AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER
OUR MINISTRY IN EGYPT BEGINS IN 3 WEEKS – AN APPEAL FOR YOUR PRAYERFUL SUPPORT
We will be back in Egypt running our annual Pastors and Leaders conference and training seminars in a few weeks’ time. This year things have become increasingly tense and unpredictable on the ground in Egypt. More than ever we would value your prayers and if you’re able to give, your financial support. In early July the Egyptian authorities asked Christian churches and ministries to suspend all conferences, pilgrimages, camps, trips and major outdoor events for July and August in order give the security agencies the chance to carry out their duties without distractions. This has meant the complete shut-down of the Christian churches summer activities. There is no estimate for the scope of activity affected by the order, but all events and activities beyond the ‘walls’ of the church have been suspended.
These events represent a popular summer activity for all Christians, and one many (especially children) eagerly anticipate all year. However churches have taken the issue seriously and complied with this directive. Church services have not been affected. The ‘ban’ is scheduled to be lifted by the end of August. This directive came due to the upsurge of attacks against Christians in Egypt since last year that has seen scores of Christian families and students fleeing Egypt’s North Sinai province after a spate of targeted killings. Suicide bombers targeting Coptic churches, killing dozens of people and injuring over one hundred others, as well as shooting dead at least 28 on a bus travelling to a monastery. The Islamic State has waged a low-level war against soldiers and police in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula for years but is now targeting Christians and has broadened its reach across into Egypt’s mainland.
Although Copts and other Christian churches and ministries, in the past, have faced attacks from their Muslim neighbours who have burnt their homes and churches in mainly rural areas, the community has increasingly felt insecure with a growing feeling of being targeted since the Islamic State spread through Iraq, Syria and into North Africa in 2014. Right now our brothers and sisters in Egypt are really doing it tough. We have just received word from our Egyptian ministry partner and host that says, “the Christian population here is very concerned about their safety on the road and in trains and buses. Actually people are afraid and we are receiving many cancellations for our September conference because pastors, churches and families are now afraid to travel any distance. We need our friends in Australia to pray for us.”
As we write this our plan is still to leave in early September for Egypt. This year one of our plans is to commence a new training seminar in partnership with our main Pastors and Leaders conference and Emerging Leaders seminar. This will be a new 3 year Marriage Counsellors certificate course. We have developed the program to cover the 5 major themes of marriage counselling; written by Pastor Rick Benson, one of our Egypt ministry team. Book 1 of this 3 part program has already been translated and printed in Arabic for this year’s participants to use. As part of the main Pastors and Leaders conference we have also translated and printed in Arabic, Pastor John Lewis’ latest book, “Forgive, Forget, Fruitful – Turning Offences and Tragedies into Divine Opportunities,” that will be available to all who attend this year’s conference. John is one of a team of speakers who help us in this kingdom initiative and will be speaking on this theme at our conference.
If you haven’t given to our work in Egypt, or if you have previously given but would like to give again, please follow the instructions below and know that every cent goes towards making it possible for our brothers and sisters in Egypt to attend this interdenominational leaders conference and equipping seminars. Please consider partnering with us by sponsoring the training of a leader for $50 each.
Please use the secure PayPal DONATE button on our website http://chiministries.
Bank: Suncorp Ltd
Account: CityHarvest International
A/C No: 045 303 109
Bank BSB: 484 799;
(If required) Bank SWIFT code METWAU4B
Together let us see this vitally important work continue to grow and become a real nation changing, life transforming work, not only in Egypt, but right across the Arab world as the Egyptian church ministers beyond its borders. Thank you for your prayers and financial support.
Source: CHI Ministries and Australian Prayer Network
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