Day 15: Bringing Hope through Unity
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” -John 17:20–21
My wife Sarah and I were in Poland last Spring to help lead a retreat for sixty of our global partners from Europe, Asia, Africa, India and Israel. It was like Heaven—people from multiple languages, locations, ethnicities—all unified around a love for Jesus and a commitment to take the Gospel to people who might never hear it otherwise. It was a unique experience.
We live in a world that is fragmented along all those lines: language, location, ethnicity…as well as politics, economics and education. Our world suffers when hate displaces grace, when regionalism or racial tension block unity. But in Christ there is a glimpse of hope—a glimpse of the kind of unity only Jesus can produce.
Attending this retreat were two unlikely missionaries, brought together by the grace of God and the unity of his Spirit.
Kazic Barchuk is a Messianic Jewish evangelist from Poland. He has dedicated his life to reaching Jewish people with the good news about Jesus. His focus is holocaust survivors because he is one. His dad was a Jewish Christian during WWII. He survived by keeping his Jewish heritage a secret, even from his son.
But when Kazic was about forty-years old, he discovered that he was Jewish and the love of Christ compelled him to focus his evangelistic energy on Jewish people. Today, he is leading Jewish people to Christ all over Eastern Europe and Israel. Pretty amazing!
Sitting across from Kazic and his wife at dinner at the retreat was Tass Abu Saad and his wife. Tass is a Palestinian Christian who leads a ministry in Jericho to Arab and Jewish people with the goal of leading them to Jesus. He is being very effective.
Ironically, before coming to Jesus, Tass was a personal driver for Yassar Arafat. He was trained and deployed as a sniper, an assassin for the PLO. His job, before meeting Jesus, was killing people like Kazic, simply because of their ethnicity.
When his terrorist activity made it impossible for Tass to stay in the Middle East, he came to America to hide, and here he was led to Jesus by an amazing series of events that he talks about in his book: Once an Arafat Man. Today, he leads a ministry that is introducing both Jewish and Palestinian people to a life-changing relationship with Jesus in Jericho.
But think about this friendship and partnership in the Gospel: Tass, a Palestinian sniper who assassinated Jewish leaders for the PLO, and Kazic, a second generation Messianic Jew.
How could these two men become friends and partners in the greatest work in the world? They are an answer to the prayer of Jesus that, like He and the Father, we might be one! And that in our unity, the world will see and know the love of our God.
Pray today that grace will overpower hate through us! And that our unity will make it easier for people to see Jesus in his church.
Written by T. Cam Huxford, Senior Pastor of Compassion Christian Church