10 Days & Counting! America, Here We Come!

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I really love this picture of Davy looking out over Lebanon and seeing the song he made up, “Our City”! What a beautiful moment.

If you want to receive our contact information when we get American phone numbers for the month we are in the States, make sure you are on our email list by CLICKING HERE!

This week we so appreciate those of you praying with us. If you are on our prayer team (which you can join by CLICKING HERE) you have been receiving detailed prayer requests straight to your email each day. Next week we are going to continue praying about these same 7 topics, and I will report a little bit on what we prayed about this current week. If you would like to receive our prayer letters in your email, please CLICK HERE!

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Our fundraising site for Kyrie has been such a success! Because we budget to travel every 3 months and this trip comes after only 2 months, and it is much more expensive to fly to America than Cyprus, our budget is struggling to manage this lurch in timing. On the site we asked for people to provide meals by either having us over to eat or by bringng a freezer meal to one of our parents’ houses. However, the link has not been working for people. Please don’t despair. You can just send us an email or comment below and we can coordinate with you. If you would like to give toward the travel costs and appointments surrounding the surgery, there is still time to donate on the GiveForward site (you can give on the site up until the day of the surgery, December 28th).

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Of course, if God is putting it on your heart in these times of prayer to join with us financially for a one time or repeat donation to support our ministry here in Lebanon, the high schoolers and visitors we hope to increase our time with and curriculum for and the expenses of life, you can always become one of our financial partners through the Horizons Donation Page, which has many options for joining with us as well. Just put Louis Liss in the memo. This will go towards our future here in Lebanon.

The final plug I have for today is about an upcoming Writing Challenge Annie is putting on. The purpose is to kickstart the blogging habit in the New Year. If you would like to Join this FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge, CLICK HERE! If you want to follow Annie’s blogs through this challenge so you can pray and stay up to date during our month in America, or if you are hoping to finish that Christmas letter by February, or if you also want to kickstart a writing habit for a journal, prayer life, or blog, this Challenge is for you, too! Please join Annie. You will only get the Prompts if you CLICK HERE! The Challenge begins December 15th!

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SAVE THE DATE!

Lebanon Send Off & Launch

Phoenix:

April 27, 2014
5:00 PM
St. John’s Lutheran Church

 

Tucson:

May 3, 2014

11:00 AM

Mt.Zion Lutheran Church

Come and bring anyone who might be interested in partnering with us to fund our mission work in Lebanon or find out more. Our team is desperate for us, and we are leaving this May in faith that God is going to provide the remaining funds.

Our team leader sent us a list of just a few of the things happening there and we want to be able to tell you the stories first hand from that country. So, the week following this Launch we are getting on a plane and leaving. (I am publishing this blog post as we are looking at plane tickets.)

Pierre, our team leader just sent us this encouragement in our email correspondence with each other:

Once you arrive you will be able to send back tons and tons of stories of God doing miracles and changing lives. This week a man’s shriveled hand was mostly healed and he’s writing with it, which he couldn’t do before , a woman’s face that had been saggy from her stroke was restored , a kid came out of a coma, Jihan came to Christ 6 days after she came from Syria and is eating up the word if God. A teenage kid named Roksha prayed to accept Christ last week, Boutros has a carpenter’s assistant named Ahmed who came to Christ a couple weeks ago, my dad preached last Thursday and over 30 people responded to the altar call. There are more new believers than we can follow up on.”

We need to be there. Right now those are just stories that are happening there, but that is just a taste of what is happening and our team needs us. We have a heart for discipleship to follow up with these people. We are being called, and we are changing our strategy from asking for money to just leaping out in faith. God will provide. Plenty of people know the need, and it is time to GO!

For many of you who have been with us along the way you are sharing our mix of emotions: Excitement, apprehension, nerves of all sorts. We are finally going! Now is the time to pledge a monthly, quarterly, or annual amount. We are running low on time for one on one meetings, and if you want to meet or visit with us, please contact us!

Many of you are giving to other short term missionaries, and we are thrilled because we have not been able to pour into those people (e.g. Charlie Wheeler). Please continue the commitments you have made. If you are considering giving to us after these short-term commitments end, let us know so we can keep track of the pledges.

Referrals

Maybe you cannot give at this time, or you wish you could give more to our ministry. You are a vital part of our work through your prayers and encouragement. Financially we are relying on God, and praying for people to be drawn into this work. At church this past Sunday one man encouraged me greatly when he said, “You are doing work that we should have been doing for a long time now.” Ministry to Muslims is relatively new work. As recently as fifteen years ago people thought Muslims could not be converted. When Louis and I were at our first training held by the founder of Horizons International, he said, “There are more people sitting in trainings about how to reach out to Muslims than there are people doing ministry to Muslims.”

So, we need you. We have been asking everyone who is willing to help us to pray about five names to refer to us. What this means is praying about people you know who might be interested in partnering with us financially. These would be people, churches, or groups who have the financial means, or who have an interest in global evangelism or working with Muslims. There are many ways you can refer them to us:

1) Plan an appointment where we can meet an individual or small group.

2) Invite us to an event at which people you think may be interested will attend and introduce us there.

3) Write a letter of introduction to the person whether by email, written, phone or in conversation. Then give us the information to follow up with that person.

4) Give us the name and contact information for a referral and we will tell them you referred us. Or, if preferred we can just use the names without telling them that you referred us.

As you can see there are many ways you can help us to get that last 60% of our budget in the next month. We really want to be fully funded by the end of March.

January Prayer Letter: Updates Galore! Baby Pictures, Middle East Update, and Funding Updates.

Funding Update

Monthly Pledges: $140
Total In Account: $1032
(These amounts place us at almost 3% of our goal) 

We need about $5000 per month in order to do all the discipleship, Bible studies, evangelism and other activities we are hoping to do. This will allow us to be full-time in ministry without having to find a job in Lebanon. Unlike our trips to Michigan in the past where we had a set amount needed by a certain date, we are in need of a salary based on our supporters.

Click Here To Donate To Louis & Annie Liss

If you have been with us from the beginning you may notice that we are struggling to bring our funding numbers up. You are our prayer support and our family, so we need to be transparently honest with you. Fundraising has been very difficult for us. We have repeatedly said that we are beginning, but were truly more invested in preparing for the baby. Now that David is here we have begun meeting with people and looking toward going to Lebanon. Please lift us up in prayer. We need your support now more than ever.

Christmas Baby

An Open Door

In an honest effort to help America grasp Christian persecution in the world, a terminology was developed describing countries as either “Open Countries” or “Closed Countries.” The former describes areas where the gospel can be openly proclaimed in public and the latter are those in which it cannot. Noam Chomsky posed this question: “Do our thoughts create our language or does our language create our thoughts?” As a linguist Chomsky was noticing that our words and rhetoric dramatically affect the lens through which we view the world. The problem with these terms is when we hear closed country it is subconsciously drawing our minds toward the belief that this location is without access. Yet God says in Revelation 3:8, “Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.” Though missionaries may be hindered physically, legislatively, or financially from preaching the Gospel amongst a certain people, God beckons us, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chr 7:14). The prayers of the people have been penetrating the hearts of the lost for millenia and it persists today. 30% of Christians with a Muslim background profess to being visited by Jesus in a dream or vision. We are so thankful that in Lebanon we are able to stand in the streets and openly preach the gospel, but we are aware this could change any time. The prayers of the saints are rising up to God and He is responding to these humble cries of intersession. Remember, if God opens a door to a nation, to a people group, or to a person’s heart no one can close is, and the door to the hearts of Muslims around the world is swinging wide. Please persist in your prayers.

Happy New Year!

David Ezekiel Liss

Baby David is almost two months old now and is smiling all the time. He also can roll over half way, which is exciting and nerve-wracking. He is an amazing baby and we are thrilled to have him. We are reading to him a chapter of the Bible each night, and are now into Exodus. Every week he has gotten to hear his daddy preach since he was born, which is an amazing blessing.

Still, the most often asked question is if we are still planning on going to Lebanon with this little guy. People who have held him and seen him fall desperately in love with him and, understandably, become protective. You have heard us say that God sent his only son into the mission field as a baby. You have read Louis’ Middle East updates, which are full of hope for these people. But then you flip on the news and see the wars literally surrounding our little country. As the mom I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t concerned for my baby; however, I am not concerned to take him to Lebanon.

I was asked while 8 1/2 months pregnant what was the most important thing I wanted my baby to learn. My answer. “I want him to love Jesus.” Upon further questioning about schooling and other mental and academic goals I had for him, my answer remained the same. Jesus is what is most important to us, and we need our son to know that first. No matter where we are, that is our focus. We don’t want to protect him from God’s calling, and that is what is truly scary. We know he can change the world, and as much as people are concerned for us and our future we know that God will call him even further than we take him. Your fears are noted by us and by God. We are following God’s calling, and as we are raising money we are fully aware of the fragility of our plans. That is why we repeat to ourselves and to you, our supporters, God has a plan. When you are concerned for us, just pray that God makes his plans clear step by step and that we may remain in His will at all times.