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13 Aug, 2015 | Near East
Nicole James
Noisy city streets house communities and refugees in the Near East.  
Photo by Garrett Nasrallah
Mobilising the local church and training Arabs to reach other Arabs are important values of the OM Near East team. Ten local believers, visiting another Arabic-speaking country during a two-week outreach, have taken the chance to fearlessly share Jesus in their own language, practicing skills they’ve learnt and gaining confidence to take back home.

Halfway through the first week, Rima*, who’d heard about the outreach from one of her friends hoping to join another OM’s ministries for a two-year commitment, said the opportunity so far had been amazing. “It’s so easy to go out and talk to people about Jesus,” she exclaimed. “I could never do this at home.”

Sami*, who directs an annual four-day conference in the group’s home country and leads an Arab to Arab training school in partnership with OM, accompanied the group of ten on outreach this year. At home, Sami does speak with shop owners and others about Jesus, but due to his country’s more conservative setting, he has to be careful. Getting the short-term team outside their home context is key for training, he explained. “For an Arab, if you take him outside the country, he does many things that he would not do at home. Here they are free to speak with people about Jesus.”

Senior Leader Deborah* agreed. “Here they actually have a chance to share freely without fear of being taken in by security police or getting into trouble. They can just share the gospel with Muslims in a free environment, trying out things they’ve learnt,” she said.

During the first week, the Arab team spent mornings studying the Bible, praying for each other, and listening to hour-long training sessions offered by long-term workers from the area. Then, they hit the streets.

On the first day of outreach, Tony*, one of the group members who completed Sami’s training school, met a Kurdish man from Syria in a public shopping area. “I have a message from a special person for you,” Tony told him. “It’s from Jesus. Will you take the message?”

The man agreed, so Tony asked him another question: “Do you know where you will go when you die?” It’s a matter of works, the man responded—everything depends on whether one’s good deeds outweigh the bad.

“No, it’s not works,” Tony responded. “God sees all our works as nothing, but Jesus died so we could have eternal life.”

The man received Tony’s words, open to God’s gift of eternal life. “I prayed with Him. I gave him everything he needs to understand the gospel,” Tony said. “He repeated everything and even had his hand over his heart…He’s a believer, but he needs a church or somebody to follow up so he can grow.” A few days later, Sami and Tony, along with another team member, met the man again, leading him through a Discovery Bible Study.

“Part of this team’s goal is to help our ministry,” Deborah said. The Arab group hopes to find local people of peace, open to the gospel. Then, if those people want to continue learning about Jesus after the short-term team leaves, long-term team members in the area can step in to continue discipleship.

As for Tony, he’s excited about the Kurdish man who prayed to Jesus, “but I’m excited to talk to more people, not just one.”

*Names changed

Nicole James is a freelance journalist, ESL teacher, and adventurer. A communications intern for OM MENA, she’s passionate about publishing the stories of God’s works among the nations, telling people about the wonderful things He is doing in the world.

Credit: Nicole James · © 2015 OM International This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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