(Published in The Journal of the International Correspondence Institute, Fall 1989)
Christ, the Son of God, came to earth to fulfill the will of the Father. His sole purpose was to maintain intimacy with Him, hear and speak His words, and to manifest the presence and message of His Father to the world (John 5:19-20, 8:28). He did this through His teaching, preaching, lifestyle, and ministry of love, compassion, signs, wonders, acceptance, and forgiveness (John 14:1-11).
Christ becomes our example and model for corporate ministry as well as making known the personal presence of Christ in the world (Eph. 1:22-23). Jesus prayed not that we should be taken out of the world but to be kept in it as “salt” and “light” (John 17:15; Matt. 5:13-16). Paul said that the Corinthians were “epistles written in the hearts (by the Spirit) known and read of all men” (2 Cor. 3:2).
International Correspondence Institute (ICI) has as its primary thrust to make known the person and ministry of Christ to this world. In 165 countries of the world and in 85 languages, this worldwide ministry continues to throb with the heartbeat of God; proclaiming the gospel of Christ to the world; discipling the people of God through biblical teaching and training; and being a catalyst for those who have made Christ Lord to become church planters and effective communicators of Christ in the power of the Spirit.
I have been appointed as the new College Director for the ICI Regional Office in Europe. Robert Carlson, the previous director, gave himself tirelessly to this work and ministry. I am deeply indebted to him for his sacrifice and expertise. I do not and cannot “replace” Bob Carlson. All I can do is “follow” him. His ministry continues, except that now he lives in the United States. His prayers and heart are still with the continent of Europe. He loves you.
As with all changes, differences and newness follow. We build on others’ labors. Our heart is to serve those whom the Lord has placed in our sphere of responsibility, influence, and care. I desire to know and serve you. Our national directors and all of us here in the Regional Office desire to do it most effectively.
We do hope to have fellowship with you, conduct regional meetings as the Lord directs, strengthen the ministry of the pastor in the local church, and make as a priority and emphasis a networking of partners in prayer for personal and continent-wide needs. A partial list of prayer needs and praise reports is included in this Journal.
I solicit your prayers and suggestions (please send them to our office) as we begin. We believe we are commissioned “for such a time as this.” The moment of history is now! Our cry is, “LET EUROPE HEAR… AGAIN!” This continent became the focal point of all history during the Reformation movement. It is now time for God and His people to again become the “last day” heralders of Truth and change agents in the power of the Spirit in these closing moments of history. Who knows but that this may be the final decade of harvest before His return. God is already at work. There is more to come!
Let each of us become that personal emissary of Christ and be the “people of destiny” He has called us to become (1 Peter 2:5,9). We can be, through the power of the Spirit. Let us who are the called, first know God (Ps. 46:10). Let us fast and pray. Let us join heart and hand together for the glory of God. Let us believe for the miraculous. Let us give ourselves wholly to the task God has already given us to do. Neither God nor His Word have changed! His Spirit is still alive and active in the world! We stand together “for such a time as this!”
We look forward to meeting you and hearing from you. You are in our hearts and prayers. God bless you all (Eph. 3:14-21).