Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Yesterday, I received this email from Taysir (Tass) Saada. Tass is a former PLO sniper who came to Christ miraculously in the early 1990s and is now in full-time ministry to Muslims in the epicenter, preaching the gospel and doing humanitarian relief work, particularly among his fellow Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

He and I met at Shemen Sasson, a congregation in Jerusalem, in January when I preached on "What God Is Doing Among The Muslims." He also came with our Joshua Fund team to Ashkelon the next day and he and I presented checks from his ministry -- Hope For Ishmael -- and The Joshua Fund to the administrators of the Barzilai Medical Center to help t hem buy more desperately-needed medical equipment. During that meeting, Tass asked the hospital administrators to forgive him and the Palestinian people for all they'd done to harm the Jews. It was very moving, bringing all of us in the room to tears. I recently wrote the foreword to a book Tass has written for Tyndale called, Once An Arafat Man.

Please be praying for him and his ministry team as you read the email. We need to stand with our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ as they serve as a light in such darkness. Thanks so much.

"It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. Our humanitarian organization in Gaza was ransacked...but robbed. By who you might ask. The answer is one that may surprise people...but to those who are educated in middle east politics, particularly in the Palestinian world, it may not come as a shock. The governing body in the Gaza Strip, Hamas, has taken it upon themselves to destroy all the good that is being accomplished through the cultural center in Gaza. I received a phone call early this morning informing us that our home in Gaza was robbed by Hamas. What they could not take, they destroyed. Bullets shot through windows, bullets shot through walls, furniture taken, pictures, books and the front door...yes the front door. If the home was not enough, they took everything from the cultural center. Computers, desks, chairs, sofas, furniture...all things being used to help the poorest citizens of Gaza. In addition to our home and cultural center, they took it upon themselves to destroy the Hope Kindergarten facility. Taking playground equipment, toys, and educational material...surely the soldiers of Hamas will find them useful while the children who received joy and education will now be without. This "governing" body is on a mission to eliminate hope in it's people...but be long as the Body of Christ continues to commit itself to the purpose of hope, love, peace and reconciliation to God...Hamas and the dictatorships like it will never succeed. They will only continue to fan the flame quietly burning in the hearts of their people. In a time such as this, with the political future of the United States being decided in November, it is becoming increasingly important for the Body of Christ to educate itself in the story of the Middle East. While intentions of former presidents visiting the leaders of Hamas may seem purely motivated, it only emboldens these governments to pursue acts such as these. My hope is that the book "Once an Arafat Man" will be a helpful tool for all who wish to understand the volatile situation in places like Gaza. Thank you for your continued prayers. --Tass"