And so, Farid challenged the leaders, there
are ten, saying that “We’re probably going to die. And you have young wives and you have
children. And we need to pray and fast for a week, because are you sure that God has
called you to stay in Syria? Maybe he’s calling some of you to go and share the gospel
in other countries. Maybe you’re supposed to go to Lebanon. Maybe you’re supposed
to go to Jordan, U.S., whatever. Let’s take a week. Let’s pray and fast. If God wants
you to stay here in Syria, return next week to this underground basement in Damascus,
and let’s do that.” So, he prays and fasts. John Ankerberg: Yes, I love it. Just the fact
that, you know, he says, “Time out, boys. It’s getting so rugged here we all really
need to take this seriously. We’re probably all going to get killed if we stay. So now’s
the time. Let’s ask God if he wants us to stay or if he wants us to go.” And he says,
“There’s no pressure on any of you.” He says, “If God tells you to go, just go.
Don’t even come back,” okay? Tom Doyle: That’s right.
John Ankerberg: “But otherwise I want you to meet me here in a week, and we’ll then
go from there. We’ll see whose left.” Tom Doyle: And he does it in such a loving
way. Farid says, “We’re not trying to be heroes. Jesus has a plan for our lives.
We just need to figure out if it’s here or somewhere else.”
John Ankerberg: Yes. Tom Doyle: That’s what he’s calling us
to. John Ankerberg: Yes.
Tom Doyle: But they are, no question, like our friend Eric Foley says in Korea, knee
deep in kerosene knowing that there are people with matches walking around. It’s that bad.
A week later he comes back to that underground basement praying, “Lord, am I going to open
the door and nobody’s there?” I mean, who would stay with their wife and children?
John Ankerberg: Yes. He says, “It would really be nice, Lord, if I had a friend that
would stay with me.” Tom Doyle: Yes.
John Ankerberg: Because the Lord told him he needed to stay.
Tom Doyle: Yes. Maybe just one. John Ankerberg: Yes.
Tom Doyle: Farid’s niece got kidnapped on her honeymoon by a terrorist group, and she
was gone for months. Finally came back. Praise God she’s alive. He opens the door and he’s
thinking, “Will anyone be there? It would be nice if maybe just one.” And he opens
the door and there wasn’t one there; there wasn’t five; there wasn’t even ten. John,
there were 25 leaders there. The ten had gone out and recruited fifteen more. And they said,
“We’re here. We’re not leaving. We’re ready to die for Jesus if he calls us to that.”
And to seal it, to put it in cement, they put money together.
John Ankerberg: This is what I love. You never hear about this anywhere else in the world.
They pooled the money that these 25 guys had, and what did they do with it?
Tom Doyle: They built a graveyard. Because many of them are former Muslims. Well, they
can’t be buried in a Muslim graveyard; they wouldn’t want to be. They’re not Druze
or other groups. They’re redeemed now; they’re believers. There’s literally no place for
them to be buried. They pitch their money together; they build a graveyard. They buy
the land and they build a graveyard. This is some, it’s nice land, but then there’s
a few places where they can put caskets when they die. John, this is the first building
for their ministry. John Ankerberg: Yes.
Tom Doyle: How’s that for a building program? John Ankerberg: Yes. I’m just thinking they
did it. And what I love is every time they would meet each other, and nothing had happened
to them, you know, they’re living day to day with this tension where any one of them
could be killed. So, you’ve got 25 guys out there, and they would greet each other,
and they would say, “The graveyard’s still empty.”
Tom Doyle: The graveyard’s still empty. John Ankerberg: The graveyard’s still empty.
And you have been in contact with them just recently. What’s their status?
Tom Doyle: The graveyard’s still empty. Praise God. Only Jesus could keep them alive.
These are not just Christians. These are people pushing it, going village to village. One
of the leaders, John, has given out 16,000 Bibles in a restricted area; 16,000. You get
arrested for giving out one. He hasn’t been arrested. He’s been questioned many times,
hasn’t been killed. God’s hand of favor is on them. And here’s what they say: “The
answer in Syria is not a peace treaty, the answer is Jesus.” This is the only thing
that will reconcile people together. That’s what the war is. There’s ethnic, religious
hostility, prejudice, hatred. But then you see former Muslims, those that have been raised
Christian, those that were raised Druze, Kurdish believers, coming together, worshipping Jesus
together. Former enemies. Boy, there’s nothing as sweet than that. When you reconcile with
the Father, you can reconcile with one another.