Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Three Trends to Know

All over the world people are changing the way the see life and respond to it.  Historically these changes have been pretty incremental and slow.  But as information comes pouring in and knowledge increases exponentially changes begin happening faster and faster.  George Barna, the Christian researcher recently pointed out three changes taking place in the lives of US Christians.  Here they are, see if the resonate with you.

1) People feel modern life is accelerating and becoming more complex.

Seems like a real no brainer.  Life is accelerating, but is it becoming more complex?  Maybe, maybe not.  Life is more complex as we "feel" overwhelmed with life.  What we do, how we do it and how we understand it can often play a role in how we feel about it.  Part of the problem is that we have too many choices competing with one another.  As a result it "feels" like there is greater complexity.

2) People want to be culturally informed, but they are becoming accustomed to skimming content.

This one fascinates me.  We are not reading less, we are reading differently.  Historically we plowed through books to gain enjoyment and knowledge.  We can now get something similar in bit and bites.  I know many people will find fault with my conclusion, but we are not becoming less literate but more dynamic in the use of our senses.  Where reading forces concentration and focus, skimming is done quickly to find little bits to focus on.  So you still focus, but focus on smaller chunks of information.  Different, not better and I do not think necessarily worse.

3) People are moving beyond mere facts and information, and are looking for holistic integration of faith and life.

It is a positive thing to want a holistic life.  It is a sad thing to think that people are unable to find it.  Jesus gave us the means for a full, holistic life.  If people cannot find it perhaps it is due to the church not living it.  As Christians we need to develop a life that Jesus says is our: John 10:10 (NLT) 
10 .....My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

ICM, through the efforts of Renita Reed is seeking to bring a more holistic faith life to business owners in and around Kitale, Kenya.  Renita has spend over a decade working with Christian business people.  Now she has moved her training inside the church and challeged pastors and business owners to see their businesses and the churches calling from a more holistic view point.  Her work is focusing on a few pilot programs of connecting church and market place ministry in a symbiotic relationship that is more holistic for both.  Take a moment are read her latest report:  Inspiration from the Field

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Servant Leadership

At the heart of Africa Theological Seminary (ICM) is Servant Leadership.  It is not a course, it is a lifestyle, it is not a law, it is a choice.  Dr. John Sullivan has written the book on Servant Leadership...literally: purchase  

He also puts feet to his teaching by serving the learners at ATS.  Check out his video

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Coming Activities: Last Quarter of 2013

We are now on the slope rushing to the end of the year.  I remember as a kid running up the side of a hill and then the exhilarating feeling of rushing down the other side trying to stay upright while my legs pumped at a maximum rate.  I am feeling that way now as we move rapidly towards 2014.

Major Transition in Process

It became clear over the past couple of years that we had to either increase our staffing or find an alternative to handle our financial processes.  After reviewing all the options we decided to partner with Vision Quest Alliance.  Its primary purpose is to help ministries like ICM become more efficient while ensuring compliance with the ever increasing regulations at the state and federal levels.  Starting October 1 all donations will be sent to ICM, PO Box 129 Monument, CO 80132.  VQA will process the donations but our ICM will monitor them online. If you have questions and/or concerns please do not hesitate contacting us at: 661-832-9740.


Here is our schedule (see the calendar on our web site for more information).

October 4th and 5th   Sheryl and I returned from teaching in Ethiopia in time to prepare for the past weekends teaching on "Experiencing Spiritual Formation."  We had a good turnout of people wanting to discover how to move forward and deepen their walk with God.

October 9th - Stephen Mairori will be at the office along with Crispin Juma

October 10-12 - Sheryl is speaking at Mt. Hermon Conference

October 14th - ICM Board Meeting in Bakersfield

October 17th-22nd - Missions Conference in Seattle (Bowes and Phil)

October 28th - November 17th - Phil to East Africa
         Phil and Darryl speaking at an Alumni event in Kitale, Kenya

October 9- 16  Burundi team from Bakersfield

November 23rd - Perspectives in West Los Angeles (Phil)

Thank you for your prayers and partnership!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Equipping for Service - Ethiopia 2013

October 3, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done.” I Chron. 16:8. Thank you so much for your prayers for our Fall 2013 Ethiopia team. Excited to share how God provided for our teaching, travel and even trials! I loved making this trip with my daughter-in-law, Megan Giesbrecht. It was a joy to share Africa with her. She is a wonderful woman of God and servant for His people. I am so proud and overjoyed to share our journey.

Purpose Driven Seminar #5 completed in Addis Ababa, pastors and leaders are released to teach the same scriptural principles to their own groups.

“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

 Megan and my translators, Britukan and Ensalle were an encouragement and a delight to share in ministry.

Our Hawassa translators, Ensalle and Britukan have a heart for the women, asked for my full set of teaching notes and powerpoint. Britukan said, after the Fall 2012 conference, shared the message I gave, “Being a Woman God can Use” with a group of a couple of hundred women. A month later attended another conference, my same message was shared there by the speaker. This time the audience was over 10,000 women! We anticipate this same impact with our messages going forth.

Pastors and leaders in Hawassa share in small group discussion about how to apply God’s word.

“Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” I Chron.16: 9-11

 Through her translator, Britukan, Megan shared how we must trust Christ when we need healing from Him, he will help us take care of the soul and body.

Megan’s contribution to our Africa trip was first aid kit training -- it was an experiment to see if teaching is one of her spiritual gifts. (It definitely is!) We still have an outstanding bill for the first aid kits. (The kits cost $2,500.00. If you are able to donate any additional funding, please earmark your gift Team Giesbrecht Ethiopia 2013.)
                                                    Women at Addis conference receive love gifts from America.
Hawassa woman receives a first aid kit after Megan's training.

Just having fun while serving -  Megan prepares to hand out necklaces from USA.
To prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Eph. 4:12 It was thrilling for me to see my sweet daughter-in-law serve the Lord in this way. Not only was it an honor for me to have her join me, but it was wonderful to see her love the women!
“Remember the wonders He has done, his miracles and the judgments he pronounced.”  I Chron. 16:12 We praise God for BIG answers to prayer: Our luggage was recovered in Addis, we remained physically and spiritually healthy throughout the trip, through the Biblical teaching women were released from fear. African leaders were transformed to train and equip their churches to maturity. We give God the glory for His wonders! Much love and prayer,


Please earmark your financial gift: TEAM GIESBRECHT FALL 2013 ETHIOPIA

Monday, September 23, 2013

This Present Age

I am a sworn optimistic pessimist.  I am optimistic because I know who has won the greatest war ever fought: the war over Sin, Satan and Death.  Jesus came the first time as the suffering Messiah to make clear the war will be won.  He will come a second time to judge the nations and all those who have turned their back on Jesus.  Thus the pessimistic side.  You see when Jesus comes as the reigning King He will judge those who rejected Him and followed their own plans under the tutelage of Satan (whether they know it or not).  Evil will be in this world until the day Jesus returns.  We are unable to control or stop it.  This does not mean we cease trying to mitigate against it.  As messengers of the Good News we are also purveyors of justice where and when possible.

There are many pundits with many ideas of what needs to happen: "we need to share the Gospel with the terrorists" or "we need to make a parking lot out of the hideouts where they plot to put feet to their hatred. "

 The reality is we are in a war whose end will come when Jesus returns.  We are not going to "fix" it or make the world into a heaven on earth.  I say this because we must be realistic and determined. Yes, let's focus on sharing the Gospel with those who hate us, no we will not be the wrath of God on our enemies.  As the armies marched towards Berlin after the Normandy landing they suffered many casualties.  The end was never in question, but the need to fight the battles was essential.  Let us be ready day and night to take the message of God's love to all, but make not mistake there will be plenty of men and women who are deceived by Satan ready to confront our love with anger, hate and violence.  We are at war and need to understand each battle is fought in the spiritual realm even as we put feet to the Good News.

Let's marshal our forces to storm the heavenlies in order to take the Good News to the whole world.

For the latest update on Kenya check out Renita Reed's blog: Click Here

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Annual Banquet

Mark the date on your calendars: August 20th!  That is the date for this years annual ICM conference in Bakersfield California.

Get your tickets: Call the ICM office for more details:  661-832-9740

Our special speaker will be the President of Walk Thru the Bible, Philip Tuttle!

Extra Special Bonus:  The many of the ICM country leaders will be attending the event!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

People are Puzzling

Are you a mind reader?  Actually we are all mind readers.  Rebecca Saxe is a researcher focusing on our ability to understand other people, their motives and feelings.  She did a talk for (click here to view).  What we often take for granted is a complex process of learning.  Understanding people is a little like trying to put a puzzle together without the picture on the box.  We make assumptions often based on ourselves and how we see the world.  But all of us see the world a little bit differently, or sometimes a lot differently.  This is because we have different glasses on called personality.  These glasses cause us to see and understand the world around us from different viewpoints.  This potentially can be a challenge when we misunderstand each others motives.  But it can be a big advantage in helping us, together, understand the world around us.

I would like to invite you to come and participate in the People Puzzle training.  Learn how together we are better and develop some important skills and knowledge that can help you at home or at work understand how to move from people conflict to team building.

Where: Across the hall from the ICM Office, 4201 Ardmore Ave., Suite 2, Bakersfield CA

When:  Friday May 31, 2013, 6:00pm-9:00pm and Saturday June 1, 2013, 8:00am-1:00pm (light lunch provided)

Instructor:  Dr. Phil Walker

Cost: $35 (includes workbook and lunch)

Preregister by calling the office:  661-832-9740

Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 2013

May 2013 has been a full month.  Sheryl Giesbrecht, Executive Director, represented ICM USA at the graduations in East Africa.  She also led a team to take part in a number of activities in Kenya and Uganda.  I (Phil) went to Nigeria to teach and participated in the dedication of our new training center in Akure, Nigeria.  On Sunday I will teach a Perspectives class in Turlock, CA and on Tuesday teach another Perspectives class in Livermore, CA.

If you are in Bakersfield or surrounding area do not miss the "People Puzzle" on Friday evening May 31 and Saturday morning June 1.  I promise a great time of fun learning and challenge to some preconceived ideas about working together.  We will be using Walk Thru the Bible's course along with some other materials I have put together to give you first hand experience with team building.  If you are able to attend register now as space is limited.  Call the office (9am-1pm Mon-Thurs) to register.

May was busy, but June is going to be a bit crazy in regard to travel.  Please keep the following in your prayers:

June 2-4 - ICM office team travels to Denver
June 9-13 - Phil and Emmanuel Chemengich travel to Hong Kong for a theological educators conferenc
June 15-22 - Phil will be teaching at two sites in Egypt
June Sheryl will be going to Florida

Thanks for being part of the ICM Team!


Saturday, May 4, 2013


As I write this our ICM Executive Director Sheryl Giesbrecht is in Kenya leading a team from the US and attending the Kenya Graduation.  We in ICM are blessed to have her leading the US operations of ICM.  We are not the only ones who recognize her worth and contribution to ICM and the Kingdom of God.  On May 21st she will be honored in Bakersfield at a High Tea.  If you are available why not join us as we celebrate her achievements and faithfulness!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


ICM's Seminary, Africa Theological Seminary is designed to give leaders an opportunity to study for the BA.  For many this would be a dream unattainable because of distance, inability to study full time, and priced beyond their reach.  But ATS bridges all of those issues.  ATS is full time ministry and part time study.  Leaders come to campus three times a year for just a month.  This means they can continue in their ministry.  Our campuses are located where the leaders are ministering and priced reasonably.  This is the season for graduations.  ICM Uganda just completed their ATS graduation and you can see some of the pictures:  

Rejoice with ICM Uganda as the celebrate another graduation!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Only Africans Can Develop Africa

According to at least one African, Tony Elumelu, Africa can only be developed by Africans. I wonder if the same could be said of the African church?  Without a doubt African Christianity would not exist if it were not for non Africans willing to pay the ultimate price to share the Gospel in very difficult environments.  But in a time when Africa is rising to meet its future maybe it is time for non Africans to ask the simple question, "how can I best help?"  Too often help is defined as recognizing a need and then seeking to meet that need.  This has been the troubling history of foreign aid throughout African.

Many leaders who have Africa on their hearts are beginning to realize that "obvious" solutions often produce worse unintended consequences.  Foreign aid is rife with aid gone astray.  But in the new era we have African leaders making the decision of where the aid should go and how best to solve the problems in Africa.   It is also time to trust African Church leaders to come up with solutions to reach the final unreached groups and develop the main methods for discipling their members.  Africa still needs help, but the help should come by invitation not by initiation.  It is time to offer what we have to meet the request of what African leaders what to accomplish.  It is time to offer what we have to be used how they, the leaders, believe best.  The initiation should come from African leaders not from the West.

Africa is producing leaders in every arena, economic, political, and religious.  These leaders are the movers who will help Africa rise.  Let us in the West submit our resources to their leadership and let us become partners who follow their lead.

Ashish Thakkar is one of the new economic breed who is not asking for leadership as they press on to reap what Africa has to offer while offering new solutions to Africa's challenges.  Let's offer ourselves as servants who want to come along side the Church in Africa, not lead it.  Africans are writing a new story, one where Africa is rising!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Kenya Election Winds Down

It appears the election in Kenya is winding down and that observers will declare it to be mostly fair!  The real danger comes if those who lost make a lot of noise about the election being unfair or even rigged.  This happened in the last election and led to over 1,000 Kenyans losing their lives.  But most Kenyans do not want to go down that past again.

Pray for Kenya that God would grant it peace and stability!

View the Results

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kenya Elections

Africa is in the midst of the greatest change in its history.  The process of moving from tribal domination to democracy and unity is not an easy one.  But it is happening.  In the last elections political parties and their supporters resorted to violence.  In the end well over 1,000 Kenyans lost their lives and thousands others lost homes. It is sometimes difficult to understand how such things can happen when you come from a politically stable environment.  

But the ethnic alignment is only part of the story.  The human brain is designed to align itself with those "like us" or those who will help "us."  Democracy seeks to remove as much of this tribalism as possible, but it remains even in what seems to be heterogeneous nations like the USA.  We see it in ethnic alignments and we see it in party alignments.  Democrats and Republicans attack one another accusing the other of outright stupidity.  Depending on where you live and who you hang with most of the time (including watch on TV), you will align to one or the other often buying into the fact that the other side must be 1) stupid (not likely), 2) Deceived and Naive or 3) Evil.  Most people accuse the "others" of one or both of the last two.

So, we have our own "tribal" issues to face.  We have no place to look down upon our friends and people of Kenya.  They have been less sophisticated in expressing their opinions.  We are able to cause injury and manipulate people using the modern means of the media.  Do not worry Kenya and Africa will catch up!  But for now we can and must pray for peaceful elections.

Join us in praying and fasting for Kenya today as the seek to elect new leaders at nearly every level.

For more see Renita Reed's blog.  Renita is in Kitale piloting a new project for us to introduce business as mission (BAM) to our alumni and their churches.

Thank you for being part of one of the greatest missionary moves in the history of the Church.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Coming ICM Events

March  16 & 17 -    7 Laws of the Learner - Bakersfield, CA

March 24 -            Meet & Greet with the Executive Director -  Sheryl Giesbrecht in Atlanta, GA

April 19 & 20 -    CMTA Leadership Training - Sheryl Giesbrecht in Pasadena, CA

May 19,10,21-   Phil will be teaching Perspectives  - Modesto/Turlock area.

August  6 -             Dessert with the President - Phil Walker, Stephen Mairori and Renita Reed in Grand Rapids, MI

August 12-19 -  International Leaders Arrive in Bakersfield - If you have a home group or church that would like to invite one of our leaders please call the office (number below)

August 20 -          ICM Banquet - ICM (The African team will be here) Bakersfield, CA.  Mark you calendars now!

If we are in your neighborhood call the office and schedule a time to get together.  We want to meet you and your friends to give you the latest news about ICM.  Office number:  661-832-9740.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

7 Laws of the Learner Bakersfield

If you are in the Greater Bakersfield area you are invited to participate in the course "7 Laws of the Learner" how to teach almost anything to almost anyone.  It is a wonderful, practical, fun course on how to be more effective in teaching.  Whether you are teaching Sunday school, public school or your own children the course explores effective ways to impact those you teach with God's word.

When: March 15 6pm-9pm and March 16 8am-1:30pm.

What: 7 Laws of the Learner

Cost: $35 (includes workbook and lunch)

Where:  ICM offices - Call 661-832-9740 to register (space limited)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Portland Oregon Jan 16-21

Wishing each and every one of you a very Happy New Year!

Speaking of happiness, do you know that happiness can never be your goal?  Happiness is a by-product of what you do, it is not something you do.  Some things you do make you feel happy, some sad.  But it is what you do with the minutes in your life that matters.  Spend them well and happiness or at least inner joy can be the result.  But try and go after happiness and you chase the wind...Live life well and God has promised an "abundant" life (John 10:10).

Or join me and hundreds of others at Missions Connextions in Portland, OR (actually in Vancouver, Washington, just across the river from Portland.  I will be staying with our ICM Reps, Dennis and Georgia Miller (phone number is on the card below).  

Mission ConneXion Northwest (click to find out more)

Mission ConneXion Northwest

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM - Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:00 PM (PST)

Vancouver, WA 

On Sunday afternoon we will have a "Meet the President" time.  Come find out what ICM is doing in 2013!