|One of our newest staff members, Jessica Jetton, our Director of Donor Engagement, recently visited the Middle East. None of us knew that days after her return, the countries she visited would soon be embroiled in a conflict that would make the perilous lives of persecuted Christians in the Muslim world even more dangerous…or make the work at Help The Persecuted even more urgent.|
Jessica shares her perspective as a recent visitor to Lebanon and Jordan and how the conflict has only solidified her commitment and passion for the persecuted church:
In early October, I returned from Jordan and Lebanon with my heart overflowing. I experienced people filled with that beautiful warmth that marks a deep personal relationship with the Lord. Our Field Ministry Team members are beyond faithful. They are the very definition of devoted followers.
During my time, I heard stories of persecution that will haunt me for the rest of my life. But I also saw a God who is moving, unraveling the work of evil through our team. Our team works toward a day in which the Persecuted Church endures, flourishes, and multiplies in hostile places…and they do it by Rescuing, Restoring, and Rebuilding one persecuted Christian’s life at a time. You can see Him at work by spending just a few minutes with any of these believers—the joy that spreads across their faces when they mention Jesus is awe-inspiring and faith-sharpening.
I was hardly recovered from jetlag when I heard the news of Hamas’ attack on Israel. I felt gutted; after my trip, Christians in Lebanon and surrounding countries were not a “statistic” or “population” to me anymore—they were my friends, the very people who had shared stories of God’s faithfulness with me in the back rooms of safe houses and over Lebanese tea and cookies.
They would tell me stories about the goodness of God and how He created an escape for them, how Jesus showed up for them through our Field Ministry Team leaders like Amin and Rachid. All of them were looking forward to rebuilding their lives after crushing persecution.
For them, the Israel/Hamas war makes their lives so much more difficult, uprooting their lives, yet again. Many of them will have to leave their homes, which are in the warzone on the Lebanese border, yet again. Others will lose their livelihoods, yet again. But at the same time, I believe with all my heart that God will make His goodness known to them, yet again.
While the news of the conflict devastated me, I have seen God’s hand in this region close-up. He is always in the business of making beauty from ashes, and I believe that Help The Persecuted is so, so privileged to get to play a role in His beautiful story. Because of that, I will continue to tell the stories of His goodness to the persecuted church. May we all see the good, follow Jesus, and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in the Muslim world!
The situation in the Middle East continues to deteriorate. But our team is committed and steadfast: They will help persecuted Christians at a moment’s notice and empower them to boldly proclaim the Gospel to our broken world. Will you join us?