Happy New Year! The beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to look back at what God has done and to recount His faithfulness in the past. As 2017 has ended and 2018 begins, the various ministry departments of IBLP have taken a moment to report on God’s work in their specific areas. We pray you will be encouraged as you read these reports of God’s work during 2017.
We rejoice to see the ways God has worked through the ministry of ATI over the past year. Many families have been encouraged and equipped to center their lives and learning on the Word of God. We are grateful for the new families who have enrolled as well as those who have been a part of the program for many years.
One of the highlights of ATI last year was the Family Conferences season. Four Family Conferences were held in the United States. The theme of the 2017 Family Conferences was “Trust in the Lord.” We hope that the 2,780 attendees were encouraged to know and trust the Lord more. Those attending had the opportunity to hear powerful, challenging messages. Many of these messages are now available on Embassy Media.
Please pray for the ATI office team as planning is well underway for 2018. We are asking the Lord to be our Guide and our Vision as we look to see all that God has in store for this upcoming year. Let’s give all praise and glory to the Lord for all that He has done in 2017 and is going to do this year!
It is hard to believe that it is already the end of 2017. God was and is so good to us! Journeys were held in multiple locations, including Florida, Texas, and the Northwoods of Michigan. Journey also hosted some special mini- conferences, including Men on Mission for young men and The Overlook for young ladies. One very special highlight was a 10-year anniversary reunion for Journey Alumni! Around 80 Journey alumni gathered at IBLP’s Oak Brook campus for a time of remembering God’s goodness over the last decade.
New in 2017 was Journey to the Heart hosting the event in a local church! Simply called a “Church Journey,” about a dozen participants from a small church in Texas gathered to seek the Lord and know Him more. One young lady testified that the Lord freed her from a big fear she had in her life. This same young lady also said that on the Church Journey she felt like she had received a new love for the Lord. Perfect love casts out fear! For both the participants and the leaders, the Church Journey was a special time of individuals going deeper in their walk with God.
We are so grateful for all that the Lord has done this year and we look forward with eager anticipation to see what He will do in 2018. All blessing, glory, thanksgiving, and honor be to our God forever and ever!
We continue to thank the Lord for the open doors to take the Journey to the Heart program into the prisons. Once again we were able to host the program in the spring and fall of this past year, allowing us to minister to over 400 inmates in 8 different facilities. God is working in the hearts of prisoners who attend the Journeys, as evidenced by these two brief testimonies we received:
“I am new to Christ and this seminar has truly taught me how to begin to have a relationship with Jesus and how to trust Him in every aspect of my life.”
“This Journey was the best thing that happened in my life. Thank you!”
Rise Up’s online discipleship course continues to see young men and women eagerly seeking the Lord. In the two years since this unique course first launched, Rise Up has been used to disciple young people in nine different countries! One team leader remarked:
“There is so much junk vying for the attention of young people these days. I think the most encouraging thing for me has been watching young people in their teens and twenties turning away from distractions and putting themselves in a place to hear and receive truth. It is awesome to watch God turn the ‘light bulb’ on for them—fulfilling His promise in John 14:21: ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.’”
Overall, this year was a good year for ALERT. We had over 120 total students throughout the program, with 66 of those young men completing Basic Training, 41 in Emergency Response Training, and 55 in the various advanced training options. We rejoice as we have witnessed much growth in the men this year as we have built relationships, mentored, and studied God’s Word together.
ALERT has also been busy with many different service opportunities this past year. ALERT responses included 7 search and rescue operations, 14 disaster relief deployments, and many community service activities that included assisting with camps, doing building projects, and cleaning up trees and brush for other ministries. Hurricane Harvey was a big event in the disaster relief world in 2017, and ALERT spent 5 weeks throughout the summer and fall helping clean out and repair homes that suffered major damage.
Flight training was an exciting event this year. It has been several years since we have conducted flight training, but God allowed us to connect planes, instructors and students this fall, resulting in five ALERT men receiving their private pilot’s license. Other advanced training courses this year included Aquatics, EMT Basic, Fire Academy, Leadership and Communications, and Technical Rescue.
The Mobile Response Team traveled 16 weeks this past year on various trips that took them from Pennsylvania and Virginia to western Oklahoma, and included wildfire response, flood relief, tornado relief, rebuild work, and various camps. There were many opportunities to share about ALERT and, more importantly, the Gospel to those who have not yet come to Christ. The time spent traveling together resulted in strengthened relationships and allowed the men to learn to work together better and to encourage one another to be more like Christ.