By Alfred Habashy
Last August, Francis and I went to Bremen, Germany for the second time to continue what we have been started in March 2017 among the Arab refugees. We answered the second call from the Church of Christ in Bremen. The work among the refugees is growing. Their numbers have doubled, and the church members work hard to reach the Arab refugees around them. Brother Rudy the preacher, his family, and Elsa (she is a missionary and has lived in Germany from more than thirty years) do a great and outstanding job. They urge and encourage each member in the church to disciple others. Moreover, Elsa and Michaela (Rudy’s wife) do excellent work with the Arab ladies. They teach, visit with them, and help them to finish gaining legal status.
Francis and I spent eight days there. Brother Doug from Sunset joined us for only three days. During the day, we went to visit Arabic Muslims refugees in their camps, praying and encouraging them in their houses. At night we had a great teaching time at the church. We studied three topics from the Bible and Koran:
1) Has the bible been corrupted?
2) The incarnation of Christ.
3) Who is Jesus?
Their responses were over our expectations and imaginations. The attendances every night were not less than twenty men and women from different ages. The majority of them were very receptive. Despite this, there were some strong discussions (although not harsh). We had a wonderful time before teaching to sing Christian songs together. This visit was so successful, so fruitful, so powerful, and full of joy and love. Ultimately, in my last session, we ended up with splendid success!
After I finished my lesson in the last day, I asked, “Who is Jesus?” All of them in one accord with loud voice answered, “Jesus is God!” Wow, what an amazing and wonderful seed planted in the minds and hearts of more than 20 Arabic Muslim refugees. We fully trust that the Lord will confirm The Word in their minds and hearts.
In September, I went for a month to teach for the first time in AIBI School in Athens. God gave me great opportunities with the students I was teaching, especially among the Arabic-speaking groups.
At AIBI I taught two classes: Bible History and The Life of Christ. The students are from different countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Also, they are from different background, some Catholics, some Pentecostal and others attend to the church of Christ. I had a great time to studying individually with some students as well.
Athens is a great and ample field to reach many Arab refugees from several Arab countries. Moreover, it is so open to proclaim the truth freely. I met with many of them. All of them are open-minded, so acceptable, and very receptive to The Word of God.
In Cairo, we had our second 2017 book fair. Let me recap the 15 days of this fair quoting Jesus’s statement to His disciples, “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” This is true! We encountered many Muslims who came before and got a Bible. Over 85% of them told us they are reading the Bible secretly, regularly, and daily. They also had some questions and need help to understand. Moreover, during this fair we have been able to hand out about 8,000 New Testaments with other Bible stories for kids and Jesus films as well. Our distribution these last three years has surpassed 47,000 Bibles.
I started a new group to study the Bible every Saturday before our weekly prayer meeting with some of those who need and ask for help. This group is completely different than any other Bible study I’ve conducted before. There are 15 young men and women. Nine are Muslims, two from the Coptic Orthodox Church, and four from the book fair team. I experience great challenges with this group. Two weeks ago, two of these Muslims had been baptized unto Christ. However, they refused to take any photos during the baptism.
As for our church, three families lost their young ones within the past two months. It is a tragedy! It is very sad and a mourning time for the whole church. We will miss them so much. Our hope is that they are all now in a better place with Jesus. Please pray for these families to get rest and comfort from The Lord.
Our youth meeting on Friday is growing as well. This small group started a Christmas caroling to praise and celebrate Christmas songs with the church on January 7th, as all the eastern churches celebrate Christmas on that day. They rehearse twice a week with great enthusiasm for this unique event.
Finally, Hala, Joly, Andrew, and I send you all our love and the choicest blessings from heaven this Christmas. May you have a brilliant Christmas season! Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! And New Year brings new hopes and aspiration. Have a fantastic year filled with peace and health, with lots of love and loads of wealth, wishing you all a Happy New Year.
My family and I are grateful for each one of you for your love, prayers, and support. I always like to end my report with the same request that Paul made of the New Testament churches: “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” —Ephesians 6:19.