God is doing great things. We want to share with you some great things that God is doing as a result of our partnership together.
God is Doing Great Things in Lubbock, Texas
It’s another great school year at Sunset in Lubbock. As we do each August, we gathered together to take a picture of our whole Sunset family currently studying at the Sunset Church of Christ building. We have more than 185 students this year, including AIMers on the field. There are 22 returning students in Level Two, 25 students in Level One, and 6 students who will, Lord willing, be joining us in January of 2020.
- We have a new AIM class consisting of 35 students, and there are 45 AIMers currently serving on the mission field who will graduate in 2020 and 2021.
- There are 6 deaf students in Lubbock and 7 studying over the internet in the classroom. A number of students are studying how to interpret in sign language.
- There are currently 46 senior adults studying in the SeniorAIM program.
We’d like to introduce you to a few of our students:
- C.J. and Alaina Gilkey are first-year students. This couple’s love for God and others was noticed in their local congregation, and they asked C.J. to become the part-time youth minister. As they served in their congregation, they realized that they loved ministry and needed training. While reflecting upon their first term, Alaina posted on Facebook: “Greatest decision ever!”
- Christian and Raegan Garcia love foreign missions and are on a team of three couples to Querétaro, Mexico, in 2021. This couple met in AIM while learning to serve in the kingdom. Christian came from a church plant in Guadalajara, Mexico, where his father, Gerardo, was one of the missionaries who began the work. Gerardo and his wife Carola were converted in the 1980’s by a Sunset mission team sent to Mexico City. Raegan came to AIM from a mission-minded congregation where her father is the pulpit minister and a graduate of Sunset. It is powerful to see how God has worked through the generations to raise up this mission family. Though they are still in school, Christian and Raegan go to Big Spring every Sunday to work with a Spanish-speaking church. Christian is their preacher, and the Lord has blessed the work to almost triple in size.
AIM (Adventures In Missions) Students in Lubbock
- Daniel López is from Mexico City. He had a great desire to learn English. He found a flier advertising English lessons at a local church. Princeton Palmer, an AIM graduate, taught him English and, more importantly, shared the gospel with him. Daniel is now in AIM and is looking forward to teaching the gospel to others.
- Tanner Bute, a 21-year-old cowboy from Minco, Oklahoma, has viewed the world from the back of a horse for most of his life. After hearing about AIM, Tanner made the decision to sell his small herd of 20 cows and a bull and headed west to Lubbock, Texas, to attend AIM. His dream is to be a gospel preacher.
God is Doing Great Things Across the USA
- Campus ministry is an important area of missions in the USA. Many are making big decisions at this time in life, and Sunset is hoping to make an impact on college campuses through AIM teams like the one in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the University of New Mexico. The AIMers work alongside experienced campus ministers on college campuses and in local congregations seeking to evangelize the lost and strengthen the saved who attend school there. This is a growing ministry and new campuses are being considered.
- SALT (the Sunset Academy of Leadership Training) seeks to assist congregations in the USA by supporting, training and equipping congregational leaders. In addition to 80 lessons on leadership uploaded this year on the SALT website, SALT is now broadcasting SALTtalks (a resource that provides ideas relating to leadership issues within the church today) and SALTcasts (discussions with other leaders that deal with the critical nature of leadership needs in the home, world, and church). In 2020 we will also host our first major SALT Regional Leadership Conference in Madison, Alabama.
- Mission America is encouraging, strengthening and empowering congregations across the USA. Through planting English and Spanish speaking congregations, providing evangelistic opportunities, assisting struggling congregations and promoting Christ in communities and in our country, congregations in 21 states have been assisted over the past three years. Mission America seeks to assist in impacting the USA with the good news of Christ through local congregations.
- The Sunset Digital Library is providing free audio and video materials through an app that you can download on your phone, tablet or computer. If you search the app store for Sunset Digital Library, you can download the app and be listening to or watching almost 500 lessons from Richard Rogers, Gerald Paden and other preachers and teachers of the Word of God for free. If you desire deeper study, you can go to www.extensionschool.com for additional resources.
God is Doing Great Things Around the World
- The student body of SIBI attended the Global Missions Conference in Austin, Texas,this October. Our students came to have their mission passion challenged and to gain insight and practical tools from experienced missionaries. During the opening ceremony Cory Burns, the director of AIM, led us in a flag ceremony. The student body, faculty and staff of SIBI carried over 100 flags into the auditorium as we prayed and reflected over the need of the world for the gospel. John Reese of World Bible School remarked upon the participation of our institute saying, "Thank you for SIBI’s tremendous support for the recent Global Missions Conference. The participation of the entire student and AIM body, along with your President, Chancellor and many faculty members, affirmed and blessed the event.”
- Ashley Thompson, a 19-year-old AIMer from Sapulpa, Oklahoma, saw a need to help battered and abused women in Guatemala. She presented this need to local leaders and detailed how the church could take an active role in ministering to those women. The church has taken steps to create a battered women’s shelter. Because of Ashley’s compassion and vision for those in need, lives will be changed and a new ministry exists.
- DiscipleTrips conducts short-term mission trips each year, allowing young people, congregations, families and Christian individuals to participate in mission efforts across the USA and around the world. In 2020 there are trips planned for Miami, Botswana, Mexico City, Belize, Antigua and Anahuac, Mexico.
- Our Solar Mission has taken the Word of God and Bible teaching all around the world. Over 10,000 solar players have been distributed so far. Sunset is beginning the distribution of solar-powered audio players in the Portuguese language for those in Brazil (including the Amazon Rain forest), Mozambique and the Portuguese-speaking world, and in the Creole language for Haiti. 3,000 solar players will be distributed in this massive mission effort. Partners like you have provided the funding to translate the materials, purchase the players and complete the distribution process in areas where electricity is limited and where many cannot read a Bible. These players will also be used to follow up with new Christians, evangelize in cities and teach preachers, teachers and church leaders. Missionaries and mission partners are ready to assist in this distribution. Your continued funding is vital to teaching those wanting to know the truth of God’s Word in these areas.
- Over 1,000 students are studying the Sunset curriculum online, 848 of these students taking the courses for credit to receive a Bachelor’s degree. Over 100 international students from 40 nations are studying online. Many of these international students receive scholarships from generous partners.
- In March 2019, cyclone Idai struck Mozambique and Zimbabwe, inflicting enormous damage, leaving hundreds dead or missing and a vast number homeless. After communicating with those in Mozambique and with other relief organizations, it was decided that we would provide water filters, food and medicine. Tim Brumfield and Gary Simpson traveled to Mozambique and Zimbabwe to oversee the relief effort. In addition to the humanitarian relief, we quickly formatted 80 solar players with the complete Bible and several Bible study lessons in Portuguese. It is our hope that the players will be used for evangelism and to help the local congregations.
- 2019 is the third year that Sunset coordinated and directed the European Vision Workshop with other brotherhood ministries. One story from the workshop centers around a 1989 graduate of SIBI, Gerhard Krassnig, and the church in Vienna, Austria. They have been actively reaching out to immigrants and refugees from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Farsi-speaking nations. Most of the Iranian refugees come to Europe seeking religious asylum. They have rejected Islam and are now seeking the truth. Bible study groups meet in several of the refugee compounds within Austria, and new converts are leading their friends and family members in studies of God’s Word. On the average, at least two people are added to the body of Christ every week.
God is Doing Great Things Through Our Partnership
- This is just a small sample of the amazing things God is doing as a result of our continuing partnership. We are so grateful to the Christian individuals and congregations that make these things possible.
- We attempt to keep you up to date on the Sunset ministry through Lifeline, emails, dinners, advertising and more, but the best way to be informed is to invite us to your congregation, call us on the phone or come visit us and see firsthand what God is doing.
- Our Sunset Vision Workshop on January 22-25 is a great opportunity to come and see us at Sunset! Our theme this year is Preach the Word to Every One, Every Day, in Every Place and in Every Way. This has always been our goal at Sunset.
- Your year-end gifts always make a difference. Thanks to a generous donor, your year-end gifts this year will be matched! What a great opportunity!