Meet Afeef Halasah
Where did you grow up? What did life look like before NTC?
I grew up in the south of the modern day Jordan, which is the ancient country of Moab so I am a Moabite by birth.
Life did not change before or after NTC; I believe I was the one who has done all the changing. I learned outside the class room as much as I learned inside the class room. As the Bible talks about iron sharpening iron, I learned a great deal from the lecturers, the faculty, and the students from the different churches there. Keep in mind that it was a completely different culture and a different language for me so it was an eye opening experience that broadened my horizon.
When did you come to NTC? What year did you graduate?
I came to NTC in 1979 and graduated in 1983.
Why did you want to study at NTC?
Actually NTC was the only Nazarene college that I got to know about and I needed to study theology to improve my ministry skills and my church elders at the time suggested I go to BINC – British Isles Nazarene College, which became NTC.
What did you enjoy/learn at college? How did this change/shape you?
The life of the godly men at the college, the lecturers meant a lot to me and impacted my life powerfully; the late Dr. Hugh Rae, Dr. McGonigle, and Dr. Tom Noble. They all were so close to us, and we got to witness first hand how they lived their lives, and how they handled their families and children, and getting to go to church with them, listening to them, it felt like we were a part of their family. I think their lives impacted my life more than anything else. They were men of integrity who meant what they said and said what they meant. Of course learning theology and the knowledge and information I gained was great and very helpful, but you can access the information from many sources, however these men brought something that was more than information and I praise God for them.
What happened after you graduated?
I planted/supervised nine Nazarene churches in Jordan. I served for ten years as the NCM field coordinator, as well as the chairman and general director of the Nazarene schools in the Middle East. I also trained pastors and church planters. In 1998 I founded AFTA (Arabs for the Arabs) ministry.
Where are you now and what are you doing?/How are you living out your faith in your current situation?
Now I am a leader and a general director of a Ministry called Arabs for the Arabs (AFTA) which is the only indigenous mission in the Middle East and North Africa. It is a mission based on Isaiah 19:23-25. We do two things: First reconciliation ministry between the Arabs and the Jews who believe in Jesus; we bring them together as the first fruit of the highway to worship Jesus together, we educate them about each other and lead them in identification repentance to accept each other and to appreciate each other. We bring reconciliation to the physical family of father Abraham, we bring Ishmael and Isaac together, Esau and Jacob together, and that is in the Lord Jesus Christ. The second thing AFTA does is mobilising the Arab church into mission and my team and I have been training potential missionaries and sending out missionaries to witness. Right now we have 107 full-time missionaries in 14 Arab countries.
The vision of AFTA is to see churches spread in every key town and city in the Middle East and North Africa not just in the 14 countries we are already in but to all of the 23 Arab Countries so that we might see the Egyptians, the Assyrians and Israelis worshipping together causing a great blessing to be on the whole earth according to Isaiah 19:23-25:
“In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”
Anything else you’d like to share?
Yes. My time at the college was a long break from my own culture, and being emerged in another culture for so long helped me gain very useful habits; I learned to have discipline, to study and focus on things I want to achieve and to achieve them in a certain time frame, something that has been very helpful for me till this day to achieve all that God has placed on my heart to achieve.