In the will of our Lord, we will hold our 40th Family Conference as follows:
Wednesday, July 5 to Sunday, July 9, 2017
Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN
These 40 Years
And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” – Deuteronomy 8:2
Br. Steve Price (Kansas) – Steve and Janet Price live in the Kansas City area and attend the Bible Chapel of Shawnee. They have been in fellowship with this Assembly for over 30 years. Currently, Steve serves as an elder and has a passion for training faithful individuals to carry on the work of the Lord. They host bi-annual Discipleship Conferences for intensive Bible study and training. Steve travels to other Assemblies or conferences and has the joy of traveling overseas in these same capacities and medical missions. Janet likewise serves the Lord in managing their family of nine children (and three grandsons) with their oldest two now married. Janet serves along side Steve in both care for the family and occasionally traveling with him. Their first love is the Lord and they rejoice in serving Him. The Scripture for their lives is Joshua 24:15—“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”
Br. Mark Kolchin (New Jersey) – Mark Kolchin fellowships at Bethany Bible Chapel (Toms River, NJ) from where he and his wife Cynthia were commended in 1993. In addition to serving as an elder at Bethany, Mark is engaged in an itinerant conference and Bible teaching ministry, primarily in the United States and Canada. In 1995, he began Know the Word Ministries Inc., a federally-recognized 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, established to encourage the personal study and application of the Scriptures and to strengthen the Lord’s people through conferences, Bible studies and other inter-assembly events. The ministry maintains a website at www.knowtheword.com. He is President of Cornerstone Magazine, a bi-monthly periodical recently established to strengthen NT assemblies. Mark is a graduate of Wheaton College (1981) and Cindy graduated from Emmaus Bible College in 1985. They have four children.
Br. Stephen Kia (California) – Stephen Kia is a missionary kid from Nigeria, a University of Southern California Trojan, a land use consultant at Urban Concepts, a husband to Anna, and a father to Connor and Chloe. He attends Avenue 54 Bible Chapel in Los Angeles with his family, and also maintains an itinerant preaching ministry wherever the Lord opens doors. He is on the Board of Directors of a local non-profit community center known as the ROCK, which stands for Reach Our Community Kids. Unity in the body of Christ has been a major theme of his ministry spanning the last 15 years. He is always looking for ways to be a builder of bridges and a leveler of walls between people and groups within his sphere of influence. His wife Anna is a fifth grade teacher with a passion for reaching their neighborhood for Christ through relational evangelism and community service.
Br. Varghese Kurian (Kerala) – Br. Kurian was brought up in an assembly and was saved at the beginning of his teens through the ministry of his father and the Lord called him for full time ministry at the end of it. He has studied a few years at different Bible institutes. From 1985, he is engaged in local assembly work, Bible school teaching in different states of India. He is also involved in convention and conference ministry and ministering to God’s people in different parts of the world. The Lord blessed him and his wife Ammukutty, with 3 daughters and 1 son and 2 grandchildren.
Br. George P. John (Texas) – George was born and brought up in Chethackal, Ranny, Kerala. He studied at Bethany Bible Institute, Kottayam (currently in Kumbanad) under leadership of the late servant of God V.T. Mathai , Kottayam. He also studied in Hindustan Bible Institute, Madras for a year. He helped to establish an assembly in Dallas area and served as one of the elders for 11 years. Later, as the need arose, he helped in establishing an English assembly in a new area, known as Edmonds Lane Bible Chapel, Lewisville, Texas where he is serving as elder for the past 23 years. He has taken leadership in numerous short term mission trips to North India, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania in Africa and Peru and Columbia in South America, in both gospel outreach and teaching ministry, along with young people from within the assembly and others from across USA and abroad. He serves on the board of directors of Gospel Missions of India, Michigan for the past 30+ years and currently as chairman of the board. He worked closely with late Dr. C.V. Baby and few others in starting the IBF conference in 1978, and served on the executive board and now continues to serve on the spiritual advisory committee. He is also part of Shepherd Christian community, Frostproof, an assembly based retirement community in Florida. He and his wife Molly have two children and 4 grandchildren.
Br. Johnson John (Pennsylvania) – Johnson John is a servant of the Lord and has been serving the Lord full time since 1993 along with his wife Valsa. They live in Montgomeryville Pa, and fellowship with Grace Gospel Chapel ( Plumsteadville, Pa), where Johnson serves as a full time elder engaged in teaching, counseling and other pastoral care with his wife Valsa at his side. They are also involved in outreach ministries at the local Prison and Nursing home where Johnson preaches the gospel. They have two children and two grandchildren.
Br. George Johnson (Toronto, Canada) – George Johnson (Ph. D. in Zool.) has been a Research Fellow and a Lecturer in Biology in different colleges and high schools in India; and now continuing teaching in Canada in a public school. Defending Christian faith (Apologetics) has been his passion. He conducts seminars on creation-evolution issues and writes articles on Christian Apologetics in various magazines in English, Malayalam and Hindi. Recently he has started witnessing among Muslims through public debates and small group dialogues. He attends Hilltop Bible Chapel, Toronto, and serves as an elder there. He lives in Brampton (ON) with his wife Shiny (who is also a school teacher), and two children Jeslin and Joel.
There are five plenary sessions which develop the theme of the conference. There is one session each day.
Plenary Session 1: God’s Faithfulness in His Providence (July 5th, PM)
Speaker: Varghese Kurian
Key Phrase: “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years …”
Description: In this session we will look at how God leads his people showing His sovereign faithfulness and His protective care. In the New Testament we read in Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” What does this mean for the Christian? How should I live based on God’s faithfulness in his providence?
Plenary Session 2: God’s Faithfulness in His Provision (July 6th, AM)
Speaker: Steve Price
Key Phrase: “Remember that the Lord your God led you … these forty years in the wilderness…”
Description: In Exodus 16:35 we are reminded that “the children of Israel ate manna [bread from heaven]forty years.” God is faithful in His provision. To the Church God has given, in Christ, the living bread and asks us to “remember Him.” In the session we want to consider the Lord’s provision to God’s people at the Lord’s table (1 Corinthians 10:16-22) and the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-34) as we remember Him.
Plenary Session 3: God’s Faithfulness in His Proving (July 7th, AM)
Speaker: Mark Kolchin
Key Phrase: “Remember…God led you… these forty years in the wilderness to humble you and test you”
Description: Why does God lead us through the twist and turns of life? He leads us to humble us and test us or prove us. This proving shows who we really are. In James 1:2-3 we read “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” In this session we will look at how we can see God’s faithfulness in our trials and testing, proving our faith in Christ.
Plenary Session 4: God’s Faithfulness in His Purpose (July 8th, AM)
Speaker: Varghese Kurian
Key Phrase: “Remember…God led you… these forty years in the wilderness … to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not”
Description: God’s leading in our life is to show us the way to obedience, so that the laws of God would be written in our hearts and the Spirit of God would lead us to keep His commandments. Christians will often take comfort when we consider the faithfulness of God. However, are we also convicted when we consider the faithfulness of God? When life is comfortable, do we still remember the faithfulness of God and have the conviction to continue in obedience to Him. In Romans 1:5 we read, “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name.”
Plenary Session 5: God’s Faithfulness to His People (July 9th, AM)
Speaker: Steve Price
Key Phrase: “…remember that the Lord your God led you…”
Description: 1 Peter 2:9 tells us that “you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” As we remember God’s faithfulness in our lives we are reminded that the believer is “His own special people” called to proclaim His praises. Because of God’s faithfulness we can be at peace with God and in our life. We should pursue God’s will in our lives. We need to proclaim God’s faithfulness to this lost world. We should give praise to the One who is faithful.
The last session, Plenary Session 5, is intended to be an overarching summary of all that was taught in the previous sessions, with the intent of encouraging the believer to go on for the Lord because of His faithfulness.
We preach the Gospel of Christ, for it is power of God unto Salvation to everyone that beliveth. Even though this is a Christian conference, there are many unsaved family and friends that attend the conference. It is our desire that many will hear the Gospel and be saved. Br. Mark Kolchin will preach the Gospel on Saturday evening.
There will be two youth sessions preached by Br. Stephen Kia.
The following workshops are offered on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. When registering, please sign up for a different workshop on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Workshop I: Terrible twos to sweet sixteen (Johnson John)
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. How do we as parent and grandparents prepare our children to face the world we live in? This workshop will discuss practical steps to train up a child in the way of the Lord.
Workshop II: Investing for eternity with 100% growth (George John)
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The Bible gives us many instructions on how to invest our time, treasures, and talents for the God of eternity. Regardless of how old you are; this workshop will give practical steps on how to invest for eternity.
Workshop III: Defending the Faith (Stephen Kia)
1 Peter 3:15-16 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.” This workshop will discuss practical steps on how to defend your faith in a hostile world.
Workshop IV: Where in the world is God? (Steve Price)
2 Peter 3:8-9 “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” In a world seeking after peace and never finding it, we are often anxious and wondering where in the world is God. This workshop will consider how God always keeps His promises, how He is always near and whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Workshop V: True Discipleship (Varghese Kurian)
In John 8:31 Jesus said “if you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” Jesus later said in Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples.” Can the examples of disciples we find in scripture still be found today in the church? We know that disciples in the Bible were a praying, worshipping, loving, giving, and evangelizing group of people who refused to keep the truth of the gospel to themselves. Yet, God still desires disciples today; ordinary people like you and me whom God can use to do extraordinary things.
Workshop VI: Making Sacrifices (Mark Kolchin)
1 Peter 2:5 “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” What does it mean for the believer to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God? This workshop will consider what is an acceptable sacrifice and how a Christian can offer this sacrifice through Jesus Christ for the glory of God.
Workshop VII: Bible and Science (George Johnson)
We are bombarded in school, college, work and life in general that Science is superior and the Bible is inferior. There are many criticisms against the Bible in the name of science, especially on the internet. Even a strong believer can be challenged by these criticisms and sometime we are unable to counter these arguments. In this workshop, it will be demonstrated that the so-called conflict between the Bible and Science exists, only because in science today, the “origin facts” in Cosmology, Geology and Biology are strictly interpreted from a uniformitarian point of view. Amazingly, the use of uniformitarianism in science today, is a fulfillment of a Bible prophecy in 2 Peter 3:3-7. We will conclude that the Bible is the Word of God, and there is no real conflict between the Bible and Science, when “origin facts” are interpreted correctly!
Other Meetings & Opportunities for Fellowship
In addition to the above Plenary Sessions, Workshops and Youth Sessions, there are many other meetings and other opportunities to fellowship. The following is a list of the many meetings and events:
- Men’s Fellowship Meeting
- Women’s Fellowship Meeting
- Young Children’s VBS
- Youth Classes (KG-3, 4-6, 7-8 and High School)
- Singspiration (under 21 years old)
- Ministry Reports
- Nursery during Plenary Sessions
- Hymn sings
- Excellent Gymnasium (racquetball, volleyball, basketball, climbing wall, exercise room, running/walking track, outdoor tennis courts)
- Game room
Registration materials will be mailed out in the beginning of May and online registration will start in May.
You can also register securely from the www.ibfus.org website. You will need to login to register.
Indiana Wesleyan University has a beautiful campus. We have access to Townhouses, Apartments, Suites and Dorms. But each of these are limited in number, especially the Townhouses and Apartments. Please review the information below and select the appropriate housing.
Townhouses are air-conditioned, self-contained units with 3 bedrooms, 3 private bathrooms, a small kitchenette, and living area. Each bedroom has two twin beds. This can accommodate 6 people comfortably. This is ideal for a larger family.
Apartments are air-conditioned with 3 bedrooms (two twin beds in each), one to two bathrooms, and a small sitting area, which can accommodate 6 people comfortably. This is ideal for a larger family.
Suites are air-conditioned with 2 bedrooms (two twin beds in each) and share one bathroom connecting each bedroom. This is ideal for an average sized family or singles rooming together.
Dorms are air-conditioned with 4 bedrooms and two bathrooms. Thus 8 people share two bathrooms. This is convenient for a large family or two families or people that want to stay together.
When registering, please indicate if you require first floor accommodation due to physical disability. We will try to assign you a room that is either on the first floor or in a building with an elevator. We should have plenty of rooms available to us, but as always, housing is assigned on a first come first served basis. Please register early to ensure that you get your preference.
The IWU Campus is close to Indianapolis (Indy) International Airport (about 1 hour & 40 minutes away) and Fort Wayne International Airport (about 1 hour away). If anyone plans to fly into Indy, please call Br. George Abraham at 917-297-4090 or email him at GAbra60313@aol.com.
Bus from New York
For the convenience of those on the East Coast who would like to attend the conference, we have arranged a bus from Bronx and Queen’s, NY to Marion, IN and back. The round-trip cost is $165 per person. The seats are on a first come, first serve basis. For further information and to reserve your seat, please contact George Abraham, Staten Island, NY, at (917) 297-4090 or email GAbra60313@aol.com. A check towards advance may be made out to “Indian Brethren Fellowship” for the full amount and mailed to George Abraham.
Please contact the following people during the day or early evening.
Shaji George (GA) 770-513-6973
George Abraham (NY) 917-297-4090
George Mathew (IL) 847-530-7170
George Varghese (MO) 443-636-0324
John George (MA) 617-605-3212
Elson Abraham (MN) 651-202-8564