A Letter from the President
“It’s not enough for us to keep this in our camp. We know others who need Jesus.”
Lately, I’ve felt a heaviness in my spirit that’s hard to explain. Between tragic nationwide events and the death of loved ones, some days it’s hard to find the good. Does that resonate with you? Thankfully, we serve a God who is in control. And while it may not seem like it in the midst of what’s going on around us—I can assure you God will win in the end. The Bible tells us so:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV).
I don’t know about you, but focusing on gratitude helps shift my heart to the good happening around me. While there may be evil in this world, what I do know is I have a wonderful family, good health, a roof over my head…and I have the privilege of serving alongside some amazing people who are helping transform lives for the Kingdom.
And YOU are a part of that! Because of your faithful support to MRN…lives are being changed all over the world. Men and women are coming to Christ and discipling their loved ones to do the same. Societal transformation is happening, one person at a time.
I want to tell you about one person in particular who God is using to transform a nation.
His name is Amir. I wish I could show you his face. But the work he is doing for Jesus could put him in danger. You see, Amir is from Syria, displaced by war and living in a refugee camp in Greece, in a little town outside Philippi (the city to which Paul addressed the Book of Philippians).
Through divine intervention, Amir met Josh, one of our missionaries serving in Greece. They developed a friendship, began studying God’s Word together, and over time, Amir became a believer. This man has a genuine ministerial call on his life and has become one of our key partners in the work in the MedRim.
Together, he and Josh have gathered a group of Kurdish men that meet regularly to study God’s Word. In the last nine months, the group has grown in number and many have become believers. These men are actively discipling others in the refugee community. People know that they are disciples of Jesus. And because they are living exemplary lives, it has given them favor among others in the community.
About a mile outside their refugee camp, out in the middle of nowhere, the group built a meeting place from scrap wood to shelter them from the sun as they disciple one another. They’ve delicately decorated the area with crosses and fresh flowers. Each week, they make meals together over an open fire, read the Bible, and sit and discuss spiritual things for hours. Men often bring their wives and children to the group. Amir said, “We have to do this as a family. This is not just a ‘man thing.’” To bring your wife with you to talk about holy things is a huge cultural shift away from Islam.
What struck me after hearing this story, was a propensity for good in the midst of tremendous suffering, tragedy, and loss of humanity. This little place out in the middle of the desert represents so much life. As dedicated students of Jesus, they’re taking what they’re learning and putting it into practice at the camp. They’ve even traveled by bus to other refugee camps to share the Gospel and start discipleship groups. Amir said, “It’s not enough for us to keep this in our camp. We know others who need Jesus.”
But it doesn’t stop there!
Many of these men still have family and friends back home in Syria. Although their city has been decimated, they’re making plans to take the Gospel back home, which is why we have to protect their identities. Syria is considered a closed country to the Gospel. But Amir knows they MUST bring the Good News back home to their loved ones. He said, “I believe at least half our city will become disciples of Jesus if we go back and live there.”
Starting a movement in another country is always challenging, and quite frankly, overwhelming. But it only takes one person to make a difference. To see this disciple making movement slowly make its away across Greece is unbelievable! I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. We are in unchartered territory, but God is moving. And we are grateful to have a small part in the story He is writing.
Why is this movement so unbelievable? It’s not just that Muslim people are having dreams and visions and coming to Christ, it’s that Kurdish and Persians are working together to make disciples of Jesus. Ordinarily, they wouldn’t get along, but they have a shared love for Jesus. God is even calling people from other nations, like Cuba, to go help start movement in the MedRim.
The Cubans, Syrians, and Iranians were our enemies during the Cold War. So, for Cubans who love Jesus to be dreaming of reaching Arabs, Persians, and Muslim background people with our collaboration is unbelievable. Nobody would have strategized or imagined this. It’s only a story God writes.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV).
To see this kind of movement replicated throughout the MedRim—we must send more workers. Will you partner with us? We are believing God will do more than we ask or imagine. All it takes is one person to create a movement.
Friend, if you’ve ever doubted that what you’re doing doesn’t matter—nothing could be further from the truth. Your partnership is changing lives for the Kingdom. Because of your gift today, we will be able to train missionaries and provide the support they need to continue on. Don’t let the enemy tell you that your gift doesn’t matter. Every little bit helps.
If you are struggling right now with doubt, fear, anxiety, or something else—we want to pray for you. Every week we gather together as a team to pray for each other and for the mission teams on the field—and we’d like to pray for you. Please click here to submit your prayer requests.
Thank you for partnering with us in serving the unreached and under-served people groups of the world. God is on the move!
Grace and peace,
P.S. To make a donation, simply click here. Together, what we’re doing really matters.