Join us for a Week Of Prayer!

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Over the past 5 years we have set aside one week each season to stop.

Actually stop.

Fast, Pray, and Seek God’s Direction.

It is so easy to get caught up in the never-ending onslaught of each day until one day we look back and wonder whether we are actually pursuing God’s direction for our lives. Every season for the past two years we have taken a week of prayer, and we want to invite you to be a part of this week with us from October 28 – November 3.

Annie’s Word From God For The Year: Satisfied (Philippians 4:11-13)

Louis’ Word From God For The Year: Refine (John 15:1-2)

Theme Of The Year: Preparation (Ministry Expansion & Content Development)

Type Of Fast: Daniel Fast (Daniel 10:2-3)

We will be fasting according to the specific recommendations of the fast, but you are welcome to join us by following the theme of the fast which is to separate ourselves from the choice foods in our lives. Annie has decided to fast from coffee, which made me want to reconsider the whole idea (just kidding).

Prayer Week Daily Prayer Topics

The prayer challenge will work the same as in past years, which means that the prayer for the day and main theme will be posted on the blog and facebook, but the in depth prayer needs will only be sent via email to our Prayer Warriors. This is a team of people who have a desire to pray more intimately for us. These emails may include information that cannot be posted publicly, so we ask that you commit to keeping them within your prayer groups.

Thank you for your unbelievable love and support. We couldn’t be here without you.

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Giving Tuesday with the Lisses

This post was published to Mommy Book Blog at 10:40:05 AM 11/27/2018

Giving Tuesday with the Lisses

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This fall season has been marked with getting back into routines and so many ministries we have been working on over the past five years taking form.

LAB

The Language Academy of Beirut is something that Annie had been asked to participate in a few years ago, but the logistics did not lend themselves to a realistic plan at the time. It was a dream to have people on staff or internships with Horizons whether in Lebanon or outside of the country, and also for others outside of Horizons to be able to learn Arabic with language helpers here in Lebanon. This would have the benefit of providing jobs to people here, and also allowing us to expand our preparation for incoming staff and interns so that they are not landing in Beirut with no Arabic. Although two years ago was not the right time, doors have been opening and things have been falling into place for Annie to participate now. She wrote a curriculum packet and also has been evaluating the different current staff and interns’ levels to learn how best to place people. Rezan is the first teacher, and so he will soon be leaving our department to work for the Middle East Center for World Mission Language Acquisition Department. Rezan now has something like 13 Arabic classes every week, a full-time schedule of teaching. The next step is to start bringing in other teachers as well to take over our internship classes so that Rezan can focus on his students that are more permanent.

MEC

The MEC is a whole world of opportunities for our future as well, and as we continue to replace ourselves, we are folding our ministry into the MEC over time, and Louis hopes to be in a position to take a leadership role in the MEC to train nationals and internationals alike in cross cultural missions. We are dreaming of taking a team of Lebanese to another country on mission trips and transforming our trainings into useful material for Arabs, Asians, Americans, Europeans, and all others who come to the MEC. The MEC has many goals which will fulfill many of our deepest desires, and it is far too soon to even express everything we hope this can be, but we will share more as it becomes even more of a reality. This month we broke ground on our first MEC building purchase, which will serve as a prayer room directly behind our Horizons Café. This new purchase is a big step in moving from a dream to a reality for this center.

Beqaa

The ministry in the Beqaa, which has the largest group of refugees in tents, has also been expanding tremendously. A year ago there were one or two trips out to the Beqaa each week, and now there is a full team going four or five times a week. The team is made up mostly of people on our staff already working in admin or with other ministries who God has called to the Beqaa. Additionally, we have several new staff living in or moving to the Beqaa. Miriam is a Christian who already lives in the Beqaa who just joined Horizons staff, and Annie Ostrander who was our first intern ever, and has been on staff with us for several years now, will be moving out there soon. Additionally, our newest staff member to join us is a nurse who has on her heart to move out there. Finally, our family of five that just moved here will be moving out there in about six months.

New Staff

The staff influx has been tremendous. The stories of how people have found us can only be God! This new family, for instance, the husband, Tommy, was just walking through Beirut and ran into Louis and started talking to him. The nurse, Robbie, is working with another organization and we have been able to form a partnership between our two organizations. It has been an amazing time. Louis and Annie have both been very involved and redefining roles in this new season because onboarding several families and people at a time is much more time commitment than one at a time. Currently there are three more applications at various points in the process, and with both of us looking toward new ministries it has been a challenge.

Annie has taken the lead on the language component of onboarding because of her involvement with the LAB, and Louis with member care and pastoral care because that is his gift. Both of us meet with the new staff once a week for the first month to go through our own onboarding materials and to make sure that everything goes smoothly. This past week, Annie has been taking the Henderson family shopping for electronics for their new apartment. Annie also has on her heart to make sure that we are including the Henderson kids in this process, so she spent an afternoon with the older girls and processed through some of the culture with them and encouraged them. Of everything we have shared, that lifted Annie’s heart the most.

Family Ministry

Additionally, our own kids are being involved more. It seemed with David being at school two hours longer each day this year and having our day broken up by the two different bus pick up times, we would be limited, and it has in some ways, but it hasn’t completely closed us off. David has become much more proactive at school and has really found his footing, so he got the number of a classmate so that we could go over to her house. It was a wonderful playdate, the first time we have hung out with another family that was a school friend only. The visit was amazing, and we will be bringing them to our church’s cookie decorating and puppet show evening in December.

Kyrie has missed going to the café with us, and so we have been working in afternoons that we can all go to the café to practice Arabic and have the kids around for meetings. This has pushed David outside of his comfort zone and allowed her to use Arabic since this year her class is English only. Kyrie is also thrilled that the new family has three girls, and she has been having a lot of fun playing with them. It has helped the girls feel included and befriended after leaving their own friends in America.

We are all going down to Tyre for the first time since we got back to Lebanon this week! Annie has a huge heart for Tyre and since all these doors have been opening in these other ministries, hopefully God will start to show what he is going to do with Tyre, but it seems like it is going to be a family adventure! We can’t wait to share what God shows us. This week we will be going with a staff couple, Caleb and McKenna, and Caleb’s parents who came out for Thanksgiving. It will be a good member care time and also, we always love going to Tyre.

Not to Mention…

This is such a small portion of everything that is going on! Thank you for all your care and love and prayers. If you would like to send us a bit of Christmas, putting it into our account now means we will see it at Christmas time. We have a visitor coming from Tucson this year, which we are very excited about! As we get closer to that time we will let you know if he will have room to bring cards over with him or the like. We are so blessed to see God using us here in Lebanon, and we want you to know that nothing here would be possible without you.

Having a new family here and seeing how their first week has gone so well has brought many tears to Annie’s eyes as we remember the horror that we went through our second day here and into the following months (Month 1, Month 2, and our huge Change of Plans in Month 5) . Our motto has been “We don’t want anyone else to go through what we went through.” And the first week of this Henderson family being here has been the fruit of that. Your prayers have sustained us these past five years, and 6000 more words won’t be enough to express our sincere appreciation.

And then there was this chicken that wandered into our building this week! Oh, Lebanon!

The Week of Prayer Begins!

Sunday, October 28: Healing

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Throughout the week those of you signed up for our prayer team will receive in depth prayer requests for this next season of our ministry in Lebanon. If you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for? The first prayer letter goes out at 7:00AM Arizona Time!

If just a quick prayer and topic is best for you, each day on our blog the prayer for that day will be posted. The prayer team will receive in depth, personal, and private prayer requests not meant to be shared on social media. Thanks for praying!

Prayer Week Daily Prayer Topics

Back In Beirut

We just finished a 2 month tour of the states where we spoke at 7 churches in 8 weeks! We want to thank the unbelievable support from the incredible servant hearts of our supporters. It brings us to tears when we think of the countless hours of prayers, e-mails, and events that you have committed to us through the years. Because of you the hungry are being fed, the lost are being found, and the gospel is being preached throughout the world. Thank you.

Baptism

Kyrie Rebekah Liss was baptized on August 18, 2018. The following Sunday when Pastor Dan Valisakos asked her what happened to her. She boldly replied, “My daddy got my dress all wet!” Now every time we read about baptism in our family Bible times she stops the reading to remind us that she got baptized, too!

Discipleship

I remember when we left for a visa trip two years ago and Annie “accidentally” chose a hotel without WiFi. When we returned to Lebanon my phone exploded with over 1,000 missed messages. That was when we began realizing I was doing too much and needed help from the national staff. We hired three people to help with my work load and spent a year helping them transition into their new positions. After returning this summer it was unbelievable to feel missed but no longer the only one holding things together. The staff is thriving and growing in experience every day.

School

Because of all your support, David and Rebekah were able to start school this week. The only struggle was convincing Rebekah that she would have to return home each day. Predictably, she has already made lifelong friends so she doesn’t have to worry about bridesmaids at this point. David showed marked improvement in Arabic last year after one of our high schoolers began coming over each week to tutor him. David will be starting French this year and Annie is going to take an online class in French so we can better help Davey with his trilingual education.

Expansion

Doors have been swinging open with our new ministry center out in the Beqaa Valley where over 500,000 refugees live in camps working as farm laborers. At the beginning of the summer one of our staff, named Yusef, was put in charge of running the daily services and distribution at the center but was still commuting three hours each way every day. I was praying for long term staff to move to the area so Jesus can be shown in more incarnational ways. Over the last six months we have had two families and two single women volunteer to be part of our ministry expansion team to the Beqaa. Stay tuned for news about the exciting growth of our outreach facility.

Prayer Requests

  1. Family: Pray for the kids returning to school, that they would be able to share Jesus with their peers and teachers.
  2. Ministry: Pray for grace filled sound doctrine as we are beginning our year of curriculum development this year.
  3. Future: Pray for the team in the Beqaa Valley to have a singular vision and direction for the long term growth of the gospel.
  4. School: Annie has decided to take a month in France to do a French language intensive. Pray for this month of separation for the family.

Passionate Paradox

Paradox 1

     As we have spent this past few weeks in the States, our family has been so blessed to be surrounded by love and support from our community. Everyone has at some point shared the same sentiment. We are so unbelievably excited to be in the US and simultaneously yearning to return to Lebanon. Expectantly wishing for the time we can once again be amongst our refugees. Desperate to wake up amongst a nation of people who have begun to embrace the hope of Jesus even if this world has nothing left to offer.

     Our life is a paradox, which seems only fitting since we worship a God who makes harmony from conflict. Fully God and fully man. Who wept while never ceasing to rejoice. In my devotional time four years ago I adapted a missionary poem called “Ants in the Sugar Bowl” about the challenges of working cross culturally while embracing the beauty of working in our father’s field. It seemed appropriate to share it now as we continue to live as strangers in a familiar land and prepare to return to our foreign home.

 

So I send you

To long hours and exhausting days

To garbage piled higher and higher every hour

To sweltering summers and frigid winters

To uncomfortable cars, smelly taxis, and crowded buses

To uncertain water and sporadic electricity

To exchange yes and no for maybe and I have no idea

To poverty you didn’t believe existed

To camps of humanity that stretch to the horizon

To abandoned construction sites filled with homeless families

To hundreds of thousands of children without education

To know and work with people who have lost everything

To a country suffocating from smog, refuse, and the invading world

To stare into the eyes of men and women preparing to die after being refused treatment

To buildings still bleeding rubble from decades of bullets and shrapnel

To people trapped living illegally with no hope of a future

So I send you, and I expect you to adjust

 

So I send you

To people desperate to know the God who walks the streets of the slum

To people who will give from their poverty

To finally feel you are worthy of the calling

To learn about yourself and the culture that reared you

To know God and make Him known to those who know Him not

To rooms too crowded to sit with people wanting only to hear the name of Jesus

To streets that only the deity of Christ would walk

To the sound of worship of native people in native languages with national music

To a national church that finally woke up

To songs that get louder when the electricity goes out

To chapels and churches bursting with seas of veiled women

To the cry from the Mosque being drowned out by the sound of praise

To spirits unbroken and hearts unshaken in the face of insurmountable odds

To hearing the voice salvation bursting forth in Arabic, French, Armenian, & Kurdish

To feeling unbelievable joy at the honor of laboring in the field of the true harvest

So I send you

 

Are you going, because I will be with going with you always even unto the very end of the age.

 

 

A Letter from our President

Dear Supporters and Friends of Louis and Annie Liss.
As their director, I can say with full confidence that Lois and Annie’s ministry is significant and worthy of your generous support.
To demonstrate my convictions I will personally pledge $3000 as a matching grant
before the end of this year to their ministry.
So you can tell your friends there is a $3000 matching grant that would double their gift up to $3000.
We hope several of you would participate in this opportunity. Perhaps the Lord will provide 5 times this amount. 050417_1443_ComingBackt1.jpg
Louis has been invaluable to the work of the Kingdom in the Middle East. His passion, dedication and years of experience reaching out to Muslims and serving the short term team and interns, have impacted hundreds if not thousands of lives.
Lois is a world class missionary with knowledge and passion for the gospel and for souls.
I encourage you to invest in the Lisses’ ministry to enable them to focus on their work rather than worry about their support.

Due to increased activities their budget has increased. Yet most of his supporters have not caught up with this increase.

I encourage you to give Louis a raise so he can continue to do the Lord’s work unhindered.

I am trusting the Lord that 3 of you at least would match my gift dollar for dollar. The rest of you may I boldly ask you to prayerfully consider doubling your normal giving. Beirut is a very expensive place to raise a family. Yet it is a most strategic place to reach needy thousands of needy refugees.

Thank you for your support in the past and I am counting on you to continue, even increase your support.

Georges Houssney
President, Horizons International
Thank you, Georges! We are living in faith that God will provide for the goals He has given us. Please consider raising your current amount of giving each month or beginning to give a monthly gift for our ministry here in Lebanon. 

One Month Under Our Belts

Culture shock has been enormous as well as various stages of traveler’s sickness in returning to Lebanon, but here we are!

We had a rough first week, but then the second week was pretty relaxed, followed by an extremely challenging week three, and we have just completed week four, which ended Sunday with a realization that we finally feel like we have returned to Lebanon.

It only took a month to get there, but we did.

And now that we have started to feel regular again I wanted to send out a quick message to all of you.

We are alive and well.

We are in Lebanon.

We love you all.

Thank you for your prayers.

In the coming weeks, please feel free to reach out to us for contact.

We are still getting our heads above water as far as the blog goes, but I will be sending out sporadic updates as I am able.