UPDATE ON UNSPOKEN REQUEST FROM LAST WEEK
Our two servants are still awaiting a directive from God on an urgent situation. They have served in their Muslim country for over three years, and their application for residency was denied. Please pray that God might provide a new avenue for them to secure residency. Their church needs them; he is their pastor.This husband and wife couple face the very real prospect of being relocated to a refugee camp, where they might be separated. One detail that works in their favor is the beginning of Ramadan, which started this week. Governments across the Muslim world grind to a halt for 30 days, which can buy time for a solution. At present, they are upbeat, discipling new converts, and staying busy. They know that God WILL come through for them in the way He chooses. M___d’s wife B______z, encouraged me as I tried to encourage the two of them. She said, “God never empties His house. We bow to God’s will.” PLEASE continue to pray for God’s timely guidance in this situation. I was able to send them some money (thanks to your generosity) a week prior to knowing their situation. God knew the need—He is never late.
NEW WEEKLY PRAYER MEETINGS
With Persians and Afghanis
These are people who attend our weekly Bible studies. Because we have limited time in these meetings, M___, one of our workers, suggested that we gather these Farsi-speaking converts and pray with them every Wednesday! During this first week, we had six friends join us. “Rozbe” (I will call him) lives in Iran. “Sardar” lives in Afghanistan. “Nabi” joined us from Afghanistan as well! “Rozbe” is asking for the Holy Spirit’s leading and the power to do God’s will. “Sardar” hopes to be baptized in deep water (Amen!) but is not able to schedule this yet. And “Anna” heard of our ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan. She joined in the prayer meeting for the first time; she did not speak, but she listened. “Nabi” was fired from his job in February for having Bible verses on his phone and needs a job. Since being saved, “Nabi” has been able to lead a friend to Christ, who, in turn, has been in touch with our ministry! Former Muslims now reaching other Muslims for Christ! Isaiah 59:1 says, “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.”
PRAYER REQUESTS AND ANSWERED PRAYER
• My wife and kids are well! My wife’s dad, who has advanced cancer, has rallied several times, but we had a scare two weeks ago. He fell and broke his hip; but, fortunately, the doctor was able treat the hip without a replacement—potentially sparing his life. Please continue to pray for him and for my wife as she copes with this.
• Our weekly Clubhouse meetings allow us to preach, dialogue, counsel, and pray with class members on a regular basis. It usually takes months to win a Muslim to Christ, but occasionally, students join us because they have already had some exposure to the Bible and want to know more. This past week, we had FIVE (three Persians and two Afghanis) make professions of faith in Christ at the close of our meeting. Praise the Lord! Review and follow-up with each one is critical; please pray that God orders good steps in discipleship toward maturity.
• We have received two more pledges toward our Turkish trip later this year. We ask God for clarity about His timing, prices, logistics, etc. Thank you so much to those who give so sacrificially for these trips. Paul’s missionary journeys involved a series of church visits, and we believe God would have us follow this same model to influence the brethren.
As always, there is much more than I can fit in a single letter. God has been faithful, gracious, and patient with us. I marvel often why He would use someone as flawed as me, but I’m thankful that He will!