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On the evening of May 27, Christians from all over Jordan came together to celebrate Pentecost for the second year in a row.
The Church of the Nazarene produced the event and Nazarene leaders invited evangelicals from across the country to join them. Approximately 2,800 adults and children attended, representing nine Nazarene churches and several churches of other denominations.
Like the 2011 celebration that had 2,000 participants, it was the largest gathering of Nazarenes all year in Jordan.
Jamil Monsour*, a Nazarene pastor who helped plan and lead the event, believes that on Pentecost day it is important for churches to be together as one body before Christ.
During the three-hour event, about 200 people publicly accepted Christ as their personal savior. More than half of the audience – around 1,500 people – came forward to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which was three times the number that came forward at last year’s gathering.
“The Holy Spirit was poured on people and even children; some children were standing in the front with tears praying together,” Monsour said.
Jordanian Nazarenes prepared themselves for Pentecost with organized prayer and scheduled fasts. For the past 20 days, Monsour’s 400-strong church has been fasting and praying. The prayer effort intensified in the past week when they opened their church for daily prayer.
“Despite all the opposition we felt in our prayers, God was glorified; He poured His blessings upon us,” he said.
The event was the culmination of Jordanian Nazarenes’ participation in the region-wide Easter to Pentecost emphasis. During this journey, which began the Monday after Easter, Eurasia Nazarenes sought the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The Easter to Pentecost journey is part of the Power of One missional church initiative – a church planting and leadership training initiative that equips local churches to be missionally engaged.
Just like last year, the other denominations and groups throughout Jordan were invited in hopes that together they could influence the Middle East with the message of holiness and Holy Spirit empowerment. For many people, this was the first time that they have celebrated Pentecost.
Jordanian Nazarenes chose Psalm 24:6 as their theme: “Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.”
The event’s special speaker preached about salvation and the Holy Spirit’s transforming powers. He spoke from Genesis about God’s creation of Adam in His image and authority, and how Adam lost everything through sin but God renewed everything with Jesus.
Egyptian worship leader Bebo led worship and Monsour followed with one hour of prayer.
The night closed with a ministry dedication. All pastors came before the stage, held hands, and knelt to repent and pray, asking God to clean their hearts and hands while they recited from Psalm 24. The congregation also held hands, kneeling and repeating the scripture with them.
One group of 10 children, ages 10 to 12, came to the front holding hands. As one of them started to pray and cry before God, the others did the same for one hour with a spirit of repentance.
“Everyone saw them and everyone said how amazing it was to see the kids and not just the adults crying with tears,” Monsour said.
The planning committee envisions producing the same event every year and would love to see all churches attend. Monsour has already noticed progress in relationship-building with other Nazarene churches.
“After last year’s event, the Nazarenes have now started to work together as this is the one big event that we have to meet, work, make arrangements, and pray together,” he said. “Last year, many just came to look, but this year, no. They started to take part in the event.”
Six months in the making, the Pentecost celebration was held in the same open-air location as last year. During the six months, the 11 Nazarene pastors from Jordan met several times to plan, and more than 100 volunteers helped make the celebration possible. Next year, they hope to find a larger location.
“What a great privilege for us to attend the event on Pentecost Sunday in Jordan,” said Lindell Browning, field strategy coordinator of the Eastern Mediterranean. “The message of the Holy Spirit restoring the image of God in us was very clear. The response to a call to salvation, healing, cleansing, and empowering of the Holy Spirit was amazing. I believe there will be lasting fruit and results from this special event."
*Name changed to protect privacy
--Church of the Nazarene Eurasia Region