Middle East, North Africa New Serve Globally Region

By  originally published in the Covenant Companion

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Photo by Andy Larsen

CHICAGO, IL (November 3, 2016) – Serve Globally executive minister Al Tizon announced the establishment of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) mission region today.

MENA will be the smallest of the five regions geographically, but it will encompass more than 20 nations, including Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen. The four other Serve Globally regions are Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America/Caribbean.

Tizon noted that individual churches, conferences, as well as the denomination have been involved with many ministries in the area already, including Bethlehem Bible College; Bible Societies in Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine; orphanage work in Turkey and Egypt; relief work in Syria and Libya; water initiatives in Yemen; and Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation initiatives such as Christ at the Checkpoint.

mena-map1Tizon said ministry in that volatile area of the world will focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the refugee crisis, and the persecution of Christians, as well as interacting with Muslim populations.

President Gary Walter added, “MENA is a region where there is significant interest from Covenant churches. Standing with persecuted Christians and the humanitarian disaster in Syria are just two examples where partnerships could create helpful pathways very quickly. It is a complex region, but it seems evident that God is opening doors for us to be more intentional and strategic as we live out our core mission to see more disciples, among more populations, in a more caring and just world.”

Tizon said the initial goal will be to “come alongside as a reinforcing partner” with established ministries in MENA. A future approach will be to identify ECC members to serve in the region. Tizon said he hopes to appoint a regional coordinator by mid-2017.

The Executive Board approved the new region at its October meeting.

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The Answer is Spiritual and it’s Found in Solitude

11-novemberSome words from Thomas Merton speak to our state of affairs today in my humble opinion.

“When (men) are merely submerged in a mass of impersonal human beings pushed around by automatic forces, they lose their true humanity, their integrity, their ability to love, their capacity for self-determination. When society is made up of men who know no interior solitude it can no longer be held together by love: and consequently it is held together by a violent and abusive authority. But when men are violently deprived of solitude and freedom which are their due, the society in which they live becomes putrid, it festers with servility, resentment and hate. No amount of technological progress will cure the hatred that eats away the vitals of materialistic society like a spiritual cancer. The only cure is, and must always be, spiritual.” Thomas Merton (Thoughts on Solitude).

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Worth repeating America in 2000: 65,900 reporters,128,600 PR people America in 2015: 45,800 reporters, 218,000 PR people (per )

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