God has blessed Horizons immensely as we have recently been able to expand our operations in Southern Lebanon and acquire new land.
Remind me, what’s happening in Tyre?
God has blessed Horizons’ Tyre center and its close partner, Tyre Church, increasingly over the past couple years. At this point, nearly 1,000 people a week interact with, and are served by, the church and center. There are weekly worship services, women’s group meetings, children’s ministries and other opportunities to interact with the community. Additionally, Horizons and Tyre Church have a medical clinic, a street center/foster-care program, a music ministry, ESL classes, a coffee shop and bookstore, a sewing center for refugee women, a garage for maintenance and car washes to help fund ministry efforts, and Horizons runs Christian kids camps for Muslim children throughout the summer for over 1,200 children per year.
The Camp has been a big answer to prayer, and Kanakuk has chosen to work with us because we are a gospel center that preaches, evangelizes, and shares the truth. Kanakuk as well is a mission-oriented organization and not just a camp. They loved the Tyre camp location since they describe it as an area in which we can be a light amongst the Muslim community. We are investing our time and resources in this this place and strongly believe it will impact the lives of many people around it, in addition to the kids we’ve already seen impacted. It is also a safe location where many believers are coming to help and assist in the ministry. This summer, 72 foreigners came to the camp to serve: 20 from CSCS ( Colorado Spring Christian School – and they will be sending teams every year), 28 from Kanakuk, 8 from Covenant Church in North Carolina , 8 Moldovans, 3 Jordanians, and 4 Americans.
The campground is almost 2 acres, and is equipped with electricity, water, solar energy, heat, eight cabins and tents, an administration cabin, bathrooms, showers, and we have plans to install an exciting zip-line, along with other fun recreational equipment. This has opened doors for local churches to come for retreat throughout the year and so far 4 churches have used the camp. As we develop the camp’s facilities more, we expect many more churches to come!
The camp also includes a farm with 100 sheep, 60 chickens, 20 ducks, 20 rabbits, goat, geese, peacock and chickens. The meat, eggs, and milk produced from the farm is used to feed campers and the rest is distributed to locals who are in need. We are also looking forward to renting the adjacent land across the Litani river, which flows around the east and south sides of the campground. The land across the river has beautiful orchards and when rented, 12 cabins will be built upon it.
New Maaraki center up and running
Our very new Maaraki center, established in September 2018, has already provided the opportunity for many people to attend evangelistic services. Since the Tyre Center is about a 20 minute drive from Maaraki, people from that area were previously having to pay for transportation to come to our services at the Tyre Center. Now we have a center in their neighborhood! It would have been very challenging to start a center from scratch in this area, as evangelizing individuals would have drawn persecution, but since we already have many Tyre Center attendees from that area, a core group of about 35 attendees have the power in numbers that allow them to boldly attend. This is an incredible blessing and we are finding this to be an effective strategy for getting into difficult-to-reach places.
The building has 4 floors, and the ground floor has a hall where evangelistic services are held on Wednesday nights. The ground floor also contains a Christian nursery (The Good Shepherd Nursery), that already has 20 kids attending daily, and a hairdressing salon for women. Surprisingly, the basement of the center contains a gym fully equipped with weight and exercise machines, plus a swimming pool, jacuzzi, 2 saunas, massage table, and changing rooms. This will be used as a missional business. They will be a big draw for people in the community to come and give us opportunities to tell them about the good news of Christ, and we will also use the revenue from these missional business activities for supporting the ministry. Lastly, we have three 3-bedroom apartments on the top two floors of the building, which we are using as a residence for staff members, converts from Islam, and visitors who volunteer with the ministry.
Majdalzoun: New Land for Orphanage and Retreat center
Thanks to a couple of large donations, we have acquired a 6-acre+ piece of land in a beautiful mountain range overlooking Tyre and the mediterranean coast. It is truly a majestic and ideal setting away from the city with a breathtaking view of the sea. Because of the development we have been doing, we have paved a road for cars to be able to pass, that the municipality now calls “church road”! It is very different building on mountainous land compared to the city, but our builders have already begun leveling the steep land and creating broad terraces, which has made a dramatic difference. The plan is to build a building for the orphans, as well as a retreat center, and another farm to help fund more ministry and give to the poor. In the bottom portion of the land, we have planted hundreds of Avocado, fruit, and olive trees, which are providing fruit and income, and are making the property exceptionally beautiful.
Zebqine Clinic Center:
Lastly, we have an half-acre plot of land, on which the foundational pillars have already been laid and are ready to build on, once we have the funding. The plan is to make a clinic center for needy people in the area, where they can be diagnosed, treated, and hear the gospel. The future vision is to purchase a parcel of land next to it as well, to expand the clinic into a publicly Christian hospital – the first of its kind in South Lebanon!
In conclusion, there are a lot of exciting things happening in South Lebanon and we are excited to see what God will continue to do in this region. Make sure to subscribe to the blog to stay updated!!