Monday, March 29, 2010

Words of Comfort

As I was reading "Secret Believers" this morning I ran across a few paragraphs that I wanted to share.

There is a Arab Christian man (Butros) who moved to America for college and has now decided to follow God's call to return to his home country to spread the word of Jesus. He knows that the scripture says that every person in the world has a right to hear the gospel, but he is weary. He feels vulnerable. But wasn't Jesus vulnerable? He feels inadequate and confused. But didn't Jesus have bouts of doubt and insecurity?

Butros met with Brother Andrew where he brought up his concerns. Brother Andrew told him, "Remember, you aren't alone. The Holy Spirit is with you. He will guide you. He will raise up others in the country to work with you. And in time you will meet others like you who are serving..." "When people hear what God is doing through you, they will want to pray and give of their resources. If you obey God, He will provide all that you need to do his work."

How comforting is that? To have that reassurance. These are words that I will carry with me throughout our trip. I will push away those evil thoughts and lean on The Lord. He wants us to need Him.

GENESIS 28:15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go... I will not leave you.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Looking for Answers

I finished reading the first book of what I'm sure will be the first of many in preparation for our Mission. The title was "The Crescent through the Eyes of the Cross: Insights from an Arab Christian" It was written by Dr. Nabeel T. Jabbour. He lived in the Middle East for 15 years before coming to the USA and now is a professor of Islamics at numerous seminaries while also lecturing at churches and mission conferences.
Nabeel uncovered many questions that I had about the Muslim beliefs and how the Quran came into being. He made me wonder how much Muslims know about the history of their religion. The Quran has yet to endure the scrutiny the Bible has received. We have so much historical evidence to back up Christianity.
But what if we didn't have that historical foundation? Put yourself in the shoes of a Muslim. How would you know what to believe? Who to believe? We all know that man is a great sinner and can be mislead if ill informed. What would you be willing to jeopardize? How far would you push the boundaries in a personal search for answers?
Some of these questions I'm hoping to find the answers to in a new book I'm starting tonight "Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ" by Brother Andrew & Al Janssen.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Donating Online

Now you can donate online to our team or to someone specifically on the team. All you have to do is click on the following link: EFCC 2010 Middle East Team and fill out all of the information. Thank you to everyone who has committed to pray for our team and in helping us out financially. Keep checking back for updates on everything happening before and during our trip.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Getting Ready for Our Work

So, Amanda and Kelby are going to the Middle East. I'm super excited that God has made this trip possible and that things for the group are working out. I've been praying for the group dynamic and that we can all grow closer as we prepare for the trip and that God will protect us spiritually as we prepare. I'm looking forward to these upcoming months and mentally preparing for the trip. That's all for now, but more to come.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Religious Info.

From the Voice of the Martyrs web site:
Much of the Middle East was predominantly Christian during the first centuries after Christ. By the mid-seventh century, Islam had conquered vast areas of the Middle East, but thankfully, in some areas the Coptic Christian church never disappeared. Many countries' constitutions give preference to Muslims. Christians are treated as second-class citizens, denied political representation and discriminated against in employment.
Category: Restricted Nation
Religion: Muslim 86.52%, Christian 12.98%
Ideology: Islam

Sudanese Refugees:
Refugees in the middle east experience discrimination by both the government and civilian services. Many governments even have laws that have effectively stalled legal and financial gains for refugees of all nationalities, and the response by the international community has been limited. Legal employment in the middle east is "virtually" impossible for many refugees. There are tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees, most of them seeking refuge from ongoing military conflicts in their home country of Sudan. Their official status as refugees is highly disputed, and they have been subject to racial discrimination and police violence. They live among a much larger population of Sudanese migrants, more than two million people of Sudanese nationality have fled Sudan. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants believes many more of these migrants are in fact refugees, but see little benefit in seeking recognition.