Ministers in the Middle East and Shifting Sands
"It's a bitter-sweet decision," Aquila says. He's talking about choosing participants for the next season of the Desertside Training Center (DTC). "The number of applicants increases from year to year," as young adults from the Middle East seek training to begin or continue ministries in the region, many in dangerous places. This time, fifteen couples and singles applied from three different countries. God is on the move in the Middle East, and Aquila and Priscilla are mentoring the next ministers in the Middle East.
After rigorous interviews, Aquila and Priscilla pray over the difficult decisions. "To keep this fall's training challenge in a realistic balance, we can only enroll four couples and four singles ... Our local team would not be able to handle more students during three months of training and following six months of guided internship."
The region is a stronghold of Islam. Preparation in the DTC must be strategic and intensive. Aquila explains how the sands are shifting in this region.
Ministers in the Middle East and Momentum
"Many Arabic believers in their mid-twenties are on fire to serve full-time on the field - not because we are a North American organization and not because of money. They know that everyone has to raise their own support after training and internship. Many even face resistance in their national churches. Most local pastors don't see any benefit for their flock when sending people into missions. But nevertheless, the desire to go to the nations is steadily growing. This matches with our core belief that those who leave their comfort zone of home and job to serve among desperate and often defenseless people elsewhere, will in return be a great blessing for the church at home. The mission movement in MENA is slowly gaining momentum. Despite all the obstacles the kingdom in the Middle East is growing."
Moving The Ministers They Mentor
Aquila and Priscilla spent the last ten years building and mentoring a team of more than twenty workers in Egypt. Now, they're carefully moving the leadership and ownership completely to the team.
"I think it's going to be a joy watching this transition happen," Aquila says. As the spiritual parents of this group, they've cultivated an inner circle to "steer the big ship through the troubled waters in years ahead."
Would You Help the Next Generation of Ministers in the Middle East?
Aquila and Priscilla desire and need help to send these workers out.
"I also believe this will require more significant responsibilities not only for our national team, but also for our North American friends who will have to step up and play active roles in additional new camp projects, such as discipleship, sports, family and translation camps."
God is moving in the Middle East. Aquila and Priscilla have trained, mentored, and loved a team of young, committed leaders. At this stage in launching these carefully chosen and developed ministers, "This also means that we will need to trust them more than before and give them more responsibility whilst they are developing their skills and active faith - it will be of crucial importance that we empower this younger generation of leaders who have much enthusiasm and vision."
The team needs the prayers and support of a great crowd of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). If you'd like to know more about how you or your church can partner with the inner circle of leaders, contact email@example.com.