Written by David Dungan, Board Chairman, Help The Persecuted
A few years ago, I had the honor of traveling with Josh Youssef to Egypt and Jordan to see the work of the ministry firsthand. Through this trip, I was deeply impacted by the dedication of our Field Ministry Team and the courage and faith of our persecuted brothers and sisters.
Recently, I had the privilege of visiting Lebanon and Turkey. Once again, I was encouraged, challenged, and inspired. Below I included a few of the most impactful highlights I took away from my time in Lebanon and Turkey. I pray that these highlights bless you as you continue to invest in the work of this incredible ministry.
More than anything else, I wanted to share with you that God is at work building His Kingdom in the Middle East and around the world, and Help The Persecuted is being used to advance His work!
In the midst of a great economic crisis, turbulence, and oppression in this region, God is using this ministry to provide spiritual and financial support to Christians. I emphasize spiritual over financial since the spiritual investment is eternal while the financial is temporal.
Seeds of Hope in Lebanon
The creativity of the Help The Persecuted staff to address real needs with Gospel-centered, sustainable methods, like the agricultural project in Lebanon, is an example of support that goes well beyond the provision of physical needs. A community is being created around this farm, and the Gospel is being shared every two weeks along with food distribution.
1 John 4:4 Comes to Life
I met many persecuted believers throughout both countries who have received support and am always amazed at not only their commitment to Christ in the midst of great trials but also the level of joy they embody, bringing 1 John 4:4 to life – “Greater is He is who is in you than He who is in the world.”
Hearing about their experiences gave me a deeper glimpse of how Jesus has met them in the most personal and miraculous ways and why they are such passionate and faithful believers.
One of the most impactful stories that I heard was from one of the Iraqi refugees. She told us she was being strangled to death by her radical husband (an Al Qaeda member), and at that moment she saw Jesus. He reached out his hand and said, “I love you.” She didn’t know who He was at the time but shortly afterward learned about the person she saw in her vision. She gave her life to Jesus Christ and fled alone to Lebanon.
A Woman Left Everyone & Everything She Knows to Follow Christ
Another impactful moment for me during this trip was when we met an Iranian woman in Turkey, a Muslim convert to Christianity, who was attending the multi-day Spiritual Retreat our local team was leading. She shared she had converted to Christ while pregnant with triplets. The authorities found out and imprisoned her but allowed her to leave to give birth. While she was out of jail, she fled with her new triplets to Turkey and left everyone and everything she knew to follow Christ. She shared that her love for Christ was greater than any other love, and she was willing to give up everything for Him. While she has great needs, she lives confidently, knowing that He will never leave her or forsake her.
Our team encounters brothers and sisters in need of the Body of Christ to invest in them every single day. And as we build them up with our practical and spiritual support — they are ready to serve and share the Gospel with others. It is a beautiful thing to behold.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to partner alongside you. God is doing great things through you as He advances His Kingdom!