Do you fit here?

dsc08814MECO and SIM have joined forces in the Middle East, allowing them to achieve so much more together for the gospel than either could alone.

Both are old established organisations: Middle East Christian Outreach has a long history of work in the region, partnering with churches for 156 years to take the gospel to people who have never heard it. That strategic vision sits perfectly with Serving In Mission’s core conviction that no one in the world should live and die without hearing the gospel of Jesus. Leadership teams on both sides believe the new partnership will provide significant opportunities for gospel growth in the Middle East and among refugee and migrant communities across Europe.

In our new combined agency, there will be many new opportunities to serve. Here are some:

1    Language learning and culture acquisition: There’s a proven link between solid language learning and longevity in ministry. Two or three years of concentrated language learning provides the best platform to absorb culture and make friends. It enables you to relate to local Christians quickly and function in their churches. It also gives you time to look around and see where you might serve in the future.

2    Displaced people/refugees: Reaching out to displaced people, practically and spiritually. This includes offering education to young people from Syria and Iraq, who would otherwise be seriously disadvantaged.

3    This is a crucial time to support Christians in the region, almost all of whom are living under huge pressure: — especially those who choose to stay and engage with what’s happening. As they reach out to displaced and disillusioned people, the Lord is bringing people to know and follow him. We work under the leadership of Middle East churches and look forward to welcoming new people who will encourage and strengthen them in their witness for Christ“Bring us people who can teach and explain the Bible,” says one Middle East Christian leader. Helping people get into Scripture, reading with them and explaining Christian faith are key skills. We have links with key seminaries and training networks. They teach in Arabic, and there are opportunities for people with the right experience and subjects to play their part.

4    Compassionate outreach:  Engaging with people from all backgrounds,  often at points of significant need, such as poverty, ill health  or children with special needs.

5    Education: Lebanon has evangelical schools which are always looking for Christian teachers and assistants. There are also opportunities to teach English as a second language, which opens doors for the gospel with children, families and young adults.

7    Business as mission: Genuine businesses are welcome, especially if they employ local people, give work to local suppliers and contribute to the economy, while using this platform to reach people with the gospel.

Mike Parker, who will lead the new SIM office in the Middle East, says they’re looking for resilient people who can keep things in biblical perspective and adapt to changing circumstances. “Above all, we’re looking for people with servant hearts and evangelistic instincts.”  They will join others already on the ground, such as Izdihar, who uses arts and crafts in ministry among fellow Syrians displaced in Lebanon, Katie also works in the refugee camps which have sprung up around her city, helping aid and relief organisations to identify and treat disabled children, and Stef (see the story here) who works closely with migrant maids.

Pray that God’s people awaken to these opportunities. “Plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers to his fields.” (Luke 10:2)