Mission News from Israel

Munir Kakish and his wife, Sharon, FCA missionaries serving in Ramallah, Israel (ten miles north of Jerusalem), report on the situation they are currently facing there. “Missiles do not reach our area,” says Kakish, but many challenges still remain. They are unable to leave their town for now, and when the army enters Gaza, they will be unable to leave their home.

“There will be violent demonstrations,” Kakish explains. “We will remain at home and not even be able to go to stores or school.” While they have extra food and supplies set aside in anticipation of the worsening situation, they are also packing food boxes for others and hope to distribute 50 boxes of food (about $100 each) for those who cannot get what they need. Kakish invites any who may feel led to contribute to project.

Kakish urges believers to pray for all those who have been impacted by the war.

A Prayer Guide
Spiritual needs:
For the peace of Jerusalem.
For the salvation of all Abraham’s children (both peoples).

Physical and emotional needs:
For those who lost family members.
For the healing and recovery of the injured.
For children raised in Kakish’s boys’ home—and their families.
For children deeply affected psychologically by the violence.
For Muslim kids Kakish supports.

Safety needs:
For Kakish’s congregations in Ramla and Ramallah.
For their church people and elders who live in Gaza.
For a Baptist church (and other historical churches) in Gaza.
For the Council of Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land.
For several parachurch organizations in the area.
For open roads and safe travel for those moving to safer places.

For miraculous resolution:
For hostages to be freed.
For the destruction to stop.
That local and international leaders might find some solution.
That Palestinians and Israelis may live in peace.

Some hope to fan the flames of hatred, says Kakish, who is praying that God would intervene and thwart those plans to escalate violence. He recalls the well-known devotional by John Donne: “…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”

“There is only one name under heaven whereby we might be saved,” Kakish notes. “We need to accept Jesus in this lifetime. If either side controls the land from the Mediterranean to the Pacific but does not have Jesus, it is all for naught.”

About Gaza

Gaza is a narrow strip of land 25 miles long and from 3.7 to 7.5 miles wide. Gaza city has a density of 9,683 people per square kilometer, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world. It has an unemployment rate of 46.4 percent.

Dr. Munir Kakish is President of the Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land and Pastor of the local church in Ramallah and Ramla.

Note: Learn more about RCO Ministries (Ramla | Ramallah Christian Outreach) at www.rcoministries.org. You may also donate on the website for needs mentioned above as well as additional needs that are sure to come.

Where Are the War Artists?

by Rosemarie Adcock

Editor’s note: This article formed the basis of Rosemarie Adcock’s breakout session (along with her husband, Ed) at the 2023 FCA Convention in Minneapolis. Rosemarie followed this background material with a 7-point strategy on how to introduce an arts ministry in your church.

Discipling Nations with Paint

In Northern France, one may stand in front of one of the most famous altarpieces of all time, the Isenheim Altar, painted by Matthias Grünewald between 1512 – 1516. The panels measure over 18 feet tall, soaring high into the stone surroundings of the monastery. The artist’s gleaming pigment made from ground precious stones is itself worthy of mention; but the history behind the commissioning of the piece is so remarkable, it must be explained to grasp a full understanding of the painting’s purpose.

During a period when Europeans were dying of the plague, monks in a monastery in Isenheim, Germany commissioned Grünewald to paint an altar that would cause all who looked at it to be healed. Before the patients were taken in and washed, they were brought before the soaring, grisly painting of the crucified Christ, about whom Isaiah proclaimed, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquity, surely He bore all our sorrows, and by His stripes we are healed.” The monastery would eventually become known as a place of miraculous healing for the terminally ill.

Such a commission is almost unthinkable today. Yet there was a time when all the arts were done for the glory of God, depicting the life of the Scripture, calling man to reflect on his own mortality. From massive biblical compositions to still life, everything was done with a passion for the mission of the day, to communicate the truth of the living Word of God to the illiterate masses of people for whom the Savior died.

It was during the Renaissance period that paintings began to take on a realistic rather than flat, decorative appearance. As perspective was discovered and people were painted in the costume of the day, paintings began to take on accurate depictions of life. People saw themselves in the biblical images portrayed. Purposefully, the life of the viewer was wrapped up in the life of the Scriptures.

Chiaroscuro (the contrast of light and shade) was incorporated into paintings and carried on through the 1700’s to the Baroque period. This chiaroscuro was not only light and shade in the execution of the painting itself, but it was used as a symbol of spiritual light and darkness, spiritual life and death. The people of the day clearly understood the meaning.

This theme was so widely understood that it even made its way to still life painting where it was commonplace to see a picture of beautiful fruit painted together with rotting fruit, or paintings that included human skulls posed with foods on an otherwise beautiful table. These were intentional depictions of biblical passages to remind the viewer that he, too, was perishing, and in need of a decision regarding his eternal destiny.

The Reformation and the Discard of the Arts

In a fervent desire to extricate the faithful of all influence deemed Catholic, the Reformers of the 1500’s, such as Zwingli, cleansed the church of images and relics as well as the organ, and in some churches, music was disallowed entirely. Calvinism abandoned symbolic forms of worship, embracing the thinking that the alliance of religion and art represented a lower stage of religious and human development. The Word and the intellect alone were considered the only valid ways to commune with the Spirit. The practice of entering into worship through other senses having been denied, the Church came to abandon the use of art in its worship.

War Artists

But the heart of man hungers for worship—and uses symbols to do it. Four hundred years after the Reformation, the National Socialists of 20th-century Germany strategically permeated the mindset of an entire culture to transform thought using art. Before and during  the time they came to power, in early 1933, the first project Hitler embarked on as Chancellor,  even before building Berlin, was to build the House of German Art. It was to be a massive museum containing the art that would depict the philosophy of his new religion, National Socialism. All other art that did not depict the thinking of the Third Reich was outlawed, and the artists labeled as Degenerates, ​which is an extremely derogatory term in the German language.

Goebbels, the master of Nazi propaganda, appointed Kriegsmahler, War Artists, to bring back images from the front lines; images of “bravery and courage” which were selectively chosen for printing in the newspapers to stir the hearts of the people with their “great victory and mission.” Hundreds of these war artists went out to the Front with the soldiers and boosted their morale. By the end of the war there was an organized division of Staffel der Bildenden Künstler—a German Combat Artist Unit. This staff of 100 fine artists, War Artists, was appointed the task of developing art that was not even for the purpose of propaganda, but for posterity to depict the great “victory” that was sure to come.

So where are the War Artists? Not the Nazi painters of perversion and death whose art was used as evidence in the Nuremberg trials and eventually banned lest it stir up the mind of war and hatred in a brain-washed Germany. Instead, where are the War Artists who are called to fight the Good Fight, called to press on to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus? Our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and artists don’t take up the fight.

Where are the War Artists? Where are the gifted artists and musicians who believe the call of 2 Corinthians 5 that says we no longer live for ourselves but for him who died and rose again on our behalf? Where are they who believe we became new creatures and we are now  ambassadors for Christ? Who see a primary purpose for art is not to seek the glory offered by this world’s system, but rather seek to glorify the Creator who has freely given us all things?

Where are the War Artists who see art as parable, as a tool and method of communication of the Gospel?

Where are the War Artists who believe the Great Commission is a mandate, who believe deeply in their calling as artists, deeply enough to seek a purpose that will live on after them?

Where are the War Artists who are ready to band together with the army of the Church, to go to the front lines, leading the army in worship, glorifying the One who has already won our victory at the cross? Where are the people who “die daily”, who take up their cross and follow the Savior to death if necessary to fight the battle that rages before us?

We have accepted the massacre of our culture before our very eyes, watching creativity replaced by depravity and then renamed “art.” We have accepted as normal what is perverse, and we struggle in isolation to survive the spirit of this age, when our God and Father in heaven calls us by name to be adopted into the family of his Church, as a vital part of the Body. Perhaps we are the eyes, but we are in need of the hands and the feet and the Head. We cannot do this alone.

God called an artist by name in Exodus 31 to build what would assist people in worship. God knew his name. He prepared his work beforehand and appointed this man​, whom he filled with the Spirit in craftsmanship. If we hold artistic gifts in the same way that we hold other spiritual gifts mentioned in Scripture, we would see that these were given for the edification of the body, not for ourselves. We no longer live for ourselves. We live for him.

Who are the soldiers weary of raising up a flag displaying their own name and purpose? Who now sense the voice of God proclaiming a purpose higher than themselves? Who reject the self-willed immaturity and narcissistic self-importance that lead only to spiritual shipwreck?

Who are the pastoral allies who will walk beside the next generation of gifted artists and musicians, discipling them as they would a missionary or pastor sent to seminary to plant a church or preach the Word? Where are the seminaries that will equip those called to put a living face on the Gospel of our living Lord?

A soldier sent into battle empty-handed can do nothing but retreat or surrender. We will not retreat, nor will we surrender. We are calling the War Artists and the musicians and the teachers of the Word to form a new army. You know who you are. We will answer the call of our King, moving across this barren landscape that is our culture, empowered by the wind of his Spirit. We will not surrender. We have declared war and we will win.

Rosemarie Adcock, an award-winning artist, founded Arts for Relief and Missions (ARM) following an international art exhibition tour for evangelism that sparked $1.25 million in humanitarian relief donations for orphans and impoverished families.

2023 Church Planting Videos

Two videos are available to encourage your congregation to support FCA church planting efforts. The first is dated to be used on Pentecost Sunday, May 28, 2023. The second video is undated and can be used whatever day works best for your church calendar.

Video positioning image

Church Planting video for Pentecost Sunday, May 28, 2023
Encourage your church to support FCA church planting!

Use the video above (on any date) to encourage your
church to give in support of church planting in the FCA.

Ministry in the Great Lakes Region of Africa

Over the years I have had the privilege of traveling to connect with and encourage leaders around the world. Thank you to all of you who have been praying for me on these trips since I began serving as Global Connections Coordinator for FCA USA almost 2 years ago. I just returned from 3 weeks in Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda, and I can tell you that God’s Kingdom is advancing around the world and the gates of hell are not prevailing against the called-out-ones of Jesus Christ!

I want to give you a quick glimpse into what God is doing through several of our Global Affiliates in the three countries in the Great Lakes Region of Africa that I was able to visit on this three-week trip. My wife, Sarah, and daughter, Abby, worked hard to be able to join me for 2/3 of this trip, and some generous friends helped Abby with the remainder needed to make this happen; truly a life-changing investment for her. I was greatly encouraged by the work being done in this region: The partnership that our churches have had with the ministries and leaders connected to World Outreach Ministry Foundation has borne much fruit.

Standing in the North AND the South at the same time!


It was a joy to be able to connect with Pastor Steven Mayanja, his wife Cissy, Bob Mayonza, and many others who are connected to Uganda Christian Outreach Ministries.  We were also able to visit the Medical clinic in Seguku and to visit and speak at Seguku Worship Center with Pastor David Stuart for two services on a Sunday, the first service was all English, so you can check it out HERE, or HERE if you want to just hear the message that I shared. We also got to speak at a chapel service at Yesu Akwagala Bible School (Yesu Akwagala means “Jesus Loves You”) and at several High Schools.

Many of you partnered to help build this new campus of the Bible School: It’s coming along well!


Abby speaking to students at an area High School.


Abby encouraging students at Yesu Akwagala High School.

Praying for students during chapel at the Yesu Akwagala High School.

We made a quick 72-hour trip over to Burundi for two days of seminars with Burundi Christian Outreach Ministries. I did not know this before preparing for this trip, but Burundi is considered the poorest country by GDP and among the “saddest” due to the impact from years of war and violence on society and individuals. Talking with Pastor Ezechiel, the leader of that group of churches, we found out that smiling was rare in the communities when they began over 1o years ago, and that it wasn’t until the ministries of reconciliation and healing came in to transform people’s hearts that you could begin to see smiles and joy. The welcome that we received was so warm and the worship was so joyful that you would not have known that you were in what the world considers one of the “saddest” countries in the world: God truly transforms hearts and entire communities!


We gathered with pastors and church leaders from over 10 churches to spend time in prayer, worship, and teaching on church and ministry leadership from Pastor Steve Mayanja and I. It was a powerful time: You’ll get a chance to hear him preach at the FCA USA Convention in a few weeks!


We also got to see the Primary School that has been founded in the village we were visiting. It was particularly challenging to hear of four teachers who have been volunteering their time for the last 2 years to teach students from 8 AM to 1 PM and then going to their gardens to work in the afternoons to be able to provide for their families: May God give us all that level of dedication for the work of ministry that he has called us to!

Speaking of dedication, one thing that the people we met had was dedication: Everywhere we looked there were plots of land that were cultivated: Where the world has declared poverty, God has provided resources and the dedication to steward those well!

That dedication was recently seen in the perseverance of Pastor Ezechiel with processing his visa to be able to join us at the FCA Convention in Minneapolis…After many appointments he was granted his visa today and he is looking forward to the opportunity to get to know all of you in Minneapolis!

We had a great time with the leaders there and this is their greeting to you:


From Burundi, we went back to Uganda for a few more days of ministry in my role as International Ministry Director with the Pilgrim Center for Reconciliation before traveling to Rwanda for a week of ministry training with Rwandan and Congolese leaders. God is doing great things through those servant leaders from various denominations and fellowships. Lots of good ministry during my 12 days with the national leaders of Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo!

On the last Sunday of the trip I was able to spend the day with Pastor Canisius Gacura and his wife Allen. They are wonderful people doing a great work in Kigali. They are pastoring a church called Nyabugingo (life-giving) in the part of the city known as “the place of the dead”.

Pastor Gacura was so joyful and humble, yet the depth of what God has done in him became clearer as I read the story of his life the following week. This is one of the most powerful stories I’ve ever read: I can tell you that his story will both challenge and encourage you to reach beyond yourself and live an unlimited life! It should be required reading for being a spiritual leader:

(This book is helping with the construction of the new church building and ministry center along with the partnerships with many of you).

This trip was longer than usual (23 days total) and very full of many good things. I am thankful for all of your prayers because there are many things that could have gone wrong while traveling for so long and with so many different things to get done in so many places, yet things went very smoothly. I was able to connect with many wonderful people from these ministries, and many other ministries I was not able to include in this update. I also enjoyed being able to eat fruit that I grew up eating (matoke, pineapple, mango…yum!) and it was also pretty cool to see THREE of the Great Lakes (Victoria, Tanganyika, and Kivu) and eat fresh fish from them…Delicious!

May God continue to provide for the advancing of His kingdom around the world by the power of the Holy Spirit through each of our local churches to make disciples of all nations! 

A Call to Pastors: Persevere!

Threatening Wave

By Thomas Yerman

Recently, I attended a regional gathering of pastors where we were to discuss how to “replenish” the Church. I shared my thoughts prior to the meeting with the host pastor who said, “You need to share this.” What I write here includes a few more thoughts than what I shared with the gathering that day.

We are living in a culture in which many are turning away from the Church—away from a belief in God. We’re in the midst of a war against truth. The reality of this war reminds us of the importance of God’s call to persevere.

Sound Doctrine

Sound doctrine affects people in different ways. Some respond to solid biblical teaching by feeling encouraged and strengthened in their faith. The same teaching, however, puts others off, impacting them in negative says. Timothy was warned of a coming time when people would not put up with sound doctrine. They resist it, some even to the point of leaving a church.

Whatever the Holy Spirit does through the teaching of God’s Word, our part as ministers is to preach and teach it correctly. This is so important in fulfilling our call.

Paul encourages us through the words he spoke to Timothy:  “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:3, 5). Days of hardship or lost attendance should not distract us from how we are to teach God’s Word.

Even when we’re feeling weak, we have promises encouraging us to keep God’s Word and not deny his Name. God’s promises admonish us to endure until Christ’s return. “By your endurance you will gain your lives” (Luke 21:19).

The promise Christ spoke to the church in Philadelphia, he speaks to all his Church: “Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on earth” (Revelation 3:10). If we hold on, we will escape the Great Tribulation and gain the imperishable crown of life. That is a big deal!

Whatever we plan to do to replenish our local assembly, we must continue to build the Church upon the biblical foundation God has given us. That ensures us of the help of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Church must hold steady in being a “house of prayer” (Luke 19:46) even as pastors hold firm in teaching the Word of God without compromise as absolute truth. The healthy function of the Church depends on it (Matthew 4:4).

As you know, the Holy Spirit moves in conjunction with the Word of God through the enabling of people with lifestyles of prayer and biblical devotion. It doesn’t get much simpler or more powerful than that.

No Fear

We must not fear people. We must not confuse their feelings of conviction by the Holy Spirit with their feelings of being offended. The Holy Spirit inspired and authored the Scripture (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16). So we must speak it clearly and correctly, allowing him to do the work he wants to do in the lives of people (Hebrews 4:12-13). We must speak the Word boldly and correctly with love, courage, and application for our day.

The Church needs to learn how to handle what we are facing today in America. We are being threatened with persecution and the loss of our God-given freedom, not to forget our security and prosperity. The goal of the enemy is to stop its opponent from resisting him. The enemy will do everything in his power to wear people out and discourage them—with the ultimate goal of causing people to lose hope, be silent and afraid, and walk away from God and his Word.

If pastors are not careful, we can begin to accommodate fear, water down God’s Word, or become overly distracted with finding a plan to “feed” the people in a way that will grow our congregation for the sake of increasing numbers or paying the bills. This can lead to other problems and adverse consequences. We must be alert to any wrong, misleading influences. God is not so concerned about impressive appearances. His concern is about the glory—the glory of his harvest. He is concerned that people are fed the truth so they can mature and be discipled to be more like his Son. That is why, when distractions and disputes arose in the early church, the apostles determined to keep their attention focused on the ministry of the Word and prayer (Acts 6:4).

Bottom Line

To replenish God’s Church, we must continue to build on the biblical principle of persevering in preaching the Word and prayer at all costs—even in the face of death. We are running to the finish line! There is yet one more hill to climb, one more vista to encounter. This is not a time for timidity or compromise!

God has called us to see the growth and maturity of his Church. Pastors are not called to feed the world, but to feed God’s Church. The Church needs God’s truth, God’s strength, and God’s leading in order to stand, resist, and persevere against its opposing forces. As we do our part and fulfill our call, Christ will build his Church (Matthew 16:18). Slip your name into that verse and hold your head up high!

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:7–8).

Thomas Yerman is an FCA pastor ministering at Living Hope Church in Elk Grove Village.