“God will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything he knows.” - Tim Keller

FROM THE DESK OF: the Director of Communications

Well, college football is over for the year. Ohio State beat Oregon last night to win the National Championship and I quietly slipped into my annual depression where I pretend to be interested in basketball. The NFL will console me for another couple of weeks but I'll have to wait until September to enjoy sports again. (I should note that Arena Football starts in 73 days but NO ONE cares.)

So as I begin this work week, bummed about life in the 'off-season,' I am reminded about how powerful sport is. It really does cross race, age, gender and language and brings people together, thus making it a perfect tool for evangelism and church planting in restricted access countries. That is exciting.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to check in on next year's pre-season polls, draft predictions, transfer rumors, coaching changes and recruiting updates... its going to be a long off-season.

For the Win[Dow],

Bubby Bryan, DOC

VERSE OF THE WEEK: Philippians 1:6

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
 

 Damascus, Syria

Damascus, Syria

COUNTRY OF THE WEEK: SYRIA

Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. Its capital Damascus is among the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world.[7] A country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, it is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including the ArabGreeksArmeniansAssyriansKurdsCircassians,[8]  Mhallami,Mandeans[9] and Turks. Religious groups include  SunniChristiansAlawiteDruze religionMandeanism andYezidi. Sunni Arabs make up the largest population group in Syria.

In English, the name "Syria" was formerly synonymous with the Levant (known in Arabic as al-Sham) while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt.

The modern Syrian state was established after World War I as a French mandate, and represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the formerly Ottoman-ruled Arab Levant. It gained independence in April 1946, as a parliamentary republic. The post-independence period was tumultuous, and a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–1971. Between 1958-61, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt, which was terminated by a military coup. The Arab Republic of Syria came into being in 1963, transforming from the Republic of Syria in the Ba'athist coup d'état. Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens, and its system of government is considered to be non-democratic.[10] Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, who was in office from 1970 to 2000.[11]

Syria is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement; it is currently suspended from the Arab League[12] and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation,[13] and self-suspended from the Union for the Mediterranean.[14] Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an uprising against Assad and the Ba'athist regime as part of the Arab Spring, a crackdown which contributed to the Syrian Civil War and Syria becoming among the least peaceful countries in the world.[15] The Syrian Interim Government was formed by the opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Coalition, in March 2012. Representatives of this government were subsequently invited to take up Syria's seat at the Arab League. (Wikipedia)

http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/15152

http://prayercast.com/syria.html

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Pray for salvation for a largely unemployed youth who are turning to more extremist forms of Islam.
  • Pray for Syria to be a leader in bringing peace to the Middle East.
  • Pray for more Christian workers trained to reach the Muslim majority, many of whom have not heard the gospel.
  • Pray for our Uttermost reps in the field.
  • Pray for the Uttermost US office.