First of all, I give the LORD all the glory for His great work in His church through His honest and faithful servants in the church.
Since we are aware of the importance of spiritual discipleship for believers, we need to equip qualified servants to work in the Lord’s field, preach His Word, and disciple others.
Last month, we had two important conferences, one for the pastors and servants, the other one was for servants and some young people. The first was a meeting we have as pastors and servants of the church to pray together, converse, and hear about how God is working through the church during this period. We also discussed the strengths and weaknesses of our services.
The second conference was for the servants and some members of the youth meeting, to encourage them about the importance of spiritual growth, and to go deeper in relationship with the Lord. In addition, we took the opportunity to have a wonderful speaker, Dr. Sameh, who is well known by all the churches and is a pastor. This conference was a real blessing. One of the youth members said, “I hope that in the future my son will be like this man of God (Dr. Sameh).” So, I asked this youth, “Why don’t you be like him?” I encouraged him to go deeper into the knowledge of the Lord Jesus. As a result of this meeting, two other youth took up the challenge together to read forty chapters each day. This goal means finishing reading all the Bible within one month.
- Thank God for the church and its servants.
- Pray for new servants in the church from the youth.
- Pray for the youth who accepted the reading challenge to be faithful in this task.
- Pray for the start of a new training at the beginning of next month, concerning preaching and discipling.
- Pray for the financial needs for most of the church families.
Praise God for His work in our church. We have seen the youth group grow tremendously. We have been equipping and encouraging the leaders among them to step up and take on more responsibility. The youth are doing the work in almost every aspect of the ministry. We often have leaders from the youth leading the teaching and even home visitation ministry to other members of the youth group. This has been a focus of mine since I took over the pastoral role in this church, so I’m very encouraged to see hope for the next generation of church leaders.
The youth group organized and hosted a team from the Drug Control Department to conduct a lecture on the dangers of drugs and methods of prevention. Attendance was very high and exceeded forty young men and women. We also made a meal to share with everyone in attendance.
One of the new families that we visited was a newlywed couple. They told us about something that seemed like demonic attacks in their home that made them really scared at night. They requested that we come and pray over their house so we did, and we encouraged them in the Gospel that if they believed in Christ and became children of God, they would have nothing to fear. We also encouraged the couple to come to church and devote time to prayer and reading scripture. When we followed up with them, they were greatly relieved and are no longer experiencing the attacks.
In August we had teams assist in the house visits, in total we visited forty-two new families. We were able to visit another fourteen new families in September.
When some of the priests found out that families are attending our church, they started to mock those families, calling them sinners and apostates. Please pray for them.
Sunday School for the kids is growing rapidly. We praise God for how He is using us in so many ways and among all generations of people.
- Pray for continued growth in our Sunday School and Youth Group programs.
- Pray for the newlywed couple that they could continue to stay strong in Christ.
- Pray for families in our church that experience persecution from Orthodox and Catholic churches.
- Pray these families would hold fast to the truth and that we would be able to encourage them.
We thank God wholeheartedly that we, with the help of the Lord, have returned to church meetings in person. We consider this fact to be an answer to the prayers we were raising to the Lord.
We thank God, who has helped us teach about baptism and give discipleship lessons. Through this teaching, we baptized twelve people and publicly added them to the body of the Lord in obedience to the command of the Lord. After the baptism, we had a full-day picnic at a park. This day was such a fruitful time of in-person fellowship and celebrating how the Lord has added to our number.
We made over twenty visits during this month, including to widows in the church, and distributed food packages to them. We also communicated with many families through zoom.
We thank God for providing five necessary oxygen respirators to help the church members struggling with covid.
- We thank God for His protection and care for us as a church and individually during these difficult days.
- Pray for our sick brothers and sisters in the church.
- Pray for the disciples and the believers who are discipling them.
- Pray for God to continue to provide for the needs of the ministry and the servants in the church.
For months, the government restrictions shut down our ability to do in-person ministry. This state of affairs did not stop us from meeting online, like much of the rest of the world. This modality opened our field to share the Word with people in other countries that typically do not have access to a local church.
Lately, our greatest challenge has been the virus itself as it has been spreading throughout our country. We thank the Lord for the ways He has been using us as ministers of the gospel in this time despite the intense pressures during the largest societal outbreak of the virus. Some of our church believers and surrounding community were affected by the virus physically and economically beyond our ability to provide aid. During this period, we sought to rely on the Lord even more and organized a prayer group for the church.
We pray for each other, for the church and our country. We pray for God to intervene and that this problematic crisis will be a cause of blessing for many people.
The Lord has blessed us during these recent months and enabled us to send meals to the church people who are in dire need of such assistance. This service helped them understand the importance of the presence of the church in their lives. Further, we also served twenty-five new families who had previously refused to deal with any evangelical church. We pray the food ministry will have a significant impact on many lives.
We seek to encourage growth in our congregation, and ministry is prayer and giving to care for the members’ physical needs. I organized an online prayer group, and it has been successful in helping us be aware of the prayer needs.
We initiated a program by sending home decorated Christmas boxes to families in the church to gather their spare change and bills. The believers will donate these funds before Christmas, and after evaluating the needs of the members, we will distribute the funds accordingly.
- Pray for the church service.
- Pray for new ministers.
- Pray for the discipleship of the believers.
- Pray for protection for the church and our country, especially during this time as the virus is spreading.
- Pray for our online meetings, especially for new ones.
We thank God for this blessed season and the way that he has grown our church. The number is now more than fifty individuals, including many families and young people of all ages.
We see this increase primarily from the impact of the home visits, through which we have been able to reach out to many new families. Also, the care that we have shown church members through visits has caused them to be much more committed members and regular attenders. They are drawing together as a group through God’s grace.
We had a special event for widows on World Diabetes Day, sponsored by someone from the community, but we had the opportunity to host and invite many of our church members. This event was a tremendous practical service to our people. As an added blessing, those in the outside community saw what our church has to offer others.
Last month, we had a conference focused on training members to disciple others. Twenty-seven members attended! We thank God for how receptive everyone was to it. We immediately started applying the principles in all aspects of our ministry. Some of the young adults were also a part of the training. It was great to see them internalize the responsibility for God’s Work as they copied the more experienced ministers. Our goal is to see everyone who attended this training be able to lead their own group through this material in the coming months.
- Pray for the people who attended our church and witnessed what the church has to offer the community.
- Pray for our leaders as they continue to spread the gospel.
- Pray for our Pastors and family members.
This past month we made an extra effort to encourage the high school students who are getting prepared for upcoming exams. We provided back-to-school packages for all the students. We are discovering new unique ways to engage the youth, even using video game events, to attract more to come and hear the gospel.
- Pray for the students who are studying for their exams to work hard and score well.
- Pray for our youth outreach and ways to reach these young people with the message of salvation.
We have made more home visits than usual in the last two months, which has led to growth in our church. We regularly have new people coming to the services and accepting Jesus Christ into their hearts. One lady we had been visiting for quite some time, finally decided to attend the church service and has continued in fellowship with us since then.
- Pray for the house visits.
The need to visit people in their homes will always be present. It is crucial to have the right people to go and care for people in the most appropriate way.
- Pray for wisdom and discernment for those who are visiting.
- Pray for a positive reception.
We were able to make renovations to the church property. These improvements will fit our needs better and allow us to host more short-term visitors.
- Pray for the start of a new leadership course for the members who are interested in being more involved in ministries in the church.
- Pray for the opportunity to start a women’s ministry in the church.
July/ August 2019
This last month we hosted a few teams that helped to extend our house visit ministry to new people as well as continue to follow up with old contacts.
- Pray for the teams as they return to their homes to be a witness and light to others as they share their experiences.
- Pray for those who had the opportunity to hear about God’s love to come to faith.
We hosted a conference for our youth group and refugees. This turned out to be a fantastic experience for all involved. Many people felt their faith strengthened and their passion for the Lord revived.
Praise the Lord for the positive nature of this event.
- Pray for the participants to grow in their faith.
Thank God for the conference and how he showed his provisions for the finances.
Fellow leaders and I participated in a new study to test out a new Bible study tool, and we were very encouraged by the results. We are excited to begin implementing the material where we can.
Thank God for the way He is using us in this ministry.
- Pray that we would be able to start a new service speciﬁcally for women.
- Pray for the families in our ministry that have physical needs as well as the provision for the school.
We are thankful for the many occasions to fellowship with the youth and families of the church this last week. The teenagers had a unique opportunity to visit a church in another town to join a three-day conference. At the end of the meeting, they received a certificate to remind and encourage them of everything they learned. It was great to meet and fellowship with another church body that has the same mind and world view as ourselves.
Praise the Lord for the opportunity for fellowship with other believers.
- Pray for concepts and truths to permeate the hearts and minds of the youth and guide their lives.
We were able to visit many of the families of these same youth members and encourage them to attend the church meetings. We visited those who were unable to participate in this event to encourage them in the Word.
- Pray for the families, the youth, and for opportunities to expand our church services.
- Pray for funds to serve the needy families.
Praise the Lord for the way He is using us each week.
We thank God as we celebrated the Lord’s resurrection. We held a celebratory church service on Palm Sunday, and many people from the church attended and shared dinner together. It was a special day. On Easter, we had a special meeting and celebration. The native and refugee fellowships gathered together, and we felt the presence of the Lord in our midst. Praise the Lord. We distributed meals to all the church families that day. In Arabic, the Easter holiday is called the Feast of the Resurrection. This is a beautiful reminder of the whole purpose of the celebration. He has Risen!
- Pray for each person in the church to be blessed by our team spent celebrating the resurrection of our Lord.
Praise God that He is using us in His ministry.
The last couple of months, our visitation teams were able to meet with twenty new families in addition to the ones who are in our care already. Here is a testimony from a refugee visit.
One of these visits was to a widow whose husband had died a year and a half ago. She has four daughters, the oldest is handicapped. She moves about using a device on her feet. This device is old, broken in multiple places, and has become too small as this daughter has grown. The mom has tried to repair it more than once. The cost of a new device is over two-thousand dollars, and the family cannot afford to purchase one. During our visit, the mother was in tears because she could not help her daughter. At the time, all I could do was pray with the family.
The next day, one of the other pastors and I arranged a visit with a ministry center that sometimes helps with these issues. We met with the manager and an individual who is responsible for assisting with artificial limbs. As we told them the eldest daughter’s story, they immediately responded by promising to create a new device for her. We are grateful for the quickness of God’s answer to our prayers, as we know this widow has been trying to help her daughter for the past two years, but all her attempts failed. I will not forget to the joy of the eldest daughter, her mom, and her sisters when they heard this excellent news and thanked us for our part. I told them that the God we serve is the one who hears our prayers.
- Pray for this family to praise God for the blessing to the eldest daughter.
Praise God for his answer to our prayers.
- Pray for the ministry team that is visiting the church soon.
January/ February 2019
We thank God for his blessings this month as a church we have had several celebrations of the glory of the Lord. The church held an event for me as a pastor, it was a beautiful ceremony and with the attendees from the church, loved ones and relatives, we had more than five-hundred people.
The next day we baptized fifteen members of the church, including some nationals and some refugees. It was a touching ceremony. Praise the Lord for the commitment of these new believers.
Praise the Lord for the baptism of these new believers and pray for them to stand firm in their faith.
Two days before the baptism, I received word from the seventy-five-year-old man we visited at Christmas time. At a recent service, he had listened to me preach about baptism, and the Lord touched his heart with the Word. He asked his daughter to tell me that he wanted to be baptized. So I sat down and talked until we were sure that he fully understood the work of Christ for him. He declared with all his heart of his faith and that Jesus is his Lord, Master, and Savior. This man has a problematic health condition which requires inserted tubes at all times, but he insisted on being immersed in the water, and nothing else would satisfy him. We were encouraged by his zeal.
- Pray for the visiting team.
- Pray for the meeting for the young people, beginning next month.
- Pray for the Sunday school meetings which are beginning again next month.
- Pray for a car to make travel for ministry easier.
- Pray for the spread of the gospel message through the church to the community.
First, I thank the Lord Jesus for a year of blessings despite the sorrows. I wish to all a year filled with harvest and great blessings. This past month was filled with special times and enjoyable visits. During the Christmas holidays, I encouraged and assisted the youthful leaders to do house visits. They were faithful with this task. We did more than fifty visits before and during the holiday season. The Lord blessed us with an abundance of meals and gifts for the children that we distributed to every family.
- Pray for the families who were visited to be drawn closer to the Lord if they are unbelievers, and if they have been saved, to be encouraged and grow in their faith.
One of these families was extremely poor. The old man in the family does not expect to live for another year due to his poor health. He cried as he thanked us for coming to his home and bringing gifts for the children. He said, ‘this may be my last Christmas, but it has been the most beautiful one I ever experienced.” The family later told us that the children were so happy that they took their gifts to bed with them.
- Pray for the families who were blessed by these gifts.
We had a joyful Christmas celebration during the holiday season. We gathered the General Assembly, Youth and Sunday schools together in one large group.
- Pray for the new group forming among the youth.
- Pray for the fifteen individuals who were just baptized. I plan to share more in the next update.
- Pray for a car to make ministry travel easier.
Praise the Lord! I give glory to God for his mercy this month and how he uses us in the ministry despite our simplicity and weakness. This month we visited the sixteen families who attend the church and also visited some new families.
We held a conference for the youth from many churches to teach them how to make disciples and how to go and make more disciples. Four of our youth joined the group and were blessed by the teaching. Two of these youth have a new vision and desire to start new groups in the church.
- Pray for youth to persevere in their desire to reach others with the truth and as they form new groups.
H is a girl who started attending the church two months ago. She shared with us that she lives in a neighborhood close by, and in this neighborhood, the majority of the people follow the majority religion, and there are only a few Christians. She was praying to find a place to learn more about the Lord and to serve Him. Every time I visited her family, or she came to the church, she shares that the words applied directly to her life and what she was going through at the time. Her life has completely changed, and she loves this church. Praise the Lord.
We had an evaluation meeting with the leaders to list the blessings of the Lord in the past years. We remembered momentous achievements in the ministry, and there were not many set-backs or discouraging events this past year. Praise the Lord for a thankful year and how he uses us despite our limitations.P
- Pray for H. and her family as they grow in their faith.
- Pray for my ordination in January.
- Pray for the baptisms we are planning to do in January.
- Pray for obedient giving from the members of the body that we may glorify the Lord as a whole church.
I thank God for the many blessings from this month. Toward the beginning of the month, we did many house visits. We met twelve different families, some for the first time. They are from a village with no other believers and no church. We arranged transportation for them to attend our church.
Give thanks for the success of the house visits.
- Pray for the twelve families.
We are encouraged by the youth of the church since many of them are hungry to learn God’s word and grow stronger in their faith. They are taking on more responsibility; they even arranged an entirely youth-led service. We hope to see more events in the future as they grow together in taking ownership of their faith and spurring one another on to influence the next generation of believers in this area.
Pray for the youth as they grow in the knowledge of God’s Word. Give thanks for their gifts as they minister to the entire church.
- Pray that God would accomplish the ministry vision of the church.
- Pray for increasing influence on the community through the Bible studies at the church and the house visits.
- Pray for a car to meet our transportation needs.
We had a revival campaign and conference for three days led by a worship leader and speaker, M., and P., from a nearby country. We felt God’s presence and saw how he touched the hearts of the twelve attendees. We had a wonderful time worshipping and praising God together.
- Pray for their faith to grow as the young people take the principles they learned and apply them to their daily tasks.
- Pray for the experience of those three-days to have a lasting effect on their lives in the future.
Before the event occurred, I was away visiting family for the wedding of my nephew. I was blessed by the visit and enjoyed the quality time spent with my sisters. While I was absent, the young people took on various responsibilities in the church and preparation for the event. They participated in inviting people, arranging the meetings, and reminding speakers of dates. They led some of the worship meetings and visited families to encourage them to the Sunday school meeting.
Give thanks for the visible growth of the young people as they serve in the church.
- Pray for our desire to start a youth group for individuals from ages ten to eighteen.
- Pray for the continued faithfulness of the believers in the church as they grow in their knowledge of the Word of God.
We thank God for his constant encouragement to us as we see the kingdom of God spread more than we expect or anticipate possible. This month the number of people who attended the church increased significantly. We did eleven home visits this month. Through many of these visits, the families asked us to also visit their friends. Some of these families are attending our Sunday meeting.
- Pray for the continued spread of the gospel and growth of the church.
- Pray for these families to continue attending the Sunday meeting and to come to an understanding of salvation.
- Pray for the friends of the families to be open and willing to listen to the gospel, and eventually accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Another blessing is a new family who we met. They came to the church for aid but had no interest in attending the service because they are Catholic. The son is M., a young man who was in two car accidents and as a result, has bone damage in his legs. He used a wheelchair and did not leave home for six months. I also met his mother, and his father, who was paralyzed after a stroke. I encouraged M. not to surrender to illness but to join our church youth meeting. In the beginning, he was not convinced, but I kept insisting he come to church. I shared the gospel with him and he accepted Jesus as his Savior. I am currently disciplining him and he is attending the church. He says that the Lord has transformed his life. His mom, during my visits to M., told me that I made a miracle in the life of this young man. He was thinking of committing suicide because of his low mental state, but now he sits in his room for hours reading the Word of God and praying. His mom expressed her desire to attend the Sunday meeting. We have won a new family for Christ. Glory to God!
- Pray for the new family to continue attending and for M.’s parents to truly understand salvation comes only through the grace of God.
- Pray for M. to continue growing in the Lord and to be encouraged by the Word of God.
- Pray for Ms. Nar who is still waiting to hear the date of her back surgery. I shared her story in the previous reports.
- Continue praying for the financial needs of the poor families in our community.
Last month we were blessed to be able to send our youth to several different ministry conferences. The conferences we sent them to were on leadership, evangelism training, and praise and worship music. The feedback we got back from our youth was encouraging. They renewed their devotion to being leaders, loving Jesus, and surrendering their lives to serving Christ. Teachers from the conference messaged us and said they were exceedingly impressed with the quality of our students.
This month we were blessed to be able to send the youth in our ministry to several different conferences. The conferences we sent them to were on leadership, evangelism training, and praise and worship music. The feedback we got back from our youth was encouraging. They renewed their devotion to being leaders, loving Jesus, and surrendering their lives to serving Christ. Teachers from the conference messaged us and said they were exceedingly impressed with the quality of our students.
Those of us that did not go to conferences decided to do a community service project. We repainted the street curbs at an intersection in our town. The feedback from the community and government was very encouraging! The police even came and directed traffic away, and others joined in to help us paint. This was a great way to let everyone know that the church is not merely an idle building in the community but a real part of the city.
We praise the Lord for the help that He has given Ms. Nar. We have been praying for her to get the back surgery she needs. She is only sixteen years old is in severe pain. We have been praying and sharing her situation with many people. My brother advised me to contact the government disabilities department. I met with them, and they agreed to fund the surgery! The challenge was that the surgery appointment requires a long wait. God provided another contact who knows the surgeon and God moved the doctor to advocate for Nardin to be treated sooner. The surgery is now planned for this month! God has answered many prayers powerfully!