I wanted to give you an update on the houses Focus on the Family has been building for the families of the 20 Egyptian martyrs killed earlier this year by ISIS terrorists.
As you’ll remember, these men, all in their twenties, had been in Libya in search of work. They were attempting to provide for their impoverished families living in Egypt when they were taken hostage and beheaded because of their Christian faith. Immediately following the tragedy, Sami Yacoub, the regional director for Focus on the Family’s Middle East outreach based in Egypt, reached out to their grieving family members.
Their reaction was astonishing. A number of them shared how their pain soon gave way to joy. They spoke of a desire to share their faith with the ISIS extremists who committed the atrocious acts. They rejoiced that the martyrs were now home with Jesus Christ. Their only prayer request? “Please pray our faith remains strong.”
These families, though, have immediate physical needs, specifically safe and sturdy housing. Thanks to the generous donations of Focus friends, our Focus Middle East outreach began building and repairing homes in Samalout, Egypt.
I’m thrilled to report that God has used the construction efforts to bring the community together. Our Focus team has been able to hire laborers from
surrounding villages, giving them a source of income as well as a sense of pride in helping these families in need. Some are coming to volunteer their time and talent to help build the houses. Others bring food and drink to the work crews. A few of the family members are also spending time with the work crews, helping them build and feeding them.
This physical demonstration of our love for these families has accompanied Focus Middle East’s ongoing relationship with the families. The team there has been regularly meeting with the martyrs’ surviving wives, children, parents and siblings.
It brings us great joy to get to see these houses go up as a sign of love and unity within the global Church. It’s amazing to see how God’s presence reigns sovereign even in the midst of a horrible tragedy.
The pictures you see show the construction progress. The houses are simple – but they’re safe and sturdy, and the families receiving them are grateful beyond words.
As you look at these pictures, please pray for the families represented by these buildings. Please ask God to continue to supernaturally encourage and comfort them. And yes, please pray their faith would remain strong, and that they will continue to rely on Him for protection and provision.
Thanks to all of you who have taken part in in our fundraising efforts benefiting these families. God has used your giving to bless an entire community.