2016 Year in Review
by Stan Leach, EFC Southwest Superintendent
I am honored to be a part of a people who serve the Lord and his people. You have read stories of how God has worked through and on behalf of His servants. Recently, I was reflecting on the many accomplishments of 2016. I share some of them with you now, so that you, too, can gratefully praise the Lord for his Presence in our lives and churches.
- The Board of Recording and Commissioning credentialed one person as a recorded minister and commissioned six others.
- The Equipping Center updated our EFC Southwest Communication Systems, including our data base.
- “Family Network” launched this year and allows EFC Southwest people to connect more effectively.
- The EFC Southwest Equipping Center provided payroll services for 21 pastors and employees in eleven churches.
- Dozens of people worked together to purchase and remodel a new condo for our missionaries to use while in country.
- Two churches sold property, which allowed them to reduce debt and invest more financial resources in ministry.
- Valley Friends in Clovis, CA launched a new Leadership Institute at Valley Friends in Clovis, CA.
- A team rewrote the EFC Southwest Coach Training curriculum.
- Women in ministry from ten churches gathered to share stories and encourage one another.
- The financial team once again received high marks in our annual financial audit.
- Ongoing one on one connections between women in ministry for prayer and encouragement.
- A number of college and young adults from various churches gathered to serve together. It kicked off with a “Friendsgiving” event and seeing the new Star Wars movie together.
- The percentage of young leaders serving in vocational ministry is growing.
- EFC Southwest launched a new website which includes this “Stories” section.
- Robert and Sarah Radcliff secured support and so, are now serving in Cambodia.
- Elise Paty was approved to raise support to go to Cambodia, hopefully in the early spring.
- The Sward and Hernandez Families have multiplied our team in Cambodia. Each of them will receive new team members –Scott and Andrea Sward in Battambang and Fede and Diane Hernandez in Phnom Phen.
- The Missions Board upgraded our language and culture training for newly deployed missionaries.
- The staff initiated quarterly financial report to Representatives.
- Four students graduated from IHPLA (Spanish speaking leadership Institute) in Las Vegas.
- A crew streamlined the Leadership Institute Coaching Guides.
- Ten new students joined 36 others learning in three Leadership Institute centers.
- EFC Southwest celebrated the finale of the C.W.Perry Golf Tournament, raising funds for…
- … two new churches – El Monte (with Freddy Rivas as pastor) and North County (with Alan Amavisca serving as lead).
- We also introduced the “Church to 5K” event, also raising money for new churches. Runners from eight churches participated as EFC Southwest partnered with the Long Beach 5K.
Clearly, these are just a few of the accomplishments that spurred many stories of God at work. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the regional staff. They worked hard on much of this. They are: Lori Anderson, Sue Girard, Kimberly Mer, Ric Lebrecht, Liz Allen, Amilcar Sosa, Gene Pickard, Kent Walkemeyer, Lisa Jackman, Rosalie Hamman, Jeff Davis, Zoro Mer, and Douglas Portillo.
Also, these are mostly confined to regional initiatives, and don’t include the hundreds (thousands?) of accomplishments were we to include the work of local churches. I am grateful we can all count on each other…
…and most thankful for the Lord’s faithfulness to us. He is relentless in building his church, and of course, that includes us. It’s the best story of all!