It is with great joy and sorrow that I write to tell you that our lead puppet director in Lebanon, Mahfoud, went to be with Jesus earlier today. He was one of the bravest men I ever knew and was fearless in telling people about Jesus! Mahfoud lead so many muslims to faith in Jesus. He also discipled them so that they became equally effective in telling people about Christ. I will always count it as one of the greatest honors of my life that I count Mahfoud as my friend and my family.
His lungs were severally damaged by covid, which he had more than a year ago. In the last couple of days, he was rushed to the hospital, but there was nothing they could do to save him. Before time began, today was the day that God planned to call Mahfoud home. I have no words for the enormous grief that I feel at the loss of this dear brother.
We had so many wonderful adventures together, telling children about Jesus in some of the most difficult places in Lebanon. I watched him live a life where he consistently put others and their needs above his own. Together we did lots of mercy ministry, but Mahfoud never gave food or medicine unless he also told people about Jesus. I met with so many muslims that he had lead to Christ who also became my friends. They told me incredible stories about Mahfoud’s sacrificial kindness towards them.
One of my favorite stories about Mahfoud was when he was outside working with some Syrian refuges. Because it was so hot, they took off their shirts. The men were shocked to see the scars on Mahfoud’s body and asked how they had happened. Mahfoud did not answer their question, but instead asked them a question. He asked, “What would you do to someone who did this to you?” Their answers were terrible and graphic and I will not repeat them to you. When he heard their response, he simply smiled and responded, “You did this to me, and now I serve you.” You see Mahfoud was in the Lebanese Syrian War and had been shot many times and he was severely mistreated. He had a lot of scars. The Syrians also killed his brother during the war. However, Mahfoud forgave them, because Jesus had forgiven him. The Syrians were overwhelmed by his forgiveness and his testimony. Many of them came to faith because of Mahfoud’s testimony which gave them a glimpse of what Jesus did for them on the cross.
Please pray for his dear wife Norma and their three children. Ask God to comfort them and to help them discover the promise I know so well, that God is a husband to the widows and a father to the fatherless. Mahfoud has run the good race and has now received his crown!
Linda with a very grateful heart