MENA (MNN) — A3 (formerly Asian Access) is comfortable in many parts of Asia. The organization has built consistent and effective systems for discipleship and leadership training there. And those systems are exactly what drew the attention of Phil Butler, a Christian leader in the Middle East.
Phil contacted Joe Handley of A3 in hope of finding a fresh perspective. “He said, ‘Joe, we’ve reached the last mile when it comes to the Middle East and North Africa,’” Handley reports. According to him, Butler said “’We’ve saturated this region with the Gospel through satellite technology and Internet technology, but we have little tangible evidence of flourishing fellowships or flourishing churches.’”
Admittedly, it’s hard to measure the success of churches that are often underground. Still, Butler thought that A3’s special brand of disciple-making leadership development could help bring about flourishing churches in the Middle East and North Africa. And with that, A3 began expanding its vision.
As a test run, A3 ran a pilot project in a North African country. The leadership training program only ran for three or four days and gave A3 team members a chance to review and revise their program as needed for a North African context. The program was a success and taught the team much, but maybe the most important thing A3 learned was how immense the needs of believers in North Africa really are.
“Our need for capacity building leadership development and pastoral training is huge,” one leader told Handley.
That’s why A3 needs your prayer. “This is a new region of the world for us, both Europe and North Africa as well as Central Asia,” Handley says. “You’ve got the Ukraine and Russia crisis. In North Africa, you’ve got the strength of Islam. In Europe, you’ve got a secularism.” All of these obstacles are serious considerations the A3 team needs to make, so keep them in your prayers.
What’s more, they need personnel. Maybe that’s where you can step in. “Please pray to the Lord of the harvests to send forth laborers to help us engage this region. And should the Lord give you capacity, come alongside and help us as we equip leaders to see the gospel advance in these regions.”
Learn more about A3 and how you can help right here.
Header photo courtesy of Unsplash