Ministry scrambles before window of opportunity closes

By February 21, 2011

Middle East (MNN) — As often happens in times of turbulence
or upheaval, people begin to do a lot of introspection, and they begin ask
questions they wouldn’t normally ask.

Given the uprisings and the brutal suppressions going on throughout the Middle East, this is a phenomenon that is beginning to appear once more. Several ministries
interviewed by Mission Network News confirm that God seems to be moving in the
region during the anti-government protests sweeping Tunisia, Egypt, Libya,
Lebanon, Yemen, and Bahrain.

Even as new governments begin to form from the ashes of the old ones, there is a risk that malevolent attitudes toward Christians won’t change along with that. Believers are
mobilizing. Executive Director of Christian Resources International Jason Woolford says, “[We] definitely have short windows–or it would appear that we could have a short window–to get God’s Word there. We’re going to be working diligently in hopes to do that.”

CRI has already laid the groundwork through the Great Crates they’ve sent in. “Last year, we sent stuff to Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran. My goal is to get the Word of God in those areas again this year. We’re strategizing to get more Christian literature there again this year.”

CRI repurposes Christian literature and Bibles and sends the materials to a ministry partner in country. This partner has a means of distribution and the manpower to do it. However, “Our boxes are marked ‘CRI–Christian Resources International,’ and depending on some areas that we send to, those need to be packaged differently.” In some areas, the combination of the partner and the labeling could put a ministry at risk by the opposition. CRI is sensitive to these issues and responds accordingly.

It costs almost $11,000 to ship a Great Crate to the Middle East. The Gospel impact can be enormous. Woolford says one of their partners put it into perspective for them: a single
Bible was used by an Indian pastor to reach 44,000 people with the hope of the
Gospel. A single container has, on average, 20,000 Bibles in it.

For every dollar sent to help, it represents the potential for paradigm shift. “‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ I think that the listeners need to just really pray that God gives us strategic partners and strategic openings in these areas, that the Word can be distributed by them. [Pray] also for protection over those distributing.”

Repression causes a hunger for change. The uprisings in the Middle East are proof of
that. What will answer the questions being asked?

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