Rev. Sami Dagher, director of the Center and head of the Christian and Missionary Alliance churches in Lebanon said, "If they want to kill us all, we are ready to die.
But we are not going to close either the clinic or the church.
Christians throughout the Middle East are facing increased hostility and violence at this time.
• Pray for wisdom and safety for Christian witnesses in Lebanon, especially community leaders such as Sami Dagher.
Pray that Christians would not be perceived as "the enemy."
Rev. Sami DagherThe National Evangelical Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, Lebanon The Rev. Sami Dagher is president of the National Evangelical Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Beirut, Lebanon.He is also the pastor of the Karantina Church in Beirut, which he founded.The Karantina Church is just one of many churches the Rev. Dagher has founded in Lebanon and other countries, including churches in Lebanon for Sri Lankans and the Sudanese.As well as churches, he also founded the Christian Alliance Institute of Theology (Bible Training School).In addition to his extensive church-planting ministry, the Rev. Dagher also serves as a director for relief and development work in Lebanon and other nearby areas.He has served with Franklin Graham's ministry Samaritan's Purse on a number of occasions.His evangelism skills have been well used as he proclaims the Gospel among ethnic groups in Lebanon.He stands on God's Word in Romans 1:16, which says: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also the Greek."The Rev. Dagher is a graduate of Hotelier School in Lebanon.The Rev. Dagher and his wife, Joy, have two grown children and six grandchildren.They make their home in Beirut, Lebanon. << Bios
Assembly 2010 Special Report - CM Alliance Magazine
The imperative of continuing international work was highlighted during a stirring message from Rev. Sami Dagher, president of the Alliance church in Lebanon on Wednesday evening.His evident passion for introducing people to Jesus set the backdrop for the week and the road trips that followed.
Sami Dagher is waiting in the hot sun for a truck delivering air coolers.
It's 5 p.m. in Erbil on Saturday, Aug. 16, and the temperature hangs stubbornly at 111°F.
He needs 500 air coolers-evaporative cooling units that use fans with water and consume less electricity than air conditioners.
He can locate only 100 but hopes to have a few hundred more trucked in from Iran tomorrow.
"Here in Ainkawa area of Erbil alone we have 30,000 displaced-all Christians-and the heat is terrible," said Dagher, pastor of a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Beirut and a church planter who has helped start churches across the Middle East.
The Alliance church in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan region, is working with aid groups to coordinate relief to many made homeless by waves of onslaught across Iraq by ISIS (or ISIL), the Islamic militant group now calling itself the Islamic State.
At least one church in Erbil has 140 people sleeping in its halls.
Once mattresses arrived, more spilled out to sleep on dirt or grass outside the church buildings.
Along with air coolers, food, clothing, diapers, mattresses, pillows, and blankets-not to mention housing-are all in short supply.
Many of the displaced Christians in Erbil are living in tents outdoors and in buildings under construction.
They are surviving with no bathrooms, no running water, no finished windows or doorways, and no relief from the heat, said Dagher: "Yes we are getting supplies, but our city is overwhelmed."
Dagher said the hardest part of the unfolding crisis is the number of young people affected.
A third of those living outdoors, he estimates, are young children.
Dagher told me worship services are overflowing in Erbil, and he preached on Aug. 17 for the fifth time since his arrival.
"The Holy Spirit is doing wonderful work among the people here," he said.
"Refugees are standing in church and repenting of their sins and confessing.
They don't want anyone to be converted to Christianity," said Sami Dagher, head of the Christian and Missionary Alliance churches in Lebanon."They asked me to stop any Muslim coming to the church and I told them I cannot do that.It is the house of God and anyone is allowed to come," he added, saying the centre would remain open.There was no immediate claim of responsibility but a number of radical Sunni Muslim groups are active in southern Lebanon, including one on Washington's list of terrorist organisations with suspected links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.A leading Sunni cleric in south Lebanon said he did not condemn Witherall's killing but urged Lebanese to use other methods to show their contempt for U.S. policy."We do not condemn, but we want a different method than this one to show that our whole society is against the American policy," Sheikh Maher Hammoud said. "Actions of killing and bombings that target Americans in any place... are an expression of Muslim condemnation of U.S. policy," he added, saying he had repeatedly warned the Christian mission not to try to convert Muslims.The incident was the first such killing in Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war, when Lebanese Muslim fundamentalist groups kidnapped and killed Americans and other Westerners.The spelling of Witherall's name as given by her husband differs from previous spellings issued by colleagues and the U.S. embassy. THREE SHOTS
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