Activating Egyptian church planters in the Arab world
To most of the world, Egypt is a land of history and culture, making it a popular tourist destination. But to Streams of Living Water, Egypt is a “sleeping giant” that can make a tremendous impact toward taking the gospel to the Arab world.
OneWay’s Streams ministry is helping to awaken that sleeping giant with its annual Mobilization Conference. More than 500 believers gathered in late August for the conference, including church planters and missionaries from throughout the Middle East and Africa.
“Egyptians have a unique position in the world,” said Pat Ritacco, the U.S. administrator for OneWay’s Streams of Living Water ministry. “It has probably the biggest Christian church in that area, but they're not all that active in outreach.”
In August, Streams of Living Water hosted its annual Mobilization Conference in Cairo, Egypt, to inspire believers to follow God’s calling into missions and church planting. Streams hopes that these new church planters will help them reach their goal of establishing 100 Tyrannus Missionary Schools throughout the Middle East and Africa.
Streams also uses the Mobilization Conference to encourage and support current missionaries in the Arab world. These missionaries often work in dangerous locations and suffer loneliness and persecution for the sake of the gospel. The Mobilization Conference creates a safe space for missionaries to enjoy community with other believers and build potential partnerships within the church.
“Knowing that people are praying for and supporting them is huge,” said Ritacco. “It’s just a shot in the arm of encouragement.”
The 2023 Streams Mobilization Conference took place on August 23-26 near Cairo, Egypt. Almost 500 believers attended the conference, including church planters and missionaries from Egypt, Turkey, Syria, South Sudan, Spain, Morocco, Cameroon, Senegal, Mauritania and Rwanda.
“Every time I go to one of these conferences,” I get to know the people in Egypt better,” Ritacco said. “Meeting the people I work with via email face to face enriches the work.”
The conference featured sessions about God’s calling, Christ in the Old Testament, dealing with suffering, spiritual battles in Egypt, the state of the gospel in West Africa and more. Church planters also shared field reports where attendees could learn about the work going on throughout the Arab world.
The Mobilization Conference also serves to equip and encourage current missionaries and church planters. Through networking and sharing stories, these missionaries are able to enjoy camaraderie with fellow workers and find support from partners in the United States.
“It's really lonely out on the field,” said Ritacco. “You get really isolated. Just to know that Streams is behind them and we're all praying for them, I think that's super helpful.”
The conference is particularly focused on inspiring Egyptians to follow God’s calling into missions. According to Streams Director Brother Philip*, the Egyptian church is in a prime position to take the gospel to the Arab world.
“The church in Egypt is a sleeping giant because of its large Arab population,” said Ritacco, quoting Brother Philip. “It has huge communication platforms, and most people who speak Arabic languages in North Africa and the Middle East understand Egyptian Arabic."
"They're in a unique position to be mobilized to get out there and to share the good news," Ritacco explained.
The impact that the Mobilization Conference has on the Egyptian church is an invaluable blessing to Streams of Living Water. In the next few years, Streams hopes to plant more Tyrannus Missionary Schools in Africa and the Middle East alongside the nine already at work. Streams needs strong believers who are skilled in administration to manage these schools, and the Egyptian Church often fills that need well.
The conference raises up new missionaries every year. Typically, anywhere from 20–40 people will sign up for Streams’ Impact School, a 10-month weekend training program for Egyptians. This year, the Impact School graduated 41 students, and 21 of them were commissioned for the mission field.
Please pray for Streams of Living Water as it continues to activate believers to take the gospel to the Arab world.
There is an urgent need for missionaries in the Middle East and Africa, where Streams of Living Water operates. Billions of unreached people live in this region, and through the Tyrannus Missionary Schools, Streams has commissioned more than 400 church planters to reach these billions.
There is much more to be done. Streams prayerfully aims to open a total of 100 Tyrannus Missionary Schools to expand their reach.
Would you consider praying and partnering financially with us toward this goal? One month of Streams' missionary training costs $175.