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Over the last few days, Assemblies of God personnel have made several reports of AG families being caught in harm's way and tragedy resulting.

Late last week, AG workers in the Middle East reported two young brothers from the Lighthouse School in Gaza were killed when a missile from an F-16 jet fighter hit their home.

In Iraq, increasing chaos surrounds believers as a militant group known as the Islamic State (previously known as ISIS) tightens its grip in and around the city of Mosul. All Christians have been ordered to leave the city (leaving all of their property behind) or be executed.

Reports are that many fleeing families were stopped at checkpoints and stripped of money and personal possessions. It is believed most Christian families have now fled Mosul.

Then, over the weekend, Dutch officials released the names of passengers from the Netherlands who were aboard the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was reportedly shot down over the Ukraine, with no survivors.

Among the passengers were Arnoud Huizen, his wife, and their 2-year-old daughter. Arnoud was a former student at Azusa Theological Seminary in Amsterdam. He worked with Chi Alpha at Free University in Amsterdam and did an internship with Teen Challenge.

Tim Southerland, area director of Northwestern Europe, states, "Arnoud was a diligent student who loved the Lord. His death is a great loss to the Dutch Assemblies of God and also among the missionary family who knew and loved him."

Two women from AG churches in Indonesia were also killed.

"Our hearts go out to families and individuals who are suffering in the collateral damage of the civil conflicts taking place throughout the world," says AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. "These trying times afford a challenge to the church of Jesus Christ to offer comfort to the suffering and convey the compassion, love and message of Christ wherever we can."

To read the AG World Missions full report, click here.

 

 


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Ministers' Holy Lands trip like "no other"

Wed, 30 May 2012 - 2:37 PM CST

Marc Turnage, director of the Center for Holy Lands Studies, has led countless tours through the Holy Lands for people of all ages and giftings. However, he has come to recognize that ministers and those preparing for the ministry, need more than a tour - they need to come away from their experience enabled to apply the experience to their ministry.

In cooperation with Dr. James Bradford and Pastor Mark Batterson, Turnage has created the "As One With Authority" trip - a training experience that's like no other. This Holy Lands trip, scheduled for February 23 to March 3, 2013, is specifically designed for those in ministry.

"The uniqueness of this trip is that we're not just bringing ministers into the land and giving them a visual picture," explains Turnage, "but the itinerary is very intentionally geared for using the Holy Lands as a platform to improve preaching and teaching."

Turnage explains that in addition to numerous site visits, ministers will receive personal training from Batterson and Bradford - two Holy Lands veterans and outstanding ministers of the gospel. In evening sessions, the two will share with ministers on how to craft sermons and enhance their teaching from the pulpit in a dynamic way based upon their immersion into the lands of the Bible.

Through the As One With Authority Holy Lands training experiences, Turnage says ministers become stronger more confident expounders of Scripture. "They will have not only stepped into the space of Scripture," he says,  "but stepped back into the world and culture of Scripture from the standpoint of leading and teaching." 

But Turnage says the training goes beyond dynamic communication of the Word of God - it also emphasizes personal leadership growth and transformation.

"One of our site visits will be into the desert area of Israel to focus on the character and nature of Bedouin shepherd life in the ancient world," Turnage explains. "This is especially significant when you consider the Old Testament patriarchs of Abraham, Moses and David were all shepherds. When ministers come to understand the importance and role the wilderness played in shaping these shepherds, these leaders of the people of Israel, our prayer is that it would not only enhance their preaching and teaching, but it would challenge and grow them as leaders within their congregations."

Turnage says that the As One With Authority training experience will also differ from normal tours in that ministers will receive pre-trip preparation materials and more time will be spent at specific-to-ministry sites. "The pre-trip study materials open the door to making each site a 'lab' or case study," Turnage says. "We'll talk through the Scripture passage, the historical and archeological issues, then process it, before moving on."

The As One With Authority training experience will also be offered as credit courses for Assemblies of God Theological Seminary students and upper-level students of North Central University, as the dates coincide with the schools' spring breaks.

"My prayer is that ministers of all ages will be able to come together for this time of personal enrichment and spiritual edification," Turnage says. "For what better place to experience renewal than in the Holy Lands?"

For more information about the As One With Authority training experience, including itinerary, trip costs and deadlines, click here.

Authors: Dan VanVeen

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