We want to extend a huge thank you to those who gave to our #BlessingBeirut campaign! We were able to bless our partners’ ministry in Beirut with over $16,000 USD!
We are so grateful for your generous donations. Our friends and ministry partners in Beirut, Lebanon have served the neediest of those that were displaced and traumatized by the devastating bombing. They gave out food, water, cleaned up debris, and helped fund restoration of destroyed homes and churches. These partners also serve in the house of prayer in Beirut and helped organize the local body in prayer and intercession.
During the School of Revival in 2019, one of our teams spent four days in Jordan. We quickly learned once being there, that there are around 4 million refugees in Jordan. That makes up about 43% of the country’s population.
Our team partnered with a local ministry that works with refugees and provides humanitarian aid to families that are in difficult situations. They also hire refugees and teach them different skills in order to provide for their families. We got to serve the ministry by taking groceries to some of the refugee families and visit them in their homes.
We navigated the narrow, busy streets with our local translator, and came to a tall apartment building. Carrying heavy bags full of groceries, we followed our new friend up multiple flights of stairs until we reached the very top flat of the building. The small room was actually on top of the roof, and seemed to be an add-on to the original building.
We knocked on the door and a small but strong looking sudanese woman answered. She greeted us with a shy but warm smile and welcomed us in. She wore a long black dress with a delicate blue scarf carefully wrapped around her head and neck so that only her gentle face showed.
The small room we entered had a single bed and a few chairs. There was a smaller room to the left of the entrance and a tiny kitchen on the opposite side. She had us come in and sit on the chairs as she took a seat on her bed. She then quickly stood back up again, asking if she could serve us tea or water.
Our translator told her that she did not need to busy herself in serving us because our purpose in being there was to build friendship with her, hear her story and talk with her about Jesus. She smiled and sat back down again, relaxing a little and interested in talking with us.
She told us her story of survival and fleeing for her life from war that was sweeping across her country. She escaped with her two small children to Jordan with hopes of finding work and refuge from a war torn land. Meanwhile, we could hear a hoarse cough coming from the small room next to us. She quickly got up and retrieved her little girl who was sick with a fever and held her close as she continued telling her story.
Now she finds herself alone with her two children in a new country, with a job as a household maid to a Jordanian family that barely pays enough for them to get by. The suffering and hardship this woman had to endure was greater than we could comprehend, but it made us so thankful for the ministry that found her and is helping meet many of her practical needs.
After hearing her story and learning more about her, we asked if we could share the most important reason why we had come. And that was the message of hope. It is so important to be able to meet practical needs, but it is just as important to give the greatest gift of all that will last long after we leave. Jesus.
For the next two hours our team had the opportunity to share the entire gospel. We started by telling the story of Adam and Eve and how sin separated us from perfect union with God. Then we slowly explained the scriptures of God desperately wanting relationship once more with His people, and how that resulted in Him sending His only Son into the world to die on the cross for us. We told her what Jesus was like and the character and nature of a perfect, holy, loving, relational God. We shared how He rose from the grave and even death could not contain His great love.
She asked questions as we explained. Most of her questions were from what she knew from Islam. But her questions became less and less as she was met with this story of a loving God who is after her heart and wants to give her peace. Her demeanor changed from the start of the conversation and we could tell her heart was softening and she was deeply contemplating what we had to say.
Many on our team also received words of knowledge that touched her heart and made her so open to what we were saying. When she began to argue against something we said because of an Islamic belief she had, the Holy Spirit seemed to instantly drop an answer in one of our minds and we were able to give an answer. Often times our team looked at each other feeling stunned at the answers we were giving, and how we were all in unity sharing the exact same analogy or answer to best describe what she was questioning.
The Presence of God felt so tangible and real in that tiny room that it felt as though Jesus Himself might walk in through the front door. Our hearts felt this desperation for her to encounter God for herself, and to know what we were saying was truth. We realized that desperation we were feeling was actually a small glimpse of the desperation the Father feels to encounter His daughter. The longing of the heart of God for His lost child seemed overwhelming. There was also a deep confidence our team felt from the Lord that His ability to encounter her and change her life is not dependent on us. God was after her heart, and that was enough.
We ended our time by praying for her and praying for peace, hope and healing. She told us that she felt peace when we prayed for her and wanted us to come back again. Even though our team would not be there to continue building friendship and having conversation about Jesus with her, the ministry we went with would. They continue to bring her groceries, help meet some of her practical needs, share the gospel with her and pray for her.
We know that Jesus is after her heart and cares about her deeply. She is not forgotten to Him and we continue to trust and pray that her heart would open more and more to the man Jesus, and would continue to encounter His peace and love for her.
Just last month, we partnered with a local ministry in Ashdod to provide heaters, blankets, bedding, and other basic necessities to new Israeli immigrants! It was wonderful to be with the new immigrants as they received some of their gifts and heard about why we love Israel. The Israeli government can only do so much for these new immigrants and many struggle greatly as they transition. Many arrive not even knowing Hebrew and attempt to integrate into the new culture with their families and young children. We love our partnership with a local congregation in Ashdod that allows us to bless Israel in this way. It is an honor to do what we can to make the new immigrants’ transition a little bit easier, develop relationships with them, and share the heart behind why we do all that we do.
Staring into the face of Boris, I could see years of pain and perseverance revealing his survival of four concentration camps. This was my first time sitting for over an hour with an interpreter hearing the story of one man’s survival. He was ninety years old. Tears kept coming spontaneously as I looked beneath the dynamic story and began to focus on God’s love for Boris and on this man’s heart that still carried so much pain and anger. In one of the concentration camps, the German soldiers were suspicious of men in his barracks trying to escape. It was the dead of winter with two feet of snow on the ground. The soldiers forced Boris and a dozen others to strip down naked and run in the snow around the barracks for several hours in the freezing cold. If any of them slipped and fell, they were shot instantly. Boris described how they mocked him and would throw snow at his face each time he ran past them. At the end of our time together, he went to stand up from the sunken-in couch. I reached out to help him up. He stiffened up and with astonishing strength and determination pushed himself up and stood as upright as his ninety-year-old frame could muster. My heart broke with a love for Boris and the other 100 holocaust survivors in Ashdod that I had the privilege to share my testimony with.
From that point on, Caleb Company began focusing the majority of “Israel Aid” to blessing the 300 holocaust survivors in Ashdod, Israel. Over the past five years, we have been able to provide them with food, blankets, heaters and other practical supplies. When we asked if there was anything else we could do, they responded that what would bless them the most is to help them to publish their stories in Hebrew and English so that what they went through would never be forgotten. Most Holocaust survivors hold tightly the message of “never forget.” This past October we visited them again. The leaders of their community know us well and ran up to us to kiss our cheeks. We have been blessed to be a blessing. This year, Caleb Company gave over $7,000 to translate and publish the stories of 500 Holocaust survivors into both Hebrew and English. Our God so loves and cherishes these men and women who have survived horrors unspeakable. As the majority are ninety years and older, there remains a limited number of years left to continue to bless and share the love of Jesus with them. We are so privileged and honored to be His hands and feet in manifesting that love to them. Thank you for your investment into Caleb Company as we pour it out to them.