The melting pot of the Middle East
With strong focus on evangelism and distribution of Gospel materials, OM teams have been working in the Near East Field – Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq – for over 50 years to see communities of Muslims come to love, worship, and serve God. During the past 20 years, planting churches, discipling new believers, mobilizing the local church, and facilitating relief work have also become integral aspects of ministry. The on-field support team helps maintain healthy, effective long-term workers. Regular prayer walks and prayer meetings proclaim workers’ dependence on the Holy Spirit to sweep across the region with power, stirring hearts to receive the message of God’s love and hope through Jesus Christ.
Ministry opportunities in the Near East
Church Planting: Vast areas of the Near East have no Gospel witness. OM Near East seeks to send teams to unreached communities and identify those who are open to spiritual truth and able to be discipled as cultural ambassadors and future leaders of reproducing indigenous church plants.
Mobilizing the Arab Church: Cultural religious boundaries and an attitude of distrust have long prevented Arab believers from investing in ministry to Muslims. With current events forcing groups to intermingle and bringing waves of unreached people into close proximity to believers, local churches have new opportunity to be the visible presence of Christ within their own communities. OM Near East seeks to provide the resources and training necessary for these believers to care for their neighbours and engage them with the Gospel.
Evangelism: Reaching communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the focal point of OM’s ministry in the Near East. Gospel literature distribution, intentional location-based living, hospitality, children’s programmes, and business ventures provide avenues for workers to develop trust relationships and share Biblical truth.
Training and Leadership Development: OM Near East offers ongoing training opportunities for workers as well as specialized programmes designed to mobilize local pastors and new believers from Muslim and Christian backgrounds. OM Near East also conducts an in-depth 2-year training programme for new team members joining the field.
Communications: In a world where war and terrorism splash across front-page headlines and primetime news, OM Near East Communications tells stories that show another side of the picture. Long-term communications facilitators and short-term communications interns serve together to create high quality photography, videos, and written stories portraying the work God is doing across the Arab world.
Learning Arabic: Learning the heart language of locals is intrinsic to effective Gospel witness. The Near East Field offers a variety of language learning options, ranging from formal classrooms to private tutors to GPA (Growing Participator Approach).
How you can help
PRAY — Pray for the Spirit of God to move across Lebanon, sparking a rich harvest of spiritually interested people. Pray for Lebanon to maintain peace amidst conflicts in neighboring countries. Pray for the local church to be mobilized to lead efforts in relief and evangelism.
GIVE — Give to help support the work of OM Near East at http://www.om.org/en/give. Please join us in equipping the church in Lebanon to help fulfill the Great Commission!
GO — See open job opportunities for the Near East Field. Contact email@example.com or visit http://www.om.org/en/opportunities.
More information about Lebanon
Population: 5,882,562 (July 2014 est.)
Official Language: Arabic (official), English, French
Religious Make-Up: Muslim 54% (Sunni 27%, Shia 27%), Christian 40.5%, Druze 5.6%, other religious sects
State of Economy: Lebanon’s free market economy provides opportunity for growth, especially in service-oriented sectors such as banking and tourism. However, ongoing conflicts in neighboring countries make most investments in the country high risk. Additionally, planned reforms or restructuring often face delays due to corruption, arbitrary licensing decisions, high taxes, and outdated legislation.
State of the church: Lebanon recognizes 18 official religions, but less than 0.1% of the overall population belongs to the evangelical church. Encouragingly, some small local denominations are starting to reach across religious borders and minister to refugees. In some areas, groups of new believers from Muslim backgrounds have begun meeting, but there are many parts of the country where there are no groups of believers gathering.
*Stats from The World Factbook (www.cia.gov)