gifts, I think He might also have some “presents” waiting for each of us in Peoria. Can’t wait to get together and see what God has in store!     

From all of us at ICOM, we hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!


The RISE Project Releases small group study

The days left until ICOM 2016 begins are numbered. As we prepare to meet together in Lexington and MOBILIZE as disciples making disciples, I’d like to announce the release of The RISE Project’s small group study be∙coming∙us: Enlarging the Circle to Welcome Everyone.

It’s time for us to stop thinking in terms of us and them. Instead, let’s think about us. We’re all God’s children, all living in this world, all facing both joy and hardship. We need each other. While The RISE Project focuses on two specific populations—people with refugee status and international students, we all know there are immigrants in between them on the spectrum of people coming to “our” country. Let’s find ways to look at them as Jesus would, to reach out in love without any other agenda, and welcome our neighbors into relationships where both parties are valued and needed.

As my friend Kyle Idleman wrote recently, “You can’t confine God. He’s too big for that. He’s not a capitalist, a socialist, a republican, or a democrat. Everyone wants to say God’s on their side, but God’s on His side. He doesn’t need us to make him famous or convince people that He is creative or cool or relevant. You can’t label Him. He’s the Lord of all, and He sits enthroned in heaven. You can’t restrain His will; you can’t restrict His power or limit His jurisdiction. He uses the world as a footstool. Nothing surprises Him, shocks Him, or catches Him off-guard…. He is above all, through all, and in all. He is all-present, all-knowing, and all-powerful. Like pawns on a chess board God moves kings and queens and entire nations.”

Watch for Kyle as he introduces the segments on international students and people with refugee status in be∙coming∙us: Enlarging the Circle to Welcome Everyone and as our main session speaker on Saturday night. I hope you, your small group, and church will join us in making the circle big enough for everyone.

The promotional video for the small group study series is available here, and I hope you’ll also visit our website to learn more and see how you can make a difference.



Enoch Nyador – Director of Ghana Christian Mission


Enoch Nyador is a native of Ghana,West Africa, born at Akplale-Agave in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region. He has been married to Lydia, a family doctor and ophthalmologist for 32 years, and they are blessed with a daughter, Yayra Odame-Akrofi, an optometrist, and two sons, Makafui and Jacob who are both college graduates. Eyram, the grandson has the most attention in the family.

For the past 29 years, Enoch has served as the founder and executive director of Ghana Christian Mission, leading a team of 26 evangelists and 59 midwives, nurses and para- medicals in planting churches and treating the sick in the name of Christ among 11 unreached people groups in Ghana. Some of these tribes are the Achode, Adele, Komkomba, Kusasi, Mamprusi, Nchumburung and Ntrubo. Over 10,000 have been baptized, over 185 churches started and over 500,000 patients treated through this ministry.

Enoch was baptized in 1977 at the Dzebetato Christian Church by the late Pastor Francis Kumah, a graduate of Ghana Christian University College. He taught at Ghana Christian College from 1986-1992 and continues to serve on the University Council for over 15 years. He served as a student minister (1978-1982) and later as the first minister of the Abeka Christian Church in Accra, Ghana where he was ordained into the ministry in 1982. He is a past President of the Ghana Evangelical Missions Association (GEMA) and current Chairman of Agave Christian Unity Association. He is the treasurer of Africa Missions Association (AfMA) and also serves on the executive committee of World Link Missions Association.

Enoch received a B.A in Christian Ministries from Ghana Christian College (1982) and an MDiv (Hons) from Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, Tennessee, U.S.A (1986). He loves to read detective novels and play ping pong for recreation.

He and his family make their home in Gbetsile, Tema, where they are active members of the Pistis Christian Church, Gbetsile, near Michel Camp on the Tema-Akosombo road.


Where Would You Go to Find God?

If someone were to ask you the question “Where would you go to find God?,”  what would your answer be?  If you were asked where to find light bulbs, you would possibly say Home Depot.  If were you asked where to find a burrito, you would probably say Chipotle.  But, where do you find God?  See, that’s an interesting question that would cause a number of different responses from all of us.  Some of you might respond by saying that you find God in nature.  Enjoying creation, whether it be staring out at the clear starry night, looking at the sunset over the ocean, or relaxing in your backyard. Creation allows some people to feel closer to God. So, it makes total sense that one would find God in nature.  Most people would say that you can find God in a church, which makes sense as well.  But, at the end of His life, Jesus didn’t say that you would find God in nature or in a church building.  In fact, Jesus said something very different.  

In Matthew 25, Jesus said that, at the end of all time, God is going to split people into two groups.  One group had found God, the other had not.  

Verse 34 ’Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

41“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

44“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

Jesus knew that people would want to find God because He understood our need for God. He knew, though, that we would try to find God, in what we thought, obvious places (like, nature and church).  However, the group that fed, gave a drink to, invited one into their home, clothed, cared for, and visited one in prison are the people who had actually found God.   Jesus tells us very clearly that, if we want to know Him and find Him, we will find Him with the ignored, the poor, the orphan, the widowed, the sick, the “least of these”.  When we help, when we serve, when we reach out, when we touch the lives “of the least of these”, we are helping God.  That is where you go to find God.


Praying Into the Chaos – Caring for the Laborers

Last month we examined and prayed for RELEASING LABORERS into the hard places among the nations where the harvest is still to come.  This month it is imperative we examine how we CARE for those LABORERS in the most helpful and essential ways. It is an honor God has given us.

The two dimensions that are most often prioritized for any kind of missionary/laborer is prayer and financial support. However important prayer and money are, those are not the primary reasons why missionaries struggle on the field and often need to return home.

Issues with team dynamics/conflict and also issues with marriages, children and personal mental, emotional, relational health rank at the top as why missionaries come home before their appointed time — wounded and defeated.

This is not surprising when people are thrust into extremely challenging cultures and spiritual environments.  We may think our missionaries are wearing “Superman” costumes under their clothes, but it is not the case.

1 – It is necessary that we, in their supporting churches, take concrete steps to educate ourselves in how we can proactively come alongside our missionaries. We cannot assume their primary sending organizations or our churches are automatically taking care of these essential needs.   (Serving as Senders – Today by Neal Pirolo is a great place to start.)

2 – Proactively pray for your missionaries/families relational, mental, emotional and spiritual health.  This is vital, so they, and the people whom they are reaching out to, can flourish in the fullness of God’s design for their lives.

May we joyfully labor with our bothers and sisters in this essential work!


Support the RISE Project

The RISE Project seeks to engage our churches, campus ministries, and university students with the international students who are here to study in the U.S.

Greg Swinney tells us more in this video.

At the National Student Conference in August, university students took up a sacrificial offering for The RISE Project. For many, their summer jobs are their only source of income for the upcoming school year and most pay only minimum wage. However, most of them sit in classrooms next to students from around the globe. They are aware of the global influence of international students, so they gave generously. Their offering surpassed $1,500, and we pray the Lord will multiple this gift many times over.

Will you consider making a donation in support of The RISE Project to equip us to welcome our resettled refugee and international student neighbors?


Heart & Soul90: the Bouyei people

HeartandSoul90 | Bouyei People from Heart and Soul90 on Vimeo.

Each month, we’ll feature a Heart and Soul90 video post focusing on an unreached people group.  This month, the featured people group is the Bouyei in China. The Bouyei are one of the ancient peoples of Guizhou, having inhabited the province for more than 2,000 years. Thousands of Bouyei were burned at the stake during the Nanlang Rebellion in 1797. The horrific persecution forced many Bouyei to flee into Vietnam. The Bouyei are polytheists. They also practice an ancient form of exorcism called nuo. “A family will hire a shaman to cast out demons of illness or bad fortune. Ceremonies include climbing knife ladders, walking on fire or glass, and other activities to demonstrate the power of the spirits.” A recent estimate places the number of Bouyei Christians at 24,000, but missionaries among the Bouyei claim there to be no more than 5,000. In 1985 there were nine Catholic churches in the Qianxinan Prefecture. Recently, several mission agencies have commenced church planting efforts among the Bouyei, but few converts have been won so far.
Graydon Jessup leads us in this short video about the 2.752 million Bouyei people who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus!
To learn more about the ministry of Heart and Soul90, go to their website – (
To learn more about the Bouyei people, visit the Joshua Project website. – (

The World is at Your Doorstep: Ministering to International…

Today we stand at the threshold of a new revolution in modern missions. The world is at our doorstep. American families who are unable travel to China or India or Kenya now have the opportunity to reach people from these countries and over 230 other nations. We can share the good news from our own living room and be used by the Lord to make a difference in the world.

International students are coming to the United States by the hundreds of thousands. Today there are over 1,100,000 international students and visiting scholars walking our campuses (Institute of International Education, Open Doors Report). Universities are reporting record breaking increases in international student enrollment. Newspapers like the Boston globe are headlining news with words like “International Student Enrollment is Highest in 35 years.”. Despite the negative reports we may hear in the media, the educational system in the United States is the envy of the world. Nithyanantha J. Sevanthinathan, director of international programs for the Lone Star College system, says this about families from around the world: “The day their child was born, these families were dreaming of studying in the United States” (Chronicle of Higher Education, November 16, 2009).

Jesus urged his followers to reach out to the strangers in their midst. In Matthew 25:35 Jesus says, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” The Message version sums up Jesus words in this passage, “I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.”
You too can have an impact on the world. I urge you to be a part of this revolution both abroad and at home. Pray for and partner with missionaries around the world. And, join with others in reaching out to the hundreds of thousands of international students at a nearby university (maybe it’s just minutes from your front door). A harvest of hope awaits those who are ready to take the next step:
1. Discuss over supper tonight the possibility of becoming a friendship family to an international student. Pray for the strangers among us, those international students who are thousands of miles from their family and friends feeling alone and afraid.

2. Encourage missions in your family and church to learn about other cultures and nations. Determine to become a family or couple that will model ministry within your local church.

3. Contact a local campus ministry, university foreign student advisor, or Crossroads International Student Ministries about “adopting” an international student into your family. International students are hungry for relationships and eager to learn about life in America so be prepared for a life-changing experience!

Billy Graham said, “As we develop friendships with these future leaders and executives, we have an opportunity to reach our world for Christ. You might be the person that God uses to bring the next world leader to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ” (The World at Your Door, Bethany House).

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Make you kitchen table a crossroads of the world!

Greg Swinney, ministry facilitator
Crossroads International Student Ministries


Praying into the Chaos – Laborers

There are a host of strategic reasons why ICOM exists.  In this month’s blog and next, we will be focusing our emphasis on two of those reasons.

The first is to release hundreds of Jesus-filled LABORERS for the harvest.  Next month will be about how we, as the church, must take dedicated ownership of the CARE for the laborers already serving and those being released.

Greg Pruett* says in Extreme Prayer, “When praying specific prayers geared to expand God’s Kingdom, I have observed that it helps to frame the specific requests in terms of God empowering believers to achieve to achieve his mission, rather than praying for God to change the hearts of unbelievers.  I’ve seen far more answers when asking God to send believers to go out into the harvest field than when I’ve asked God to cause unbelievers to come to faith.” 

For example, it is estimated that more than 50% of Muslims who are coming to faith in Christ have had a special dream about a “man in white/Jesus”.  Even with that being the case, it is still essential for a Christian to come alongside them to show them the way towards becoming a disciple of Jesus who multiplies and matures.

As this ICOM approaches, may we PRAY for LABORERS to be raised up among:

  • youth who will be attending SICOM
  • university students (from both state and Christian schools)
  • adult singles, families, or 2nd, 3rd, or 4th career people

May these laborers not only go to the unreached peoples outside of the United States, but also to the ones who are already living in our own communities.

Jesus, told his disciples to confidently and specifically pray to the Lord of the Harvest to raise up laborers for the harvest.  May we joyfully and perseveringly pray LABORER RELEASING prayers by the power of the Holy Spirit!

* Greg Pruett, President of Pioneer Bible Translators, since January 2007


Reaching Refugees

Seeking opportunities to welcome newcomers is a godly trait, and hospitality is a spiritual gift. Refugees have a story of incredible perseverance and resilience in the face of unimaginable persecution, trauma, and loss. They were forced to leave their home countries, displaced out of necessity, and separated from their family units. They ache for security and community, a place of belonging in which their many strengths and talents will be welcomed. With potentially 85,000 people with refugee status arriving in 2016, what is the Lord’s expectation of His Church regarding this opportunity? Learn more at


Heart & Soul 90: Amdo People

Each month, we’ll feature a Heart and Soul90 video post focusing on an unreached people group.  This month, the featured people group is the Amdo, Hbrogpa in China. Most Amdo are semi-nomadic herders of sheep, yaks, and goats. They move to new pastures whenever their animals have made good use of the land.  Graydon Jessup leads us in this short video about the 724,000 Amdo people who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus!
To learn more about the ministry of Heart and Soul90, go to their website – (
To learn more about the Yadav people, visit the Joshua Project website. – (

Update from New Zealand

Earlier this year we told you about The Trumps, a family that went from living in rural Indiana to working in New Zealand as missionaries – and it all started at a missionary lunch at ICOM 2013 in Kansas City.

The Trumps left this year to serve and as you can see from the photo are doing well!

Read their full story here.


Serving & SICOM

Word usage is quite fascinating.  It astounds me that the original meaning of a word can so quickly and radically change into a different and more modern meaning.  This change can happen so smoothly and unnoticed that, before we even realize it, we find ourselves using words in ways that we hadn’t used them in the past.  

I believe that the word “Missions” has developed a new meaning in this modern culture.  Growing up as a missionary child (having parents still in Brazil for 47 years), I understood the word missions to mean that “as you go, teach others (what and how) to become followers of Jesus Christ.”  After working as a Family Ministries Pastor for the last 20 years, I have noticed that many, students especially, associate the word missions as “a trip or an isolated week of helping others.”  

Whether an individual recognizes the definition of missions as the original meaning or as the modern meaning, it doesn’t change the fact that both require us to become selfless, with the purpose of reaching out and making a difference in a life that is not our own.  When we put missions into action, we “Serve”!  Serving isn’t just something we complete; However, it is something that we can do daily and persistently.  More importantly, serving is something that our life can become.  

During SICOM, we will focus on how “Serve” emphasizes humility and setting aside ourselves for the sake of others.  We want our students to capture that mindset and for their modern meaning of missions to be converted into a lifestyle of service.  Our desire is to ignite passion and purpose in students to live a sacrificial life.  

We, at SICOM, believe that we must ENCOURAGE students to “Serve.”  Serving will help them to understand a little more about our God and what He made them to do.  We will EQUIP students to do something significant, which in turn will help their faith to grow significantly.  What students believe may be affected as we ENLIST them in the act of serving.  Through this, students will connect with their Heavenly Father.




Every Monday morning, the Honduran AJS* staff gathers for prayer and worship beneath this mural, which reads: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.”  I John 4:8

The man pictured is Dionisio Garcia, a lawyer who worked for AJS, defending poor security guards and cleaning women against exploitive employers.  His fearless work earned victories for some of Honduras’ most vulnerable – but it also angered some of Honduras’ most powerful.

In December 2006, Dioniso was killed by two men on a motorcycle, while driving to court to present a case against a major security guard company.

Brave Christians in Honduras are putting their lives on the line by directly fighting one of the most corrupt governments, police forces and educational systems in Central America.  Some have been killed, others have had to flee the country, and yet many remain to bring “just-ness” to their country’s men, women and children.

  • From 2010 to 2013, Honduras had the HIGHEST HOMICIDE RATE in the world. AJS investigators, lawyers, social workers and other brave Christians have worked together to see a 75% REDUCTION in homicides in one of Honduras’ most violent communities.
  • Before AJS intervention, 26% of Honduran schoolteachers were MISSING FROM THE CLASSROOM. Today LESS THAN 1% of teachers are missing from the classroom.

This group of 150 Honduran Christian professionals and 1,000’s of volunteers are no longer letting evil men have their way.  These brave Christ-followers are on the trajectory of radically changing Honduras!

  • PRAY for AJS workers to fearlessly move forward in establishing justice in Honduras
  • PRAY for government and company leaders to fear God above all others
  • PRAY for the vulnerable of Honduras to be freed from oppression and realize it is Jesus who ultimately sets them free.

*AJS – Association for a More Just Society: