February 2012

 Friends of Middle East Youth Leaders, 


    "The government murdered my best friend"--words uttered by three of the five youth leaders
     in our recent training, who live under one of the most brutal regimes on the planet. 


Five youth leaders came from that persecuted country to gather with fifteen others from Armenia--the only non-Muslim Middle Eastern country Iran Groupbesides Israel. All twenty attended our JFYM training last year. We invited them back for the next level of training--equipping them to reproduce Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry in other churches.  


The phrase "The lamb becomes the lion," describes how these leaders live as followers of Jesus. This phrase came to Jeff Holloway, one of our team members, after he woke up one night crying over and praying for these dear friends.The persecution they face ranges from denying them the right to speak freely about Jesus to facing prison and death for their faith--like lambs ready for slaughter; yet they act like bold lions for the sake of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:36-37)!  


Our team felt convicted, inspired and motivated in their presence. 

ConvictedEric, Narcusse, Barry
One night I asked: "What discourages you most?" They talked openly about
feeling restricted...the government knowing everything they do, persecution and the threat of death, reporting to the government about every meeting...Yet they persevere.
Lord, will you keep convicting me to persevere like my persecuted friends?
Our friends expressed intense frustration with the time and energy drain of registering with the government every person for every church meeting. Each Barry Teaching Closetime we discussed implementing JFYM back home, their frustration surfaced. I asked, "Must you register when groups of 3-4 meet?" "No." Inspired by the Spirit, I wrote on the whiteboard: "Government Opposition" with a church building on one side, and Jesus' simple multiplying strategy (Matthew 18:18-20) on the other. Then my interpreter, a pastor in that country for 20 years, told how he used the same strategy to grow his church from nine old people to over 500 strong believers. Immediately the lights turned on! Our group saw how to minimize interference, and save time, by doing what Jesus did--make and multiply disciples in a small group. Holy Spirit, will you continue to use that moment to inspire my friends and me to make and multiply disciples?  
Barry Teaching Distant
We finished our training by presenting JFYM in churches. Daily our team had practiced
their presentations. Then, speaking in their second language, using the Bible, JFYM, stories and humor,
they wowed the room full of 50 youth leaders!
They were amazing! I was pumped!  

My motivation increased later on that last evening together. When the cab arrived for my friends to leave, we hugged each other tightly and sobbed. I felt such strong love for them. Probably on earth I will never see them again. Jesus, Friend, will you go with my friends and use their friendship to intensify my motivation to invest in others like them?
Girl Lifting Hands Edited 


In the midst of persecution, God is raising up a generation of "lambs who become lions"--young leaders laying down their lives for Jesus every day!  For these "lions" the value of

the money you give is immeasurable!  

Thank you! 


Jesus is Lord,



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