The Western District Welcomes You!

Thank you for visiting the Western District Foreign Mission's Department blog. Our intent is to provide you, the pastors, ministers, and saints of the Western District and the United Pentecostal Church International as well as our friends who would like to visit a place to be informed of events happening in our district and to share their thoughts concerning missions with us. We appreciate you taking the time to look over our site, to read the different posts, and last but not least to share your thoughts.


Missionaries traveling in our district:

May 2012

~Dwane Abernathy - Belize, Central America
~Robert McFarland - Israel/Palestine

June 2012

~Robert McFarland - Israel/Palestine, Middle East
~Jason Long - Nicaragua, Central America

July 2012

~Crystal Reece - Tonga, South Pacific
~John Hemus - United Kingdom, Europe

August 2012

~Crystal Reece - Tonga, South Pacific
~Cynthia White - Jordan, Middle East


Thursday, October 18, 2012

~Be A Real Mentor!

To train a new generation for ministry we must get rid of pride and pretension
My friend Charles wanted a mentor. He was eager to learn the ropes of ministry, so he asked an older pastor for training. The pastor agreed—but Charles soon realized the man wanted a valet, not an apprentice. Charles became the man’s “armor bearer.”
The man never took Charles on hospital visits, involved him in ministry assignments or prayed with him. Instead, Charles was expected to carry the pastor’s briefcase, fetch coffee and take suits to the cleaners—with no salary offered. In this case, “armor bearer” was a spiritualized term for “slave.”
This bizarre trend became popular in churches 20 years ago, but it still thrives. It appeals to insecure leaders who need an entourage to make them feel important. Some pastors have even assigned trainees to serve as bodyguards—complete with dark glasses and concealed weapons. These young men are instructed to keep people away from the pastor so he doesn’t have to talk to anyone after a church service (because, after all, the poor preacher might be “drained of his anointing” if he fraternizes with common folks).
Excuse me while I barf!
I’m not sure what is more nauseating: That some pastors think they are discipling young leaders by exploiting them, or that church members tolerate such pompous behavior from a so-called man of God. And we wonder why many young people have stopped going to church?
When I turned 50, I decided to spend most of my energy investing in the next generation. This became my passionate priority because I met so many gifted men and women in their 20s and 30s who craved mentors. Many of them, like Charles, were looking for authentic role models but could only find self-absorbed narcissists who were building their own kingdoms.
If you want to make a genuine impact on the next generation, please make sure you are not infected with the armor bearer virus. Take these steps to adjust your attitude:
1. Get over yourselfAs soon as Jesus began his earthly ministry the devil tried to strike a deal with Him. Satan offered the celebrity spotlight by showing Jesus the world’s glory and saying, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me” (Matt. 4:9). But Jesus didn’t buy it. He chose the path of servanthood even though He knew it would lead to the cross.
Today’s insecure leaders don’t realize it’s the devil tempting them to become rock-star preachers. Fame is too alluring. Before they realize it, their heads have swelled and ministry becomes a means to prove their imagined greatness. A leader with an inflated ego will have zero interest in investing in others. You must tell yourself daily: “It’s not about me!”
2. Stay accessibleEarlier this year I led a retreat for young Ugandans who are training for ministry. We prayed together, shared meals and swam at a local pool in the afternoons. When we finished three days of teaching sessions I asked them what they enjoyed the most about the retreat. One guy summarized everyone’s sentiment: “We loved that you were with us.”
Young people today don’t just want our sermons. They want to sit down for coffee after the sermon. They want to ask questions. They can listen to a hundred preachers on You Tube, but when you invite them to dinner, offer to pray with them or take them on a mission trip, you mark them forever.
3. Keep it real. Older Christian leaders have picked up some bad habits that turn off young people. Some ministers preach with affected voices, wear weird hairstyles and insist on dressing like funeral parlor directors—even on their days off. Please talk in a normal voice when you preach so young people won’t dismiss you as a fake. Be transparent, admit your faults and let everyone know you’ve had struggles. Young people don’t want to follow someone who pretends to be perfect.
4. Pour on the encouragementMany young people today struggle to stay disciplined. Some have addictions. And many of them have attitudes! But you will never reach them if all you do is point out their faults. You have to win their hearts before you address problems. If you saturate them with the love of a caring father or mother, their spiritual growth will amaze you.
5. Don’t cling to power. Jesus was the Son of God, yet He willingly handed His authority over to His disciples and told them to finish the job. Likewise, Paul invested his life in Timothy, Titus, Silvanus, Phoebe and others—and he expected them to go farther than He did. Every good leader is already thinking of his succession plan. If you have a tendency to control, dominate or manipulate people, you must wrestle with God until your pride is crushed.
Young leaders today don’t want to be your butler or your valet. And they won’t follow people who strut and swagger. They are looking for mentors who walk with the limp of humility.
~This will ruffle a few feathers but it is an absolute must read. We must do this! - Jimmy Toney (from a tweet earlier today).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

~A Report from the Gilliam Family in the Philippines

Time Is Running Out.

Jesus instructed us that while it is day we must work. He warned in the Gospel of John that the night cometh when no man can work.  I truly believe we are living in the last days. The generations that live upon the earth are watching the sun set over the horizon. The night cometh. We must work. As I write this, my mind is racing back through memories of great elders who preached the soon coming of the Lord. I can hear the urgency in their voice. We must work. It must have been with that same urgency that Jesus commanded Judas, "that thou doest, do quickly."

It was with this same urgency that my wife and I felt the Lord speak to us about the Philippines. We have been a part of several missions trips and crusades to various countries over the years and knew that global missions would always be a huge part of our lives. After seeing thousands receive the Holy Ghost in the Philippines in 2001 we knew that when God's timing was right, we would return.

I cannot tell you the times over the last 10 years that we have dreamed, talked and prayed about that return. Just over a year ago the Lord spoke to my wife and I that NOW was the time to GO. So we applied as AIM evangelists to the Philippines and requested to base in Manila. The Global Mission's executive board approved our request and we begin the task of raising our budget.  So many pastors across the nation and in our home distinct (Western District UPCI) have supported our vision and have given sacrificially to the cause that God has called us to. We are so thankful for every single prayer and offering that has been sent our way.

Once we arrived in the Philippines, the Missionaries and National Philippine pastors have gone to great sacrifices to take care of us and to make sure we stay busy preaching and teaching. One of our goals was to preach revival services in local churches no matter the size of the congregation. We have had a tremendous time doing just that. In the two months that we have been here we have seen almost 200 receive the Holy Ghost at the time of this writing. All this in local churches. Crusades are great, but they are very expensive. Our burden was to take the crusade spirit into the local church. Saving them money and helping each church see that they can have the same great outpouring in their own churches, not just at the large crusades.

Not only have we been busy preaching through out the Philippines but we have also had the distinct honor of teaching at the Acts Bible School under the leadership of Brother and Sister Flowers. They are long time missionaries and have poured themselves into us. They have also went out of their way to love on our kids. That has meant the world to my wife and I.

Needless to say we have fallen completely in love with the students at Acts Bible School in Manila. While I was preaching their Spiritual Emphasis Week, the Lord stopped me right in the middle of preaching; He spoke to me and said, you have dreamed of praying thousands through to the Holy Ghost, now pour that into each of these students and they will each pray tens of thousands through. A very heavy burden settled on me during that service. Teaching others to reach others has a multiplying affect that will cause a global revival. I want to be a part of that. I want to work while it is day.

While here we have met Filipinos that are starting churches all over the world. Even deep into the Middle East, Vietnam, China and many parts of Europe. Because of wars and work laws they can go into many countries that Americans just can't reach at this time. So as AIM evangelist, our global mission is training them to go. And they are going. They are working. They are making extreme sacrifices to spread this wonderful truth.

My wife was blessed to 'step in' for Sister Kelley Dibble in her personal ministry of praying for the children at a nearby hospital.  National Children's Hospital is a place for poor families to take their kids who are suffering.  She saw some very startling things, but feels forever changed because of the opportunity to share some hope and healing words to these very sick children and their family members.  So many stories, so many lives that touched her heart and have left a mark that has forever changed her.  It is her prayer that her words and prayers were as much of a blessing to them as being able to minister to them was to her.

We have committed to join with the Missionaries and the National work in the Philippines to help them see the DREAM fulfilled.


One Million Souls In Five Years

Thank you for your continued prayers and support! Thank you for investing in Global revival. The night cometh. Let's continue to work.

The Gilliam Family,

Trent, Amber, Jon, and Ella

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

~UPCI GC2012 in St. Louis, MO - More photos

More photos from General Conference 2012 in Saint Louis, MO 
   (Since I don't know the name of everyone in these photos I included no names to avoid offense)

Monday, October 8, 2012

~UPCI General Conference 2012 - St. Louis, MO

Photos from the UPCI General Conference 2012

The Arch - 630 feet in height

America's Center

Conference Hotel

Downtown St. Louis, MO

Don Demyan and Ron Phillips in front of Mike Shannon's restaurant

Jerry Powell, George and Cheryl Craft (The Crafts have been missionaries for more than forty years in Europe)


Global Mission's Exhibit Area

Bruce Howell, General Director of Global Missions
iChurch Seminar by Bruce Howell and Jim Poitras

Exhibit Area for CAC Region

Banners depicting different countries

Brad and Regina Thompson, missionaries to Guatemala, Central A