Coming Alongside

We all need encouragement all of our lives.  Some of the most significant moments in my life have been when someone came alongside me and said: I see God¹s hand on your life. I believe in you. I am with you. With God¹s help you can do this. 
That is why Renee and I are flying to the Middle East tomorrow, to come alongside some Arab fellow workers there to strengthen and encourage them. 
We're in good company in this role.  Jesus knew that His disciples would need encouragement after He left, so He said, I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper [literally, one called alongside to help or an encourager].  Paul knew that the communities of disciples that he planted in various cities around the Middle East would need encouragement, so he returned to strengthen and encourage them.  And he sent his fellow workers to do the same. 
Those we are hoping to encourage are paying a significant price and bearing significant fruit in very difficult situations.  Please pray that the Holy Spirit, the Encourager, would come alongside all of us there and do what He does best.
Answered Prayer:  Remember that brothel down the street from where our daughter and son are serving in Fortaleza?  Remember how they have been praying outside that brothel every night, and how the owner has been telling her security guard to chase them away?  Well, last week the security guard opened his heart to Christ!  And the owner allowed them to come in and pray: for her!  (They're still waiting on God to provide a new ministry home by the end of the month, and to provide funding for their ministry trip next month.)