The Arabian Peninsula Partnership
The Gospel for every person and a church for every people in the Arabian Peninsula amongst indigenous peoples
9 February, 2010
He seeks and forgives.
Four people who work here were diagnosed with cancer in the summer. Praise the Lord that three of them underwent successful surgeries and are cancer free. The fourth person has had chemotherapy treatment that has been very positive. Praise the Lord for this and ask for complete healing.
Pray that relationships in this country will be restored after there were accusations of betrayal against some local believers.
A Shia colleague expressed that Ali (a major prophet for them) had stated that influencing the market and its prices is possible by uniting the believers and agreeing to boycott certain products. This year the Shia want to influence the price of a can of Pepsi, which recently was increased by 30%. Pray that a desire will be awakened in their trials to change corrupt practices and morals in this country.
Please pray for high-level men and women who have put their faith in Christ, that they will use their positions wisely as led by the Lord.
Continue to pray for the displaced persons in the far north of the country. The weather is cold and children need warm clothes. Ask that a project to collect clothes this week will be a success. Ask that those who are able to take the clothes to them will be able to drive safely to the capital and collect them. Pray that through this project, the people will know that they are not forgotten and that others are concerned for them. Ask for peace in this region and that the families will be able to return home.
Two Muslim brothers at the same college, M. and M., passed by their professor's office. "Sir, when would be a good time to talk with you about spiritual things? We know that you study the Bible." Pray that they will return this week, and that God will open their hearts and minds to embrace the truth of the Gospel.
An interesting conversation took place waiting for official administration procedures. The officer serving us was surprised that he had the same name as my son, Joonas. His name is Younis – the pronunciation and articulation of the name is very close and the meaning is also the same - Jonah. He was so proud and happy that, with his slightly raised voice, it felt like he was indirectly announcing it so others could hear that he and Joonas share the same name.
I started to then say in Arabic, "Joonas is a very good name. I like that name very much."
He replied, "Yes, it is!"
I continued, "But do you know why I think it's a good name?"
"Why?", he asked.
I said, "Well, you know as I know that Jonah is a prophet"
I said, "Well, you know as I know that Jonah is a prophet"; "That's right. Praise God!" he answered. ("Alhumdullilah" is a common response from Muslims whenever a prophet's or other religious names are mentioned) I said, "I like Jonah because I firmly believe that God liked Jonah very much."
"Hmmm...interesting....continue..." Younis said.
"Do you remember the story of Jonah and the fish?", I asked.
"Yes!" he replied.
I said, "God liked Jonah so much that even when Jonah disobeyed God and went a different direction away from Niniveh (where he was asked to go) God still sought him out, placed him safely in the belly of a fish and brought him to Niniveh. God forgave him in spite of his disobedience. This clearly reflects God's fondness of Jonah and how much He still trusts him to do the will of God."
I went on to say, "The story of Jonah relates to us so well even today. When comparing the life of Jonah and our lives today, we too fail to obey God's commands from the Holy Book. Nevertheless, the same God Jonah believed in is the same God who is ready to forgive and start anew. And....that's the reason I chose to name my firstborn Joonas.......I like that name!"
Younis replied, "Wow, I never saw it that way. I never took time to actually think of the life of the prophet Jonah (praise God!!), even though we share the same name. I like it very much! Thank you!"
Please pray for Younis, that he will come to know the God who seeks and forgives us.