The three churches in Lebanon combined for Friday and Sabbath services on the first weekend of March for a spiritual kick-off rally in the partnering of a year-long evangelism journey between It is Written and the churches in Beirut, Lebanon.
375 members and friends attended over the two-day meetings
A first of its kind for both It Is Written and the churches in Lebanon, the kick-off rally was the beginning of many events being planned throughout the year, culminating with a two-week evangelism series to be held by John Bradshaw in March 2019.
“The Middle East is a difficult area to invite public speakers because of the many restrictions and cultural differences,” said Gilberto Araujo, Eastern Mediterranean Region director.
Yves Monier, It Is Writeen evangelism director, shared how Paul and Silas encountered many difficulties in their missionary journey, but how God used some of their lowest moments for His greatest work.
“God gives success and we see people giving their lives in baptism,” said Monier. “Evangelism faces a lot of opposition, but God can turn the challenges into successes too.”
Overcoming Fear and Skepticism
His message inspired Lebanese Adventists.
Jimmy Choufani, principal of Adventist School Bouchrieh, said it was a motivating message for all Lebanese members to think about their mission, being the light to the community.
Rajah Farah, professor at Middle East University, said “From a human perspective it will be quite difficult to overcome the cultural climate here in Lebanon. But when the spirit of God is working, nothing is impossible for him.”
In November 2017 the East Mediterranean Region conducted a pilot project with Mark Finley. Despite fear and skepticism, the response was positive, so plans went ahead for the upcoming meetings.
“This is our first attempt to show that the same God that works everywhere in the world, loves Lebanon, even if it’s the most difficult country in the world,” expressed Araujo.
“We determined that this really had some potential,” said Monier. “Out of a simple dialogue something grew, roots came out, shoots came out, suddenly here we are growing something that God is honouring and blessing.”
Inspired to Reach Out
Middle East University church pastor, Jared Miller, expressed optimism for the coming year.
“Some of the events we are planning include health expos, ESL & computer literacy classes, and more direct outreach like door to door work, canvassing and bible study interests,” said Miller. “We want to establish friendships so people will come with friends and not be with strangers.”
Church members shared what they will personally do to prepare for the upcoming meetings.
“I will stay outside the meeting hall, answering questions of people passing by, inviting them in to be part of the meetings,” said Jean Jack, a lay member and employee of MENA.
Alex Clemente, Literature Evangelism Coordinator for Middle East University, explains the role that his literature ministry will play in the upcoming meetings.
“Door to door work is possible here. God is working, and people are responding,” said Clemente.
Others have offered to help with media and advertisement. Still others plan to spread the news at their local schools, reaching both students and parents.
The weekend culminated with a Sunday training session in which Monier explained the evangelism process.
Rick McEdward appreciated that It Is Written is working with local churches and leaders in Beirut, Lebanon.
“This is a great blessing for our work and we are praying that God will anoint the time and efforts of Pastors Yves Monneir and John Bradshaw as we share Christ's message here,” said McEdward