We will be posting a series of updates from our teams that are on outreach. Here is the first update from them.
Middle East Explorers Team
This past Sunday we had an incredible time of evangelism! We decided to work within the building where we are staying and knock on doors to offer cookies, Arabic Bibles, and prayer to our neighbors. We were warmly received and welcomed in by many families who have found a home here as refugees from the conflict in their country. It was an honor to sit with them and hear their unique stories over tea or the other refreshments they generously offered.
One of my favorite testimonies from this time is the experience we had visiting our neighbor in the apartment directly next to ours. We had met Bana and her husband a few days earlier, along with their son and daughter who are both under two years old. When we went to visit Bana again Sunday she was excited to invite us in, especially since she stays in her apartment alone all day with her two children while her husband is at work. We made some small talk before the conversation fell on the Lord. We gave her a New Testament Bible in Arabic, as well as a book that explains more about the truth of who Jesus is, which is geared toward Muslims in addressing the Islamic beliefs about Jesus as “just another prophet”. We were then able to tell her the whole story of the gospel and she even received prayer from us as we told her about our friend and comfort, the Holy Spirit. After we prayed she asked us, “What happened when you prayed for me? Before you came I felt very sad and tired and lonely, but now after you prayed I feel relaxed and peace!” She was beaming, and we told her again how much Jesus loves her and that she can pray to Him, too, and He will reveal Himself to her again!
On a typical day doing evangelism, we pass out tracks, Bibles and CDs, and talk and pray with whomever will let us. On Tuesday we made our way to a city that was completely new to us, so we were not completely sure what to expect, but we all had amazing testimonies from our time! There were at least five healings and many powerful, in-depth conversations where we were able to share the full gospel! It has been amazing how time and time again the Lord has found ways to stifle any concerns about language barriers. We even had a man come up to us and tell us that his mom is a Christian and that he wanted us to pray for him to truly know Jesus!
At another point this past week we had the opportunity to meet an amazing woman who runs a Christian book store/coffee shop in the city. We were extravagantly blessed by her and her staff, and we spent time worshipping with and praying over them. Their ministry is geared toward reaching out to the local community, including a nearby university and hospital. A few days later we met partnered with them in evangelism. During our prayer and worship time a Muslim couple and their son walked in wondering if they sold Qur’ans. We told them no but invited them in for coffee to talk with them about the Lord. They shared a bit of their story with us and how they had been through an incredible journey. We asked them if they needed any physical healing and the husband told us about his stomach pain caused by fumes from an explosion four years earlier. We prayed and he said the pain lessened. One of the girls with us felt that we needed to explain the gospel to him, and that his pain would leave completely once we did. So we explained the whole gospel and when we finished he excitedly told us that the pain was gone! Praise God for healing this man!
The family accepted an Arabic Bible, which the father was very happy to receive since his Bible had been burned in a fire. They left with the understanding that Jesus is the Son of God.
Our team will be changing the world by going out and sharing Jesus’ love with the lost and broken in the Refugee camps.
Middle East Team
Marhaba (hello in Arabic) from our team! This is officially our first update coming from over seas in the Middle East. The foreign city has been a thrilling and new experience, especially for those of us who have never been out of our home country. From delicious cultural food to ancient architecture, stepping into this new culture has been amazing. Even though we’ve only been here for three days, God has already been working in powerful ways. We’ve been blessed with incredible ministry, team bonding and getting to know the long-term ministries and evangelists who we have been working with. We have been in awe of God’s beauty and power as so many encounter Jesus for the first time. One story is that a man from a devout Muslim family was healed of chronic headaches that he had for three years. He encountered God’s presence with his sister for the first time. Also, many tourists and locals heard the Gospel for the first time. We were so excited about the crowds of tourists asking for bibles for themselves and their family members. This was right before they boarded the bus to return home to their country. We know that God’s Word will transform lives.
After a long 24 hours of travel, we arrived in the capital city. The view was absolutely beautiful.
We’ve been blessed with a really great place to stay while we serve here in the city. We are staying in an apartment on a hill that’s big enough to fit all of us, a great Shwarma restaurant at the foot of the building where we often enjoy a cultural dinner, and a large balcony with an amazing view. To be able to wake up every morning with a gorgeous view that over looks the sea and the city that God has given to us makes our morning quiet times incredible.
Central Asia Team
After nearly thirty hours of travel, our team of five are here safe and sound. So far, our first week has consisted of adventuring through the loud streets, being drenched in the rain, getting over jetlag, finding wonderful markets with healthy food, drinking plenty of the famous tea, getting to know this city, and growing together as a team!
Yesterday we had a powerful time in worship, where the Lord gave us spontaneous songs to sing to Him! Then in the afternoon, we took a ferry over to the European side of the city where we got to experience the shopping markets and simply learn how people interact in this culture. It was truly a good learning time and we had fun!
Now that we are settled in and have been orientated by our friends who are also doing ministry here, we will hit the ground running next week as we tell people the good news of Jesus!
Thank you all so much for investing in us both as individuals and as a team. We wouldn’t be here without such incredible support!