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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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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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