DESERTSIDE miNISTRY training center
DTC is a ministry that provides the training, personal character development, and missionary experience for those planning to serve in missions.
When we began camp ministry in Egypt after Arab Spring, we did not know that since earliest Coptic and Arabic church history the country has been the main sending nation of fieldworkers abroad. Even today, wherever you go in the Middle East, you meet strong and committed Egyptians who help build the local church. Since ancient times the nation on the Nile has been the spiritual key to all other peoples in the area.
At our first English youth camp we were surprised by the great number of young believers between 20 and 30 who were willing to leave all security of family and work in order to go into full-time ministry. After the third year of ministry
in Egypt, we followed the immense demand for training for male and female students. With the generous help of International Messengers in the States and in Canada, the “Desertside Training Center” (DTC) was born and enrolled their first class of eight students in Alexandria.
Most students are very young, have a Coptic, Maronite-Catholic, or Syriac-Orthodox religious family background and belong usually to evangelical local churches.
This training adopts the still-predominant leadership style in the Middle East. From the first day of training, during internship and possibly also when joining staff, each student comes with the expectation to be mentored in all areas of life. The teachers assist them on their walk through life to make mature decisions, to find their “calling”, and their personal field and place of ministry. Each class tries to cooperate as a team, even after the training and internship. Lasting friendships form between former students who now serve as staff in Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey network; this is key when needing help with camps and other projects.
The awareness of being one family where members depend on each other, has to a great degree to do with the non-Christian, often hostile societies of the Middle East and North Africa. Christianity is generally being discriminated and sharing the
Good News publicly is illegal. That is also one reason why the Desertside Training Center does not have an official place of teaching with address and building. For three months each fall the “mobile classroom” looks for new convenient places where teachers
and students can daily sit together, learn from each other and pray together. Security, confidentiality, and loyalty are important for fieldwork at the hot spots of the Middle East.
After completing the training program, each trainee will do an 1 year missionary internship.
In most cases these churches, their families and they themselves would not have sufficient financial means to pay tuition fees or accommodation expenses. At least for the first years of training and internship the students depend on donations from abroad. Therefore the English language, the development of communication skills, and the building of an international support team play an important role during training.
Most interns will serve with IM in MENA countries. The interns will serve as part of a team alongside a veteran missionary. Interns are not required to speak a foreign language.
Some of the ministry opportunities interns may be involved in are: English Camps, discipleship, teaching English as a second language, children’s ministry, youth ministry, evangelism, small group Bible studies, preaching and church planting.
DTC enables the local church to equip and send missionaries from their fellowship.