What if you lived in a culture where saying “Jesus is Lord” could get you tortured or killed?
Jirjis* is a man in his forties who lives in Egypt. For much of his life, he was a dedicated member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
One day, he and other members of the Brotherhood met to plot the fire-bombing of a Christian church. That night, Jirjis dreamed that a voice was telling him, “Do not hurt My church.” The next day, he told the men he had changed his mind—he wouldn’t help them destroy the church.
The others cursed him, then piled into their vehicles to carry out their plan. On the way to carry out the attack, a traffic accident killed all the conspirators.
Others in the Muslim Brotherhood were outraged that Jirjis had refused to take part in the attack. They beat him, then locked him up without food or water for days. They tortured him and even pulled out his fingernails.
Because of his dream, Jirjis came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Although he is growing in his faith, being a Christian and having health problems have made it hard for him to find work. A local church gives him some help, but its resources are limited.
When our ministry team learned what Jirjis was going through, we provided him with financial help to cover his rent and living expenses as he seeks to re-establish his life.
We rejoice to hear that many Muslims are coming to Christ. But conversion is just the beginning of the journey. Life is incredibly difficult for new believers in the Muslim world. Many face rejection by their families, job loss, imprisonment, violence, and death threats.
In the Middle East and North Africa—places where it is dangerous to follow Christ—Leading The Way is penetrating strongholds through targeted broadcasting, personal on-the-ground discipleship teams, and our Help The Persecuted ministry. Through these efforts, God is bringing eternal hope to the lost and much-needed help to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
As the need grows, our commitment grows. This year, our disbursements to persecuted Christians increased by more than 200 percent. By God’s grace, we were able to provide assistance to thousands of Christians, including Syrian and Iraqi refugees. We regularly provide living expenses for believers forced from their homes and jobs, plus medical expenses, emergency funds, travel help, and pastoral care.
This month, as we reflect on all that we are thankful for, I am so grateful for the freedom we have to share the Gospel. But many do not have this freedom. Will you join me in praying for them? Will you help Leading The Way continue to proclaim and demonstrate the Gospel in hostile regions?
I thank God for your prayers and gifts to Leading The Way, which help us to provide both spiritual and physical nourishment to so many. May God bless you and your family this Thanksgiving as you reflect on His faithfulness.
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Founder & President, Leading The Way
*Name changed for his protection
P.S. Please remember that gifts of stock are a tax-efficient way to give to the ministry, as you will receive a full market value tax deduction and forego the capital gains tax. You must transfer shares from your brokerage account to Leading The Way’s brokerage account by December 31st to secure your deduction for 2014. To take advantage of this opportunity, please call 1.800.538.7677 or visit the Strategic Gift Planning page at LTW.org.