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AG World Missions and Convoy of Hope are partnering to help feed and care for those affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Convoy of Hope is procuring emergency meals and medical supplies, and AGWM is funding the shipping and distribution of these critically needed items. Six shipping containers are already en route to Liberia, and plans for a total of 30 containers are underway.

AGWM and Convoy of Hope's partnership makes this relief effort both financially efficient and effective in touching the suffering. By partnering with AG churches in the affected areas, relief supplies are distributed to those who need it most, and people are connected with the gospel and a community of believers. Every dollar given will deliver 30 meals to people in Africa's hardest hit communities.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, the Assemblies of God in Liberia (AGL) is reaching out to the suffering with a gospel witness, prayer, and tangible assistance, such as food and household supplies. The Ebola crisis has had a negative impact on the nation's economy, leaving many without even the most basic necessities. 

Greg Beggs, AG World Missions regional director for Africa, says, "AG national churches in Liberia and Sierra Leone are valiantly coping with this horrendous health crisis. We need to unite our prayers with them for God's intervention."

In order to maximize its influence, the AGL has formed a partnership with the Christian Health Association of Liberia, which works hand in hand with the Liberia Ministry of Health as well as 1,600 churches nationwide.

In neighboring Sierra Leone, the Ebola epidemic began in the village of Koindu where an AG Bible school is located. Several deaths have been reported from the school and area churches. Despite steps to attempt containment, the epidemic has spread to every district in the nation. According to the World Health Organization, the densely populated national capital, Freetown, has been called "one of the worst affected cities in this outbreak."

The Sierra Leone Assemblies of God has received medical supplies (gloves, masks and hand sanitizer) from HealthCare Ministries, AGWM's medical outreach. Local churches distribute those supplies in remote regions where the disruption of services has created staggering shortages.

"Much of the success of the current relief efforts stems from the presence of strong AG churches in the area," says Jerry Ireland, director of Africa AG Care. "Apart from the network of Assemblies of God-affiliated churches, such efforts would be greatly hindered, if not impossible."

"During the Thanksgiving season is an especially appropriate time to express our gratitude for God's blessings with a meaningful and tangible offering that is effective in any amount," says Randy Hurst, AGWM Communications director. "Through this effective partnership between AGWM and Convoy of Hope, for every dollar 30 meals can reach desperate people in Africa. Even a child can give a dollar and know their gift delivered 30 meals."

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School consolidation: carried on a foundation of prayer

Wed, 09 Jan 2013 - 3:49 PM CST

Soon after the decision to consolidate Central Bible College, Evangel University and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary was ratified at the 54th General Council of the Assemblies of God in Phoenix, Arizona, in August 2011, this initiative began to be bathed in prayer.

Following the Council meeting, Dr. Gary Denbow, president of Central Bible College, approached executive leadership about initiating focused times of prayer for God's blessing and guidance upon this monumental task.

Since September 2011, ten "Together in Prayer" gatherings have taken place alternately on the three campuses and at Maranatha Village, also located in Springfield; additional meetings are slated for January and April. Two of the gatherings have included campus prayer walks.

Many facets of the consolidation process have been covered in prayer during these gatherings. These include prayer for wisdom; for a sense of mission and purpose; for unity of heart, mind and spirit; for community among the three institutions; the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout; for course programs that will provide strong spiritual and academic balance; for favor with accrediting bodies; for leadership and staff structures; for student housing; for wisdom in establishing student tuition and fee structures; for unity on essential theological and doctrinal positions; for a thoroughly biblical worldview in all academic disciplines, and much more. Prayers have been led by students, faculty, administrators and alumni.

As the consolidation process moves forward, myriad details are still before the various boards and committees. Preparation is underway for a key meeting with the Higher Learning Commission, January 21-22, 2013. Leaders ask for churches and individuals to bathe the consolidation initiative in prayer as the Commission visit approaches, asking God for His wisdom and favor.

The next Together in Prayer gathering will be held 7 p.m. Monday, January 14, at the Maranatha Chapel in Maranatha Village.

Authors: John Maempa

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