Egypt is one of the largest countries in the Arab World with a population of almost 80 million people. It contains the largest Christian minority within the Middle East. Between 10-15% of the population belongs to the Coptic Orthodox Church. There are also significant Catholic and Protestant communities.
Veritas has been involved in Egypt since 1997 and over the years the work has grown under God’s blessing to become one of the largest Christian training ministries in the entire country. About a thousand people from almost all the provinces of the country are currently enrolled in the Veritas programme.
Because training takes place in so many different areas the participants vary significantly. On any given day the training may run in Cairo focussing on urban professionals
while in Upper Egypt many subsistence farmers may be in attendance. However, all the participants have been selected by their churches as having significant leadership potential and a ministry that would benefit from the Veritas training. About 15% of the participants are trained pastors while the rest are involved in lay ministry.
The Veritas programme and philosophy is especially impacting the next generation of church leaders as a significant percentage of participants falls into the 25-40 age-group. It is also very encouraging that many churches actively encourage women leaders to benefit from the training.
The training in Egypt is done mainly through training conferences with follow up sessions in local areas. This means that students would attend a conference introducing a specific module and then go home to do some practical exegesis and ministry tasks under the leadership of trained local facilitators. Thus they get ample opportunity to integrate and apply what they are learning before returning for the next conference which focusses on the next module.
The training conferences are held regionally with about 60-100 participants attending each one. They are generally held at campsites or conference centres that are easily accessible yet a little removed from the participants' usual ministry area so that they can focus on the training. The participants from a particular village or town usually come together weekly for follow up. A wonderful side benefit is that relationships between believers from different churches have been strengthened in many places.
The work in Egypt operates under the leadership of a local board consisting of respected and experienced Christian leaders. Some of the Egyptian staff work from an office in Cairo while others are based in regional areas. About 50 people from all over Egypt also regularly volunteer their services in a variety of ways.
God has granted wonderful growth through the years. The ministry, however, faces a number of challenges for which prayer would be appreciated:
- Managing the ministry growth with the limited human and financial resources available.
- Branching into new areas.
Veritas enjoys good relationships with churches from across the denominational spectrum, and is an active member of the Evangelical Fellowship of Egypt.
Reverend R, a senior pastor in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Upper Egypt, says:
“The Veritas College program is an excellent resource for training leaders. A total of 36 of our members are involved in training. It is helping our local church to train our leaders inside the church. The training is based on biblical principles and is equipping our leaders both with biblical interpretation and skills in ministry. It has therefore a great impact.”
“Veritas training gave me a practical tool of how to study the Bible for myself and how to help others to do the same. Also I found that Veritas training is very important for the church, especially for the poor church that doesn’t have many tools to train its leaders, especially the non-denominational churches.”
“The training gave me a better understanding about how can I interpret the Bible by myself, how I can have the true meaning of the message of the Bible, how to apply it in my personal life and how I can transfer the message to other people.
"Also, as a servant of God’s church in Egypt I am able to say that from my whole heart ...
we have a big need for Veritas training to impact the Church and its role in the world.
Not just the church in Egypt but in the whole of the Middle East."
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Office: Tel/fax +202 2415 2339