Grace Al-Zoughbi from Palestine

Dear Friends,

Over the next two months, Christian leaders from the Middle East and North Africa will be sharing their prayer requests. Learn more about the region and the work of the Scholar Leaders Fellowship there by visiting the Prayer Community webpage.
This week, please intercede with us for Grace Al-Zoughbi from Palestine.

Established in 1988, the State of Palestine is recognized by 146 United Nations member states. Though its designated capital is Jerusalem, it currently operates out of Ramallah. Most of the land claimed by Palestine has remained under Israeli control since the Six-Day War in 1967. Approximately 5.2 million people live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 79% are Palestinian Arabs and 22% are Israeli Jews. Around 93% of Palestinians are Muslims (mostly Sunni), while Palestinian Christians represent 6% of the population, followed by smaller Druze and Samaritan minorities. Since the October 7, 2023 Hamas-led attacks that killed 1,200 Israelis and foreigners and took 252 more as hostages, Israel and Hamas have been at war, mainly in the Gaza Strip, where over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed. Currently, 2.3 million displaced Gazans face starvation amid blockades and destruction of critical infrastructure. Join us in fervent prayer for ceasefire, safety, sustenance, and hope in Palestine.

Grace works for the Middle East and North Africa Association for Theological Education (MENATE). Founded in 1992 in Cyprus, MENATE strengthens the Church in the region through networking, fellowship, accreditation, and other services and resources for Christian higher educational institutions. A native of Bethlehem, Grace understands the challenges that Palestinian Christians face as ethnic and religious minorities. Few Palestinians have access to theological education, and Palestinian women encounter even greater obstacles. Familiar with these barriers, Grace designs culturally adept educational systems to support women biblical scholars and theologians throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
Grace graduated last year with a PhD in Theological Education from the London School of Theology (UK). Scholar Leaders supported Grace’s doctoral research through the Persevere Scholarship. Her dissertation focuses on how Arab Protestant women influence theological education. Check out Grace’s 2021 Global Insights: Why Should Theological Education Include Women? For a more extended theological treatment of this topic, see her 2019 article in the InSights JournalTheological Perspectives on the Theological Education of Women in the Middle East and North Africa
Grace shares the following message:

My heart is aching for my people. This has been a very difficult time for Palestinian Christians, to say the least.  We are seeking the Lord for encouragement, comfort, peace, protection, and an end to this dreadful war. The Psalmist encourages us with the promise that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
At the same time, I am cognizant of the calling that God has given me to fulfill in such a time as this. It is humbling to serve God’s kingdom in a place where the needs are endless. 
My involvement in theological education helps me to sow seeds of hope in a hopeless context. People need encouragement and comfort, and just as Christ has given me comfort, I seek to bring His comfort to others. Every day I am reminded of God’s calling, despite the multiple complexities we must endure. He remains our anchor. 
Engaging with different theological institutions in the Middle East has opened my eyes to the potential we have in our precious region, leading me to discover afresh the talented and well-equipped individuals whose gifts are a blessing to the Church, the theological academy, and society.  It is a joy to see the theological training offered to learners bearing much fruit despite the rocky soil.
Because of the God I believe in and the way I have placed my trust in His wisdom, the injustices I face in my day-to-day life have not crushed the hope I have. It is this hope in Jesus that compels me to serve in my region wholeheartedly and resolutely.
Prayer Requests
I would like to ask you to join us in prayer for the following:
Please pray for ceasefire and an end to war in all its forms.
Pray for comfort for those who have lost loved ones.  
Pray for protection for the Church during this difficult time of suffering. Pray that the Lord will use the Church to spread His peace to others and turn their eyes to Jesus.
Pray for further opportunities to share God’s love in words and action, and in different contexts across the region. 
Thank you for your prayers.
Grace Al-Zoughbi

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