Spotlight: Dave Miers & City On A Hill, Brisbane

WE ARE EXCITED TO PARTNER WITH DAVE MIERS AND SUPPORT CITY ON A HILL IN BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA. PLEASE KEEP DAVE AND HIS FAMILY IN YOUR PRAYERS.

What are the names of you and your family members (wife, children)?

My wife, Rowena, and I have three kids: Samaul (8 years old), Thomas (6 years old) and Beth (3 years old).

What is the name of your church and roughly how many attendees do you currently have?

Our church, City on a Hill: Brisbane, has approximately 150+ in attendance each week, with a community size of 200+.

Where are you originally from and where is your current church located?

We are originally from Sydney, and our church is located in Brisbane. Both cities are on the east coast of Australia, Brisbane is 1000km (650miles) north of Sydney.

Tell us the story of how God called you to plant churches and why you chose the current location for your church plant.

I grew up in a Christian family and have always professed faith in Jesus Christ. However, at the age of 17 I had a significant turning point in my Christian life when I joined a one year old church plant. This church plant was the place where I truly understood the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection and was given a vision for gospel ministry. I served in that church plant for 10 years, both as a volunteer and as a staff member. It was during this time that my wife and I first begun praying about whether God might send us to plant a new church to reach new people.

We first begun praying for Brisbane 10 years ago. Both Rowena and I had grown up (independently of each other) visiting extended family in Brisbane. The more we prayed, the more we had a heart to join the mission of making Jesus known in that city. We were also convinced that the needs were greater in Brisbane than where we were previously serving in Sydney.

Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city. With urban renewal; cosmopolitan lifestyle; subtropical climate; art galleries; live music scene; cafes; sports stadiums… it’s easy to see why Brisbane is a fast growing city with on average 1,000 people packing their bags each week to move here. The population is tipped to increase from 2.4 million people to 3 million people in the next five years… the Brisbane skyline is currently dominated by cranes!

Brisbane is also rapidly emerging as a global city: a third of the population born overseas; a young demographic; a booming economy; it’s a gateway to Asia. Brisbane desperately needs more healthy churches planted, to keep up with the population growth and to reach the millions of people who haven’t yet put their trust in Christ!

By God’s grace, we were able to connect with City on a Hill in Melbourne, who were keen to keep planting churches around Australia. Being part of the team in Melbourne confirmed our calling, fuelled our desire to know Jesus better, and further equipped us to make Jesus known through planting a new church in Brisbane.

What is the spiritual temperature in your community/country? How does this reflect your church’s mission and focus?

Australia is increasingly post-Christian and the latest census data has again indicated a significant increase in those who identify with ‘no religion’. This is certainly true of the city of Brisbane as well.

Our state - Queensland - is portrayed as heaven on earth in all the tourism advertisements. The rest of Australia comes here for their holidays. And Brisbane is defined by the lifestyle that we enjoy with warm temperatures all year and the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast beach strips within and hour to the north and south of our city.

This means we need to work hard to show that while Queensland is a great place to live and a gift from God to be enjoyed, it’s not heaven, and Jesus is better. Even among Christians, we need to encourage believers to be present in our church and community and not just enjoying the beach each weekend. For unbelievers we want to affirm the goodness of the creation, but urge people to give worship the Creator rather than creation.

Brisbane has the youngest age demographic of capital cities in Australia, with the highest proportion of 15-39 year old in our city. However, 15-39 year olds have a smaller representation in Brisbane churches compared to other cities in Australia. This means the average age of church attenders in Brisbane is increasing at a higher rate than the rest of Australia.

While we are seeking to be an intergenerational church, and we have all ages in our service, we are seeking to deliberately do church in a way that is accessible for 15-39 years olds knowing that not many churches are reaching this demographic. Our use of design, video, music, illustrations in sermons, are some of the ways we are trying to communicate the timeless message of Christ crucified and risen for sinners in a timely way while speaking the language of young people in our city.

Tell us one of the most difficult situations you have faced during your years as a church planter. How did God work through that particular situation?

I’ve been involved in church ministry for 17 years, and so have faced many difficult situations in that time! However, now that I’m the Lead Pastor of a new church, it means I have a front-row seat to all of the brokenness in our church. It’s heart breaking to know the details of broken relationships, abuse, sickness, sin, and other types of suffering of people in our church.

This can be overwhelming, but it has lead me to pray all the more for God to be at work bringing hope in hopeless situations. I’m more convinced than ever that the gospel continues to be the answer as the only lasting hope in the midst of darkness and brokenness.

Tell us about how you have seen God working - maybe share a particular story.

I recently spent time with one young woman from our church. She joined us four months ago and professes to have become a Christian three months ago! She grew up in a Christian family in Singapore, but has since realized that she never understood the gospel of grace. She was trusting both in her own religiosity and had also put her hopes in her idols, and when they let her down, she had a bout of severe depression.

Through the preaching of the gospel of grace, she has understood that she’s saved by what Christ has done and not her performance. She has realized the failure of idols to do anything but disappoint and point us away from the true and living God.

At City on a Hill we talk about "Knowing Jesus and Making Jesus Known"… a lot! I love in her story how she shared that now that she knows Jesus she wants to make him known!! The change was tangible! Please pray she would see many friends and family come to know Jesus through her witness.

If there are any other stories or information you would like to share, please do so here.

We are so thankful for the ongoing partnership of Spanish River Church! I’m personally inspired and refreshed through attending the Church Planters Retreat, and we know that we couldn’t do this work without the prayer and partnership of our brothers and sisters in Boca Raton! We give thanks to God for you, and pray that you would continue to see fruit through Spanish River ministry locally and around the globe. Keep trusting Jesus.

Please list any prayer requests we can share with our SRC family.

  • Give thanks for new believers
  • Give thanks for gospel awakenings
  • Give thanks for a growing staff team
  • Please pray that we will be able to launch a second service next year
  • Please pray for our next round of our Christianity course - Introducing Jesus - that many unbelievers will put their trust in Christ
  • Please pray for God to sustain our marriage and family life

If you would like to reach out to Dave, you can visit the church's website at https://cityonahill.com.au/brisbane.

Celebrating Five Years in Munich, Germany!

We are honored to partner with Steffen Mueller and Gospel Church in Munich, Germany. They are celebrating their fifth anniversary!

Dear Prayer Partners,

At the end of this month we will celebrate the 500 year anniversary of the protestant reformation!

Tomorrow, October 8, we will celebrate the 5 year anniversary of Gospel Church München. In God’s providence He placed Gospel Church in the very neighborhood (“Grünwald” in South Munich) where in February 1522 as a result of the “Grünwald conference” the world-wide, counter-reformation began (by Dr. Johann Eck and other leaders of the catholic church). God has a good sense of humor, and so we rejoice that the very Gospel of Jesus Christ, which has been under attack by the counter-reformation, has now been strongly and boldly proclaimed these five past years in Grünwald/South Munich, Germany - to the glory of Jesus Christ!

Please pray for our 5 year anniversary service tomorrow:

  • That God will be glorified and that the focus will be on Him!
  • That God will speak powerfully through the sermon (John 1:35-51)
  • For much spiritual fruit and several conversions, and for growth in maturity for those who are in Christ
  • For strong attendance and for many new people who will return and come to faith in Christ according to God’s timetable
  • For the Holy Spirit to be mightily present with His love and holiness
  • For our choir and musicians and singers - that God will be pleased with our worship
  • For the children’s ministry and all the volunteers
  • For the video projector and the sound system to work well
  • For our lunch and fellowship time afterwards
  • That God will grant a strong Gospel movement that is changing Munich, Germany and the world

On a personal note, we have found a small apartment south of Munich (about 15 minutes to “Grünwald” and about 35 minutes to the university/downtown area (where we want to begin an evening service in the second half of 2018) that we are seriously considering to buy. Please pray for the following:

  • That God will confirm it in our hearts and minds if this is indeed the apartment that we should buy (we need to let them know by Wednesday or Thursday).
  • If we should indeed buy it that God will grant us favor with the right bank and a very low interest rate that is fixed for the next 25 years (we will need a loan/mortgage for over $ 600,000).
  • Praise God that we found this apartment (nearly every other apartment in Munich or within a 30-minute radius from South Munich is considerably more expensive than this one)
  • That we will glorify God as we walk by faith. 

Below are some pictures from five years of Gospel Church - Thanks be to God!

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Church, you can visit the church website at http://www.gospelchurchmuenchen.de/.

Spotlight: Alfredo Forhans & Iglesia Evangélica Los Pinos Nuevos, Holguin

Alfredo Forhans

Alfredo Forhans

We are excited to partner with Alfredo Forhans and support Iglesia Evangélica Los Pinos Nuevos in Holguin, Cuba. Please keep Alfredo and his family in your prayers.

What are the names of your family members?

Dainel Pifferrer is my wife and we have three children, Juan, Rebecca and Laritza. We have one son-in-law, Hennyer and a grandson, Allen.

What is the name of your church and roughly how many attendees do you currently have?

Iglesia Evangélica Los Pinos Nuevos

Where are you originally from and where is your current church located?

I was born in the city of Holguin, Cuba. The church is in the center of the city of Holguin.

Tell us the story of how God called you to plant churches and why you chose the current location for your church plant.

In fact it was a process, as such I found myself pastoring in a very traditional and legalistic church. It was after a crisis in the ministry in that church, mainly due to legalism, that we requested to leave. We were encouraged to move to the city of Holguin to do church planting work. To tell the truth, we had no idea what we were going to do, since we had never worked in church planting before. Being in the city of Holguin, God began to move our hearts towards the work of planting, and with it, the vision and philosophy of how we were going to do it started to show up. The current location of the church was decided after a first attempt in the outskirts of the city. We realized that if we wanted to impact the city with the gospel we should move to strategic areas where we had a greater reach to the community.

What is the spiritual temperature in your community/country? How does this reflect your church’s mission and focus?

Cuba is a very syncretistic country both culturally and religiously. It can be said that the Cuban people now live in a kind of pragmatism mixed with much uncertainty and search for answers to their many concerns. It is a culture open to teaching and willing to learn. The most common gospel alternative in the Cuban context is heavily influenced by neo-Pentecostal movements with a strong legalistic emphasis. There are hardly any churches preaching the gospel of the grace of God. That is why our church focuses on preaching and extending the gospel of God's grace, opening a dialogue with the culture that allows us to interact with their concerns and present the gospel alternative, in fact this is our core value.

Tell us one of the most difficult situations you have faced during your years as a church planter. How did God work through that particular situation?

The most difficult situation was in the beginning of the work. Among the greatest difficulties was that I had never had previous experience in planting. On the other hand, we did not have formed leadership. We arrived alone to the city of Holguín, so we had to start from scratch. Another difficulty was the economy. We did not have any financial resources to do much. Then God began to reach out to friends, to whom we presented the gospel, and these came eventually to be the leading leaders we have today. Also during economic scarcity, God opened doors, one of them being the beloved church of SRC, who generously supported us and made strategic investments for the development of the work in Holguin.

Tell us about how you have seen God working.

God has being at work wonderfully by giving us friends, very special people whom his grace brought to salvation. Then we trained them, and they became the main leaders in the work of Holguin. Interestingly these friends, not only have a wonderful job in their leadership in Holguin, many of them have a very important leadership role in the movement of the gospel that God has raised in Cuba.

If there are any other stories or information you would like to share, please do so here.

Something interesting in this planting process, which I call it the story of God's love and faithfulness: When we started planting, we had no idea what God would be doing in the future. No one can say that this was a human strategy, rather it always was and still is a good plan of God. He has given the vision and the passion. God has provided friends, changed hearts, provided the necessary resources. In short, I can only say humbly, that we have followed the call of God, and he has been doing everything for us. We ask for humility and strength to follow. God bless all of you friends. A big hug from Cuba.

Please list any prayer requests we can share with our SRC family.

  • We ask for renewed wisdom and new strengths to move forward.
  • For the new generation of leaders we are working with right now.
  • Also pray for the advance of the gospel on in our nation.

If you would like to reach out to Alfredo, you can visit the church's website at http://lospinos.cubava.cu/.

Spotlight: Nicolas Kyalongalilwa & Lephare-Bukavu, Bukavu

We are honored to support Nicolas and Lephare-Bukavu in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Please keep Nicolas in your prayers.

Nicolas and his wife, Rachel, have been married for five years. They have two children, Benaiah (not pictured) and Ronnelle.

Nicolas and his wife, Rachel, have been married for five years. They have two children, Benaiah (not pictured) and Ronnelle.

What is the name of your church and roughly how many attendees do you currently have?

Our Church is called Lephare Bukavu (le phare is a translation of lighthouse in French). We have two services: French and English. The French service meets in the mornings and averages 100 people (70 adults and 30 children) while the English service meets in the evening averaging 30 adults. We have 14 mid-week bible study groups (ten in French and four in English). We are planning, God willing, to plant a second church in our city by the second half of 2018.

Where are you originally from and where is your current church located?

Our church is located in the city of Bukavu, eastern of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). I was born and grew up in that city. I then went to do my university studies in South Africa (Johannesburg) where I spent ten years before coming back to Bukavu again.

Tell us the story of how God called you to plant churches and why you chose the current location for your church plant.

I became a Christian when I was in South Africa. I had the privilege and grace to come to Christ through the student ministry of a Bible-Gospel-centered church.  Over time it became clear to me and to the leadership of the church that God had gifted me to lead his people and had put in my heart a great concern for my people.

What is the spiritual temperature in your community/country? How does this reflect your church’s mission and focus?

My community is very religious. Most people claim to be Christians but have not been encouraged and challenged to be disciples of Jesus. Over 60% of those who claim to be Christians are Catholics. Less than 5% of the Christian group is evangelical.

Tell us one of the most difficult situations you have faced during your years as a church planter. How did God work through that particular situation?

There has been many difficulties along the way, but God has been good to us. One of the hard one has been the lack of stable and suitable venue we could rent for our meetings. In October 2016 we were evicted without notice from the venue we were renting because of some ownership conflict within the family of the people we were renting from. We were without a venue for over four months. Then God provided for us a better venue, bigger and at a more affordable price than the one we had lost. That was again a sign to all of us of God’s had and favor upon his work.

How are you seeing God work?

We are seeing God’s hand in ways words cannot easily explain. People join our church (or small group) and are radically transformed by the Gospel as it is preached and lived out in the community. Patient is one of those stories that remind us again of the power and beauty of the Gospel. Patient was a young man full of guilt and uncertainty. He was never sure if he was right with God. He would have periods in his life where he will try to be good and do church then he would go through a season of total rebellion followed by a season of guilt and remorse over his actions and choices. He was angry and bitter with God over how his dad had left the home and gone to marry elsewhere. By God’s providence Patient found his way into our community. He heard the Gospel and trusted in Jesus. He has been with us for over 18 months now, growing and finding peace, joy and security in Jesus.

Please list any prayer requests we can share with our SRC family.

  • Me, Rachel, Benaiah and Ronnelle that we may be able to do effectively the work God has called us to do in Bukavu.
  • For our small groups to be “harbors” of light within their neighborhood and shine the “light of the knowledge of Christ”. Please pray for their leaders. I have started meeting with them (a total of 24) as well as some potential small group leader on Wednesday evening for training. We hope to start six new small groups by the end of the year and some of these leaders will be leading them.
  • That God will help us make and strengthen disciples of Jesus in our midst. We plan to do more training of leaders with the aim of doubling our small groups’ numbers.
  • For our work in local universities, that God will use these groups to bring many to a personal knowledge of Jesus.
  • For our country and region; we are in a turbulent period, the rest of 2017 seems very obscure to most of us. Please pray that things did not get to a civil war scenario. Please pray that peace will continue to prevail and that the political landscape will be clearer each day.
  • That God may continue to give us-as church- opportunities daily to reach out to people and to talk about Jesus.
  • For finances to be able to sustain the growth that we see actually in our midst and particularly as we ready ourselves for the new church plant in 2018.
  • That God shall send the right people to join the new church and He will use them to grow His work in Bukavu.


If you would like to reach out to Nicolas, you can visit the church's website at http://lepharebukavu.org/.

Spotlight: Peter Roberts & Trinity Church Everton, Liverpool

Peter and Ruth Roberts have been married for six years and have two children, Chloe (2) and Isaac (3).

Peter and Ruth Roberts have been married for six years and have two children, Chloe (2) and Isaac (3).

We are thrilled to support Peter Roberts and Trinity Church Everton in Liverpool, England. Please keep Peter in your prayers.

What is the name of your church and roughly how many attendees do you currently have?

Trinity Church Everton and we have about 50 adults and 20 children attend on a Sunday. 

Where are you originally from and where is your current church located?

I am originally from a market town on the edge of Liverpool called Ormskirk. I moved into the city 15 years ago for University. Our church is located in an economically deprived neighborhood of Liverpool called Everton. Both of our cities Premier league soccer teams (Liverpool and Everton) were established in our area over a 100 years ago.

Tell us the story of how God called you to plant a church and why you chose the current location for your church plant.

Whilst I was working/being trained by Christ Church Liverpool, I led a small team to think through where CCL should consider planting in the future. As we investigated various areas it became apparent that whilst there were a few encouraging church plants and several thriving churches in the south of the city, there were very few gospel-driven, culturally-sensitive churches in the North of the city. There are approximately a quarter of a million people who live in different communities in North Liverpool and most have never really engaged with the gospel. 

We dreamt of planting a church planting church into one community of North Liverpool, which once established could then plant further churches into other communities in North Liverpool.  We decided to plant in Everton due to three reasons. Firstly, it was a strategic decision, Everton is an area that acts as a gateway to the rest of the North Liverpool. Secondly, it was a pragmatic decision, our core team needed move to the area we where going to planting into. Everton is close enough to the city centre that no one in the initial core team had to find a new job. Thirdly, it was a theological decision, we noticed that most of the growing gospel ministry in our city was amongst the middle classes, but we believe the great news of Jesus is for everyone. We felt compelled to try and plant a gospel church amongst poor people who were not engaged by the great news of Jesus.

What is the spiritual temperature in your community/country? How does this reflect your church’s mission and focus?

I estimate that in our community over 98% of people do not go to church, most people round here think that Christianity is irrelevant. On the face of it most people say they are not interested in the gospel and being a Christian is a waste of time. The reality, however, is that everyone is longing for something that makes sense of their lives. We encourage our church to get to know the people around them and build relationships of trust. We find that when non-Christians trust us they begin to open up about things and there are opportunities to share the gospel into their lives.

Most people don't go to church so we do lots of things to engage people where they are at.  Every week we stand on the main shopping street and give out hot drinks to get chatting with people, we run an addictions group and a mental health group, and we run a toddlers stay and play session. We are always seeking to talk to people and introduce them to the Lord Jesus. We want to be a church for people who don't normally go to church

Tell us one of the most difficult situations you have faced during your years as a church planter. How did God work through that particular situation?

The hardest thing for us so far has been dealing with people who seem to be making progress, maybe even they have made professions of faith, but then turn their backs on Christ. It has been hard investing lots of time with people and then seeing them turn around from Christ and rejecting us personally. God has used these disappointing experiences to humble us and remind us of the truth of his word. It has been a great encouragement to reread Mark 4 and see that Jesus explained this rejection will happen by some, but some will be good soil that receive the word and produce a large crop.

Tell us about how you have seen God working - maybe share a particular story.

When we dreamt of planting this church we were very aware that we came from a different background to the people we were trying to reach. All 10 of the core team had been through university, most had done further studies (doctors, PhDs, Masters), but most people in Everton had failed to complete college and many had dropped out of school early. It was always our dream that we might reach local people with the gospel and see them grow to then take the gospel out further. 

God has been kind by slowly making those dreams a reality and given us some local people who are now growing as Christians. They are really helping us to contextualize the gospel to people's every day struggles. We are praying that one day they might become future leaders in the church. 

Let me tell you about one guy.  He is in his mid-30s and has spent over 12 years in prison for various convictions. He got connected to our church through our family member and started attending our addictions group. We seemed to be making some progress but after a few months he disappeared from church for a long time. Last year he contacted us and explained that he felt really convicted. He had come to realize he couldn't just play at being a Christian, it was an all or nothing thing. He knew Jesus was Lord so knew he needed to commit to following Christ. Since making that decision he has had to serve a sentence for a previous crime he had committed, but since being released has become a vital part of our church. He was baptized at Easter and recently became a member!

Please list any prayer requests we can share with our SRC family.

  • Thank God for the miracles he has done in our small church. We have seen dead sinners come to a living faith in Christ. Praise God!
  • Pray for our plans to plant a new church in 5 years time. We are in the process of training up new leaders for this.
  • Pray for this year that we would see a good crop of people coming to faith. Pray especially that they might help us better reach our area for Christ
  • Pray for our church that we would rejoice in the Lord always in the midst of trails and struggles.

If you would like to reach out to Peter, you can email him at peter@trinitychurcheverton.org or visit the church's website at http://www.trinitychurcheverton.org.