About Annie Liss

Currently a mother and a wife who loves reading. Formerly a middle school math teacher who kept too busy and stressed out to read. My husband and I are missionaries 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.

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Halfway Point of Our Summer

Time Has Flown By

Time has been going by so fast! The kids & I (Annie) are halfway through our time in America. If you haven’t seen us yet, please don’t hesitate to call or email, our schedule is pretty flexible and open and we want to see as many of you as possible.

I think the halfway point is a good time to share with you what my strategy for fundraising has been and is on this trip.

The idea to come for the summer without Louis was given to me by God when we were here last December and January. That winter trip was all about our family, getting Kyrie’s surgery accomplished, and celebrating her healing. We spent Christmas with our families, and we did not spend much time visiting with the people who support us, and we did not spend any time finding new partners.

Because of that lack of contact, I was inspired to start planning this trip to America around creating and deepening our partnerships. At the same time, I knew that the security training I would be attending would need a great deal of reflection and prayer. Needing a great deal of time to sit quietly and pray seemed at odds with running around to see every person who might be able to give financially or otherwise.

So, I asked God to give me clear directions that I could obey.

Engage

 

The word God gave me was Engage. Engage is the title of Horizons International’s course to teach people how to engage with Muslims. I have always been able to use the training to engage with basically anyone. It has given me a framework to reach out to non-Christians and Christians alike. Therefore, it was easy for me to hear God say I needed to use this framework in Arizona.

Not only do I want to Engage with people here, but to help people Engage with the ministry in Lebanon. There are so many ways to do this, and the first part is just having a relationship with us.

Also, I want to be an encouragement to people here in the States, to share ways that you have all kept us afloat and the joys of new ministries, stable ministries, growing ministries that I see in our communities here. These ministries that we have seen grow while we have been in Lebanon are such an encouragement to us as well.

Isn’t This a Fundraising Trip?

When I ask Kyrie a yes or no question, her answer is usually, “Yes or No”. While it is confusing when she says it, it is the most appropriate answer for me here.

Yes or no.

I am here hoping to be fully funded, but I am not raising money the way we did our first year of fundraising.

The money I am basically leaving in God’s hands. Yes, we are under funded and need to raise our amount in order to stay in Lebanon, but I believe God wants us in Lebanon, and so that part of the ministry will be taken care of by God.

I do not want to make it hard to give us money, however, so CLICK HERE if you would like to start giving monthly, or a one time gift.

Throughout this post I have linked previous articles that relate, so if you see a link, click on it to find out more of the story. Especially for those new to the blog, this is a great way to work your way back through time to connect with us.

If God is leading you to become a financial partner, CLICK HERE to donate through Horizons. There is a drop-down menu to designate funds for Louis Liss.

Annie will be in the States until August 20! Please sign up to meet with her to encourage each other in all that the Lord is doing! CLICK HERE to make an appointment, or reply to the email when you subscribe to our newsletter.

If the appointment page is confusing, I made a walkthrough HERE.

Field Security Initial Thoughts and Debrief

 

Last week I attended a training in San Diego along with other missionaries working in or headed to places all over the world to share about Jesus Christ.

This training was informational as well as hands on covering all types of situations that may cause a crisis in our various work places.

Of course, you might imagine the need for a training like this with Louis and I working in the Middle East.

Crisis Consulting International ran the training, so if you CLICK HERE you can find out more about it.

I have decided to take this week to process through the training and write up several journal entries before attempting to share my thoughts with the world, but I wanted to share a basic overview and to let you all know I am back in the State of Arizona to start meeting with people and fundraising again. Please CLICK HERE to reserve a time to get together, pray, and hear about what we are doing in Lebanon. You can call or email me as well.

If you have any questions, even specifics about our own security or about the Middle East, please leave a comment or send us an email.

What Did This Training Change About Your Plans?

Being able to do our own Risk Assessments will allow us to expand our mission work wisely. In the past a location we knew had risks was off limits because we felt unequipped to assess those risks. This training helped guide future risk assessment for our own travel within Lebanon.

This training also brought to light the limitations of our knowledge and our organization, Horizons International. Recognizing the essentials that are missing helps us pray and also act on our own behalf within our organization.

How Can You Use This Training Immediately?

My goal of gaining confidence and eloquence was definitely met. Of course I need some time to gather my thoughts about what I just learned before I could give a speech, but I know the direction to go in order to be an advocate for my family.

This week will be full of prayer about problem areas that came up in this training, research on topics and sites that were shared in the training, and drafting letters to the appropriate people in order to get Crisis Management Policies underway.

In travelling, so much of this training is applicable right away, and I am much more confident in future travels.

 

Did Horizons Send You to This Training?

No.

I was encouraged to attend this training by several other missionaries when we went to MTI back in 2014. When we were put in charge of internships in Beirut, incoming interns’ parents often have asked us what policies are in place in case of an emergency.

Horizons has no such policies.

Therefore, I knew that with or without Horizons’ support, I needed to attend this training in order to protect my own family.

I sent the kids fun pictures throughout the week and am happily back at home with them now, which is why some of the pictures are more silly in nature.

2 Weeks in America

 

I (Annie) have been in America coming up on two weeks this Tuesday. I haven’t had a chance to check in because I left my computer in Lebanon with Louis and we have taken our two broken computers into a shop in Phoenix in hopes of salvaging pictures and maybe a workable computer.Can't Stop Me

So, I thought I would check in at this point and let you know that we are well. So here is a quick bullet point list of our trip so far:

  • JET LAG: I didn’t know kids would struggle with jet lag, but boy did they! It was insane! The first week was spent just trying to keep them awake during the day with toy stores, swimming, and games.
  • Visits and Appointments: I started meeting with partners to share encouraging stories and the plan moving forward. If you would like to see me, the best way is to text or call me at 480-242-6979, email me, or sign up on the calendar page by clicking the day and time you are available and writing your name into the Title.
  • Planning for attending the CriCon training.
    • This is a training to prepare me to write policy for crisis encounters that may occur for our staff in Lebanon and as they go into other places in the world.
    • I will update you after the training with a debrief, but for now be praying because I will be leaving the kids in Mesa with my parents during the training.
      • If you would like detailed prayer updates for things like this CLICK HERE to join our prayer team. Items with sensitive information are only emailed to this group.
  • Ministry preparations and prayer time to determine what God has for me in the upcoming year
  • Praying a lot that God will bring forward people who can help us get our funds from 38% to 100%.
  • Culture Shock: Getting gas the first time in our car was a bit overwhelming, and every trip to Walmart I end up leaving before I can even get through half of my list because it is so overwhelming.

If you are one of those people who can join us in financial partnership CLICK HERE and find STAFF: Louis & Annie Liss on the dropdown menu.

What Did I Miss?

What Did I Miss?

Some of you have been receiving our newsletters in your emails, seeing them on facebook, or reading our blogs for a long time. Others are just finding us. All of you are noticing there has been an increased amount of writing being put out. Some of you have been commenting that you feel like you might miss something now.

I Have the Solution

Do not worry! If you have missed a post in the past or noticed that recently we aren’t posting everything to facebook, CLICK HERE! You will have the option of signing up for our Daily, Weekly, or Monthly email update. It takes everything we write for the blog and sends it to you in one beautiful email so you don’t miss a post ever again. CLICK HERE to subscribe.

If you want to know the dirt, the skinny, the low down even beyond what we write on the blog, CLICK HERE! You will be added to our small group of Prayer Warriors. While many people pray for us all the time, this is a group of people committed to covering us in prayer whenever they receive one of our prayer emails. You will receive alerts that cannot be made public on facebook, and you will be asked to pray during our Quarterly Prayer Challenges. Our Summer Prayer Challenge starts in just a few days, so CLICK HERE so you don’t miss out.

Have you been missing out on family stories, updates on our kids, or just wanting to see what Annie is going to do with her blog? CLICK HERE to subscribe to Annie’s blog. As I work on this blog I am seeking God’s direction, and it is sure to be undergoing changes slowly but surely over the next few years. It is the place we post family topics, so CLICK HERE to never miss a story about the kids, parenting, and being a homemaker in Lebanon.

Bonus Points: Share with Others so They Don’t Miss a Thing

At the end of March into the beginning of April we had about a week when staff from all over the world came to Lebanon for our Eastern Staff Summit. One of the biggest revelations for everyone was repeated over and over, “It’s all happening here. Horizons Beirut is the hub.” We have become the center, the catalyst, and the biggest of all the Horizons projects worldwide. The timing, people, and openness has made this a special place to be during this time in history. The only way that our staff outside of Lebanon could fully understand was by seeing it firsthand.

Please pray about making a personal visit to Lebanon.

For most people, travelling to Lebanon is out of the question. But because Louis is in charge of all visitors, coming to Lebanon is far easier than most people are aware of. This is by far the best way to be able to communicate to others what we are doing.

Share our newsletter at your church and small group.

Print our newsletter and put in the narthex or hand it out to your small group. When you receive the letters in your email you can click the button at the top that says View in Browser. This will put the newsletter into a print friendly window and you can print that out to share with people.

These are just a few examples of ways to keep from missing out on our ministry stories. Please pray about committing to share with others around you so we can encourage the worldwide church with the successes happening here in Lebanon.

If God is leading you to become a financial partner, CLICK HERE to donate through Horizons. Write Louis Liss in the designation / memo.

Annie will be in the States in just a few days! Please sign up to meet with her to encourage each other in all that the Lord is doing! CLICK HERE to make an appointment, or reply to the email when you subscribe to our newsletter.

Financial Update for June

Basic Financial Goals

$8,239.05 per month

Currently Pledged: $2,597 per month (32% of Monthly Goal)

2017 So Far

March

Contributions: $4,815.50 (58% of Monthly Goal)

Salary: $4,214.53

Online Giving Fees: $573.11

Administration Fee: $481.55

Balance in Account at the end of March: $394.35

April

Contributions: $3,594.94 (44% of Monthly Goal)

Salary: $3,772.40

Online Giving Fees: $20.98

Administration Fee: $359.49

Balance in Account at the end of April: $163.58

Total Contributions so far into 2017: $16,337.05 (17% of 2017 Goal)

Please feel free to ask us any questions about our budget. Annie is our budgeting queen and is ready to clarify and help you understand our budget. Just because we write the budget does not put that money into our account. Horizons does not pay us unless our partners put the money in our account. You are our partners, our shareholders. You are the ones that make this budget possible or not.

We need more people joining with us financially all the time. We want to share this ministry with you. Please Give by CLICKING HERE. Put Louis Liss in the memo.

We are fully relying on God for this budget. We know He will make it all possible. If the opportunities we are getting most excited about start to become realities there will be a great increase in work and it will be self-starter, entrepreneurial work which will require a strong support team backing our passions. Join our Prayer Team, Annie’s Blog (for moral support and accountability for her), and

Saturday Prayer Challenge

Thank you for praying for us this week as Annie prepares to bring the kids back to the States for the summer.

If you would like to join our Prayer Warrior team, CLICK HERE. Once you are signed up for our team you will receive in depth prayer requests and prayer alerts when we have an urgent prayer request. It is the best way to stay in the know about what’s going on with our hearts.

Travelling

Annie will be travelling for the first time with the kids without Louis. This is going to be a big adventure as well as a big challenge. Please pray for the travels, for the peace and patience we need to get along, and also for details that are usually handled by one adult while the other wrangles the kids can be handled easily with just me.

To Get More of the Story

There is so much more to say about this and we would love to share it with you if you will commit to being a Prayer Warrior for us.

Meet with Annie

If you are interested in finding out more, helping from the States, or praying with Annie while she is in the States, CLICK HERE to sign up for an appointment while she is in Arizona.

Lord, bless our missionaries as they travel. Give them your abundant peace. Provide for their needs in new situations and give them wisdom to make decisions along the way. Help them to share love and patience in excess throughout the trip. Surround them with the joy we feel for them returning to us as they arrive. Amen.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

 

Friday Prayer Challenge

Thank you for praying for us this week as Annie prepares to bring the kids back to the States for the summer.

If you would like to join our Prayer Warrior team, CLICK HERE. Once you are signed up for our team you will receive in depth prayer requests and prayer alerts when we have an urgent prayer request. It is the best way to stay in the know about what’s going on with our hearts.

Discipleship

Louis worked with 15 young men, discipling them in good times and bad (mostly bad and hard times actually). As the last of those boys are leaving soon, we have been looking around for the upcoming discipleship opportunities God is putting in our path. Our local church has a group of youth that could use discipleship and the young couple who had been working with them is moving to America this July. Please pray that this summer Louis can dive in with these new youth. Pray also for God to prepare the way for Annie when she returns to work with the young women.

To Get More of the Story

There is so much more to say about this and we would love to share it with you if you will commit to being a Prayer Warrior for us.

Meet with Annie

If you are interested in finding out more, helping from the States, or praying with Annie while she is in the States, CLICK HERE to sign up for an appointment while she is in Arizona.

Jesus, You had 12 disciples close to You in your time here on earth. Continue to place our missionaries in places with people in need of discipleship. Also bring people into their lives in order for them to be disciples as well. You are good, God. Amen.

The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.

Isaiah 50:4

Thursday Prayer Challenge

Thank you for praying for us this week as Annie prepares to bring the kids back to the States for the summer.

If you would like to join our Prayer Warrior team, CLICK HERE. Once you are signed up for our team you will receive in depth prayer requests and prayer alerts when we have an urgent prayer request. It is the best way to stay in the know about what’s going on with our hearts.

Curriculum Development

Louis and I both have a passion for curriculum development, and are working on several curriculum projects. We are involved in many different aspects of training and orientation here, and as we get more involved in our local church we hope to use some of the curriculum we have been working on to raise up the Lebanese, Syrians, and even the missionaries already here to share our resources and do even better work for the Lord together moving forward.

To Get More of the Story

There is so much more to say about this and we would love to share it with you if you will commit to being a Prayer Warrior for us.

Meet with Annie

If you are interested in finding out more, helping from the States, or praying with Annie while she is in the States, CLICK HERE to sign up for an appointment while she is in Arizona.

Lord, you have given our missionaries wisdom, skills, and experience unique to their lives. Help them to take those lessons and write them down in a way that can be useful to the greater community of Christians seeking to engage with other cultures. Amen.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Wednesday Prayer Challenge

Thank you for praying for us this week as Annie prepares to bring the kids back to the States for the summer.

If you would like to join our Prayer Warrior team, CLICK HERE. Once you are signed up for our team you will receive in depth prayer requests and prayer alerts when we have an urgent prayer request. It is the best way to stay in the know about what’s going on with our hearts.

Language Learning

Louis and Annie are both learning Arabic, which is an extremely hard language to learn. We are taking private classes, living in immersion situations, and ministering to people who speak only Arabic.

At the same time we are surrounded by people speaking Kurdish, Armenian, French, and a few who speak or are learning English. Language is a constant ministry opportunity or hurdle, depending on the situation. We are always in need of prayers in this area.

To Get More of the Story

There is so much more to say about this and we would love to share it with you if you will commit to being a Prayer Warrior for us.

Meet with Annie

If you are interested in finding out more, helping from the States, or praying with Annie while she is in the States, CLICK HERE to sign up for an appointment while she is in Arizona.

Lord, You speak every language on earth. You created every language. You are a master teacher. Please bring our missionaries Your wisdom and perseverance to learn the languages of the people around them. You speak to our hearts in person, and many people in the world do not know that you will speak to them in their own heart language. Help our missionaries to speak those heart languages to share Your love with people in need. Amen.

Revelation 5:9 –

And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll

    and to open its seals,

for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God

    from every tribe and language and people and nation,