I'm back in Cape Town after being in the Middle East for the last 6 and a half weeks! It was great to experience all that is going on in Jordan and Lebanon, and I'm now in the process of figuring out how that might look for me in the future. Please pray for guidance as I have a few meetings this week to discuss what happens next.
I will share a couple of highlights from the trip and there are a few photos included.
It was an intense 3 weeks visiting many Syrian refugee families that now live in Mafraq and providing them with some basic aid. We heard many stories of trauma as they told us how they fled Syria. We were able to share with every family apart from one that we visited about Jesus and those that were interested we left with them an SD card that they could put into their phone which had the bible in Arabic on it. We were able to pray with many people, heard several share visions that they had had about Jesus/a man in white, and met many who were sincerely seeking the truth. Those people we linked up with the long-term team in Jordan.
One significant moment for me was a lady that became really emotional when she heard Jesus died on the cross for her. I have become used to sharing this and I didn't expect her response. She didn't want me to continue with the story of the cross and resurrection until she had got it straight with me - that Jesus really died, and for her. It was amazing to be able to share in her realising this truth.
In Mafraq there are about 200,000 Syrian refugees. Missions workers currently have access to about 8000 of these, and have seen 300 baptised and believe in Jesus. It was amazing to see a part of this movement!
I had a very different experience in Lebanon. It was during Ramadan, so no eating in public during the day, and a very religious time for the country! I travelled a lot more around the country and had many different exposures to ministry, including helping the long term worker Liesl as she empowers gypsies to run a business. I helped them with marketing while I was there, and got to spend a lot of time with the new believers that she disciples. I got to visit Tripoli (not in Libya!) , a city of 800,000 people of whom about a quarter are refugees, and very few (the worker I was with didn't know of any) missionaries working there. We spent some time praying up on the citadel overlooking the city which was a special moment.
My highlight was joining a YWAM team to take part in a kids outreach in a gypsy camp... and trying an 8 flavoured ice cream which apparently is the norm in Lebanon!
OCEAN VIEW: I am back working in Ocean View now. There was a fatal shooting this week that two of the teenage girls witnessed. We also had a violent fight during our Thusday night community. What started out as a rough night ended well though as we had a really good conversation after the Alpha topic 'What about evil' where we ended up reading the passage from Matthew 5 about Loving your enemies. While I was away 4 of the girls also gave their lives to Jesus - 2 of whom have been coming to church with me.
For me processing what's next with regards to Middle East.
For OV community for peace and for the teenagers who witnessed the shooting.
For Alpha day Away this Thursday with the teenage community. The subject is the Holy Spirit - pray that the 18 teenagers we invited come and experience the Holy Spirit!
For the 4 girls who gave their lives to Jesus - that the seeds would grow in good soil and bear fruit.
Thanks as always for your support, whether it be prayer, finances, whatsapp calls, postcards, texts, presents, or making it to the end of a newsletter! :)