The following is a new report from Israel by one of the Heartcry workers who is in Jerusalem. It provides a real sense of the work they do regularly in outreach and evangelism. Please pray for him, his co-workers, and their church, including the prayer requests he gives here. [Mack Tomlinson]
We had initially planned to go to Ethiopia for a week, but the prices for the tickets arose too much. After two days in the trip, we were able to understand the providence of God for why we did not end up going to Ethiopia. We went to Tel Aviv Friday evening to do our weekly evangelism in spite of the rain (an answered prayer). The Lord has blessed us with much rain this winter and the Kinneret- Israel's number one water source- is rising. So we returned a little earlier to Jerusalem and traveled to Eilat to the Taba border crossing on our way to Egypt.
I had a full car. One of the students from our church brought with her two friends; one was an agnostic and the other seemed to be uninterested in spiritual matters. So I thought I would be speaking with the agnostic during the four plus hours it takes to drive down to the border. We didn t end up speaking a whole lot, but they said that they want to come with us on one of our desert trips. We left each other in Cairo. Upon arriving to Cairo, we had to arrive at the Bible Society to get some literature for distribution and also find a certain hotel. We took the metro without knowing the specific address and ended up at the right place. We went to the Bible Society and purchased New Testaments and Luke's gospel and then checked in at the hotel. We then visited a church in the area where we received more literature and they informed us about a major book fair in Cairo. We then went to the book fair; it was great being lost and asking for directions. We met so many people on the way- the bus, taxi, bus stop, and distributed literature. Some people even paid for our fares.
At the book fair we found the Christian section upstairs and out of the way. Not many good books in Arabic. There is a great need to translate good theological books. We did a little evangelism there; it was difficult because most of the stands were very Islamic, but we still managed to give out some literature.
Not many people speak English and my Arabic is not so good so we ended up getting lost many times. On one occasion we went on the metro and were misdirected so we ended up meeting a south Sudanese refugee who is soon to return to Sudan because there is now calm in his country.
We gave out literature to many taxi drivers. Taxis in Egypt are cheap so we actually paid more than we should and tipped them with a New Testament. On the streets we would ask for directions. Many times we were sent the wrong way. Our intentions were not necessarily to get the right directions and arrive to our destination but to interact with the locals and distribute literature to them. We gave literature to people that we would never have met had we not been lost.
A couple of years ago, I heard about the garbage city in Cairo on BBC. We decided to visit the area and look for a church. On our way to the garbage dump one of the girls gave a New Testament to a local lady and immediately began to read it until she got of the bus. We also rode on a small caravan with 17 people that fit 8 people. Taxis driver in Egypt don't drive according to the rules of the road and many of them drive very fast. The driver sideswiped another car and we witnessed a brawl over small damage to the vehicle. We had to leave the scene and on our way to the Garbage city we met with many Muslims who directed us. As we made our entrance into the Garbage dump there were trucks going inside to unload materials to be recycled. The stench was so strong that it was difficult to breath. When we found the church we met three elders who greeted us warmly and spoke to us in Arabic. We later met a brother who spoke some English and interpreted for us. We were invited to return and preach at one of their midweek services. The garbage city is predominantly Christian and while they live in such horrible conditions they are a light in that place and it is evident when one meets and interacts with them because they have the same hope that we have in Jesus.
In another one of our ventures we searched for a hostel that we had heard about before near the embassies. When we arrived, we met a Chinese student studying in England who shared with us that he is seeking to become spiritual and he took a bible from us. We also spoke with the manager, a Coptic Christian, and encouraged him to proclaim the gospel. We also visited the pyramids in Giza. Some people went inside and while I waited outside, I met a man and witnessed to him. He refused to take a New Testament because he didn t want his father to see him bring it home. The metro in Cairo has a separate cart for women only. In one of our trips the girls from our group rode with the Muslim women and gave New Testaments to two extremist Muslims that were completely covered. When they got off the train the women invited the girls over for dinner but due to our commitment with the church visitation were unable to take the offer. In Cairo, one of our group members nearly got run over. Crossing the street in Cairo is difficult - there are no traffic lights and cars do not yield to pedestrian and you need to trust the Lord every time. This was also an opportunity to give the driver a new testament. We had to get a taxi to the border and one from our group asked the reception about reserving a taxi to get from Cairo to Taba. From this we met Mohammed in the lobby who arranged a taxi for us. Then we met Hussein, an Iranian, who is living in Sweden. We were able to speak about the gospel to them. His wife is Polish and one of the ladies from our group spoke with her and gave her a New Testament in English. Every time and everywhere we went we met people and gave them gifts and sometimes other people also wanted to receive the gifts. Tourism evangelism is so important and we must seize every opportunity that we have to share the gospel.
We also visited the pyramids in Giza. Some people went inside and while I waited outside, I met a man and witnessed to him. He refused to take a New Testament because he didn't want his father to see him bring it home.
The metro in Cairo has a separate cart for women only. In one of our trips the girls from our group rode with the Muslim women and gave New Testaments to two extremist Muslims that were completely covered. When they got off the train the women invited the girls over for dinner but due to our commitment with the church visitation were unable to take the offer.
In Cairo, one of our group members nearly got run over. Crossing the street in Cairo is difficult - there are no traffic lights and cars do not yield to pedestrian and you need to trust the Lord every time. This was also an opportunity to give the driver a new testament. We had to get a taxi to the border and one from our group asked the reception about reserving a taxi to get from Cairo to Taba. From this we met Mohammed in the lobby who arranged a taxi for us. Then we met Hussein, an Iranian, who is living in Sweden. We were able to speak about the gospel to them. His wife is Polish and one of the ladies from our group spoke with her and gave her a New Testament in English. Every time and everywhere we went we met people and gave them gifts and sometimes other people also wanted to receive the gifts. Tourism evangelism is so important and we must seize every opportunity that we have to share the gospel.
Jordan Trip Report
We returned to Jerusalem, and three days later we were en route to Amman, Jordan.
We visited West Baptist Church in Amman where we received Bibles, DVDs, and literature in Arabic. We also met with a pastor from a local church in Madaba. After the service in Madaba we were able to spend time with the pastor's family and some people in the congregation. They were very gracious and hospitable towards us, and we had a very nice time of fellowship. They talked about the difficulties of being believers in Jordan and what it would mean if a Muslim converted to Christianity (death). They said for this reason those who convert usually have to leave the country. Many of the believers from this congregation grew up as nominal Christians in a Greek Orthodox or Catholic tradition and later came to faith. One woman asked us to pray that she would be bolder with the gospel before her family and that she would take a greater interest in their eternity. She spoke honestly and said that many believers like her were discouraged.
We met two brothers Paul and Peter, who converted from Islam to Christianity three years ago. They grew up in a religious family, their father had two wives, and they spent most of their childhood living in the mosque.
They were seeking entertainment inside a church- by mocking Christians. They were told that if they wanted to have fun and see good comedy they needed to visit a church. The brothers were captivated when the pastor spoke Jesus words, Love your enemies. Soon after the twins began to question their faith in Islam. Eventually, in the room that they shared, the twins would sit beside each other and read the Bibles that they had acquired. One day, Peter was reading the Bible while his brother Paul read the Quran. Peter asked Paul if he would kill him if he converted to Christianity. Paul said yes. They began to fight with each other over religion, and they fought until they couldn t fight anymore. Three days later Paul also accepted the Lord. When we were in Jordan we introduced the brothers, now twenty-three years old, to my friend George who offered to help and train the twins. I also contacted my friend from Lebanon who is currently corresponding with them and trying to find a way to help the twins move to Lebanon.
After our initial meeting, we spent some time on the promenade where people gather. There we met a couple of girls from the university and they took New Testaments from us. We walked back to the bookstore and the twins shared more of their testimony. They told us of their struggles of living in secret, of trying to leave the country, and of their past in Islam. Afterwards, as the sun was setting we went to the promenade again, and we saw two women that were smoking. I told them that smoking is not healthy for them, and they said that they needed something to take that desire away. I told them that I had medicine for them and gave them a New Testament. One of the ladies from our group talked to them and found out that they were Palestinians and that they shared hatred towards Israel. One of the Muslim women gave our group member her husbands phone number who is well known as a businessman in Nablus.
The lady from our group then moved on to speak with three Muslim women. They also started talking politics, but they accepted New Testaments. Peter and Paul, despite the danger, came over and ended up talking with the three women. The dialogue intensified; the women didn't believe that the men had left Islam, and as the twins quoted the Quran and compared the words of the Quran to the words of the Bible, the women were not happy. The women told us that the Quran taught basically the same principles as the Bible. The Muslim women agreed that people should love their enemies, but they continued that while that was true, it was right for them to hate and kill people that had stepped on their honor. In this way, they defended their open hatred for the Jews and they spoke out of the overflow of their heart. Please pray that they would see the risen Lord who is able to give us new hearts.
Some things to pray for
Trip to Egypt next week 14th-21st
Evangelism with the students at the Hebrew University several times a week
We printed 4000 evangelistic book and 2000 bibles plus we also bought some English NTs which we distribute every Friday to the refugees and the foreign workers in Tel Aviv
April 1-3 we will be at the New Age festival evangelizing to youth
For the two brothers (Muslim converts) in Jordan that they will be able to go to a safe country
Our free evangelistic tours
Visitation and follow up
Dvd disc printer for the discs that we distribute in various languages for evangelism
Bibles in various languages Nepalese,( which we will try and print Johns gospel here ) Tagalog and various language from south Sudan , Turkish , Sinhalese, Tamil and Malayalam.