The April 2003 Pneuma Informer
In this issue:
Current Needs and Projects
There are a number of needs that the ministry has right now that we would appreciate your agreement in prayer about. Here is a brief list of some of the current ministry projects and needs:
- Pneuma Review – pray that the editorial committee will continue to write, edit, and publish a journal that challenges and encourages Pentecostal/charismatic church leaders.
- Pneuma Informer – pray that our monthly newsletter, sent all around the world, will be an encouragement and informative to our many friends and members. Please pray that it accomplishes its purpose of telling readers of the current needs of the Pneuma Foundation and telling them of ways they can become involved in the ministry.
- Special Projects – pray for the finances and volunteers to accomplish projects including a special mailing to members of the Society for Pentecostal Studies; a mailing to an international ministry group based in Northwest US; creation of a new mass mailing flyer.
- www.PneumaFoundation.org – pray that the hundreds of articles and books that the Foundation has been given permission to publish on our website will be organized into a new online resource center. Volunteer web-programmers are needed to put these many articles into the Foundation website format.
- Membership Database – a new membership and transaction database was implemented in late 2002 to drastically improve how Pneuma Foundation volunteers record contacts and orders from our members and friends. There are many needed improvements to this system needed in order for it to be more automated and to save our volunteers time as they continue the ever-increasing work of this ministry. Please pray for this effort because it has a great deal to do with the operation of the ministry behind the scenes.
- Finances – All of these efforts require funds to pay for their expenses. The Foundation is committed to not begin new efforts without the finances necessary to accomplish them. Therefore, we are relying on God to provide the "needs" of the ministry through the generous contributions of our members and friends. Please join with us in prayer that God will find the ministry of the Pneuma Foundation to be a vessel He can use to accomplish His purposes through and that He will provide the finances necessary for all of the efforts He wants us to continue or to begin.
What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.org
New Articles and other Features on the Pneuma Foundation Website:
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.
- New links on the In Depth Resources index
- Daily Scripture: The Pneuma Foundation homepage now features a Scripture passage that changes daily. View it on the right-hand side when you enter: www.PneumaFoundation.org. One more reason to make it your homepage.
- Update: Find new requests that have been made for sponsorship to receive a subscription to the Pneuma Review. Please prayerfully consider sponsoring a ministry that wants to be better equipped for Spirit-empowered ministry. For just a few dollars you can make a real difference in ministries around the world.
Have a website you would like linked to the Pneuma Foundation? Write Webmaster Dave Driggs
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Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Seychelles, South Africa, Brunei Darussalam, Israel, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Poland, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, France, Slovak Republic, Croatia, Austria, Hungary, Norway, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, Estonia, Switzerland, and Germany.
Come visit soon. Write to Member Services
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Reports from Around the World
Tanzania: Love even for bandits
Pastor Rafik Daudjee of the All Nations Believers' Fellowship in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, was on vacation with his children and friends in the Usambara Mountains in Lushoto. Traveling in a rented bus after sunset, they were waylaid by bandits who had blocked the road with a tree trunk. Rafik told everyone to pray. The bandits threatened them with machetes and guns, demanding money. As they were being robbed, Rafik asked the bandits "Why are you doing this? We are pastors, I am saved. We have no money. This is my family—don't expect to get very much from us." One of the bandits went away for a few moments, then returned, asking "Who is the pastor?" He shone his torch [flashlight] on Rafik, saying "I know you. Do you remember me?" He then ordered the others to return our belongings. "I grasped his hand and started preaching. The bandit listened, and said 'We're doing this because of the poverty and our problems, pastor.' They returned everything, but I gave them my watch and some money. They left us in peace, completely unharmed. I am amazed that God could give us love even for these bandits..." says Rafik.
Source: Friday Fax 2003 Issue 6
Mexico: Million-strong 'March of Glory' celebration reflects Pentecostal revival
In what Christian leaders hailed as a historic event, a million believers from various denominations in Mexico united over the Easter weekend to proclaim Christ in the country's capital.
They say the Mexico City gathering—which evangelicals deemed inconceivable just 12 years ago because of anti-Protestant laws in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation—reflects the growing revival that is sweeping through the majority of Latin America, where the great majority of believers are Pentecostals.
On Saturday, pastors, ministry leaders and laypeople representing more than 20,000 churches converged in the world's largest city—population more than 23 million—for Marcha de Gloria, or March of Glory.
"This is a historic day in Mexico," said Carlos Quiroa, 42, who helped start the march in the early 1990s. The pastor of Strong Tower Church, a 1,000-member charismatic congregation in Mexico City, added: "This meeting is the largest meeting ever of Christians."
Celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, the March for Jesus-type event featured a 10-mile procession on Reform Avenue, one of the city's main thoroughfares, which saw four of its lanes closed to traffic for the march. Costing $300,000, and financed by numerous churches and ministries, the massive 17-hour event required hundreds of police and security personnel.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Maricela Ram'rez, whose husband, Jaime, pastors 350-member Nueva Vida Foursquare Church in Santa Barbara, Calif. The couple had traveled to Mexico City along with Argentinean-born, California-based evangelist Alberto Mottesi, who was the main speaker at the event.
"It's impressive that all of these people are here to lift up the name of Jesus," Ram'rez told Charisma News Service as she surveyed the huge procession. "Mexico City will not be the same after this."
The march—which took three hours to complete—featured a praise band and 400 dancers in white and green uniforms. Young and old alike carried Christian signs, banners and balloons with Scripture verses.
Broadcast live on 130 Christian radio stations throughout Mexico, the march culminated at the Z'calo. The city's main square, it features the National Cathedral—headquarters of the country's Catholic Church—and the National Palace, the office of the president and Mexico's lawmakers.
"The march ends here because it's the historical, political and religious heart of all of Mexico," said Cecelia Pezet, 49, pastor of a 500-member full gospel church in Mexico City who, with her sister, Mercedes, launched the march with Quiroa.
The rally—which began at 6 p.m. Saturday, local time, and ran through 7 a.m. yesterday—featured continuous praise and worship, prayer and preaching. The all-night vigil rivaled the excitement and atmosphere of a Latin American championship soccer game, as the majority of the participants stood, danced, raised their hands and shouted "Christ is alive" and "Make Way to Jesus Christ"—the theme of the seventh annual event.
"Christ who walked in Israel 2,000 years ago is here today," Mottesi, who turned 61 Saturday, told the massive crowd during a steady drizzle. "I've come here to tell you that there is a great revival happening in all of Latin America, including the Mexican republic."
The thousands gathered at the Z'calo erupted in a loud roar, even as the rain came down harder. It didn't seem to bother anyone. "Nobody is leaving despite the rain," said Antonio Reza, 40, pastor of a Hispanic Southern Baptist Church in Moreno Valley, Calif., who attended the event as part of Mottesi's team. "They're so hungry for the power and presence of God. It's amazing."
Source: Eric Tiansay, Charisma News Service, 4/21/2003. Used with permission.
South Africa: God guards against muggers
"The crime rate in Durban, South Africa, is very high, so the entire crew of OM's [Operation Mobilization] ship Doulos were warned to only leave the ship in large groups. One of our short-term staff didn't hear the warning, and walked alone in the harbour area one evening," say Irene and Andy Juliff. "He was attacked by a gang and robbed. They even wanted his clothes. He silently cried out to God for help. Suddenly, one of the gang asked him if he were a Christian. He told them that he was, and that he worked on the Doulos. The gang gave him everything back, apologised, and accompanied him back to the ship, so that nothing would happen to him on the way!"
Source: Friday Fax 2003 Issue 9
Resources You Can Use
Studies on Spiritual Warfare
Find a balanced, biblical approach to the question of spiritual warfare from the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. This particular statement takes into account the beliefs and experiences of missionaries, theologians, and evangelists from all over the world and from all different Christian traditions.
Bibles for your PDA
Looking for a Bible to put on your Personal Digital Assistant (pocket computer)? Longtime Pneuma Informer subscriber Duane Fleeger recommended www.olivetree.com
to Pneuma Informer
editor Raul Mock (who happened to have recently purchased his first PDA).
you will find many Bible translations to download including free versions in the public domain (and also new translations such as God's Word that have been made available for everyone) and translations you may purchase. There are also commentaries and various study aides to make your PDA a pocket Bible study library. Another website to try for Bible related PDA software is www.laridian.com
Although not available directly for pocket computers, the www.e-sword.net
website has a huge selection of downloadable Bibles and Bible study materials including many classic works in the public domain.
Thoughts to Ponder
Humor and the Christian
"There is only one place where there is no laughter, and that's hell."
'Laughter is the hand of God on the shoulders of a weary world.'
–author unknown, quoted by Grady Nutt
"What healthy father doesn't love to hear his children laugh?"
"Leave sadness to the devil. The devil has reason to be sad."
–Francis of Assisi
"Humor is disarming. It makes us deal with issues we wouldn't face otherwise. Humor is more than a joke at the end of a sermon. It does not even necessarily produce laughter and it might even produce tears. A lot of the Bible is narrative, and lots of the narrative is funny. It makes the characters human. And if Peter and Paul are not human, then they don't have anything to teach us."
Comments from Readers and Web Visitors
'Dear my brethren in Christ,
I'm so thankful to God to find out your website tonight since I've been trying to give an account to some of my classmates at my Seminary whom questioning me concerning my stand on the gifts of the Spirit. Sometimes, I felt unadequate to defend my positions since I don't have enough biblical informations explaining my stands. Most of the time, I'm just using my own experiences in supporting the scripture verses talking about the gifts of the Spirit. So, tonight I'm so excited due to I can surf your website and pick some of the materials which are so useful for me to explain to my classmates who are cessationists. Praise the name of the Lord!!!
Please, pray for me that God will give me wisdom and ability to deal with them. And also please pray that God will grant me the ability to communicate well in english since english is not my native language.
Well, thank you so much for everything. May the Lord bless and use your ministry in a mighty ways.
In His grace and truth,
Your brother in Christ from Indonesia,'
'Hello Dearest Ministry,
May God bless You mightily, so You can continue to be a blessing to the whole Body of Christ, as You really are!
My name is Nikola '. I am a pastor of a Gypsy Church in Bulgaria. I like Your Web Site very much.'
– Pastor Nikola
'I just saw that my link at your site was old, so here is the new one. Thank you for your ministry, dear webservant.'
– AB from Israel
'Thank you for sending the Pneuma Review Journal continually. I am continually praying for your ministry. Thank you for your prayers.'
– AE from Sri Lanka
'One of my friends said he would teach me to pray in tongues. If a gift, do I need to be taught? Just searching for answers for those of us have-nots who love Jesus, win people to Christ, etc., but have been told that they do not possess the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second work of grace because of no tongues.
May His abundance fill your life,'
Greetings, Pastor Doug
Addressing poor statements like "teaching how to pray in tongues" is the very sort of reason that the Pneuma Foundation came into existence. Indeed, how can something that the Spirit does through a believer be "taught"? Showing an example might be one thing, but grace (the chrisms are grace gifts) cannot be taught.
Regarding the "haves" and "have-nots" I encourage you to read a chapter from the book Praying in the Spirit, by Robert Graves, that is now available online at www.PneumaFoundation.org >. Praying in the Spirit was reprinted serially in the Pneuma Review. That particular chapter, from the Winter 2000 issue, is titled "Better Than I Was, Not Better Than You Are" and may be found here:
Hope this is an encouragement to you. I invite to write again.
In the love of the Father,
"I am sincerely impressed with the quality of your ministries by helping those who are less fortunate Christian peoples.
– Jerry in the Philippines
"Your site has been a great resource for Pentecostals/Charismatics that are needing balanced teachings and information with regards to our spiritual distinctives. Keep up the good work in the Spirit! The Lord Jesus is being glorified! :)
in His strength,"
– Bro. M
Excerpts from the Pneuma Review
The Pneuma Review is a quarterly printed journal of ministry resources and theology for Pentecostal and charismatic ministries and leaders.
In order to complete this issue of the Pneuma Informer and have it sent to subscribers while it is still April, no excerpts from the Pneuma Review will be appearing in this issue.
For more information about the Pneuma Review, and to learn how to subscribe, visit: /intro_pr.jsp
- Pray for Christians in Uzbekistan: Secret police broke up a women's Bible study in the latest in a series of crackdowns on believers in the autonomous western republic of Karakalpakstan, according to Forum 18, the Norway-based religious freedom group.
Ten women meeting at a home in Khojali were held for more than 24 hours, during which time they were insulted, put in a cell with male prisoners and sent to a reception center for the homeless, a local Baptist told Forum 18. Police denied the allegations of mistreatment.
Rights of religious freedom are frequently violated in the region, where only one church has been able to register formally with authorities, said Forum 18. Christians from Karakalpak and Kazakh backgrounds are "the primary target of government harassment."
In Muinak, recently, two Christians detained during a raid on a private home were tortured by police who made them put on gas masks and then closed off the air supply, in an attempt to force them to sign statements that they had been preaching, said Forum 18. The two men were jailed for five days.
Meanwhile, Presbyterians are being forced to meet secretly in the former Soviet republic as authorities increase pressure on non-Muslim groups. "The authorities say we have no right to hold meetings without registration," said Khym-Mun Kim, a leader of the Peace Presbyterian Church in Nukus, the capital of Karakalpakstan.
Source: Charisma News Service 3/26/2003. Used with permission.
- Pastor Craig Carter has asked for prayer as he pioneers a new church in the Cedar Springs, Michigan area.
- Pastor T. A. M. D. [full name not used for security] of southern India has asked for prayer for unity among Christian workers and strength from the Lord as they are increasingly facing persecution. He writes, 'It is now known Internationally that India is a pro-Hindu country ruled by fanatical Hindu leaders who are working over time to do away with the activity of the churches and mission agencies. A Hindu or any one from another religion must pay a heavy price, if he or she chooses to become a Christian and then to follow Christ!'
- Richard Twiss of Wiconi International has asked for prayer for healing in his knee: 'please pray, as my knee is giving me big problems popping out of joint, so pray for healing.' Richard is traveling extensively this Spring and Summer and coordinating large ministry outreaches all over the world, including almost 30 First-nations believers traveling to Peru and Argentina for evangelism and reconciliation events with Christians of all cultures and backgrounds.
- Pray for Christians in Iraq: Leaders of the country's minority Christian community fear that it would only take "one small spark" such as an anti-Christian sermon in a mosque or an argument between Muslim and Christian neighbors to trigger violent attacks on Christians, according to The Barnabas Fund (BF).
The U.K.-based group said that many believers have left Baghdad to return to their ancestral homelands in the north of the country until the war is over, while others have fled to Syria. With tensions high, some Christians no longer wear crosses openly in public for fear they would make them a target.
Among violent incidents in recent months was the brutal murder and decapitation of a nun by a Muslim mob, said BF. Some Christians in Baghdad have been sheltering in churches, which have remained open despite the exodus.
Source: Charisma News Service 3/31/2003. Used with permission.
- Pray for Christians in Pakistan: A Christian who was falsely accused of theft was recently tortured and murdered. According to International Christian Concern (ICC), Rehmat Masih, a father of five who worked as a custodian in Lahore, and another Christian were alleged to have stolen 300 law books from their employer.
Although there were 10 other Muslim workers with access to the books, only the two believers were arrested March 2, though no charges being filed. "My husband was innocent and was arrested only because he was a bold Christian," Masih's wife told ICC. "My husband was uneducated and his means of transport was a bicycle. Why would he steal 300 books and how could he transport them on a bicycle?"
After 17 days of torture by authorities, who pressured the duo to admit the theft, Masih became ill. He was transferred to a hospital where he died April 1. Outraged with Masih's death, family members and fellow Christians protested by taking his dead body to authorities. One of Masih's nephews was struck in the head by police during the protest, and died.
Source: Charisma News Service 4/9/2003. Used with permission.
- Geir Lie reports that a new research library in Oslo, Norway has been officially organized to archive and make available the history of what God has and is doing in northern Europe. The Pentecostal Research Center publishes a journal called Refleks that has articles in Norwegian and English.
- A true story of answered prayer from Presidential Prayer Team: 'Several weeks ago, through the website of The Presidential Prayer Team, I 'adopted' a member of the Armed Forces to pray for daily during this time of war. I have prayed daily (early and often!) for 'my' adopted Marine.
Last night I returned home from work and turned on my television set for war updates. In progress was a battlefield interview from Iraq conducted by embedded correspondent Kerry Sanders. Kerry was speaking with a wounded young Marine who, surrounded by medics, lay on a stretcher on the ground 'somewhere in the Iraqi desert.'
Fortunately, the brave young man appeared to be in fair condition despite a wound in the arm/hand. To my astonishment, I heard Kerry refer to the wounded Marine as 'Josh,' which just happens to be the name of my 'adopted' Marine.
'It can't be,' I said to myself, 'it just can't be!' After all, there must be hundreds of Marines named 'Josh.' But, incredibly, the young Marine IS 'my Marine!' As the interview proceeded Kerry mentioned the Marine's last name, and YES, the young Marine IS indeed the Marine I pledged to pray for daily (and did, particularly at about the time he was under fire).
I am overjoyed that 'my Marine' has come through a fierce encounter near Nasiriyah alive, and though wounded, will recover. I'd like to think that my prayers may have helped Josh as he fought in the desert of Iraq a day or so ago.' From Patricia, Las Vegas, Nevada, by way of www.PresidentialPrayerTeam.org.
- A friend of the ministry reports that the Lord has raised up leaders to care for a growing group of believers in India and he has been given the opportunity to go and minister in a new field in a closed Asian nation. Hopefully more details will be shared in the future which cannot at this time due to security concerns.
Please send us your prayer requests and praise reports. We have a great God who always meets our needs.
If you would like more information about how you may help in meeting these needs, please contact Member Services.