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Assemblies of God missionaries, Skyping in from around the world, will share their testimonies and urgent prayer needs during a focused time of seeking the Lord through the global online World Prayer Meeting coming in May. Recorded live by Cornerstone Church in Bowie, Maryland, with host pastor Mark Lehman, this annual hour-long event begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28 - Ascension Day.

"As we join together in prayer, we anticipate answers to prayer and breakthroughs among unreached peoples who have yet to hear the hope of the gospel," says AGWM Communications Director Randy Hurst. "In 2013, more than 30 percent of AGWM personnel were involved in ministry to unreached people groups. That number continues to grow."

The World Prayer Meeting's first webcast begins at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and available online immediately thereafter.

"Prayer for divine intervention and empowerment in our mission is not an option: It is an absolute necessity," says Greg Mundis, AGWM executive director. "We will only accomplish God's purposes and the specific individual tasks He has for us as a mission if we can marshal a spiritual army of intercessors to pray that God will open doors among the unreached and protect and sustain our missionaries." 

"Individuals are encouraged to participate in this inspiring event," Hurst says, "but if your church has the compatible technical capabilities, please consider projecting the broadcast in the sanctuary and use the prayer meeting in your regular Wednesday evening service."

Jeff Hartensveld, AGWM mobilization director who will be leading the prayer meeting says, "Imagine, if we pray with an urgency to match the times and days we are living in, what the Lord will do!"

To help direct prayers during and following the event, AGWM has created six prayer cards, one from each of the six AGWM geographic regions.

"Each card includes a brief message from the regional director concerning the prayer focus," Hurst explains. "However, if you plan to use these cards in conjunction with the World Prayer Meeting, they must be ordered by May 16." To acquire cards, call (800)-988-6568.

The site of the World Prayer Meeting broadcast is currently being developed, but once the site is ready, the link will be posted on the AGWM home page and in an upcoming AG News release.

 


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Jacob's Hope: The Assemblies of God launches global outreach to Jews

Fri, 07 Jan 2011 - 4:24 PM CST

Jeff Friedman grew up in a Jewish family, attended an Orthodox Jewish synagogue every week, and lived in the city with the world's largest Jewish population: Brooklyn, New York. The brief encounters he had with Christians left him with a negative impression of the faith during his first 26 years of life.

"Christians offended me; they turned me off," Friedman says. "I basically hated Christians."

One day in 1980, after Friedman moved to Miami as part of his job as a government pharmacist, he went to get a haircut. Mitzi, the hairstylist at the salon, was a Jewish woman - who attended an Assemblies of God church.

"She challenged me as a Jew to study the Jewish Scriptures as they pertain to the Messiah," Friedman recalls. "She spoke to me in a way that made sense."

A week later, after accepting an invitation to a Christmas party at the church, Friedman came to faith in Y'shua (the Hebrew name for Jesus). He immediately sensed a calling, realizing that the overwhelming majority of Jews never hear a culturally relevant presentation of the gospel.

"I have a desire to see fellow Jews come to know this blessing I know," says the enthusiastic and energetic Friedman.

Friedman became a licensed AG minister, graduated from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, and for 17 years served as an AG U.S. missionary while the rabbi of Beth Emanuel, a Messianic synagogue in Philadelphia. When on a ministry outreach team in Eastern Europe, Friedman saw Jewish people living in abject physical and spiritual poverty. The experience motivated him to broaden his vision.

Friedman visited with L. John Bueno, AG World Missions executive director. He discovered that while the Fellowship had undertaken missionary efforts to Jewish people, no such global outreaches existed. Friedman devised the concept of an organization called Jacob's Hope (jacobshope.com) as the first AG World Missions effort to engage the worldwide Jewish community.

Jacobs Hope pic
(From left) Chris Mann, Jeff Coose and Jeff Friedman prepare to unload supplies of the first container delivered to Israel.

"It's latent in our Fellowship that people want to do something for the Jewish people," Bueno says. "This is our only ministry to reach Jews throughout the world."

"A lot of people are supporting Jewish ministries that are not run by Christians," Friedman says. "Those groups provide humanitarian aid. But the gospel is not shared, so people aren't being evangelized."

Jacob's Hope assists both Jewish and Messianic congregations in a variety of practical ways. These include feeding Ukrainians, clothing Israelis, providing teaching materials to Belarusians, and operating a farm to employ Ethiopians.

Friedman is assisted by Vixie, his wife of 28 years. They met in Frankfurt, Germany, where they both worked at a U.S. Army medical center. Vixie, then a Methodist from Alabama, served as a military corps nurse while Jeff worked as a Department of Defense pharmacist.

The ministry has three other AG missionary couples as part of the team: Chris and Shawna Mann; Jeff and Tammy Coose; and a couple directing operations on the ground in Israel.

"I've had a longtime burden for Jewish people," says Chris Mann, who had been an AG pastor in Kansas, Kentucky and Iowa. "It is an honor to serve the Jewish people not only in Israel but globally with Jeff."

In August, Jacob's Hope teamed with Convoy of Hope for the first time and distributed a 40-foot container that included medical supplies and clothing in Israel with the help of Messianic Jews in the Holy Land. Jacob's Hope has three compassion ministry distribution centers in Israel. Jacob's Hope will team with HealthCare Ministries for the first time in January in a visit to the Ethiopian Jewish community.

Jacob's Hope also has been active in Germany, Poland, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine. The ongoing vision includes operating a soup kitchen, repairing homes, building medical clinics, conducting job training and providing funds to dig wells.

As Jacob's Hope grows, Friedman says there will be opportunities for AG laypeople, who have a cultural understanding of Judaism, to take missions trips to distribute goods, work in coffeehouses and construct buildings.

Friedman believes Genesis 12:3 is a God-given promise to bless those who bless the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He also notes that in Romans 15 the apostle Paul writes that those who have received a spiritual inheritance from Jewish people are obligated to bring the blessings of heaven to them.

"We need to bring the Messiah to everybody, to the Jews with as much passion as we do with any other people group," Friedman says.

"I feel greatly blessed that we finally have a full-fledged ministry reaching Jewish people wherever they are," Bueno says.

AG General Superintendent George O. Wood, who has made dozens of trips to the Holy Land, also endorses the ministry.

"This is the first time that Assemblies of God adherents have a chance to invest in humanitarian, evangelistic and discipleship efforts to reach Jewish people around the world," Wood says.

Author: John W. Kennedy, Pentecostal Evangel

 


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