Monday, November 13, 2006
A cool story out of Iraq
Our church just completed our annual missions conference, and for me, one of the highlights was getting to spend time with an old friend from Lebanon. Edgar Feghaly is around my sister Beverly’s age, and he was a teen-ager when Lisa and I were little girls while our parents were missionaries in Lebanon.
Edgar, or Eddie as we called him, ended up coming to America for his education, then went back to Beirut and pastored a church there. He later felt God calling him to be a missionary to the entire Middle East region. He now focuses on planting churches around the Middle East and northern Africa, and God is using him in an amazing way. He helped plant a Baptist church in Baghdad that is doing very well.
We had a wonderful time visiting with Edgar and his adorable wife, Rosann. Eddie has great things to say about my parents, and it brought back a lot of sweet memories of my dad.
Last night, Edgar told our church about a very cool incident. I’m going to try to relate it to you.
A cool story
Every year, Edgar asks American churches to donate money, totaling about 500 dollars, to buy presents for the children in the Baghdad church. He says when he first came to Baghdad, the children rarely smiled. He wondered what he could do to bring a smile to their faces, and he thought, “Toys!” So the pastor of the Baghdad church usually takes the money and spends it on toys, wraps them, and the children open them in a Christmas celebration at the church.
One recent Christmas, the Baghdad pastor called Edgar and said the children really needed clothes that Christmas. He asked if he could take the money and spend it on clothes instead.
Edgar was reluctant, because he really wanted the children to have toys. But he told the pastor, “Fine, get clothes instead—but be sure and wrap them and put them under the tree so the kids can open them as presents.”
When it came time to have the Christmas celebration, the pastor of the Baghdad church loaded a bus with kids and church members. However, their progress to the church was halted by a group of U. S. Marines. One of the marines asked the pastor where they were going, and he said, “To our church, just around the corner.”
“There’s a church just around the corner?” the marine asked incredulously.
“What kind of church?”
“An independent Baptist church,” replied the pastor.
“There’s a Baptist church around the corner?” the marine repeated. “Take me there.”
So the pastor led the Marine, along with several other Marines, to the church, where the Christmas tree waited with its presents—clothes, but not toys, for the kids.
At one point, the pastor was told that the area around the church had initially been blocked off because the U. S. military had confiscated some explosives that, if they had not been found, could have destroyed the church and the entire surrounding area.
As the service began, several of the Marines disappeared for some time.
When they returned, they were carrying multiple bags of toys for the kids.
You can read more about Edgar Feghaly and the Baghdad church here
Read my brother's post about the children of Iraq