Will We miss the harvest?
That is a quote from my friend who works with Syrian refugees in Northern Iraq. Here is the rest of it.
“Working with refugees near Erbil: Went to a neighborhood today where Syrian refugees live, not in a camp. First got to go to a school some of the refugee believers have started for the kids because they’re not allowed in school locally. Did some distribution toys and warm winter hats for them. After that we did house visits.
“One guy had had a dream of jesus and we got to pray for him and he felt heat through his body.
Another guy at the second house visit was super open, asked us why we came from so far, was super hungry, shared the whole gospel with him. He was so fed up with Islam. Also, he had had a dream last night of a white dove coming down (!!!!). He asked us why our faces were shining so bright. We prayed for him three times healing. First time he straightened up and his back popped in place and his back was healed. Second time was for his knee but didn’t fully heal. I felt to go over and kneel before him and pray for his knee laying on hands and blowing on his knees “the breathe of god, the life of god” and as a I prayed I felt something move in his knee and he was healed on the spot and the translator was super surprised. I was able to tell him how jesus was affirmed by the father as a son when he was baptized and I spoke over him how the father also speaks words of adoption and sonship over him.
“I think God is saying that the prayers for openness in the Muslim world are being answered, but if nobody goes, we will miss the harvest.”
Our teams and many others are still working to serve refugees, but there in Northern Iraq there is both a great need and opportunity for people to work on development. It seems people are accepting that they will not go home in the foreseeable future, so they are starting their own schools, trying to develop businesses or find jobs and find houses rather than tents. While there is still a need for hundreds or even thousands of short-term workers, they cannot be effective unless there are scores of longer-term workers who will plug into the daily organisational responsibilities.
Some of those workers need to have training and wisdom in community development. But the opportunities are unprecedented. For example, “one guy had a dream about Jesus, so we got to explain and pray for him. When we did, he felt heat through his whole body. At the very next house, a man was clearly fed up with Islam, and wide open to know about Jesus.
“He was so hungry; we shared the whole Gospel with him. He had a dream last night of a white dove coming down. Then he asked us why our faces were shining so bright. We prayed for him three different times for healing. The first time he straightened up and his back (which was out of alignment and very sore) popped and was healed. The second time was for his knee. It was not completely better, so I felt to go over, kneel before him, lay hands on his knee and pray again. Then I felt to proclaim over his knee the breath of God, the life of God, and I breathed on his knee. As I did so I felt something move and he was healed on the spot.”
One further testimony. “In both of those houses families had beautiful birds as pets, but the birds don’t sing that much. However, they said that when we walked in, the birds started singing beautifully, more than usual. That happened in both homes and the people noted it.”
I noted that amongst many young people today there is a great hunger to see the power of God in signs and wonders. There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit works signs and wonders in places where the Gospel is first being proclaimed.
If you want to see more of God’s power, there is room for you in Northern Iraq. Our teams there report that it is safe, and long-term work is possible.