It is with a very heavy heart that we share the loss of our beloved friend and coworker Stephen. His life was taken from him on Monday, November 7, martyred in the service of the Lord. We were partnering with Stephen, co-laboring to reach a very needy people group in the Middle East. I had spoken with him only a few short days before the news reached us. Stephen was tireless and selfless. After my children and I were arrested and released in Morocco, Stephen and another friend voluntarily sent us money so we could travel for a few days out of harm’s way. He was a man faithful to his Lord and to his family, giving everything to his King. Please pray fervently for his wife and children. A fund has been set up for the family. If you so desire, you can make a tax-deductible donation to TheCrownFoundation.com for the Stephen Troell family. All gifts will go directly to them.
Our efforts to reach Iraq continue going forward with full intensity, but for now, we will need to help these seekers remotely out of Egypt. I have asked God to send TEN able men to replace Stephen. Please pray that God will send us more Arabic-speaking pastors and that the men who killed him would be saved. I am reminded of Elisabeth Elliot, Through Gates of Splendor, describing the days when she was able to reach the Huaorani Tribe members who had murdered her husband and friends. Please pray that Stephen would one day meet his murderers in Heaven. I believe he would rejoice in this.
Two men have reached out to us from the Baghdad area: Gafour ______ and Amaar_____Yaser. One of these men is from a town near Babylon City. Gafour________ has met with us several times, and he is currently studying with Pastor Sameh. Gafour________ lost his job for practicing Black Magic (!), and asked us if Jesus could set him free. What a blessing it was to receive that question! He said, “If Jesus could set me free, I will follow Him.” Please pray for him as we approach a fourth meeting with him. Amaar_____Yaser was reached with the Gospel sometime back and contacted us with a desire to grow and be baptized. Our goal now is to verify his testimony, get to know him, and pray for him. Please pray for both of these men; each one is different, and both are always in potential danger.
Please pray for Musa, an Afghani man who was saved over a year ago through our ministry. Musa has been under surveillance in Iran and is exploring options to move his family to a safe country. He applied for visas in two other Muslim countries but was turned down. We are working Stateside with an immigration attorney to review his options. A church in the Western Hemisphere has seen an influx of Afghan refugees. Musa speaks passable English and has a bachelor’s degree in engineering. We are hopeful that God could unite these two, solving both problems in the process. Please pray for God’s will and direction.
Lastly, we had the wonderful privilege of working with Brother David and his bi-annual Arab Fesitval in Dearborn. There were over 200 in attendance. There were games, food, and prizes; and large numbers heard the Gospel in English and Arabic! My daughter and I made new friends with three Iraqi sisters who took to us. They stayed behind to help with cleanup and accepted tracts enthusiastically.
Thank you for praying for us during bright times and dark days. God often brings miraculous blessings during them. He said, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)