If you recall this beautiful family from my last email who gave their lives, I am so excited to share that we were able to baptize them! Early on a Wednesday morning we gathered up and drove to the sea. It’s so powerful that we baptized them in the Mediterranean because for most of them the sea is traumatic as they came to Greece on small rafts. Most of them saw people and children drown and die. Needless to say, their journey by boat was terrifying and traumatizing, thus makes them completely terrified of the sea. So to see them set their fears aside and go in the sea to be baptized was extremely powerful and redemptive.
This is a beautiful picture of what God is doing amongst Iranians and Afghans in this region. He is breaking trauma, removing fear and encountering them. His word is going forth rapidly and many are falling in love with Him and literally giving everything to Him. While these people have nothing in terms of material possessions and though they are suffering physically they are quickly giving their lives and they are incredibly hungry for all of God. This is the testimony we hear from many of them: “My life has never been worse, we are sick, cold, our children are suffering, we live in fear, physically we have never been worse… but spiritually we have never been better!” And this is the source of great joy for many of them!
Late one afternoon we went to my friend Marci’s tent, this a woman I had spent a good amount of time with. A few nights ago she came over for dinner and to shower, she looked depressed and burdened. She began opening up that she has a nephew, Mahdi. Mahdi’s parents died a few months ago leaving him a double orphan, the refugee camp awarded Marci and her husband full custody. Mahdi is only 13 years old but Marci began to explain that he frequently runs away and stays out all night with friends drinking and doing drugs; he does not listen to Marci or her husband. Her husband also has little strength as he has hepatitis and cancer. We listened and wept with her and then prayed for her. We prayed for healing, grace and strength. I declared Matthew 11:28 over her,
“come to Me all you who are weary and
heavy-laden and I will give you rest…”.
I shared Scripture verses with her about God’s love for the orphan and how He blesses those who also care for the orphan. We prayed for Mahdi and we prayed for Marci to have supernatural love for this young boy.
Fast forward to today at Marci’s tent. Mahdi comes out of the tent bright and smiling, he looked like a completely different person. Marci shared with us that after we prayed Mahdi came home, he now listens to her, he has stopped going out and drinking. We are all amazed, this is a miracle God is pursuing him. When we saw Mahdi we were completely in shock at the visible transformation of this young boy. He went from being angry and mean and depressed to being playful, joyful and full of peace. Not only this but her husband has been healed of cancer and hepatitis! Marci now has to go through treatment for hepatitis, as she has also contracted it, but she is full of faith for God’s healing.
Determination in the face of fear…
After this we headed over to another friend’s tent, a few weeks ago on New Year’s eve we took in a married couple and the wife had severe pneumonia.
The sun was setting and we began walking through the harshest most dangerous part of the Jungle (the most desperate and dangerous portion of Moria camp). As we walked trying to find our way we could feel the tension and the reality of the danger. Yet my friend and I felt determined that we must find this couple. We chose to lay aside fear and trust God to be bigger, I again proclaimed what He spoke to me before, He shines brightest in the darkest night!
The sun had set and it was extremely dark. We prayed silently under our breaths trusting God to help us. We wandered around lost for a half an hour and began contemplating turning back. But something in me felt determined to find this family. I prayed out loud, “God where are Sahe and Maye? Please show us their tent.” I looked down a hill and thought I saw it and told my friend. She began calling out Sahe’s name and sure enough, we found them! We were about to discover how important this was.
We walked over and greeted Sahe, we asked him where his wife, Maye was and he got very worried. He pointed to a little shack next to him and led us inside. We looked in and saw Maye curled up, shaking, groaning and barely conscious. Her sickness had come back and it was worse than before. I instantly ran over to her grabbed her, wrapped her in blankets and held her close. We called a translator to find out what was happening. She had been vomiting for days and they had tried to call us but their phone was not working. As I looked at this poor young girl I knew God led us here despite the dangers. Sahe told us he took her to the emergency room but they sent her away.
I looked at my friend and said, “we have to get her out of here, she’s barely alive and her temperature appeared to be over 103 degrees. Let’s take her to our place and get her medicine.” We half dragged her back through the dark camp through winding filthy alley’s and brought her home. We gave her some medicine and began praying. Within just ten minutes of her being there, she began to wake up! As we watched her we both began sensing we weren’t just dealing with physical sickness but also a spirit of death. We felt God speaking to talk with her about depression and suicide. We called a translator over, he is an Afghan missionary and has a powerful testimony, he also tried to commit suicide many times. We began talking and discovered she did, in fact, try to kill herself many times. As we began talking and praying she grew healthier by the minute. Over the next week, we spent time discipling her, sharing testimonies and the truth with her. I shared much of my own story of trauma and being healed of depression and suicide. She has become so hungry for the truth and every day she gets stronger and is finding joy in life with Jesus! Her husband is also very hungry and spends hours reading the Word. We have received many prophetic words for this young couple and we know God is moving in their lives and He has big plans for them.
His Power is Greater
One evening I went to a birthday party of two Iranian families I have become close with, Jacob and Isaiah’s family. They are Iranian refugees in Moriah camp and have become radically transformed and are in love with Jesus. The wife of Isaiah, Miriam, was a teacher of Islam in a university in Iran. As she began studying the Quran deeper and deeper and she began having questions. A friend gave her a New Testament and slowly she changed and gave her life. Though she knew she would be killed she began boldly teaching the truth to her university students in her Islamic study classes. Of course, she was found out and she and her family barely escaped.
Before I left I prayed over each couple and their children one at a time. As I prayed for Jacob and his family I invited a Mennonite couple who was there to also lay hands and pray for them. When one of the Mennonite men prayed the Holy Spirit moved quickly overwhelming Jacob, his wife and Miriam’s teenage son with incredible power. They fell on the ground completely under God’s power and spirit. During our time in God’s presence, Jacob’s 6-year-old daughter came over to me and said, “will you please pray for me?” As soon as I began praying for her I heard God speak she has a calling like Esther and she will be a deliverer for her people. She instantly began to experience the power of God and the Holy Spirit. It’s one of the purest most unexpected things I’ve seen. This was also incredibly impactful for the Mennonite couple as they were shocked that when they prayed people were so deeply touched by Holy Spirit.
God’s pursuing Iranians and Afghans. He is doing things logic cannot explain in unexpected places like flats and tents in a horrible refugee camp. We serve a God of encounter and power who cannot be boxed in! This was not some emotional church service and none of us expected this to occur, it is even more powerful that God used Mennonites who do not believe in such workings of the Holy Spirit. He is a God of surprises, He amazes me constantly and I love watching how He encounters His children whom He loves.
(Scripture verses that reference people falling under God’s power: John 18:6, Revelation1:17, Acts 9:3-4).
The “Veggie Man”
This man has affectionately begun to be referred to as the Veggie man. Late one night we were leaving the Jungle portion of the refugee camp. As we walked back to the car we walked past a man with his children dragging a broken cart of vegetables. The cart tipped and all his vegetables spilled out and began rolling away. We all scrambled to help him gather his food. He runs a small market in the refugee camp. He says that he is desperate for anything to do as work and to provide for his large family. He even lets other families help him at the shop for small amounts of money. This is huge for Moriah camp as no one can get jobs, therefore, they have no money to feed their families. We helped him carry his vegetables because his cart is so broken it makes it nearly impossible to go up and down the steep hill. We found out that he goes up and down the hill with his broken cart twice a day over a dozen times taking his vegetables to his shop. I felt God lay on my heart to buy him a new cart. I reached out to many of you asking if anyone felt led to help buy this man a new cart and GOD PROVIDED through so many of you! We were able to purchase him a brand new wheelbarrow! Late one night we delivered it to him and his family. It was truly such a pure moment of joy, a whole crowd cheered and the man was so surprised and completely overwhelmed with joy and emotion. We shared that Isa Masi, Jesus, see’s him, He sees all of them and cares about the big and small details of their life, we blessed them and sent them on their way.
We were also able to give a few families our last supply of sleeping bags and lamps.
I wish I could share all the miracles God did during this trip. It seemed that every day God showed up, showed off and left us amazed. We saw girls rescued from honor killings, donations multiplied, food multiplied, lives delivered, sickness healed, salvations, baptisms, joy and hope. Often we saw these things in the “mundane”, just in feeding people, bringing them into our home to shower or doing their laundry for them. Taking them to the hospital, praying for people in the hospital or bringing them socks and blankets.
I could feel your prayers and encouragement more tangibly on this trip than ever before and I know that made the difference. I know that each miracle, divine appointment and all the favor we had is directly tied to your prayers. Thank you. Keep praying as many are still ministering to these people. I am remaining in contact with quite a few of them and weekly am hearing testimonies of miracles in their lives.
Much love and blessings,