AN INTERVIEW WITH DR. GEORGE IMSEIH IN AUGUST
|Photo of the
-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
(click photo to enlarge)
(click any of the dates above to view newsletters
from past months)
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?
PN: What is your speciality and why did you choose that particular
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
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.
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
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
From: Jonathan N. Bagai. National Administrative Officer, Kaduna,
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
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