Over the past decade, NCS Winston Salem has been working for change in the Middle East – to better lives, bring the love of Jesus and create hope for the future in the face of despair. The January summit that we just participated in was a culmination of these efforts and a chance to learn more.
Background on our work in the region
Seven brothers from across our relational network traveled to the Middle East in February 2014. Their objective was to learn, encourage, and meet with servant leaders dealing with the massive Syrian refugee challenge in both Lebanon and Jordan.
At this initial meeting, we were able to convene a first-of-its-kind gathering of 13 individuals to compare notes on the most impactful ways to help refugees integrate into the communities. This included prayer and identifying the kinds of support needed and the ministries willing to help them.
From this initial meeting grew a vision for what NCS Winston Salem could do: catalyze those working for Jesus in the region by strengthening and extending global relationships and partnerships. Over the past subsequent five years, NCS Winston Salem has lived out this vision through multiple trips to the Middle East, support of the people and of course prayer…and the impact has been astounding!
The idea for a summit
Kalim Andraos started thinking about the concept of a summit almost a year before it happened.
“Many times I doubted that voice I heard. Others also doubted I heard anything at all; but the voice in my ringing ears kept whispering: Gather my Saints on the Dead Sea,” shared Andraos.
Andraos says that there were many spiritual and even physical attacks that came....and countless times, he woke up in the middle of the night concerned that no one would attend the summit and that it would be a failure. The enemy planted many doubts and fears, including how the event would be funded.
Thankfully, God willed the summit to be so – and on January 16-19, 2020, the Jordan Partner Summit occurred at the Dead Sea Marriott Resort & Spa. This summit offered and a unique learning and ministry experience for those able to travel to Jordan. Couples, individuals and small groups were all welcome.
The summit experience
A group of over 80 Christian pastors, missionaries, church planters and workers from at least 16 countries gathered to encourage, support, build relationships and make connections for the Kingdom. Our Winston-Salem representatives included: Kalim and Paula Andraos, Andy Bowersox, Harvey Freeman, John Mark Fuller, Jay Helvey, Brandon and Holli Billings, Brett Kanode, Craig and Janie Miller, and Stan Senft.
Over two days we heard from ten speakers or groups of speakers from various countries. We were blessed by the music ministry of the Kirnev Family Ensemble from Moldova. We visited Marka Church in Amman and learned of their amazing ministry to 2.5 million refugees. We listened and learned about the first ever Prayer Breakfast happening in the UAE in March and the Kids Camps ministry – and how workers are responding to the needs of the most vulnerable, through the Lebanese Society for Education and Social Development (LSESD), the Beirut Baptist School (92% Muslim), Mid East Revive and Thrive (MERAT) ministry of compassion in Lebanon.
And we were reminded that too much salt kills.
The Dead Sea is dead because it has too much salt. Christians are salt to the world. We need to spread the salt.
Kalim Andros describes it like this: The Lord asked “who shall we send?”, and you all said “send me!” Thank God for all of you, who came, gave, and prayed. Thank you for your faithfulness, for your encouragement and for your prayers!
Final thoughts on the summit
Many believers with little or no expectations came to the summit. Pastors, Missionaries, Bible preachers and teachers, Frontline Kingdom Warriors all came...with faith guiding them.
The Jordan Partner Summit was an extremely valuable event. First, sharing of testimonies by godly men and women taught us about listening to the Lord and serving heroically against great odds and extreme danger. The Lord is strongly at work in the Middle East in unprecedented ways.
Second, it reinforced that networking needs to continue to happen between individuals and ministries. These partnerships will multiply the impact in the region in churches, relief, evangelism, school education, theological education and more.
“Is the Lord Jesus coming back soon? Maybe! However we just have to be Faithful to His sweet whispering voice. He works through open and close doors! The door for the Muslim world is wide open,” exclaimed Andraos.
NCS will continue to play a powerful role and encourages more brothers to experience the Middle East through its outreach and ministry opportunities.