Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 17, 2014

The Christian Exile from Mosul, Iraq

Hanna Awwad, Jerusalem, Israel

Hanna Awwad Photo

We have been joined by a brother in Christ who has a ministry in Jerusalem, Israel. I first got to know Hanna through Global Media Outreach when he contacted us and was assigned to me for a response. I thought about how totally different our lives have been, yet both of us, by God’s grace, have become part of the family of God.

On his website the following “About” can be found:

Hanna Awwad

Pastor, Tour Guide and Poet.

Born in Taybeh on November 14.1943.

Graduated from St. George’s School in 1963.

Worked for the Bible Society in Jerusalem from 1963-1988.

Licensed Tour Guide from the Ministry of Tourism in Israel since 2000.

Dedicated to the work of the Gospel ministry in the Holy Land by authority of Liberty Baptist Church in Shawnee, Oklahoma since 1983.

Involved in a Christian literature ministry to reach local people and pilgrims coming to the Holy Land .

Author of a guidebook in English: “Touring the Bibleland ” (2004).

Wrote two books of poetry in Arabic: ” Exile and Return” (1989) , “Beyond time” (1995), and one in English: “A Voice Crying in the Wilderness” (2014).

It would appear that Hanna Awwad has had an active life of service for the Lord Jesus Christ in an area that has known much turmoil, an area that is yet to know even more turmoil over the years ahead.

I looked up Liberty Baptist Church in Shawnee, Oklahoma and found a very impressive website, http://www.libertyshawnee.com/index.html; it is always gratifying to me to see the message of the Gospel delivered with enthusiasm and excitement.

A little research on Taybeh also produced some interesting results; quoting a section of 60 Minutes Overtime called, “The Last Christian Village in the Holy Land” dated April 29, 2012:

“What makes Taybeh the last all-Christian village in the Holy Land? The village has no mosque and is home to three distinct Christian communities: Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Melkite Greek Catholics.

Taybeh’s roots are deep, and for Christians, important: the biblical name of the village is Ephraim. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ came to Taybeh from Jerusalem before his crucifixion. John 11:54 states: “Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.”

I can only imagine the great differences growing up in Taybeh would produce compared to growing up in Houston, Texas; nevertheless I now know something about Hanna and you are learning about him too.

A Request from Hanna

Hanna wrote a comment on my blog, ISIL, ISIS and Islam:

“This a poem from my collection entitled,”A Voice Crying in the Wilderness “. Is it possible to publish it through your outreach?”

The Christian Exile from Mosul, Iraq

By: Hanna Awwad, Jerusalem, Israel.

The devils came to steal, kill, destroy and terrify, they came to burn, hang, behead and crucify, they came to drive us away from our homeland, to find ourselves suddenly scattered and fanned, by the blowing wind like a threshed pile of sand, left with nothing, but memories for our native land.

They came to end the dance of joy in our eyes, to prevent the smile of hope on our lips to rise, they came to steal the peace of mind and heart, to make us shattered, smashed and torn-apart.

They came to destroy churches and break crosses, they came with hate to make us suffer great losses, but the radiant church in us, they can’t demolish, the holy church that we cherish, they can’t perish, the pure church without stain, they can’t abolish, it will be there to preach the Gospel to the parish, and the deep faith in our hearts, they can’t vanish, their deed is the fuel for faith to burn and flourish.

As Jesus defeated death by death on the Cross, as He became for me a gain and life became a loss, as I am no longer live, but Christ lives in me forever, so, this earthly life is meaningless to me whatsoever.

Note: in July 2014, ISIS drove away the Christians from Mosul, Mesopotamia(Iraq) after refusing to convert to Islam. In the Bible Mosul is Nineveh where Jonah preached.” http://hannaawwad.webs.com/

I was touched by the poem and reminded of the great blessings those of us in the United States have enjoyed because of God’s grace poured out on this nation. In His mercy, God has protected this nation from conquest; let us pray that His hand of mercy and grace is not withdrawn as both internal and external forces of evil seek to destroy that which we love.

 


Responses

  1. No greater example of enemy who hate and want others to suffer than yesterday’s events in Pakistan.

    Like

    • Kathy,
      Sadly true and the enemy has a name, which, if one observes the media and our national government, must remain concealed.
      David

      Like

  2. Dear David,
    Thank you for publishing the poem and for the information you have submitted about my ministry to serve Jesus in this troubled land. One question, do you live in Houston, Texas? I have relatives and friends who live there, and from time to time I visit them. I am thinking to visit Houston after Christmas.
    Yours in Christ
    HannaAwwad

    Like

    • Dear Hanna,
      You are very welcome, I appreciate you and your service to our Lord. Yes, I do live in Houston and would love to meet you when you’re here.
      Your brother in Christ,
      David

      Like

  3. Amen, David. I pray daily that God does not remove his protective hand from our nation. May God continue to bless Hanna Awwad.

    Like

    • Donna,
      When the Lord is ready to move in human affairs, things can happen quickly; it would appear we are living in rapidly changing times and only the Lord knows where this will lead.It is a great comfort to know that our times, as God’s children, are in His hands.
      David

      Like


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