NEWSLETTER: Summer 2014
Witness Through The Cross by Ibrahim Seliman (Arabic Program Host)
It is heartbreaking to see what is happening to churches and Christians in Iraq and Syria. Churches that have been there for centuries are being pillaged or destroyed. Ministers of the Gospel are kidnapped. Christians there occasionally wonder that if the Lord promised that “the gates of Hades won’t prevail” against the church, why is there so much suffering?
In the Middle East, our task is by no means easy, as people there who are born into Christian families are automatically labeled as Christians. As they experience being born-again for themselves, they can truly be counted as people who suffer persecution for the gospel and not just because of being part of this “ethnic” group. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church and what better witness to Muslims than to know that Jesus who died over 2000 years ago has followers even today who are willing to take up His cross and be with Him for “one hour” in Gethsemane? As a Muslim, nothing convinced me more powerfully of the truth of Christianity than the suffering of His church whose only crime is just one thing: following the crucified Messiah. It is because our Savior suffered and bore excruciating pains in His body that His followers, His true followers and His living body, are willing to take up His cross and rejoice. Our outward body might have an affliction here and there, but still this is the privilege of the fellowship of His suffering. Christianity then has depth and meaning, and hence our task in proclaiming the Gospel to Muslims via radio, the internet, TV, books, articles and definitely living personal contact so that they may know how important it is to surrender our lives peacefully to the Savior and be born again. This is our mission in obedience to His Great Commission, to evangelize every Muslim in the ways the Lord sees fit and see Saul of Tarsus becoming Paul, the apostle of the heart set free.
We are grateful to you for standing with us, supporting us as the Lord leads you, so that we together can labor in seeing hundreds and thousands of Muslims bowing down with us at the throne of the Lamb singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
Our annual benefit banquet was on Saturday, April 26th held at Philadelphia Church. The meal was provided by Twelve Baskets Catering, delicious as always. The One Cup Project provided us with coffee. The speaker, Dan Baumann, shared his testimony. The offering was the largest we have ever received with a total of $28,080!
Thank you to everyone who attended and gave. Also, thank you to those who volunteered. It was a successful evening.
It touches me how you care for all people equally. You are unique in the way you think and express the truths of God to others, as well as express God’s love to all people alike in such pure, Christ-like love. Your ministry is so useful for us here in Iraq as many of our churches are nominal and the Spirit is missing and the Word is hardly proclaimed. But then the Lord sends you to us and what we have repeated all along comes once again fully alive as your words are Spirit-filled. The Lord has used you in helping my sister recover emotionally and spiritually from something we have been dealing with for many year, old wounds, and now through the Lord is bringing about inner healing in her life. We are witnessing growth and improvement in her and we are brought close to the Lord. I can attest to how much impact you have had on my whole family as you help us grow and move beyond the old wounds and trust fully in God’s grace. I would love for more and more Iraqis to hear your teaching and I promise to spread the word. -From F. in Iraq
I’m watching your testimony on my local cable channel in Wisconsin and weeping. I’ve never had the chance to speak with a Muslim but would do so in a heartbeat. It’s easy to do in America, where there is no threat of death and punishment, but I am well aware that’s not the case in many other places in the world. Those like you who testify to their Christian faith under threat of death (before you were in America) are to be emulated. It’s humbling to know I may not have such courage, although I’d like to believe I would. -From B. in Wisconsin, USA
I read this morning chapter 27 of Matthew and some verses made me pause. It’s from verse 27 till 31. I got affected & felt bad when they spat on Jesus. Well, today while I was walking at the street on my way to the church, I felt something cold on my trousers. A sticky liquid was thrown at my back. It felt and smelled disgusting & I got afraid it might be a burning water or anything that would hurt me. Somehow this ruined my night. I hurried twice to the bathroom at the church to check out my clothes. Thanks God it was not that bad. I guess someone splat or threw me his dirty viscous liquids. Finally at home, I had a shower, thinking of what happened and I remembered how Jesus felt at that moment. -From J. in Egypt
Your journey goes to show how you were truly searching after the living God and He is the One who found you. Names may change from generation to generation and places also may be different but the Lord is the same. He found Saul of Tarsus and found you too as you were longing to find the Truth. Truth has prevailed in your heart and has set you free from the bondage of Islam. He remains our great God, the One we worship and adore, who responds to all that we have, calling on Him from the depths of our souls. He might use His own methods of revelations, and indeed He does. Different though they may be, we are gratefully found and saved only by His redeeming grace and washed in the blood of the Lamb. May He empower you to continue to fulfill His mission to bring all men to His path, so that as many Muslims as possible might be saved through you. -From L. in Egypt