(Jerusalem, Israel) — Did you see this painful headline published in The (UK) Telegraph on December 1st?
“CHRISTIANS ON BRINK OF EXTINCTION IN MIDDLE EAST, WARNS ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.”
“Christians who were the first founders of the church are on brink of ‘imminent extinction,’ the Archbishop of Canterbury is warning,” the article began. “Describing the ‘daily threat of murder’ faced in the Middle East, the Most Reverend Justin Welby says Christians are experiencing ‘the worst situation since the Mongol invasions of the 13th Century.'”
Such horrific persecution isn’t happening in all of the Middle East. Certainly not here in Israel, the West Bank, or in Jordan. But in some parts of the Middle East — Syria and northern Iraq, in Gaza and sections of Lebanon — the Islamic State and other terrorist groups have been systematically trying to wipe out Christians. Progress is being made to defeat ISIS and the other jihadists, but the battle is far from over.
Christians in Egypt have also been under attack by ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood since the so-called Arab Spring. This, too, is getting better. Both Coptic Orthodox and Protestant Evangelical Christians in Egypt are safer than several years ago, but much more must be done.
While governments have the responsibility to protect their citizens and bring justice to those who do evil, we as followers of Jesus Christ have the responsibility to stand with our brothers and sisters in the Middle East — to pray for them, visit them, encourage them and invest financially in their work. That’s why my wife, Lynn, and I founded The Joshua Fund in the summer of 2006, to strengthen the Church in the Middle East to be a light in the darkness and a blessing to those poor in resources and poor in spirit.
The Joshua Fund (TJF) like a venture capital fund. We come alongside small but growing and promising congregations and ministries in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and five neighboring Arab countries (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt) and invest in them with encouragement, prayer, and, when appropriate, with financial resources to help them preach the Gospel, make disciples, plant more churches and grow, not die.
Over the last 12 years, we have seen ferocious, demonic attacks against the Church. But have also seen the Lord be so faithful to His promises in His Word. He has blessed The Joshua Fund with a wonderful board of directors and staff willing to love and serve the Church, even during severe trials. That said, I believe it’s your faithful prayers and generous financial support that has truly allowed us to invest in God’s Kingdom work and to make an eternal impact.
As 2018 comes to a close, I want to thank you so much for all your help. Whether you’re a regular donor, or someone just learning about The Joshua Fund, please keep reading below and you’ll learn of some of the projects we have invested in during 2018. To learn even more, please read the full 2018 Donor Impact Report.
Here are some of the ways your prayers and financial support are making an impact in the lives of people in the Epicenter…..
Making An Impact Through Relief
• Provided non-perishable food packs monthly to an average of 2,000 needy families through 16 Distribution Centers operated by local congregations and ministries
• Hosted an Outreach Day with 6 Distribution Centers where TJF Tour participants served hundreds of families
• Gave support and counseling to single mothers with newborn babies and needy Israeli women
• Facilitated legal support for believers who are discriminated against, denied citizenship or persecuted because of their faith
• Enabled local congregations to stand with believers who are in dire financial need
• Funded medical costs for life-changing surgeries by Israeli doctors of children from neighboring countries
• Conducted outreaches during Jewish holidays including Passover, distributing food and gifts
• Supported a Mother’s Day evangelistic event for Arab women in the Galilee region
• Helped local churches offer spiritual care via Bible studies, discipleship and physical care for refugees living in Lebanon
• Partnered with those giving humanitarian relief, trauma counseling and medical aid to Iraqi, Arab, Nubian and Yazidi communities
• Hosted women’s conferences, discipleship programs, Bible teaching and fellowship for women marginalized by violence in the Epicenter
Making An Impact Through Relationships
• Supported trusted Christian ministry workers throughout the Epicenter, including Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Syria
• Distributed Hebrew, Arabic and Russian language audio Bibles, plus hundreds of print Bibles via trusted ministry partners
• Hosted retreats and trainings that provided Bible study and encouragement for Jewish/ Arab pastors and ministry leaders, young people and underprivileged segments of the body of believers
• Undergirded the production and staff support for key Hebrew and Arabic evangelistic videos
• Hosted a pastor’s conference, giving training for evangelistic work among both Jews and Arabs
• Sent Arabic language Bible teaching radio broadcasts into the West Bank
• Conducted outreach amongst Arab cities and the West Bank
• Support for student ministry workers at Bible college
• Supported ministry of a special women’s outreach
• Funded evangelistic retreats for IDF soldiers
• Sponsored evangelistic trips for new immigrants from Ukraine to Biblical sites
- Would you like to make a year-end, secure, tax deductible investment in The Joshua Fund (www.joshuafund.net)? This is the non-profit organization that my wife, Lynn, and I founded in 2006 to educate and mobilize Christians to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus, to strengthen the Church in the Epicenter, to preach the Gospel and teach the Word of God, to care for the poor and needy in Israel (both Jews and Arabs) with food and other humanitarian relief, care for Holocaust survivors, and care for Syrian and Iraqi refugees and others. The Joshua Fund is a member in good standing of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Please click here to learn more. Thanks so much!
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