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.
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.