By Mark Ellis
Just as persecution in the early church at Jerusalem caused a scattering of missionaries throughout the Roman world, recent pressures on the church in Egypt appear to be having the same effect.
“This is one of the most exciting opportunities I’ve seen in 49 years of missionary ministry,” says Dr. Howard Folz, the founder of AIMS. “Please join with me in releasing a powerful flow of missionaries to the Middle East and North Africa.”
The first thought that comes to many people when they consider the Middle East is warfare and terrorism. However, Dr. Folz wants believers to consider a different vision. “Please remember, Paul was also a terrorist against Christians, and yet he became the greatest missionary the world has ever seen. Can we believe God for miracles like this in the Middle East andNorth Africa? Even Jihadists coming to Jesus!” he suggests.
“On my first trip to Egypt, our partner Mustafa (a pseudonym) gave me a completely new view of the Middle East and North Africa. He said, ‘Howard, we have a huge reservoir of Egyptian missionaries just waiting to be sent out to this part of the world.’
“We are in a special ‘window of opportunity,’” Mustafa continued, “to gather together 600 plus pastors and leaders. Our goal is to send out hundreds of missionaries from Egyptian churches. Fifty-six missionaries have already been sent, and miracles, signs and wonders are happening for God’s glory,” Mustafa says.
As Dr. Folz flew back to theU.S.he sensed God opening doors in the Middle East andNorth Africain new and exciting ways. As a result, AIMS launched “Operation Love: Middle East North Africa (MENA).
Operation Love MENA will address the immediate need for training of pastors in missions mobilization so God can release the Egyptian reservoir of missionaries into the area. This region has over 365 million people and 579 unreached people groups, according to Joshua Project.
The cost of training one pastor including travel, room, board and materials is $50. But each pastor is committed to raise one-half themselves so their goal is to subsidize this training event at $25 per pastor, according to Dr. Folz.
“These are souls that you or I or traditional Western missionaries could never reach! Join us as we pray for the release of missionaries throughout the Middle East and North Africa from this great reservoir.”
“This is the heart of the devil’s territory, but God is at work. More Muslims have come to Christ in the past 25 years than in the first 2,000 years of the church! Let’s partner with the Egyptian church to see an expanding harvest of Muslims coming out of the enemy’s territory into the Kingdom of God!”