Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pray for Missionaries in Lebanon!!!

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS)—One week after violence erupted in the Middle East nation of Lebanon, International Ministries says missionaries Dan and Sarah Chetti and volunteer Jennifer Wallace are still safe. The Chettis serve at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut. Jennifer Wallace, from the First Baptist Church in Hamilton, Ohio, is currently a volunteer at the seminary. At this time, the Chettis have chosen to remain and minister with our partner in Lebanon.

IM’s area director for Europe and the Middle East, Rev. Reid Trulson, is urging American Baptists to be in prayer for our personnel, the students, and staff of the seminary as well as the people of Lebanon and Israel. Since the conflict broke out a week ago, over 300 persons have been killed, the vast majority in Lebanon, as well as an estimated 500,000 persons displaced. Trulson is in regular contact with IM's missionaries in the region by email, the most effective means of communication presently.

According to media reports, fighters from Hezbollah, an Islamicist militia, launched a morning assault into Israel, Wednesday, July 12, killing six Israeli soldiers, and kidnapping several others. At the time, Hezbollah hoped to swap the Israeli soldiers for the several hundred Hezbollah fighters now in Israeli prisons. In response, Israel sent armored forces into southern Lebanon for the first time in six years, and it bombed the runways at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, shutting down the facility. Israeli naval ships have been blockading Lebanon's ports, to prevent Hezbollah from receiving weapons shipments, and bombing of sites in Southern Beirut, Southern Lebanon and other parts of the country

In a public statement, Rev. Nabil Costa said more than 700 displaced Lebanese are staying at the Beirut Baptist School, while others have taken refuge at the seminary. Costa is a Baptist leader, and he is head of the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development.

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