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Middle East Team Update

“We forgot to pray for our food,” said Emily (name changed for security), to my teammate Summer and I (Amy) as the three of us ate a traditional dessert that Emily had prepared for us. I met Emily on a college campus with another teammate named Laura during our second week in the city. When we asked her what her views about God were, she told us that she wasn’t sure and literally used the words “I am seeking.” In our very first conversation with her, Laura and I were able to share the Gospel with Emily for the first time.

We put on weekly English clubs to meet students and build relationships. Emily attended all of them, so our team got to know her pretty well. Some of us girls got to follow up with her over lunch one day. We prayed for our food and after that Emily told us that she had never prayed for food before, so we got to explain that we do so because we are thankful for what God has given us.

Another teammate, named Miranda, and I got dinner with her a few days later on our second to last night in the city and we again prayed for our meal. That night Miranda and I got to share the Gospel with Emily again and she was very engaged. We explained that Jesus died for everyone and we told her to remember that at any moment she can choose to put her faith in Him. She told us that she would remember and thanked us for such a meaningful conversation. I also got the chance to ask Emily if she would like a New Testament and she said yes!

The following day, our last day in the city, my teammate Summer and I met up with Emily for dessert and she reminded us that we forgot to pray for our food before we ate. Summer and I were able to use this moment to talk about the forgiveness of God and then we stopped to pray. We could both tell that Emily was sincerely listening to our prayer and it was touching to see her so eager to talk to her Heavenly Father! That afternoon, we also gave her a New Testament and Emily told us that it was “more than a gift.” Emily is such a loving and dear friend and as I think of her I am reminded of psalm 9:10 which says: “for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Emily is genuinely seeking the Lord and I truly believe that it is only a matter of time before He reveals Himself to her. Amy, a Junior from UC Irvine, shared this story as JJ and I (Carly) debriefed the summer mission team coming back from the Middle East. The Whitestone team was sad to return 5 days early from their trip because of political tension and security reasons, but praise God they made it back safely!

We listened as students shared story after story of God working in the lives of Middle Eastern college students! One week after the team left, two students committed their lives to Christ! Praise God for His sovereignty!

Thank you for partnering with us in bringing the gospel to the Middle East! Thank you for praying for this team! Your prayers were answered! We will not get to see all the fruit of these gospel conversations until we get to heaven!

Until the World Hears, JJ and Carly Raymond

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray the Lord continues to transform the lives of the students who heard the gospel in the Middle East.
  • Pray for the International Cru staff who continue to follow up with these students throughout the year. Pray for safety and perseverance in the midst of political strife.
  • Pray for JJ and I as we trust the Lord in this season of preparing for the start of the new school year and baby. I am still wrestling with nausea, but the Lord has provided some relief!


Miranda, Summer and Amy grabbing a meal with "Emily!"

Miranda, Summer and Amy grabbing a meal with “Emily!”

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