God has said a few things to us about the sort of church we’re to be, and a big part of that is that we are to be a church that impacts nations. A key way we’re doing that at the moment is supporting our friends who have gone to Beirut to serve Jesus.
We asked James Ashley of the South Site to give us a flavour of a recent evening spent eating, Skyping and praying together. There are two opportunities this term to join together and pray for the team, why not join us next time?
We all had a fantastic time at our Prayer for Beirut evening, hearing from the team there, as well as enjoying fellowship together, eating together and praying and interceding for them. They shared stories of miracles, breakthrough and salvation as well as God’s faithful provision; for both the everyday and the extraordinary things.
We began by sharing a Middle-eastern meal together which included a wonderful array of Lebanese-style tabbouleh salad, couscous, lamb kibbeh, pitta bread and humus. Many thanks to Lindsey! Then we Skyped the team in Beirut. The Skype connection itself was an amazing answer to prayer as their internet hasn’t been reliable -we did a test-run before the food during which we could barely see or hear them, yet amazingly we now had a perfectly clear connection!
It was great to be able to see and talk to the team of five: R, J and H (we don’t want to write their full-name names here) and now also D & K (who recently moved from the south on England to join them). They first gave us an update into how things are going individually for them in Beirut. Full-time language learning for H, D & K which is hard work, a football group which D helped start in 40 degrees heat with some Syrian men, and the challenges and joys for R&J of bringing up a young child in Arabic culture. This was a really interesting insight into life out there!
They then all shared stories of how they have seen God at work, which were so amazing to hear. For example, R & J live in the same building as a family with a young boy who has recently been partially healed of serious illnesses. The doctors said this was miraculous and his father has now shown interest in the gospel and prayed to Jesus. H, K & D have all started with new language helpers which God perfectly provided for them. K & D found an apartment quickly and are settling into life well, learning new aspects of middle-eastern culture daily. God has provided the opportunity for R and others to complete an audio translation of one of the gospels in the local dialect which will be sent out too many believers. This is much needed because many Syrians can’t read and bibles are written in Classical Arabic which is much harder to understand. This audio translation will help them share the good news with many people around them who are illiterate.
Finally, they shared several prayer points and we prayed for them over skype. Once we finished the skype, Owen led us in a short time of worship, followed by an extended time of prayer for the team. This including praying for Lindsey as she set off to meet up with the team the next day!
We were joined by some of D & K’s family and enjoyed coming together as a group, in prayer for the team. It was great to be encouraged by all that God is doing through the guys in Beirut and also to know that we were being a massive encouragement to them as they persevere with learning Arabic, adapt to the local culture and continue to build friendships with people from many walks of life.
- For a new venue for J’s mother and toddlers group
- That R and J would know wisdom in how to bring up Y in their culture and for protection over the family
- For perseverance for H, D and K in full-time 30-hour Arabic learning
- That H, D and K can share their faith with their language helpers and that they would come to know Jesus
- For the audio gospel to be an encouragement and a blessing