Four blessed days

On Wednesday evening, a team of five Europeans arrived in Nazareth to minister with the White Harvest for four days. Bishara started off their time by giving them an orientation to Nazareth and the Arab population of Israel.

On their first morning in the area, Emily and I (Jonathan) led them on a prayer walk through the village of Yaffa of Nazareth. After giving the team a brief introduction to the needs and issues facing the village, we began walking and praying. As we progressed along the way, we focused on several key prayer topics.

At the suggestion of one of the team members, we finished our walk by thanking God for placing a church in the village and bringing so many teams to minister there. We didn’t want to spend our entire time just asking for things without taking time to ponder the wonder and majesty and grace and mercy of our God.

Near the end of the walk we talked with Amir*, a Muslim. Though willing to hear what the team had to say about Jesus, Amir was really more interested in having foreign guests than in talking about religion. He didn’t take the book they offered, saying that he didn’t want to lie and say he would read it when he really would not. Still, he allowed one of the team members to pray for him in the name of Jesus. We don’t believe this meeting was a coincidence. May Amir’s conscience be moved by the Lord himself!

On Friday morning, another foreign ministry worker led them on a tour of the Old City of Nazareth, where they were able to see the two large churches, the synagogue site (which may be on top of or close to the synagogue where Jesus proclaimed that he was fulfilling Isaiah 60) and the old market area of the city of Nazareth, an area much in need of prayer.

Later that afternoon, Bishara and I led the team in distributing literature at a busy intersection in Nazareth. We decided to focus on giving out New Testaments, with tracts tucked inside.

We had brought three boxes of Arabic New Testaments, thinking that 300 Bibles would be more than enough for one hour of distribution. However, after just 45 minutes we ran out of New Testaments. What a glorious problem to have!

Several people came through the intersection multiple times while we were distributing, and they even asked for extra copies of the New Testament! One man stopped traffic as he drove by my during a green light to ask for two copies!

I was able to explain to one man that I had come all this way to do this work, because it was the most important thing to me. Another refused the New Testament, but then thought about it for a few seconds and waved for me to come back and give him one. I was overjoyed at this sudden change of heart!

Another team member was asked why she was handing out literature, and she had a chance to explain why Jesus meant so much to her. The team was quite energized by the friendliness and openness of the people they handed literature to that afternoon. Several times they said “That was actually quite fun!”

On Saturday morning, Bishara drove us to an Arab village close to Nazareth. We drove through the streets of the town and prayed for freedom and spiritual revival. We don’t know of any born again believers living in the city, but we trust that there are some, as Bishara has done much outreach there in the past.

As we passed one of the mosques, the team began singing praises to our God in Norwegian. It was a beautiful moment of praise and worship.

We then drove to a small Bedouin village and continued to pray for God to move so that future teams will have opportunities to share the Gospel there. We look forward to returning with future teams and visiting families.

In just four days, this team of five really blessed and encouraged our hearts, and we hope they too go on to their next destination with fresh blessings and courage from the Lord.

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