Photo of the Author:

-Paul Ndukwe (Rev.) International Executive Director
(click photo to enlarge)


-Dr. George Imseih, our representative in Israel.
(click photo to enlarge)


-Mr. Jonathan Bagai, Nigerian National Administration Officer.
(click photo to enlarge)

Archives:
May-July 2001
(click any of the dates above to view newsletters from past months)
AN INTERVIEW WITH DR. GEORGE IMSEIH IN AUGUST 2001

Paul Ndukwe: When did you become a born again Christian?

George Imseih: In 1987 while working in Saudi Arabia. As you know the Word of God is blocked there. Bibles are not allowed and the government persecutes those who carry or even read them. As God would have it, it was during these difficult times that I became born again. What looks impossible with us is possible with God.

PN: Since then you have been experiencing the faithfulness of God?

GI: Yes.

PN: What is your speciality and why did you choose that particular area?

GI: My area is "Child Health and Paediatric. I developed an interest in this area when I was in the High School. I became very much concerned and disturbed anytime I see children who are very sick and overtaken by disease that would eventually kill them. I prayed to God that He would make a way for me to be trained in the field where I could help these children. Fortunately, I finished my High School with distinction, which made it possible for me to enter medical school. As you might know it is not easy to enter medical school in Jordan. Upon completion of my general medicine studies, I continued in the area of Paediatrics and Children's diseases in Jordan and travelled to Ireland to complete the program. After completion, God opened the door for me to practice in Saudi Arabia in my field of my speciality. So I have seen the hand of God in a unique way in my life through my High School days to the present. God has been leading; guiding, providing and protecting me even in difficult times.

PN: Why did you choose the Holy Land, especially east Jerusalem for service? Why not here in Canada where you lived for 7 years?

GI: Although we had been planning to go to the United States for postgraduate training, during my discussion with a friend who visited Canada, I felt an urge in me that I should follow up with his recommendation to apply for a postgraduate training in Canada instead. In 1991, God opened the door for my family and I to enter Canada with a work offer in Vancouver Children Hospital, working with Pee-Wee in the intensive care unit. After several years of being in Canada and being associated with Link International Ministries we decided to get our Canadian citizenship. We had not intended to come to Canada or even make it our home. It has been a wonderful learning and growing experience for me both in my professional carrier and in my spiritual walk with the Lord.

PN: Again, why did you choose to go back home to the Holy Land?

GI: I have seen that the promises of God concerning me have been fulfilled while in Canada. I have done my sub speciality training. I worked with the University Hospital and Children Hospital in Vancouver in the Nursery Intensive Care Unit. However, we received the calling from God to go back to the Holy Land. Canada is a beautiful country. The educational system in Health Care is one of the best in the world, but I am following the Lord's leading in my life. Everything we have in Canada, peace, freedom, none violence and intimidation, we have left behind our shoulders in response to the call of God. Brother, God orders the steps of the righteous. Anywhere He leads me I will follow Him. I have no other choice.

PN: What is your source of strength while in the Holy Land, knowing the war, violence, discrimination and the intimidation towards you as Arabic Christians leaving and working among Arab Muslims and Jews?

GI: I have always remembered the promises of God. One that comes to mind now is, "Even though I walk through the valley of shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me, Your rod and staff are my comfort" (Psalm. 23: 4). We have lots of difficulties in the Holy Land. There is no peace. The only peace we are seeking is the one that comes from Jesus Christ. At this present moment there are clashes, fighting, and shooting. Every day people are dying but again, the strength I have to go through the deadly war zone every day is the peace I have in Christ Jesus and the assurance from His Word, that "He is with us always, protecting and keeping us." There is a purpose I believe that God has in mind for sending us back to the Holy Land. I do not know it now, I do however believe it will be declared to us in the future. I believe it absolutely.

PN: What kind of people are you working with?

GI: The Hospital where I work is located in east Jerusalem. Most of my patients are Palestinian refugees. They are the very poor and the less fortunate class among our people. These people have no fundamental human rights not even decent living conditions. They come to the hospital and we offer them medical treatment, medication, etc. at a minimal charge. Often the Spirit of God reminds me that "I am sending you to the poor and the needy people. Help them; do not look for anything else. Keep your focus, the benefit will come later on." God gave me the knowledge, the wisdom and the health to work among my people. The fruit is coming later on. I absolutely believe it.

PN: How do you cope as a Palestinian Christian?

GI: I must confess since I went back I have not felt or received any kind of discrimination towards my family and me. Either from my Muslim brothers, or even my Jewish comrades. I have always kept the Word of God in front of me. I encourage our reading audience to keep in step with the Word of God. Practice it, let the shadow of Jesus be shinning in you and around you. He has a way of protecting you and pleading your case.

PN: Tell us more about your ministry. If you have any testimony we'll be glad to hear at least one.

GI: Those we work among are in the Palestinian camps. Some camps do not have proper seaway system, no official water supply, no electricity and transportation is very, very poor. The Israelis are controlling the entry to that camp. All these cause me to feel and identify with the people living in the camps. I teach them the Word of God as their only source of hope. I encourage them to believe, practice and leave with it. Let me give you an example of what happened during the recent "Intifada" and the uprising in the West Bank. One of the small children, 12 years old had a gun shot wound in one of his eyes and he lost his vision in one eye and had complication in the other eye. He could not see anything. We administered some treatment, prayed for him and referred him to an eye hospital. They performed an operation on both eyes. With much prayer his vision came back. He can now recognise objects and could differentiate between light and darkness. Jesus Christ is light, there is no place for darkness in Him. This is the message I am bringing to my people, especially those leaving in the camps. I have lots of testimonies, but still believe that we are in the hands of God. When God opens a door for you no one can close it.

CHALLENGE/PRAYER REQUESTS:

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas where Jesus Christ walk 2,000 years ago.

Pray that the restrictions placed around the poor and the less privileged people of Palestine will be lifted. Pray that there should be a smooth facilitation of entry of food, medical supplies and equipment and other materials to the camps.

Pray that God will create a deep hunger and thirst for righteousness among the poor communities we work with.

Pray for two other organizations that also work with the poor and the whole families in the area that they will be sustained so as to provide the adequate care the community needs.

I would like to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to visit the area. Although, I do not encourage anyone coming at this time until the area is calm.

Continue to pray for the Imseih's family and there colleagues that their trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will not weaver. That in the midst of uncertainty they will hold on to the Rock of Ages.

Pray for safety as they travel in that area that the Angels of the Most High God will encamp around them.

GLIMPSES OF WHO WE ARE TO THE COMMUNITIES WE ARE CALLED TO SERVE:

During my interview with Dr. George Imseih, I caught glimpses of who we are to the communities we are called to serve. Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth"(Matt. 5:13). And added, "You are the light of the World" (Matt.5: 14).

Salt adds spice to the taste and replaces boredom with excitement. We become the subtle and sensational force that brings fresh flavour and delightful fragrance into the drab, dreary, dry, mental and unfavourable economic climate around the less fortunate peoples we work with. We do not have to be reminded that the communities we work with have lost the joy of living. They live on borrowed time and their elasticity of endurance is almost at the end.

"You are the light of the World". People who are spiritually and emotionally connected to the Eternal Creative God discover their powerful potential as a creative people and win the prize in living. We become light in darkness, an inspiration to our friends, family, neighbours, and communities. We become light-turned on people. Cheerful people that replaces gloom with gladness.

A deep reflection on the two metaphors clearly reveals that we are called to make a positive difference in our dark world. It is our duty to turn on the light inside us so that those we work with could step inside our comfort zone. The turned-on light adds warmth and cheer, leaving no gloomy corners. Our presence, our personality and the development programs designed and executed with them produces in them a sense of perseverance. It restores the joy of living to their existence and renewed endurance. Friends and partners, it is my greatest desire and prayers that God would use this organization as His creative inspirational light igniting the glow of hope to the discouraged minds of those we are called to serve.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND CHURCH PLANTING REPORTS

From: Jonathan N. Bagai. National Administrative Officer, Kaduna, Nigeria.

CHURCH PLANTING OUTREACHES:

During our recent outreaches to Kurmin Iya, Unguwar Koro and surrounding villages, 80 people received Jesus into their lives and invited Him to be their Lord and Saviour. Among them was one of the idol worshiper priests in the village. 290 other church -goers rededicated their lives to the Lordship of Christ. We have undertaken follow-up visits to help the new converts, and we are happy to say that they are growing spiritually by God's grace.

Due to the raining season and the terrible condition of the roads, we are now focusing more on the urban areas. We are holding in-door seminars with churches on discipleship and leadership training. If we had a strong vehicle like a 4-wheel drive we would be able to continue our outreach in the rural areas without interruption.

We have been able to carry out a number of film shows in churches and outreaches organised by other Ministries. We were fully involved in a two-week mission outreach organised by the Anglican Diocese of Kaduna. At the end of this mission week, about 106 people accepted Christ and many rededicated their lives, two churches were planted in two of the areas that our films were shown.

PROJECT - KURMIN IYA COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINIC:

On the 14th July 2001, we moved hospital equipment provided by the International Office in Canada and drugs from Kaduna to Kurmin Iya. The Community Health Clinic is now operative. The provision of this health facility has brought a great relief to the community, as they no longer have to travel many kilometres to receive medical attention. According to the Chief of the village and the health community worker, the cases of death either in the village or on their way to get treated has reduced within the past two months. They are grateful to God for bringing Link International Ministries to such a remote village as theirs.

Specifically, between July and August 2001, our record showed that over 50 people were treated for both minor and major sicknesses. 25 out of the 33 children treated were under five years of age. Most of the children were treated for Malaria fever and diarrhoea. The adults treated were mainly women. There is a great need for funds to upgrade the facilities in order to meet the increasing medical needs of the people in the area.

NEEDS /PRAYER REQUESTS:

There is an immediate need for a 4-wheel drive high suspension vehicle to enhance our rural programmes for all season use. During one of our visit to Kurmin Iya, the Chairman of Kaduna Branch and I had to hire a motor cycle, as the car we used could not get to the village. Apart from the bad nature of the road, we rode inside heavy rainfall to the village and back to where we packed the car about 36 kilometres. We fell down several times on the motor cycle. It was quite an experience.

The rural health worker needs a motor cycle to reach out to other neighbouring villages that may have difficulties in reaching the clinic.

Pray for our country - Nigeria and in particular the Christians in Jos, Kaduna, Kano, and Bauchi in view of recent happenings.

Please continue to pray for Jonathan Bagai and his family that the Lord will continue to sustain them and keep them from evil and the onslaught of the agents of the devil.

Yours in His Mission,

Paul Ndukwe (Rev.)
International Executive Director