How can someone who lived only twenty-four years leave such a lasting impression on another person’s heart? As I stood and looked at the twenty-one names of the martyrs listed on the terracotta orange poster, the letters within Mina’s Fayez Aziz’s name caught my attention. Because of the similarity with my own name, I felt a certain kinship with this brother in the faith and longed to know more about him. Surely his family was very proud of Mina’s diploma in agriculture and the completion of his military service. I wonder what his family thought when he announced he was leaving home? I wonder if his mom kissed him good-bye when he left for that construction job in Libya? It sounds like Mina was an ordinary, young adult, who worked extra hard to provide resources and care for his family. It seems to me Mina Fayez Aziz willingly denied himself, picked up his cross, and followed Jesus; Mina lived what he believed.
As a mom, my heart hurt for this family’s terrible loss. As a mother of a young adult who will go off into the world someday just like Mina did, I found myself happy, scared, and then overwhelmingly proud. Hanging out with the young adults at church makes me excited about a lot of things. I believe our young adults are our gift for today and our hope for a great tomorrow. I’m blessed to watch them grow in their faith, struggling with the issues within our society and learning how to trust God and His Word for themselves. However, I must admit the Mom in me does get a little fearful when I hear my own young adult talk about God’s leading to a faraway land where they kill Christians for their faith.
The next time she starts talking about laying her life down, I am going to remember Mina Fayez didn’t let fear hold him back from doing what he felt was right which made Mina far from ordinary. To all our young adults, when the time comes, may we send you out with love, letting you know how proud we are of your commitment to serve Christ wholeheartedly. Yes, Mina your life is leaving a lasting impression on me and so many others. Because of your incredible act of faith, I commit again to denying myself, picking up my cross, and following Jesus. May I truly live what I believe!
Oh Shepherd of our Souls, today we stand in honor, respect, and gratitude for the life of our brother in the faith, Mina Fayez Aziz. We are grateful for his love for family and his courageous faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. As his brother Kenolos requested, we pray for comfort and strength for Mina’s family. We ask you to lead his family beside quiet waters and through green pastures. May you, the good Shepherd guard and guide this dear family with your rod and your staff. Would you prepare a place for them in the presence of their enemies and anoint each family member’s head with oil. We pray goodness and mercy will follow after these dear loved ones.
Lord, we ask you to help each one of us to deny self, pick up our cross, and follow wholeheartedly after you. May fear never keep us from shrinking back in our commitment of service. Lord, please give us the faith to dare to truly live what we believe. Please forgive us when we have faltered or failed you.
We honor the life and the legacy of Mina Fayez Aziz and commit him into thy loving care. In the name of our Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.