Lily at the Anastasi celebration gifAnastasi conferenceSunday April 28 was Easter Pascha this year and it was very unique.  Since 2007, we have had the famous Passover lamb, Anastasi Resurrection Sunday meal with our church family every year.  This time our congregation decided to forego our tradition and join the Anastasi Celebration Conference in Thessaloniki.  Hellenic Ministries (Athens) organized a special gathering of joining believers from the East and the West, and distributing a goal of 50,000 NT’s to some of the homes of Thessaloniki.  This was an opportunity for our congregation of new believers from the Middle East to join in a celebration of Christ’s resurrection with more than our small group, and not secretly hide from authorities in the shadows like in the countries that they are from.  The experience was great.  From what we normally experience on Resurrection Sunday, this was very unique and encouraging.  Even one of our Iranian members was asked to read Scripture in Farsi.  We thank the Lord that we could join together to honor his death, burial and resurrection.  Always better to celebrate Easter with old friends, lots of believers and many nations.

Ministry continues as we are God’s love and living truth to a few of the enemies of the cross stuck in our region.  Today’s urgent intervention was needed for a refugee Gospel worker.  Let’s call him Sam. Sam recently came to us from Pastor Andrew’s congregation in Izmir, Turkey where he was a pastor to Kurdish members.  He and his family fled Syria in the beginning of ISIS’s invasion.  By a miracle he escaped execution and found faith in Jesus Christ ending up with Pastor Andrew before his arrest in October of 2016. A truly amazing story of God’s supernatural saving power.  A video recently appeared on facebook by a Christian poster of an interview of his testimony.  A fanatic discovered it and reposted in on YouTube with death threats against Sam and his family.  Another refugee in Sam’s refugee building where his family lives discovered it and have threatened his wife.  Maria with a translator went today to speak with the government authorities to insure adequate protection for Sam’s family.  Please pray for angelic security according to Psalm 34:7.

Two weeks ago we counseled a 19 year old daughter and her 35 year old mother who suddenly were confronted with a cancer growth in the mother’s brain.  The mother had breast cancer before her family fled as a single mother.  Now during their flight for refuge and new life, the cancer has returned.  As we explained that the doctors wanted to operate immediately, they both broke down in tears and refused surgery in fear of dying and out of exasperation.  They have attended church but not come to faith yet.  Let’s call the mother Juda.  Finally, Juda agreed to be operated on.  The operation was successful and they are waiting for the biopsy.  Maria has visited her almost everyday and prayed with her.  Yesterday, she told our translator that she has never experience God so close to her in her life.  Please pray for complete healing from cancer and complete salvation from total ignorance of God’s love.

Thanks for praying for Amin from our last post.  The Lord answered our prayers that his burial would be Christian.  The problem was who would pay for it, which cemetery, and when.  Unfortunately, still after 3 weeks the family has not been able to bury their deceased father and husband.  Imagine the hardship of dying in a foreign country, no money, and no family.  May God’s mercy and comfort prove real in their grieving hearts.

Thanks for your prayers.  We will be in Florida area from June 19 to July 22 this summer.  Our schedule is wide open and we would love to share stories of the amazing things that God is doing.  Email us at Michael.long@fmc-europe.org

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