A Sense of Hope and Life Part 2

Part 2

I am often thankful. Especially thankful for the very excellent people I work with here. My fellow missionaries and apostles come from all around the world and they are wonderful people. They bring light and life to my life. We often thank God for the Bible, but let us consider what life would be like without the church. It is not often a beautiful thing. Shot through with divisions, strife, petty arguments, sectarianism, legalism, the love and abuse of power, and so on. But it is, in the end, Plan A for the salvation of the world. And there is no Plan B. Sometimes we pray together, often times we just play board games or eat or go to the mall--it doesn't matter. And we take Christ with us. We are shining with unveiled faces, reflecting the glory of God. The Law was glorious, but it was a fading glory. The glory of Islam is also fading, but we present a Law of grace and truth whose glory does not fade, because its promises are always answered with God's YES.

I am excited about the future, though I am not always optimistic. The truth is that Jesus promised his disciples persecution, and I see indications that this will increase here in the Middle East/North Africa. I am from time to time filled with sorrow for the indigenous churches here: Orthodox, Maronite, Melkite, Coptic, Latin, and so on. Sorrow because they have passed through so much punishment and injustice at the hands of Islam, but also sorrow because their light has in many ways grown so dim. But God revealed to his prophet Joel that in the last days "your old men shall dream dreams." These churches are indeed the old men. And as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow they will dream dreams, and God will empower them to live out and fulfill those dreams. Most missionaries here have given up on these churches. I refuse to do so. Surrender does not befit a Christian man.

All that to answer the question, How do you feel?

A blessing upon us all during this season of Pentecost of our Lord. As he has left he will return! Amen.

Abu Daoud

Part 1 is Here.

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