How Can I Understand: A Message from Dr. Wahid Wahba
“And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. .. So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I unless someone guides me?”… So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.” Acts 8: 27-34
First of all,I would like to thank you for your superb generosity. We put a target of 70K for year end and reached 63K. Thank you for encouraging the persecuted church in the Middle East. Your support means the world to us. I love reading the Book of Acts. It has a way of reinvigorating my faith, encouraging me, and reminding me that we have an all-powerful God. Our God longs to save, heal, and break shackles of sin and addictions. God wants us to understand the scriptures. As I was meditating on the story of the Ethiopian eunuch, it struck me that this man was a man who had political power, influence, and wealth. He had everything any man or woman could wish for in our day and age. The Ethiopian was also a pious man. He traveled from Ethiopia to Jerusalem (an 83 hour trip by car over 2,600 miles) to present sacrifices and to worship the One true God. It must have taken him weeks to travel to Jerusalem. What more could anyone want? Have you noticed that we know who he served, Candace the queen, but his name is never mentioned? It fascinates me why the Bible chooses to tell us the names of some people but not others. You would expect that such an influential man would be mentioned by name.
Although the eunuch went to Jerusalem to worship, yet he did not understand the scriptures. He had the scriptures available for him to read, yet he could not understand what he was reading. He had the yearning and the humility in his spirit to ask for guidance when he met with Philip. At 4G3, we are the Philips of the Middle East to those who might have the scriptures available in their hands, yet cannot understand what they are reading. Don’t underestimate your partnership with 4G3, for you might be the one who helps a “eunuch” open up a country or tribe for Jesus. That one eunuch opened the whole nation of Ethiopia to the gospel which in turn led the whole of Africa. Sometimes we underestimate what we give or what we do, but God never wastes anything in His Kingdom. Every seed that is planted will surely give forth fruit. You might think, as you are reading this, that this is a Bible story that happened two thousand years ago. Let me tell you a modern-day story of a woman who planted 25 years of her life without winning anyone for Jesus, or did she?
How are you spending your life?
Gazing out of his prison cell, Sayed felt his life was over. Rejected by his family, he suspected he would rot in prison. The words his brother told him rang in his ears, “You have brought shame to this family. No one in our respectable history ever worked in art or media. We consider you dead.” Ash left his home, never to return. He was taken prisoner along with five others because of a bombing that happened in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. As he was sitting in his jail cell, thinking how unfair it was for him to be indicted for a crime he did not commit. Prisons in Yemen are no five-star hotels, not even motels. He was tortured and beaten daily. His back was in so much pain that he could hardly sit or sleep. Sayed needed to visit the prison infirmary, but it required him to bribe the guards to let him see the doctor, and he had no cash. At last, one of the prisoners bribed the guards to let Sayed see the doctor who came in once a week for free to examine the prisoners. Sayed was surprised to find out that the doctor was a Dutch lady who has lived in Yemen for 25 years. She loved Yemen and the Yemenis. She asked Sayed about his story and why his family would not bail him out. When he told her his story, she promised to go and meet his family. She did go and meet Sayed’s family, as she promised, which utterly surprised Sayed since he was used to people not keeping their promises. She told him that his family wanted nothing to do with him but that she was going to pay his bail. As the days went by, Sayed realized that there was something different about this doctor. She gave Sayed a day job at the infirmary. After a few months, Sayed told the doctor that she was a good woman except that he was sad she was going to hell because she was a Christian. “If you see anything good in me, it is because Jesus is in my life. He makes me different” she responded. She gave Ssyed a Bible, which he never read. He threw it in a closet in his rented room. One hot day, Sayed was waiting in the doctor’s car. It was a hot day, and he put on the car AC to feel cool. He reached into the side pocket of the vehicle and found a copy of the exact same Bible the doctor had given him. He started reading and stopped at the verse, “Love your enemies.” ‘How could anyone say that?’ he thought to himself. He could not even love his own family, let alone his enemies. That night he returned home and started reading the New testament until daybreak. He finished the whole New Testament in one evening. The very next week, the Dutch doctor was deported back to Holland during a crackdown on Christians in Yemen. She returned feeling like a failure, having spent 25 years in Yemen without winning one soul to Jesus. In the meantime, Sayed fled to several countries until he reached Cyprus. In Cyprus, Sayed was penniless and tired. It was 4G3’s annual conference. That year, the conference was held in Cyprus. One of Sayed’s friends was at the meeting and asked if Sayed could attend. All the conference attendants prayed over him and loved on him. He was so grateful and felt the power of the Body of Jesus for the first time in his life. He knew God was with him and will uphold him. Because of Sayed’s media experience he was asked to start presenting a Christian radio program on a Cypriot radio station targeted to Yemenis and Saudis. The radio station manager was thrilled with Sayed’s aptitudes as a radio presenter. Today, Sayed has a radio program that reaches hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and Saudis. Hundreds are coming to Christ because of his radio program. Sayed had the privilege to meet with the Dutch doctor in Cyprus many years later. When he told her about his ministry, she burst into tears. “I thought I had wasted 25 years of my life without one person coming to Jesus. But seeing you and what you are doing made it all worthwhile”.