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Middle Eastern Christian Festival Today

Kingdom Pursuits / Robby Dilmore
The Truth Network Radio
April 27, 2024 1:17 pm

Middle Eastern Christian Festival Today

Kingdom Pursuits / Robby Dilmore

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This is the Truth Network. What a treat we have for you today on Kingdom Pursuits, a sure treat for me. We are live from the Middle Eastern Christian Festival this year. It is in Clemens, North Carolina at the Bible Church of Clemens. It's out here. Stu just came in and he was telling me it's on Wicker Road.

No, it's not. It's on Harper Road at 2570 Harper Road, the Bible Church of Clemens, 27012 if you need to put that in your navigation because they're going to be here till six o'clock tonight. We're having all kinds of fun out here. We're live on Facebook.

We're live on YouTube, all those different places. And so we have Salim Andreas with us. And Salim, as always, what you guys show is this Christian face of the Middle East and how love of God has shown up, right? Yes, sir. We've been loved with an everlasting love from God and we want to reflect it to our community and also work together as brothers and sisters and love each other like God loved us and show it to the whole world and our community here. Right. And it's so cool how God really did show you that love in the story because, you know, in your case, you know, you come from originally Lebanon.

Yes. And then you came to this country and God put it on you guys hard to start a church. Well, actually, I wasn't even a Christian when I came to this country.

I became a Christian in 1987. It was after a retired Baptist missionary that came, started coming from Raleigh and coming to Greensboro and found us in Greensboro at that time and start holding Bible studies at home and in our homes. And then it progressed and we moved into Friendly Avenue Baptist Church. That was our mother church that accepted us as their home mission. And the Lord started saving us one after another. And the church grew. And for 20 years, we stayed with Friendly Avenue Baptist Church in Greensboro and then in 2006, we moved to Kernisville and built our own building there and facility. And many of the listeners, I think, came in at previous festivals there and joined us. And but the Lord kept on growing us and the facility became so tight and mean close. And the Lord blessed us with this facility here in Clemens, North Carolina. And we're so happy to be here. And we're happy to be here with you. And Stu, is this, what do you think, our 10th or 11th? It's been, it's been a bunch of, this is certainly a highlight every year. Keep talking.

It's certainly a highlight every year, Rob. To be out here, I think that we see the chaos in our culture. Yeah, we see the chaos in our culture. You can't, you sit there, you look at the TV, you hear the radio, like, what do we do?

What do we do? You know, bombs are dropping and people are upset and people are hating and they're screaming death to America on our college campuses. You know, there's, out of one side of their mouth, they're saying, hey, forgive our student loans, please. And on the other side of their mouth, they're burning the American flag and saying death to America. You know, it's like, what's going on here? But the answer is right here.

Look around you, like, look at all these amazing tents from all these countries, from all over the Middle East. And you have people embracing and loving and hugging each other and greeting each other who they might, you know, they might've hated each other before Jesus. That's right. Right. They do.

They did. And, and still, I mean, look at the Middle East. I mean, uh, wars pop up every other year, one place or another. And, but here we have, uh, you know, nine different countries represented in this congregation from people that are killing themselves in, in the Middle East. But here we live in peace. Right. And speaking of peace this year, you know, we have this peace tent, right.

That I've never seen. And tell us about the peace tent. Well, the peace tent is for people that are longing to have peace with God, actually.

Uh, this is, uh, open for prayers for people that want to pray, want to inquire more about, uh, the Christian faith and, uh, believing in Christ and, uh, what, what it means, uh, you know, uh, so, uh, this is, uh, uh, like an outreach and people can answer the questions and take a prayer request for all people. That's absolutely beautiful. Of course, one of the things that you get to enjoy if you're here is the food.

Right. And it's lunchtime. And so let me just tell you this, if there was a time that you need to come enjoy this, like I, I, you know, when I first got here, Stu, they, they handed me a falafel and I thought I might feel awful afterwards, but actually I actually felt amazing. It, this stuff is, you know, it kind of looked like I thought this is a, this is a, a not greasy hush puppy, but it's kind of what it looked like, but then, Oh my goodness, chickpeas and all sorts of spices. And, and, and man, it's absolutely one of the most, and I noticed the unique taste there it is, and you should have seen them passing the falafel all around. Like they were, they were handing, they were all eating it. Like you could tell they'd been waiting all night in order to dig into the falafel and that that's what they were doing. But then, you know, I always describe them as the long meatballs or kofta. Like you could smell these babies cooking for, when I got to, you know, peace haven, I could smell the kofta. Like I'm, I'm ready for this stuff because this is like a, it's, it's like a hamburger, like a, a long meatball, but it's got spices that, that, you know, that it's made, you know, with Middle Eastern stuff.

Yes. It's all Middle Eastern. It's, it's being called differently there beside kofta. It's a, it's, it's called kofta, but it's also called kebab, the ground beef kebab.

Okay. Kebab is, is not the, uh, in the Middle East is not the chunky, uh, piece of, uh, beef. It's not a kebab. It's a kebab.

Yeah. I gotta get, I gotta get trying to find memes and pictures. I'm posting this on my Instagram to 2000 people right now. I'm trying to find pictures to that will create this falafel. Oh my, you won't feel awful after eating that right there. They've got those little, those little, what are those little donut balls that are unbelievable. They got cinnamon on there. Oh my soul. They're good. I can't eat just one. They got honey, you know, little balls. I don't know what one of our awesome truth.

We may have to hit some of them. We got to find out because your son Andy was telling us about these cookies that apparently maybe it was your wife that was working on them all night and they have a little pistachio on the top. Do you know what that's called? I don't, I don't know what you're talking about. I haven't visited this sweet table. Oh, he described these things and I was like, man, this is, this is my next, uh, got to make this happen.

However it works. But you know, the other neat thing is it's such a family event that they have face painting. They have cotton candy like that.

You can see how little girls walk around with cotton candy and ice cream. And of course there's a big bouncy camps, camp, uh, castle down here, face painting, all that stuff. This is a family event, right? It is, it is for the whole family and it is a very children friendly.

Bring your kids in and join us in this celebration to celebrate together our faith and peace. Yeah. One of my favorite tents, you know, cause they have all these different, you know, you imagine your kids being able to spend some time in the Saudi tent or spend some time in the Jordanian tent.

When they do that, then they can put on the traditional Jordanian wear, right? I still have a picture of my granddaughter with all of that on there. Ah, yes, yes. And, and you know, memories that forever. And don't forget the circle dance soon.

Okay. The dance. And again, the neat thing about this one's too, is they want you to join in. It isn't like they're going to dance for you. It's like, no, they're going to dance so you can join in and get that big smile on your face and the praise and worship.

Listen to the music. And I have a special, we have some goodies here. I've got two of our books from give them Jesus soul-winning books from our evangelist, Fred Hagee and hope and holiness. This is for you, pastor. Thank you. A powerful book on biblical sexuality. As you pastor and lead this congregation, you'll be blessed.

My brother-in-law wrote that it's just a tremendous grace based book. I got some mustard. I juice here. I'm going to give you two. Thank you.

And we got all kinds of stuff. You got to come out and just follow your nose to Clemens, to the Middle Eastern Christian festival at the Bible Church of Clemens right here. 2570 Harper Road, 27012. Put it in your GPS.

Right near the YMCA, right up the street here. And I have a little vine-tastic left. I've been drinking on it. That's so good. Wow. Unbelievable.

You're listening to the Truth Network and Welcome back to Kingdom Pursuits, where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build the kingdom today. Very, very, very fun. I only get to do this once a year.

I wish it was more often. Actually, we're live from the Middle Eastern Christian festival, which is at 2570 Harper Road at the Bible Church of Clemens. And it used to be the friendly Arabic church, but we've changed our name because it's friendly, but by the word of God, right? Yes. Yes.

We're still friendly. And that's the whole idea of the whole event is to share the love of God. And I love what Kareem had said earlier when he was on with me that the body of Christ is so interesting when you really dig into the different cultures and the different ideas, but yet these people still love each other. And these cultures are really, really diverse. I mean, there's a lot of difference between somebody that from Jordan than somebody from Egypt, right?

Sure, sure. Even though many of us speak the same language with different dialects, but we come from totally different cultures also. I mean, but Christ, Christ unite us. The love of God unites our hearts and we are able to love each other and show this love to others.

And Jesus said, if we have this kind of love to each other, everyone would know that we are his disciples and he belongs to him, belongs to him. Right, right, right. And I'll never, ever forget, I interviewed some folks not long after the Lebanese war. Yeah.

This was years and years ago. And the pastor there said, you know, when we were, when I was growing up in Lebanon, there was a Catholic church, there was a Baptist church, there was a Methodist church, and they were very separated. They never crossed lines, you know, like where the, you know, they were over there and I'm over here and what he said, but when the bomb started to drop and the Catholic church was the only one standing, then the next thing you know, man, we're all sitting in the Catholic church and just glad to do it because when that moment happens, you know, in each of those places that the body of Christ, it flocked together.

Yes. Usually conflict unites people, unites people, especially Christians tend to, you know, get together and, you know, weather it together, weather the conflict together. And thank God we have the God of peace. The Prince of peace is our Lord. And this is the one, he is the one that unite all of us together. And your brothers right now, uniting people together in the name of Jesus on a missions trip in the middle East right now.

And he, he, we prayed with him at Wednesday in the word before he went and just powerful. You were there, Jamal, tell us what all countries are represented here. Tell everyone, pray, pray the picture so people can come out. People need to come and meet their family.

If you're somewhere too far away to get to Clemons, North Carolina today, or tomorrow worship under the big tent, 10 AM before and after your regular church service pop in here. But if they can't get here, describe all the, all their family members here from what countries are represented here. Well, our congregation consists of 10 different countries today. Oh, wow. And nine of them from the middle East and plus the U S plus the Philippines.

Okay. And today we're, uh, we having some, uh, cultural tents that represent, uh, let's say countries of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, uh, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, uh, and other different countries. Maybe not all of them are represented, but, uh, enough to learn some, uh, culture there. And I love, there's a lady, beautiful lady, by the way, uh, with a huge smile that just walked by us. And, and pastor Selim said that she was your oldest member drives from Greensboro still every day. And she's from Bethlehem. Yes. She is from Bethlehem.

Yes. Uh, and she, uh, even though she, she was from Bethlehem, but she experienced the Lord and she became a true believer here in the U S God bless the USA. Oh, it brings up a great question. I've been meaning to ask since, you know, I heard the story.

It just popped into my head, you know? So who was the first to come to Christ, you or clean? Well, I was, I was, I was the first, uh, to come to Christ. Colleen came, I mean, after hard work, but look at the fruit and look at the fire. He asked for the Lord, both of you guys.

You're just a, you're a absolute, you know, fire for the Lord. Are you the older brother? I guess I am older than Colleen by like five and a half years. Oh, really?

Yeah. I would not have the youngest. He's the baby.

We need to remind him of that. Salim, Colleen, and then they have a brother Kareem. And I'm not sure how many, maybe there's a Hakeem in there somewhere, Robbie. I don't know, but yeah, we, we notice that and all from Lebanon. And so when you were growing up in Lebanon, that would be a lot different from somebody growing up in Jordan, because there are not quite as many Muslims, right in Lebanon or there are really, yes. But Lebanon enjoys still even now enjoys some freedom.

Okay. Freedom of religion, freedom to express yourself more than the rest of the, uh, Arabic countries. And, uh, but, uh, but even in Jordan, in different countries, they worship, they have churches in, uh, uh, and now even Saudi Arabia is opening up, uh, for, for Christianity and, uh, thank God. I mean, uh, there's something, the love of God is going that the ripple of the love of God is going back to the gospel. In so many ways, you know, the Lebanon is key to the, you know, so many things happen out of Lebanon in the Bible. And so since, you know, give us a little Bible tour of Lebanon. Well, Lebanon is, is mentioned, uh, I can't tell you how many times, but, uh, tens of times in the Bible. And, uh, it stands for, for the purity, the purity, the mountains that are filled with snow and the purity and the cedar tree that is resilient to all kinds of, uh, storms and, and, uh, weather. Okay. And, and this is, this is a picture of the Bible, uh, draws for the righteous man, for the believer in Christ, the believer in God. And Lebanon is a beautiful country is a mountains at the beach. Okay. And even now, now in April, you can be swimming in the Mediterranean and within 30 minutes, you'll be skiing.

You can drive upward 30 minutes and we skiing on snow. So is Mount Hermon actually in Lebanon? The side of it. Yes. At the Southern East port between Israel and Lebanon and Syria, actually. Tyre and Sidon from the Bible, right? Tyre and Sidon, that whole area. Yes.

Phoenicia the sire of Phoenicia woman. Yes. Jesus left the, in the, in the latter half of his ministry.

Jesus, they estimate spent as much as eight months ministering into capitalist in this area. Yes. Uh, actually my dad used to take us to the beach where, uh, where the Phoenician woman, when, when Jesus met the Phoenician, we go spend the whole day at the beach right there, the ancient city of Sidon. We grew up there.

Yeah. I mean, that's where, uh, Paul, the postal poor stopped, uh, and, and spend the night there with the, uh, believers. And actually the place, the whole of the house that he slept at, it is a church now an ancient church within the inner city of Sidon.

Now you and your brother in this ministry here, do you realize you're fulfilling the words of Jesus? Because when he went outside of Israel, he went outside of galley to the Gentiles. He healed a man who was deaf and dumb. He healed the sire Phoenicia woman. He fed the 4,000, a completely different miracle in Mark eight than it was in Mark six. These are Gentiles predominantly.

Yes. And they had, in the one man who had a Legion of demons, a thousand demons, Jesus set him free. And the one person just said, don't follow me. Remember that in Mark chapter five, but go back and tell all your people. He went back and told all the people in Lebanon, entire in Sidon. And what happened when Jesus shows up in Mark eight, 4,000 of them are fed by this miracle bread and fish from Christ. It was a picture of a foretaste because Christ would then go back to Jerusalem. So he wasn't going there. He didn't come primarily to those people who came to write to, to the Jew first and then to the, to the Greek. So what happened is, is he, he died, Rose again.

And then he commissioned everyone to go exactly where he had been. And look at what you and your brother and your family and this ministry is doing fulfilling the commission of Jesus right here and right now in plain sight in Clemens, North Carolina, Robbie. Yeah. And so neat to me, the story is that they came from there to America and here a missionary, you know, with a heart for Christ, right?

Yes. And came and introduced you guys just through a Bible study. So why, whatever, you know, somebody, why would, what, you know, how did they get you to come to this Bible study?

What was the, what was the thing? Well, I remember, uh, this, uh, uh, older gentlemen that came, uh, stopped by at the gas station. And, uh, at that, at that time we, it wasn't self service. It was still full service right where we went.

I went and my brother ran at the gas station in Greensboro on Randallman road. And here's a gentleman, uh, we started filling gas and he started speaking Arabic with us, even with the Lebanese dialect. And he's an American, uh, you know, uh, gentleman. And, and then he knew not only Lebanon, he knew our home village back there. And, uh, he was part of the mission, mission group, missionary group that used to go and hold camps, you know, vacation Bible schools.

Uh, and, uh, uh, so, uh, so that's how the, it started. The church started in Greensboro, but, uh, uh, you see, we were Christian nominal Christians, traditional Christianity. Uh, we identified with Christianity, but actually we weren't Christians in the middle East. Many of us came from traditional Christianity that don't even know anything about Christ or about salvation. Okay. We think that because we were born in, in, uh, in, in a, in a Christian home and we have, uh, Christianity written in our ID cards.

We are Christian as an identity. I hate, we got to go to a break because you're rolling. This is amazing. Clemens, North Carolina, right here. The Y Jerry long YMCA right here, right here on 25 70 Harper road, two seven Oh one, two. We'll see you here in a few minutes. Got a lot more King to pursuits coming up. Stay tuned.

All right. You're listening to the truth network and truth Welcome back to kingdom pursuits, where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build a kingdom. And Oh my goodness, what passion I am seeing out here today at the middle Eastern Christian festival.

Again, we are live and it's just not the same. If you don't join us here, we're at the Bible church of Clemens at 25 70 Harper road, formerly the friendly Arabic church, uh, 25 70 Harper road in Clemens two seven zero one two. If you need to put that in your, uh, GPS, if you haven't eaten lunch yet, Oh my goodness. What a treat we have in store for you, because they have falafel, they have cotton, they have kebab, they have chicken. They have like, if you're, if you're going vegetable, then Oh my goodness.

They have the pita bread with the hummus. And then I have Danya with me and Danya has been singing for us. So if you've been listening to some of this and you heard the beautiful harmonies, uh, there's, there's Danya singing with us. Uh, so Danya for you, you came from Iraq originally, right?

I did. My family came here about, uh, 13 years ago as refugees. And we're just so grateful to be in this, uh, country to call it our new home.

Uh, we don't take it for granted for sure. Yeah. And so the neat thing is you guys worship in both Arabic and in English.

Yes. Both languages. It's so fun to just hear people sing in both languages and to know that heaven would be even more than that. Uh, all languages and everybody from all tribe, uh, and nation will come and be worshiping the word. And what's really fun about that, Danya, from my perspective is I'll understand it in your language. You know, in heaven I'll go, Oh, that's what that means. You know, like, because what I, what I've learned in studying Hebrew is there's certain things that just do not translate.

You cannot translate that. Yeah. You have to be immersed in the culture to actually have a deeper meaning.

Right. And, and understand, you know, what that is. And so, you know, when we get to all that understanding of all those languages, it's going to be spectacular. And, and the thing that's really beautiful about this, we were just talking to your father-in-law, uh, how it was the Arabic language that really helped bring him to Christ. Cause here he was like you an alien, you know, originally in a country didn't know anybody and he didn't really, you know, going to feel home speaking English. And here comes a man that speaks not only Arabic, but he speaks it in a Lebanese dialect and he speaks it from the particular village that he was from.

So he had that Southern accent, Southern level. And, you know, immediately he fell home and so much open to hear the gospel. Right. And so that's the, been the beauty of this church all along is that you have multiple ways that people can worship.

So they'll feel at home. That's right. Yeah. I remember when my family came here, we were like fish out of water, right? You, you want to find a way to connect.

You're out of your country. You're out of what you, what's so familiar to you. And so when we found this church, it was like home. We found people, even though we were not many of them from different countries in the middle East, not necessarily just from Iraq, but the love of Christ. That's what drew us in, uh, their love. And they're just, they came around you and they become your community.

And we have been seeing God work in amazing way in all of the, their, all the generations in this church. Um, and you even met your husband there. I did.

I did. So it's, it's incredible. I mean, I, I tell people about this festival that even if you are not a Christian, um, or you're not interested in any of that, you will still be inspired to hear the stories of people that come from that part of the world. Um, a lot of people have seen death. A lot of people have seen persecution. A lot of people have gone through it just so much. And so when you come here and connect with them and see how Christ changed their lives, you will be inspired and how he is alive and he's working in their lives.

And so everybody has a story. Come and ask them. They would love to share it with you and also eat the great food. Uh, it's lunchtime, so I'm sure you're getting hungry. Come by and grab some food.

You will not regret it. Yeah. I'm watching a little girl right this minute.

I don't know. It looks like a creamsicle. I it's, it could be an orange. Yeah, that's, it looks, it looks, it looks, it looks yummy. And again, the ones that get the kofta, that's always my favorite. I'm getting excited because after I get off the air, I get to eat some of it. You're going to eat ice cream before your food. But what was your favorite when you, when you lived in Iraq? Do you remember? Food? Yeah.

So we have, uh, this, we have here the kefta, which is my favorite. I'm probably going to eat it for lunch. Um, it's basically a meat that's shaped into a very, uh, long rectangular. It looks like a long meatball.

That's exactly. And then they grill it and it has lots of spices. It's so good. It's not spicy hot. It's spicy Middle Eastern spice. Yes, it has spices.

Yes. Um, so this is one of my absolute favorite and we also have it in Iraq too. So it reminds me of home and of course other stuff too, like the hummus and um, pita bread.

You can't go wrong with that. Dip it in the hummus. I don't know if you eat it. There's nothing that I do not like that I've ever tried here. Yes.

Falafel and hummus, like peanut butter and jelly. The one thing I've not tried, your husband is talking about these cookies you're making. Yeah. Yeah.

I spent the whole day making them yesterday. Uh, yeah. This is a very like kind of like a, an American sugar cookies. Um, but the way he described it, this thing melts in your mouth, has a pistachio on the top, but it took a lot of work to make them. So what's, what's it called? We need to know the original. It's called the gravy. I know it's a bit, it's a mouthful. Um, it's, I, I don't, I'm not sure who, what's the original country.

I would say Egypt, but I could be wrong. So that could be on that. But I learned how to make it, um, a few years back and I experimented with it. Yesterday I finally made it for the festival. So I hope you enjoy it. Oh, I, I just got to know what to call it. Okay. Uh, gravy. I don't know if that's easier for you. You know, I'm glad you're trying it. Probably by the end of this, you'll get it. I want the Danya cookies.

That's what I want because the way your husband described him, I'm like, man, I don't know what that is, but I got to try it. And, uh, so it's, it's part of the food, but again, the love of God and the peace tent. So your parents are over there, right? Yeah. My parents are at the peace tent. They would love to talk to you.

Actually. Actually, if you do come as in for their story, they have an incredible story of a real persecution back in the middle East and how God protected us in the middle of persecution. How old were you when that started to happen? I think I was around, uh, seven years old when I remember the direct persecution that came into my family. I mean, I remember threatening letters that were posted on our door, giving us the option of leaving the village, stop telling people about Jesus. You know, my family would be killed. I mean, it was, uh, we had to make a choice and just seeing my parents boldness and they always chose Jesus, even when they knew their life would be in danger. That's actually what led me to Christ because I knew if they're willing to die for that kind of faith, it must be real. So that led me to Jesus and I gave my life to him and it's been the greatest joy of my life.

Yeah. It's so obvious too. And you know, your mother may have one of the most beautiful smiles I've ever seen. You can tell that the joy of the Lord is in both your parents. I mean, it's just amazing to me. When I, when I saw him immediately and that whole idea of peace, when you walk over to that tent, like, and as you're talking about the people that, that, that maybe you've been wondering about, maybe the reason you tuned into the Truth Network is you're wondering about Jesus. And I don't really know about that or whatever.

Like what a neat place to find about it, you know, where, where you can come with your whole family, enjoy this. But then over there, you're going to see some people that really lived it, right? That's true.

They have peace in the midst of a real storm in that part of the world. And so, yeah, talk to them, ask for their stories. You will definitely, as I said in the beginning, you will be inspired somehow in a way or another. So Stu, you've been out and about enjoying stuff.

So what, you got to give us, give us an update. Well, I got to tell you the food, unbelievable. I can't pronounce half the stuff, but I just saw some real beef and some real lamb and some real chicken kebabs and the farfelas and all the delicious desserts, all homemade. And, but the spirit here in Pastor Selim just showed me the power. I understood the power, what God's doing through this church in Clemens, North Carolina at this Middle Eastern Christian festival, which is inviting everyone to come in and check out all these brothers and sisters of Christ are all over the world that they've never met before, right? We're just been in eternity together.

This is a preview of that. The prayer room, there's a prayer room in there. And Pastor, Pastor Selim said, that's where the power comes from. And then he showed me the sanctuary.

Just amazing. Then a church, a pastor got sick last week. He sent his whole congregation over here.

He said, I'm not going to be able to preach. I'm sick. Go to this place. And it's kind of neat.

There's a spirit, a unity, God's word, God's working. Come see us in Clemens right near the YMCA, right? On Harper Road.

2570 Harper Road, 27012. We got plenty of time. We're going to be, they're going to be here until six. We're going to be here at least till one or so. And so come join us. And then tomorrow under the tent, come worship. We'll be right back with one more segment. Welcome back to Kingdom Pursuits, where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build the kingdom. And we are having so much fun out here today, live from the Middle Eastern Christian Festival. And I am here with Danya, but also an old friend, Rima from many years ago, well, not maybe three or four years ago, we got to hear about it, but anyway, Rima, quite a story. And so give us an update. How are you feeling these days?

Well, I'm doing good. Thank you so much for having me on the radio today. When I was eight years old, you know, I was diagnosed with cancer and it was a rough journey, but praise the Lord. He's brought me through and I'm cancer free today, enjoying the Middle Eastern Christian Festival and praising the Lord through everything. So thank you. Yeah. And, you know, from your standpoint, you were along in that journey, right, Danya? As, as she was going through that a few years ago, I came to United States, actually, I think a couple of years after she was diagnosed. Uh, but Rima's family are very, very close to our heart.

We are not blood related, but we love each other so deeply. And actually Rima plays the guitar for our worship team. So, oh, so she was the one playing the guitar up there. You were singing the harmony. It was just amazing. You play the guitar really well now that I'm thinking about it. That was really good.

Well, thank you so much. Um, definitely, you know, Danya and her family have been, uh, there for us through the, through my cancer journey. But at the same time, this whole church family has been there for us as well. And, um, what's, what's really awesome is that although our countries are so different back home, but when we come here, we're all United as one in Christ. And I think that's, what's really unique about our Middle Eastern Christian festivals.

So Rima and I have that in common. We're both cancer survivors and, you know, if you may remember, if you, an old, long time, King of Pursuits listener, she has quite a story of the miracles that all took place there in the hospital room with her family and the prayer that was going on and all. And interestingly, you know, just a few years before in 1996, the same thing kind of happened for me. A man actually from an older Presbyterian church came and laid hands on me and anointed me from oil right before I started to keep my chemotherapy treatment. And after he did that, that was on a Friday afternoon. I had tumors all over my body and Monday morning, I didn't have any, praise the Lord. What a miracle. It was a miracle.

God is still working. And then we went to celebrate all that my wife and I did, and I got crushed between two jeeps and almost lost my left leg in the mountains of North Carolina. And, and this ambulance came back into Winston-Salem that had me after riding all that way. About one in the morning, we came to Baptist hospital and there were about 150 people from Calvary Baptist church waiting out there, just like, you know, all those people that are gathered around your room. And most of the people in this church were part of those people in the waiting room while I was in seizures and comas in the ICU after my meningitis. And they were praying for me in the Lord Jesus name that I would wake up.

And the next day I did wake up and I started improving from there. And so when I, you know, got out of the ambulance that night, I'll never ever forget it because, you know, it's one in the morning, whatever, and here's all these people and the, and the lady that was wheeling me into the room, she goes, what church do you go to? I go to Calvary Baptist church.

She goes, man, when one of you guys get hurt, you bring a crowd. And I've always thought of that testimony that, you know, before I came to Christ, nobody would have been there. Not one person, because I really didn't have a community. I didn't have what you guys have here. And so to me, that's part of the beauty of coming to this is to see that, yeah, you might have that at your, I hope you have that at your church. I believe you have that if it's in church and they all belong to Jesus.

And I know that that's part of what happens at that church, but here you're going to see this in a completely different setting with a completely different culture. And obviously the music now of you guys. And so how long have you been playing music together? Um, I have been, I mean, as long as I can remember, it's been a very long time, like seven years, seven, eight when she recovered. Um, and she got back into her feet and started playing. I mean, she was ready to join and play and it has been an amazing blessing, just seeing her grow and just to see the miracle that God did in her life, that doctor said in a way, like there's no hope go and find a place for her to be buried. I mean, that's what the doctor said, but our God is bigger than that. Amen.

And just to see Rima like recover and be able to play very beautifully. She's very talented, uh, to be part of the worship team, praising the Lord. This is, there's no other explanation, but that's a divine power.

That's what our God can do. And a fun fact, I actually learned how to play the guitar in the hospital, uh, when I was eight years old. And so every time I play for the worship team on Sundays, I just remember of God's goodness in the struggle of the cancer journey. You know, I learned to play the guitar. And so now, you know, through that struggle, God brought something beautiful and I use that to glorify him.

So beautiful. And, you know, I've, I've interviewed your parents a number of times and the pain that's involved, you know, in what it would feel like to lose a child. And, you know, they've, they've, they've faced all that at the same time, you know, God came through and it's, it's, it's such a remarkable story, but, you know, part of what God's doing around the world, you know, like it says in Revelation, every tribe, every tongue, every nation is going to be like this. And so why not come out, experience it, experience the food, the fun, the family, the fellowship, it's all here.

2570 Harper Road in Clemens, 27012. Plus I'll get to meet you. I've been looking forward to that. Thanks for listening to Kingdom Pursuits. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-27 14:08:50 / 2024-04-27 14:24:45 / 16

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