Christ in the Middle of the Middle East
by Jim Fleming, Global Coordinator
Today persecution rages against Christians in many areas of the world, just as Christians in the early church were persecuted for believing.
In April, I traveled with my wife Sharon to the Middle East. Our trip brought us face to face with the danger our Emmaus colleagues and students live in. We witnessed their great faith.
In two countries we visited, I taught large groups of refugees in evangelical churches. In another country, we held nightly conferences for a large community of expatriate Christians who impact their Islamic communities, neighbors, and employers as “salt” and “light.” I heard of many souls coming to Christ and met many of them who are now actively studying Emmaus Courses. We were brought to tears as we witnessed some baptized in secret, knowing the probable consequences. I will never forget everything we saw and everyone we met, and if it were safe, I would write their stories and names for you to read.
In one of the countries Emmaus has recently reached, a wife of one of the pastors shared her testimony with me. She was saved as a teenager and has been a pastor’s wife for many years. She studies the Bible and teaches the women and children who attend their church. She told me that “since I started studying the Emmaus courses last year, everything has changed. It seems like all the things I have known all these years, now make sense. Suddenly I understand the story of the Bible as a whole. Emmaus has transformed my life.”
"Since I started studying the Emmaus courses last year, everything has changed. Suddenly I understand the story of the Bible as a whole. Emmaus has transformed my life."
God has used the Emmaus courses to take her understanding to the next level. Despite the social pressures she encounters daily, her enthusiasm and passion for Christ continues to grow.
In another country we gathered with our key Middle Eastern colleagues for three days of training and consultations. At times, the clash of cultures created conflict. But the fearless love for Christ of the believers surpassed all difficulties. We worked through the problems we encountered.
Our time together was driven by our passion to reach more students in those countries, and then send the Emmaus courses into the most difficult places to reach. Together as believers of several nations we prayed, sought the Lord’s guidance, and are starting to see answers!
A week after Sharon and I left the Middle East, one of the Emmaus leaders traveled to an even more dangerous country to introduce the courses to their underground church leaders. With no regard to his own safety, this believer travels to war-torn and hostile countries to share the truth of the gospel.
Our trip to the Middle East gave us a glimpse at the great faith of persecuted Christians. They cannot afford to do anything half-heartedly, so everything they do and say is driven with a passion to spread God’s word to those who are lost.
Pray with us now for the persecuted Christians serving God in the Middle East.
Pray for the finances necessary to send the Emmaus courses to these desperate countries.
Pray that God would use our courses and workers and leaders to revive these darkened nations with the light of the gospel truth.
|Refugees signing up for a Bible course or getting the next one.||An Emmaus student taking notes during class.|
|Teaching using an Emmaus course at a church reaching out to refugees.||Jim teaching at a church reaching out to refugees.|
|An Emmaus graduation in one of our strategic countries.|