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Waging an Unseen War

From the desk of Dr. Michael Youssef

Dear Friend,

In 1863, after learning his son was wounded in a Civil War battle, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “Christmas Bells,” which included these anguished words:

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

As Christmas 2015 approaches, hate remains strong and there’s still no peace on earth. The terror group ISIS has cut a bloody swath across Syria and Iraq, even claiming responsibility for attacks from France to Lebanon. Millions more have fled as refugees.

Yet Leading The Way is on the frontlines of the spiritual battlefield, wielding our greatest weapon—the Word of God. And as our partner, you are there with us.

At this crucial juncture, God is giving us a strategic opportunity to share the Good News with a world in crisis. Through a special December Gift Challenge, generous friends of the ministry have committed $1 million to Leading The Way and are challenging all our partners to match their gifts this month. That means their $1 million can become $2 million for this Kingdom work:

• GLOBAL BROADCASTS through radio, satellite TV, and solar-powered Navigators reach diverse audiences and language groups with the Good News. A Christian refugee from Iraq shared, "Churches are closing. . . your programs provide our spiritual food." One young woman wrote, “I'm so glad I found you on the radio. I knew nothing about Christianity, but I had problems with Islam." After receiving Christ, she says, "I'm now a child of a loving God."

• ON-THE-GROUND FOLLOW-UP teams connect with viewers and listeners via phone, Skype, or in-person meetings. A young woman in Algeria wrote, “I accepted Christ, but I’ve never met another Christian. I depend on Christian television to grow in faith.” She added that our follow-up teams enabled her to talk to another Christian for the first time.

• HELP THE PERSECUTED brings hope to believers who are suffering for Christ. This year, our team provided housing, living expenses, food, medical help, and pastoral care to 7,725 persecuted Christians and their families—often at great personal risk.

This month, will you prayerfully consider how much you can give to partner with Leading The Way during our December Gift Challenge?

In the midst of war, the peace of God is spreading. In the midst of chaos, hope lives! The love of God within us is stronger than the hatred of ISIS and the sting of sin and death. As in the final words of Longfellow’s Christmas poem:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

With your help, we’ll continue sharing the hope of Christ in 2016 and beyond.

To God be the glory.

Signature

Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Give to Leading The Way

ISIS Forced Them Out. You Helped Us Reach Them.

"We left everything behind."

In June 2014, ISIS became a household name. But where did they come from? And what is life like for the more than 3 million refugees who have fled them?

In the last year, Leading The Way has provided direct support to thousands of Christians directly affected by ISIS persecution and shared the hope of Christ with Syrian and Iraqi refugees through the broadcasts of our 24/7 satellite channel, THE KINGDOM SAT.

These are real people with real stories. Watch ISIS: Chaos & Hope to learn more about the radical group known as ISIS and see firsthand accounts from the refugees you have helped us reach.

Help us continue these efforts by sharing this video with friends and family, and consider a generous gift to help Leading The Way continue providing spiritual hope and practical help through our 24/7 broadcasts, personal follow-up, and Help The Persecuted ministry.

Persecuted, But Not Abandoned

This article is an excerpt from our Annual Report. Read the full report online for more testimonies of God's amazing work this year through your partnership with Leading The Way.


June 10: the date is etched in Sajed's memory. It's a date he will never forget because it's the day his hometown of Mosul became part of the Islamic State. ISIS had given Christians three options: pay a crippling fine and live under ISIS rule, convert to Islam, or be killed.

"We left our jobs, houses, cars, and everything we had for the sake of Jesus' name," Sajed said. "We were not ready to forsake Jesus' name for anything."

With the sun beating down on them, and with no food or water, they traveled 11 hours to Erbil, found a way to get visas, and fled to Jordan, where they lived in a church hall with 110 other people.

"We suffered," Sajed said, "but we were joyful because all of this was for the name of Jesus Christ."

Sajed and his family now receive funding from Leading The Way for living expenses and medical expenses. With a recent kidney transplant, Sajed needs to take expensive medication on time so that his body does not reject his new kidney -- medication he could no longer afford until God provided through Help The Persecuted.

"We lost everything because of ISIS," Sajed says. "They persecuted us, killed us, and forced us to leave with only the clothes on our backs. But now I'm ready to forgive ISIS. And that's all by the grace of the Lord."

This year, Leading The Way distributed more grants to persecuted Christians than in all previous years combined, providing help to recipients across 12 countries. Through the life-giving support of Help The Persecuted, God is strengthening our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. And in turn, we are learning from them as they continue to run the race of faith with great hope and endurance -- a picture of a victorious church in the midst of chaos.

"The Lord has sent kind people into our lives," Sajed says. "He will not forget us."


Reviving the Church of Acts

On-the-Ground Follow-up: Reviving the Church of Acts 

This article is an excerpt from our Annual Report. Read the full report online for more testimonies of God’s amazing work this year through your partnership with Leading The Way.


"Can you send me more teaching on Jesus?"

After watching Leading The Way's 24/7 satellite television channel, THE KINGDOM SAT, in Indonesia, Eko was hungry to learn more about Christ -- so he contacted our on-the-ground follow-up team in search of the Truth. After our team shared the Gospel with him and answered his questions, Eko came to faith in Jesus and was baptized.

"His heart burns with eagerness to share the Gospel," our follow-up team reported in April 2015.

After giving his life to Christ, Eko went to a neighboring village to share the Good News with others -- and led five people to the Lord. Because of his boldness, Eko has fled angry crowds, received beatings, and been forbidden to evangelize. But that hasn’t stopped him. Undeterred, he has even gone to local mosques to share the Gospel.

Eko's ministry all began with one broadcast that touched his heart and stirred him to call our channel to learn more. He is one of thousands who receive personal ministry through Leading The Way's follow-up teams. These teams work tirelessly to evangelize and disciple those who call in response to our programs -- answering theological questions, leading Bible studies and in-person discipleship meetings, and connecting them with the local church. They are on the frontlines of ministry, walking with those whose conversion could literally be a life-or-death decision.

This year, our small team engaged in more than 20,000 calls and emails with viewers of our satellite television channel, THE KINGDOM SAT. All of Leading The Way's follow-up staff have at least a bachelor in Biblical studies from an accredited seminary. Most are converts from Islam who have experienced persecution firsthand and continue to serve at great personal risk in closed countries.

Through personal on-the-ground follow-up, Leading The Way is emboldening viewers to follow Christ, mobilizing underground churches, and empowering modern-day Apostle Pauls to expand God's Kingdom. Through their work, the book of Acts is being lived out as one person touched by the Gospel begins sharing it with others.

 

Navigators: Covering the World with the Word

Remote villages in Nepal. Refugee camps in Iraq and Jordan. Drug towns in Brazil. Blind communities in Albania. Prisons in Indonesia. These are just a few of the places where the Gospel is going forth through teh solar-powered Leading The Way Navigator. Compact, rechargeable by sunlight, and filled with the audio Bible and Dr. Youssef's messages, these devices are one of the most effective ways to share the Gospel in remote regions. Used for discipleship training among local ppastors and evangelism by church planters, God is using this small handheld device to convict the lost, equip the believer, and comfort the persecuted.

From Rhys, a distribution partner in South Sudan:

"The Navigator could lift the country out of war and into peace and love for Christ, transcending tribal differences. . . . With the help of the Navigator, our team led 47 Muslims to Christ."

From Canon Andrew White, distribution partner in Iraq:

"It is impossible to explain the effect these Navigator have had on people's lives. They have all lost everything. The Navigator tell them that the world may have forgotten their needs, but God has not and will not."

From James, distribution partner in Nepal:

"Recently I had the opportunity to distribute Navigator audio Bibles in Nepal. I left on Friday, and the next morning Nepal witnessed a powerful earthquake. . . . I am certain that many are listening to these players right now and are being encouraged in the Lord and assured that He is in control."

From Robert, distribution partner in Indonesia:

"Many of our church planters call me and say, 'Can you send more Navigators?' They minister in remote, poor villages, so it really helps them evangelize."

For more stories of how God is using the Navigator around the world, read our Annual Report.

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