FORT ERIE, Ont. (INS)—Bibles and New Testaments, along with Christian tracts and literature, are essential tools for indigenous missionaries in sharing the Gospel with unreached people. Most of Intercede International’s partner ministries put a strong focus on distributing Bibles and Christian literature. Some have seen dramatic results—such as thousands of Buddhist monks becoming Christians in Myanmar (Burma).
Manara Outreach Ministries, a Jordan-based ministry partnered with Intercede, helps to meet the spiritual needs of Middle Eastern people through its several Christian bookstores, and by distributing Bibles and Christian books. Manara has a Christian bookstore in Beirut, Lebanon, which is one of the largest Christian bookstores in the Middle East. One bookstore is in in Tripoli, Libya, and two in Jordan.
Manara leader Isam Ghattas strongly encourages Christians to help cover the cost of Bibles in Arabic to be sent to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. He believes that these countries soon may close the doors for outsiders due to escalated violence in these areas. One Bible costs as little as $3.25 for Manara, which needs as many Bibles as possible. A few years ago, a group of Amish Americans paid for 55,000 Arabic Bibles, which were printed in Japan for a small fee and shipped to Manara in Jordan. What a wonderful international connection!
Manara accomplished the goal of delivering one million Bibles and New Testaments to Iraq, Syria and the Arabian Peninsula by the year 2000. It distributes Christian adult and children’s literature to help build up the churches. Ghattas founded Manara more than 40 years ago. Ghattas came to Christ by reading a Bible he was given and so has a strong inclination towards ensuring the Word of God is available to all.
Since the late 1970s, Manara 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. 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.
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, last fall 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 packages 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. Manara has a great need for finances for books and other literature: Arabic or English Bibles, English literature, and commentaries.
A Great Spiritual Harvest
Witnessing for Christ—an indigenous ministry based in Myanmar that is partnered with Intercede— has produced Gospel tracts for more than 30 years and prints at least 500,000 tracts and booklets per year—more than any other organization in that country. WFC also offers Bible Correspondence Courses focused on salvation and Christian growth.
“The demand for literature is increasing more and more, especially for Gospel tracts, which are in great demand because more people are interested in knowing Christ nowadays,” writes WFC leader Rev. Ronnie (last name not provided for security reasons). In 2008, for example, “we were forced to produce double the amount of Gospel literature compared with the previous year. With increased interest in Christianity, especially from the Buddhist sector—for which we praise God—we also need much more follow-up literature, as well as personnel. We need much of your prayer support for this need.”
WFC’s literature and other ministries are having an amazing effect on the Buddhist population of Myanmar. A few years ago, Rev. Ronnie reported: “more than 4,700 Buddhist monks were led to Christ and were baptized through our ministry Gospel team alone. The unusual yet wonderful thing was, it seems the Holy Spirit was urging the Buddhist monks and nuns to call our missionaries to come and share the Gospel of hope and love in the privacy of their monasteries, and our Gospel workers felt obliged to go. As a result of these converted monks—as well as other ministries, such as the radio, literature, child evangelism—we figure some 10,000 souls were led to Christ just in 2008 alone through our ministry. Praise the Lord!”
Back in 2010 WFC requested gifts to cover the cost of printing tracts. One million tracts cost $3,200 to print. Soon afterward, one Intercede supporter donated $3,200—enough to plant a wonderful spiritual harvest!
Before, WFC printed tracts twice or three times a year. “Because of demand coming up, now we print 200,000 sheets, costing nearly $1,000 every month,” reported Rev. Ronnie to Intercede last summer. “I thank the Lord for His faithfulness in providing our every need and daily guidance. We strongly believe that such providence can only be possible because of your prayers. So please don’t ever stop praying for us—we need it very much.”
Pray for God’s provision of many more Bibles for these missionaries and others partnered with Intercede. Pray also for these missionaries to put on the full armour of God when they distribute Bibles—so that God will protect them and bless the results of this important work.
Photo: This refugee girl is grateful to receive a children’s Bible from Manara Outreach Ministries missionaries.