That no man should perish
Early the next morning, Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, ‘I cannot watch the boy die.’ And as she sat there, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.’
The Al Massira journey
Al Massira is Arabic for ‘The Journey’. Jesus took a journey to a village called Emmaus, recorded in Luke 24, with two friends who were struggling to find answers to some big questions. He explained to them, through the messages (or signs) of the ancient prophets, the answers they were searching for.
Today, Al Massira aims to take small groups of friends on a similar journey to discover answers that are relevant for today’s world and reveal the true identity of the Messiah. The story of the Bible is presented chronologically in thirteen 40-minute videos, journeying through the scriptures to present eternal truths in an eastern, community-oriented style, familiar to those from an Arab or Muslim culture.
The course anticipates and addresses the most common issues such as the Trinity and divinity of Christ. As participants are led to an understanding of the person and work of the Messiah in the gospels, Christ is shown as the answer to important questions that have been awakened in their hearts and leads them into deeper discipleship.
The journey begins
Although the Al Massira central office is based in South Wales, the idea behind Al Massira began on the streets of the largest city in the Arab world, Cairo. The vision was birthed in prayer, seeking a new way to express and communicate faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in a clear manner from the heartland of the biblical narrative, the Middle East.
In 2005 a small team began to form in Cairo, to work on the vision. At its heart were Middle Easterners, with a passion to give a voice to the Good News, expressed from within their own culture and worldview.
The filming took place in 13 countries and took one and a half years to complete. Locations were chosen in North Africa, the Middle East, the Gulf and Europe. Many scenes are filmed where the biblical accounts actually took place. The participants within the films come from across the Arab world; they speak in their own dialects and express themselves naturally, using everyday language.
The films follow the presenter as he sets out on a journey of discovery that takes him on location within the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. They are documentary in style, using contemporary media formats: on-location shots, teaching slots, dialogue, discussion, vox pops, dramas and personal testimonies.
The Al Massira Vision
Al Massira was launched in early 2011, thirteen years after its birth in prayer. Our vision is for a world where every person, within the Muslim world and beyond, is welcomed to enter a journey of discovery to understand and respond to the one, true, living God who is fully revealed in the community of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We provide training and resources to help every believer share the gospel and disciple those that have the least opportunity to know Christ, as well as friends and neighbours. We encourage believers to do so in a way that demonstrates the relational character of God, fully and uniquely revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.
From its inception, the Al Massira project has been God’s idea in which we feel honoured to participate. We press forward by faith, knowing that Father God wants no one to perish, being aware that people need to become followers of Jesus, if they are to receive his free gift of salvation and an eternity with him.
Using Al Massira
Typically, for those using Al Massira, a small group of friends draw together, some interested seekers and one or more believers, and together they embark on a journey of discovery. They meet regularly to watch the films, share food and participate in a guided and open discussion of the biblical content of the course, with the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work through prayer. Others use Al Massira one-to-one, in large group settings and also within church contexts.
Even from within the team, the Al Massira family report that their knowledge of Scripture has deepened, their faith and dependence on God has grown and their love for Jesus and the gospel has become ever more personal.
Al Massira this year
This year, more than 1,200 people around the world have gone on the Al Massira journey, in countries from Bolivia to China. The resource has been translated into 19 languages, and is delivered through a network of trained instructors, based in the different regions of the world. The demand is growing, as are the demands for new translations.
Groups hearing the gospel through Al Massira this year have ranged from sixty university students and their teachers in The Gambia, individuals in Somaliland, Yezidi families in Germany, refugees in Finland and a precious Middle Eastern lady continues on the journey, in South Wales. By God’s grace, we have received news of a number giving their lives to the Lord and several new believers have been baptised, Hallelujah!
God has continued to provide and sustain the Al Massira ministry, out of his bounteous, faithful and generous heart. We send out weekly and monthly prayer bulletins and twice annual newsletters.
Please pray for our need for Africa and Asia coordinators to oversee the growing work in these large regions. Alongside this, as the desire for Al Massira continues to grow across the world, we receive requests for the resource to be translated into a number of languages, so we are continuously in need of translators to work alongside our translation teams.
If you would like to receive regular prayer updates, or know more information about how you and your church can be involved, visit AlMassira.org.