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Originally written by Marina Bromley

This seems to be a GREAT idea for other fields to replicate, if possible. It is an “informal meeting” – truly a forum and not a meeting at all (and not a conference) as they welcome the ideas and thoughts from all the participants, all who have a vested interest in the events and progression of the gospel in a specific area of North Africa.


There were nearly 100 participants, several from our local congregation (because it was convenient) and many from other churches, other denominations, sending organizations, future workers, and workers home from the field as well. One national church leader and his wife were present, a real blessing (although the circumstances they were stateside are frustrating at best). Some of the people were Missions Ministers, and there were other folks that had been removed from other countries around the Middle East or North Africa, who were just longing to hang out with passionate people, pray, and see if God might open a door for them there. ๐Ÿ™‚


The cost of the Forum was low ($40 per person, so they must have had donations from other groups) and included snacks and dinner on Friday afternoon, ย and 3 meals and snacks on Saturday, and all materials (a simple folder with a few brochures or handouts on topics covered and resources available). Housing was available in advance through arranging for a host family, or you could stay in a local hotel that gave a discount for a group rate. We shared rides, and shuttled folks from the airport when needed. There was a table set up with books for sale, and another with suggested reading materials that were not for sale but could be handled and looked through for anyone to add it to their list wish of reading materials. There was a display set up from Team Expansion, and one from Frontiers.


Friday eve: The Forum’s history was covered, who the people are and why/when they meet (common interest in the country, and usually every 2 years, although it was discussed to meet next year in Mississippi – I’ll keep you posted!!). There was an amazing worship time, provided from our home church worship leader/team (also a missional person, sensitive to the field). Then they followed up with a “State of the Area Panel” with discussion of the church, international worker community, politically/socially/economically and security/police topics. Prayer related to these issues were discussed.


Saturday: A national church leader gave a brief testimony, and shared things on his heart. We had an overview of the day, and then focused on PRAYER, with a few skype calls, film clips to motivate us, and encourage us to not talk about prayer – but to DO IT. We discussed (really, not led from one person, but microphones passed around the room!) the need and vision of mobilization of prayer/prayer groups, how we can encourage the national church in prayer there, and to hear from groups here on their prayer efforts.




Then we had discussion on Evangelism, Follow up, and Discipleship, with stories and ideas passed around the room. Lovely!!


The main session in the afternoon covered Teams (evangelism, prayer, work) and prayer efforts, worker care efforts, church planting, media work being done, upcoming trips and efforts, Kairos (going there in Oct), and whatever else could be thought of. ๐Ÿ™‚


We had an hour of break-out sessions; just four of them to choose from, which was great! They were on Mobilizing Prayer, Going to the Next Level in Engaging in this country, Making Short-Term Trips more effective and Ideas for Trips, and How to Better Care for Workers and their Families (I was supposed to be in a panel on that, but felt led to attend the one on prayer instead – as we’re trying to launch a prayer movement in our church). The feedback on all of the groups was great, and they took time for all of us to debrief our groups afterwards. Then we prayed in small groups over ideas that God impressed on our hearts…and then shared as a group what we prayed about, believing that the Holy Spirit would impress upon us in several areas – and He did! What a faith builder to see how He gave the same idea to several of the groups in different areas of the room!


That’s one thing that was especially nice – the amount of time allowed to network, and just get to know each other!


Then we had an hour of “free time” to allow ourselves to seek God, encourage each other, work in the small groups that arrived together or???


Dinner followed, with 2 hours of worship and prayer time. It was amazing! We were led into the presence of God through song, then guided through prayer as we recognized Him, praised Him, released our burdens, fears, etc to Him and asked Him to take over those areas. It was beautiful. Some of it was done corporately, some done in smaller groups, all of it precious.


Great friendships were forged between individuals, churches, ministries, all for the glory of God’s work in this land!


If you would like to be included in the next Forum, please let me know and I’ll forward your information on to the folks that put it together. Just use the “Contact us” form and ask for Marina’s info about El J**.

Linda Epeards

Author Linda Epeards

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