This summer as part of our Engaging Islam training, the Horizons children’s ministry team chose to prepare two outreach events for refugee children. The first was in our Beirut lighthouse and the other in our Beqaa lighthouse. The purpose of these events was to reach new children who had not yet heard the message of the Gospel.
For the first event in Beirut, staff started registering kids a few weeks before the date and gave each child a ticket. This ticket was so exciting to them and they held on to them dearly until the day of the event. Having a pass to this huge party that they were dreaming of for weeks made them feel very special, and there are not a lot of opportunities for these children to feel so special. One of the mothers actually shared with us that her child slept with the ticket in his hand so that he wouldn’t lose it!
As for the Beqaa event, we had a different approach in inviting the children. One of our main teachers at our Beqaa Lighthouse walked around the camps and started inviting the children. She reported the following: “I started yelling that we have a big party for kids today at the center and I started skipping and running through the tents. Kids slowly started to add to our group until I had about 75 kids sprinting after me chanting and dancing and yelling for their friends and others to come! It was like this beautiful moment of Jesus.”
For both the Beirut and Beqaa events, the program was the same. The first thing we did was to welcome all the children and to introduce ourselves. Immediately after this we prayed with them to start the day. Following the welcoming and prayer, everyone joined together for an incredible time of worship and all the kids danced their hearts out and praised Jesus!
The time of worship was followed by a message from one of our teachers. The message was one of salvation and was presented in a story that involved creation, sin, and the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The teacher then explained to the children how we can accept Christ in our hearts and everyone prayed together. Following this, the teacher talked about how everyone can have a relationship with God, and how the kids can talk to God whenever they want through prayers and can learn from Him through reading the Bible. The staff also told them that they are always welcome to come to our centers where they can learn more about Jesus.
After the main message the Horizons kids ministry team performed a skit that demonstrated how Jesus loves everyone. The play had 5 different scenes:
- First it showed how Jesus came for the sinners and how he spent most of His time with them. A woman comes and repents at Jesus’ feet with tears. Jesus loved that woman and He raised her and forgave her!
- The second scene taught the kids how Jesus showed His love to Peter and how Jesus rescued him when he was walking on the water and began to drown. Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him but still He chose to love Peter and rescue him.
- The third scene portrayed the bleeding woman in the street. Jesus loved and healed her for her faith.
- The fourth scene portrayed the adulterous woman. People brought her and threw her in front of Jesus to condemn her but Jesus shows her His love and mercy.
- The final scene acted out Jesus loving and blessing the children and it showed how He welcomed them in the Kingdom of God.
The children were so invested and focused in the skit, and they clapped a lot for the team! Horizons staff ended the program with games and then every child received a gift. Between the two programs, we had a total of 250 children in Beirut and 210 children in Beqaa.
Please keep these children in your prayers. We believe that the Lord’s word never returns void and that He will be working on each and every one of them!