A set of upcoming meetings aims to ignite a 1st century-style revival in Jerusalem with a gathering of Jews and Gentiles later this month.
"We are praying that revival will come down and that Jews and Arabs will worship together," said Jeries Kawash of Jerusalem-based Upper Room Ministries. "Jesus prayed for unity of believers and we are hoping this will bring believers of all backgrounds who are coming together to worship."
"The message has gone out to the world, notes Andre Mubarak, another of Upper Room Ministries' elders, but "is far away from this city. Jerusalem is far away from revival."
The meetings will take place Aug. 23 to 25 and will feature Andres Bisonni, a young revivalist from the United States. Upper Room Ministries is spreading the word to believers and non-believers alike to attend the two Jerusalem meetings, as well as gatherings in Haifa and Ashdod.
The most unique aspect are the hosts: Spirit-filled Palestinian Arab believers, all born in Israel and raised in Orthodox Christian or Catholic homes. While Christians are already a small minority in the land, spirit-filled, born-again Arabs are an even smaller minority.
The leadership of Upper Room Ministries is seeking to see the fire of God again in their communities in Jerusalem, just like it was after the Holy Spirit was given to Jesus' disciples.
"The West is great, but we need to start doing things by ourselves," Mubarak said.
"The revival meetings will hopefully jump start this fire, strengthen the body of Christ in the land and meet the needs of people in this city," continued Mubarak.
Fashioned after the early disciples' community in the Book of Acts, Upper Room Ministries has eight elders who share stewardship of the ministry, which holds weekly meetings in East Jerusalem.