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I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.” Psalms 9:1
Dear Faithful Friends,                                                                                                                                                             30 January 2017
Happy New Year!!! We trust that you have had a wonderful Christmas and New Years! We are so thankful for you and for the investment you made in God’s Kingdom during 2016 through the ministries of Good News In Action. We value your faithful gifts and your prayer support so very much. We would not be able to do what we do without it! Thank you so much for helping make a difference! You are VERY appreciated!
Here at Good News in Action, we have had a very busy year, filled with activities designed to Expand God’s Kingdom and Transform Lives. We are so thankful for the opportunities we have had to bring God glory by bearing fruit for Him. He has been so good and faithful to us! And you have been an integral part of it all, so we want to share some of the highlights with you.
Our home base, Vida Nueva, in San Salvador, has grown at a rate of just about 10% during 2016. What a tremendous joy it was to see over 88,000 people in attendance over the course of the year in our 4 campuses and during 13 weekly services. Steve and Julio, co-senior pastors, have done a great job of expository preaching through several portions of the Bible once again. We had the joy of meeting all 4 campuses together in what we call “Koinonia” services 3 times, hosting a total of 3,700 people. Breaking it down, our average weekly attendance at Vida Nueva grew from around 1,400 to 1,523. We are so thankful for the growth God has given us.
From Vida Nueva, Steve was given the opportunity to take the gospel to a local university where 1,200 students divided into 40 classes were able to receive the conference “Origins” based on Biblical Creation. Also from Vida Nueva, the radio program “Today’s Challenge” is reaching those we might not reach any other way. According to statistics, the following of this program has grown 11% this past year. We believe in reaching folks every way we can. This includes doing a Bible series such as “Grow Your Home” using social networks that reached many families in many countries. We believe in getting God’s Word out and in the hands of people, for that reason we now have all sermons on You Tube. In 2016 alone we received 1,000 subscriptions and saw that there were 57,000 reproductions of the sermons all around the world.
A balance between Evangelism and Discipleship continues to be where we invest most of our time and resources. We have found artistic productions such as Judgment House and the Joseph the Dreamer musical are very effective to reach folks for Christ. In 2016, we saw 407 professions of faith in these productions. Mission trips and outdoor outreaches are also very effective tools to reach folks for Christ. In 2016, we hosted 14 mission trips to 5 Metro America countries. 44,000 heard the gospel and 6,573 made professions of faith. In addition to that, 3,500 people made professions of faith in our outreach in the northern part of El Salvador for a total of over 10,000. Discipleship is also who we are and what we do. We are so thankful for the 89 new believer discipleship relationships that were initiated this past year using the one year program “GROW”. Our second level of discipleship, IDEM, is for those who successfully finish the first level by becoming well connected to God, His Word, church, a small group, and are serving in a ministry. It is a 3 year study program where a small group is mentored by one person for the term. In 2016, 126 graduated from the 3 years of study. Thinking about the next generation, 7 new groups of IDEM were initiated in January of 2016. They have currently completed their first year of Bible studies and leadership training. Our third level of discipleship is our Bible Seminary. In addition to the many students already preparing themselves for ministry, we are so pleased to share with you that we went online in September and have 15 online students enrolled from 5 different countries.
We have also been involved in many activities to reach and grow “the other half”, those aged from 0-18, literally making up half of the population of El Salvador. We helped support various camps, vacation bible schools, and bible memorization competitions we fondly call “Bible Search Engines.”
The Good News in Action trifecta of Evangelism, Discipleship, and Establishing Churches is complete with our missions emphasis called “Metro America 0 20”. 2016 was crucial in the search of the next place God would have us plant a church. An exploration team visited the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and planned out an evangelistic outreach for Holy Week 2017. The Lord willing, San Pedro Sula will join Managua, Guatemala City, San Jose Costa Rica and Bogota, as the next site of a Vida Nueva church.
That about wraps up the year, but for us it’s not the end of something, but the beginning of something else! We can’t wait to see the lives the Lord will touch and transform in 2017. Thank you so much for helping us make Jesus Christ known to our world!
Love in Christ, Steve and Pam Kern, your missionaries to El Salvador and Latin America,