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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
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Last updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Pray for the Middle East

“Where we can’t, He can!” There are so many aspects of everyday life in the Middle East that the news services do not convey to their viewers. We often hear reports about the Middle East. The reports are usually focused on tensions between Israel and the countries surrounding them or the West and the Middle Eastern countries.

The following report from FaithWire gives us a look deeper into the middle eastern society and how Jesus is moving.

One of the leaders of an organization working to spread the Gospel to Iranians reports that claims of Middle Easterners encountering Jesus in dreams are ‘quite common,’ with the Lord using these interactions to draw individuals closer to Him.’

‘God is using [dreams] to speak to Iranians all the time,” Lana Silk, U.S. director of Transform Iran, recently told CBN News. “He uses every method He can. … The Iranians are open to dreams; they are dreamers. They enjoy talking about their dreams, and they’re aware of their dreams, and God uses that to speak to them.’

While reports of Jesus appearing in dreams to Middle Easterners are prevalent, the same can’t be said for Americans more generally, as such anecdotal reports in the West seem far less rampant.

Silk explained why she believes there’s such a radical difference on this issue between the U.S. and the Middle East.

‘I think we have become quite secular in the West, and we have wanted to rationalize and understand everything,” she said. “And when you’re in a place where it has to be within your frame of reference and something that you can explain away, then you end up taking away some of the exciting, creative ways in which God likes to speak.’

Silk continued, ‘So, there is a challenge to us here in the West to take off our need to be able to completely own the information and the process and fully grasp it, and just allow God to ‘wow’ us and do mysterious things.’

She also shared several powerful stories surrounding Jesus appearing to Iranians in dreams.

One such story involved a Muslim woman who was forced into marriage at age 13 and faced extreme trauma. She told Transform Iran Jesus began appearing to her in her doorway and then in dreams.

‘[He would] hold out his hand to her and say, ‘Come and trust me; come and follow me,’ Silk said.’And then she would go to sleep, and he would appear to her in her dreams, and he would speak to her … it was a gentle call.’

The woman, shocked and assuming she needed to cling closer to her Muslim faith to stop the apparitions, started saying her Islamic prayers more reverently. But when she went to say the name of Muhammad one day, something shocking happened: ‘The name ‘Jesus’ would come out of her mouth.’

She eventually gave her life to Christ and now serves as a pastor on the Transform Iran ministry team. Her story, of course, is just one of many.

It’s no secret Iran’s extremist Islamic regime fervently cracks down on Christianity, with faith disallowed and even punished.

Jesus’ appearance in dreams is often attributed to God’s powerful method of breaking past human barriers. Sadly, conversion to Christianity can come at a great cost.

‘It’s dangerous,” Silk said of practicing the Christian faith in Iran. “It’s a day-to-day risk. … It is very costly to them. The government is tracking. It is illegal for them to convert to Christianity, it’s illegal for them to own a Bible, learn share it with others, and talk about it — and the price they pay is a whole range.’

Silk said retribution for violating these restrictions could mean anything from a business being shut down to prison, torture — or worse.

‘It could cost them everything,’ she said.

Iran currently ranks as the ninth worst place in the world for Christians, according to Open Doors’ World Watch List, which assesses countries where believes most suffer.

“Conversion from Islam to Christianity is illegal in Iran, and anyone caught as a convert can be arrested and imprisoned,” the Open Doors report reads. “The authorities view conversion as an attempt by the West to undermine Islam and the Islamic government of Iran. This means that anyone who is discovered to be a member of a house church can be charged with a crime against national security, which can lead to long prison sentences. Anyone arrested or detained can be tortured and abused while in jail.” Source: FaithWire

When we can’t, He can. Where we are limited He is not! Our Lord is moving in amazing ways in the Middle East. Jesus’ love has no bounds. In the West many churches are not open to the move of God’s Holy Spirit. May Jesus melt the hearts of those in Western churches to receive from the Lord all that He has available.

Ministry Update: WOW

Did you know that Bible Discovery tithes? Working For Orphans and Widows is a ministry touching a world and people that God loves. Friend to Bible Discovery, Pastor Jim Cantelon, leads the charge in helping to rescue those at critical risk.

The words of the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, haunt us: “Not called!’ did you say?

‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say.

Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.”

― William Booth

Wow answers that call.

WOW specializes exclusively on the primary calling to dying orphans and widows. This ministry to the dying is called “Home Based Care” (HBC). We make thousands of HBC visits every year. These are made by our “army” of local church volunteers (mainly widows themselves) who lovingly care for the dying with

Pray for Egypt

   Egypt is a very prominent country in the Bible, especially when we reflect on Moses. The following article from “Open Doors” focuses on a woman, who happens to share the name of Moses’ sister. Miriam and her family have been able to survive a tragic loss in their family with the help of believers through Open Doors ministry.

Mariam got married when she was 17, and she has four daughters: Syliva*, Lydia*, Judy* and Jane*. When I met her, I could see that she was broken and hopeless. And as she told me her story, it was easy to understand why. 

For many years, her life was happy. Her husband worked as a contractor, and the family’s financial situation was stable. “My husband was very helpful and loving,” Mariam says. “He loved God and used to serve Him. He lived as salt and light for his surrounding community.” 

‘He was well known in his workplace and the surrounding area because he used to help lots of needy people,’ Mariam explains. “This area where he worked, was known [for having] intense persecution. [In this area], Christians suffer a lot because of their faith, and they were discriminated against on a daily basis. However, my husband never felt afraid and used to help the Christians there and donate to sick and needy people. 

‘That’s why radical Muslims wanted to get rid of him, and they used to threaten him a lot; [they wanted him] to stop helping needy Christians in the area. My husband was a brave man and never listened to them and continued helping others.’ 

Horrifically, the extremists’ warnings weren’t merely words. “The disaster happened in 2017, when radical Muslims in the neighborhood ambushed my husband and slaughtered him in his workplace,” Mariam says. She bursts into tears, even years after the fact. “They killed him! They killed my soulmate and my life partner. He left behind four young daughters who were in real need of their father’s love and care.” 

Naturally, the family was utterly devastated. ‘My heart was torn apart,” Mariam says. “I can remember the day I received the news of his death as if it was yesterday. Everything turned upside down. Nothing returned the same as before.’ 

Mariam blamed God for the loss of her husband and for all her difficult circumstances. Her heart was full of resentments and bitterness towards God. She was afraid and felt unsafe—and she had no hope. She grew angry and aggressive. 

Her daughters were also traumatized. They were afraid and felt unsafe; they lost self-confidence. Mariam was not able to deal with the situation on her own. She quickly realized losing her husband was more than just an emotional loss. The new school year had started, and Mariam was not able to provide her children with school supplies.

‘I tried hard not to make my daughters feel less than their peers at school, but I failed,” she says. “[These years] were totally horrible for me and for my daughters. My husband was not just a husband. He was a friend, a father and a partner. He was just everything for us.’ 

Mariam looked me in the eye and bombarded me with questions: “Why did God do [this]? Why has He left us in our fear? Why did God leave my four girls to be fatherless at such a very young age? Why did I become a widow while I’m still so young? Why has He forsaken us? Did all of this happen? Father.”’The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.’

From that day forward, our ministry team and partners started a journey of support with Mariam and her children. First, we helped her set up a small business project to start raising poultry to help her generate regular income and provide for her daughters. We provided an inner healing program for her

and her daughters, and regular pastoral visits. We wanted to show God’s love to them in a practical way.

And thanks to your gifts and prayers, the lives of Mariam and her daughters started to change and flourish. We can see the progress and success of her business. Now, she is able to provide for her children’s needs.

‘I still miss my dad and wish to see him one more time to have just one more hug! However, I know he is with my heavenly Father now and we will all meet soon,” said 12-year-old Sylvia, the oldest daughter.

She continued: “I learned to forgive those who have hurt me, and I want to help others like my dad did; I am sure my Heavenly Father will never forsake us. It’s now the beginning of the school year, but this time is different, because our heavenly Father provided income for my mother so she can provide for

us.’

We also enrolled Mariam in a discipleship group where she learned about God’s authority and our responsibility, forgiveness, God’s presence amidst troubles, and that God has a unique plan for everyone. Mariam is learning and growing emotionally and spiritually. She has even started serving others in her local church through a discipleship program.” Source: Open Doors

Typically when we highlight an article from another ministry we like to follow up with a prayer focus concerning the featured article. This time, however, Open Doors has done that for us. Below you will see a list of prayer points that they have directed readers to focus on that would best minister to Miriam and her families’ needs at this time.

  • Pray that God will always strengthen Mariam and her children so that they would have power to face difficult situations.
  • Pray for Mariam and her children, that they may live as salt and light for their surrounding community and that through God’s power, they would be able to comfort and strengthen others.
  • Ask God to reveal Himself to radical and fanatic Muslims.
  • Pray that the love of Jesus will be reflected to Muslims through the lives of the Christians living in Egypt. Pray that Christians will show Muslims practical love through serving them”
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

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