Today we are starting the first family conference that HeartCry has hosted in the Middle East. We have a number of people from various groups throughout Egypt and even a few individuals from other nations within the region. Let me give you a brief summary of who is here with us:
First, HeartCry has been working in Egypt for several years now with church planter Samuel D. in the northern part of the country. Samuel now has a church that is doing well, as he continues laboring to teach the Scriptures and evangelize the area in which he lives. Sam has worked hard to put together all of the details for the conference and as I write this, he is leading the congregation in singing an Arabic worship song.
A few years ago, we also began informally working with a church plant in Cairo named “House of Bread.” The church has been through a number of trials and struggles, including the loss of the founding pastor who was tragically killed in a car wreck a year and a half ago. As the church has persevered, the Lord has graciously worked in the lives of the young men and women that comprise it. Furthermore, approximately one year ago, the leader of the Egyptian Southern Baptists sent an open invitation for HeartCry to begin training the pastors and church planters working under their convention. In June 2013, Pastor Charles Leiter and I kicked this training off, with Charles teaching on Justification and Regeneration. Today, there are between 20 and 30 pastors, along with their wives, attending the teaching on family.
From outside Egypt, we are privileged to have Walid, Antony, and Dr. Andrew from the Middle East; Christian from Germany; and Jon, Rachel (Dr. Andrew’s wife), Don, Cindy, and me from the United States.
In the next three days, we are asking the Lord to speak to us through His Word. It is my hope that everyone present will see the great goal and purpose behind the God-ordained institution of marriage. This institution is suffering and waning throughout the world. It is not only being attacked and redefined in the West, but it is under pressure and brokenness in the Middle East. We hope that the men and women present at the conference will be impacted by God’s truth concerning marriage and that their churches will then be impacted as well.