Lebanon (MNN) — The Gospel may be introduced more often in high risk, Middle Eastern countries thanks to one ministry, one man, and his library.
A man approached Christian Resources International for help in filling a seminary library in Lebanon. CRI spent six to eight months working out a list of specific materials to send and will be shipping out a container in a few days. There is little desire to attract attention with a large crate of Christian materials and little space in the library to begin with; so as of now, the man asked that CRI send only a small shipment of resources.
These books will first be used by pastors from Lebanon and surrounding countries that the man is already helping, allowing this small haven to affect a large variety of people that may otherwise go unreached.
"[The library will be] an outreach to pastors who are coming in from other countries where that kind of library would never be allowed," says CRI's Operations Manager, John Lowrey. "They'll be able to access it and study there and then return to their homelands a little better prepared to minister to their folks. So it's going to be a pretty outstanding opportunity to share God's Word in a broad area from a single location just by helping to set up their library."
The man overseeing the library anticipates reaching people in at least five or six different countries through this ministry, and he would eventually like to create his own seminary. This could be difficult due to various laws, which have so far been bypassed with the library.
"If people come and ask questions or ask for help, then in many of the scenarios, it's perfectly legal for him to give them whatever resources they want," says Lowrey. "But if he tried to reverse that and tried to take that information to them, then he's breaking a lot of laws."
There is certainly still risk. "Even if he isn't strictly breaking a lot of laws, people are not going to be excited about it if they find out," says Lowrey. "So there will be some level of persecution involved." Lowrey points out that for some pastors from countries with stricter laws than Lebanon, even using the resources may be a life threatening option.
Pray for the personal safety of this man and of the pastors that will use the new materials in the library. Pray that the Lord would do a mighty work in the Middle East as these resources affect every pastor who studies them and, in turn, every person those pastors encounter.