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GMI World
A Publication of Global Mapping International

Serving Evangelical Ministry Leaders Around the World

Fall 2002

 


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Mission Views and News

For God so loved Iraq...

IT IS OBVIOUS there is a big problem in Iraq today. The nations of the world are conferring together on how to respond to an evil and threatening regime.

But there is an even greater, more pervasive problem: Most Iraqis do not know that God loved Iraq so much that he gave his oneof- a-kind Son so that any Iraqi who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

How can Iraqis come to see the Messiah, the gift of God, and understand what his arrival means for them and their nation? How do followers of Jesus help them in the current political climate?

We dare not let the complexities of these questions paralyze us. Instead, we have to let them drive us back to the basics that we know are right in any situation, and the first of these is prayer.

Praying

We "should always pray and not give up" (Luke 18:1). Pray for the people of Iraq this week, especially the children. Have you asked God to give them a chance to experience his love? It seems impossible, but there is no law against praying for the impossible or giving glory to God when the impossible happens.

Pray for the wonderful followers of Jesus in Iraq, a group "the size of a mustard seed." They are paying an enormous price for their faith, and many will pay more if the growing war on terrorism is perceived as a Christian war on Islam. Though media reports always overlook these believers, we must remember to pray for them as well as their persecutors in this crisis. These believers are the key to spreading the knowledge of the Messiah through their whole country.

Pray for all the government leaders concerned with the Iraqi crisis (1 Timothy 2:1-2), that God may guide them to wise decisions and overrule any foolish ones.

Loving

The displacement of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in recent years (and perhaps more to come) is a tragic story, but our God of grace has a way of turning personal tragedies into lifechanging opportunities. This displacement has often put Iraqi refugees or immigrants into places and situations where Christians can show them love.

As God's people we need to do what God intends for us to do-share the love of God with these victims of a tyrant. They are not our enemies, and even if they were, we would have to love them (Matthew 5:43-45). We must learn to serve and witness to them in ways that are appropriate and effective. Understanding the Islamic point of view is an invaluable first step in the process.

For example, do we understand why ordinary Iraqis could easily though mistakenly assume that any bombs dropped from an American plane are being dropped in the name of Jesus? If not, we will not understand why many Iraqis bitterly resist any of our "good news" about Jesus.

Staying Focused

When the Church prays and loves, it maintains a clear vision of its distinctive mission in the world. That's why GMI produced the Operation World website (www.operationworld.org) and CD-ROM-to fuel prayers for the peoples of the world. That's why GMI partnered with others to produce The World of Islam: Resources for Understanding-to encourage and enable the living out of God's love for Muslim peoples.

Regardless of the agendas and decisions of governments, fully devoted followers of Jesus love and pray for the people of Iraq.

In the crisis of our time, surely we should pray for the people of Iraq. (Photo by David Martz)

GMI World       Fall 2002       Page 1


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