By Peter Wooding, European Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, UK (ANS – January 14, 2017) — As nearly five million people in desperate need have now fled Syria, remarkable testimonies of salvation are emerging from the largest refugee crisis in history.
One of the most amazing stories is that of Syrian mother Rima*, whose real name actually means “hope.” After her home was completely destroyed and her husband disappeared, Rima fled to Lebanon with her three young sons. She walked for nearly seven hours in freezing conditions to the Lebanon border, where she was able to find shelter in an unfinished apartment building that was open to the elements.
Through a series of incredible circumstances, a team from Leading The Way was led by God to visit Rima in her home.
Leading The Way’s Help The Persecuted ministry coordinator Mary says they were shocked to see the terrible conditions where Rima’s young family was staying: “What we saw was very heart-breaking. There were no windows, no doors, no heat, no electricity, nothing.”
Throughout a number of visits, the team was able to provide vital practical help including much needed warm clothes, medical supplies, one of Leading The Way’s Navigator audio Bibles and a stove as her ten-year-old boy was ill with a fever.
However, Mary says the greatest gift they were able to offer Rima was Christ:
“I asked her if she knew Jesus, that God sent us to her. She said ‘I know that because you are all here,’ and she could tell that we were going to help her. From there she was just so open. She said ‘yes I believe in Jesus’ and I asked her if she wanted to pray and she said ‘yes.’”
Rima’s story is featured in a powerful video where you can see Leading The Way’s Executive Vice President Joshua Youssef deeply moved at the point when Rima accepts Christ.
Watch the video here http://www.ltw.org/watch/global-work/muslim-refugee-comes-to-christ.
“That whole moment with the rawness of the conditions, Mary’s boldness, and Rima’s openness was why it was so emotional,” says Joshua.
He added that they’re seeing multiple salvations like Rima’s in the midst of this terrible crisis:
“We drew so much hope from the volume of people coming to the Lord. We went to one church where there are 400 Syrian Muslims who’ve come to Christ, the next church there’s 250, meeting five times on a Sunday. That’s just two churches.
“You think maybe the Lord is turning this crisis in a way that would benefit the future of Syria in that they’re coming to know the Lord and could go back into their countries and re-populate Syria with newly converted Christians. That to me is the most exciting thing about this issue.”
Leading The Way’s Senior Director of International Operations Allan Guinan concluded that through their broadcasts into this region, alongside their on-the-ground follow-up teams and practical help for persecuted Christians, this is an unprecedented moment to reach the Middle East for Christ:
“It was a remarkable, divine opportunity that the Lord put Rima into the path of our team members. It was such a joy to see her commit her life to the Lord. These are the stories we don’t see in the mainstream news. We see this happening a lot, with people calling our follow up teams and wanting to know about the Lord Jesus. This is an unprecedented opportunity as we’re seeing more Muslims coming to Christ than at any other time in our ministry.”
*Name has been changed for her protection.
To learn more about how you can support Leading The Way’s Gospel outreach here at home and in the Muslim world, visit uk.LTW.org or call in the UK 0800 432 0419.
You can also follow Dr Michael Youssef on Twitter at: @MichaelAYoussef
About Leading The Way:
Now celebrating over 25 years of ministry, Leading The Way’s television and radio programs are broadcast to more than 190 countries in 24 languages. Leading The Way also produces DVDs, CDs, books, a monthly devotional magazine, and daily e-devotionals to spread the light of Christ. This Atlanta-based organization partners internationally with in-country follow-up teams to encourage new believers in their faith and to provide tangible support to persecuted believers around the world.
About Dr Michael Youssef:
Michael Youssef, Ph.D., is the Founder and President of Leading The Way with Dr Michael Youssef. Dr Youssef was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before moving to the United States. In 1984, he fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming an American citizen. He holds degrees from Moore College in Sydney, Australia, and from Fuller Theological Seminary in California. In 1984, he earned a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Emory University.
He has authored more than 30 books, including popular titles like Jesus, Jihad and Peace, The Leadership Style of Jesus, and When The Crosses Are Gone. He and his wife reside in Atlanta and have four grown children and seven grandchildren.
Editor’s Note: For media enquiries contact Peter Wooding by phone at +44 (0) 907500 903067 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Picture captions: 1) Syrian refugee accepts Christ. (Picture blurred for security reasons). 2) Joshua Youssef visiting refugee children. 3) Peter Wooding with a Christian Ukrainian soldier who he just interviewed on his latest overseas trip.
About the writer: Peter Wooding, the younger son of Dan and Norma Wooding, is an award-winning radio, TV, and print journalist and media consultant under the name of Peter Wooding Productions (www.peterwoodingproductions.com). Having previously spent 10 years as news editor with UCB Radio in the UK, he has travelled extensively reporting from countries including Greece, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, South Sudan, the Philippines, Uganda, South Korea, Zambia, Gambia, Mozambique, Croatia, Israel, India and Ukraine, from where he has just returned. Peter was recently appointed London Bureau Chief for the newly-formed Global News Alliance (GNA). He reports regularly for ASSIST News Service, Samaritan’s Purse, and Leading The Way. Peter and wife Sharon live in North Wales, UK, with their three daughters, Sarah, Anna and Abigail. To contact Peter for a consultation, please e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at: +44 (0) 7500 903067.
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