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Friday May 10, 2019

Church of the Nazarene
16 Hagniem 
Haifa, Israel, Holy Land
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GPS/DMS 32.794044, 34.989571

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4895 cdd Jesus 4 Refugees
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 20 Number 144

Today’s Author: Pastor Bill

Scripture: Luke 15:1-2
“Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” NKJV

Hello, my name is Rev. Butros Grieb with the Church of the Nazarene in Haifa, Israel. I was born in Nazareth, Israel the youngest of four children. My father was a welder in a factory and mom stayed at home raising us. We were a traditional church family, so I went through the motions of attending when the family was there. Later I lost interest in the church, but I was very active with the Boy Scouts. Whenever there was a Scouting activity I was there.

My sister met a missionary from the Nazarene Church who I was introduced to him. He could not speak Arabic and I could not speak English. With my sister as an interpreter I asked the missionary to teach me English. He said, “If you come to church I will.” I learned English from the missionary using my Bible as a guide.

Then there was a Family Camp retreat for a week. I asked my employer for time off and he said go. It was in Jerusalem Monday through Friday. I arrived first thing Monday and registered. It was all elderly people. I was discouraged deciding to go home. The missionary said, “Give it another day and see what happens.” I did. That night a group of young people arrived setting up a Christian Boy Scout tent. We were fast friends.

The last evening at the camp the missionary spoke about Luke 15. The Parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin and The Lost Son. I knew the Lord was speaking to me. I received Jesus Christ that night and my life was changed forever. It was August 17, 1978 — I was 19 years old.

I was a sinner saved by grace and told anyone who would listen.

I was working and broke my leg. For the next 30 days I stayed home. I had plenty of time on my hands, so I read one Christian book per day. I learned more about the Lord. The next year I was baptized. I had been baptized as a baby but now it was my turn to stand up and choose Jesus.

I joined this church and stepped up as the youth leader. We had a few kids when I started and soon, we were 45.

Then out of nowhere I was fired from my job.

The missionary left to go home, and a new missionary came from the USA. He showed me how the Lord had orchestrated leaving my job so I could work for Him. Then I heard the Lord speak to my heart, “I want you to go into ministry.” I said yes. Then Rimona and I were married. We moved to Jerusalem.

One year later we had our first child, a little girl named Rasha. When Rasha was 9 months old tragedy struck with a high fever. We attempted to get medical help but by that time we arrived at the hospital she was not breathing and had expired. Rasha was dead. For the next 15 minutes we shouted to the Lord asking for His mercy. Her heart started beating again and she began breathing. The Lord answered our prayer. That was in 1984, today Rasha is a vibrant church leader for the Nazarene youth throughout the Holy Land.

Soon after Rasha was healed, we started a small church in Jerusalem. It is still in operation today. Four years later we moved here to Haifa to begin this work as the Church of the Nazarene. We were blessed as our church grew. Muslims, strangers and marginal Christians found the Lord here. Someone donated $35,000 to help us build this church. Then chairs were donated and as each need has arisen the money was provided by the Lord. To God be all the Glory!

I like Evangelism best and teach our new believers how to minister the gospel. We established short term missionary trips taking Jesus Christ to others less fortunate than us.

We recently took 18 of our youth from Haifa to the Refugee Camps of the Syrian civil war. There are three UN Sponsored Refugee Camps holding more than 300,000 people. Our team witnessed to 100% Muslims telling them about Jesus.

We brought food, water, clothing and bedding supplies. We spent as much time as we could with the children and asked their names. Then we located that name in the Bible and we gave them the meaning. They had never been told what their names mean. Then we shared the Gospel with them when we had their attention. This opened their hearts to Jesus!

We have taken Adult short-term missionaries to these same Refugee Camps. The adults are stunned by the mess civil war has created. But through the death and destruction the people are open to Jesus because they see the love and compassion in our hearts.

The Cross to me means everything. It means life. I am proud to represent the Cross for Jesus Christ. Everyone needs the Cross and the eternal life saving grace of Jesus.

We met a lady and her husband in a recent home visit. Their hearts were open when they saw that we were willing to give help. She grew up as a Religious Muslim and he grew up as a Religious Jew. They married and embraced no religion. The lady knew she and her husband were being attacked by demons and asked us to pray. We prayed cleaning their home and their family of Satanic influence. Our Christian Compassion for the men, women and children in the refugee Camps showed her a side of Jesus neither of them had ever known. They accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and now they are members in our church spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

They have many Muslim friends who are constantly reading about the Christian Jesus and listening to Christian radio and watching Christian TV programs. All talking about Jesus Christ. The programs show the goodness of Jesus and His love for all people. Their Muslim friends are constantly questioning them about their relationship with Jesus because their religious practices lack freedom, respect and love. This opens opportunities for them to share Jesus.

My Favorite Bible Verse is John 17:20-21 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” NKJV

Prayer: Father Thank you for the Love, Mercy, Compassion and Grace of Jesus Christ that transcends traditions, races and religious spirits, to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ to all who believe. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!