Testimonial of a Horizons Intern

R is a Lebanese Armenian with a heart to reach Muslims. We first met R at an Engaging Islam training event in Beirut, where she received training on evangelism and discipleship among Muslims from Georges Houssney and Pierre Houssney. She was very interested in the subject material and interacted a lot during class. Since then, she has begun volunteering at the center, and after demonstrating leadership abilities and maturity of character, we invited her to join Horizon’s internship program. R has been focusing on following up on thousands of messages from Muslim seekers via social media, and also serves at the front desk at Horizons’ Café/bookstore at which she shares the gospel and helps disciple new believers from various backgrounds. Here’s her story, in her own words:

“I prayed the prayer of salvation in 2005 but for 5 years I just lived however I wanted, and tried to make a plan for my life and carry out that plan – I was praying for God to fulfill my plan. Finally I ran into a bunch of walls, and threw up my hands and said “your will, not mine – my plans didn’t work for me, so I’m turning everything over to you.” So in 2010 I made a new covenant with the Lord. Every day I walk with him and my life has completely changed, going from victory to victory, freedom to freedom. God is working in my life still, and he will do so until I see him face to face.
When I made the new covenant with God, He put a new hunger and thirst in me – whenever I would hear of a conference I would go, and whenever I’d find teaching on TV I would study it. I built my life of faith via media – I would always watch Christian stations. This was when I was in Syria.

During the war, in 2012, I came to Lebanon and became committed to my church, and studied all of it’s teachings and got involved in its ministries. Then one day I heard from the Lord “leave your job – at this time I’ve found you other work.” After I confirmed this, that He wanted me to leave my work, I told him “Amen Lord, if you want me to leave my work, you will take care of me.” It really was on my heart that I do the Lord’s work – I didn’t want to work in “the world”. Before believing in Christ, I had a big dream to be the best secretary in the world, because I have 14 years of experience as a secretary. But in this last period in my life, I didn’t feel like working in anything except in the Lord’s harvest. In this time, the Lord was providing all my needs and I lacked nothing even though I wasn’t working.

Then a friend called me and said they’d like to have me serve with Horizons. I, of course, was so joyful because this is what I was praying for, to pray in the Lord’s harvest. I started working, and even in the past month God has been teaching me a lot of things. I’m really happy doing the Facebook follow-up ministry, because I’ve been able to do something I wasn’t able to do – maybe I was missing the courage or training. So I’m learning how to answer people and share the message of salvation. I’m learning so that God would give me the strength to do the same thing face-to-face, not just on the Internet. On the Internet, I feel like nobody sees me so I can talk however I want and be relaxed and comfortable. I need to learn how to control my temper, because maybe if I were having these same conversations face-to-face I would get angry and maybe words would come out of my mouth that don’t honor the Lord. So I’m training in this, and really happy in this ministry.

The other ministry that I newly have started doing is beginning to attend the “Cubs to Lions” video course by Georges Houssney, to train myself to administer the course myself and teach it along with the videos to new people. What I have received freely, I need to freely give, because the Lord has been filling me with knowledge and experiences for some time. So in some way I have to share these experiences that I’m living with others, so that they can share them with others, just as Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2:2. I’m really happy with this as well.

I’d like to be a spiritual counselor, because I’ve gone through really hard times, and the Lord healed me and freed me from them, and maybe because I lived it, I can turn it into a blessing for others. Maybe my weak point could turn into a strong point. Like Joyce Meyer, for example, how she really had a hard time when she was young, and then the Lord worked in her life and turned all these trials into blessings, so there would be hope for those who are spiritually tired, and psychologically tired, that there is hope, and the Lord can heal you. This is on my heart.

I’m so thankful to the Lord that I can be part of a practical ministry with a purpose.”

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Praise God – New Studio!

Praise God – the Horizons team in Beirut found and rented a small studio for audio and video recording – pray that God would use it mightily!

Here are photos of it empty – pray for us as we begin equipping it for media production.

Video Studio

Video Studio

Video Studio Panorama

Video Studio Panorama

Control/Editing Room

Control/Editing Room

Audio Isolation Booth

Audio Isolation Booth

Front Hall

Front Hall

Office

Office

Huffing Paint?

Please pray for A, a young Syrian refugee man who had been living at Horizons’ Hope of the Nations Center in Beirut, where he had proclaimed faith in Christ and was being discipled.

I saw him the other day in the alley outside the center but it seemed like he didn’t even recognize me. I could tell there was something strange going on so I asked around – “what’s going on with A”? I was saddened to hear that he is now addicted to huffing paint, and possibly other drugs, and that his mind has really deteriorated recently.

“How could this be?” I thought, that this intelligent and mild mannered, friendly guy could have reached this point? I was told that he’s having a lot of problems with people around the neighborhood because his social interactions have become strange – he’s being threatened by a lot by guys in the streets who misinterpret his behavior as rudeness or aggression.

It’s incredibly sad to see someone who had such promise just throw it away and destroy himself. Yet I know this is one of the many manifestations of the truly desperate situations that Syrian refugees have been stuck in as the conflict is drawn out into a seemingly endless deadlock, leaving millions of lives in constant limbo.

Would you join me in praying for A and others like him? Please pray that he’d be able to break free from his addictions, and that the Lord would bring back his mind, so that he can continue growing in Christ and sharing with others about what God has done in his life!

Palm Sunday Kids

Video: ISIS Prayercast

ISIS Prayercast thmb

We invite you to pray for ISIS alongside prayercast.com.

Unlocking the Riches

You can’t look at the Kingdom of God by the standards of the world. The world’s currency is financial, but what is the currency of the Kingdom of God?

In Ephesians Chapter 4, Paul explains why God gives gifts to his people: “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12-13)

In this verse it’s clear that Christ is the standard, and that the act of building up the body of Christ “to grow up in every way into him”(verse 15) is the work of the Kingdom.

So, what if we looked at Christ-likeness as a currency? What if we viewed wealth not based on economic prosperity, but spiritual wealth – Biblical knowledge, godly character, the fruit of the Spirit, and most importantly, faith?

If we viewed the world this way, we’d see many poor people as rich, and many rich people as poor. I think we’d also see the value of the local churches that exist in countries that are typically seen as mission fields. If we could see these riches, and would invest them, much like the world invests its currency, then missionaries wouldn’t so often try to “go it alone” and operate independently of local churches.

Why? Because they would recognize that their investments would go much further if they pooled their spiritual resources with those of the local believers.
Christ’s example of making disciples involved spending an incredible amount of time with his disciples over a three year period, teaching them by word and deed, and in every way possible, to be like him. In the same way he invested in them, they in turn invested in others to pass on this incredible Christ-likeness they had inherited from their Master.

Christ has invested in individuals and congregations around MENA for hundreds of years, leaving incredible riches distributed in pockets of mature believers all over the region. These people know the scriptures, have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and are living out their faith in their own cultural context. But how to we unlock these riches to be invested in those who don’t yet know Christ throughout MENA?

Please join us in prayer that God would move in these preexisting Christian communities in MENA, to mobilize a whole new generation of His witnesses to MENA and the ends of the earth!

Prayer – Look what I’m about to do!

Why does God move the hearts of His people to pray about something specific?
Maybe one reason is that He wants to draw attention to what He’s about to do. After all, He could just do incredible miracles without anyone watching, noticing, or praying in advance. But He takes pleasure in involving humans in His miraculous processes.

Does that make him a showboater? Why would a glorious God feel the need to show off to His created beings? This is similar to the often asked question, “why does God want us to worship Him?”

God doesn’t need our praise, He doesn’t need us to pray in order to perform miracles, and He certainly doesn’t do good things just so that we will notice and applaud. But because of His deep love for us, He wants to bless us. He wants us to experience the beauty, wonder, and glory of His wonderful works, and He knows that when we experience Him, we are the ones who are transformed – we are the ones who benefit.

That’s the same reason why he wants us to pray. God delights in responding to the prayers of His children because he loves to see the wonder and joy on our faces when we realize that we asked for something and God did exactly that. He wants us to know that the gift was from Him, so that we can come back and ask him for more.

Just as Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” (John 16:23)

As a growing number of us have been praying for MENA, God is answering a growing number of prayers.

Don’t forget to thank Him for his miracles!

Don’t forget to believe for greater things!

And don’t forget to invite others to pray along with us, and share the blessings of seeing what God is about to do in MENA!

Unreached and Unengaged – An Offensive Statistic

Did you know that in the MENA region, there are 370 ethnolinguistic people groups that are both unreached and unengaged?

You may be asking yourself, “what does that even mean?”, so here are some quick and messy definitions:
1. Ethnolinguistic group: A distinct group of people that has their own language or dialect.
2. Unreached: For the purposes of the above statistic, this means that less than 2% are believers in Christ.
3. Unengaged: This means that there is no known Christian witness among this group!
Now let me repeat this again: there are 370 of these people groups that have less than 2% believers, AND they don’t even have anyone sharing the Gospel with them!
Furthermore, 106 of these groups are over 100,000 in population. This means that multi-millions of people in MENA have no chance to hear the good news of Jesus.
That’s not acceptable! We know that our God is “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9), so shouldn’t we have the same attitude?
Join us in praying that God would use us to reach these 370 groups of lost people who are beloved to God, that he might show each of us our role in this task.

Sponsor a Refugee Child for Horizons’ New Educational Program

There are over 300,000 Syrian refugee kids in Lebanon who have no school to go to. The MENA team is setting up an educational program to fight illiteracy and share the gospel among Syrian refugee kids.

Good news! You can help!

A donation of $55 will purchase a backpack, books, and supplies (notebooks, pens, etc…), enabling one child to participate in the program.

We are looking for sponsors for 25 kids! If you’d like to sponsor one or more child, you can give here and write “Beirut Center Educational Program” under “Designation”.

Sponsor a Child

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