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Monday, March 19, 2007

[ShBride 13] Candles Shining

Shiite Muslims – a people God is pursuing to be Jesus’ Bride

 You are the light of the world - like a city on a mountain, glowing for all to see. Don't hide your light in a basket! Instead, put it on stand and let it shine for all to see.  Matthew 5:14-15, NLT

Today, dear friend, we invite you to join us in praying for believers who are serving Jesus in Iraq. The following letter is from one of our family, a 24 year old American girl teaching English in Baghdad.

There isn't a single person here who doesn't bear the scars of war, death and hate. I rode with friends downtown today to get the blood test required for the residency process.   The police here drive white and navy Trail Blazers and on the way back to the office one careened into the intersection three cars in front of us blocking our road. 

The back window was knocked out and there two men with AK-47s standing through it, one hand holding the roof, the other waving their guns.   An unmarked sedan came flying in behind them and blocked traffic coming from the other direction.  Both vehicles were full and every man in them carried a weapon.  Traffic began to back up but no one honked. 

As we watched, two more vehicles came in to sight, each had wooden caskets strapped to the roof and armed men walking next to them.  What struck me the most was a man who had been crossing the street.  He stopped on my side of the car, about three feet from my door.   He was just frozen there, watching.  There was no fear, no anger or anxiety, just respect.  He had stopped there to honor them.  

Whoever was in those caskets will not be forgotten, there are just too many and people here can't stop to mourn but they never stop grieving.  

These are the heroes, the ones who choose to love, remember and honor those who have died along the way by living and building a life out of the rubble and chaos.   Woody Allen said, "Most people tip toe through life just to arrive at death safely."  Not here.  This is a place where the act of living is loud, resonating in the eyes and faces of every person who steps outside their door.  

These are the people that I'm here for.  I am not strong, I am not brave, I am by no means courageous, but I know the truth and have a hope that these people are dying without.  

As you remember me, remember these people and as you talk to the Father, ask that He will show me truth, open my eyes to every opportunity and give me the words to speak.   The deeper and the blacker the darkness, the brighter and more penetrating each candle shines and despite the oppressive and sweltering darkness, they are not only shining here, they are radiant.

Friend of His Shiite Bride, let's pray that Jesus followers in Iraq, like this 24 year old sister that we love, will shine brightly in the darkness. Let's pray that many Shiite families will see these candles shining and will follow Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


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