These dear believers here in Rahbe give my soul joy. They are so excited when they come for training in puppet ministry. Their enthuiasm is matched by Pastor Shaddi. He has a ministry plan called "New Creation" which will reach all of the children, adults, and teenagers in this area for Jesus. They have such a heart to serve. Though few in number (only 32 believers), they are such a bright light for Jesus. Surrounded by 800,000 Suni Muslims and around 20,000 people from Christian traditions that often do not teach truth, they have an enormous opportunity!
They have partnered with Samaritan’s Purse and delivered their Christmas boxes. This opened a wonderful door to share Jesus with the children and their parents. This area is cold and many people cannot afford the heating oil they need! So, Shaddi and other church members passed out heating oil to many poor families Muslim and Christian tradition alike. The people were amazed and open to hear about Jesus because they had seen His love displayed to them.
The believers love each other and love to fellowship. We have been so blessed to enjoy many meals with them this week. They have the most amazing food. I love tabouli, fatoush, taouk, kafta, hummus, and babaganousch. This food is incredible!
We are high in the mountains and the slopes are green with trees. We drive past fields of olive trees and orange trees growing beside their homes. The people are devoted to hospitality. In this country, you kiss 3 times on either side of the cheek to greet people. This is also the practice of many men. However, the rules change in a Muslim community. I was told not to touch the Sheikh’s and because any woman that he touched he could have. This is important information.
Please pray for these friends. They want desperately to suceed and have had over 11 hours training. More, I have lost count of how many shows we have done together. They made the best schedule, taking us into all kinds of communities.
This morning, Sunday, the church had an outreach to the children of the community. Many of their parents came too. The little fellowship had more than 75 children and 50 adults attending. They were thrilled! Sweet things happened this morning as the Father touched hearts. There were tears and prayers and some children trusted in Jesus. Praise Jesus!
We have 2 more days to touch children in the mountains with the truth of the Gospel. The political situation here continues to need prayer. Our travel plans also need prayer as there is another snowstorm predicted to hit Atlanta this coming week. We want to finish well!
Padraig and Jared