Monday, September 12, 2011

Profiles in Partnership-Ragaee A. Danial

For 20 years ETS has sought partnerships with national church leaders around the world. We would like to introduce you to a new partner Ragaee A. Danial. Ragaee is on the board of SSTI (Sunday School Training Institute) in El Minya, Egypt. He oversees and helps develop materials for the Institute as well as directing training events. His life verse is 2 Timothy 2:2 "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."

In addition to his work with SSTI, he is busy working with poor and needy families, to help them meet their need for food, clothing, shelter and to teach them about the love of Jesus Christ. Earlier this year ETS was able to send Ragaee a projector and 29 Christian children's videos to use his work.

According to Voice of the Martyrs, Egyptian Christians face ongoing persecution in spite that this country has the largest Christian community in the Middle East. The country's constitution gives preference to Muslims. Christians are treated as second-class citizens, denied political representation, and often discriminated against in education and employment. While the constitution allows for freedom of conversion, Muslims converting to Christianity have often been unable to change their religion or name on their identification cards. Without the freedom to make this change, Christian women remain designated as Muslims and are unable to marry Christian men. Children of those designated Muslim (even if the are, in fact, Christian) are educated as Muslims and those with Islamic names are routinely turned away from entering churches by the police.

Larry Williams, Children's Pastor of Canyon Hills Community Church in Bothell, Washington has worked with Ragaee in Egypt 5 times and has taught in several of his training programs for teaching adults how to lead children to Jesus. Larry says, "Ragaee goes to villages where there are no churches. He will bring in 380 to 500 kids for an all day program. He transports them in a rented vehicle that is used to transport animals. He packs in about 50 kids standing and transports them to the festival about 40 minutes away from the village. He feeds them, tells them Bible Stories, prays with them and does basic discipleship. He has made a significant impact and wants to ultimately plant churches in these villages. The people he works with are desperately poor and Ragaee offers them help and hope. A vehicle would be a tremendous blessing and a great help to transport the teachers to the villages and to bring the children together."

A typical Children's Evangelism Festival will have as many as 800 kids. They are put in smaller groups of 10, given a teacher a T-shirt and play 10 games that each teach a different message about Jesus. They learn songs about Jesus, hear Bible stories, and will have an opportunity to ask Jesus into their hearts. The teacher will pray for the children about any needs they have and kids are fed 3 sandwiches, juice and chips.

This festival had 74 teachers from 20 different churches and 728 children from 24 villages that are without a church. There was a village of 64 children that were not allowed to attend due to problems between Muslims and Christians.

How can help with this dynamic ministry? We are raising money so that Ragaee can buy a vehicle in Egypt to transport these children and adult leaders. I am sure that you have been reading about Egypt in the news and you know about all the changes happening in their government and society. This is an incredible chance to make a difference in a strategic Muslim nation and possible impact other states in the Middle East as well.

Thank you for your prayerful consideration.

Grace and peace,

The ETS Staff