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[2024 Ramadan Day 22] Egypt to bear the Arab harvest / Sudan, a people strong enough to step on the enemy


<Egypt>

Fulfillment of Isaiah 19 prophecy!

Egypt is a place where there is a sharp tension of conflict and compromise between Arab Islam and Christianity, which have maintained a close coexistence without crossing each other's territory for over a thousand years. Muslims in Egypt, which has been the ideological center of the Islamic fundamentalist movement, are more strongly armed with Islamic ideology than any other country. So, although active education and ministry took place within the Christian church, there was a lot of fear and resistance when it moved toward Muslims outside of Christianity.


However, Muslims here are shaken amid political and social turmoil. People who previously had doubts about the Quran and Islam are opening their hearts and responding when they hear the gospel. In particular, people are coming forward who meet Jesus in dreams, find out who he is, and ultimately accept the Lord.


In Egypt, not only do people decorate every house with pretty lights and clean the house before Ramadan to welcome Ramadan, but during this period, after fasting and holy rituals every day, they gather with their families and have a happy meal (Iftar), making it like a festival. This is what it looks like. Therefore, people look forward to Ramadan with the expectation that they will become more pious and spend peaceful time with their families. However, due to the severe economic difficulties caused by the rise in the value of the dollar and the decline in the value of the Egyptian currency, people unanimously say that it will be difficult to expect a rich table and feast this time, and that the overall atmosphere will be quite different from previous Ramadan scenes.


Currently, Egypt is on the verge of economic collapse, with inflation averaging 39.7%. The prices of all aspects of life, including food, household goods, communication, and transportation costs, have risen by up to 70%, and the government has implemented policies to increase value-added tax and lower government subsidies to avoid deficits. As a result, the suffering of ordinary people is more severe than ever. This is the situation. This is due to the borrowing of 13 billion won from the IMF on three occasions from 2016 to 2022, the slump in the tourism industry due to the coronavirus, the decrease in tourists due to the war between Ukraine and Russia, and the rise in wheat prices. Combined with the refugee problem in neighboring countries, this is further straining the lives of the Egyptian people.


However, even in these adverse conditions, the faithful churches that God left behind like stumps are awakening and rising. Despite the fact that going abroad requires more than twice as much funding as last year due to the decline in the value of the Egyptian currency, every generation in Egypt went to neighboring Arab countries this winter and returned after preaching the gospel. amen! For believers, difficult situations and environments are merely tools for stronger faith. The Egyptian church will never give up and will follow the Lord until death!


Brother D is 17 years old, and after hearing the gospel on the street a few years ago, he came to the meeting to learn about the truth. At the same time, he felt skeptical about Islam, which he believed in, and began to read the Bible. Afterwards, he became convinced that Islam was not the truth, and after sharing this with his family, his father forced him to receive an Islamic education. He left home because of the ongoing conflict, and although the conflict has not yet been resolved, he continues to maintain his faith. Recently, my 14-year-old sister came to a meeting and confessed, 'I always thought of my brother as a crazy person and didn't want to listen to the story of Jesus, but if he was the one who changed my brother, I want to know more about him.' We could have a time to pray so that she could meet Jesus.


Ahead of the upcoming Ramadan, we remember the story that during Ramadan last year, his father forced him to fast, so he filled his stomach with tap water alone in the bathroom. Starting this Ramadan, they will not be alone, but together with his younger sister who has newly confessed her faith. Please pray together so that Jesus, their comforter and savior, can become their friend so that the brother and sister can keep their faith like the light!


Sister H said she wanted to find out about truth at first, but in reality she didn't seem to be very interested. However, through continued meeting with her, sister asked us the same questions each time because she wanted to understand the Word. As the questions continued, the more she wanted to believe in God, the more distressed she felt that things were not going as she wanted. Even after marriage, the sister longed to come to the Sunday meeting and little by little she began to change. She wanted to be baptized, but was afraid of life after baptism and hesitated. Then, one day, she came saying she was ready and wanted to be baptized first. As she read the Word and prayed, everything she was curious about was organized into the Word, and her Islamic way of thinking began to break down.


“Brothers, take for an example the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord in suffering and longsuffering. Behold, we call them blessed who persevere. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen the outcome the Lord has given you; the Lord is most merciful and merciful.” (James 5) :10-11)”

amen! We want her to become a sister who receives the love of the merciful Lord and shares that love with others. This is her first Ramadan after being baptized. We are praying that this period will be a time for her to become stronger in her faith in the Lord without denying or trying to hide it, and for her husband and family to believe in the Lord. We are praying that the Lord will give this family a miracle during Ramadan. Please pray together with us.


<Sudan>

Sudan is a country located in the region called Cush in the Bible. It was a powerful Christian kingdom in the 6th century, but was conquered by the Arabs in the 16th century and became Islamized. With Islamization, Christianity began to collapse, and Christians were imprisoned just for being Christians and had to risk their lives to protect the church. One pastor had police come into his church, beat him, take him to prison and torture him, and another pastor went to prison several times while serving the church for 20 years and is still under police surveillance. Out of a population of 46 million, less than 3% remain Christians.


Since 2012, Christians have been detained and foreign Christians and aid groups have been expelled. However, after protests against the government's tripling of the price of bread in December 2018, President Omar al-Bashir was ousted for the first time in 30 years in April 2019, leading to Islamism. The fundamentalist dictatorship collapsed, and the transitional government declared that the death penalty for converts would be abolished and state and religion would be separated. At a time when the door to Sudan was open, the military took power, and citizens responded with protests. The civil war between government forces and rebels began on April 15 last year, resulting in at least 12,000 deaths and more than 4.5 million refugees, mainly to neighboring countries such as Chad, South Sudan, and Egypt. As they travel by land to neighboring countries, they shiver from cold and hunger, brothers are captured by rebels and taken to rebel bases, and women are sometimes sexually assaulted.


They try to settle down and live in a new land, but life in an unfamiliar land is not easy. Although all Sudanese confess that they have no hope, let us see anew that Jesus is our only hope. Let the scattered Christians rise up in faith, hold on to the word of promise, and win until the end.


“At that time a great and noble people, from a nation divided by rivers, a people feared from the beginning, strong and treading down their enemies, will bring an offering to the Lord Almighty, to Mount Zion, where the name of the Lord Almighty has been placed. (Isaiah 18:7)”

In Sudan, we are working towards sending 200 young missionaries by 2030. Among the missionary training that began in 2021, young people are rising up who want to go into the field, and the first dispatchers from Hydrangea are opening closed doors and going to all countries, hoping to bring the power of the gospel to all of Africa. A holy generation will arise that fulfills the words of the covenant given to Sudan in Isaiah chapter 18.


[Today’s prayer]

1. During this Ramadan, Lord help the Muslims of Egypt realize the truth and return. Please help the Egyptians who are living difficult lives, due to economic difficulties, look to Jesus, their Saviour, rather than to the hopes of the world! Lord raise up faithful churches in Egypt even in difficult situations and may the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 19 to fulfilment!


2. Lord bring heaven’s justice and peace to this earth. Have mercy on the Sudanese people who are living difficult lives due to the civil war and help them become those who live with eternal hope among the poor in spirit. Let your light shine so that all the powers of death depart and may all run to the Lord of life. May the numerous Christians that are scattered become strong, according to Isaiah 18. May Sudan be a people that treads on the enemy and advances to the spiritual front lines. May they stand as valiant soldiers who turn other nations to the Lord!

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