Feature

Called Together

The Ninth Quadrennial AWF Assembly

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Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. . . . He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song:

‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth’” (Rev. 5:6–10).

I’ve read these verses many times and even preached from them at least once, but for the first time in my life I actually saw this passage lived out as my wife, Karen, and I attended the Alliance World Fellowship Quadrennial Assembly in Santiago, Chile, through the sponsorship of The Orchard Foundation. We experienced, in part, the vision of John where from every tribe and language, people and nation, those who have been purchased by the Lamb came together in worship of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We were most impacted by the people of The Alliance from all over the world, serving the Lord faithfully and living out the call within their context. Rev. Jack Sara, pastor of the Jerusalem Alliance Church, asked us to pray for the “Peace of Jerusalem,” not politically but spiritually—the salvation of the people. His stories of ministry brought Karen and me to tears as he shared the challenging, yet wonderful, opportunities to present the gospel in the Holy Land.

Daniel Shayesteh, once a prominent Muslim political leader and teacher of Islam and religious philosophy, spoke to the assembly. In a dream Jesus Christ revealed Himself to Daniel, who became a believer while living in Turkey. He is now an evangelist/apologist who speaks of how Christ wonderfully transformed him and his family. Daniel’s inspiring testimony was a reminder to pray for those who labor in Islamic countries, requesting that God would open the eyes of people even through supernatural means.

The highlight of our experience in Santiago was the Parade of Nations, which displayed the fruits of early missionaries as national pastors and leaders carried the flags representing their country. That evening we met the delegation from Indonesia and spoke with Pastor Inyoman Enos, whose father became a believer under the ministry of Dr. Robert A. Jaffray, one of the C&MA’s pioneer missionaries. We praise God for those who paved the way for the gospel to be taken to the ends of the earth.

We saw the work of International Fellowship of Alliance Professionals (IFAP) through the life of an IFAP-er who works in Honduras with the Medical Clinic of the Great Healer. Growing up in the United States and feeling the call of God, she began taking short-term missions trips, which eventually led her to move permanently to Honduras. She is involved in making arrangements for children with congenital heart disease to have surgery in the United States. Her life and obedience to the call of God were truly an inspiration to us.

After the assembly ended, Karen and I traveled to the coastal region of Viña del Mar, where we were the guests of missionaries Chuck and Betty Ostlie. The Ostlies, along with missionaries Bob and Giselle Hepokoski, work with the national pastor in planting the Alliance Church in Reñaca. What a thrill to be able to worship with the believers and see firsthand God’s provision in the growth of a young church.

As we returned home, we were given a renewed vision for Alliance missions and a broader, more complete understanding of what it means to be Living the Call together! We are partners of the work in all nations through praying, giving, sending and going. What an awesome call! My wife and I have a strong passion for missions, and the Lord fulfilled a lifelong dream we have had of taking a missions trip together. We are thankful to God and The Orchard Foundation for making this vision trip possible for us.

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