Christmas marks a beginning. The dawn of redemption. The commencement of the life of the Savior. The opening of the door to the Kingdom. The first coming which guarantees the second. The beginning of the end of the reign of death, pain sorrow and fear. It is the starting blocks for the race of enduring faith. Christmas is the opening movement to the great opus that leads to a cross, an empty grave, a triumphant return, a throne, a shining city and eternal joy.

Remember this as you “put away” Christmas. The birth is a start, not the finish – savor the promise of things to come.

John Bowers – Co-director

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See more information:  Qingdao University Orchestra Tour on Facebook


 February 26- Jacksonville University

March 6 – University of North Florida

That’s what John Denver would have been singing if he had been at the Proclaim! International Gathering on the Mediterranean coast of Spain at the end of November!

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The surroundings were stunning as far as the eye could see. What a setting for singing the glory of the God of all creation. And with a mission full of gifted and devoted musicians we were led into heartfelt praise and worship daily.web mid week band

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Tim Lusk from Jacksonville, a fellow missionary and kindred spirit, challenged and encouraged us from the word each day to unity in Christ with family and our mission community. And he and his wife Allison blessed all of us simply by their presence and interaction with us during the week.

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There were 33 of us from 6 countries where Proclaim has ministry. One of the goals of our time together is catching up on the latest developments in colleagues’ ministries, in scheduled reporting times or just around the dinner table or a cup of coffee. One of the satisfying and very practical outcomes of that is seeing our community members find ways to work together and contribute to each others’ ministries.

Of course there is always time left free for just spending time together. These people have too much fun!

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Our band is receiving a warm welcome to teach music and perform in an East Asian country through relationships we have developed on previous visits in the past year. 1000 plus came to the Thursday evening concert — standing room only. There is a second concert Friday evening and the invitation has been extended to return next year for even more involvement.

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Proclaim!’s Kim Peterson regularly takes the lead on local fishing expeditions for kingdom catch. He tells about one recent outing that was particularly challenging but invigorating!:

Our pastor’s Sunday message came from I Peter 3:13-16 — how to respond to intimidators. It turned out to be a fantastic heads up prelude to that day’s fishing expedition.

As I listened to it I had a strong sense that I would soon be living it on the street. My wife Jeanne and I both had the same feeling in our spirit about what was about to unfold — Blessed opposition! And did it ever come. As if it were wonderfully choreographed. (I am convinced it was.) The morning message outline played out in real time during our 2 hour outreach foray in Hemming Plaza. Thankfully we had both made sure that Jesus was firmly sanctified, enthroned as Lord as we headed out to offer the dark world God’s marvelous light.Sept 29 13 Hemming Plaza 14 web

The first hour was smooth, just like we all hope things will be when we make efforts in Jesus’ name. People applauded and thanked us. As we played and shared, Steve and Susan Schneider spoke extensively with people one on one. We were enjoying that luscious, velvety, almost cozy sensation that feels so nice and does little good for strength and vitality of soul. God had more in mind for us and for the glory of the One who suffered all for us and for the Father’s glory.

Soon, as we continued speaking the gospel to the crowd sitting all around us, a teenager skate boarded right in front of my face and muttered, “Hail Satan” as he passed. “Finally! It has begun,” I said to myself. “Here we go Jeanne. Did you hear that?” We were both ready for action and poised to love with words of truth and hearts of compassion. At the morning service we had been alerted to God’s design for our day. How cool is that?

The teen rode by again, spewing the same nonsense but this time louder. One of his friends walked over to our sign, “No God. No life. Know God. Know life” and jeered, making a mocking gesture to his other 8 or so buddies. When the song we were singing concluded we engaged the guys directly and challenged their alleged allegiance to Satan. The subsequent interchange was heated, with gross insults coming continuously from them. We kept our composure reverent and God-trusting and our behavior gentle, not bombarding as we lifted up our Lord.

The whole bunch of them then planted themselves directly in front of us, dancing derisively and going to great effort to get us to “fold.” We, on the other hand felt increasingly more and more secure and confident in the face of their shameful display. It was as if Peter were standing there with us nodding affirmingly, smiling knowingly and pointing to the words he’d penned for such occasions. At that point I thanked the teens for staying and for coming in close to hear the words that they needed to transform their hungry and lost souls.

A few minutes later, another person in the audience approached the young men and said something to them. In the next moments they were gone. We thanked God they had come and were able to see and hear what we pray will one day liberate them and save them from destruction. God is powerful and present. The enemy is desperate and deceiving. God’s Word keeps our spiritual eyes clear and wide open to the realities that surround us; the things that really matter.

It is exciting! Nothing like it.

Proclaim! concert featuring Johnny B and the “Jazz Badgers”???

We are going to have a great evening, Friday October 4th at 7 pm, at Christian Family Chapel, performing a wide variety of music showcasing the extensive range of our Proclaim staff and guest musicians. Featured will be music from our upcoming tour to Asia.

On the tour next month we will be doing classical numbers and teaching “master’s classes” in universities. Kim Peterson, Jim Jenkins, Todd Smalley and Shirley Elliot will perform music in keeping with their studies as legitimate instrumentalists.

A jazz concert on the same tour will feature a range of styles by the “greats” of the jazz world plus original music we have written. It will play like a history of jazz.

And if we have not hit on a genre you appreciate yet, John and Diana will be performing several numbers representing four decades of John’s songs in country, bluegrass, contemporary and blues styles.

Come for a super evening of music, come to be encouraged by what God is doing, and come to encourage us by your presence!

AND if all that weren’t enough, October 4th just happens to be John’s birthday – so if for no other reason, come celebrate another year of his survival.

Your can respond here to our Facebook invitation

Proclaim Concert 10.4.2013 email.
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Proclaim! Jacksonville recently provided an opportunity for garage and attic contents to be transformed into kingdom treasure. Our huge garage sale was timely in helping raise much needed funds for our ministry. And some nice donated items supplied the need for furnishings in our new Proclaim office.Cupcakes


When our staff met the following week and began relating stories of our experiences and others we had heard about – we were thrilled that, as usual, the funds raised were only the beginning of the blessings God poured out. So many served and sacrificed joyfully to make it successful. And we were able to encourage other local ministries by sharing helpful resources.

Picture1We were intentionally focusing on ways we could minister to our shoppers– not only materially, but spiritually. Click here to see stories of how that happened.

Thanks to God for providing and multiplying the treasure!


Garage sale has been the term given for selling stuff, first to get rid of things no longer used, often so that other things can be purchased.  At the Proclaim garage sale in September this was the case.

Lindsay KaleyMany volunteers worked long hours to sort, display, dicker, sell, cleanup, chat with customers and encourage fellow believers.  The use of the funds raised in this event will differ slightly in that they will help to promote the Gospel instead of personal gain.  Then when it was all over we were able to bless another local ministry by donating the extras we could not sell to their thrift shop.

bible cropHowever, the best choices during the sale were free—free goods.  Several Bibles were given to those questioning the price.  Some were amazed that they could have this free gift.  Spiritual conversations led to mutual encouragement as time passed during travel to and from homes collecting donations, and during the sale itself.  Cheerful smiles and responses to customers’ questions, as well as helpful attitudes, reflected the One living in us.  Free invitations to come to church to hear from God’s Word firsthand were given and some responses were yes.

One of these yes responses was the result of a conversation in two foreign languages.  Three Brazilian women customers approached Kim to ask about some furniture prices.  Having  lived in the USA for only 3 months they could only communicate in Portuguese.  Kim decided to give it his best shot at communicating with them in Spanish since those languages have some similarities.  By God’s grace they understood each other, resulting in receiving good deals on furniture as well as a free invitation to come to church on Sunday.  On Sunday, it was wonderful to see those women in church, again speaking in two languages but in a different setting.  Despite the language barrier they made an effort to come and said it was good to be in church and enjoyed what they did understand.

However, one of the women brought up the fact that the TV she bought at the garage sale did not work and wondered if there was anything she could do to get another one.  Remembering that behind the building there was a small pile of “leftovers” from the sale, TVs BWKim went to look just in case there might be another TV he could give her.  He was amazed to find one and placed it in the office of Carol Corn, church staff member, who had connected with the ladies between services and had also tried to help with their TV issue.  She amazingly found a Portuguese-speaking friend that was visiting that Sunday and was able to clearly communicate with them.  The following week Carol was able to get the TV into the hands of the Brazilian ladies, connected them with the Christian-based International Learning Center where they can learn English, and also helped them explore the possibility of enrolling their little girl in the CFC preschool.  All this happened because of a garage sale, reminding us once again that there is nothing insignificant or trivial about anything done in the Lord’s name.  He is able to make even a garage sale the perfect place for shoppers to find what they really need the most.

Jeanne Peterson

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Branko Kovačević, director of Ima Nade (Proclaim!-Croatia) tells about their church choir being invited recently to sing in the annual celebration of their city’s rich heritage. It was an unexpected honor that a small evangelical church would receive such an invitation from a staunchly Catholic city.

Cak celebr 2013 choir w castle webInterestingly, Čakovec is known as the “City of the Zrinskis,”  a noble family of reformers who ruled that region in the 16th century and brought the truth of God to Croatia. So it was appropriate that the choir sang at the foot of the Zrinski castle during the celebration. Clearly, God is still opening doors in Croatia so that his children will proclaim his message and share his word with others.

Following the concert Bibles were freely distributed to those who attended the concert. Praise God that after almost 500 years the believers of the Baptist Church in Mačkovec are following in the footsteps of the reformers, publicly praising God and sharing his word with all who would receive it.

When David Cook saw our plea for a sound tech for the tour to Central Asia he thought someone would surely step forward. But as the time got closer he started thinking that maybe God was holding that position open for HIM. So just a week before the tour he agreed to go for it, which meant raising funds for very expensive flights and getting a visa for that country!

David had been on tours with Proclaim in 2011 and 2012, so he knew the routine, but this was a real challenge. He booked his flights in faith that the expedited visa would arrive on schedule and that support would come in to cover his expenses. God is faithful. The visa arrived the day BEFORE it was promised and all funds were donated before he left!

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Of course that was only part of the challenge. He was arriving a couple days after the band, missing the rehearsal and adjustment days. He traveled over 40 hours (10 time zones) on 5 flights and arrived just in time for the first performance! And it was a logistically difficult tour with travel each day on rough roads, unpredictable concert venues, and, shall we say, not all the comforts of home. But he jumped right in, did a super job with a pieced together sound system, and had many opportunities to interact with young people who were at the concerts. One last challenge — he got sick just as he was starting the 40 hour return trip! We’re grateful that God supplied that need for this tour through David’s response to the call.

From our Proclaim team that has returned from a busy and productive tour in Belarus:

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We taught many music/audio classes on drums, bass, guitar, voice, music engineering/ production, and songwriting. We judged a Battle of the Bands and spent time critiquing any band who wanted to know how they could improve.

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We also served in various small groups, worked on improvement of facilities, and introduced an addiction recovery program to serve the body and the community. It was a good time of connecting more folks in the area to our friends in Brest, Belarus.


We look forward to featuring the ministry in Belarus and the band Salvation at our fund raising Gala in Jacksonville April 13.

See the Proclaim website for more information and how to be involved in that event.

A Proclaim team was recently in Belarus with our partner organization. This is our 3rd year assisting with events centered around X-Star band festival. October Light band from Proclaim!-Croatia was featured this year. Other ways we were involved were activities in schools and teaching master classes for musicians and sound techs. And something new offered this time was an introduction to a program that provides help in recovery from addictive behaviors.

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Marv and Carey in Minsk

Marvin Klein (Proclaim!-France) did some speaking in Minsk, even before the tour started, introducing this program. Fourteen men and women participated in the meeting with 4 different groups represented. All embraced the concept, recognized the potential benefits, and were eager to start such a program, although they were hesitant because of the lack of leaders trained in the program. Marv was able to assure them that most groups in new areas are started without a trained leader, and that they had within their group a potential leadership team who would learn and grow through the experience. The result, after serious consideration, was a commitment to the task. It’s exciting to share this powerful resource to provide practical help for their local community. And throughout the tour opportunities opened up to help others who were eager for tools like this.

The Proclaim team, representing Croatia, Germany, France, and USA, was primarily in Brest. Look for reports on how exciting, exhausting and productive the time was for this team in all the planned (and unplanned!) activities that came their way.

A visual montage of the 2012 Tour to Croatia…

Check out the rest of our videos HERE

Croatia Tour 2012 from Proclaim! International on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 13, 2013      6:30 pm      Marriott Hotel, Salisbury Rd

Registration is Now Closed! 

We are looking forward to our tenth annual Gala, our major fund raising event, which is a highlight each year.  The program will feature our newest associates in Belarus, musicians of the band Salvation.  

Gala 13 pashaigorThis event not only helps us gain crucial funding for continuing and expanding opportunities throughout the year, but gives a way to introduce new people to Proclaim! Plan to join us for a memorable evening if you are in the Jacksonville area. If you cannot attend but would be able to contribute financially, you will greatly encourage us through your part in providing for the coming year.

Contact Proclaim!
for more information:
[email protected]


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We’ve added another video to our video page. Check it out below.






You can see all of our videos at our vimeo page:


This CD from the studios of Proclaim is chock full of fresh tunes declaring the goodness of God and what it means to live for Him in an age of intellectual doubters.  The project was produced by guitarist/songwriter John Bowers and engineered by bassist/vocalist, Greg Davis, and saxophonist/vocalist Kim Peterson, with recurring rolls from a plethora of other “proclaimers.”  If you like music with a mix of Rock, Blues and Jazz with tight vocals and a hot horn section, this album is for you.

The production of high quality recordings of our Proclaim music groups is very important to our ministry for a number of reasons.  First of all, we are a community of artists dedicated to glorifying God through artistic excellence. This is something we are striving to model before young musicians worldwide.  Secondly, excellent recordings of our music helps to open doors for the believers in other countries who are trying to procure the most strategic venues for people to gather to hear the gospel.  Thirdly, concert attendees who take the music home with them have a tangible means of remembering the message of God’s redeeming love which is presented in each concert.

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We’ve added several short videos to our video page…experience different aspects of our ministry through these sights and sounds!


Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you.
Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.    Hebrews 13:7

The recent Gathering in Germany of most of our Proclaim community from their ministries around the world was the perfect setting for grieving the loss yet celebrating the life of our dear friend, colleague, and leader, Bob Johnson.  Since August we have been trying to come to terms with the reality of this loss so soon after Bob’s condition had seemed to be improving. His wife Alyce has been the one to give the rest of us consolation and strength as she has truly experienced a supernatural peace and comfort from God who has sustained her.

At the Gathering John Bowers led the teaching sessions each morning looking at some of the admonitions in scripture to “Consider . . . ” The first day began with: Consider your Leaders. This was an emotional, but uplifting and God-honoring time as we shared together so many remembrances of how Bob’s life has impacted ours in ways that are worthy of imitating.

We are sharing here a video that we watched together that morning, produced by Marj Speiser, which beautifully captures the spirit of Bob’s life and ministry.

Kathie Jenkins

My first job in Europe was typing for Bob Johnson. When we went to Belgium in 1982 where Jim taught at the Bible Institute, I worked as a secretary at the school. But every Friday I went to the Johnsons and attempted to keep ahead of Bob, then Northern Europe Director for Greater Europe Mission, typing up the reams of correspondence he cranked out by hand on legal pads. It was fascinating as through those letters I learned about ministry all over Europe, both in our mission and other missions, as well as in national movements. Only much later would I begin to understand the weightiness of Bob’s interactions and influence on all these fronts.  Through that I got a glimpse of the vision and leadership of this dedicated, charismatic, innovative, and a little bit ADHD missionary. That’s why, when Greater Europe Mission polled the troops as they were looking for a new mission director, I responded that it would be their loss if they considered anyone other than Bob Johnson. Of course, as God would have it, they did consider others and in retrospect I realized that God in His wisdom had a more creative agenda.

As it was, God had planned for Bob and Alyce to be put in intensely challenging life experiences that grew and purified them and proved their faith. And in His great sovereignty, he prepared them and led them to Proclaim where Bob’s insight is indelibly etched in the forming of who we are as a mission. In these years I have come full circle editing reams of Bob’s writings – everything from foundational documents to, most recently, the tour manual he was passionately writing right up till God took him home. And Bob, with his gift of storytelling, has gone way beyond the documenting of guidelines for a successful tour – he has penned a history and journey of Proclaim! International.  Through his keyboard he has both impacted the course of Proclaim as a mission and powerfully recounted and recorded God’s faithfulness through it all.

Bob is so desperately missed – but he gave more for the sake of God, for his co-workers, and for a spiritually needy world, than most people will in a much longer lifetime.

Well done, good and faithful servant.