Lebanon clashes step up evacuation pace–instability disrupts ministry.

By July 20, 2006

Lebanon (MNN)–Evacuations have begun in earnest in Lebanon as Israelis clash with the Hezbollah guerrillas.

As the conflict intensifies, so does the pace of the evacuations. World Venture’s missionary team is on the list, but according to spokesman Jeff Denglinger, they had plans leave prior to the instability. Given the number of foreigners in Lebanon, it may be several days before any relocation outside of Lebanon occurs.

World Venture personnel in Beirut have been in daily communication with their regional director. Denglinger says the staff are in a non-targeted area of the city.

The concern is over what happens in their absence. “The daily routines of life and ministry obviously are interrupted by the conflict so that has shifted their normal ministry commitments to new kinds of ministries that are much more low key and done with restricted movement.”

Denlinger says the situation has fine-tuned their focus. “Ministry has shifted to calls of encouragement, calls for prayer and trying to make contingent plans for next steps, ‘how should the seminary respond?’ and offer ongoing training, but also offer a message of peace amidst the ongoing conflict.”

Additional ministries include medical outreach, the discipling of students from several Arabic-speaking nations in the region, and Bible study, evangelism and discipleship at a Lebanese women’s prison.

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