Israel Report by Curtis McGehee

We are witnessing in Israel a rapid and strong growth, with the gathering of Arab speaking people coming to Christ. Working together with Pastor Marwan Beem, we have seen the Lord open doors across Israel. The majority of the Pastors of the churches we are associated with in Israel, have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and believe in the power and gifts of the Spirit.

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These pastors and churches are on the front line of evangelism; many of them in Muslim neighborhoods and in the West Bank. So many of these churches face considerable persecution for their commitment to Christ. In the news we hear much about the recruitment of young men and women to the demonic-inspired terrorist movement called ISIS. The Holy Spirit of God is also recruiting and calling young people to Christ and His Church.

We know the plan of God is the local church. There is a strong Arab Pentecostal church in Israel. This church believes the same as you and me. These are churches that depend on the power of the Holy Spirit. The majority of these are first generation believers; they have no Azusa Street revival or any Pentecostal history to look back to, yet, like the pioneers of the American Pentecostal movement, they have a deep-rooted faith in the promises of God.

The value of the Arab Pentecostal church in Israel is indescribable. I am humbled in the presence of these precious people; I am awed at their courage and devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ. These churches are working alongside the Christian Jewish community in Israel. These Arab speaking congregations are strong supporters of the State of Israel and many of their sons and daughters serve in the Israeli military.

A flood of refugees from across the Middle-East has come into Europe. Most of these are Muslims, and many of them are coming to the churches in Europe looking or answers. These pastors in Europe do not speak the Arab language, but have contacted the ministers we work with in Israel, and have requested that the ministers come to Europe and preach the Gospel to the refugees. These ministers from Israel are going to Europe and, as a result, many are coming to Christ.

God’s promise is through Isaac, and we must stand with Israel. The Church is often viewed as anti-Arab, but we must never forget our Christian Arab speaking brothers and sisters or the Jewish Christians and others who are caught in this conflict. Millions on both sides need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The way we bless Israel is by taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this nation.

Israel Report by Curtis McGehee

My first trip to Israel was in 2005 with Dr. Marion Dodson and Pastor B.H. Clendennen, where the first Israel School of Christ was conducted.  In November 2012, I was privileged to return to Israel for the fifth time. I can now report that the long-term effects of the School of Christ are still being felt today.

In the School of Christ, Jews and Arabs     attended together. The testimonies from     former School of Christ students are that they obtained a deeper understanding of the Word of God.   Every pastor spoke of the prayer meetings and how God dealt with them. They have a continuing hunger for a deeper understanding of God’s Word.  It was in the School that many learned the power of prayer.  These  ministers will continue to use what they have gleaned from the School of Christ for the rest of their lives.

We are planning to return to Israel next year, and meet with more of our former students. We all know how the events in the Middle East have had a profound impact on the world. But, in the midst of these uncertainties, the God who rules over history makes promises that offer  hope and  future to those that    believe. These pastors and their churches are offering this very hope in Israel today. The Lord has allowed you and me, and the School of Christ, to be a part in these end-time events occurring on the world scene today.

In Israel, if you only see the tourist sites, you would never know the real world that exists there.  The  racial tension is very high, along with strong religious hostilities. The pastors who attend the School of Christ face growing opposition and   hostilities in their own country. There are students who graduated from the School of Christ who pastor both Jewish and Arab congregations. These churches and pastors and their families, are on the front lines of evangelism every day.

The Arab congregations are in the  middle of mostly Muslim communities, where they face many threats. The attacks are mostly centered on the children and young adults.

One pastor’s wife of a Spirit-filled Arab congregation, told me how their children are just not safe to be alone outside. They live under constant danger, and have even experienced beatings—some of them very severe. The children are outcasts at school because they are Christians; and if their fathers are pastors, the persecution is intensified.

In every church that we have had the privilege to minister in, the Holy Spirit’s presence was very prevalent, and the gifts of the Spirit were manifested. Many were saved and baptized in the Holy Ghost. In every church the response was tremendous.  In one church nearly everyone in the building responded to the preaching of the Word.

Though surrounded in neighborhoods with a spirit that is hostile to the gospel and any thought of Christ, there are churches and congregations that have  become a light to their dark world. As I sat in these congregations hearing them singing and seeing them lift their hands in worship, I was strengthened in my soul to witness the Gospel that transforms the life of the believer. These congregations are first generation Pentecostals.

One day as I stood at the empty tomb outside the old city of Jerusalem, I read the words someone had placed in front of it:  “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). We must not forget that the    Gospel we preach has power—power to save to the uttermost. In the book of Revelation it says, “I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” If I could sum up what I experienced on this trip to Israel, it would be a sense of the Spirit of Prophecy.

We must continue the work of the School of Christ in Israel. We all know that the Bible says to pray for Israel. Both the Jew and Arab groups need for us to stand with them. Many want to bless Israel, and the way you can do that is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and your support which helps train and equip these pastors. You can become a part of the great commission in a very real way, the   Scripture says, “Go into all the world and make disciples of men.” If you cannot go, then send. The blessings of God are promised to those who support Israel. We are living in one of the most exciting times in the history of the world, and we must be about our Father’s business. Your prayers and financial support continue to bear much fruit in Israel.   The Lord used this trip through the School of Christ  to  be  an  encouragement to  the  pastors and their families. Please keep them  in your prayers.

Pastor McGehee preaching in an Arab church.

Pastor McGehee preaching in an Arab church.

Nearly everyone in the building responded to the preaching of the Word.

Nearly everyone in the building responded to the preaching of the Word.

These pastors and their families are on the front lines of evangelism everyday.

These pastors and their families are on the front lines of evangelism everyday.

Jew and Arab groups need us to stand with them in prayer.

Jew and Arab groups need us to stand with them in prayer.

The Holy Spirit’s presence was very  prevalent, and the gifts of the Spirit were manifested in every church where I ministered.

The Holy Spirit’s presence was very prevalent, and the gifts of the Spirit were manifested in every church where I ministered.