By Mark Ellis
The nightly news may present disturbing images and a bleak outlook for the Middle East. Yet behind the horror of war, God is touching hearts in powerful ways, unleashing His Spirit among refugees, their families, and into surrounding communities and nations.
“There is something happening right now that is unprecedented,” says Brother Thomas*, a Middle East coordinator for All Nations. “The spiritual openness is incredible.”
On a recent trip into a refugee camp he met with a Muslim family inside their tent. The father – the patriarch of the family – started to tell him about his son Yusuf, who sat next to him. (Yusuf is the Arabic equivalent of the biblical name Joseph)
“Do you know about the prophet Joseph?” Thomas inquired.
“Yes, he’s one of my favorites; he’s the dreamer,” the man replied.
“Have you had any dreams of significance?” Thomas asked the son.
“No, but my mother has…”
His mother excitedly broke in: “Ever since he was a child I’ve had dreams of a man in glowing white hugging my son. In the last dream he was crying, and his tears were coming down his beard and on to my son’s head.
“I have such a warmth for this prophet,” she continued. “I know he is a prophet.”
“I know who that person is in your dream,” Thomas said with assurance.
The woman’s eyes widened with intense interest. “Who is it?”
“It is Jesus.”
Then Brother Thomas told them the story of Jesus’ love for children, when He said, “Let the little children come to Me.”
The woman began to cry. “It was so moving for her to hear someone loves her family so much He would give her dreams demonstrating His love.”
As he toured the ramshackle refugee camp with structures composed of cardboard, wood slats, and plastic tarps, he found many who had similar encounters with God. “Almost every family we visited had some kind of experience, either through dreams or someone had given them a New Testament in the medical clinic or prayed for them,” he noted.
Brother Thomas observed a feeling of desperation that pervaded the camps. “There was a lot of fear and uncertainty about the future,” he discovered. “Every family has lost people through warfare or has a story of pain. Because the war is Muslim against Muslim they have a feeling there has to be something better. They are looking for answers.”
“Over and over we saw people who have questions, who want to know more about Jesus.”
Brother Thomas knows other Christian workers equally amazed. “I have friends who have been here 17-20 years and it’s mind boggling for them,” he says. “Previously they shared with someone for seven or eight years before they came to know Jesus. Now it happens in two or three months and they bring others with them.”
While this move of God seems to have originated in the refugee camps, it is not contained there. “It’s happening everywhere, but mostly around the refugees,” Thomas notes. “There is something happening in the spiritual atmosphere because these refugees are so open and so hungry.
“As they respond, the neighboring countries are responding in the same way. Something is being stirred up. People are coming into the kingdom practically without us – we get to be the midwives.”
Brother Thomas is struck by the contrast between the grim news portrayed on television and the reality of God’s work behind the scenes. “When I watch the news, it seems like things are getting worse,” he observes. “But when I talk to my friends in the area I see the Kingdom is coming – people are coming to the Lord. Whole families are coming to Christ, communities are changing, I can see the Kingdom expanding.”
*name changed for security reasons
All Nations is an international leadership training and church-planting network. All Nations partners with local churches to send short term and long-term church planting teams to more than 30 different countries. All Nations provides specialized leadership and discipleship schools located at Africa House, located in Cape Town, South Africa.
Thank you for this beautiful account of God’s Grace at work in the midst of conflict. I heard a prophecy shared by one Edgar Trout in 1963 that we would witness the green shoots of revival, I first heard of such powerful blessing from Samuel Doctorian also in the 1960s. These wondrous things are happening for us to see right now, how I thank those faithful servants of our loving God, like Brother Thomas, who are ensuring the power of God’s love is reaching every heart where God will pour out a blessing ! Thank you.
GOD DOES AMAZING THINGS THAT ONLY HE CAN DO. I PRAY THAT THE WHOLE WORLD COMES TO KNOW AND WALK WITH JESUS CHRIST!!!
Thanks for posting this Mark. It is indeed Good News and reminds me that God is so powerful – so much greater than the evil things that happen. May His Kingdom truly come to the Middle East, and may He heal the broken hearts of those who have suffered so much in recent events.
All these people are being stirred by the Holy Spirit. What a Great God we serve!
Many years ago, Joy Dawson prophesied that the Lord would use people fleeing out of their war torn countries, becoming refugees who would be brought to the Lord–here is another example of how this is happening in our time — and all for the glory of God and the Kingdom.
What an amazing God we have. Thank You Lord for all who entered into your family. Bless and protect them in the Name of Jesus
Hungry hearts are everywhere. Some of them in our streets here in the west.
Delighted for these poor, suffering souls to have Jesus moving amongst them and saving them. I pray they see the power of God in miracles done in Jesus Name too, to confirm their faith in His Name and to win others in the camps to Him.
Americans are hungry and disillusioned by materialism, looking for truth and a place of security. May they all know our loving and faithful Father through his Son! I pray that all of us who call ourselves His will strive to get closer to the One who is our Lord and King, so that we can boldly share His love.
These countries have not allowed Jesus in, yet God’s plan to reach every nation, tribe, people group will prevail. They are being forced out, yet praise God that the gospel, Jesus is reaching them through this! I pray for more dreams, visions and Bibles to be given and for true peace to be felt through Jesus!
To God be the glory, great things He has done and is doing! I rejoice to see the hand of our loving Heavenly Father at work. He indeed works all things together for good. Praise His holy name! May more souls be won and birthed into His everlasting kingdom. Amen.
God said He would pour out His spirit upon all flesh. Here it comes. No one can stop the former and the latter rains. This has been foretold by the prophets, not the news media.
It is amazing how God is answering our prayers for these people. Without the horror of what is going on they may not have been touched. Praying for more revelations and people to translate the dreams and for them to have real hope,
My Jewish and Muslim brothers:
We all worship the same God of Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Joseph and David.
Why we can not seek peace and harmony. You don’t have to kill me (a Christian) to get to
heaven. Just believe in Jesus and He will take all of us to heaven with Him. I am proud to be a Christian and would like to invite you to heaven to be with Jesus and His and my Father without any blood shed. Jesus already shed His blood for you and me.
The Muslim God is NOT the God of the Bible, the God of Christians, and Muslims are NOT our brothers. All people must repent of their sins and turn to Jesus to become children of God. Only than are we brother and sister to each other.
You are misrepresenting truth, and that does not lead people to salvation but to yet another delusion.
I knew that God was working through the horrible tragedies and horrors we keep hearing about in the news, but I didn’t know how or what for sure. Thank you for sharing this very uplifting and encouraging report that helps make sense out of all this suffering! God has always been and will always be on the throne and nothing will ever defeat Him. Hallelujah! HE is the ONE building His church with or without us.
Every year we join in 30 days of prayer for Muslims during Ramadan. Especially on the day when the expect to see visions, that they will see Jesus. this is so encouraging to know that our prayers are being answered in yet another place
This is so encouraging but in some ways frightening when we compare the unity and working of God there and in the North American churches where we can get so caught up with our programs and doctrinal views and lose sight of the fact we’re an ORGANISM – NOT -an organization. Church politics and factions destroy our spiritual vigor and blind us to the beauty and unity in Christ. It seems in the middle east these oppressed Christians have only their physical lives to lose – we seem to have lost MUCH more. I’m not trying to be critical as much as note a condition I see that is so prevalent. The article blesses my heart and encourages me. May God bless our country like He is blessing the Middle East Christians – albeit through hardship and persecution.
You have spoken a truth. Amen and amen to this insightful truth.
All I can say is Amen!
Thx for the this news! I really needed to hear this. As a Christian, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that GOD has everything covered when you hear of the atrocities we are doing to each other. I never doubted HIS sovereignty, Im just amazed at how dark we have become as a race. Thank you, much love!!!!
Glory to God in the Highest!!! He is Worthy of all praise and glory!!!
The dreamer that you described is 100000% alive . I would clarify but more than likely the message would be filtered and nobody would get to read it anyways. And Jesus likes children more than adults because they are significantly smarter than adults.
God is also putting it on hearts of Christians to pray for the people of Islamic countries. My burden to pray for them is almost like an ache in my chest. After I began a secret group on Facebook dedicated to prayer for Muslims, my life came under spiritual attack in places that I’m most vulnerable to. I even considered giving up and still stories like these come to me in unexpected ways. That much resistance means that the true enemy is not happy with so many coming to Christ! God is at work in all the houses of Islam and wants us all to pray for them.
Well, it is clear that if Iran lobs a nuke at Israel who the winner would be. However I can see the potential mess this situation would represent and you are right about the oil flow hitting us especially hard. It is something that every sane person on the planet wants to avoid.
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