“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Col 4:2
We are always thankful for your faithful and consistent prayers, and for the grace of God that encourages us to come boldly before His Throne. Here are a few prayer updates that we want to add to the recent Around the World in Prayer.
Please pray for Joshua in India. He is the son of Pastor JF and Aruna. He has been sent home from Bible College with Dengue Fever, his platelets are low, and he is now hospitalized for treatment. Some of you may remember that the pastor’s other son, Caleb, was killed in a train accident shortly before graduating from Bible College.
There is a team from Australia currently ministering at the Bible College in Nagaland. Pray for Ossie, Beth, and Peter as they travel, teach, and work on facilities at KTC.
A few years ago, we travelled with Julio from Peru to Ecuador to conduct a pastors’/leaders’ conference. As a result of that visit, we have recently been asked for 150 Spanish versions The Basics to be used in Ecuador. Julio will be going to Ecuador soon to distribute and to teach from The Basics in Spanish. Please pray for Julio’s safe travel and effective ministry, and pray for the books to be a blessing to hungry souls.
Faisal and Carrie are now in Pakistan. They will be distributing Christmas boxes and doing village ministry. This is not a particularly safe place at the time so please pray for their protection, wisdom to know where to go and where not to go, and for effective ministry. Their visit, teaching, and gifts will be an encouragement to many.
Gene and Nan
We are always so encouraged as we travel from place to place to hear so many people say, “We pray for you every day.” We are thankful beyond words!
Our schedule for the first six-seven months of 2018 is quite heavily booked. We are at home now until just after the first of the year and are using the time to make travel arrangements, as well as to study and prepare materials for ministry both at home and abroad. We would ask you to graciously pray for guidance for our studies and preparations, and for provision for travel needs.
Gene is having cataract surgery on December 12 and would appreciate your prayers for a safe and effective outcome to the surgery.
While we were in Israel, we were joined for part of the tour by Lee Lester, who is currently ministering in Jordan. We have known Lee and his family since our Arkansas years. He is a fine young man who is now teaching English as a second language and using that as an opportunity for witness. Please keep Lee in your prayers, especially for open doors to share the Gospel.
Some of you may remember that earlier in the year we asked for prayer for Rae Walker (a retired school teacher from Brisbane, Australia) as she was helping to teach displaced children in Lebanon. She and her family were with us in Israel, and she shared with us some of the crucial ministry that she was blessed to be a part of. Below is a summary report of the work that continues in Lebanon:
God at Work in Lebanon
The war in Syria has resulted in many people being displaced in Lebanon but God is still in control and using this situation to bring many into His family.
The Lebanese, as a whole, resent the Syrians because of their domination over Lebanon for many years and so are taking advantage of the refugees in their land. The refugees are housed in tent structures on cement slabs with a bathroom shared by around 20 families. They pay the landlord for the tent structure and then a monthly fee to sit on his land. It is no wonder the 5–8 year olds I was working with knew the English word ‘toilet’ and were keen to go when they first arrived each day!
However, the True Vine Evangelical Baptist Church in Zahle, which is a one-hour drive over the mountains from Beirut and half an hour from the Syrian border where I was relief-teaching in January is using the situation to show the love of Jesus to these people. They commenced six years ago, when refugees started flooding over the border, by providing for their physical needs. Then it was realized there were many children who were having no education, so they started a school. This has grown into 600 children; 300 in two sessions at the church and 300 in two sessions in a camp nearby. The children are taught Arabic, Science, and English in preparation for entering a Lebanese school should this be possible. Each group has 3 ½ hours at school Monday to Friday in which the first half hour is chapel where they enthusiastically sing and are taught about Jesus. Halfway through the time, they have food and a break. The church pays the teachers, who are educated Syrian people, though not trained teachers as the Lebanese do not want to employ the Syrians. The English teachers are mostly from a Christian group from the USA. An Australian couple—retired teachers—are now teaching the staff in classroom management. The church leadership wants to branch out to another camp half an hour’s drive away from their location in Zahle where there are another 1,000 children without education.
Medical teams of doctors and dentists come and treat the refugees free of charge, setting up their clinics in the top level of the church. Information for the service comes by word of mouth, not being advertised. These volunteers are housed in the church guest rooms, which are cleaned by refugee workers. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, podiatry and optometry professionals would be welcomed.
Because of the care being given, people are enquiring about Christianity. There are now at least 40 groups of 8–10 people in a group who are being taught about Jesus. Some are now believers, others seeking, and there are new enquirers being added as new families arrive from Syria. The groups meet during meals at various times at the church. The church members are responsible for their groups, and others visit the camps offering help and the people respond.
When asked where the money comes from, Pastor Jihad said it was God’s work and they didn’t worry about the finances as He was responsible to provide and He never failed. The pastor has his computer engineering business, which provides for his family, so that everything that comes in from around the world is used for the work. I don’t know when he sleeps working the business and caring for the church. His wife, Adelle, has degrees in counselling and oversees the schools but turns her hand to any task that needs doing when the person responsible has gone on to life in a new country.
Serving with joy and strengthened by your prayers,
Gene, Nan, and the BTBM team!