Dearest Friends,
Today gave us special joy as we heard Muslim children calling on Jesus to rescue them. The Christians here are very wise. They have many schools and offer a quality education, so many of their students are Muslim. With freedom, we could tell the children about God’s great plan for them and how Jesus Christ could meet all of their needs. They listened and many of the teachers were touched by the program as well. Our hearts are full of wonder at all we have seen God do! Please pray for these children to grow as they receive good training from the school they attend.
There is not much peace in this place today. Some of the teachers came and spoke to me before and after the show. They expressed concern for the political situation here as the present government fell apart today. Some extremists are threatening war, a threat that has too often been a reality in this place.
One teacher told me that she gathered some of the teachers together to pray this morning before school. She felt very burdened and sad when she came to the show. My friend told me that she cried as she listened to the story of Peter walking on water. It reminded her that God rules over all things and all places. She said that Jesus gave Peter a miracle. She asks that God give her country a miracle…peace.
This political instability could affect the work that we are doing, but more importantly, the lives of Christians in this place. There is a hard-line religious faction here which could make ministry more difficult. All of this is in the Father’s hands, but we do need you to pray for Him to make us wise and loving. Please remember that our safety is in His arms and in our relationship with Jesus Christ, not in our location.
Today, I spoke at a Muslim ladies meeting. Before I went, I was challenged to give them as these ladies are often very sad from the difficulties in their lives. I told them stories about the children that we serve. As I shared their stories of Faith, I was able to tell them how they could trust Jesus to give them hope.
Many responded favorably after the meeting, but there was also a lady who wanted to object to what was shared. As you pray, remember that this is a spiritual battle. It’s not personal. All that we experience happens because of the One we love and seek to serve. I am truly never offended by the comments but always amazed at the wisdom that the Lord gives us.
Some of the ladies were there last year when I came, and remembered what was said. They were very excited to see me again. Each day, as our friend loves them, they draw closer to knowing God. It is our friend’s consistent witness that draws them to the cross. I was so honored to have the privilege of working with her and sharing with these ladies. Hold them in your prayers.
We were showered with love and kindness as were forced to leave for the airport 2 days early because of the snow storm that was predicted to hit my home and the Atlanta airport. So many friends and members of USA puppet came to my house Sunday afternoon to help us finish dozens of jobs. I am so blessed by the love of these friends. Their kindness made the impossible, possible. We had no snow until we were only miles from Jordan and Elise’s home. They had read about our problems on the church website and called, offering hospitality to the team as we waited in Atlanta. Within 15 minutes from the first flake falling, Highway 75 became a parking lot, littered with cars that had spun out of control. I was driving an SUV with a trailer and was terrified. I have no problems doing ministry in the Middle East, but will confess to you that I was not at all happy driving in the snow. I had never done it before. Padraig took over and we arrived safely.
Jordan and Elise spoiled us with their kindness, love and good chili. Using Jordan’s 4 wheel drive was also a blessing. We made it to the Marta station where Aaron Stewart, a former puppeteer kindly came to help us. It was an adventure trying to get 10 big bags and 6 carry on pieces of luggage onto the train. I had a sweet opportunity to share with a lady who helped me load my part of the bags. Please ask the Father to bless her and call her close to him.
Elise packed us a big lunch which fed all of us and several others. So many were stranded at the airport and running out of money. We fed a little boy wearing a hat that said Jonathan, but his name was Christian. His mother came and thanked us. We gave food to a lady trying to get home from Lima, Peru. She was so happy! Padraig and Jared saved their chocolate bars and used them to celebrate as we unpacked and organized the equipment. Please thank God that all of our bags arrived safely, except for the stage bag that had the end ripped off of it. Still, all of the stage pipes were there. Praise God.
Hold us in your prayers! We are having a sweet adventure in the Middle East!
In Jesus,
Linda for
Padraig and Jared