You may remember in a February 12 update that ‘Lucas A’s’ family was in danger. Their town was surrounded by radical Islamic militia, and ‘Lucas’ family was known for his Christianity. He made an urgent and risky trip home to get his family to safety. We were relieved to hear good news from ‘Lucas’:
“Thank you for your prayers for my family, they are safe now. I was able to help them by the grace and provision of God. This was a witness of the gospel for them. Please continue praying for saving faith in my parents. Most of my siblings are believers, and all of our family has heard the gospel.”
‘Andrew’ has been in the U.S. for a few years now, completing a Masters of Divinity, starting work on his PhD, and most important and helpful, participating in a pastoral internship in a trusted sister church. For the past several months, ‘Andrew’ and his family have been immersed in intense preparations to move back to his home country. Today, March 25, was the day the whole family would fly to the Middle East. HeartCry has eagerly anticipated having our national leader back home, personally overseeing the work there. But in response to COVID-19, ‘Andrew’s’ home country implemented total lockdown last week. All flights are suspended and all residents are strictly confined to their homes. Please pray for ‘Andrew’ and his family as they wait, adjust plans, and trust in God’s good and wise providence.
Middle East Student Fellowship
‘Jeremy’: “It’s been a bit strange since the announcement that all educational institutes will be shut down for a month. Most students are around but not coming to campus so we’re trying to do a lot more meeting individuals and outdoor events. A lot of people are quite fearful so we would definitely value your prayers for gospel opportunities, and how to be faithful in this season.
Along with all this, it’s been a heavy couple of weeks for my team. A student reached out to us when she had no other option. We hadn’t seen her for a year. She told us that she is 8 months pregnant. She didn’t tell anyone about this apart from the father of the baby and has had no checks up or anything. She had been living with her parents and they thought she was just ‘putting on weight’ the whole time. Without going into much detail, we broke the news to her family as lovingly and respectfully as possible and had to deal with a lot of push back. We finally managed to get her to her home country with no major consequences. So grateful for Christian brothers and sisters who jumped in to help this girl. We are in conversation everyday, sometimes every hour. We just got news that she is 32 weeks and both she and baby are fine. This is incredible news and a miracle, as she had tried very early on to end the pregnancy and had a change of heart later on. Please pray for us all in this situation.”
‘Michael’: “After much effort on the part of our team, our spring conference, called “The Greatest News”, has been cancelled in light of the COVID-19 situation. All universities have been closed, which is further limiting opportunities for meeting with students. Please pray that we would trust the Lord’s sovereign hand in this, and that He would be glorified in our lives, the lives of our students, and in all the world through these difficult times.
The close of all campuses has proven difficult for our work, especially as one of my campuses had a long winter break and was only open for a couple of weeks before being ordered to shut down, which meant I had few opportunities to meet with students there. My other campus, however, had been open since January, so there have been more opportunities to meet together. There are have been three Bible discussions taking place – a guys’ discussion and a girls’ discussion, both in 1 Thessalonians, and a large group discussion in the Gospel of Luke. We are suspending the large group discussion for now, but we will continue as long as possible with the guys’ and girls’ small groups. I can no longer access the campus, but we’re praying the online discussion and individual discipleship meetings prove fruitful nonetheless.”
Before his current role at HeartCry, Robert served several years in pastoral ministry, and a few years in Zambia, Africa as a missionary. He is also a veteran of the Marine Corps. Robert and his wife have been blessed with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They live near Christiansburg, VA in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, where he enjoys deer hunting and fly-fishing for trout.More By Robert Shepherd