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   August 2003 Issue of the Pneuma Informer

The August 2003 Pneuma Informer

In this issue:

What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.org

New Articles and other Features on the Pneuma Foundation Website:
Also, be sure to check out the "What's New" section on the Pneuma Foundation homepage. New articles and other features are being added regularly.

Have a website you would like linked to the Pneuma Foundation? Write Webmaster Dave Driggs with your suggestion. Or use the on–line form to submit your suggestion:

Recent Visitors:
Some of the recent international visitors to the Pneuma Foundation website have been from these 100 different nations:

Trinidad and Tobago, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica, Virgin Islands, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Columbia, Brazil, Benin, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia, Cote d'Ivoire, Namibia, Burundi, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Seychelles, Mauritius, Togo, South Africa, Swaziland, Mali, Zambia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Guam, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Rep. Of Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Faroe Islands, France, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Bosnia–Herzegovina, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Austria, Romania, Hungary, Macedonia, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Ireland, Sweden, Cyprus, Switzerland, and Belgium.

Come visit soon. Write to Member Services with any comments or questions you have about the website or the Pneuma Informer.

Reports from Around the World

China: the astonishing confirmation of a missionary vision
The following is a first–hand report from a missionary in China: "The following event has a truly historic meaning in connection with the growing foreign missionary vision of the Chinese house church movement. It is a fact that a growing number of Chinese Christians are actively preparing to go 'back to Jerusalem' and play their part in global missions, which they are convinced will take them back to Jerusalem."
Readiness to suffer in jail as a characteristic of Christian leadership
It was December 1997. Chao (name changed) had been in jail for the past 13 years. He was the leader of one of China's house church networks. Many of the leaders of today's house church networks came to faith in the same area, at the same time. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966–76), they were the death–defying evangelists who were crazy enough to go out evangelizing despite the prevailing persecution. They have all spent at least 10 years in jail, but the movements which they started are now China's largest Christian movements. Unfortunately, the movements drifted apart due to theological differences and other reasons, and tensions arose. During his last year in prison, Chao sensed that God wanted to reunite the movements, which would then face up to the challenge of world mission. They had to find out how the 'back to Jerusalem' vision could be put into practice.
Healing after murderous labor camp
Chao's labor camp was strenuous; he had to load 20 tons of stone onto trucks each day. After twelve years, he was physically at his end, and already in the camp's section for the ill. Finally, he was released despite his life–long sentence, because they thought he would die soon anyway. They didn't want him to die in the camp, because that would have put it in a bad light. The officials had not reckoned with the living God. After his release, God healed Chao.
His daughter's death
Before his imprisonment, Chao had a 3–year–old daughter. On his release, she was already 16, and a zealous evangelist in the house church movement. Chao was released in 1996; in 1997, God blessed him and his wife with another daughter.
In December 1997, the leaders of the various house church movements gathered for three days to discuss how their movements could cooperate in world mission. On the morning of the first day, Chao's elder daughter was hanging the wash outside the window of their fourth–floor apartment, with the baby on one arm. The baby wriggled with such strength that she fell out of her sister's arms, dropping the four stories onto a concrete slab, breaking her skull open—dead on the spot. Chao ran down the stairs and picked up what was left of his daughter, praying "Lord, heal my daughter. If you don't, my ministry for you is over, because I will not be able to stand the loss. And if this missionary vision is from you, heal her. If you do not, I will know that the vision is not from you."
Is anything impossible for God?
Chao laid his daughter's body on the couch in his apartment, and went to the meeting. When he returned home that evening, his daughter showed no signs of life, but her skull was in one piece again. The following morning, she was still dead. Chao prayed the same prayer again. On his return that evening, his daughter was breathing, but still unconscious. The next morning, nothing had changed. When he returned home on the evening of the third day, he found his daughter awake; she ate, played and was healthy again! The missionary vision had been confirmed in a very unusual way!
Source: Friday Fax 2003 Issue 29, July 18.

Chile: Pentecostal leader passes from his earthly life
The pastor of one of the largest Pentecostal churches in the world has died. Javier V'squez, bishop–president of the Methodist Pentecostal Church of Chile, which is affiliated with the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC), died of liver failure July 25. He was 86.
According to Oklahoma City–based IPHC, V'squez was pastor for nearly 40 years of the Evangelical Cathedral (Jotabeche Church) in Santiago. With a seating capacity of 16,000, it is second only to the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, as the largest Pentecostal church in the world. The sanctuary is filled every service and parishioners attend on a rotation basis.
Bishop James Leggett, IPHC's general superintendent, said V'squez was "a great Pentecostal leader" in Chile. He noted that military leaders, mayors, congressmen, senators, judges and even a Catholic priest attended V'squez's church.
"Every time I have preached for him, the church has been full," Leggett said. "Until the last month or two, Bishop V'squez preached every Sunday at the Cathedral. Each week, he prepared the Sunday school lesson and taught it to the teachers on Saturday ... It has been a joy to work with Bishop V'squez."
V'squez is survived by his second wife, Olga Hansen, whom he married earlier this year, as well as four children, 16 grandchildren and 14 great–grandchildren. His first wife, Marina, died several years ago. The Methodist Pentecostal Church of Chile has nearly 5,600 churches and 2.3 million members in the South American country, IPHC said.
Source: Charisma News Service August 4, 2003 edition. Used with permission.

Internet: Jesus Speaks Arabic
According to Arab World Ministries, of all the world's languages, the language with most downloads of the Bible is Arabic. Although you can download the Jesus film in any language, the most popular language in demand is for the Arabic version.
Source: Web Evangelism Bulletin Issue 77 (August 2003)

Canada: Believing in the Existence of God
Six in ten Canadians (61%) say they "trust that God exists," while half (51%) "trust that angels exist." As for the existence of God, one–fifth (19%) of Canadians disagree, while one–quarter (26%) disagree as to the existence of angels. The neutral position is held by 15% regarding God and 18% regarding angels.
Residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba are the most likely to say they trust in the existence of God (78%) and in the existence of angels (71%).
Women are more likely than men to trust in the existence of God (66% versus 55%) and angels (60% versus 40% of men).
More older (71%) Canadians say they trust in the existence of God than do middle aged (60%) or younger (52%) Canadians.
Source: Ipsos–Reid Corporation, A Reader's Digest Poll, December 29, 2002. Thanks to Pneuma Review writer Kevin M. Williams for this link.

Other Headlines:
  • More teens attend religious services than adults. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/008/21.17.html
  • Assemblies of God approve greater latittude for remarriage AG Ministers will now be given more freedom to marry divorcees. From Charisma News Service. http://www.charismanews.com/online/articledisplay.pl?ArticleID=7924
  • "The Price of Healing" Critics of faith healer Benny Hinn want his ministry to finally be an open book, and Hinn says he wants it to be. From Los Angeles Times Magazine. http://www.latimes.com/features/printedition/magazine/la-tm-benny30jul27.story
  • Astronomers claim to have pinpointed the "time and date of crucifixion and resurrection" of Jesus http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_778195.html
  • Getting Western Civilization Right University of Washington sociologist Rodney Stark says that Christian beliefs are the catalyst, not the brake, for progress in Western history. Review from Christianity Today International. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/128/51.0.html
  • Support for authenticity of book of Matthew comes from an unlikely place From the Kansas City Star. Thanks to John C. for sending this link. http://www.philly.com/mld/kansascity/living/6014126.htm
  • Scientists say 'Global Warming' is not new These findings are significant to the discussion about Origins (the creation vs. evolution debate). Thanks to Pneuma Review contributing editor Joe Joslin for this link.

    • See other News to praise God about in the Prayer Requests department below

    Special Deal for Students
    Announcing Pneuma Review student subscription rates

    The Pneuma Review: The Journal of Ministry Resources and Theology for Pentecostal and Charismatic Ministries and Leaders. /intro_pr.jsp

    Beginning with the Fall 2003 issue, part time or full time students may now subscribe to the Pneuma Review at a reduced subscription rate of only US$12.95. This is the best rate to be offered regularly for any subscription to the Pneuma Review. All students are eligible for this special rate, from high school through post–graduate, Bible institute or church leadership mentor program.

    Visit this web page for the details: /student_sub.jsp

    Student looking for research assistance
    A seminary student in Pakistan has written to the Pneuma Foundation with a request for help in finding research on healing evangelism meetings and ministers. Please write to Pneuma Foundation Executive Editor Raul Mock if you have materials that can assist this student.

    Resources You Can Use

    New Spanish Bible Software
    Here's some new software for those needing the Bible in Spanish. Logos Bible Software Series X (Biblioteca De Estudio Biblico) with the Libronix search engine, is the most complete and affordable Spanish Bible software available! Includes 30 titles worth more than $600 dollars in equivalent print editions. See http://www.logos.com/prepub/products/default.asp?pid=56 for book list. This is the same search engine used in Series X collections, is user friendly and works much like the Internet. Simply enter a passage or topic and click "Go" to find Bibles, commentaries, topics, parallel bible versions etc. If you are interested in Bible software in English, check out the demo online at: http://www.Logos.com/demo . Compatible with Logos 2.0 and Logos Series X. Spanish books cannot be purchased individually. Requires Windows 98 and above, 128 Ram, 300 Pentium processor and 68 MG hard drive space. Call toll–free from the USA or via Net2Phone from elsewhere 800–875–6467 ext 2239 or 360–527–1700 ext 2239 for Pat or email .
    Source: Thanks to Brigada Today for this resource information.

    Help the Foundation Build the Holy Spirit Reading List
    Help the Pneuma Foundation build the reading list now available by sending us entries of significant books and articles that relate to the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, and Pentecostal/charismatic themes.
    Use the form to send us your suggestions. Or, if you would like to suggest multiple books or articles, send a note to the webservant to ask how to format the suggestions for easy inclusion in the reading list.
    Help us build a huge bibliography of the Spirit and His works.

    Thoughts to Ponder

    "Give me the listening ear. I seek this day the ear that will not shrink from the word that corrects and admonishes—the word that holds up before me the image of myself that causes me to pause and reconsider—the word that challenges me to deeper consecration and higher resolve."
    – Victor Parachin (quoted in Rev., May/Jun 2003, page 34)
    "Do we act as if we really believe that the Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written?"
    – Wayne Grudem
    "The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters is not intellect, but obedience."
    – Oswald Chambers
    "'Sold–out disciples' are folks who have looked into the abyss of their own manmade hell and returned to life in the Spirit. Their lives are lived in radical obedience to a God–given mission. Everything they do revolves around this mission. They feel in their heart they would die for this mission."
    – William M. Easum, (quoted in Net Results, Apr 2003, page 24)
    "Most of us prefer conventional wisdom to the sharp edge of Scripture's call to carry crosses."
    – John Suk, (quoted in Banner, Apr 2003, page 6)

    Comments from Readers and Web Visitors

    Reading the list of nearly 80 nations from which the Pneuma Foundation website received visitors (from the June 2003 Pneuma Informer):
    "Wow, that is really spectacular. It gets even cooler when you stop to think that every person has a sphere of influence of about 250 other people, so if you multiply that out in every one of these countries, it begins to really demonstrate the weight and impact Pneuma Foundation is having."
    – Kevin
    "Thank you for your ministry, dear webservant."
    – Alexei, Israel
    "How did the Pneuma Foundation get started?"
    – David
    You will find the Pneuma Foundation story on our web site by looking at these pages:

    - Our Story /pf_story.jsp
    - Learn more about why we exist from our President's Welcome /presidents_message.jsp

    You will also find our statement of faith and our purpose and principles by using the navigation bar on the left–hand side.
    If you cannot access these pages, Member Services would be happy to email you this information.

    Excerpts from the Pneuma Review

    The "Pneuma Review" is a quarterly printed journal of ministry resources and theology for Pentecostal and charismatic ministries and leaders.

    In order to complete this issue of the Pneuma Informer and have it sent to subscribers while it is still August, no excerpts from the Pneuma Review will be appearing in this issue.

    For more information about the Pneuma Review, and to learn how to subscribe, visit: intro_pr.jsp
    There is also subscription information further on in this newsletter.

    Prayer Requests

    • Pray for Christians in the nation of Georgia: Racist vigilantes again blockade a Pentecostal Church.
      Racist language was again used on July 13 when self–appointed vigilantes blockaded a home in the capital Tbilisi to prevent a Russian–language Pentecostal church from meeting for the sixth Sunday in a row. "You Russians clear off back to Russia and do whatever you like there!" and "Sectarians, clear off out of Georgia!", Pastor Nikolai Kalutsky — a Georgian citizen — quoted the demonstrators as telling him. But Georgia's ombudsman has failed to support the church. "Services in the house were noisy – they sing loud hymns. This is a residential area. That's why the neighbours are complaining," Nana Devdariani told Forum 18 News Service from Tbilisi on 14 July.
      Source: F18News http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=103
    • A member of the Pneuma Foundation has asked for prayer: "I was in a serious car accident several years ago, which caused me to gain a permanent back injury. I have lived with mild to moderate pain in my back ever since. However, in the last month or so (after Kelly and I moved to a new apartment), the pain (and, I'm afraid, the extent of the unhealed injuries) has escalated to levels way beyond what it used to be, and those extreme levels are now 24 hours a day. I'm having difficulty doing my job, because the pain is causing me to have emotional roller–coasters, not to mention the difficulty of sitting at a computer all day.
      I have tried a number of different medical responses, and the only ones that help me to have a little bit of relief are not covered (or only very minimally) by my health provider. I'm afraid that it's just going to get worse, and I can't fathom the idea of living with this kind of pain for the rest of my life. (In fact, even after only a month, it drives me to tears several times a week, and I'm fighting depression as well.)
      I don't know what to do, and neither does my doctor or the specialist that has been consulted. I'm quickly reaching the end of my pain tolerance level. Please pray . . . Mike."
    • Pray for Christian Palestinians: Islamic extremists butchered a Muslim convert to Christianity whose body was recently returned to his family. According to The Barnabas Fund, the man left his friends and family in mid–July, heading into a mountainous region of the Holy Land with Christian materials, including cassettes, videos and Bibles.
      His friends and family received no word from him, and after about 10 days his body was returned to them. The Barnabas Fund is withholding the names and further details of those involved for their safety. The slain man is survived by his wife and two small children.
      "Pray for the wife and children of this Christian man who has been so brutally and tragically murdered," The Barnabas Fund said in an e–mail to supporters. "Pray for God's protection and presence to be with them at this time."
      Local believers working to support converts from Islam report that Islamic militants in the Palestinian Authority area deliberately target converts to Christianity. According to Sharia law, a Muslim male who leaves Islam is considered an apostate who faces the death penalty. The Barnabas Fund is campaigning for a change in Islamic teaching on apostasy.
      Source: Charisma News Service July 30, 2003. Used with permission.
    • Prayer for Christians in Russia: In its survey analysis of the religious freedom situation in Russia, Forum
      18 News Service reports on the extensive variations of religious freedom policy in Russia, noting that when decisions are made which violate believers' rights, they are largely informed by the political agendas and personal loyalties of local politicians. The particular nature of a religious belief seems to play little role in restrictions — such as visa bars being imposed — groups being far more likely to be targeted if they are dynamic and visible, whatever their beliefs. Centrally, the state is not so much concerned about actual control over the legitimate activity of citizens as in having potential control over activity, so violations of religious freedom may not appear as dramatic as in many other states in the region. The trend of low–level discrimination looks set to continue unchallenged.
      Source: F18News http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=116

    Condolences to Stan Myers and his family on the passing of his mother. Josephine Myers died on Tuesday, August 19. Mrs. Myers was active and healthy about until 3 months ago at which time she suffered a severe stroke. She was 87 years old. Stan Myers is a graphic artist who has supported the Pneuma Foundation through the use of his artwork.

  • 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 email Member Services.