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Laughter, Smiles and Friendships in Dearborn

July 9th, 2012 No comments

Children at Arab American FestivalAn   Aglow Transformation Team arrived in Dearborn, MI,  on Thursday, June 14, to prepare to serve at the Arab International Festival which continued until Sunday, June 17, 2012. This is the sixth year that a team from Aglow has joined with a group called Impact International to help the Arab Chamber of Commerce  with their festival. The air was filled with Arab music and the smell of wonderful shawarma kebobs and falafel sandwiches as approximately 200,000 people came to enjoy their Arab heritage.  Arab men, dressed in their traditional Arab garb or in American blue jeans, enthusiastically danced in the streets. It is in this atmosphere that the team went about their assigned tasks of providing the vendors with the the supplies they needed, walking the Festival grounds and surrounding neighborhoods in prayer and helping the children with crafts, all the time having interesting conversations. It seems that each year the  people are more open to us.

One of the newest members of the team, Sharon Waite, shared highlights from her experience with us; The Arab Festival was like a mission trip in my own backyard- living in metro Detroit. This is a vital and essential place to serve—God made a way for open doors to know Arabs there, learn how hospitable they are as a culture, hear their stories and share God’s love by serving them. People opened up because we were a part of Impact international,  a group which has been helping them for 13 years. I got a chance to hold a toddler and hear stories from some of the adults. One woman openly shared her regret for how her people were responding to conflict from some Christians. As we talked, I learned that she is studying the Bible with her Christian neighbor because of his love for her family—a single parent whose husband kidnapped her youngest son and took him to Oman. Another ten year old girl wrote to one of our younger volunteers, “I wish you were my sister” to which she replied back prophetically, “We will be sisters.” This opportunity is clearly a way to see the prophetic word given to Aglow for this people realized.

Friendships created by Aglow Transformation Team

Have you wondered how you can be a part in fulfilling the mandate given to Aglow? God is clearly at work in this arena, moving amongst these people. Come and join us next year in Dearborn and  contribute to all that God wants to do in and for these people.

By Cheryl Erbes

New friends from Oman

Mother and daughter create a craft during Arab Festival

Alaska Aglow Transformation Team 2010

August 29th, 2010 No comments

AGLOW TRANSFORMATION TEAM – ALASKA 2010

Aglow Transformation team and Alaska Aglow women

What a God-adventure! An Aglow Transformation Team of eight, partnered with Alaska Aglow Ruby Area Team and Alaska Ablaze, to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ, His hope and healing, to six Alaska Native villages: Northway, Kluti-Kaah (Copper Center), Tazlina, Chitina, Gulkana and Mentasta. Alaskan Tribal Chiefs God touched these Native villages through music ministry, testimony, prayer-walking, children’s ministry and more. We saw tears as the local Christians were encouraged – thanking God and us for caring enough to go so far off the beaten path to minister to them. Men, women, teens and children attended the Free Christian Concert that was laced with powerful personal testimonies from the team. The Tribal Chiefs and Elders were given honor with gifts and prayers, and even attended the meetings! Chief Johnny (Tazlina) invited us all to see his traditional Native fish (salmon) wheel which he was currently operating. What a treat! to be welcomed so. Gulkana put on a nice potluck.

God really exceeded our expectations on so many counts. The B&B’s we stayed in were Christian-owned; the hosts gladly participated in our daily devotions/communion. The villages themselves are very small – one village is only 30 people in population – and we had been warned that turn-out might be very small. But Janet reminded us that it is not about numbers, but about what God does in those that DO come. Praise God! Well, 25-35 people turned out each night (with only one exception). This is truly an incredible turnout for these tiny Native villages.

A man named David, was healed of back pain and threw his crutches into the river! Two abused young women were ministered to mightily in prayer. The children were taught the basics of Salvation in Christ through puppets and crafts. And, oh my! When they were given banners to wave during the music, they were incredibly sensitive to the Holy Spirit! It was wonderful. Several women became “groupies”, following the Team from village to village to get “really filled up”. A young man was prayed for and delivered from many demons. And yet another man, Frank, was set free in worship and testified to everyone! Several accepted Jesus for the first time. And the women! Oh, the women – so many with burdens for their villages, families, youth. All received prayer and gifts, and were made to feel special as each got personal attention. Bibles, Praise Devotional Books, Prayer Devotional Books, and Books of John were generously distributed.

Our "groupies"-Athabascan women

This Transformation Team worked hand-in-hand with hearty Alaskan Aglow women who supported the mission through prayer, music, ministry and much, much driving in the wilderness of Alaska to places which were sometimes at the literal “end of the road”. They jumped right in to help with anything that was needed. God knit our hearts together instantly. They have committed to return to follow up with more encouragement, prayers, and perhaps establish new Aglow chapters, as we have already been invited to return to four of the villages. When we transitioned to Alaska Ablaze, we helped put up a HUGE circus type tent while Janet and Phyllis worked in the kitchen peeling potatoes, cooking, and having fellowship with the other Ablaze workers.

The faithfulness of God was evident continually – as we all worked together. The scheduling was a miracle in itself, most villages having no stores, restaurants, hotels, gas stations, etc. Yet everything worked out, even when we had to make a few U-turns to find our way. Of course, the beautiful surroundings, mountains, forests, lakes, streams, 21 hours of sunlight, and MOOSE! Mama Moose and calfwere a God-made inspiration to us all. What a privilege to walk in faith with boldness and intentionality, partaking of the goodness of our God and His love for the out-of-the-way places on this earth. Anyone taking part in a mission like this goes in praying that they can be of service to God and help others to see Him. On this mission, Jesus was exalted and the Name of the Lord was glorified! Hallelujah!

Written by Fran Hallgren