Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, offered encouragement to Middle East University as it seeks to meet a pressing need for church-trained physicians in the mainly Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa region.
Wilson and his wife, Nancy, spoke with teachers during a visit this week to the university’s campus in Beirut, Lebanon.
“God has a very distinct purpose for you and this institution,” said Wilson.
He reminded them of the promise of 2 Timothy 1:7, which says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV).
“What a marvelous opportunity to represent the last proclamation of God’s great message to the world!” he said. “In the classrooms, in your personal lives, and in your witness, don’t be afraid to represent Jesus.”
Wilson toured the university’s new science complex, which offers new biology and pre-med programs. Middle East University president Leif Hongisto and George Jackson, dean of Arts and Sciences, spoke of the urgent need to train physicians to serve in Lebanon and the wider region.
“More health professionals are needed who can minister to a patient’s spiritual needs,” said Hongisto.
He emphasized that the Adventist missional perspective undergirds all classes at Middle East University, the only Adventist institution of higher education in the Middle East and North Africa, sometimes known as MENA.
Wilson noted that this year is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and pointed out that church cofounder Ellen White predicted Seventh-day Adventists would carry that reformation forward to the end of time.
“I don’t believe personally that we’re going to see that many more years elapse before Jesus’ Second Coming,” said Wilson. “I believe He’s coming soon. How will we ever reach the 520 million people in MENA? I believe it will be the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain that is going to propel this message like nothing we have ever seen.”