The May 2005 PNEUMA INFORMER
In this issue
What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.orgNew Articles, Links, and other FeaturesNew Featured Online ArticlesNew Download Resources
New In Depth Resources: Articles by Pentecostal/charismatic Scholars
- Download Resources Index: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/resources/downloads.jsp
To save space and make downloading easier, most download resources are compressed into ZIP files. Latest versions of Mac and Windows operating systems have built-in unzipping tools, and older OS users can still download free utilities to do this (links are provided on the download resources page).
- Updated as of May 14: Craig Keener's Bible Interpretation Course. This is a full course on how to read and interpret the Scriptures by Professor Craig S. Keener. Professor Keener grants you permission to use this course to teach others and distribute his syllabus without cost. 784KB file. This resource is also available in a French translation prepared by Craig's wife.
- In Depth Resources Index: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/resources/in_depth.jsp
In Depth papers, book reviews, and links to online resources for Christian thinkers, scholars, and students of God's Word.
- Web Exclusive Book Review: David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish. Reviewed by Peter Althouse. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/article.jsp?article=article_0028.xml
- "John A. MacMillan's Teaching Regarding the Authority of the Believer and its Impact on the Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatic Movements" By Paul King. Presented at the 30th Annual Meeting (2001) of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. HTML version added May 9, 2005. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/article_0027.xml
- "Supernatural Physical Manifestations in the Evangelical and Holiness Revival Movements" By Paul King. Presented at the 32nd Annual Meeting (2003) of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. Also available in PDF format, 255KB. HTML version added May 9, 2005. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/article_0026.xml
Also, be sure to check out the "What's New" section on the Pneuma Foundation homepage. New articles and other features are being added regularly.
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Reports from Around the World
USA: Large Reservation Has Become Wellspring of 'Sweeping' Revival
Ministry leaders claim some communities in the largest American Indian reservation in the United States are experiencing a move of God that is comparable to the miracles recorded in the book of Acts. They say that in parts of the Navajo Nation, entire families have come to Christ, crack houses have been turned into houses of worship as drug dealers have been converted, many have been delivered from alcohol and drugs, and a well that was dry for years is now filled with water that brings healing.
"The only big name involved in this revival is God, and it is sweeping the Navajo Nation," said Ray Saragosa, missions pastor of New Song Fellowship, a 300-member charismatic church in Denver. Saragosa has taken ministry teams seven times to the Arizona communities that are located in the Navajo Nation, which extends through a large portion of the Grand Canyon state and into New Mexico and Utah. Since May 2003, Saragosa, 51, has taken truckloads of clothing, toys, bikes and furniture to Ganado and Whippoorwill, Ariz., located approximately two hours northeast of Flagstaff, Ariz.
The Navajo Nation is the largest of the 275 reservations and 500 federally recognized tribal governments in the United States. Roughly the size of West Virginia, the territory covers 25,351 square miles and has a population of 180,000, according to census reports.
A Navajo native who was raised on the reservation, Daniel "Larry" Furcap, senior pastor of Whippoorwill Fellowship Church, said a "full explosion of revival" is happening in Whippoorwill and Ganado, which are about an hour apart. "It seems like the Lord started doing the outpouring beginning in December 2003," said Furcap, 42, who is ordained in the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.).
Furcap and Sammie Begay, senior pastor of Ganado Glory Temple, held what was supposed to be a weeklong revival. "During the revival meeting, we preached about the grace of God," said Furcap, who has seen the church grow from eight members to 135 since he became pastor in 2000. "Through that the people accepted that they were accepted and redeemed. That's when they opened up and when the outpouring started taking place. The week of revival kept going on and it continued for weeks."
Furcap said nearly 200 people have accepted Christ in Whippoorwill, Ganado and the community of Hard Rock, which have several thousand residents.
Shirley Baker said she and several of her siblings got saved last year after one of her brothers and a nephew, who were both Christians, died. "We went through a lot before we knew God," said Baker, 42, who attends Whippoorwill Fellowship. "I would drink three or four nights each week, and I didn't think about anything except to get drunk again because there was no one to turn to for love or forgiveness. But now He has set us free from sins."
Source: CharismaNOW http://www.charismanow.com/a.php?ArticleID=11211 Used with permission.
Mozambique: deaf and dumb girl healed
"Kakala smiles all over her face, and is very excited!" wrote Rolland and Heidi Baker, missionaries in Mozambique, on 8th April 2005. "She repeats Heidi's words syllable for syllable into the microphone, touching the hearts of everyone in the village. Everyone knows that Kakala was born deaf and dumb.
People ran to fetch Kakala's mother, and soon they are both standing in front of the crowd, smiling broadly. The mother again confirms that she had never heard Kakala speak before. Upon hearing the news, someone ran off to fetch another deaf and dumb girl. Heidi and the team prayed for the girl and laid hands on her, and the little Magdalena was also instantly healed, able to hear and speak. An old woman was also healed - Jesus restored her sight."
When whole villages are saved
"The whole village had gathered, and many had traveled miles from the surrounding villages on hearing that we were coming," the Bakers continue.
"They saw the Jesus Film, and Heidi preached and told them what Jesus had already done in their region. The result was that the entire village unanimously decided to accept the Gospel. During our missionary outreaches in the traditionally Muslim province Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique, we regularly see whole villages eagerly turning to Jesus the first time they hear our message. Whenever we preach the Gospel as simply, intensely and clearly as we can, there is no resistance: the poor come out of their huts, clothed in rags, and run to Jesus. They accept him as their new Lord without hesitation or doubt, renouncing their old lives of dependency on witch doctors, enslaved by evil spirits, false religion and traditions, and kneel in the dust of their village square, worshipping their new saviour Jesus. In the past two years, over 190 new churches have formed in Cabo Delgado's villages; more are added every week. The harvest in Mozambique is truly ripe."
Source: Rolland and Heidi Baker www.irismin.org by way of FridayFax 2005/16. Used with permission.
Sri Lanka: "God Changed Everything" as Believers Help Tsunami Victims
A wave of compassion from Sri Lankan Christians, who have faced opposition from the Buddhist majority, is impacting the tsunami-ravaged southern Asia nation. For the body of Christ in this religiously diverse nation of 20 million people, the tsunami that devastated the Indian Ocean coastline on Dec. 26 provided a door of opportunity to help victims.
"After the tsunami, God changed everything," said Angela. Angela and her husband, Yogesh, pastor an Assemblies of God church in Ambalangoda, located in southwestern Sri Lanka. Neighbors who used to eye the couple's church with suspicion - and even joined in persecuting its members - are now receiving relief supplies from them. Within two weeks after the disaster, five families came to Christ and began to attend the church. Seeing the congregation's compassion for the town's suffering, a community Buddhist leader who formerly threatened Yogesh with reprisals if he did not stop preaching the gospel came in tears asking how he could help.
Yogesh and Angela are rebuilding their own lives. Their home and church were demolished by the tsunami. Fortunately, they had canceled Sunday service and gathered the congregation of 75 for a meeting the day before so members could spend the remainder of the Christmas weekend with family.
The couple's enthusiasm for ministry is being revived by the changing attitudes in the city. "Neighbors are beginning to come to us to ask us for prayer and advice with family problems," Yogesh, 29, said.
Even before the tsunami, National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), a coalition of indigenous evangelical churches in Sri Lanka, was involved in offering support to persecuted churches. Aware of the religious tensions, coalition leaders immediately committed to deliver aid to the people in greatest need - regardless of religious loyalties.
"People know that we are a Christian organization," said alliance General Secretary Godfrey Yogarajah, 42. "But we believe it would be unethical to exploit the disaster and use relief as bait to get people into the churches."
In the first six weeks after the disaster, NCEASL was able to provide dry ration packs for 20,000 families (approximately 80,000 people), install two water-purification units, clean 750 wells that had been contaminated by tsunami runoff, and begin distribution of 15,000 re-entry packs and 5,000 temporary shelters.
Source: Adapted from CharismaNOW report, used with permission. http://www.charismanow.com/a.php?ArticleID=11078
Helping with Reports
Other News and Headlines
The PNEUMA INFORMER editor is looking for volunteers that could help gather and format reports for publication in this email newsletter. If you would be interested in helping with this, or if you have a one-time suggestion of an encouraging story or report of what God is doing in the world, please write to the INFORMER editor by using the email address found on the Contact Us page.
for Current News and Links
- India: Death sentence commuted for convicted murderer of missionaries Christians worried as attacks continue with little interference from the government (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/121/32.0.html
- Arab Bank funded Hamas, al-Qaida (Jerusalem Post). http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1113963510318&p=1101615860782
- "From 'Erstwhile Liberal' to 'Vatican Enforcer'" A review of John Allen's Cardinal Ratzinger: The Vatican's Enforcer of the Faith by By Sam Storms (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/116/35.0.html
- Christian History: Neglected story of missionaries revived The new biography of the Baptist missionaries known as the Judsons comes at a time when many Baptists have forgotten who they were, if they ever knew (The Birmingham News, AL). http://www.al.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/news/111658113770100.xml&coll=2
- Obituary: Evelyn Roberts Wife of Oral Roberts dead at 88 after a fall (CharismaNOW). http://www.charismanow.com/a.php?ArticleID=11109
- UK: British Government Drops Religious Hatred Law Christians see this as an answer to prayer and activism, having expected the proposal to restrict their religious freedoms (AssistNews). http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/s05040028.htm
- Iran: Lay Pastor May Face Martyrdom Convert from Islam accused of evangelizing Muslims (Compass Direct). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/006/3.22.html
See other news to pray and praise God about in the Prayer Requests department below.
Report the News
We are looking for stories about what God is doing in the world, reports about the persecution of Christians, and information about significant trends and ministry opportunities. If you have a news item to report, please send an email to the PNEUMA INFORMER. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/contactus.jsp
Responses from Readers
Announcing RBC Ministries' Da Vinci Code Web Site: www.rbcdavincicode.com [appeared in the April 2005 issue of the PNEUMA INFORMER]
"I am very impressed! That flash header was done very well, the template looks good, this site is pretty cool."
I am grateful for your email newsletter. It is loaded with great stuff!
I derive a great deal of benefit from the Informer.
Source: Apostle JD
In our country, it is hard for us to find materials about leadership, Holy Spirit gifts, evangelization, ... All of these can help us to equip other Christians. Thank you for providing so much through your website. We will be referring there often.
Yours in Christ,
Source: Paul K. in Congo
Resources You Can Use
Sharing the Story of Jesus
Tongue Tied Do you feel paralyzed when trying to talk about Jesus? Numerous ideas and tools to help you overcome your anxiety to talk about the good news. http://www.tonguetied.org
Answers from Jews for Jesus. Answers to questions about Messiah and why Jews are following Jesus. http://www.jewsforjesus.org/answers
Sharing Jesus by Serving
Two online resources for learning about servant evangelism are:
Planned Acts of Christian Kindness
One visitor said: "We are so fired up about Planned Acts of Christian Kindness. Since we started this ministry, 25 new people have visited our church, and 8 have joined."
Missionaries: Receive free Christian counseling
Missionary Outreach Support Services (MOSS) is an organization under the leadership of the Regent University Doctor of Psychology program. MOSS seeks to serve Christian Missionaries and their families, both at home and abroad, by providing internet-based consulting and psycho-educational services.
Psychological trainees provide the services under the supervision of licensed psychologists and in the context of a Christian worldview. The services are offered at a reduced rate to provide missionaries with quality care that they can afford to use while serving on the mission field. For more information:
Source: Brigada Today (2005/04/22)
Learn to Type
Never learned to touch-type? Do it. A real timesaver. You can learn with this without-cost download:
Source: Web Evangelism Newsletter (December 2004)
Recommended by Web Evangelism Bulletin
What's the current status of denominations, religious adherents, and the unevangelized? Mission researcher David Barrett has some new figures:
Christian futurist and AIDS specialist Dr. Patrick Dixon offers a free book download THE TRUTH ABOUT AIDS. Follow the links from:
Wheelchairs for the World
The Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM), has developed "the most rugged and cost-effective wheelchairs in existence." The design incorporates a 3-dollar plastic lawn chair, two mountain bike tires, and a frame constructed of steel conduit - for a total cost (including distribution) of less than 42 US dollars/euros. http://www.freewheelchairmission.org
No-pay PDF Online Books
Download mission-related books here: http://www.dawnministries.org/resources/downloads.html
Source: Web Evangelism Bulletin (April 2005)
Excerpts from the Spring 2005 issue of the PNEUMA REVIEW
The PNEUMA REVIEW is a quarterly printed journal of ministry resources and theology for Pentecostal and charismatic ministries and leaders. For more information about the PNEUMA REVIEW, and to learn how to subscribe, please visit: Introducing the PNEUMA REVIEW. www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp
Buy the PNEUMA REVIEW online at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000D8CY9
Write a review online for the PNEUMA REVIEW!
Book Review: ANSWERING JEWISH OBJECTIONS TO JESUS by Michael Brown
Michael L. Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Vols. 1-3 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000 and 2003).
When you encounter a Jewish man or woman willing to enter into a dialogue about Jesus, and you face the inevitable hurdles many Jewish people can raise, would it not be nice to have resources that could provide you an easy-to-read, well-researched, yet comprehensive view on countering those objections?
Michael Brown has compiled three such books. Volume One tackles the General and Historical Objections; Volume Two examines the Theological Objections; and Volume Three offers an in depth examination of Messianic Prophecy Objections. The three volumes bring together a wealth of knowledge without parallel in the marketplace.
Brown brings Jewish understanding to the fore, tracing centuries of Hebrew thought, theology, and history that developed through interaction in predominately Christian and Muslim communities, demonstrating how the rabbis came to reach some of the conclusions they reached about the Messiah. He helps you understand the Jewish perspective, and then equips you with solid, biblical--and usually thoroughly Jewish--answers.
Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus writes, "Michael Brown's thinking is incisive and to the point. His ability to explain so that anyone can understand is amazing. He will surely be acclaimed as the new expert in Jewish Christian apologetics."
Each volume includes extensive notes, a glossary of Hebrew terms, as well as subject and Scripture indexes. You don't have to be a rabbi to enter into a meaningful dialogue about the Jewish Messiah. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus has done all the work for you. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams, Litt. D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.
Read other great articles and reviews in the Spring 2005 issue of the PNEUMA REVIEW www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp
From the article "John the Baptist and the Prophetic Spirit of Pentecost" by James D. Hernando
. . .
The Courage of Prophetic Preaching
It is difficult to imagine the weight of consequences that pressed for John's silence. In fact, apart from prophetic inspiration there is no explanation for John's courage and dauntless confrontation of sin. The risks were enormous and the results ominous. By issuing a call of repentance to Annas and Caiphas was an insult to highest religious office in Judaism and tantamount to religious and political suicide. By confronting the multitudes with their sins and hypocrisy (vv. 7-8) John ran the risk of social rejection and the loss of a popular following (v.3; Cf. Mk 1:5). The exposure of the tax collectors in their fraud and oppressive taxation surely risked retaliation by the economic power-brokers of his day. No less dangerous was to directly confront Roman soldiers with their extortion and violence. Certainly it held the risk of violent retaliation by those who unilaterally possessed the power of the sword.15 And finally, it was all but suicidal to publicly denounce the sins of an eastern potentate, especially one notorious for his wickedness (v.19).16
Did John the Baptist fully understand the risk he took in bringing God's prophetic truth to those who stood condemned? The testimony of his Old Testament predecessors point to an unequivocal "yes" as the answer.17 He realized the risks, but his fear and love of God overcame his fear of man and the seductive appeal of worldly acclaim. He proclaimed the truth of God to his entire generation in spite of the consequences. Those who are heirs of the prophetic Spirit of Pentecost are kin to the prophetic Spirit of John the Baptist. Should not the church of Jesus Christ display the same prophetic courage to speak God's truth today? In view of our spiritual inheritance can we remain silent in a world bereft of moral guidance, set adrift in a sea of moral relativism, without an anchor of transcendent truth? In a day when people reject any notion of truth apart from what is expedient or "seems right," who will hold up the standard of God?s unchanging truth if not those who have inherited the prophetic mantle of the Baptist?
James D. Hernando, Ph.D., is professor of New Testament at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri. www.agts.edu/faculty/hernando.html
Read the rest of this article in the Spring 2005 issue of the PNEUMA REVIEW www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp Endnotes appear with the full article.
- Please join the Pneuma Foundation volunteer staff in praying about financial needs that have arisen recently. There are US$300 in expenses that need to be paid as soon as possible. If you would like more information about this financial need, please contact Member Services. www.pneumafoundation.org/contactus.jsp
- Pastor David in Mahabubnagar, India writes: "I am working in evangelism to help those crisis situations of poverty. Please pray for my ministry needs and ministry development." Reference Number: 90014099
- Dave and Debbie Johnson, Assemblies of God missionaries to the Philippines, have recently completed their deputation in the States and are returning to the Philippines. They have asked for prayer about these items: "1. That we would have God's anointing, know His priorities, receive His resources, and have His health and strength (Dave has asthma and sleep apnea, and Debbie needs physical strength). 2. Please pray for us as we get readjusted to the Philippine climate, culture, and language again. 3. Please pray for our families as they get used to our being gone again."
- Pastor Emmanuel, in Sri Lanka, has asked for prayer of all the Christians in his nation as they are opposing the proposed anti-conversion laws. This issue is uniting Christians to take a stand and oppose these restrictive laws. Reference Number: 708100101
- Evangelist M.E. of JYGI Ministries writes: "Pray to God to provide us with spiritual and financial assistance for the ministry as well as people to work with us to spread the gospel."
- Pray for believers in Udmurtia (Russian Federal Republic): Twenty masked special and plain clothes police raided an evening seminar on the 14th of April at the Word of Faith church in Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurtia autonomous republic. Police forced the 70 people present outside, calling them "sectarians" and "prostitutes," while they searched the church. Nearly 50 church members were held for five hours at the police station and fingerprinted. Udmurtia's interior ministry claimed the Pentecostals had "distorted" details of the raid. Pentecostal bishop Yuri Degtyar told Forum 18 News Service from Izhevsk that he believes the public prosecutor has now "taken control of the situation" and that the investigation into police conduct during the raid will be "objective."
Source: Forum18 News Service http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=547
- Condolences to the Walma family on the graduation of Allen Walma. Al Walma, aged 58, went to be with Jesus his Savior on Monday, May 16, 2005. Erin (Walma) Mock, who works with her husband Raul in some of the daily operations of the Foundation, is daughter to Al Walma. Numerous members of the Walma family have volunteered with various aspects of the Foundation through the years. Raul writes, "We will miss Dad a lot, but we know that he was doing exactly what he felt God wanted him to be doing: ministering to the forgotten in nursing homes and everywhere the Lord led him. Thank you for the out-pouring of love and prayer during this time of grief. We are assured by the Scriptures that this time of sadness will one day give way to a time of great joy when we are united with all of our loved ones and the great cloud of witnesses to God's great plan of love and redemption."