South Asia is a vibrant and emerging region in the world, encompassing the nations of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The people are warm and diverse, the cities never sleep, and urbanisation and development are rapid.
Although industry and commerce are strong, and infrastructure projects abounding, poverty is common. The average income in India is US$250 per month, but it is even less for pastors.
C3 has churches in five of the seven nations: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Almost all of our churches have planted at least one other church, some up to seventy.
The Christian Worldview is uncommon, yet church planting and evangelism thrive here. People are coming to Christ in significant numbers every week, even though all seven South Asian nations are on the World Watch List for Persecuted Christians.
The boldness and courage of the churches is testament to their commitment to Christ. In the midst of growing persecution, there is faith and increase.
Rented buildings are common, but building projects are beginning throughout the region. C3 Siliguri’s church building is almost complete, and C3 Amravati have recently begun a school.
Established in 1994, C3 Pune celebrated their 25th anniversary this year, with over 700 people in attendance. In their 25 years, they have planted over 70 churches, and they continue to train countless church planters in the Bible, ministry and leadership skills.
Sanitation & Medical Assistance
Civil authorities have reached out to our churches to request assistance with sanitation and medical teams. Not only is this another way for our pastors to assist in the development of communities, but it’s a chance to partner with local government – a rare and crucial opportunity in South Asia.
We hold pastoral training events in South Asia twice a year. Training is always skills-oriented, designed for practical application in churches, to provide momentum and growth. This year, our training events were held in India and in Nepal, in the local languages to provide greater access to pastors. For senior pastors and their spouses, an annual summit is held to provide targeted support and skills for senior ministry. We find that these are pivotal moments in our calendar year.
Our South Asian churches are strong and vibrant, focused on evangelism and church planting, and situated in a part of the world with incredible potential – South Asia holds 25% of the world’s population – 50% of them under 25 years of age.
The future is bright, but your prayer support is crucial to the spread of the Gospel in South Asia.
If you have questions or are able to support the mission, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ever had an impromptu conversation with someone that changed your life? Well, that happened for us in a coffee shop right outside of Presence in 2018.
In fact, that conversation didn’t just change our lives, it changed our church. No drama, just truth. It’s my honor to write this blog. I hope that in reading it, your lives and churches will be changed too.
During our last morning’s breakfast, Jeff’s phone vibrated. It was a message from Ps Jurgen Matthesius asking if we wanted to grab coffee just before the first session. Although I had an outfit change waiting at the hotel, and my jet-lagged self wanted some down time, we decided the impromptu coffee was well worth the fashion sacrifice.
So off we rushed! Of course, Ps Jurgen beat us there. He was cooly waiting at the counter, ready to treat us to an almond milk flat white and a large long black. We sat there, chatting through a few minutes of pleasantries, when Jeff went for the jugular. There we were, having a fun visit, and Jeff jumps into the deep within the first five minutes! My eyes grew wide at the quick change of vibe, but I decided to follow along. After all, time was short! We had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“So Ps Jurgen, you have this unbelievable gift for recalling scripture. I read my Bible and study a lot, but I don’t even come close. What’s your secret?” Jeff asked. Ps Jurgen reached into his man bag and out comes an intensely worn paper edition of The One Year Bible. He answered, “I read this through every year. Each year, I just change versions. That is the secret. That’s it.” As their conversation continued, I immediately went on Amazon and bought a One Year Bible. I wanted it waiting for me when we got home. When we arrived home, there was one waiting for Jeff as well. Turns out he had ordered one too!
When you ask for advice from your overseer, follow his advice!
To be super honest, I had ALWAYS judged One Year Bible readers. I felt like they weren’t consuming God’s word, just checking it off. However when your overseer speaks, you shift your thinking! Jeff and I began reading immediately. Just two months in Jeff said, “Sunny, every member of our church needs this. Just imagine what could happen!”
So, on December 16, 2018 we handed out 900 beautifully wrapped NLT One Year Bibles to every member of our church. Since then, even 9 months later, the feedback has been astounding!
Just like Jeff imagined, we walk by conversations regularly – members going on about that day’s reading. Small groups are being formed JUST to discuss the One Year Bible. People that occasionally read their Bibles are now reading every day. People that NEVER read their Bibles are reading all the time!!
Our church isn’t only growing in numbers, the people in the church are growing in wisdom and understanding.
It’s been incredible! Honestly, it’s the best investment we’ve ever made.
On December 15, 2019 we will be handing out 1000 beautifully wrapped NIV One Year Bibles to everyone in our church. Just like Ps Jurgen suggested – new year, new translation. We are confident that the results will again be astounding. Until then, we are on the edge of our seats!
God will move again, we know He will: “I will build my church and all the powers of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Senior Pastor C3 Church Ryde and C3 Reach
Rarely do we get a full picture of where our journey with Jesus will take us, but in C3 we are blessed to have leaders, Ps Phil and Chris, who live and model a life of prayer. It’s their prayerful, steady walk with Jesus that has paved the way for C3 across the globe. It’s prayer that has carried Cathie and I to places we never imagined or dreamed about.
We never dreamed we’d stand in a C3 Church in Baghdad, or sleep and eat in the house of our church planters in Iraq, or have a friend who was once the head of a Mosque for radicals who persecuted the church. It’s beyond the imagined and undeniably the work of the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen churches planted in Syria, where Christ’s name has been actively targeted for destruction. I’ve seen churches planted where Christ’s name has never been heard at all. Every moment, every victory, reminds me of the reality of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.
What an honour to be given the responsibility to stand in the midst of men and women who proclaim Christ even in the face of death. What a privilege to be a carrier of the C3 culture to our church planters – a culture they love because it is so freeing to them.
This year has had so many highlights:
Our church plant in Cairo has itself planted 4 more locations, creating a combined membership of well over 1200, despite being in the midst of much persecution.
In Baghdad the building is completely packed, with more and more people coming to faith in Christ. On my last trip there earlier this year, we baptised 16 former Islamic radicals and every one of them came out of the water speaking in tongues.
We saw our Iraqi pastor and his 17-year-old daughter translate the New Testament into a dialect that represents 6 million people who have never heard the name of Christ.
Recently we have seen another 3 churches planted in Kyrgyzstan, 3 in Tajikistan, and several weeks ago we sent our first church planters into Iran.
My favourite highlight is not about “the many” but “the one.” I was invited to share a meal with the relatives of one of our pastors in Iraq. The same relatives had tried to kill our pastor several times. Still, our pastor was so full of love for them, that he organised for me to go with him to share about Jesus in their village. The presence and peace of God filled that village – so much so, that those family ties were restored. The elder leader of our pastor’s family was so happy to receive us, that he set out a banquet in our honour.
The message we carry has power to bring peace to all people everywhere. That’s why the vision of C3 to carry Jesus and His presence into all the world is so important. People need Jesus to bring peace to their hearts.
On behalf of all our church planters, I want to thank you for praying for them. They love being known as C3, because for them, C3 is their family and they are not alone.
Ps Richard Green
To find out more about Ps Richard and C3 Reach, visit c3churchryde.com.au.
Lead Pastor C3 Revolution Church
C3 Revolution Church in Centurion is three years old this year, and it’s been a crazy good adventure. We’re just over 150 people and launching an extension location. People will say, “Oh you’re so bold and have so much faith,” but they don’t know how as pastors you often want to pee your pants. You proclaim, “This is the ground God wants us to take,” but deep inside you’re thinking, “Oh God, I hope this is you.” Faith is spelled R-I-S-K. If we truly believe He is good, then doing the impossible becomes natural.
Taking scary leaps of faith into the unknown has become the way of things for me, my wife, and our two children. When God asked us to leave our home in South Africa for Perth, we left everything behind to learn from our pastors, Claude and Carolyn Carrello, and then plant a church in a location God had not yet disclosed to us. Living in Perth was great! So much easier than the struggle against poverty and crime in South Africa. We found a comfortable place to serve and grow, and a church family at C3 Church Rockingham who loved us as much as we loved them.
A year and a half after arriving in Perth, God spoke clearly to us: we were to plant a church back in South Africa. This was not the news we had wanted. It seems following God did not necessarily mean we would get to live in the safety and comfort we desired. We were very reluctant to go back, but we did. It was scary and difficult and necessary. Before a seed can grow, it must fall to the ground and die. Our ambitions of starting a church in a comfortable and safe environment had to be laid to rest in the greater consuming desire to please the Lord in whatever we do.
Once we put aside our own plans and ambitions, things began to happen. Our steady growth over the past three years has been a journey of stepping out in faith where He leads, and never giving up no matter what the cost of serving Him might be.
Trusting God is not a matter of comfort or ease. It is a matter of relationship. When He asks us to do the impossible, it does not seem like too big of an ask because we know His character. God is good. He is better than we think so we need to change the way we think!
This year has been incredible. We’ve had almost a hundred salvations in the last eight months. We’ve seen weekly healings where an average of 90% of ailments are healed when we pray for people to experience God’s love and goodness, and we’re aiming for 100%.
The Lord challenged me to believe in His promise and His goodness – that He has paid for the healing of every sickness, ailment, and disease. Last week I stopped at a store and saw a lady limping past me. Instantly I knew the Lord wanted to heal her and show her how much He loves her. I asked her if I could pray for her. Although sceptical, the lady allowed me to pray for her. Her foot was sprained & she was in a lot of pain. I watched her face light up as she tried to use her foot and realised the pain was gone.
Ministry isn’t just a line at the altar in church! It’s everywhere we go. People want Jesus. He is crazy good. When you encounter His presence, you change! At a time when we could easily be overwhelmed by the challenges we face, the Lord asks us to go even further and do even more. We are determined to revolutionise the way church happens in our city. Our focus must be to bring His kingdom in our city, and to do that we stare disabilities, sickness, broken bodies, and tortured souls in the face without flinching and proclaim His will and victory.
Pastors and leaders: fall in love with Jesus and dare for the impossible. It’s in our DNA. We need to stop insulting God with small thinking and safe living. We can no longer drop the standard of scripture to justify our unbelief. You are a children of God. You are world-changers! You are revolutionaries. You are heroes of the faith. We encourage you, do not be afraid to step boldly into unknown territory where God is leading.
Mark 16: 17 says that these miracles and signs will accompany those who believe: They will drive out demons in the power of Jesus’ name, speak in tongues, be supernaturally protected from snakes and drinking anything poisonous, and they will lay hands on the sick and heal them.
When we go into the world to preach the good news, following where Jesus leads no matter what fears and uncertainties we must face, we will display these signs and bring His kingdom into each situation. They key is that it takes faith. “Those who believe.” Be courageous enough to believe the promises He has given you. The price may be high, but the rewards are immeasurably sweet.
To find out more about C3 Revolution Church, visit revolutionchurch.co.za.
A letter from Thierry & Marianne Moehr
Dear C3 Church Global family,
2018 is a year of revival at C3 Lausanne! We have seen so many answers to prayer. Earlier this year we secured larger offices and a larger space for outreach events – something we have been praying for for a long time. The aim is to invite as many people as possible to these outreach events. And our congregation has been extending invitations all across this beautiful city! Many people have been coming forward on the altar calls, and heaven is rejoicing over every life that is touched by God’s love and saved by God’s grace.
There are two stories in particular that fill our hearts with joy:
Recently a young man named Martin* came to church, invited by his sister. He had been raised by an alcoholic dad, so Martin had picked up his father’s way of life. When he came to church he was deeply impacted by God’s love and peace. He has been in church every Sunday since, and is currently in a rehabilitation centre. Recently, he decided that he wanted to be water baptised to signify his new start in life. His whole countenance has completely changed and Martin’s sister still can’t believe that this is actually happening.
Another miracle story is of a young woman named Amelie* who first visited C3 Lausanne about a year ago, invited by a friend. Amelie was in a complicated marriage and was desperately looking for hope and guidance. Her catholic background had given her an image of God that was judgemental and lifeless. In a Sunday service she was suddenly touched by God’s love and grace. For the past year she has been attending a connect group and is so eager to learn and to make progress in her knowledge of the Bible.
Our purpose as a church is to create that atmosphere of love and grace where people like Martin and Amelie can encounter Christ. Their stories are nothing short of miracles, and we are so honoured to be a part of God moving in Lausanne.
The last 12 years have been such an adventure for us here. We’ve been so touched by the move of God and by the supernatural growth of our church. To Him be the glory! We stand in awe of His greatness and goodness.
In October we will be hosting the C3 Europe Conference and we are very much looking forward to gathering. Hopefully we’ll see some of you there!
Thierry & Marianne
*Names changed for privacy reasons.
To find out more about C3 Lausanne, visit www.c3lausanne.ch.
To find out more about the C3 Europe Conference, visit www.c3europeconference.com.
Foreword by Valerie McIntyre
C3 Europe Regional Director and Pastor of C3 Fulham
As a pastor, we never like seeing any of our best people move on. But after living in New York, and now London, I know the reality of big city living – the possibility for your members to change locations is high, if not inevitable.
I’m also a business owner who has ‘launched’ a lot of careers. Same thing, you never want your employees, especially your stars, to move on to new jobs, but part of my job is to help grow people to be better than they are when they get to me. And growth means just that – sometimes you outgrow your surroundings.
We have a fine couple and their children leaving us at C3 Fulham to move back to Australia. When they moved to London it was for life, but you never quite know where life will take you. On his last Sunday, Cliff, the father of the tribe gave us a little ‘sermon’ at our pre-service prayer time. For all the pastors out there, who hate to see people go, here’s a an encouragement that they are leaving with more than what they arrived with – love is worth its weight in gold.
The last couple of weeks, as we’ve been packing up. I’ve been thinking a lot about our time here in the UK, what God has taught me, and how much I’ve changed in that time.
If it’s ok, I’d like to just share a couple of those things. Hopefully some of it might be of some use and encouragement to you, or, if you’ve heard it all before, you can just nod along smugly.
God gives us dreams and goals. But God is viewing our lives from an entirely different perspective that we are. We see it from the present, able to look back over the past but peering blindly and sometimes fumbling into the dimly lit future, trying to make out what it is coming up next. God sees our life in its entirety, looking back from the end all the way to the beginning. We see the temporal. God sees the eternal. So we shouldn’t be surprised when his priorities seem to be different to ours.
I came to the UK with hopes of furthering my career as a composer but, 9 years later, I’m leaving with so much more than that.
Life is definitely not a destination.
Life is all about the journey, and the journey is all about the people you’re travelling with. And the most exciting and memorable times are the unplanned pit-stops along the way.
I’ve had highlights (and lowlights) career-wise. But what I will remember and cherish the most is not a set of career accomplishments but the memories of the people we’ve journeyed with. The people who stood with us in the tough times and celebrated with us in the good times. The relationships that have been forged in the fire as we’ve shared this chapter of the adventure together. C3 Fulham has been our family. You are brothers and sisters, and I consider it a privilege to know each and every one of you.
The older I get, the more I believe that God puts visions and passions in our heart more as something to motivate us and get us moving – because it’s easier to steer a moving ship – than a literal picture of the exact future. When we get there it always seems to be different to what we expected.
So, I want to encourage you. Relax! Chill out! You are in the right place, your destiny is today – right here and right now. Whether you are doing well, or whether you’re doing it tough at the moment. It’s all part of the grand adventure. Savour the moment because it’s gone all too soon, forever relegated to fond memories and amusing anecdotes.
It really is so easy to get caught up in chasing that promotion or that dream job and forget to appreciate the amazing things God is doing right here and right now.
Be careful not to hold onto your dreams tighter than you hold onto God!
Life is all about the journey, and the journey is all about the people you’re travelling with.
And, since it feels like I should finish with a profound quote:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller, 1986
To find out more about C3 Fulham, visit www.c3fulham.com.
Campus Pastor C3 The Bukit
When my lead Pastors, Jason & Emma Schroeder, asked me if I would consider taking on the role of campus pastor of a new church plant in Bali, it felt like I had been sideswiped by a truck. I had been the kids pastor at our church, C3 Hepburn Heights, for 6 years but it felt like a giant leap from that role to that of a campus pastor based overseas. Yet even in the midst of this surprising offer I recognized that God was leading and guiding me. I decided to take that step of faith into the unknown.
I arrived in Bali in early January, 2017 with a team of 3 from Perth. In the midst of the complexities of starting a church I felt God’s favour at specific moments along the way. He provided people, finances, insight and resources at just the right time.
It could only have been God who gave me the grace to adapt to a different culture and way of living. When I first arrived in Bali the thought of driving a car made me feel nauseous and at one point I considered hiring a personal driver just so that I didn’t have to drive myself! Yet it was remarkable at how fast Bali felt like home for me.
Our campus celebrated its first birthday in February this year. We’ve seen salvations, young people getting water baptised and people reconnecting with Christ and the church. What a joy it has been to see people being discipled and growing in God. The team that God has gathered feels so much like family.
When you move countries to start a church it tends to broaden your perspective on many levels. Bali is known as “the island of the gods.” Yet even in the midst of this type of spiritual environment my confidence in God’s power and authority has grown more and more. We’ve had some incredible moments in the presence of God, where His power has been so tangible.
Church planting is not without its challenges. However even in the moments of loneliness, times where I’ve battled feelings of inadequacy and been consumed with discouragement, God has been my constant refuge and comfort. At every low point, there He has been, graciously picking me up and filling me with courage to take that next step forward. Matthew 16:24 has become more and more real to me. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’.”
I’ve been living in Bali for around 1.5 years now, and I know without a doubt that this is where I’m meant to be. It hasn’t been easy leaving my family and friends, and the comfort and security of living in Perth. Yet I have been so blessed with the support of my family and home church in this journey. The love and care from my pastors and C3 Hepburn Heights has been extravagant. And what a huge blessing it is to be a part of the C3 movement, under the outstanding leadership of Ps Phil & Chris! The future is exciting!
Visit http://www.c3thebukit.com/ to find out more.
Ps Carly Lewis
C3 Cares Pastor and Location Pastor of C3 Merrylands
If you have ever felt like you stuffed up so greatly that you passed the point of no return, we probably could have thrown a rockin’ pity-party together in the late 90’s.
I had not only journeyed off the narrow path, I had gone head first, slip-sliding in the direction of the ‘anything goes highway.’ I felt like a major failure – failed marriage, newly single mother and forced into a job I hated to pay the bills. I’d had my house, my money and my peace stolen from me, all by the ripe old age of 25. I felt like life was just not worth the effort. I escaped the disappointment by binge-drinking and party drugs, but I felt used and joyless. I had reached a point where I had nothing left.
I remember one weekend, while my young kids were at their dad’s, I was getting ready to go out and had popped a pill. My mum invited me to Saturday night church and, because the pill had left me feeling rather high and happy, for once my answer was “yes”. After bouncing along to the music, I heard the voice of God speak straight into my ear in a loud, fatherly and serious tone, “What are you doing in my house like this?” It was the first time in a long time that I acknowledged that God was real and that He was paying attention to me.
In a later conversation with my mother, I came to a realisation. I had spent the last decade ignoring God. I knew that if I died, the place I would go wouldn’t be heaven. This was the wake-up call I needed. I repented a week later in Church and handed my life firmly over to Jesus. I decided that if I was going to do this Christian life then I would be all-in. I had tried life the other way and it had no value.
Jesus is a great redeemer and as His grace began restoring my broken spirit, I was awakened to His heart for those around me. I realised where they were headed, too. So many people walk around with blinders over their eyes to Jesus Christ and His redemptive power. I did for nearly a decade.
A burden built within me for people who had also experienced the enemy coming hard at them, but whom perhaps did not have Christian mothers praying for them. What about those people? What about the people that have never heard there is hope in Christ? Those who would never ordinarily walk into a Church service?
My heart began breaking for the lost. I had found the answer to the human condition and was compelled to share it.
Ps Carly Lewis
C3 Cares Pastor and Location Pastor of C3 Merrylands
Romans 10:14 says, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
In 2010 the Lord started speaking to me about starting a service specifically to reach out to those outside our church walls who were struggling in need, crisis and isolation. It was outside my comfort zone but I was reminded, ‘How will they know unless we go tell them?’
A small team of us began with one lady who was a local shut-in. We had a meal together and shared the gospel, helping her with a food hamper and clothing. It wasn’t a dramatic event and I’m not sure if she even accepted the Lord, but it was a start.
We started to help people struggling with addiction, homelessness, mental health challenges, poverty, loneliness and refugees every Thursday. Local agencies referred their clients to us and we’d help practically, chat over a meal, share the good news of Jesus and give them a Bible.
Since then we have gone into local community halls and cast the net wide, inviting people in for dinner and a message of hope. From those early beginnings C3Cares has grown to 20+ locations, being run by a variety of C3 Churches.
The provision of the Lord has been phenomenal! Over the past 5 years He has taken what we have and multiplied it. To date we’ve distributed nearly AUD $1 million worth of food, clothing and household items. We have started job skills programs, English groups, life skills classes and even ‘Sydney’s Largest Free Clothing room’ all with the goal to share the love of Jesus.
In this time over 1000 people have responded to the salvation prayer at outreach services. We watch people who come in guarded and broken, soften to the love of God and His transforming power through simple acts of kindness and miracle answers to prayer.
I’ll never forget the day Trevor* walked in. He was older and tired-looking. He opened up and shared with us that he had two choices that day. The first one was to walk in front of a train. The second was to walk to “that church that had helped him with a food hamper that one time.” He accepted Christ and we are so glad he chose the second option that day!
We see Muslim people regularly walk through our doors of community dinners eager for a Bible and to know more about Jesus. Fatima* is a local Afghani woman who came to Australia recently with nothing, her husband left her when they arrived and she has no support. We were able to connect with her and she now attends Church every Sunday with her children learning about Jesus in C3 Kids!
Gerald* lost his wife last year and has no other family. He tells us the isolation is overwhelming. He now joins us every week and is going great with the Lord. He has also become mates with Gerry* whom we met at one of our community dinners. He accepted Jesus, was water baptised and we are so proud of him as he is now, a year later, attending C3 College to pursue his dream of ministry to others.
Waw* is a Burmese tailor who has struggled with unemployment. We met him in our job skills program. He now attends Church each week, has his own Bible in the Karen language and even helps us when other Burmese people come along to services.
There is story after story of lives being transformed. It’s all the Lord’s idea, all his heart for people. He devises plans to bring the lost home to Him (2 Samuel 14:14). It’s exciting to be part of His team!
This month we are featuring a story and video from Caleb & Bethany Westwood, two members of our church who travelled to India to document one of our C3 Churches.
In India, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and various other religions play their part in the nation’s cultural makeup. Christianity lends itself to 2.3% of the population – an estimated 27.8 million people. C3 Church currently has eight churches spread out across India and Beth and I set out to tell the story of one – C3 Siliguri.
When we first arrived at Pastor John and Carlin’s house we discovered three things; their love and hospitality, the vision of the Church, and the significant position of Siliguri. Known as “The Gateway of North East India”, Siliguri is recognised as the centre of trade for it’s neighbouring towns, states and countries. Seated at the base of the Himalayan Ranges, this commercial centre is bordered by Nepal, Tibet and Bangladesh. Siliguri therefore holds major economic influence, not just for India, but South Asia as well.
You can only imagine why a church plant here holds such significance.
From when we first arrived to when we left, the Pastors, their family and church members showed us the kind of hospitality Paul talks about in the New Testament. But it wasn’t just their kindness to people who were merely strangers a few days before, but it was their love for God and their church family that moved me.
Many had left their homes and families to build a church in a foreign place with foreign people. Why? Because of love. The same love God has also given to us – for Him and His people. Pastor John and Carlin spoke with pride of the C3 family they had become part of. A family, in their eyes, that had the responsibility to take in and care for anyone and everyone.
The vision of C3 Siliguri is continuing to grow. “We are growing in every area possible” says Pastor John, believing they will soon have the funds to lay the foundation for a new building on the land they have recently purchased. I have no doubt that with their partners and support from other C3 Churches around the world, C3 Siliguri will prosper.
Beth and I were so blessed to meet these people and to be part of this global family. Stand with us in prayer as we believe C3 Siliguri will not just be able to touch the lives of those around them but this will overflow into neighbouring countries, leading a movement throughout North East India and Asia.
Caleb & Bethany Westwood