To Our Ministry Partners, Last October, I accompanied my brother, Bob, to Kurdistan. Bob returned to Kurdistan recently in order to train Kurdish believers principles of ministry. His report to me (below) highlights the importance of ministering in strategic places.
Hi Bill, It was a good trip. Smaller class this time, but good interaction. We had dinner one evening with Bayan, the same lady who had you and me to her home for dinner last time. Bayan told us more about their vision for Refugee camp ministry. It is the same vision you have for Global Crossroads ministry. They want refugees, when they eventually return to their homes to take the gospel with them and spread it like wildfire. She told us about a young widow she led to Christ. She didn’t think this lady would respond because she was a committed and trained Muslim. Her husband was an Isis fighter and was killed on the battlefield (probably by us). Well this lady responded to the gospel like Saul did, and her life turned around just as quickly. Bayan was discipling her and she was eating it up. One day the authorities came around and told her that she was going to be deported from Kurdistan because her husband fought for Isis. She had lied to them about how her husband died in order to be allowed in the refugee camp. Now when they discovered the truth, they sent her away. She returned to her home village near Bagdad but stayed in touch with Bayan online. Bayan felt that she was not ready to stand for Christ on her own but had no choice in the matter. To Bayan’s surprise, this lady began to minister in her village, preaching the gospel to men and women alike. She led some of them to Christ and baptized them. The most amazing thing about this is that this lady’s village is still full of Isis fighters who permeate the area. They are literally her neighbors. She is evangelizing and baptizing right under their nose. The vision works! They want you to come back again. Several people asked about you.
I (Bill) just wonder—Should we do something about this? Kurdistan is a Muslim area of the world, friendly to both the West and to Israel. It is a rare place within a Muslim country where Christians can share their faith freely. It is a place of human misery, including large refugee camps, where there does not appear to be much hope. And yet, it is a strategic place where people are on the move, globally. A perfect place to do gospel ministry. The believing community is small and in great need of theological and practical ministry instruction. Kurdistan could become a launching pad for making disciples across the Muslim world. Should we be joining our Savior in this? Tomorrow: Ministry in Iowa City
Thankfully serving the Lord,
Deb and Bill