The May 2003 Pneuma Informer
In this issue:
What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.org
New Articles and other Features on the Pneuma Foundation Website:
Come visit soon: www.PneumaFoundation.org
Joining the Prayer Team:
The Foundation is receiving dozens of requests every month asking us to pray for people in need. Will you stand with us in prayer for these specific needs?
One new member of the prayer team wrote before they joined the team:
Is it okay for youth to do this?
All believers in Jesus Christ, regardless of age or background, are welcomed to join with us in prayer for the needs that are sent to us from time to time. If you have read the other information sent to you about the prayer team, you have learned that some of the requests sent to the Pneuma Foundation are of a sensitive nature. Some people that send prayer requests are in situations that should not be shared publicly for the safety of people mentioned. If this responsibility of sensitivity is something that you can handle, you are welcomed to join the prayer team.
If you have concerns about joining the prayer team, or about a specific request that comes, please speak with your parents or guardian about it. You may wish to let them know that you are joining the prayer team and that some requests you see will be confidential for the sake of the people who send the requests.
Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns about joining the Pneuma Foundation prayer team.
We deeply appreciate you sharing with us in this important ministry of prayer.
Blessings to you in the Name of Jesus the Messiah.
– Customer and Members Services
The Pneuma Foundation
If you would like to join the prayer team, please read the announcement
on the Pneuma Foundation website. If you would like additional information, or if you are ready to join the team, please send an email to Member Services
Reports from Around the World
Turkey: giving away New Testaments
Operation Mobilization reports, "It was an entirely new experience for the OM staff to distribute New Testaments on the streets of Istanbul — with official permission." It was not without its price, though: "Traffic police, industrial police and security officers showed up, all surprised that we had official permission. Then journalists arrived, interviewing passers–by and trying to make them complain about the New Testament being distributed in an Islamic nation. One traffic policeman, who himself took
a New Testament, said 'Islam has done nothing for us.' Two young Muslims with long beards started warning the people, shouting 'these people are trying to infiltrate our nation!' We were soon surrounded by a large crowd, and we could give away more New Testaments than before. Some people also tried to trap us: a 10–year–old boy came and asked for a New Testament. Our staff politely refused, because in Turkey, it is a serious crime to try to convert youths under 18 years old. The boy's father, who showed up soon afterward, shook his fist at us, shouting 'Go to hell!'"
"Despite the difficulties, the team was able to hand out 8,640 New Testaments in one evening. Many people started to read as they walked away, and many asked where they could go to a Christian church. One young woman told us: 'Two years ago, Jesus told me in a dream that he had chosen me. I have a New Testament, and read it. I was very excited to see you on the street. How can I become a Christian? How can we stay in contact? I would like to go to a Christian church."
Source: Friday Fax 2003 Issue 11
Nepal: Modern Widow and Elijah
Out of Nepal comes a story reminiscent of Elijah and the widow recorded in 2 Kings 4.
A son was born into a Hindu family and was given the name Ram Chjandra, which is the name of a Hindu god. After he grew up, he became a Christian, assumed the name "Daniel," and associated himself with an indigenous Nepali ministry that offered a Bible correspondence course. About a year ago, Daniel visited a small village in central Nepal looking for a person who had just completed the course.
He asked a villager where the person lived, and the villager decided to take him to the home himself. On the way, the villager told Daniel of an elderly widow who also was a Christian.
The widow's husband had been a factory worker in India. After he died there 10 years earlier, the widow, who was a believer, returned to this, her home village, with her little son. She never left the village and prayed much for the village, thinking she was possibly the only Christian in Nepal.
When the widow finally met Daniel, she was overjoyed and cried tears of joy. She was so delighted to meet a messenger from God that she prepared a special room in her house and invited Daniel to stay in her house and be a missionary to the village.
Daniel did, and today there is a church of 13 believers and nine of them have been baptized.
Source: Christian Aid Mission Mission Insiders Report May 7, 2003 (Vol. 4, Issue 18).
Taiwan: prayer begins to unite the church
"In Taiwan, 28th February 2003 was a day of national repentance," reports Egyptian doctor David Demian, now living in Canada. He attended the event with a group of Canadian Christians. Between 15,000 and 20,000 people from various denominations and people groups gathered in Lingko Stadium, Taipei, to pray for their nation for 12 hours. Pastor Nathaniel Chow called on the Taiwanese Christians to repent. David Demian urged that only prayer with a passion born of desperation would move God to act. Pastor Andrew Ko had visited 25 Taiwanese cities before the prayer meeting, calling on Christians to rediscover their passion for Taiwan. Pastor Brian Liu challenged them to "deal with the idols in their own hearts and churches before considering the idols in the nation." "Thousands, in tearful desperation, asked God to forgive the idolatry in the church and turn his face again to Taiwan," writes Demian.
Source: Friday Fax 2003 Issue 12
Resources You Can Use: Church Twinning
Church Twinning International (CTI) is an ecumenical outreach shared ministry founded in 1981 by religious leaders from Georgia, USA and Ghana, West Africa
The purpose of CTI is to pair an African church with an American church and beyond. This twinning relationship:
- increases cultural awareness
- promotes spiritual growth/partnership
- involves educational exchange
- combines economic and other interests when and where appropriate
- creates innovative programs/projects to further and exchange cooperation, fellowship
Since the church is God's creation that has transforming lives as its goal, Church Twinning links two churches that can learn, encourage, and grow together. Through cooperative efforts, these churches bring about positive, permanent, Christian change. This common linkage blends cultural beliefs and economic and theological worldviews. This linkage, in turns, leads to increased appreciation and respect, and dispels misunderstanding and even mistrust. The end result is two church unified for Christ, dedicated to espousing and making their belief systems a joint enterprise.
Other CTI activities include: Twinning with Overseas Churches, Exchange of Ministers, Film–making, Retreats, Industrial Economic Development.
TWIN 2 WIN CAMPAIGN INITIATIVE
Twin 2 Win Campaign Initiative Conference 2003 Annual Celebration will be held on the campus of the Interdenominational Theological Center, 700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia, September 26–27.
You can become a sponsor/participant of this conference/celebration and enjoy a consortium of six seminaries: Gammon Theological Seminary (United Methodist Church USA); Philips Schools of Theological Seminary (Christian Methodist Episcopal Church USA); C. H. Mason Theological
Seminary (Church of God in Christ USA); Johnson C.Smith Seminary (Presbyterian Church USA); Morehouse School of Religion (Missionary Baptist Church USA); Turner Theological Seminary (African Methodist Episcopal Church USA).
For more information, write to Church Twinning, Inc.(CTI–USA Ministries), Atlanta, Georgia 30317–0356.
In the News:
Church Movements Announce Joint Ministry Venture
In a historic move, leaders of two church movements, representing a worldwide constituency of over 7 million, have announced an Agreement of Cooperation for a joint global evangelistic initiative. Reverend Fred S. Fisher, Sr., general overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy and Dr. R. Lamar Vest, general overseer of the Church of God, stated that the initiative is viewed as a practical demonstration of the common purposes and spiritual heritage of the two church groups, both located in Cleveland, Tennessee. Because of the evangelistic opportunities presented by a global spiritual harvest, the agreement recognizes the value of a cooperative use of available human and financial resources.
The initiative, which is an outgrowth of "Together 2002," a meeting of national Pentecostal leaders held last year in Washington, DC, will be based upon the concept of mutual sharing of decision–making and support responsibilities. Initially, the plan calls for one appointed individual, the International Minister of Outreach, to coordinate the cooperative evangelistic ministry. The day–to–day operation of the initiative will be directed by a joint committee of six members with three representative members being appointed by each movement. This joint committee, the Cooperative Initiative Committee, will meet at least biannually to provide support and direction to the ministry. In addition, the funding for the initiative will be equally shared by both movem
The two general overseers also announced the appointment of Reverend William (Billy) M. Wilson as the first International Minister of Outreach. Wilson brings a wealth of experience as a church administrator, senior pastor, host speaker of World Impact, a weekly television broadcast, and as an international evangelist ministering in crusades around the world.
The initiative will be inaugurated August 1, 2003 and extend for 36 months through August 1, 2006. Following the three–year period, the overall evangelistic initiative will be evaluated regarding joint future activities.
Both movements have as a core value the mandate of the Great Commission. As laborers together, spiritual critical mass is created to touch the global community with the message of Jesus Christ. This cooperative evangelistic initiative is a bold step to carry a first century message to a 21st century world.
This press release came from the Center for Spiritual Renewal www.spiritualrenewal.net
Excerpts from the Spring 2003 (Vol 6, No 2) issue of the Pneuma Review
The "Pneuma Review" is a quarterly printed journal of ministry resources and theology for Pentecostal and charismatic ministries and leaders.
From "Secret Codes in Matthew: Examining Israel's Messiah" Part 9: Matthew 13–14 by Kevin Williams
. . .
And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; and they began to entreat Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured (Matthew 14:34–36).
This is not the first time we have encountered "the fringe" in Matthew's gospel. Our first encounter was back in chapter nine: "And behold, a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak" (Matthew 9:20).
This "fringe" relates directly back to the Torah
"Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue" (Numbers 15:38).
To refer to them as "fringes" in the New Testament, but "tassels" in the Hebrew Scriptures (as the NASB and NIV do) lacks continuity. This tends to separate Yeshua's
"fringes" from their biblical origin, yet they are one in the same. These fringes are basically the same today as they were 2,000 years ago, readily visible on all Orthodox Jewish men. In the Hebrew world, they are called tzit–tzit
Many verses in the Bible are only words and letters until we come to Israel. I was very moved when I saw a fringe found in Qumran that was 2,000 years old with exactly the same shape as those which are put on today. It has not changed in at least two thousand years. So we know that when the woman who was sick (Matt 9:20) approached Jesus from behind in order to catch the fringe of His garment, the tassel looked precisely the same way. Then I see again the connection between the Old and New Testament. Our Lord Jesus Christ was wearing this and in doing so he was obedient to all the commandments of the Torah.
. . .
- Read the rest of this article in the Spring 2003 issue of the Pneuma Review.
From "Pentecostals and Subordinate Revelation" by Edgar R. Lee
. . .
Illumination and subordinate revelation
The Triune God revealed in Christ is a living God who continues to communicate dynamically with succeeding generations of human beings. He not only speaks through the Bible but addresses the human heart directly by His Spirit. In so doing He never contradicts the Bible, for it remains an eternally true record of His revelation of himself and His salvation in Christ. The Author is always greater than the Book, and He finds many ways to reveal himself to men and women, some of which do not involve an immediate reading of Scripture.
Theologians have usually recognized the reality of God's ongoing communications in their doctrine of illumination. Illumination is understood to be the work of God by the Holy Spirit to bring to human awareness what God has already revealed in Scripture. Illumination, then, sheds light on canonical revelation. It never adds anything new about God. It is the process by which God opens and applies His Word to each new generation.
Pentecostals concur with the historic doctrine of illumination. However, they also recognize a continuing though subordinate revelation through the gifts of the Spirit which rounds out and enriches the illumination process.
. . .
- Read the rest of this article in the Spring 2003 issue of the Pneuma Review.
See Pneuma Review Subscription
- Rev. Dass. T. writes: "Kindly Pray for me and my family (Molly–wife, Blandy, Betty, Kitty are girls and Rudy Moses our son) to be cleansed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, so that we are totally available and be used to lift the name of the Lord amongst these unreached people of south India. We have sown the seed, toiled and born the fruit. It must be gathered in vessels! Souls saved by the precious blood of the lamb; who have come through fiery trails are more precious! They must be protected pastored, and taught to multiply. Ask the Lord to show to us the right church affiliation who have a travailing mother's labour pain for the lost souls. We need prayer warriors to write to us, friends to visit us and leaders to build us! And to provide us with assistance for the furtherance of the Gospel!"
- The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka reports that persecution of Christians is continuing and intensifying. "Sister Amarasinghe pastors an independent house Church in Halpita of Polgasowita in the Colombo District. This Church is the only Christian presence in this predominantly Buddhist village. The church has been in existence for over two years at this location. On the 15th March 2003 a flyer was distributed through out the village of Halpita, accusing the Church of converting peo
ple to Christianity through deceptive means. The next day, four monks together with a group of more than 15 persons arrived at the house Church and ordered to stop the meetings immediately. Thereafter they proceeded to the nearby public play ground for an 'impromptu meeting' addressing the village and slandered the Church. This has become their practice every Sunday since then. On the 6th of April, Twenty–five monks together with a group of about 200 people arrived at Sister Amarasighe's house, vandalized their house and attacked her son. The Police were informed of the mob attack by telephone, but no officers arrived on the scene." Please pray for Sister Amarasinghe and the believers she ministers to. Thanks to Pastor AE in Sri Lanka for forwarding this
report to the Pneuma Foundation.
- Pray for Christians in India: A group of Hindus recently attacked a Protestant church in Maharashtra State. In recent months, Hindu activists in the village of Patapaypangara, in the Yavatmal District, have pressured church members to reconvert to Hinduism, Compass Direct reported.
After the 22–member Pata Fellowship Church consistently refused, Hindus banded together to attack the church on March 12. The assailants used a large stone to smash the wooden cross on the outside wall of the church and unsuccessfully tried to attach a Hindu idol in its place.
Those responsible for the attack were arrested and imprisoned for three days before being released on bail. But Christians in the village do not expect them to be prosecuted. Pastor Gopal Pende said the Christians have lived in peace alongside their Hindu neighbors for the last nine years, Compass reported.
Members of the church have also been threatened. Babloo Kedasi, who works with Community Health Volunteers (CHV) in Yavatmal, has received several death threats. On March 9, Hindu neighbors approached Kedasi, demanding that he leave the village.
A group of 25 people came to Kedasi's house and threatened to kill him if he did not stop his work with CHV, which is not an evangelistic organization but concentrates on social work and literacy projects. Kedasi said many Hindus see Christian social work as a form of "allurement" that encourages people to adopt the Christian faith.
Source: Charisma News Service 4/25/2003. Used with permission. http://www.charismanews.com/a.pl?ArticleID=7543
Please send us your prayer requests and praise reports. We have a great God who always meets our needs.
If you would like more information about how you may help in meeting these needs, please send an E-mail to Member Services.