From Christian Bookshop to International Ministry
February 27, 2019
JORDAN (INS)—The people of the Middle East have a great need for the Bible, and one indigenous ministry partnered with Intercede is providing it for them in creative ways.
Since the late 1970s, Manara Outreach Ministries has grown from a Christian bookshop to an international ministry working primarily in Jordan and Iraq, as well as other Middle Eastern countries such as Syria and Lebanon. Manara’s book ministry started in 1977 as a bookshop serving the evangelical community in Jordan. Over the years this ministry has expanded immensely. Today it holds displays in secular book fairs and exhibitions throughout the Middle East, using educational books along with Scriptures and Christian literature. Manara has received more than a million pieces of literature, including New Testaments (sent in from other countries), and sends these out to Jordan and surrounding countries.
Manara helps to meet the spiritual needs of Middle Eastern people through its two Christian bookstores in Jordan, and by distributing Bibles and Christian books. Previously, Manara ran a Christian bookstore in Beirut, Lebanon, one bookstore is in Iraq, and one in Tripoli, Libya.
Manara strongly encourages Christians to help cover the cost of Bibles in Arabic to be sent to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Manara founder Isam Ghattas believes that these countries soon may close the doors for outsiders due to escalated violence in these areas. One Bible usually costs $3.25 for Manara, which needs as many Bibles as possible. In 2010, Manara was able to purchase Bibles for just $2.50 each from a source in Japan, where they were printed.
One of Manara’s projects is to present 75 Iraqi churches with resource libraries containing Bibles, commentaries and other Christian books. With help from supporters, Manara can provide each congregation right at their doorstep with a resourceful library of Bibles and books such as: The Life Application Bible and Pocket New Testaments.
Manara currently needs: “more Bibles, more literature and more follow-up,” explains Ghattas. “We need more Bibles for Syria, more in the Kurdish language, more in the Armenian language.”
In the past few years, Manara has done much work with refugees from neighbouring Syria and Iraq. Manara missionaries do their best to meet the physical needs of refugees, but also address their spiritual needs by offering them Bibles and New Testaments.
For instance, in Fall 2016 Manara provided 300 school bag packs for 300 Iraqi refugee children. Each bag pack contained notebooks, pencils, and a water bottle. Each child also received a package that contains clothes, a pair of shoes, toys and a New Testament pocket Bible, a children’s Bible and story books.
“It is a great blessing for Manara missionaries to witness the joy and gratitude a simple gift brings to a child,” reported Ghattas. “These children do not deserve to live in such a hard situation with no end in sight. We pray that these packages will give them a sense of hope and love that could only come from our Heavenly Father.”
The Word of God has the power to transform lives in the Middle East. Pray for Manara’s work of providing Bibles to spiritually needy people in these countries.