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A/G Districts

Mon, 15 Mar 1999 - 12:00 AM CST

Illinois: District Superintendent Paul Martin and his wife, Ann, recently returned from a ministry trip to Sri Lanka and India. The Martins visited New Life Assembly of God in Chennai, (formerly Madras) India. New Life Assembly is now one of the largest churches in Asia. Three Sunday morning services at 6 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and 11 a.m. have a combined attendance of about 14,000. "I had the privilege of preaching in both the 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. services," Martin said. "I know what you're thinking-the same thing I thought-6 a.m.! The chickens aren't even up. The 5,000-seat auditorium was full!" Pastor David Mohan and New Life Assembly have started 120 churches in this city of 8 million people.

New Mexico: The district-sponsored "Church Explosion '99" seminar will be held April 30 and May 1 at First Family Church in Albuquerque. "Strategizing for church growth in the 21st century can be a real challenge," says the Rev. Darrell Kelly, district youth and Christian education director. "Yet God is presenting us with unprecedented opportunities to reach our communities, our nation and our world." The Rev. Alton Garrison, pastor of First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Ark., will be the featured guest for general and workshop sessions.

Ohio: In the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, devastated Central American communities will need assistance for years to come. District Foreign Missions Secretary Hugh Rosenberg visited Nicaragua and El Salvador with three other district pastors. He was so moved by the tragedy that he called District Superintendent Robert Crabtree. "I said we have got to help," Rosenberg recalls. He also sent an appeals letter to district churches. "The response was outstanding," he reports. Nearly $63,000 was donated initially. While these funds were used to send shipments of medicine, food and clothing, additional medicines valued at nearly $280,000 were collected. "We are in the process of sending three more containers of food," Rosenberg says. "We hope, for months to come, to continue sending clothing. God has opened doors in marvelous ways."

Southern California: The Rev. Gordon Houston, pastor of the Assembly of God church in San Jacinto, was recently give the "Home Town Hero" award. He and two other local men (both teachers) were chosen by the Valley Merchants Bank as the first three recipients to set the standard for award winners for the years to come. "Gordon wondered what it was all about when the town leaders made the appointment to tell him," says Assistant District Superintendent David Gable. "'We have watched you and your church for years,' they told him, 'trying to figure out what was your ulterior motive for all the things you've done to help here in town. Finally, we decided you didn't have one.'" Gable and District Superintendent Ray Rachels were among the hundreds present at the awards presentation.


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Illinois: District Superintendent Paul Martin and his wife, Ann, recently returned from a ministry trip to Sri Lanka and India. The Martins visited New Life Assembly of God in Chennai, (formerly Madras) India. New Life Assembly is now one of the largest churches in Asia. Three Sunday morning services at 6 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and 11 a.m. have a combined attendance of about 14,000. "I had the privilege of preaching in both the 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. services," Martin said. "I know what you're thinking-the same thing I thought-6 a.m.! The chickens aren't even up. The 5,000-seat auditorium was full!" Pastor David Mohan and New Life Assembly have started 120 churches in this city of 8 million people.

New Mexico: The district-sponsored "Church Explosion '99" seminar will be held April 30 and May 1 at First Family Church in Albuquerque. "Strategizing for church growth in the 21st century can be a real challenge," says the Rev. Darrell Kelly, district youth and Christian education director. "Yet God is presenting us with unprecedented opportunities to reach our communities, our nation and our world." The Rev. Alton Garrison, pastor of First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Ark., will be the featured guest for general and workshop sessions.

Ohio: In the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, devastated Central American communities will need assistance for years to come. District Foreign Missions Secretary Hugh Rosenberg visited Nicaragua and El Salvador with three other district pastors. He was so moved by the tragedy that he called District Superintendent Robert Crabtree. "I said we have got to help," Rosenberg recalls. He also sent an appeals letter to district churches. "The response was outstanding," he reports. Nearly $63,000 was donated initially. While these funds were used to send shipments of medicine, food and clothing, additional medicines valued at nearly $280,000 were collected. "We are in the process of sending three more containers of food," Rosenberg says. "We hope, for months to come, to continue sending clothing. God has opened doors in marvelous ways."

Southern California: The Rev. Gordon Houston, pastor of the Assembly of God church in San Jacinto, was recently give the "Home Town Hero" award. He and two other local men (both teachers) were chosen by the Valley Merchants Bank as the first three recipients to set the standard for award winners for the years to come. "Gordon wondered what it was all about when the town leaders made the appointment to tell him," says Assistant District Superintendent David Gable. "'We have watched you and your church for years,' they told him, 'trying to figure out what was your ulterior motive for all the things you've done to help here in town. Finally, we decided you didn't have one.'" Gable and District Superintendent Ray Rachels were among the hundreds present at the awards presentation.


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Persecuted Iraqi Churches Struggling to Meet Needs of Christian Refugees; AG World Missions Appeals for Help

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 - 3:51 PM CST

Refugees
Many Iraqi Christian refugees have no place to go, and are forced to sleep on the street or in open patio areas with little protection from the elements.

The Islamic State (also known as ISIS), an extreme Sunni militant group, has rampaged across Iraq virtually unchecked for months, using barbaric tactics to purge towns of religious and ethnic minorities — though Christians are the primary target.

Within one 24-hour period, as many as 2,000 refugee families flooded into a town north of Baghdad. At least 800 families found nowhere except the streets to sleep.

Greg Mundis, AGWM executive director, says, "The need of our fellow believers in Iraq is desperate. We who have experienced God's unmerited favor have a responsibility to help Christians who are suffering there."

As Christians flee persecution, several AG churches in Iraq are helping care for them. One church is presently housing 200 refugees.

"The current situation in Iraq exemplifies the importance of having established churches in a country that can touch the poor and suffering firsthand, quickly and effectively," says Randy Hurst, AGWM communications director. "In spite of their own need, our Iraqi brothers and sisters began immediately reaching out to suffering Christians. They are doing all they can, but they need our help to do more. Through them, we can give aid to Christians in Iraq who are fleeing violent persecution."  

Relief
Help is needed to provide adequate relief supplies for the increasing number of Iraqi Christian refugees.

Across the Nineveh plains, an estimated 200,000 Iraqi Christians have fled their homes.

These churches need financial help to purchase food and other emergency supplies, since most of the refugees have nothing of their own. A blanket can be provided for $10, a hygiene kit for $20, and a week's worth of basic food items for a family of four for $60. 

Those who want to help can give online at giving.ag.org and clicking on the "Middle East Refugee Crisis" graphic. Checks should be mailed to AG World Missions, 1445 N. Boonville Ave., Springfield, MO 65802. Indicate "Middle East Refugee Crisis - AGWM Suffering Church Fund #649230-0 (28)" on the memo line of the check. Donations also can be made by calling toll free 1-866-470-9514. 

"Please pray for Christians who are being persecuted for their faith and for those who are reaching out to nonbelievers in the love of Christ," Mundis appeals. "Pray also that all compassionate efforts that are done will 'open a door for the message' (Colossians 4:3) in many lives."

For more information, including pictures of the relief efforts of AG churches in Iraq, click here.

 

Authors: Kristel Ortiz

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