Nov 01 2017
God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived!
Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
You give them something to eat
It’s snowing in Edmonton. The forecast high tomorrow is -8°, a chilly reception for five Syrian Muslim newcomer families moving here from Saskatoon this week. They were brought to Canada 1½ years ago through the government refugee resettlement initiative on compassionate grounds. The Government of Canada website says 40,081 refugees have been resettled as of Nov 1/17. These are just five families of many. Here are the few details I know about them:
- They are uneducated people from rural villages.
- They speak very little English.
- One person is partially blind and another completely blind. Several of the people are deaf.
- Two children have cerebral palsy, are in casts and need special car seats and vehicles to be transported.
- At least one person is elderly, and one woman has no husband.
- Their year of government support is over. Some of the parents have not been receiving their child benefit for 4 months now because the children’s names were filled out incorrectly on the forms.
- They’re coming to Edmonton to find schools for the blind and deaf. Some do not yet have a place to stay.
Were you thinking you had problems?
I know these details because my friend was in Saskatoon over the weekend. When they learned he was from Edmonton and spoke Arabic, they all descended on him begging for help. But he’s only one man with plenty of ministry responsibility already and a young family of his own. He’s overwhelmed. Refugees take a lot of time.
My church has privately sponsored a Syrian Christian family. Three couples have devoted many hours to helping them settle. All are speaking English to some degree and the family is well on their way to becoming independent. They’ve found community both with the host church and in an Arabic-speaking congregation. Different situations in so many ways!
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.
As evening approached, the disciples came to Him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.’
Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’
‘We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,’ they answered.
‘Bring them here to me,’ He said.” (Mt 14:14-18)
Then He took what little they had, gave thanks and fed the multitude.
Let’s pray urgently for these 5 families and the one they’ve asked for help, according to Jesus’ mission statement in Luke 4:18-19, and let’s see if we can do it without complaining about the government:
- Pray that Christians will compassionately pray for them in Jesus’ name and they will be healed.
- Pray these five families and others like them who are harassed and helpless will come to Jesus for the bread of life.
- Pray that every Christian with whom they have contact will do something with what little they have and it will be supernaturally multiplied.
- Pray that others with bold faith and understanding of how our social services work will come alongside those (especially Arabic speakers) who are helping.
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