You are sharing the hope of Jesus around the world. Thank you!
This month, I spent six days in Egypt exploring new opportunities for Words of Hope to aid the Christian movement in Arabic-speaking places. I would like to introduce you to some of the amazing people that I met on my trip, even though I can’t share their names or pictures due to the sensitive nature of their work.
“What did I do after the bombings…?”
When I asked one pastor about what Palm Sunday was like for him after two bombs were detonated during Coptic church services that morning, he looked puzzled. He wondered why I would ask him such a question. “I heard the bombings, turned on the news, prayed for my sisters and brothers, and then I went to preach at my church,” he told me matter-of-factly.
There was a surreal normalcy to his voice, as if he may as well have asked me, “Well, what did you do on Palm Sunday? Of course I went to church!”
“We resolved long ago that our faith is in Jesus and not in security,” he explained. “Our lives are in his hands.”
“For what it’s worth,” he went on to observe, “attendance was higher that day than on any Palm Sunday in recent memory.”
400,000 Radio Listeners / 250,000 Facebook Likes
While it is illegal to broadcast Christian radio programming from within Egypt, I met two people who daily produce an Internet radio program that shares Christian themes without explicitly Christian language. To date, they have produced over 400 original songs, and they organize seven hours of new programming each day. They are able to track and assess the effectiveness of their digital broadcasts, and told me that they currently have 400,000 radio listeners and 250,000 Facebook likes. The joy in their story was mirrored by the smiles on their faces. Surely, God is on the move in powerful ways.
“How will the church be ready to receive its first million Arabic converts?”
One person I spoke with shared his life mission over the last ten years: To prepare the church in the Middle East so it has the capacity to disciple the next one million followers of Jesus, especially those who come to the faith from other religious backgrounds. His organization develops teaching material for churches, and has already walked 500 churches through discipleship training. They report that the number one place the materials are being requested is in refugee communities worldwide. People are coming to Christ when they experience the church acting like the church.
I don’t know how God will lead Words of Hope in regards to Arabic ministry, but I am grateful for the faith, passion, and joy that I saw in the church in Egypt. Please join me this week in praying for the hope of Jesus to reach the hearts of Arabic-speaking people everywhere!
Living in hope,