Update From The 2015 MENA Conference

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Websters defines anticipation as:

  1. a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen
  2. the act of preparing for something

That's the perfect description of what I'm feeling right now. Getting here to our Middle East North Africa (MENA) conference in Lebanon was a long process that included a 2 hour storm delay on the runway ramp in Atlanta, an 8 hour flight to Paris, a 3 hour layover, a 4 hour flight to Beirut, long slow lines at immigration and baggage claim, and a 90 minute wild ride in rush hour traffic.

After a sweet reunion and delicious meal with our regional directors, Wahid and Laila, and our local hosts, Ali and Rania, I enjoyed a great night's sleep after a 30 hour marathon.

And now it's a new day and our conference delegates are starting to arrive. Curnelius and his 24 year old son Shakeeb from Pakistan. A couple from Iraq, another couple who are old friends from Jordan, and a mother and daughter from Syria.

2015-06-29 image-2They are the first wave of 110 participants on their way from 11 different countries in the Middle East and North Africa. We usually have more countries represented, but political tensions have made travel a lot more complicated.

Each of these folks carry a fascinating story, and I hope to share some of them with you this week. Most are carrying heavy burdens and they desperately need this conference.

Nearly all are experiencing the greatest persecution of their lifetime. For many it's the systemic kind of discrimination that denies educational and career opportunities to them and their children. For others it's full blown physical danger as church bombings, beatings, imprisonment, and even martyrdom are real possibilities.

I've been looking forward to this conference for months. I'm well prepared to share Chosen, our new course on Mary. The PowerPoint and workbooks are all translated and ready to go.

But suddenly I feel terribly inadequate and unprepared.

As Wahid said at breakfast, "These brothers and sisters need us to wipe away their tears and transfuse their faith before we send them back into the battle."

So I'm spending most of today alone.

I'm asking God to give me his heart so I can weep with those who weep. I'm asking God to give me supernatural discernment so I know what parts of Mary's story are most needed by this unique group. And I'm asking God to fill me with compassion so I can connect deeply with each participant and be a channel for transfusing their faith.

Will you commit to pray for us every day this week? I mean really pray. Our team is gifted and well prepared. But unless God chooses to show up and display his power, this will be just another conference that comes and goes.

These brothers and sisters need this week to be so much more than that. And so do I. And so do you.

Phil Tuttle
Walk Thru the Bible

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jean trillet 07.10.2015 12:20  
key word transparancies Yes No   Hello, Phil Tuttle: Hello from Watseka,Illinoi s. I am looking for a set of the old transparancies from 20 years ago, where I can throw them up on aa screen or wall, and teach the memory system. My church can't find the set I gave to them. Can you help me find a set? Thanks. Hello to Ellen. Jean E. Trillet (still teaching women.)  
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Debbie Millette 29.06.2015 23:36  
Prayer Yes No   Just wanted to let you know we are committed to praying for you and for all the conference participants and look forward to seeing what God will do.  
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