Let the outcasts of Moab sojourn among you; be a shelter to them from the destroyer. When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased, and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land, then a throne will be established in steadfast love .... Isaiah 16:4-5a
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our international ministry centers to write our Sunday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Most of you know about the civil war that has been raging in Syria since 2011.
Since the beginning of the conflict a great many Syrian refugees have escaped to Lebanon. When I say refugee, I am referring to innocent human beings forced to flee their homes and communities. Facing physical, mental and emotional trauma, refugees confront amazing obstacles during their escape from persecution and war.
Lutheran Hour Ministries' holistic involvement with them has evangelistic consequences as we bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ.
Each time we visit a refugee camp or family we provide food to last them for about two weeks. This enables us to make strong friendships among these displaced people. In return they offer us hospitality, which humbles and blesses us when we pay another visit.
Over the years we have met with some refugees on an individual basis and invited them to join us in heartfelt prayers for the peace of their homeland. During these prayers the refugee hears the clear truth of the Gospel of God's love for him in Christ.
That is what happened to a man by the name of Khaled al-Homsi. For the purpose of this devotion he represents many others like him.
When we first met him, al-Homsi said, "There is no place else to go." A father of three small children, he had fled the shelling of his home town of Homs two years earlier. For a while they stayed in a small village where his wife's father lives. Then the government shelled that village too. Six months ago they moved to the Bekka Valley. Looking back, he says: "We didn't have money, clothes -- nothing. I just left with my children. I had $500 cash, but I spent it to get here."
Al-Homsi is 34, but his hair is marked with gray. "After two years of this, I look older," he says with a weak smile and a sad face. "My life doesn't exist anymore; my future is lost. Now I am worried about my children's future. I feel like I can do nothing for them, and that's awful."
Before the war, Khaled al-Homsi was a truck driver who traveled to all the main cities of Syria. He lived a comfortable middle-class life before his house was destroyed. I realized how sad he must feel. He once traveled everywhere; now he cannot even go home. That is why I comforted him with Jesus' words: "In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2).
I, and the staff, shared with him that there is no real lasting peace here on earth, and the only way for peace and salvation is through Jesus Christ. It is He who restores our broken relationship to God and to each other.
It is my prayer you will join us in speaking to the Lord for people like Khaled al-Homsi and his family. May the Holy Spirit give them the Savior who alone can help them enjoy the peace that transcends all understanding.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we thank You for Christ's death on the cross for all mankind. May Your Spirit strengthen us to share this Good News with displaced refugees who are in deep need of peace and a safe home. This I ask in my Savior's Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Fadi E. Khairallah. He was born to a Christian family in Baabda, Lebanon. He has attended graduate courses in communications and Lutheran theology at Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska. He is currently preparing the thesis for his master's degree in Islamic studies. At present he serves as director for Middle East Lutheran Ministry (MELM) in Lebanon, a position he has held since December 2001. Khairallah is married to Lara and has one baby boy. He and his family reside in Beirut, Lebanon.
Launched in 1950 in Beirut, Middle East Lutheran Ministry -- also known as LHM-Lebanon -- uses radio broadcasts to reach people in at least ten Arabic-speaking countries with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Assisting individuals in their Christian faith in places as far away as Libya, Iraq and Egypt, this ministry center teaches people about Jesus with its Arabic-language Bible Correspondence Course (BCC). Through its Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops, lay people are trained in how to better convey God's message of hope in their everyday lives. Many of this program's participants are college students and young adults who are eager to share Jesus with their families and peers. Using the Internet (website, text messaging), TV programming, and other video production, God's love and hope are shared with people throughout a region torn by war and other desperate circumstances. Holistic assistance is provided to many Muslim families and Bedouin communities through vacation Bible schools and programs that deliver clothing and school supplies to children. Emergency care is also given to people such as Syrian and Iraqi families who have come to Lebanon from their countries, as they flee various conflicts in their homelands.
Read and see how LHM-Lebanon is helping children who are blind or have severe sight issues by clicking here to access LHM-Lebanon's blog.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhm.org/international.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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