The Arab world is often seen as intimidating to missionaries. It’s easy to fall into fear or disbelief that God is willing and able to change the hearts and minds of His children in the Middle Eastern world. Thankfully, many missionaries have chosen to align themselves with the heart and mission of our Father in seeing differently. The Karkafi family are some.
Since 2017, Bechara, Roula, and their sons, Robin and Jonathan, have been serving as missionaries based in Lebanon. Their ministry focuses on church planting and disciple-making amongst Middle Eastern communities in both Lebanon, and Ontario and Quebec.
Bechara likens the church to a new car. But in order for a car to function, it needs an engine. For the church, that engine is discipleship. He shares the importance of discipleship in each of the churches, saying that “when we see this [discipleship] movement reach the second, third, and fourth generation of disciples being made, we will be sure that the church planting movement will take place in a great way and we will witness, by God’s grace, a revival of church planting taking place across the area”.
Their ministry uses four strategic goals to see this vision take place:
- Discipleship Church Planting Movements which partner with dozens of church plants in Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Pakistan, and Indonesia, as well as the central area of Ontario and Quebec.
- Leaders and theological training, equipping disciple-makers in Lebanon and Egypt, with two more training programs to come in Turkey and Sudan.
- Humanitarian ministry in Beirut, Lebanon, serving children, refugees, and families in need. As well as prison ministry in Lebanon, Sudan, Egypt, and Pakistan.
- Mission Academy (MA), launched in 2021. Bechara shared that many Arab churches don’t have the culture to train and send local missionaries in their church DNA. Instead, they often lean on receiving missionaries from the west. For that reason, MA was birthed to train national missionaries from all over the MENA (Middle East/North Africa) area, and send them among their people to reach out with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to make disciples.
With passion and genuineness, Bechara shares that, “the heart of all that we are doing is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to do multiplied movement ministry. And when we have disciples making disciples, we’ll see churches planting churches who will be packed with disciples willing to plant more churches for God’s glory. This is the crazy ministry that is already taking place by God’s grace. This is His ministry, this is His vision, this is how He’s leading our steps across the area. We are witnessing hundreds and thousands of people … coming to Christ across the MENA area. And for that reason, we believe that this is a season of rising up of the new great church across the MENA area. I believe deeply that the heroes of faith who will lead this vision across the area are the brothers and sisters who [are now Christ-followers from this region]. And we are training them right now in order to send them and plant churches and make disciples.”
God is moving in powerful ways amongst the Arab world; the Karkafi’s have simply made themselves available for God to work through them. We invite you to join God in what He is doing in your neighbourhood and around the world.