I am very encouraged by the work that the Lord is doing through our brothers and sisters in the Middle East. Though the region has hosted numerous conflicts and clashes throughout the last year, there still remain real, tangible proofs of the grace of God working through His church. In fact, one could make the argument that the unrest itself has been used of the Lord to awaken many to the unrest that exists within their own souls. One of our partners in a protected area of the Middle East reported late in 2013 that he had seen more fruit the previous month than he had ever seen in a month’s period throughout his ten years in the ministry.
More recently, HeartCry hosted a family conference in Cairo, Egypt, for a number of pastors and their wives. HeartCry Coordinator Don Currin and his wife Cindy met us in Egypt for this conference. Cindy was able to teach the women several times, while Don did the lion’s share of the teaching for the conference as a whole. For this conference, we saw the need to address a number of family and church issues that are prevalent in the Middle East. Overall, there was a positive reception of the biblical truths proclaimed.
During this trip, HeartCry was also able to further cultivate a number of the relationships that we have established in Egypt. First, we were able to spend a great deal of time with several of the members of House of Grace in Cairo. This young church plant was originally started by a very gifted teacher and pastor named Harun R. House of Grace began as a Bible study that Harun started after coming into contact with a number of young Christians who were anxious to learn biblical truth and solid doctrine. Hani eventually put several of these young believers to work in translating and subtitling good English sermons, many of which Brother Paul Washer had preached, into Arabic. This translation work eventually cemented HeartCry’s relationship with this young group of conscientious Christians.
Sadly, approximately a year and a half ago, Harun tragically died in a car wreck in Cairo, leaving behind a leadership vacuum within the church. The church’s story over the last year and half has been one filled with ups and downs and great struggles. However, due to the grace of God, these young men and women have carried on with the calling that the Lord has placed upon them. During our ten days in Cairo in February, we were able to sit with the men and women of House of Grace and give them advice regarding the future of the church. It was truly a special and helpful time, but the church remains in need of prayer.
Secondly, I was able to meet with a Sudanese Christian that had given up everything for the sake of Christ. This man grew up as a Muslim in the Darfur area of Sudan. As a black Arab, his people had experienced a great deal of ethnic persecution from their fellow Sudanese in Darfur.
As a young adult and through a web of circumstances, this devout Muslim man came to know the Lord Jesus. After his conversion, he felt compelled to train for the pastorate, which he was able to do in Sudan. As he became a more respected church leader, he was eventually placed on a “hit list” of Sudanese Christians to be targeted and killed. To spare his own life, he left the country, and he and his family are now starting over in a new country, away from family and friends and without a means of support. This man’s life, filled with persecution and now displacement, is sadly the description of many of our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). Our Sudanese brother is hated by the world simply because of his identification with and love for Jesus Christ!
Please pray for the leadership and the members of House of Grace in Cairo. Please pray for our Sudanese brethren and the church under persecution and conflict
in the Middle East.