Middle East Opportunity
Over the past few months our attention has been focused intensely on the Middle East.  With the disruption of the way things have been run for the past 20, 30, 40 years and more the lives of millions have been impacts.  Our lives have been impacted as well; if only at the gas pump.  But as church leaders we need to be doing more than just moaning about higher gas prices.  This is a time where we can offer some powerful ministry as well as education.  What can we do?  We can:

*Pray for the people in these countries; especially the vulnerable.  Many people are hurting.  I
  heard on person comment that they were not afraid anymore of what their harsh government
  would do to them because they had nothing left to loose.

*Pray for the Christians in these countries. It is very difficult to live out a Christian faith in these
  countries.  Rejection, persecution and harassment are frequently experienced.  Over the past
  couple of years there have been attacks (gunfire and bombings) on Christians during and after
  worship services.  Pray for their safety and that they would model our Savior’s love, hope and
  wisdom.

*Pray for the world to respond helpfully.  This is a complex situation in each of the countries and
  we all have our biases and self serving preferences.  Pray that world leaders as well as each of us
  will have a heart of compassion for those in these nations.

*Pray for our hearts to be open to how we personally need to respond.  It is easy to say that these
  events are not our issue or within the realm of our influence.  But we need to be unwilling to
  wash our hands of the situation too quickly. What can we do?  What do we need to do?

One thing we can do it so become more familiar with this area of the world.  If you are like me, Middle Eastern and Northern Africa geography is a challenge to remember.  The link below goes to a quiz on naming the countries of the area.  On the map you drag the country's name onto the correct spot.  If you are correct it will stay there.  If not it will return to the list of nations.  There is no humbling score or time limit with this quiz but only an opportunity to learn.  So don't be afraid to do a “trial and error” system.  

http://www.rethinkingschools.org/just_fun/games/mapgame.html

 

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