Middle East Christian Outreach (MECO)

Name of Organization: Middle East Christian Outreach (MECO)

Address of Organization: MECO Canada, PO Box 610, Burlington, Ontario L7R 3Y5, Canada

Website: Website

Theological Education by Extension and Facebook

Contact Person: Mrs. Linda Haist

Phone: 905-335-7329.

Email: Email

Work of organization: MECO is a group of people with a heart for the Middle East, united in vision for Middle Eastern churches to engage in effective mission. We aim to be culturally sensitive, prepared to learn language, determined to stay around for the long term, flexible, willing to work in teams and to share and model the love of Christ.

We believe we're called to:
•proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ among the people of the Middle East

•work wherever possible in fellowship and co-operation with Christian churches and agencies in the region

•foster church growth and church planting in the region

•serve the people of the Middle East

Kinds of internships: Based with our workers serving as part of a team of international people preparing courses for the Programme for Theological Education by Extension in Jordan. From here there would be opportunities to visit a variety of ministries in Amman or other parts of Jordan, besides visiting a range of churches mainly ministering in Arabic.

The Program for Theological Education by Extension (PTEE) is a cutting edge evangelical theological program for the equipping and training of Arabic-speaking leaders (male and female, at all levels of church leadership) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), as well as among the Arab diaspora in Western countries. Created in 1981, the PTEE now serves, inter-denominationally, in 12 countries of the MENA region, with the aim to spread to all Arab nations by 2020. Situated, thus, in the heart of the Muslim world, the PTEE has the largest student body of any similar theological program in the region (over 350 students), though with probably the least financial resources and overall cost. It can do this because of its extension methodology (TEE) of training leaders on location, where they already live, work and serve, instead of extracting them from their town or village to a capital city in a different country to a campus-based seminary, from which there is a real risk of the students not returning. In fact the Edinburgh 2010 conference report on theological education went as far as to say: TEE is likely to be "the most effective and most widely spread model of theological education in the 21st century" for the global south.

With TEE study, high quality, interactive, self-study materials are combined with participation in local learning groups and practical ministry. Another part of the effectiveness of TEE is that students are able to apply immediately what they are learning in their various life contexts. Thus learning becomes integrated with life, ministry, and local community, allowing for both deeper learning and overall a more holistic education. The over-arching aim is to help the church to grow and assist in the positive transformation of society in the Arab world. PTEE's work in the region is led and facilitated by its Ministry Center in Amman, Jordan, currently with a small staff of 8-9, plus a large number of voluntary Arab leaders and equippers (both men and women) throughout the region.

Desirable skills: Preferably those who have a desire to be involved in supporting and serving the church in the Arab world. They will be keen to learn about the Arab world and the church there. The intern should have experience of worshipping in a variety of churches and preferably have some close friends of other nationalities and cultures.

PTEE would need to see the person's CV and give approval prior to being accepted by MECO.

PTEE could potentially use short-term interns in one or more of the following ways (again, someone fitting one of these categories is not automatically accepted):

  • Help with PTEE's communications and fundraising work (a key present need).

  • If they had usable skills for e-Learning (e.g. online course design experience, or expertise with Moodle) or filming for our online courses.

  • A suitable person as a PA to the Exec Director for 4-7 months.

  • One or two of person could do statistical and case-study research necessary to convert a poverty and development course (which focuses on development statistics and issues in India) into one that is directly relevant to the MENA region.

  • Being a research assistant to our course writers, or e-Learning director.

  • Providing temporary help with cataloguing and arranging our library.

  • Providing temporary help as an academic registrar (would require some written Arabic).

  • Being a receptionist (would require some spoken Arabic).

  • Development of our web-site.

  • Possibly someone with internal renovation/building experience (e.g. painting, electrical wiring, plumbing, tiling, plastering), willing to learn and apply Jordanian building standards.

    Number of internships: One or two of the same gender or a married couple.

    Location of internships: Amman, Jordan.

    Duration of internships: 4-7 months, preferably longer.

    Costs: Admin to the those responsible for the intern, $300 per month and $10 per day for any part of a month plus accommodation, living costs and fairly minimal travel, depending on how far interns wish to explore. They need to come fully supported with no expectation of any financial assistance from the PTEE nor MECO.

    Accommodation:PTEE does not have a ready guest flat, but are hoping to build one or two. Otherwise interns may be housed in a furnished flat.

    Insurance: Yes. It may be possible for interns to come under our Emergency Medical and Travel Insurance Group Policy with ACE.

    Medical coverage: No, only for emergency medical expences as above.

    Training: Probably not at present, though interns have worked with the PTEE from time to time since the 1980s. Internships always require guidance and supervision from our PTEE staff personnel. It may be possible to accept interns for other ministries besides PTEE, depending on their gifts and skills, and on whether they wish to learn some Arabic first. We aim to provide material to help interns understand some basic cultural issues and orientation into the Arab world, and help their expectations match ours as far as possible.

    Evaluation: Yes.

    Volunteering: MECO runs an Encounter Team from the end of June/early July for a month for those aged 18-35 who are keen to have a taste of the Arab world. We would recommend this activity if the timing fits in with interns. For more details see here.

    Faith statement: We believe in:
  • The one true God who lives eternally in three persons—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
  • The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
  • The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God—fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
  • The dignity of all people, made male and female in God's image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgment.
  • The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—born of the virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
  • The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
  • The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
  • The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
  • The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
  • The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers—given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit's gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
  • The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgment, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.

    Application form: Linda Haist. It takes about 4-6 months to process and prepare interns.

    Contract: See our agreement of service which all interns are required to sign.