Hi friends and family.
Sorry I haven’t written updates for a while. Life has been so busy here! Busy with what? Let me explain. 🙂
I’ve been really thankful for the work I’m getting to do here. It’s not what someone would typically think of “ministry,” not face-to-face, straight up evangelism. But, I know that what I’m doing is furthering the work of ministry here in the Middle East and that makes me joyful. The organization I’m working for plans on reaching out to over 160,000 children, youth, and families in the Middle East between October and May! I’m planning out a strategy for them to accomplish their goal of reaching this many people with God’s word, truth, and love. It’s been fun to be behind the scenes and to support a ministry that truly loves the Lord and loves His people.
I’ve also been connecting with as many churches here as possible! There’s been one church in particular that I’ve visited many times. It’s amazing to hear their testimonies of how they lived their life before they came to Christ and how they’ve been transformed. I’ve been so encouraged by the believer’s hunger to know God deeply here. I haven’t met a single Christian who just accepts their salvation and keeps living; everyone I have met really wants to know God intimately and make him known to others! The passion of the churches here is amazing! Despite being mocked by family and co-workers, despite the threats from different radical groups to destroy the church, despite the insecurity of the country, the believers here choose Christ as their solid rock!
These past few weeks have been a time of the Lord purifying and making me new. We went up to a monastery in the mountains two weeks ago and spent time in solitude seeking God and listening to him. He revealed so many things in me that keep me from him, but at the same time he kept reassuring me that his love is so deep. I’m so thankful the Lord never leaves me in the middle of sin, but he brings me to a place of repentance. And when I repented and pressed in to hear more from God, he told me that he’s been purifying me; he’s made my heart clean and open and now I just need to receive from him. What could be better than that?! I don’t have to work at making myself “better,” Christ makes me a new creation as I worship and love him.
So, I’ve been here for a month and I’ve definitely seen the good, bad, and the ugly. Both with the Middle East and within myself. The Lord keeps reminding me of his truth- the Gospel. The one anchor that frees me from dwelling in the highs or the lows. Today, I am refreshed by his goodness and the generous joy he gives me. I pray you will experience the same!
P.S. Yes, I am still loving the Middle East! 🙂