Pray for Dan and Sarah Chetti training leaders for ministry in the Arab world and reaching out to foreign migrant women in Lebanon.
Dan and Sarah Chetti, the first International Ministries global servants in the Arab World, have been in Lebanon for over a decade. They believe these are moments of great challenge, yet opportune times in the Arab World.
Dan is an Adjunct Professor at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Beirut—an institution preparing leaders for ministry primarily across nine countries in the Middle East and North Africa. He teaches history of Christianity and historical theology. In addition, he is a member of the Faculty Council, mentors students, and does research and writing on contemporary Christianity. Dan is currently promoting a strategic ministry called “Enduring Love” (See description below.)
For the last few years, Sarah has been pioneering a ministry among foreign migrant women working as maids in Lebanon. There are 300,000 foreign maids laboring in Lebanon, a small nation with a population of just three million. Sarah ministers with the help of three other ladies. She visits and ministers at two other prisons, including one in Tripoli. She now runs an integrated Centre for Domestic Workers—Insaaf: Justice and Compassion of Jesus—at Hadath Baptist Church, Beirut. In cooperation with other organizations, Sarah advocates for the rights of the maids, fighting injustice and human trafficking.
Dan and Sarah are very active members of the International Church in Beirut, a vibrant congregation with over thirty nationalities. Dan is a member of the Ministry Leadership Team; he preaches and coordinates home groups and mission outreach. The Chettis host one of the home groups once a week and Dan hosts a men’s prayer breakfast twice a month.
Sarah writes: With a warm smile and a winsome personality, Sashi is part of a large invisible cohort of more than 300,000 ‘Maids’ (domestic workers), labouring in Lebanese homes. I first met her in the home of a friend several years back. She has been working in Lebanon, almost as long as I and Dan had been ministering, fourteen years. However, our paths did not cross till 2009. Sashi came from Sri Lanka, a country with third largest contingent of young women working as ‘maids’ in Lebanon. Sixteen years back Sashi faced the ultimate shame and ignominy; being abandoned by her husband for another woman. She was left caring for two little children; a daughter and a son. With no viable alternative, Sashi left her children in the care of her parents and came to Lebanon to work as a ‘maid’. For most domestic workers, a typical day runs for about 13 work hours with no day off. Some lucky women manage to get a day off! Sashi worked hard, denied herself simple pleasures, saved and regularly sent home money to her parents for the care and education of her children.
Sashi is a member of a vibrant Tamil congregation that meets in a cramped building in a Beirut suburb. She loves the Lord strives hard to be a faithful disciple of Jesus, sometimes under challenging conditions. Sashi knows about my ministry among the maids. She comes and helps me cook a hot meal once a week that I prepare for about 40 to50 women, at the Adlieh Detention Centre. Sometimes she surprises me; handing me money in an envelope, to be used towards the needs of women in prison! When I refuse to take her money, she says, “sister please let me bless these women with the blessings that God showers on me”. I am constantly amazed by her generous heart and loving spirit!
Last week I got an email from Sashi from Beirut. Her letter exuded with excitement, and joy that burst out from the grateful heart of a mother. And what an accomplishment! Priya, her daughter, graduated from college with honours in Sri Lanka, and landed a job in a bank! She is absolutely certain, ‘it is God’s doing! And he has blessed my Priya!” … Sashi is looking forward to returning home in a couple of years. She took the ultimate risk of working for pittance as a maid in a foreign country, yielded herself completely into the hands of her Master, but relieved for certain that her darling Priya will never have to choose the vocation of her mother.
ENDURING LOVE This project is managed by IM global servant Dan Chetti. https://im.projectworldimpact.com/middle-east-and-north-africa-enduring-love/ )
Summary – The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is ready to receive God’s message of hope and love, but the workers are very few. That’s why IM partner Enduring Love is raising up Arab Christian leaders and ministries through a variety of community-based programs.
Description – In the MENA region, for centuries there has been a void in Christian mission. Western mission societies and global workers have avoided this region in spite of its increasing openness to God’s message of hope and love. Global servants from the West play an important role; however, experience has shown that the most fruitful work in the Arab world is being done by the Arab people themselves in partnership with groups like Enduring Love, an official partner of IM. While the Arab world is consumed with the chaos and violence that we see highlighted in the media, IM and Enduring Love believe that it is precisely in times like these that the message of God’s hope and enduring love is most needed and welcomed. We are eager to embark upon an unprecedented journey in the MENA region with the message of hope and transformation. We are also seeking others like you who agree that true transformation begins with the transformation of the heart. As we are reminded in Leviticus 19:34, “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” Enduring Love’s global servants are already engaged in the MENA region:
Those whom Enduring Love is mentoring are growing in their knowledge of the truth. They are able to apply their theological understanding in developing businesses and microenterprises. Their community involvement allows them to influence perceptions as well as provide practical help and services such as learning support and transportation services. In order to build a self-sustaining model, we want to train local leaders to multiply the work already begun. To do this, we also need infusions of financial support to grow business-as-mission projects and develop microenterprises. By offering opportunities to improve economic conditions and contributing to the good of society, we will be imparting hope, which is the first step toward positive change.