Church Planting in Egypt & the Future of Indigenous Ministries
As the heat continues to climb in central Egypt, a small fellowship of believers is gathering and seeking the Lord for their godliness and walk with Christ.
Our team leader shared that there has been such a response in the fellowship that Raja, one of our women on the IM Egypt team, led 20 women in worship, repentance and intercessory prayer recently.
In April, I was privileged to be with our Pastor at the launch of this precious church fellowship where 100 were in attendance that day. Weeks have gone by and it continues to grow. As I shared last month, Egyptian officials have given their permission for the church building to be built in the fall. The sense of anticipation of this fellowship is obvious as they look to the future. We’re excited too!
As I look at IM’s impact, I find that the model that we work through is both Biblical AND effective. It is how the early church grew so quickly bringing many to a saving knowledge of Christ. If you would permit me, I’d like to expand on this thought:
The philosophy of Indigenous Ministries is that the national can do a better job of reaching his or her own people for Christ than a U.S. ministry worker.
First, it is less expensive, (about 10% of a U.S. Christian worker). The time that it takes for an American to become acclimated to another culture takes years if not decades to accomplish. Language study takes 2-3 years. Support raising requires 2-3 years.
In our “instant” society, the average commitment of Christian workers is from 2 weeks to 18 months. However, what is the commitment of a national pastor? We have watched our national pastors work through revolutions and horrific threats of ISIS and Hindu fanaticism with trust in the Lord, and they minister with everything they have to build that into the hearts of the believers.
What is our role to the national church leader? To help where we can, to encourage and lift them up in the middle of their battles and challenges. To share with them and our national churches that we care and love them. Their constant knowledge that we are standing with them, especially in prayer, brings a special courage.
Would you pray with me on a specific area? As I look to the future of IM, I have asked the Lord to expand our borders. I have shared my burden with the IM Board, and I am so thankful for understanding men who know the concern that I have, and they have it deeply in their hearts as well.
There are opportunities that continue to come to shape before us. I am asking the Lord for the people He has for the future of this ministry. How thankful I am for those already working in our Colorado Springs office and of course globally. But I would ask that you pray with me that the Lord will add to our staff, both nationally and internationally as well. There is a world that needs a continued touch for Christ in so many areas.
We are working to bring an Egyptian national to Indigenous Ministries; he will be working in the IM office and traveling with me to our places of ministry. We need to raise his salary in the days ahead, and I ask that you pray with me for Reda and his wife. He has, for a number of years, been a right hand man to me in ministry overseas, and his place in the office will be in translation and continued development of the ministry in the Middle East. He has a servant’s heart and has shown himself faithful in ministry.
He has just completed a time of ministry to Iraqi, Syrian, and Afghan refugees in Turkey. He saw several come to Christ and follow the Lord through baptism. Would you begin to pray for Reda and Samira as they wait on the Lord for their next steps with Indigenous Ministries? Also pray with me as I work to encourage people to assist in giving to their support. I am also praying that the Lord will bring several U.S. based servants that we call “IM Ambassadors” who will help share the work that the Lord is allowing us to do with people across the U.S. If you feel the Lord leading you in this direction, do give our office a call.
“Man does not know his time,” was the title of a message given by one of our pastors in Egypt I sat and listened to in April. I was deeply touched by his message; and in light of global headlines of suicides, shootings and wars, we’re reminded that we truly do not have an understanding of how life will end for us. Perhaps you’re troubled with so much daily negative news.
As troubled as some of these days are, we can turn from tragedy and find joy assisting others to hear about the forgiveness, peace and hope they can have in Christ. We can keep our eyes on Him and lean in on His mighty arms.
At the end of it all, my prayer is that many will turn their hearts to the Lord as the result of our partnership together in this ministry God has given us. I want you to know how grateful I am for you; we are making a difference in the lives of so many. For the Glory of the Lord and His coming Kingdom!
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