When the Arabic AG Fellowship announced it was going to financially help support the Indonesian AG Fellowship, the commitment was in response to the new "Adobt a Fellowship" program and was considered a potential trendsetter.
"We established the Adopt a Fellowship program to encourage AG districts and churches to seriously consider supporting one or more of the 21 Assemblies of God fellowships," explains Scott Temple, director of AG Ethnic Relations. "However, when another fellowship stepped forward to support a sister fellowship, that spoke volumes as to their commitment to share the gospel message with the world."
Temple explains that none of the ethnic fellowships have "deep pockets" and need financial support in order to increase their ministry, so the Arabic Fellowships commitment is an act of sacrifice and obedience to God's leading.
Rev. George A. Rafidi, president of the Arabic Fellowship, says, "It's always been on my heart to tithe the fellowship's income. We believe now is that time."
Rafidi explains that the Indonesian Fellowship works with largely a Muslim population, something that the Arabic Fellowship also does, so they felt an immediate connection. "I brought this to our executive officers and they approved it unanimously," he says. "We felt an immediate peace about the decision."
Indonesian Fellowship President Rudy Lolowang, who travels across the United States to meet with Indonesians to help plant churches and to train Indonesian ministers, called the Arabic Fellowship's decision a true blessing and is deeply thankful.
"I really appreciate what they're doing," Lolowang says. "It comes just at the right time as this is the time we really need the help. I really thank them for being willing to help the Indonesian Fellowship in reaching Indonesians in the United States."
Ethnic and language fellowships are organized groups of Assemblies of God churches in the United States that do not yet have enough members in order to become recognized as districts. Currently, ethnic minority congregations make up more than 25 percent of all AG congregations in the United States.
To learn more about Assemblies of God ethnic fellowships, contact the Ethnic Relations office at email@example.com.