Horizons’ Engaging Islam Institute in Lebanon brought together passionate people who are eager to learn and put to work what they are learning. In total, about 135 people with hearts for ministry in the Muslim world participated in this two-week training and outreach event. They came from all over the world, including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, New Zealand, China, Russia, and the USA.
This is the second year that our president, Georges Houssney, who started the conference, only taught one session a day and all the other classes were taught by national staff. Last year he began to train our staff to not only minister effectively but also to train others. After the conference Georges reported that he, “was overjoyed sitting in the back of the room and hearing the teachers present the curriculum and adapting it to their context in a beautiful way.”
The training is not only theoretical but has has a practical component that helps the students put to practice what they have learned. Following the opening three days of training, the attendees were divided into smaller teams to go and reach out to people in Beirut as well as Tyre and the Beqaa Valley.
Beirut Evangelistic Event
On the third day of practical outreach we held a special evangelistic event at our Beirut center. We think that if you were there watching what was taking place, you would be overwhelmed with deep feelings of excitement just like us. Syrian refugees were invited to come to the center all day in groups and due to such large interest and such limited space we had to pre-register people. Recalling his happy memory of the day, Georges shared, “On my way this morning, it was a joy to see families flocking into the center. When I arrived, people were lined up to enter into the center. Each one was registered by name and was given a color ribbon to pin on their clothes. The colors identified them into groups and the center was divided into stations. Each group took turns going to each station for a half hour each. The stations, led by our staff, each emphasized one theme: Nutrition, Counseling, Games, Crafts, Prayer, and Bible lesson. I taught the Bible lesson. The program was repeated twice, before noon and afternoon. It was such a blessing to see so many of our staff involved in caring for the hundreds of adults and children who participated in this very inspiring and spirit-filled day. There was certainly a spirit of excitement by all staff and refugee families! I praise God for what the Lord is doing here in Lebanon which is directly impacting the whole Middle East.”
Evangelistic Event at the Beqaa Center
At the same time, a team of Horizons members went to our center in the Beqaa Valley and organized an evangelistic event over two days. People came from the many surrounding refugee camps to join the services. A special event was held for the kids, where stories and songs about Jesus were taught to more than 100 kids. All of the kids were so excited and at the end of the service gifts were distributed to each child. The parents attended the general service, which included worship and the word of God. At the end of the services, food portions were passed out to families.
On June 13 the same team returned to the Beqaa Center to follow up with the people who came the first week. The kids ministry again had more than 100 kids attending, and the general service with minimum of 100 people, men and women, attending.
A man among the crowd came up to the front of the service and in front of all the people there said, “We are so touched by the word of God and how Christians have so much love and good values to learn from and to teach to our children’s children.”