Dearest Friends,
We are in an area of this country that my friend considers to be the most beautiful. I would agree with him. The mountains are high and covered with pine forests. It is raining hard and the cold seems to soak into you, but the view warms your heart. We are near the border in an area where many believers refuse to work because of their fear and prejudice. This is a common struggle for all of us as Christians. The believers ignore these people and their needs because others from their country have committed terrorist acts. So they paint them all with the same brush. Again, it is the same lack of kingdom eyes the world over. We must all ask the Father to give us His eyes. As we see these people with Jesus’ eyes, we will pray for them and love them and see God change them, even as He changed each one of us.
We spent today doing 2 home visits. It took a good while to reach this area. Today, we shared with 4 Muslim families, all refugees from another Arab nation. We spent hours with the families. There was no furniture in the homes. They sat on mats on the floor and gave us the few plastic chairs they owned. At one home, a curtain served as a door. Both homes were cold.
We shared cups of tea and coffee. They peeled fresh oranges for us. They had very little, but they shared generously what they had. One little girl fell in love with Anna and gave her 5 bracelets, half of what she possessed. One lady gave me 4 kisses, 3 on 1 cheek and 1 on the other. Her husband gave me a kiss on the forehead. He said he offered it as a sign of respect and thanks for what he had heard. Ours is the sweetest joy. Who has the honor of spending hours with Muslims talking about Jesus?
We used one of our backpacks that we have designed for ministry in areas that are experiencing persecution. With it, we were able to tell stories to the children about Jesus. We used the “Joseph bag” to share at one home and they loved it. We tied balloons and talked about creation. Anna and Jared used the supplies to share their testimonies. We are all so happy!
I watched in wonder as we saw the Father touch these new friends with His love. One man told us about being brutally tortured on several occasions in his home country. We met a little boy who had lost his ability to speak or hear in response to the terrible things he had seen. Remember, all of these people fled their country, desperate to escape the violence.
All listened eagerly and most seemed hungry to hear about Jesus Christ. One 22-year-old young woman told us how she had been forced to quit school at 10 and sit at home. The Muslim rulers in her area felt that education presented too big a temptation and would lead her down a “bad road”. The fact that Jesus respected women drew her into conversation about the cross. All of these people were from a country that is closed to missionary efforts. Here, we have the freedom to speak.
At one point today, we were turned back from a military checkpoint and denied entry into an area. This meant that we were unable to share with a family until we get special permits. Please pray that we can get these on Thursday as we need to do a show on Friday in the same area. A Muslim principal cancelled a show for us today, but please pray that he will reschedule.
As a result of stopping at the checkpoint one of our friends was able to share about Jesus with the security guard. The second visit, where many children from the apartment building gathered to hear the Gospel, was not our original plan. It was God’s plan as He redirected us.
You can pray, really pray for these dear people, believing that God can move in their hearts. You can share these emails with others and ask them to join us in prayer. You can contact me by responding to this email and ask me to share at your church about this work. Please stay on your knees so that we can stand. Tomorrow, we begin work in other Muslim villages. Pray!
In Jesus,
Linda for
Jared and Anna