Lebanese Christians Join Together to Help Syrian Refugees Living In Dire Conditions
Lebanon stands unique in the Middle East because it is the only country in the region to have a Christian President. Though a small nation, it has a large Christian population. Some of these Christians have joined together to help the Syrian refugees who have been flooding into Lebanon since the start of the Civil War in 2011. Through their work, many Muslims have come to know the Gospel and are able to receive assistance as they wait news of their future. The lives of these refugees are effectively put on hold during their time in Lebanon, their living conditions often dire and tense. There is much work to be done in ministering to their needs during this difficult period.
01/16/2018 Lebanon (Mission Network News) – In communities around the world, the local Church is on the move. God is working through His people to spread the truth of the Gospel and His Church is growing. Lebanon is no exception.
Many Western Christians don’t realize the presence of the Church in Lebanon. There are over a hundred evangelical churches in the country with at least 10,000-20,000 believers across the nation. Pierre Houssney, MENA regional director for Horizons International, estimates that there are even more Christians than that because many have not changed their identity cards.
While the evangelical Church in Lebanon is growing, it remains a tight-knit community. And many local churches are still learning what it looks like to reach out to different communities.
Horizons International is working to mobilize Lebanese Christians to go beyond the local Church and reach out to neighbors; especially those that are coming in from war-torn Syria.
Houssney explains, “We as Horizons International have partnered with many churches that previously had no interaction with Syrian refugees, no vision to reach them. But we’ve been able to sow that vision for this opportunity that God has given us with the Syrian presence.
“And they are now seeing Syrian refugees flood into their congregations. We’re helping them to witness to them, to give them resources, humanitarian aid, and also disciple them. And the churches are baptizing them and adding to their number everyday believers from Syrian backgrounds.”
However, there are still very few Christians ministering to the Muslim population. The mission field is massive. With over 400 million Muslims in the Arabic speaking world, the local Church needs help to grow and reach more people.
Horizons International works with these churches, providing training to locals and working directly with refugees at ministry centers.
Heading into 2018, Horizons International is praying to expand their partnerships as well as those of local Lebanese churches. With increased partnerships, the local church will be able to train more leaders and get the ministry resources needed to those seeking Christ.
Houssney believes partnership with the local Church Body is a critical role for Western churches to play in the Middle Eastern mission field.
“We are seeing a huge impact when we have near culture believers from the Middle East reach out to these other cultures, yet they don’t have the resources and they don’t have the training resources. So we need partnerships to be formed between the historically Christian areas and pioneering Christian areas, so that we can grow the Kingdom in these strategic areas.”
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