Hope remains in volatile nation

(Map courtesy CIA Factbook)

(Map courtesy CIA Factbook)

Palestine (MNN) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing for progress between Israel and Palestine. The two have fought for decades–in recent history–over small territories like West Bank, and Kerry is looking to bring leaders into a final peace deal.

Kerry restarted the peace process last summer, with a mid-2014 deadline set for final resolution. He met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday and is meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today to discuss the outline of a deal.

Read an AP analysis of this week’s discussions.

With both Israel and Palestine claiming ownership of West Bank territory, and citizens of both countries currently living on the land, clashes are a daily reality. According to a report from Israeli NGO B’Tselem, violence in West Bank increased 238% between 2012 and 2013.

Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada says this ongoing conflict and persecution has driven most Christians out.

But hope remains.

“When you watch the news–the secular news, don’t get too discouraged because behind the scenes, the Holy Spirit is working,” states Musselman. “I’m not a prophet or a son of a prophet, but my observations have been that there’s something really incredible happening with the Muslims in the Middle East.

“I do believe that we’re going to see an increase of what God is doing and people coming to know the Lord.”

Musselman recently spoke with believers who remain in both the Israeli and Palestinian sections of West Bank.

“The exciting thing is: they believe that the Muslims are the future,” Musselman explains.

“The Arabs, the Palestinians, are the future of the Church in the Middle East because everybody else is clearing out or leaving.”

(Image courtesy E3 Partners)

(Image courtesy E3 Partners)

A New Demographic

Many Palestinian Muslims are coming to faith in Christ through dreams and visions of Jesus, miraculous healings, and the Remnant Church’s faithful witness. Believers in West Bank are forced to meet secretly, but the spiritual harvest is abundant, says Musselman.

“There may only be a handful of them, but these are passionate believers.”

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada spokesman met one of them, *Mohammed, over a decade ago. In the early 2000s, Mohammed was a music teacher with two Master’s degrees. He had just lost his job and was afraid he would be killed for converting to Christianity.

Today, Mohammed has been blessed with an abundant family and has led 13 Muslims to Christ in his community. In addition, he has helped two girls from the nearby university come to faith in the Lord.

Through a microloan from Voice of the Martyrs Canada, Mohammed and his fellow Palestinian believers were able to start a small farm. They raise chickens, and the sale of eggs and meat helps them survive economic hardship. They’re also able to repay the loan from their profits.

Shining a Light

“Many of [the Palestinian people] see no future,” says Musselman. “The economy there is terrible, the unemployment is high.”

As the Remnant Church perseveres, with help from the international Body of Christ, they shine even brighter for the glory of God.

This Christmas, Voice of the Martyrs Canada's Operation Christmas Blessing sent supplies to persecuted believers in Baghdad and West Bank.  (Image courtesy VOM Canada)

This Christmas, Voice of the Martyrs Canada’s Operation Christmas Blessing sent supplies to persecuted believers in Baghdad and West Bank.
(Image courtesy VOM Canada)

“This is really what this is about: coming together and helping and supporting,” Musselman notes. “It really does help us understand that we are the Body of Christ and that we have a part to play.”

You can help Voice of the Martyrs Canada support this Remnant Church by clicking here.

“It gives them courage and hope when they know they’re not a part of a minority, in terms of a worldwide [community],” says Musselman.

“They have brothers and sisters in Canada, in the U.S., in Europe that are praying for them, that care for them and that are concerned about them.”