When you hear the name “Beirut” or “Lebanon”, I can guess what comes to your mind first. It’s probably one of these words: explosion, war, revolution or instability. These are the kinds of headlines that Beirut has had in our lifetime. However, today Beirut is making the headlines at Gateway Church because of what God is doing there! We have ten eyewitnesses to it who are ready and willing to share what they have seen and heard! These 10 Gateway members recently experienced the beauty of Lebanon through their partnership with Resurrection Church Beirut (RCB). One Gateway member had the opportunity to go earlier than the others and spent a month witnessing and participating in how God is moving in Lebanon through RCB. She says, “I’ve experienced in Beirut the kind of movement of God that I’ve only read about until now and I’ve met in person my brothers and sisters who have literally risked their very lives to follow Jesus. Lebanon is truly in a season of spiritual harvest. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve experienced in my life!”
Our team of 10 was blessed and honored to be able to help RCB with four different children and youth programs during the nine days that we were there. We worked together as one family to serve these young people, who were of all age groups. We started with a simultaneous two-day preschool day camp and a middle school weekend retreat, which meant we had to split our team up to divide and conquer! Then, during the week, most of us helped lead an elementary day camp from 9:00am to 2:00pm each day while a couple of us served at a high school student retreat. We thank God that all went well and the kids, parents, and RCB staff were pleased with what we had done. In addition, we were able to deliver all the materials donated from Gateway families during VBS to help with ongoing children’s ministry at RCB.
Through these experiences, we all learned a great deal about what it means to love Jesus in the midst of difficult circumstances and came home with a fresh understanding of who God is and how he is at work in the world. We were blessed to work alongside and interact with RCB church members and staff throughout the week. We met so many amazing people who shared their stories and testified to how God is miraculously working in their lives and in those around them. We were humbled to hear their stories and humbled that he invites us to join him through our partnership with RCB. In our short time, we formed friendships that will last a lifetime. They inspired us and we encouraged them by reminding them that they have a spiritual family in Findlay, Ohio.
We include two reflections from our team members.
“Beirut was an amazing trip that taught me a lot of lessons. Here are just a few of the takeaways I got from the trip:
“What an amazing week in Lebanon. I fell in love with the people and especially the teens I had the privilege of serving. Trips like this are beautiful as you see the power of the Gospel in the lives of people across the globe from your home. But then you also have sadness wondering if you will ever see them again to worship and pray together like we did when we were together. But I was reminded of a lot of the promise that is assured to all those in Christ. Maybe in this life I will not see them again, but I will have eternity to worship and fellowship with these young people. To hear about the works of God in their lives in the years after we met. The Gospel reminds me that because of the cross I will see them again no matter what happens on this side of eternity. We serve an awesome God.”
We would love to share more with you and celebrate together what God is doing through our partner in Lebanon. We encourage you to hear more by inviting a Lebanon team member to dinner or to share with your Life Group. We have much to celebrate.
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