Been to any ‘good’ Zoom meetings lately?
14 Jul 2021
Around the globe, people have become used to online meetings for business as well as social connection. Across the Arab World, too, there’s now a greater willingness to meet together online. This year, our media ministry team started gathering new and isolated Arab believers online for fellowship. The LORD is using these new virtual meetings to build His church!
Led by pairs from our response team, each leader invited a few contacts – so everyone coming into the group already knows at least one other person. That’s important in the Arab World, as meeting with strangers is not common, so going online to experience the fellowship of believers, or the worldwide church, is a new idea.
The Zoom groups are helping Arabic-speaking Believers from a Muslim Background (BMBs) learn to share and pray together, and read and discuss Scripture. Currently, six groups meet weekly. As well as two leaders, each group has six to eight members, often in different nations. The members are in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco – representing a wide range of Arabic accents and cultures.
These groups demonstrate what the body of Christ is really about. Coming from different backgrounds – but often with many experiences in common – participants learn to trust and care for one another as followers of Jesus. And the groups are expanding, as members invite interested friends or family members to join!
Some encouraging stories:
- one woman came to Christ through reading the Bible on her own some years ago. She has joined a Zoom group for people over 35, who are also isolated – this is their only contact with other believers.
- a young Middle Eastern man, who accepted Christ in April, joins his Zoom group every week without speaking – he listens on headphones and participates in discussions by text message. Why? His family, who don’t yet know about his new faith, are sitting in the same room while he ‘attends’ the fellowship meeting on his phone!
- Most members of one group are women persecuted for their faith in Christ. They love the LORD, and refuse to turn back. Their leaders say: they encourage us!
- young North Africans, from different parts of the same country, meet in another group. They enjoy online worship together, singing hymns as one member plays the Oud.
The LORD is building His church! Our plan is to run the first groups for three months till mid-2021, then encourage original members to either continue meeting together, or separate to start new groups – our hope is that some members will be able to help lead.
Please join us in praising and thanking the LORD for this strategic opportunity to foster fellowship among new believers in the Arab World, and pray for His wisdom as our team helps the groups to move forward.
- – K, a Pioneers worker serving in the Middle East