Teams visit Syrian and Bedouin camps in Lebanon to bring aid and relief and to pray with those who have gone through crisis. Kathryn Berry OM International3/26/2014 OM International

Gathered in a home in Jordan, 15 local believers discussed the life-altering experience of Arab-to-Arab outreach. These were Jordanian Christians who had gone on outreach trips to Turkey and Lebanon.

As the conversation progressed, it became apparent each of them had experienced a profound shift in faith. For the first time in many of their lives, their eyes were opened to the spiritual need of their Muslim neighbors.

From Jordan

Jordan is 98 percent Muslim, leaving the minority Christian population noticeably weak and vulnerable. Despite living in a Muslim society, most of the Jordanian Christians who participated in the outreach had never been in a Muslim home, much less shared the gospel with a Muslim. Being outside their country to minister to Muslims opened their eyes to the need for ministry in their own country.

For many of the local believers, they came to understand the spiritual needs of Muslims by first addressing the physical needs of Syrian refugees. The tragic war in Syria has left millions of suffering families around the region. Jordan, along with other countries bordering Syria, has been flooded with refugees. Traveling to Lebanon and Turkey opened the Jordanian believers’ hearts to the plight of the refugees. Moreover, it helped them realize the spiritual need of the Muslims around them back home.

To Lebanon

Thirteen of the Jordanian believers split into two teams and went to Lebanon. They served alongside believers from Muslim backgrounds. This team was particularly affected by seeing locals passionate about reaching out to Muslims. It prompted them to continue praying for more outreach opportunities, while it opened their eyes to the possibility of seeing churches of Muslim background believers in Jordan.

The second team visiting Lebanon served the needs of Syrian refugees, and they met a small fellowship of Muslim background believers. The needs in this church were great, and many of the Jordanians felt strongly the need for more work to be done.

Both teams shared the gospel with Syrian refugees. Seeing their physical needs made them see the reality of the refugees’ spiritual needs. Upon returning to Jordan, many of the believers realized for the first time that the spiritual needs of Jordanian Muslims is no less. One woman described it being as if a light had turned on, saying, “I can share the gospel with Muslims right now in my own neighborhood.”

One man shared that as a result of doing ministry in Lebanon, he feels God calling him to full-time ministry.

Into Turkey

During the Arab-to-Arab outreach, two men went to Turkey instead of Lebanon. They went to an area where there were many Kurdish Syrians. One of the men described looking out his window and seeing 21 mosques; there is only one house church in this entire city. The team of two men was able to share the gospel with hundreds of Kurdish Muslims. They were burdened to pray for the gospel to be preached there.

New Vision

Arab-to-Arab outreach provided an effective means of widening the vision of Jordanian believers. They are now burdened to pray for their region and share the message of Jesus with their Muslim neighbors, and some are challenged to go to more unreached parts of the Arab world.

 



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