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. 
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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.

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

Biblical Missiology by Louis Liss

How did Jesus preach the Gospel to a world in conflict with God? He, who was the perfect communicator, shared the good news in a variety of ways. Each means perfectly tailored to transforming the hearts of the hearers. He was fully immersed in the culture of first century Palestine, but was able to seamlessly identify when to embrace and when to challenge the surrounding milieu. My family recently moved to Lebanon. It did not take long for me to discover that my new Lebanese culture communicates very differently than I was accustomed to in America. In my desperation to proclaim the gospel I knew I had to grasp the complexities of these new cultural interactions.

I found myself reacting diametrically different in each conflict that arose in everyday life. Every time there was something that appeared to be an insignificant issue (or no one else’s business) I was faced with what I received as hyperbolic, dramatic, and direct conflict. Incidents include: Walking with my son in a street without sidewalks, sitting in the wrong spot during a meeting, and walking thorough puddles with an untied shoelace. Each time I experienced raised voices, eye contact, hand gestures, and a general befuddlement regarding my behavior. In contrast there have been mistakes I have made that I knew created tremendous hurt and breaches of trust, but I have never heard a word about it from the individuals involved. On the contrary, the people become even more polite and gracious in each of our direct interactions. Needless to say, I was bewildered.

This culture that led with emotion took captive all of their passions in certain issues and unleashed them in others. I realized that there is a foundational difference in conflict styles based on cultural values. Refer to the figures below:

The Countdown Has Begun!!!

The countdown has begun!!!

In less than a month we will be on a plane heading back to America for a month. This trip will allow us to see our family for the first time in over a year! November marks the one year date, that’s over 365 days, of being outside of the States consecutively. From this point on we can actually call ourselves expats, and Louis can only be back in the States for 35 days each year. It has been crazy trying to plan for this trip, the surgery, Christmas, new taxes, while still keeping our head in the game here. We are in the middle of hosting 4 different vision trips this month!

Working Hard as a Stay at Home Mom / Husband’s Personal Assistant

As I have learned new and better ways to be a true support to Louis, I have been getting more involved in the administrative and human resources side of the job here. We have intern follow up that is turning into new staff hires! We have so many ongoing communications with people who had a vision trip and want to stay involved and send teams. We have teams coming. Just when I think we will have a break to catch up on communications, I get a flurry of activity in cyberspace, at the guest houses we manage, or in our own utilities (rather, the lack of utilities).

Kyrie’s Surgery

We posted our dates for each Tucson and Mesa on Kyrie’s surgery fundraising page, and I pray and hope that you all will head on over to that page so you can help give toward her surgery or toward keeping us fed in America. Of course our families will be feeding us, too, but we are planning on not going out on our own budget except for one or two dates. We are hoping to save the money, and giving toward meals, or making a freezer meal for us and our families would be a great help. We are about 50% done with raising and saving the money for Kyrie’s surgery. We have to pay out of pocket anything not donated by her surgery date, December 28th. Please continue to share on facebook and other social media sites, tell people, share with your church, any way you can help us out, please do.

Just Start

They say if you have writer’s block, just start writing. That’s what I hope to do with this short blog post. After 3 months of no posts on our blog, I feel a sort of writer’s block. I want to tell you that we are going to start posting more often, but Louis has been working so hard, and the time he used to have at the office to write the blog posts about the ministry portion has been taken up by so many visitors. Please pray for a new habit to be formed so we can keep communication with you stronger. With this post, I hope that I can remind you all we do exist. We are working hard to bring people to Christ, disciple the nations, raise our children to love Jesus Christ, and help Westerners learn how to engage with people all over the world. This post isn’t perfect, it wasn’t edited, and I didn’t get the chance to upload pictures, but I wanted to just start the blog again. Thank you to everyone who emails us after a long pause to check on us. Thank you to everyone continuing to pray without ceasing regardless of whether we send an update. Thank you for your love and grace as we do this missionary parenting thing for the very first time. You are all amazing, and we want to reconnect with every one of you, so feel free to reply.

Serving as Senders: Logistics


I am consistently astounded at those in our life that have this gifting. Many people are amazed at when the Holy Spirit manifest in a supernatural way such as healing or prophecy. Though these of course are outstanding gifts from God, what blows me away is seeing someone so in tune with the Spirit that they can put together an event or oversee a ministry where all the helpers are enthusiastically serving and the participants are able to see the workings of God. This is the Spirit in the nuance. The behind the scenes. Those who deserve all the credit but want none. This is the logistical team.

 


    This last month I posted a story about helping share the Gospel in a refugee camp near the Syrian border. Ministry in the Bekaa Valley where 500,000 Syrians are living in tents is markedly different from our urban ministry we engage with daily. In our Beiruti suburban slum or Nabaa, we can stand in the street and shout about Jesus and the need for His salvation. Daily our staff goes from home to home to teach and preach about the goodness of the savior.

    Ministry in the camps can be a little messier and the missionaries in the area have worked hard with a steep trial and error curve. People do not want to hear about Jesus without it being partnered with some other kind of aid. The refugees there need to see Jesus working in front of them and then become open to hearing the word.


    A missionary friend who helps teach local churches about discipleship using Discovery Bible Studies asked me to help them distribute beds, heaters, blankets, and clothes to a camp in preparation for the winter months. In order to have this opportunity, most of this work had to happen before hand:

  1. We had to partner with a local Lebanese missionary in the Bekaa region.
  2. He had to coordinate with the local camp leader to allow us in.
  3. We had to set up a system to keep there from being a stampede on the physical needs we brought causing the gospel to be ignored.
  4. The Lebanese contact had to go a week before and get orders for the needs
  5. We had to order 200 mattresses, bushels of blankets, piles of clothes, and crates of heaters that had to be not just cheap but quality and usable in the camp
  6. 2 huge transport trucks had to be convinced to drive 2 hours from Beirut to a refugee camp where trucks have been overrun in the past.
  7. And all this had to happen before sundown when the camps become dangerous

For some it is hard to see how doing all of this could be part of the Great Commission. In reality this is much of what we do as missionaries. We spend time setting up sustainable systems that can be utilized to help share the Gospel more effectively.


    This is not only true for general ministry, but personally it is easy to get so overwhelmed with the logistical concerns of living overseas that it can actually detract from ministry. This is where we need help. If any of the following are part of your gifting: Maintaining accountability in ministry, confirming and encouraging spiritual growth, managing business affairs, or attending to personal details, then you are a person who could bless us with your logistical skills. It is these things that seem small that actually make the ministry run and stay long-term.

 

 

Jesus frequently uses questions to help us understand His teachings. Each week we will have three questions for personal reflection. Use these to help guide and challenge your own personal application for the section.

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

 

 

 

Lisses In Lebanon: Finally!


Life In Lebanon Has Begun

We have made it to Lebanon. It has actually been a week now, but this is the first time we could write because our internet was finally fixed for longer than six hours today.     This is a short update for November to get you up to speed, but in December we hope to write a more in depth report. We have been awake before sunrise every day so far from jet lag making our brains crazy, so bear with our exhaustion.

Lebanon - DSC_0785

Status Report

No one has gotten sick at all! We have begun eating the food here, and Louis has begun going to the center to work with another person here on a Vision Trip for the week and reconnecting with his high schoolers. We have people from Horizons staff in America beginning to come to do trainings with our team, and we are very excited about the future here. We are making ourselves a home, which is close to starting over since it has been over a year since we have been here as a family, and when we were here prior we never really settled in to the home.


Here are Louis, Davy, and Kyrie helping put together the walker that Davy picked out for Kyrie today.

Prayer Requests

  • Louis: We want to hit the ground running, but making our home livable for the family while Louis is at work sometimes keeps him home bound when he would like to be at the center more. Pray for peace and wisdom in this transition for when to stay home and when to let Annie deal with issues on her own.
  • Annie: The culture shock mixed with the last few months of chaos in America dealing with insurance have left Annie in a low place. Making a home from scratch and trying to relearn how to live in Lebanon is overwhelming. Please pray for this stage of culture shock to strengthen and not overburden Annie, but can help her to move toward independence while Louis is at work.
  • The kids:
    • Davy is very excited to be back in Lebanon and with the people here that he loves. However, he has lived all of his life in transition and within a few months usually gets to go visit someone new. Please pray that when the visa trip comes in three months and we don’t return to Arizona, that he is able to cope with the disappointment and missing of his family.
    • Kyrie has struggled so far to feel at home. Until yesterday she was very upset that this was not a place she knew. She finally began crawling beyond the rug yesterday, and today we bought her a walker that seems to be pleasing her to be near us. Please pray that she begins to feel at home here, and that Arabic would become natural to her ear instead of unnerving.
  • Logistics:
    • Louis needs to renew his passport before our visa trip, so pray for efficiency in the paperwork.
    • Paychecks, budget, furniture, internet, electricity, and other things that we are used to in America we have to learn or relearn here. Please pray that we can prioritize well and not stress out at each other.

What is Coming Up for the Liss Family?

This year has been a whirlwind. As of November 1st I (Annie) will have been in this country for an entire year. The one thing that we have continued to realize over and over? We need more people on our

team.

We need people here in America who will be able to join us by being Senders.

If you are in any way interested in helping us, please take one of the next two Sundays to come hear about our needs as missionaries. Senders are all the people who are on our team supporting us in prayer, financially, moral/encouragement, during transitions, logistically, and communications. If you want to find out more about these needs we are offering a teaser workshop for the book we will be using to grow our team: Serving as Senders Today.

November 1: Workshop for Senders at Streams in the Desert Lutheran Church 9:30am

November 8: Workshop for Senders at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church 9:15am

November 18: Back in Lebanon

For some of you this may seem sudden, but it has been an entire year when we had only planned on a few months in the States. Once Kyrie’s surgery was cancelled completely we had to begin to look toward Lebanon. We want to be able to share more with all of you, and hope that as we prepare in the next few weeks we can share with you the answers to all the questions you might be having. We have prayed and sought the Lord and know that we are within His Will. We believe that many of the problems, stresses, and concerns that we have can be helped by gathering people willing to step into the ministry of Sending, so our focus for communication is going to be on that topic until we can find the people God is calling to join us.

Immediate Needs:

Babysitters

We will be packing everything up to leave for Lebanon in the next two weeks. We are looking for someone to babysit Davy and Kyrie in Tucson for several days so we can clean and pack for larger chunks of time. Please comment or reply to this email if you will be available. Tell us what days and times would work for you.

You’re Invited!



 

YOU’RE INVITED TO THE

HORIZONS INTERNATIONAL

SILVER ANNIVERSARY BANQUET

Join us for a night of celebration at the Glenn Miller Ballroom in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, Saturday, October 24th, at 6 o’clock in the evening. Enjoy delicious cuisine from around the world, moving testimonies from Horizons staff and special guests, a silent auction and more! Please R.S.V.P by September 24th. While the banquet is complementary we encourage you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a table at the banquet. Please consider sponsorship even if you cannot attend-you can help us continue to reach the nations for Christ. 

Click HERE to RSVP or HERE to Sponsor a Table.