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With the U.S. Assemblies of God Centennial celebration two weeks away, being held August 5-10, in Springfield, Missouri, registration for the event continues to build. Yet, even though it's the U.S. Assemblies of God celebrating, the overseas AG members are coming in significant numbers to join in the celebration as well as participate in the World AG Congress, being held concurrently.

According to Sheila Mixer, AG Convention Services Group registration coordinator, for those who have pre-registered, so far more than 43 percent are coming from overseas, representing 118 countries!

Mixer expects that by the time the Centennial events begin, there could be as many as 2,000 or more overseas AG representatives attending the events, which include the Centennial celebration, Global Church Planting Summit, and the World AG Congress.

"It's exciting to see such enthusiastic support from Assemblies of God churches overseas," says U.S. AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. "This gathering will truly be a global, once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Wood says there will be nothing like attending the event in person — worshipping God and experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit while standing side-by-side with AG brothers and sisters from around the world - and he encourages all AG members to make every effort to attend. However, for those who are unable to attend, all of the Centennial services will be live-streamed from the event website.

The AG Centennial is being commemorated through a new book that identifies 100 significant moments in AG history. Titled "Moments That Inspire Us to Greater Things," the book is a collection of 100 stories that demonstrate God working in and through the people who make up the Assemblies of God. Included in the book are key missions stories — missions that have resulted in more than 64 million AG overseas adherents, and whose representatives are now coming to help the U.S. Assemblies of God celebrate its centennial.

For more information about the AG Centennial events, including registration information, resources, event schedule and more, see 100.ag.org. To preorder the AG Centennial book, "Moments That Inspire Us to Greater Things," click here.

 


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From the depths of an Iranian prison

Fri, 11 Jan 2013 - 1:39 PM CST

Abedini letter

The letter, carried out from Iran's notorious Evin Prison, tells of beatings and interrogations, around-the-clock bright lights and ongoing lies designed to create hope - in order to crush it. The remarkable letter also reveals a depth of faith and compassion that could only be granted by God.

Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. minister, has been imprisoned in Evin Prison in Tehran for his faith since Iranian authorities removed him from a bus in September 2012 while he was visiting his homeland. 

Recently, Naghmeh, Abedini's wife, received a letter from her husband through family members who were able to visit him in prison. Naghmeh passed the letter on to AG General Superintendent George O. Wood, with the encouragement to share the letter with everyone.

"Saeed's letter is nothing short of a modern-day Pauline epistle," states AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. "As I read his letter through several times, I could only marvel at how God's faithfulness transcends time as the same Holy Spirit that was with Paul in his times of desperation is fully evident in the words of our brother Saeed."

"I always wanted God to make me a godly man," Saeed writes in his letter. "I did not realize that in order to become a godly man we need to become like steel under pressure. It is a hard process of warm and cold to make steel. The process in my life today is one day I was told I will be freed on bail to see my family and kids on Christmas (they are all lies) and the next day I am told I will hang for my faith in Jesus."

"It's amazing to me how this letter, from an imprisoned pastor, inspires and ministers to me when he - it would seem - is the one who needs our prayers," Wood states. "I encourage believers to allow this letter to inspire them to greater things, to pass it on to friends and to continue to uplift Saeed, Naghmeh and their two young children to God in prayer."

To read the letter, which is less than 500 words, click here. To read the original "AG News" story about the imprisonment of Pastor Abedini, click here.

Authors: Dan Van Veen

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