As conditions in his country worsened due to civil war, Brother E fled with his wife and two small children to the country where we were living. He found work in a clothing factory, working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, but nevertheless regularly found time in the late evenings to help us with our ministry. Through a local church we were assisting other refugees from his country, providing for their basic needs, developing relationships, and praying for them.
E had come to know Jesus in Lebanon seven years before, when he had gone there to work. Now the pastor of our Arabic church commended him as a faithful worker in our ministry. After working together on and off and getting to know him and his family, we saw E was the perfect fit to take over as pastor of the Arabic church when the founding pastor moved to another city. He could not serve full time while working at the factory, but we were able to secure a meagre monthly salary to free him to serve.
E was one of the more than 500,000 refugees from his country to come to our city over a three-year period. The situation was very fluid, with people coming and going every day. We found that we would begin to work with some refugees only to have them leave for Europe, often with little or no notice. When word came to us that E was going to Brazil we were a little disappointed, but wanted what was best for him and his family.
However, when I talked to E later, he told me something that gave me great joy. He said that in praying he believed God wanted him to stay in our city, close to his homeland, and serve the Lord while waiting until he could to go back and minister to his own people. Hallelujah! Please pray for E and the church under his care.
Patrick has been serving the Lord with his family in biblical lands for over 23 years. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Come to the harvest!