A couple of weeks ago, Mary and I received an unexpected invitation from some missionary friends in Beirut, Lebanon. Anthony and Elie have been on staff with International Messengers for about 5 years. These young men are Lebanese nationals who serve the Lord faithfully in their home country. God has given them a heart for their country. They lead a small team of national missionaries who work to bring the gospel while they meet physical and practical needs.
Anthony reached out to us and invited us to come and share tools for helping survivors of trauma. This is an area of counseling where God has given Mary and I understanding and gifting. Lebanon is in a state of economic and political crises. This small country with less than 7 million citizens has experienced an influx of more than 1.7 million refugees, mostly from neighboring Syria. The huge fertilizer explosion last year was followed by the worldwide pandemic, creating further instability. Inflation in 2020 was 85%, creating even more hardship for the poor and middle class of Lebanon.
International Messengers has been partnering with the local church in Lebanon. The massive refugee population in this small country is both a crisis and an opportunity for the gospel. Many of these displaced people will return to countries which have been unreached for many generations. International Messengers’ ministries reach out to both the Lebanese people and refugees living in Beirut. In this volatile, war-torn region, countless individuals have survived traumatic events. For many of the children and youth, crisis has been a constant companion. It is a challenge to bring real and lasting healing to individuals.
Mary and I have partnered with Jennifer Nagy, an extremely gifted missionary living in Warsaw, Poland. Ben and Burgi Ohler, leaders of International Messengers in this region, also hope to join us and work with us. We are planning to travel between April 26 and May 9, 2021. As a team, we have the following 2 goals for this conference:
- Work with a small group of survivors of traumatic events, offering teaching and individual counseling to bring God’s healing.
- Work with a hand-picked group of Lebanese believers to give them tools and training so they can continue to help hurting, traumatized individuals as an ongoing ministry.
We are planning to hold weekly training meetings (via Zoom) for the next 5 weeks to help prepare our Lebanese partners for this ministry. The conference is an opportunity to further train and mentor the local church while bringing real healing to hurting individuals.
Of course, none of this is possible without the wisdom and healing of the Holy Spirit. We have crafted a ministry plan that we believe will have a significant and lasting impact in Lebanon, but we fully understand that only God can bring healing and lasting change to this hurting people. Please pray with us, expecting God to answer these prayers:
- Unity amongst a team from the US, Poland, Cyprus, and Lebanon.
- Ben and Burgi will only be able to travel to Lebanon if they receive a COVID vaccine. Please pray that God eliminates language and cultural barriers and are able to receive this immediately.
- Jennifer Nagy is unable to leave Poland until her residency papers are issued. Please pray with us that this paperwork will be approved and issued quickly so that she is able to join us.
- Pray that the borders will remain open for us to travel.
We are so thankful for the opportunity to do this ministry. Thank you for partnering with us in prayer!