Below are my thoughts and observations from the second Missions track of the Pentecostal World Conference held in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
First up on day two of the missions track:
Samuel Cheng and Ladan Nouri
Elam Ministries- “Strengthening an expanding the church in Iran and beyond.” Next year, 2014, Elam will celebrate 25 years.
Topic: Case Study of Iran as a nation.
“Iranians are the most open people to the Gospel in the Middle East.”
Five of Old Testament books were written in Persia, modern day Iran.
The Persian King paid for the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah.
Acts 2 mentions the Parthians, Medians, Elamites.
The Nestorian Christians evangelized the region first.
Islam spread in the 7th century.
Islamic revolution hit in 1979.
Jeremiah 49: 34-39 Prophecy of Elam: “God will restore the fortunes of Elam.”
2/3rds of population below 30 years old. Many are discontent in this generation.
Iran: “Fastest growth of evangelicals in the world.”- Jason Mandryck, Operation World
The Ayatollah has said that house churches were the enemy of Iran.
Elam Ministries has distributed over 1 million NT, starting second million for distribution.
Dec 3rd , 1990 a Pastor was hanged for being a Christian minister in Mashad, Iran. His daughter continued his ministry. She used to copy verses by hand and give them out.
2010 Government embarks on a campaign to stamp out the Protestant Church and stop the house church movement. 70 leaders were arrested. A few hundred more were arrested later.
Many men were tortured. The government said that sharing the Gospel was illegal.
Elam says that zeal, boldness, and a willingness to suffer are growth points.
More than half of new believers have had supernatural encounters, such as dreams and visions of Jesus. These include Islamic religious leaders called “mullahs.”
Ladan was in prison for her testimony. She fled to Turkey seeking asylum but willingly returned to Iran to share the Gospel. She was put into prison along with many of her friends and stayed in solitary confinement most of the time. She boldly shared the Gospel with the angriest guard at the prison.
Those who were sent to prison rejoiced and spoke often of “the gift of suffering.”
There are over 50 ethnic language groups in Iran. They have a heart to reach out to them all.
They focus on the 5 c’s in their 3 month training program
- Christ Centered
Learn more at:
From Sri Lanka and is the leader of the Global Prayer Network for Missions, AG.
Topic: Prayer and Missions
Romans 4:13 says Abraham would be the “heir of the world” but also to his seed.
We are his heirs. We have a great responsibility to raise up millions of intercessors around the world and finish the task.
I Tim 2:1-4 says… “FIRST OF ALL…PRAYER.” Not last of all or in the midst of all.
There are three main categories in missions: Unreached, unengaged, and UNPRAYED for…
Michel’s goal is to raise up 5 million intercessors in the next 10 years around the world. Connecting the seven regions of the world for prayer.
“Missions began with a Pentecostal Prayer Meeting.”
Acts 9: Prayer of Ananias
“Prayer is the most abused function in the church. We pray for petty things when we are able to stand before God for the world.”
Anytime a missionary goes forth, it because of an answer to prayer. Luke 10:2, Matt 9:38
Paul’s request for prayer for himself was in the context of mission.
“We Pentecostals in the Global South, prayer is not an option for us. We depend on prayer.”
“The role of the national church is not just to be indigenous but to be missionary.”
“What’s in your hand?” Ex 4:2 Ask that to most Pastors now a days and they will say “a mobile phone!” God is using technology.
Nomadic routes in Africa have been changed by the position of the mobile towers. “Every Pastor in Africa has a mobile phone.”
Isa 50:8 Our action can be intercession.
Who owns the world? We do, the seed of Abraham.
“I try to read Operation World every morning. Now it is only a click away.”
Dr. David Mohan
AG Church Chennai India
Saved in 1968. He used to get up at 4am and pray over the map of India. He wanted to be an evangelist but God spoke to him to be a Pastor with a vision for unreached peoples.
“If the church is not concentrating on mission, it will never grow. The purpose of the church is mission.”
“God gave me a vision to start churches. The money coming into the church is used to start new churches.”
Missionary told him to give the money to start churches and they would be blessed. He thanked God for the missionary.
Topic: The Power of the Holy Spirit in World Mission
Many times we Pentecostals emphasize speaking in tongues. He used to be an Anglican and believed that Pentecostal people were demonized. Later he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Study Acts 13: as leaders get together and pray, the HS begins to speak. He selects and sends. All mission must begin in prayer as the HS guides.
One day the governor asked why they were praying like militants. He answered, “We have to pray like militants to destroy militants.” (speaking spiritually)
The Holy Spirit must speak. The HS must send. Then you will see the HS working in mission.
The first time Paul and Barnabas went out, they met opposition…a false prophet. That is why you need the power of the HS!
John 20:22 After three and a half years of training, after his resurrection Jesus still said “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Jesus worked with them to unite them. Let me go away from you, I will send the Holy Spirit, and he will unite you to do mission.
Peter and John were different characters after the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit united them together.
Luke 4:18 The Spirit is upon me because he has anointed me…
Holy Spirit is the “breath of God.” Without him we cannot live. He is “living water.” You cannot live without water. He is the “fire.” Without it we cannot live. He is oil. It is the most important thing for our life.
To do mission we need Holy Spirit power! We cannot do it apart from it.
Many times we use Holy Spirit as a “bless me club.” But what does Jesus do when the Holy Spirit is upon him? He preaches to the poor!
Missions is touching the needy ones. The poor will come after you and tell you how much they are praying for you. The rich will not be there. You have to go after them!
God told him, “I have called you to touch the poor.”
“The days of the super evangelists, super Pastors is over. We have to equip the ordinary people to do mission.”
“Holy Spirit is in us to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit is upon us to touch others.”
Genesis 1:1 There was confusion, darkness, formless, void. Because of the Word of God and power of the Holy Spirit, it became good.
Dr. Brian Stiller
Topic: Human Rights
Married and in ministry for fifty years. Son of a Pentecostal minister. Dad brought restoration to the Latter Rain movement in the 40’s.
Justice and righteousness: Asks the question, “Why do we have an aversion to this word justice in our circles?”
We’ve divided our world and focused our life on this one side of prayer, evangelism, worship, and holiness.
Because of persecution, our culture became sectarian.
He was at the 1974 Lausanne conference- Escobar and Padilla raised in our minds the issue of justice.
Mentions Psalm 33:5
A standard by which everything else is measured.
Righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Judicial: to put things right.
Micah: We are called “to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Picture of the cross: both vertical and horizontal- God extends himself in society through his people. The Gospel finds its power at the vortex of the vertical and the horizontal.
Jesus is always linking righteousness and justice: Both the return of the prodigal and the good Samaritan.
Justice is more than a personal issue. It is systemic within culture.
Now that we (Pentecostals) are main stream with the best funded ministries, we are in a different role today. Our soteriology is becoming more complete.
He has even been working on “peace issues” in Rome with the WEA. He says, “People are interested because we (Pentecostals) now have influence.”
What can we do?
Fall in love with the idea of justice. The Father loves justice. If we love justice we will be linked to God’s heart in a special way.
Don’t look back and desire to go back but look at the future and what God wants.
Identify the danger in dealing with those treated unjustly. It will cost you something.
Lead by personal demonstration.
Let’s not build our fences so narrow and tight. The Father loves justice and righteousness. Let us love what he loves too.