Gospel Expansion Outreaches in The Holy Land
We go into areas AIRFORCE ONE WOULDN'T to make disciples! YES IT"S WORTH THE SACRIFICE"
In our daily planning and vision casting with our teams and team leaders, we reflect on how humbled we are by the fact that we possess the power of darkness in the name of Jesus, we can have tangible hope and can confidently preach that there is hope, and there is freedom. Since January of 2022, we have held over nine outreaches and gatherings with a couple hundred, which all come from Muslim backgrounds; these meetings are in addition to the 50 plus weekly meetings we hold. Sharing the Love of Jesus with them and introducing them to a Savior that doesn't judge you based on what religion you come from but invites you into a personal relationship with Him based on the atoning work He did on Calvary's Cross.
Out of the many exciting stories we are putting together to encourage you our friends and partners, one exciting story which I wanted to share with you is about one lady whom we will call Noura, who came from an area that most people do not visit in the northern west bank, you see in these outreaches we target areas that are considered to be hostile. Sites such as ancient day Samaria and close villages such as Tool Karem, Jenin. These villages and cities are almost weekly and in some weeks, daily are in the news for attacks and clashes with the I.D.F. these are areas where to use an extreme analogy, 'Air-force one wouldn't go.' So to draw you a simple example of the backdrop of where we are at, you now understand it's all for the sake of making the name of Jesus known. We rent out a restaurant for the whole day, we go in and we start setting up the game stations for the kids on the upper floor and on the main floor is where the meals are served and where the message and service is held this is also where we prepare to introduce to them the Gospel through a play and here is where we arrange the main hall in a way to create a welcoming atmosphere and this is where we also spend time praying around tables and chairs where they will be sitting and we call on the name of the Lord to bring His Joy and to cover them and to cover the hall and for hearts to open up.
Our trip to get to these villages and cities is about two and a half hours, now keep in mind some roads along the way are very steep hills and bumpy roads and narrow streets we usually get to the restaurant needing a motion sickness recovery session L.O.L., thank the Lord for baklava or ka-ek (Jerusalem style breed) which we are met with upon arrival which helps sweeten the arrival experience. Since we are going into some hostile areas, there are usually Israeli I.D.F. checkpoints along the way in certain neighborhoods we pass through. We pray asking the Lord to remove any checkpoints along the way, which could detour us, making the trip much more difficult than it already is.
As this specific group arrived, I remember standing in the entrance seeing all the wonderful people who bravely came to hear a message that they have been hearing which is changing lives. As they began to take their seats at the tables, I could see a mix of emotions on their faces some were smiling at the excitement of seeing and hearing something new. The majority were nervous, pondering on what to expect and thinking whether they would hop back on the bus we brought them on, feeling it was a waste of time or will this be one of the best days they have had in a long, long time given the reality that they struggle every day to see a brighter day. We began the outreach by telling them, we are here to share the love of Jesus with them. We introduced ourselves as their new family for many days to come. We had one of our Evangelists, Roma, start off with some ice breakers and some riddles to solve to loosen the atmosphere. We then taught them some worship songs and then we talked about the greatest healer. We opened the opportunity for those that need healing to raise their hands, reminding them Jesus is mentioned as the greatest healer in the Quran. About 9 raised their hands sharing intimate prayer needs with us. I started to walk around the tables to say hello, it's a bit of a challenge because in the culture, specifically amongst those that come from villages and towns where the culture is still very conservative, you are not allowed to directly speak to or shake the hands of woman especial if they are married and especially if you are not of the same religion. It's a bit of a challenge because you have to identify the right person at the table to talk to and greet. Now at one specific table I noticed one of the women whom I have seen before at our outreaches. As I began to talk to her, she stood up and said "Abounaeeem (this is my alias name), I came to your Christmas outreach which you did in our village, and at that time I was going through a lot in my personal life. I fought to agree to join my neighbors to take the long trip on the bus and to join your outreach that day, but something kept pushing me to go. I fought coming to the first outreach I attended, at the beginning when we first walked in I was very nervous I kept asking myself what am I doing here. But when you greeted us with a smile and you asked us to open our hearts to Essa (Jesus) the greatest healer I felt something different I had the greatest calmness settle over me and in my heart in a way I have not felt in a long time. That is why today I am proud to say look around the hall the 67 Muslim women with their children I was the one that gathered them together to invite them along with your team to arrange to bring them here to this week's outreach. I went home after the first outreach and told all of my friends, and neighbors and the woman in my family that something happened to me when I met you all and spent the day with you all. I told my family that they must come, that besides the good food and the family care pack and gifts we got, more importantly, there is an emotional and spiritual draw that we cannot be explained in words only by personal experience." Praise the Lord for Noura; because of her we were able to do several more outreach gatherings and have been able to add new names and discipling new individuals which are being added to our growing discipleship programs. Out of the testimonies and stories of these groups who attend now the word is spreading of the message of Jesus, in fact, we have received invitations to go into 3 more villages and cities which are unreached in the land of our Lord. Why do we risk going into these cities and villages? Three reasons: first the sacrifice of Jesus is not in vain their souls are worth saving, secondly because the smiles and transformations we see happing in their lives make it all worth it, thirdly we are committed to the Lord's commands and are committed to honoring those of you who give to our ministry to ensure we are fulfilling our ministries goals and purpose. Here's my call to action, these are not one-off outreaches. Every outreach we do has follow-up ongoing weekly running costs the added costs to all these growths are about 880 a week so monthly thus far we project about $3500 U.S.D. for the next three years. Yes the more we expand and grow the more sacrificial gifts we will need. It is an honor to say we are doing things that no one is doing in literally unreached areas, our team and I risk much to do these outreaches what part will you take in this vision to ensure the name of Jesus is being mentioned, and discipleship is being held till He returns?
The price that those who come may pay for believing in Jesus or for even attending our outreach is high. There is a possibility of many of them facing persecution by family and the community. When we asked those in the past who have suffered for Christ and were persecuted for His name's sake, 'is it worth it?' They say " it's nothing, we are in debt to the Joy, Eternity, and Grace which they have through Christ's work on the Cross. YES IT"S WORTH THE SACRIFICE"