Circle of mattresses

A few weeks ago, The White Harvest was invited to work together with the Back to Jerusalem in Israel ministry to spend some time reaching out to refugees in a nearby country. Pastor Bishara was able to set aside a week in order to travel to the country and participate in this incredibly important ministry.

This particular group of refugees are mostly Kurdish, and all of them come from a Muslim background. In this little community, a small church is growing. These Muslim background believers in Jesus are called “A’abareen” in Arabic, which means “Those passing over.” The name is fitting, for they are truly passing from darkness to light!

Daniel*, the ministry partner Bishara was planning to work with, suddenly became quite ill, which changed their ministry plans drastically. Of course, we firmly believe that all things happen according to God’s providence, so that the ministry He wanted Bishara to do that week was in fact completed.

Instead of a series of short visits to many different families, Bishara spent two whole days with one particular family of Kurdish refugees.

After they were forced to flee their country, the father of this particular family began to ask himself some serious questions. What was causing all the war and destruction in his homeland? Was it politics? Was it money problems? Or was it religiously motivated? The more he searched, the more he discovered that the central issue was Islam. The teachings of Muhammed lead inexorably down a road that ends in conflict and bloodshed.

Once he came to that conclusion, this father began looking for someone who could offer him a better alternative. Daniel, himself a former Muslim, met with this father and explained the Gospel to him.

When Bishara arrived at their flat, the father gathered the whole family together to listen. They have barely any furniture or belongings in their apartment: just mattresses arranged in a circle. They sat on these mattresses and listened to Bishara talk about Jesus from the early afternoon until one o’clock in the morning! They didn’t let him return to his hotel; instead they just slept where they lay once they got too tired to continue with the Bible study.

The next morning they prepared him a special breakfast, though they admitted that they usually skip breakfast and only eat lunch and dinner, because of their current financial difficulties.

That day, Bishara stayed with them and talked about Jesus until after one o’clock in the morning again!

Their hunger for the Word of God is both inspiring and convicting. There is no doubt, God is at work in the Middle East, and He continues to call His sons and daughters out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light.

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