We Are Home!
We have completed the last of our three kids camps and are overjoyed with how God is moving in the hearts of the Syrian children here.
Our last camp consisted mainly of refugees that have been in Lebanon for at least three years. They were from the Beirut area and have had the benefit of schooling and local church support. They were all so excited to be at camp and their enthusiasm and energy was infectious.
The theme of the camp was “You are Unique and Wonderfully Made”. The kids learned that although we are all made in God’s image, we each have unique gifts and talents. He knows everything about us and loves us because he created us. God’s love in our team overflowed to the campers all week and the fruit of that love was a group of Muslim children that were so incredibly eager to learn more about Jesus.
As Paul wrote to Timothy, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). In this endeavour, we were so blessed to have a team that so fervently prayed for these children and so faithfully encouraged each other.
Our Lebanese brothers and sisters were not only invaluable as translators but true examples of a love that is poured out from a servant’s heart…but it is hard and continuous work. About 1/3 of Lebanon’s population are displaced Syrians and the Christian leaders who heed the call to minister to them can feel overwhelmed and weary. In turn, they are so thankful for teams from God’s global church who stand firmly beside them, supplementing their ministry with energy and zeal, unified by Jesus’ command to go and make disciples of all nations.
At camp we witnessed the children joyfully sing songs of praise, praying for forgiveness in their hearts and retelling of dreams wherein they walk with Christ himself. These were beautiful moments that no team member will ever forget. We heard testimony after testimony of children and families who have realized God’s greater purpose in their own suffering. Like Joseph who was betrayed, displaced and redeemed, our Syrian friends increasingly see their plight as part of God’s plan for them. A plan that would bring them to Lebanon so they could feel the love and light of Jesus Christ.
There is much heartache in these stories, though. Following Christ can mean a home and family life that is filled with persecution — threats, emotional abuse and physical violence. However, Jesus tells us that this will be the reality for many believers. “For I have come to set a man against his father and daughter against his mother…and a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.” (Matthew 10: 35-36)
So we pray.
We pray that God will give these children, in the infancy of their faith in Jesus, supernatural courage, perseverance and wisdom beyond their years. We pray God will protect them from physical harm. We pray that they will lean into God’s love and continue to have access to his word and truth. We pray for God to sustain this ministry in Lebanon so His labourers have the strength required to continue to passionately share God’s gift of salvation with the Syrian children and their families.
The Lebanon Team