In 2015, we conducted two seminars in the Middle East: in Amman, Jordan and Beirut, Lebanon. Because of the rise of Islamic State (IS or ISIL) there are huge numbers of refugees in both countries. Recent estimates put the percentage of refugees in Lebanon at 25% of the population and 10% in Jordan.
We met a refugee couple from Mosul, Iraq at our seminar in Amman. The husband had been held by IS militants for 20 days and pressured to ‘convert’ to Islam or face death. His wife prayed earnestly. On the night before his execution, an IS emir gave him a letter to all Christians, including the Pope, saying that IS was coming to get them. They released him to deliver the letter. It was a miraculous escape. They’re now seeking asylum in Canada or Australia.
In Lebanon, three families from Syria attended our seminar. The pastor (pictured above) leads an Armenian evangelical church of 400 in the northern Syrian town of Aleppo, which, at the moment, is one of the most dangerous cities on earth. There is no running water, electricity or basic infrastructure. They are just 1 kilometer from the frontline with the Islamic State insurgents. Despite these desperate conditions, they faithfully minister to their people. They are godly and gutsy people. The pastor told me that this was the first leadership training he had received since Syria descended into civil war. Please pray for the Christians of Syria.
By Bruce Hills
International Leadership Development Director