How to Love the Middle East with 'Light Force'
- Thursday, November 11, 2004
And that was kind of shock to me and then he says, “Now let me ask you some questions about the Bible.” And he particularly had some very pointed questions from the Old Testament. He says, “Now in the book of Zechariah it talks about the destruction of the Jews,” and he’s asking these questions about prophecy and I’m thinking I can’t believe it – I’m sitting with a member of Jihad having a Bible study on the book of Zechariah and probably half the Christians I know haven’t even read the book of Zechariah.
That opened my eye to say my goodness, God is doing something in this man’s life. By the end of that meeting Brother Andrew gave him a copy of God Smuggler in Arabic. The next day when he picked us up for the meeting he’d read half of it. He said, “What other books do you have in Arabic? I want anything you can get me.” It took us 18 months to get back to him but we brought him some more Christian books. All I’m saying is we have no idea what God may be doing in these people’s lives. So if someone doesn’t go to them, how are they gonna hear? How does this man I mean I can’t make a decision for him, I don’t know what God’s doing in his life. I just know that there was an intense interest in our message and someone had to go and get that to him.
To the bigger question you asked, a reaching out to Hamas, I think Brother Andrew, his ministry has always been one of a pioneer, going where no one else has thought to go and certainly in the 1950’s that was the Communist world. No one was going there. Brother Andrew was the first of what are now many ministries in Eastern Europe, Russia. Well his idea is that if I can do it, a Dutchman who never even got a full college degree, if I can go and have a ministry than anyone can do it. And God opened up a door for him in 1992 when 415 members of Hamas were deported from Israel and it was an international incident and they were left on the side of a mountain in southern Lebanon and Andrew just felt compelled to go and visit them.
And today he refers to Matthew 25 where Jesus says I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was lonely and you visited me. He went to those men as human beings to see what their conditions were. As a result of that he went and visited many of their families. Then he went back and took pictures to these men. A relationship developed and guess what? He had the opportunity to share the Gospel with hundreds of Hamas over a period of a couple of years, including probably the only evangelical person to ever speak on Christianity at Islamic University in Gaza at the invitation of the current leader of Hamas.
Now the point I hope is clear here, Andrew didn’t do anything special except reach out to these men at their point of need and look at the doors that God opened. And now we can’t be responsible for what these men do with the message but the fact is they’ve had the opportunity to hear and we may probably never know until the heaven what the results of that effort have been but I hope this has been – and it’s a big part of the book. It’s an incredible story and I hope people will read the full story cuz I think it will be a tremendous encouragement and should show us that there is no people group in the world that is completely unreachable because God’s heart is to reach people.
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