Dear Praying Friends
“Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted” (Isaiah 7:4)،
“…He makes me lie down in green pastures..” (Psalm 23:2). Robert J. Morgan writes in his book The Lord is my Shepherd “The word contentment comes from two Latin words: con and tenio. It means “to hold together”, which is the opposite of falling to pieces. Contentment is saying, ‘The world may be coming apart at the seams, but I’m holding together because of Jesus. Though sometimes confused and occasionally confounded, I have a basis for blessed contentment in His compassion and power’. Contentment is the opposite of distress and greed.”
As we see the world literally falling apart with the Corona virus crisis, what a privilege it is to know true contentment and peace through Christ. All the world’s self-confidence in business, finance, science and control of its own destiny has taken a severe knock. May the Lord use this unique situation to bring us and the world to our knees before Him.
Some believers in Bethlehem area have contracted the virus and one of them has put out a youtube video as a witness to people not to fear, but rather assuring that God is in control and that they have complete peace and trust in His healing.
In Israel there are presently just about 1500 confirmed cases and one death so far, but the government restrictions have been stringent and likely to increase. We are not able to function in the office but I can work on editing books from home. The crisis has of course affected us practically in many aspects of the ministry.
The bad news: Tourism has shut down completely and so consequently the income from the sale of Bibles to local gift shops, which helps to support the ministry, has ceased since mid February. Schools are closed and all gatherings of more than ten people banned, so this affects our church meetings and means we won’t be able to hold an Easter Kid’s camp. Our administration and book work secretaries have had to stay home for their children, who are in quarantine.
The good news however, is that the Brass Tacks team from the UK, who came to help with our building project, arrived before the restrictions were in place and have been able to complete 60% of the tiling. They have been a such an encouragement to us and we greatly appreciated their hard work and positive attitude. On the weekends, we were able to take them to do some sightseeing before the sights shut down.
We hope for another team to come out to help us in the near future after the corona crisis has passed. It is great to see the building taking shape although there is still much work to do and we are trusting the Lord to provide the finances.
The work still needing to be done is: to build 2 shelter rooms to enable us to finish the tiling; dividing plaster walls; electricity; doors; windows; bathrooms; fire detectors and sprinklers; decoration; kitchen; elevator; staircase; furnishings; storage etc. and more.
More good news is that we have found two printing presses to supply us with French and Spanish Bibles and they are now in the printing process trusting the Lord will provide.
Brother I. from Jordan was able to visit and speak in assemblies and conferences in Egypt in February to teach and encourage the believers there.
The permit to ship the courses from Egypt to Jordan has come through but the ports are now not functioning properly because of the lockdown.
Now that so many people are confined to their homes, we pray that they will use their time to study the courses online – a perfect opportunity to get deeper into God’s Word!
Plenty of items for your prayers:
- Pray for believers in Nazareth and all over the Middle East to be a witness to the peace and contentment that He gives us, in this climate of fear and uncertainty.
- Pray for the orders and shipments of Bibles and courses to proceed and not be delayed by the crisis.
- Pray for South Sudan, Brother Ben writes “It has been a challenging month. All the Bibles and courses are still in Juba, South Sudan because the dirt roads are not yet dried. The only trucking company that runs the route from Juba to Nuba Mtns is so back logged right now. We are praying they will be able to take all the materials in the next few weeks when the roads dry up.”
- Pray for the gathering of believers in Jordan, Israel Palestine, Egypt and Lebanon who are not able to meet because of the restrictions and for comfort for sister L. and her family from Jordan, whose father passed away last week.
- Pray that the home visits may still be able to continue at least by phone as Jordan is now on 24/7 lockdown.
- Pray for more people to start studying the courses online as they are confined to their homes.
- Pray that the work and permit for the exterior work on the building would not be delayed further by the Corona restrictions and for the Lord to provide for it’s completion.
- Pray for the Lord to bring physical and spiritual healing to this broken world and protection on His children, not only health-wise but also from fearfulness.
“The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness and quietness, and assurance forever” Isaiah 32:17
May the Lord keep you safe and well and in His perfect peace.
George & Ros Khalil