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Open Doors in the Middle East

When Paul was in prison and writing to the people of Colossae he penned these words, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains…” (Colossians 4:1-2). Now, over two thousand years later we can read these same powerful words and be prompted to pray with fervency for God to do just that: open doors for the gospel around us and in the hardest and darkest places. One of those places is the Middle East, a place often known as a dangerous and hostile place for the gospel.

Don, an ASM representative based out of Oregon, recently shared with us an amazing story of God’s ability to make strategic connections. When Don retired two years ago, he was led to Alaska to volunteer with a place called Kingdom Air Core that trains pilots for the mission field. While attending, someone suggested that Don bring audio Bibles with him onto the mission field. Don took this step of faith with these Bibles and God made the connection to a Burmese man who was a core part of the Free Burma Rangers (FBR). The FBR is a powerful humanitarian service movement striving to bring compassionate care and practical help to those in high conflict zones in Burma, Iraq, and Sudan.

As Don began to learn more about the FBR, God began to connect even more dots. Jason, a friend of Don’s and fellow believer, worked as an engineer in the Oregon area and ended up contracting a woman to work for him. Soon he realized that she had previously served with the FBR and was now in charge of their newsletters. Quickly this woman made the connection to Dave, another prominent missionary who traveled world-wide to serve and bring the gospel to many challenging, hard to reach locations. With her help Jason and Don quickly sprang into action and contacted Dave. Surprisingly, Dave and his wife would be in Oregon shortly and an impromptu meeting was soon scheduled. From this exciting meeting Dave presented the question: “Can we get an audio Bible player with a flashlight and expandable audio content to offer flexibility to the recipient? This functionality would make the gift more useful and easier to distribute on the field.”

Don contacted Megavoice (an ASM partner and audio Bible supplier) to ask this very question. It turns out that Megavoice has a player called the Ember Envoy with these 2 specific features. As the wheels turned, Don and others raised the necessary funds to send 50 audio Bibles in Arabic and Kurd with Dave and his team on their trip to the Middle East. These Bibles were distributed in Syria to Kurdish soldiers and children in an orphanage in Menbij, a town recently liberated from ISIS. As the Kurdish soldiers fought on the front lines against ISIS just across the Euphrates river, their use of light was very limited. The flashlights on the end of these audio Bible players served as a practical and helpful way for soldiers to cook and eat their meals while listening to God’s Word. This scene became a beautiful picture of Scripture coming to life and lighting the way as these soldiers encountered both physical and spiritual darkness.

Psalm 119:105 says,”Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Join us in praising God for His ability to open doors that no man can shut in the Middle East! We are believing God to continue to open more doors so that hearts would be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word all over the world.

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