Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Instability in the Middle East prompts ministry curriculum

Middle East-The murder tribunal for the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is moving forward, a process that may further inflame tensions between Lebanon and Syria.The Security Council has decided to seek the truth behind Hariri's killing and 22 others in the massive car bombing on Feb. 14, 2005.Syria denies any involvement in the attack, but the row it caused forced Syrian troops to withdraw from Lebanon after a 29-year presence.The new International Independent Investigation Commission chief will release his first report, with the Security Council to begin discussions in early April.Meanwhile, Arab leaders are also gathered for a summit dealing with the challenges to peace. Lebanon's grievance is expected to overshadow the talks, but leaders also hope to address the Palestinian territories and Iraq.SAT-7's David Harder says the instability has taken its toll on the church: "We want to provide them with the tools they need to grow spiritually, which they may have difficulty accessing because of conflicts in the area. But through television and through satellite television, we are able to bring them those tools."Because some church leaders can't safely attend classes at a seminary, SAT-7 decided to take the seminary to them. The ministry hosted a special meeting with 17 seminary leaders from across the high-conflict areas of the Middle East and North Africa to present the idea and get things rolling. Harder says SAT-7 will be helping to produce a series of certified distance-learning programs called "TEACH," or "'Theological Education for Arab Christians at Home." "This is a way that these seminaries can get together. They can look at the needs of the audience, and they're coming together with some special curricula to meet the needs of basic discipleship and those who need advanced tools to be able to lead their congregations."Their goal is to be able to have students finish the curriculum with a diploma from one of the participating seminaries. Production is underway, and Harder says they're hoping to have some programming on the air by this summer.
Please Pray:
*Pray that the producers would have wisdom for content, as well as understanding to meet the viewer's needs.
*Pray, too, for safety of those seminaries involved and for the believers who will participate.
*Pray for wisdom for those who are developing and producing content.
*Pray that participants will be well-equipped for ministry through this program.
As in the days of Noah....

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