SOC in Andes Mountains Strong and Growing by Richard Goebel

SOC in Andes Mountains Strong and Growing by Richard Goebel

In October, 2016, Field-Worker Delvis Mercado and I held another School of Christ in La Paz, Bolivia, which is located at the top of the Andes Mountains. We had a very attentive and disciplined class consisting mostly of pastors who came from several different denominations. We are always grateful when we can have brethren from different denominational backgrounds come together and sit under the teaching of the SOC. During the days of teaching and prayer, walls of religious traditions were broken down, and a lot of repenting for having departed from the Word of God.

I am so thankful that God allowed me to be present at the School in La Paz, and to witness the move of God that took place in the lives of these pastors and workers. The work of the SOC is becoming stronger in this area of Bolivia, and it is my prayer that we will begin to truly see a revival among the people.

On the last night in La Paz, I met with a group of University students who I had met last year at the School of Christ. They have been meeting just to pray and seek the face of God. They began these meetings after some of them had gone through the School of Christ. They are praying to become a vessel of God in their country. What a joy to see them praying and worshiping in Truth and the Spirit of Holiness. I encouraged them to go on with God, and I hope to spend time with this group of young people on my next trip.

While I was there I was asked if I would be willing to travel to the remote areas and meet with churches that are made up of indigenous people. Praising the Lord for another open door I humbly said, “YES.” As we drove, the pastors explained that almost no one is willing to travel to these remote indigenous areas to preach the Gospel. One pastor said, “They are too poor, and few have a desire to come this far, except a few who want to take pictures that they then use to raise money!” How sad! At the first church we visited, the pastor and his wife greeted us with much love and excitement. After visiting with them for a while, it was clear that we needed to come and run a School of Christ for pastors in these remote areas. The Pastor said he would like to host it in his church.

In the second church we visited, the presence of God was very strong. When I finished preaching, there was almost no one left in their seats; they all were at the altar praying and reaching out to God. At the end of prayer, the pastor, with tears running down his face, said to me, “God has spoken to this church today, and we will not be the same.” This pastor is going to work with us, helping to set up the SOC in the indigenous areas.

Also on this trip, Field-Worker Delvis Mercado ministered and introduced the School of Christ in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The last night of the meeting 80 souls came forward to rededicate their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, and asking God to sanctify them for His service. It was a powerful time in the Lord.

I am very encouraged about what God is doing in Bolivia. I believe we are seeing the beginning of a strong and true work of God being born in this land. We continue to see God open the doors for the School of Christ. Please pray for us that God’s Word might have free course.

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SOC Transforms Lives of High School Students by Richard Goebel

SOC Transforms Lives of High School Students by Richard Goebel

In November we traveled to La Paz, Bolivia, for a week of services and to graduate students that had completed the School of Christ. La Paz is the highest administrative capital in the world, resting on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau more than 11,975 ft. above sea level.

The people were very attentive to the Word of God, and after many of the services the people were seeking God, repenting, and worshiping at the altar for quite a while.

The students were so affected by the School of Christ. The graduation was wonderful with tremendous testimonies of what the Lord had done through the lessons of SOC. One brother said, “The School challenged in a way that my words cannot say. So much of what we have been doing in our churches is not Scriptural. This School has made Christ real to us.” Another brother, Joel said, “The lessons of this School have made us different people. It has affected our prayer and our study of God’s Word, and it is affecting our churches.”

While there I met a group of High School students that had attended a previous School. They had been so affected that they told others. During the services, these young people were rejoicing in the Word. They gathered around us after the services and wanted us to know that they had heard the lessons from the School of Christ, and that they were committed to following the Truth of God’s Word. They said that they are fasting and praying on the campus, they are witnessing on the streets, and they are praying with young people. They are believing God to send revival. There was a genuine love and hunger for God among these young people.

The pastors that we graduated, and other graduates from previous Schools that we met, were serious men of God. They spoke about the great work that lies before them of reaching their country with the message of Pentecost.

There is a great need to reach the indigenous population across the top of the Andes Mountains. These people live in almost complete isolation, and we are going to have to reach them. We had to travel two hours further north into these areas to see the people, the culture, and the great need. We must reach these areas with the Gospel while Christ gives us time. I ask that you please pray for Bolivia and the great and effectual work of the School of Christ.

I pray that this report will encourage you to give to the work of the School of Christ as we labor to go to the unreached, and preach Christ.

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First Full-Time SOC in Ethiopian Prison by Richard Goebel

We have had a great struggle getting into the prisons of Ethiopia. We have had services, I have preached in the prisons, but to run a full School of Christ has been most difficult. The Lord opened the door for us to run a School in the Hawassa Prison.

This School was very difficult and we had much opposition. However, the testimonies that came out of this School are awesome. During the classes, the place was filled with the presence of God. Pastor Okata, one of our leaders, felt they were as powerful as any School he had ever been in. In the four weeks we had powerful times of prayer and great repentance. It was the prayer of deep repentance that was so powerful!

In order to run the School, we had to agree that anyone who wanted to, could attend the classes. This demand was made thinking that we would not accept this condition. We gladly accepted and we graduated 165 students in this prison School.  At times we had as many as 310 listening intently to the teaching. At the end of the day, the students would preach to the other prisoners about what they had learned in that day’s classes. A total of 63 prisoners came forward to pray for salvation.  What God did inside the prison during this School is beyond words. The testimonies alone would have made the cost, the sacrifice, and the labor of this School, a success. There were many testimonies about the revelation of sin, repentance, the new birth, as well as the call of God on their lives.

The students, after they had attended the lesson of the day, would go to others and teach the lessons. They were not instructed to do this; no one told them to do so. They did so because the Life of the Spirit of God makes men do so.  One student said, “We have to do this because these lessons are very important for all the prisoners.”

During the School, the soldiers of the compound (the guards) asked for Bibles to read. One of the soldiers said, “The soldiers always hated to read the Bible, but today they want to read the Bible.”

It has been a long climb into the prisons of Ethiopia, but now, because of what God did in this prison, we have an opportunity to run the SOC in a different prison.  We are praying and planning that we will be able to run the second prison School in early 2016. I ask that you please pray for these Schools. Pray that we will see this kind of God-sent fire throughout the prison and villages of Ethiopia. Pray for us that we would be led of the Holy Ghost in everything we do, and please support this great work financially. We cannot go and we cannot send the native workers unless the Body of Christ supports the work with their giving.

Cuba Report by Richard Goebel

There is truly a great move of God’s Spirit happening within the nation of Cuba.  Pastor Mercado writes. “The work continues to advance in the nation of Cuba. The Word of our Lord Jesus Christ is being fulfilled when he said, “and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hell will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18).  We are soldiers in the Kingdom of God, and we are in a merciless war with many attacks but, the victories are wonderful in the name of Jesus.  I am thrilled to be able to report on the work of pastors in Cuba, to tell of the experiences in this country through the School of Christ. In 2 Timothy   2: 2 we’re told to take what we have heard and commit it to faithful men so that they may teach others.  We are  seeing this fulfilled as we see faithful men, whose lives have been effected by the SOC,  going forth to teach all over Cuba.  We are grateful to be a part of this work by the grace of God.”

There has been much persecution and difficulties for the brethren in Cuba over the past few years.  We have a great burden to strengthen the work of Christ in Cuba at this time.  There has been much labor and fruit in this country over the past few years, but we see the devil fighting on every side to bring        confusion and fear upon those that are standing with Christ in this communist nation.  With this in mind, Pastor Mercado traveled to Cuba for 10 days to strengthen the brethren and plan for  future Schools to be run in Cuba.  We have   organized the leaders so that we can effectively work and cover a great part of the country in the year of 2015.

After arriving in Havana, we met with Pastor Jose Reynosa, and we drove 1200 km to the town of Baracoa.  Meetings were held with   pastors and SOC coordinators from Maisi tip, Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and  Baracoa. During days of fasting and prayer, these men prayed and asked God for wisdom in how to strengthen the great work that has already been accomplished.  Also, much time was spent coordinating our plans on how to reach many more people in Cuba with this message of Pentecost during 2015.

The next day we had a meeting with pastors from Maisí tip, which is the easternmost part of Cuba. It is an area of great poverty, but we could see that the real famine is in hearing the Word of God (Amos 8:11).  We began the first School of Christ in this region with thirty pastors attending the School.

From Maisí, Pastor Mercado and the leaders drove to Guantanamo to meet with two pastors whose lives have been greatly affected by the SOC.  This meeting was very successful; and both of these men are willing to preach this Gospel in the Guantánamo area; the work there is going very well.  We thank God that we are hearing testimonies of what God is doing among these who are the neediest of the people.

We then traveled to meet with pastors in Camaguey and Pinar del Rioand where the willingness and desire to receive what God is teaching in the SOC was very evident.  During these days we preached the Gospel to the saints of the church and saw the mighty hand of God manifested.   We have made plans to run a School  in Pinar del Rio in 2015.

Pastor Delvis writes, “The day before I left Cuba, I met with the President of the Council of Calvary Church of Cuba; who opened the door for the School of Christ.  We were extended an invitation to preach the Word of God in the     annual congress held in the city of Havana. We are eager to once again have time to pray and seek God’s face together with these pastors in a conference that will gather many of the leaders of the School of Christ in Cuba.  I marvel how the Glorious Holy Spirit moved in every place, and to see God’s mighty hand in everything we are doing, as He moves among the churchs in Cuba.”

Pastor Mercado and I wish to thank the School of Christ in Beaumont, Texas, who not only prayed but also contributed financially to fulfill this mission.  The vision and our labor in Cuba continues to live and thrive.  So much fruit is being harvested in Cuba.  When I was there last year, the prayer meetings, the preaching and the sacrifice to God were so very powerful.  It touched my heart deeply to see these brethren earnestly crying out to God.  We ask that you pray for the brethren in this nation.  It is very difficult to live for God in this country, but God does give the liberty in the Spirit, and the work in Cuba is very, very strong.

Pastors working with the School of Christ in Cuba

Church in Cuba

Ethiopia Report by Richard Goebel

In July, the School of Christ was held in Moyale, Ethiopia. Christ and His Word was made real to the pastors in a greater way than they had ever experienced before. The greatest testimony we continuously hear from students is that their “religious eyes” have been opened to the LIFE and SPIRIT of Christ through the School of Christ.

The School of Christ in Ethiopia is made up of students from different backgrounds. In some of the Schools, pastors come from as many as six different denominations and up to ten different villages. In this School, students came from two tribes that have been at war with each other for the last two years. Seven students in this School chose to leave because of the conflict, but others gave themselves to Christ. I believe they now see that only Jesus and His Word can ever be “the balm in Gilead” that is able to heel such deep wounds. It always hurts us to hear that people would leave under these conditions, but this is part of the battle that we face in preaching the True Gospel in these areas, and we believe God continues to give us great victories. When you see pastors from different tribes coming together to hear God’s Word, this is a great testimony that most people in the West cannot understand. Often the pastors who attend the School of Christ have already gone through some Bible training as pastors, and only Holy Ghost-filled teaching can expound the way of God more perfectly unto them (Acts 18:26). Pastor Okato said, “Even though the students had graduated from different Bible Schools and theology classes, they had never heard such truth before.

Pastor Isaiah, a senior pastor in Mayale said, “This School woke me up from my long sleep. I am able to see that I was lost in the ministry and not serving according to His will. The lesson on the cross especially impacted my life and I made a decision to dedicate my life to the Lord in a new way.”

Pastor Petros from Yabelo said, “I have attended so many trainings, included theological seminary, but none of them showed me God’s heart like this one. In this teaching I was able to see that there is a hope for revival. I really thank SOC and the people who facilitate the School in our area.” Another testimony that touched my heart was from Evanglist Ayalkibet. He said, “I have been in theological college twice, but never exposed to this kind of truth, especially when I hear about the blood. I was challenged that I was not really preaching the Truth. After this School I have decided to preach and to live the truth.”

There is so much to write about the impact that the School of Christ has had, and continues to have, in Ethiopia, but these testimonies say it better than I can. In less than 30 days a pastor is brought face-to-face with Christ, face-to-face with himself, through the teaching of the School. The results are found in the life that these men take back to their churches. We are seeing the harvest brought in. We thank those who have given, so that this School could be run. I believe your giving will be rewarded when you stand before the Master.

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Nicaragua Report by Richard Goebel

In June we traveled to Jalapa, Nicaragua for three days of fasting and prayer for pastors that had graduated the School of Christ. As word spread about the conference, many other pastors joined us because they saw first-hand the effects the School of Christ had on the lives of pastors that graduated; their desire is to be able to attend a School. God moved in these meetings, and the pastors left strengthened for the work of the Lord in these last days.

Currently there is a great shortage of food, and some of our brethren are finding it difficult to buy the food that they need for their families. I humbly ask that you please pray for the many pastors that are laboring in Central and South America. We continually hear of the great things that God is doing in the lives of His people. The doors are open, the needs are great. We are praying that God will provide the needed finances, and we ask that you pray for us as we do the work of the Lord in all of these areas.

There is one other thing that has been on my heart for the past few weeks that I wish to share with you. Once, when considering all of the open doors before us, Brother Clendennen was asked, “Who will reach all these people if we don’t?” Brother Clendennen replied, “Religion will reach them, because they have the resources!” He knew they would be harvested for either God or the Devil. I ask that you please pray and give so that others might hear the true Gospel of Jesus before they are reached by false religion.

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Ethiopia Report by Richard Goebel

During the month of May, 2013, the School of Christ was held in Dilla, near Hawassa, Ethiopia.  A great sacrifice was made by many people to make this school a reality, including the students themselves.  This school represented a great victory for us.

Two young men who have been affected by the School of Christ, along with one of our great workers, Pastor Okata, labored to make this school possible.  It was a large school with over seventy students attending and sixty-four students graduating.

Students came from twenty-five different towns and villages from many parts of Ethiopia.  In a part of the world where travel is difficult and expensive, this alone would make this school rather remarkable.  At the graduation ceremony the  students expressed how happy and blessed they were to have been able to attend the School of Christ. Most of them testified that it is their desire to bring the life of Christ that they experienced in this school, back to their own towns and people.

It is the LIFE of Christ that makes the School of Christ distinct.  When we hear of the effect that this LIFE has had on these men and woman who graduate, it is truly the reason we labor to bring the SOC to the hard to reach places.  We are seeing many souls that are hungry for Truth.  Pastor Okata, and the two men who are laboring with him, have expressed a desire to run more schools in smaller towns and villages.  As the Lord opens the doors and provides the means, we are going to press forward; for the field is white to harvest in these areas that have very little Gospel witness.

Praying over graduating students.

Praying over graduating students.

Graduating class in Dilla, Ethiopia.

Graduating class in Dilla, Ethiopia.