Lebanon (MNN) — Sometimes, ministry can be tricky. People’s religious background or preconceived notions about Christians and their faith can make it difficult for Gospel seeds to take root.
(Photo courtesy of UNICEF)
That’s something AFA Ministry is experiencing in its work in the Middle East. AFA focuses on church planting among unreached people groups throughout Lebanon and Syria. Through other partners, they also help bring humanitarian aid and develop sustainable projects for refugees. Sometimes, however, the purpose of their work can get misconstrued.
“The biggest challenge is that we are working with non-Christians sometimes, and we are facing some people that think we are helping them because we need to bring them to the Lord Jesus,” Sam with AFA Ministry says. “Sometimes, we feel we need to be careful and we need to choose our words, what to talk with them about. We don’t want them to think we are helping [with] projects like relief work because we need to reach them with the Gospel.”
One group that AFA Ministry works closely with is the Druze. The Druze are a small sect of Islam but reject Muhammad and the Quran. They practice a monotheistic faith that combines elements of Christianity, Islam, and philosophy.
“They are from a small society, closed,” Sam says. “You cannot enter, you cannot marry from Druze people. You cannot leave the society. If you get out or you marry another guy from outside, they will push you out of the society. So it’s not easy. They are trying to do that because they are a small group in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, trying to keep themselves strong.
(Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Saad AboBrahim via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic. https://goo.gl/5Pv7BN)
“They [will] listen to you, but they are more difficult than Muslims to [bring] to the Lord.”
AFA Ministry spent 15 years planting churches and providing discipleship courses among the Druze people. Sam says they’ve seen 200 Druze come to Christ.
“During the last 15 years, we maybe gave around 600,000 New Testaments,” Sam says. “So in our mountain, you can find every house among the Druze has at least something about the Lord.
“Now, the Druze church is growing very fast in Lebanon and Syria.”
God is doing an amazing work, but Sam says the need for workers is still great. He asks that you pray that God would continue to provide more Christian leaders to plant churches throughout Lebanon and Syria.