PRAISE and prayer for:

–  JFHP Team report from Cuba –  Ana’s testimony: “Today I learned the truth. Today I am free from the slavery of idolatry and witchcraft. Today God freed me from ignorance; I forgive myself because I received Jesus as my Savior. I have a new reason to continue living.”

–  Recently  Nazarene Theological College-Brisbane Australia (NTC) celebrated its 62nd commencement exercises. Thirteen students were honored for the completion of their studies. This year, both the students and guests were able to attend and participate in-person or via Zoom. The event was also broadcast live.

–  from missionaries Dave and Kim Hane in Singapore –   We are so blessed to have Joy and Asher living with us at home as Kyle is away during the week for his military service.  Dave has continued his assignment of coordinating Nazarene missionary personnel on the Asia-Pacific region. It has been encouraging to see borders slowly beginning to open.  We were able to deploy 2 new missionaries in December, and hope to see 3 more leave for the field in January.

Our House of Bread Church here in Singapore continues to meet on line and via Zoom.  Only 5 visitors can meet in a home under the current COVID guidelines.  We have started a lay pastor program and are excited to see the leadership development that is taking place.  Our number of children and babies in the group continues to multiply!  Please pray with us that we will find a suitable place to meet once the meeting restrictions are lifted

 

PRAY for:

–  JFHP Cuba – 19 Teams/63 team members are reaching out to the people. “Prayer is the key that opens all doors. Please pray for us to have a clear gospel vision through this tension and serve Him with joy and passion.”  Political tension has increased in recent months and  Cuban teams request that we join them in prayer as they share the gospel in areas of high crime and with people facing addiction, poverty, dysfunctional families, and idolatry. Pray that many find freedom and peace in Christ this year.

– the people of the Philippines – Typhoon Rai (known locally as Odette) made landfall in the Philippines on 16 December 2021. The storm  affected over 7 million people in more than 6,000 villages.  Half a million people have been displaced by the storm, the majority of whom continue to live in evacuation centers, creating additional vulnerabilities for children and women. Of the 400,000 houses damaged by tai, over 100,000 residences are destroyed.  More than 1,000 people suffered injuries and 389 people died from the impact of the typhoon.

  the people of Israel.  Her enemies have used all their available resources attempting to wipe the world’s only Jewish state off the map. With Iran at the fore, its terrorist proxies attacked Israel and advanced on Israel’s borders, plotting Israel’s destruction.  In May alone, Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza launched over 4,300 rockets at Israel, killing 13 and wounding hundreds more. Throughout the year, Gaza-based terrorists also launched incendiary balloons and devices into southern Israel, destroying acres of agriculture, damaging Israel’s economy, and leaving innocent Israelis in constant dread of attack.  In the north, Iran’s terrorist army Hezbollah fired rockets at Israel, even as it continues to stockpile missiles in preparation for a future, much greater attack upon the Jewish state. In addition, Iran has continued to pursue nuclear capabilities, all the while planning attacks against Israelis and Americans across the globe.

 

Church of the Nazarene in Jordan Re-Opens after closing for over a year due to COVID                              Ashrafieh Church of the Nazarene in Jordan closed its doors for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, upon opening to hold its first in-person service new life was ignited in the congregation and its ministries.  The “packed house” was filled with people eager to worship the Lord together for the first time in more than a year. Lead Pastor Khalil said more than 400 people packed the sanctuary and overflowed onto the balconies.

“Twenty-five people gave their lives to Christ with tears in their eyes,” Khalil said. “I invited them to come to the front, and they ran to the front to tell everyone they have repented and wanted to change their lives. They started to cry.  We felt the Holy Spirit moving amongst his people.”  Khalil preached an encouraging message about the hope Christians have in Christ.

“The news from here in the Middle East, spreading to the outside, is unfortunately always bad news about war, refugees, and people running from here to there,” Khalil said. “The whole area looks on fire and full of fear and trauma. But God put it in our hearts to stand in the midst and be the light. We have a message of hope and love. We need to stand and reflect His light and give hope for those who have lost theirs.”

Rev. Khalil and his church endured difficulties during the pandemic. The church serves nearly 800 refugee families who escaped wars in Syria and Iraq. The leaders had to get creative to reach them amid the pandemic.  “This was the biggest challenge: how to serve refugees and how to reach out, especially when some weeks we could not even move from our house,” Khalil said. “It was a total lockdown—no cars, no walking.”

When lockdowns eased, church members started to prepare food packages and meet with the refugees again to find out what their needs were. They fed families, paid rent for those who didn’t have the resources, and safely prepared food for those who were infected with COVID-19. Additionally, in their continued efforts to keep people healthy, they distributed medicine and vitamins.

The Khalil family also turned their house into a church studio and held an online program every night. One of his daughters led the worship while the other daughter managed the audio engineering and filming; his wife, Halaseh, advertised and marketed the services online.

“Every night when we start, we open with 100 people,” Halaseh said. “But when we close, we close with 500, [then] 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 people. It was something out of our imagination, but God opened that golden opportunity during that hard time for us to reach out and give that message of hope to everyone.”

Since that Re-Opening service, Pastor Khalil and the rest of the staff at Ashrafieh have seen significant growth in attendance across the church, from youth services to Wednesday night prayer meetings. He believes this is the beginning of a new season for Ashrafieh Church.

“When we started again, we declared the presence of God was there.  Because of the lockdowns, people were down and disappointed. They had fear in their hearts and they were not happy, nor could they be pleased. But after the Re-Opening, it seems that the pessimistic season is finished and a new one has started. I praise God for the new season He has made,” said Pastor Khalil.