Lebanon (MNN) — In an area largely closed to the Gospel, God is using business education to pierce the growing darkness.
Across the Middle East, many individuals have tried their hand as an entrepreneur or business professional, despite the constant violence. For Christians, especially, this can prove to be a difficult career. However, if they stick it out, it opens doors wide for customers and fellow business individuals to hear the Gospel.
Recently, Global Advance held their first-ever Middle East Marketplace Leadership Conference in Lebanon for the Christian business leaders of the area.
The ministry's founder and president, David Shibley, said, "It was a tremendous time–the first-ever event of its kind, to our knowledge–in the Middle East, bringing evangelical Christian entrepreneurs together."
Around 70 leaders gathered for the conference. Among other things, they were encouraged to center their business on Christ, as well as develop strategy to best relay the Gospel to those in need.
"Each entrepreneur either developed or refined his or her business plan … and at the end of the conference, each of them literally presented that plan to the Lord," Shibley said.
Additionally, the conference connected attendees with pastors in their area. Through these partnerships, Shibley said churches grow as business leaders send seekers their way, and resources can further both the business and the church.
At the conclusion of the conference, Global Advance was invited back to the area. However, until then, leaders must continue their work in the face of persecution.
Shibley said with constant threats to their safety and well-being, it is easy to lose focus. "The greatest challenges that Christian Middle Eastern business persons face is distraction. It's difficult to keep your eyes on the prize."
Yet, despite this, Shibley has discovered a strong perseverance among individuals there.
"There is tremendous unrest. And yet there is an amazing resilience and adaptability in the business person in the Middle East, despite all the difficulties Lebanon has been through in the last 30 years," he said.
Pray for believers there to maintain this resilience, as well as hold onto and apply to their business what they learned at the conference.
Visit Global Advance's Web site to learn more about their marketplace conferences and how you can partner with business individuals across the globe.