Cultural Bible study is opening doors for other outreach

By January 10, 2006

USA (MNN) — It’s called the En-Gedi Resource Center. While it may sound like your every day Bible study program, it’s not. En-Gedi’s Executive Director Bruce Okkema. “Our main purpose is to advance Bible study by looking at the land and culture of the Bible.”

En-Gedi refers to the Oasis in the desert of southern Israel, says Okkema. “There, water springs out of the ground and it comes to life. We want that to be a picture of our ministry in terms of exposing people to the richness of Scriptures, bringing the life, the living water of the Bible to their personal life.”

The focus of En-Gedi is to use the culture and language of Scripture to help people better understand what was written. En-Geni’s Director Lois Tverberg says as you gain understanding of that, you can’t help but reach out with the Gospel. “God doesn’t just call us to convert and to become believers. He calls us to a life of service and to walk and be like Jesus. And that, in itself, is a really powerful witnessing tool to the rest of the world.”

Currently they have 1,900 people in 35 countries who are receiving monthly email Bible studies. They also provide hundreds of articles, books and other printed resources to help Christians in their walk with the Lord.

En-Gedi has been praying that God will use their unique ministry to open doors that will allow them to share Christ in more practical and personal ways. Okkema says that’s happened with a ministry called, Water Missions International, as they installed water purification units in Africa. “They were looking for a ministry component so that these units could be installed in the name of Jesus Christ and that could be used as, not only as humanitarian aid, but also an opportunity to share the love of God with those who may not have been exposed to that.”

Funding is needed to help with similar projects. They’re asking people to pray that En-Gedi will know where to reach out in the future.

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