SFGM President, Michel Khalil, meets with Pope Tawadros II to discuss a strategic partnership.
I had the joy of ministering in Egypt, January 10-16, with Michel Khalil, president of Step Forward Global Ministries, Dr Dan Schafer, president of World Gospel Mission, and his wife Pam. Pastor Steve Schellin, SF board member, from Indianapolis was also a member of our team.
The days in Egypt were some of the most meaningful and fulfilling days of my life. This wonderful visit in Egypt truly exceeded all expectations. I never dreamed that I would see Coptic Orthodox priests, their wives, many of their leaders, and leaders from other denominations weeping openly and commenting on how leadership training has been used of God to ignite a new spiritual fire in their lives and congregations.
It is especially exciting to see God at work in this 2000 year old Orthodox denomination with 22 million members worldwide, about 17 million in Egypt. About 3 million are considered faithful. I truly believe God is using us to spark a genuine revival of true evangelism and discipleship. It is a huge responsibility – but so heartwarming that God would work through us. I’m blown away when they say, “You are our teacher sent from God”. It is so humbling. I pray that I will not fail them – that we will not fail them.
I am deeply grateful for your prayers and support in this endeavor. To God be praise for all He is doing.
Sunday, January 13, was a historic day for the Greater Middle East Initiative, a strategic partnership involving Step Forward Global Ministries, WGM, Nappanee Missionary Church and others. Michel Khalil, the director of the Initiative, Steve Schellin, Dan and Pam, and I were privileged to meet with Pope Tawadros II and several key leaders of the Coptic Orthodox Church. For the past two years, these leaders have been participating in the leadership conferences directed by Michel and taught by Dan, Steve and me, along with Dave Engbrecht and other teachers. The Pope invited us to meet with him to express his appreciation for these training conferences and the impact they have had, and to give his blessing for additional training to take place in Egypt! This is unprecedented. God is truly working in miraculous ways!
It was truly an amazing day as the top leaders of the Coptic Church affirmed the impact of the Biblical leadership training they are receiving through the Greater Middle East Initiative. Their love and hospitality will never be forgotten.
By Dr. Doug Carter
SFGM Chairman of the Board