October Newsletter: Written by Louis Liss

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A “Normal” Day At The Center
     This is the view from the roof of our ministry center. Many of you been wanting to know about what an average day looks like for me as we do ministry here in Lebanon. Three days a weeks we spend in formal language training, Sunday is church, and every other day is a new and unpredictable experience. I have had trouble answering this question until now because of the extreme variation from one day to the next, but over the course of enough time certain patterns have begun to emerge.
     1st Public Transportation: I leave home and walk to the main street to wait from 10 seconds to 30 minutes for either a bus, mini-bus (van), taxi, or serviice (cheap taxi) to come by and take me to our refugee center for between $1 and $6.66 depending on 10 different variables and situations. I get dropped off on the side of the 5 lane highway and must run across to get into our slum called Nabaa. 2nd Discovering the Plan: When I walk through the gates of our Hope of the Nations Center I discover either 50 things I expected happening simultaneously or 1,000 things I didn’t expect. I had a meeting scheduled last week with someone living in the center and walked in to discover that the shared men’s bedroom had been turned into an OBGYN (Embarrassingly I only discovered this after opening the door) 3rd Riding the Wave of Chaos: After finding out what the day will hold. I get the amazing opportunity to share the gospel with refugees in my limited Arabic, Disciple the men living at the center and the high school boys who spend all day there, and meet with our interns about all the new challenges they are facing. 4th Evening Worship: We have a dozen different meetings during the week, but four days a week we have worship services for Kurds, Armenians, and two big combined services where 200 people and 100 kids come to worship at the same time as the evening call to prayer is pumped through the speakers of the local Mosque. Out of respect we crank our speakers even louder and flood the neighborhood with worship music. Finally, I take public transportation back to our apartment for a late dinner and to begin day 2: e-mails.

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High School Ministry
It turns out I like high schoolers after all. After spending my seminary internship as a youth director and running two-dozen retreats for high school students, I was confident that it was just a stepping stone to a bigger role in ministry. So I moved my entire family across the world only to discover that youth weren’t a stepping stone they were the destination. The adult men are amazing, but the ones who truly have a fiery passion for spending time in the word and a desire to be discipled are the young men. I want to share with you about my friend Rizan. He and his family are Kurdish Syrians who have been living in Lebanon for two years. He has lost so much time in school because of the war that he is three years behind in school, so he decided to instead spend all day every day at the Center. He has been reading through the Bible in a year and I asked him to bring me any question he has. So every time I see him we get to stumble through broken Arabic and broken English to answer his deep theological concerns. The church he attends is now sponsoring him to attend the local seminary since he is too ashamed to go to school. Please be praying for Rizan as he embarks on this exciting new part of his life and I continue discipling him through this process.

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New Job
As some of you know we became the Coordinators for Foreign Teams and Visitors in Lebanon. The plan for foreigners visiting Lebanon to do ministry at our center before we came has been: When they arrive at 1:00 AM from the airport we drop them off in our lovely slum named Nabaa where no one speaks English and let them fend for themselves until they need a ride back to the airport. For some reason people have not enjoyed this experience so far. With interns already coming before we arrived, we felt a clear call from God to care for and disciple these short term staff. So far we have had a young man named Andres from Mexico who came for a month and we still have a young woman here named Annie who will be with us until December.

We quickly threw together curriculum for Pre-Arrival, Orientation, and Continued Teaching. It has been an immediate success and has solved a dozen issues with our foreigners, their ministry, and harmony with national staff. It has been a tremendous blessing to us as well. We thrive and grow by being able to disciple men and women to share the gospel. It has been a very slow process for us to grow as quickly as we would like for ourselves at the center, because of the huge language barrier. This has been an amazing experience to make disciples who can affect change in peoples’ lives at the center in a short term context.

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Davey’s Arabic
     There is a standard 6 month breakthrough that missionaries experience where they start moving from surviving to thriving. The feeling of drowning begins to turn into a felling swimming as we persevere through cultural and language barriers. Davey struggled a lot initially not just because of sickness. When we left America he had an extremely high English comprehension and then being immersed in Arabic caused him extreme frustration because he couldn’t understand anyone.
     We have been working diligently to teach him Arabic greetings and phrases. This not only has brought him a lot of joy but is an amazing testimony to every Arab that we see who understand how committed we are to sharing about Jesus that we would teach our child their language. Because many Lebanese speak conversational English, it is common for English speaking missionaries to not learn Arabic. Davey is an amazing avenue for us to share that just as Jesus came and learned our language we have come to immerse ourselves in their culture in order to share the salvation of Jesus in Lebanon.

One Month In Lebanon

The day I am writing this post marks one month from when we were sitting in Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix ready to leave, but stuck in limbo. Writing this update brings perspective to our time so far. It feels like we have been here a year, and it feels like we have been here a day. It’s a paradox! Don’t worry, this is not a Yuck Duck post. Great things are happening that we want to share with you.

We Are Pleased To Report…

Davy is doing amazingly! He is adapting well and back to learning like a rabbit, with great energy, enthusiasm, and speed. He is already able to say words in French, Arabic, and of course English. When he is tired he asks for a nap! When he needs a diaper he tells us. He can count to 2 now! If asked how old he is he holds up one finger and says, “One!” So Cute, So Smart. He is still in love with Jesus and God and prays by himself as well as reading his storybook Bibles by himself. His main prayers right now are to ask God for a cat and a car. He misses going for drives with us. He also thinks that getting a car will mean we can go visit people back in the States. He misses people a lot, and often asks about them by name, which shows an excellent memory, too. There are so many cute things he does that it is impossible to name them all. Make sure you check out the page on our blog filled with pictures of him. The newest ones are pictures of him at Four Corners, playing with Rami here in Lebanon, and playing in our apartment.

Language Learning is going fantastically! We have a language teacher that is coming to our apartment four hours a week (soon we will be increasing to six hours a week) to teach us. We are so blessed by her, and we thank God for her on many levels. First, her mentality is the same as ours, to learn what we need to get into conversations ASAP. Secondly, we get to keep Davy at home with us because she comes to our house during his naptimes. Third, she is a believer and she is amazingly nice and understanding and sweet. These short sentences do not even put into words how glad we are to have Abla as our teacher. Please take some time today (and any day you think of it) to praise the Lord for her, too!

In addition to this private tutoring, we have been able to begin work on our language route. We have made several great connections within our neighborhood. Our apartment sits right above quite a few shops, so we are using them to begin our route. As we said before we are taking our time to work up to our goal of going every day to practice Arabic with our neighbors. Now we have several shop owners (the snack shop below us, the dollar shop across the street, the “pizza” bakery, the produce stand just down the street, and a second “pizza” bakery across the main road just past our immediate neighborhood, and just further than that the grocery store has a few people who regularly help us practice our food words) giving us approximately ten people. In addition we are beginning to go to the Refugee Center and work with the Horizons team there, so we are able to practice some with them, too. Soon we will have enough conversational capability to share what we want to practice with people so they can help us.

Prayer Requests

Louis and I have been extremely hard on ourselves over the past month. We have not handled the unrelenting stress well. Please pray that we will be able to step away from the bombardment of culture, decisions, noise, time, and the 6,724 tabs open in our heads at all times to spend time with the Lord. Pray also that we would show ourselves the same grace that God has shown us. We are doing well, and we sometimes don’t see that. As I wrote at the beginning of this post, writing this puts it all into perspective. It has only been a month and we have done so much! It has only been a month, and we have many routines in place. It has only been a month and we are able to play with our healthy baby boy! With that in mind, continue to pray for healing of our hearts. Our grief in almost losing Davy has compounded our feelings of guilt and failure and loneliness. Thank you for all of your encouragement, prayers, and love. Please feel free to Skype and email us any time.

The Day I Forgot The Rules Of Movies -Written by Louis

It was last Saturday when our team leader was helping us load all 10 of our bags into his car in route to our new apartment in Beirut, when he said, “I still can’t believe you carried all of this through the cobblestone streets of Rome for an hour at 1 in the morning looking for your hotel.” “It was probably the worst day of our lives,” I replied. He responded, “May it remain so.” Now any average film viewer knows that there are some cardinal rules to film such as: Never say, “Well at least it can’t get any worse,” lest you are immediately thrust plot first into an onslaught of tragedy. Little did I know that my declaration that our initial Rome experience was the most extreme stress we had ever encountered would jettison us into the actual worst day of our lives.

It was the trip from Heaven, which is to say that it was the trip from hell continually shown to be under the protective authority of God. It began by us realizing in Phoenix that our initial scale was inaccurate and our bags were extremely overweight. Annie’s dad was quick to jump to the rescue and help us move all of our heavy items to carry-ons which are never weighed at check-in. So we arrived at Sky Harbor Airport at 8:00 AM on Monday morning for a 10:45 AM departure only to find out that our plane was delayed for two hours. This meant that we were able to go have breakfast with our parents allowing them unexpected time with Davey that was greatly appreciated. We returned to the airport and loaded our bags only to be informed that our plane was broken, had to be flown to LAX and then to Toronto to be repaired returning to Phoenix at 8:00 PM for boarding. We were blessed with meal vouchers and so ate at the airport for free and we found a play place for Davey to spend the day waiting, though he was too stressed to eat or drink much. Then we were told that the plane was non-repairable and we were being transported to a new airline, rerouted to London, and would miss a whole day of our two day stay in Rome arriving there at 10 PM Tuesday. We e-mailed our bed and breakfast in the center of Rome to inform them and they told us the last thing we heard from them before boarding the overnight plane to London was that our new arrival time would force them to cancel our reservation. 10 hours later we touched down in London and began to try and contact the hotel owner, who did not speak English, over a payphone using credit card #1. We tried calling three times before our card was frozen having not informed the credit card company we were being rerouted to London. We then looked up on the board and saw that the connecting flight was also delayed so we rushed to the counter to see if we could get an earlier flight only to be told that the flight was not delayed but boarding right then in another terminal. After a mad rush we jumped on board at the last minute and landed four hours later in Rome at 10 PM.

We got on the phone with the hotel owner who said that he would hold the reservation for one hour. We picked up all of our luggage including 3 checked bags (50 lbs each), 3 carry on bags (30-40 lbs each), 2 backpacks (40 lbs each), a diaper bag, a car seat, and a stroller then rushed to catch the last train of the night to the center of town. We got off at the terminal at midnight and the Google Map 15 minute walk from the station to our hotel began to lengthen as paved roads quickly turned into cobblestones, sidewalks began to disappear, road signs became non-existent, and two carry-on bags broke their wheels. An hour later we arrived at the front of an apartment building in an ancient monastic section with one buzzer with the name of our hotel. Annie was in tears as we stood outside and rang the bell only to receive no response. Rang it again, no response. Time after time we buzzed the door at 1 AM with no answer. Finally a group of bikers in leather jackets came over and helped us call the number on the booking sheet. At last the owner came down yelling in broken English, “Why did you not tell me you had a baby!? I can’t have a baby staying in this room! You have too many bags, you can’t stay here with this many bags!” He eventually allowed us to come up on the condition that Davey makes no noise at all. We set Davey down in the room, and he took two steps back into a shelf corner and began to scream uncontrollably. After an hour of yelling in Italian and English from the owner and my child we all go to sleep in our bed.

We woke up the next morning to a group of Germans staying in the closely adjacent rooms who informed us that they were in no way bothered by Davey and were glad he got some rest. He could sense our anxiety and so had trouble eating and drinking that day as well. We left early with one bag and one stroller to see all of Rome in a day, and indeed we did! We went to the Coliseum, Palatine Hill, the Forum, Trevi Fountain, 5 Oblilisks, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, St. Angelo’s Castle, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. We hopped on the Metro to head home when we realized how close we were to the Spanish Steps so hopped off and I climbed all the way up to the church at the top of the steps which had a service in progress. After taking a moment of reflection I began to head down only to find that my wallet had been stolen. We then began retraced our steps and discovered it had been taken by a questionable 55 year old woman on the crowded Metro who pushed through to get on at one stop and off at the next. After a considerable amount of directions from half a dozen locals we were able to locate the police station and call Visa to cancel Credit Card #2 on the only phone in the station. The American number on the back of the card wouldn’t connect internationally from the landline, but thankfully the officer happened to have the number for Visa International with whom I was connected but who had no information related to my American account. The woman was kind enough to transfer me to American Visa while the officers yelled at me in Italian to get off their only phone. The American Visa people had to transfer me to my credit union who was of course closed, but I was able to contact stolen cards and cancel the card causing us to only be out of pocket $200, a driver’s license, and some Harkins gift cards. We finished the day at the top of the Spanish Steps overlooking the city of Rome at sunset.

I exchanged the last of our saved money at the hotel for taxi fare to save our luggage and our marriage after the previous “15 minute walk” from the hotel to the station. We arrived at the airport three hours early only to discover at check-in that when our tickets were transferred from Air Canada to British Airways, Davey’s lap-infant ticket under my name did not transfer. After an hour of the lady talking on the phone she began to take a good look at our luggage and correctly assumed that our carry-on bags were overweight, our stroller was too large, and our car seat wouldn’t be allowed. An hour later we had rearranged all our weight and even found a service that could shrink wrap two of the bags together. An hour after that we had paid the fees at the counter that was still using carbon copies for credit cards. The lady eventually scribbled something on our tickets and we ran through the “dear God please help us, we’re about to miss our flight” security and hopped on the bus that took us to our plane that after the tickets were transferred over no longer had us sitting together. Thank God for Arabs who had no patience for this inconvenience and moved us around three times until we got a row together to ourselves.

Four hours later we landed in Beirut. We breezed through immigration, which was a nightmare last time, and they didn’t check any of our bags at customs. We were picked up by an old friend and taken to the apartment of our team leaders, Pierre & Gigi. Davey promptly laid down in his car seat and fell asleep having not eaten or drank well for the previous four days only to wake up at 2 AM, crawl into bed with us, and throw up everything in his stomach. He spent the next day screaming as four new teeth came in, and he continued to throw up two more times at various places in Pierre & Gigi’s home every time we put anything in his body. He woke up the next morning and we gave him water on the couch on which he promptly vomited. I then declared that it didn’t matter if we had nothing in our new apartment except a mattress we were going to move in that day and he could throw up all over the house all he wants. So we began to load all of our belongings into Pierre’s car when He said, “I still can’t believe you carried all of this through the cobblestone streets of Rome for an hour at 1 in the morning looking for your hotel.” “It was probably the worst day of our lives,” I replied. He responded, “May it remain so.” Needless to say, it didn’t remain that way.

We unloaded our bags at our apartment that only housed a 100 cm mattress for Davey and went together to buy us a mattress downtown. We put Davey on my shoulders and were joking around when Davey asked for water. Having thrown up everything for the past two days we asked him to wait until we left the store and then 30 seconds later I was holding onto his legs as he fell limp down my back. We immediately picked him up but he was unresponsive. His eyes rolled back in his head and he began to foam at the mouth. His arms tensed and shook and then went limp. I ran outside and sat on the ground with him in my arms yelling and shaking him with no response and no breathing. A worker at the mattress store screamed for me to come with him. I jumped in the car with him as he drove like a maniac through the streets of Beirut towards the nearest hospital. All he could tell me in English was, “give him breath.” I began to perform CPR on Davey whose lips had turned blue and was completely limp. After two minutes of screaming, praying, and compressions Davey woke up. The color returned to his lips and he began breathing again, but he was still unconscious as we pulled up to the hospital. They took him in and took his vitals which had begun to return to normal right before making us leave to go to a hospital with a pediatric unit. We drove continuing to pray until Davey began to cry. The sound which had been a source of stress so many times before became the sound of life that brought tears to our eyes. We brought him in to the emergency room where they performed a CAT scan and took blood work before hooking him up to an IV. Six hours later he was diagnosed as having experienced a seizure brought on by extreme dehydration compounded by every other stress experienced in the previous five days. He was released that day and we took him home and cried for the rest of the night as he slept quietly between us. He has made a full recovery.

We’re sharing this story with you for several reasons. One is that you are our family and our support system. By sending us you share in both our joys and our sufferings as we do with you. We want you to know the reality and the cost of sharing the gospel in the calling of God on our lives, but also because this is a story of God’s unending provision in times of unfathomable, crushing pain. We’ve prayed for years that God would prepare us to go and do what we have now embarked on. In so doing He has prepared stores of resilience within us that we did not know were there. As we left the first emergency room in a foreign country without any Arabic to explain what happened, without a diagnoses, carrying our unconscious child in our arms we sang this song: “God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me.” That came from our most profound depths to which we know that the lamb of God is worthy of all of the honor and all the glory and all the praise forever and ever. No matter the circumstances and trials of this life the majesty of the cross cannot be shaken from its foundation. His love endures forever and his mercy is everlasting. We are ineffably thankful today that the grace of God was made manifest in such a way that we still have Davey with us. We thank you for your continued support of Jesus’ ministry here in Beirut. It is your love through Christ that sustains us and holds us as the darkness of the valley gives way to an impenetrable light of healing and salvation.

We Have Arrived In Lebanon

We’re here at last! As soon as we got to Pierre & Gigi’s apartment Davy was off and running to play with Rami. They are having a great time together. This morning Rami didn’t want to go to daycare so that he could stay and play with “Baby David”. They are attached at the hip already.

Today we went shopping for our new apartment. First we measured and got to walk through and decide where we wanted things and then we went to buy a fridge, a washer, and a dryer. As I am typing this Louis and Pierre are off buying Davy his mattress and our water cooler. We are learning all about the electricity and how to work a gas stove.

We began to plan out our language route today as well. This is one of the methods that we learned about in our training that we are very excited to begin using. The idea is to take one day to meet as many people along a specific route as possible. Hopefully these are people who will be there every day. From the 50 or so people we try to meet that first day we will find 3-7 with whom we could visit every day along the route to practice Arabic (and later French). Shop owners are great because they expect people to come in and the chatting times are short so that we won’t be staying long. There are many shops right around our apartment, so we are going to begin working on our memorized dialogue to begin our walk once we move in and my walking blister from Rome goes away. A reason we love this language project so much is that it initiates relationships right away.

March Prayer Letter: 4 Month Old Baby & A Fundraising Update

Solid Food

David Ezekiel just had his four month well check. He weighs 20 lbs. 2 oz. now, is 27 inches long, and is going to start solid foods today (March 7th).

Emotional Reactions: I did not look forward to having a baby before I got pregnant. Once I was pregnant I was excited and afraid that any anxiety or fear would cause my baby to feel unwanted in the womb. I was so looking forward to not breastfeeding any longer until the doctor told me to start feeding him solids. When he was born I hated breastfeeding. I finally got used to it around month three and began to actually feel all the good parts that had been promised to me. The biggest thing for me was to know that I could provide for him. After my teaching profession leaving me feeling like an utter failure, I was finally able to do something. And I could do it well, my baby is a giant! He is over the 97th percentile in every category and he is teething! My job is being taken away by oat cereal. I came home yesterday and cried. My little baby is growing up so fast, and no matter how much time I spend with him and attention I pay to him that adage will still be true.

Spiritual Significance Learned:

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.  I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,  for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?
1 Corinthians 3:1-3
When I was 8 months pregnant I was asked what it would be most important for my baby boy to know. I answered without hesitation that I wanted him to know Jesus as his savior. This verse in 1 Corinthians came to mind when I was finally calming down last night. I am jealous of oatmeal. Beyond that I am jealous of the time anyone but myself gets to spend with David. I am acting in a worldly way that does not allow David Ezekiel to see the trust in our friends and family necessary to feel secure with them. I am an example of an infant, unwilling to trust him to God’s care and to others’ care because he might not need me. He shouldn’t need me, he should need God. I want to be his whole world, and I am right now, but in my heart I want him to only need Jesus. I need him to love Jesus and strive after him. So, again today, and again while Louis feeds him his first solid food tonight, and again every day and moment that I begin to want to be his goddess instead of his mother, I place him at the throne of God and say, “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28

Funding Update

Monthly Donations: $490 per month

10%

Account Total: $2484.08

6%

To donate CLICK HERE, and remember to put our names, Louis & Annie Liss, on the form.

February Expenses 
other Expense (online giving)  $               (5.52)
Administration  $             (49.00)
Total Expenses  $             (54.52)

Prayer Requests

Annie to find peace in God, to turn to him in all times of anxiety, and to be able to always give everything up to God including Baby David.

Louis to find peace in God, to turn to him for all decisions and words, and to be able to ask people for help in fundraising.

David Ezekiel to receive the Word, the Spirit, and the Life of Jesus Christ.

February Prayer Letter

5% Raised

4.7% of our $40,000 total amount to go and 5.6% of our monthly $5000 goal has been reached!Total in account: $1,889
Total monthly pledges: $280

Back in the beginning of this prayer letter we asked for prayers that we would not over-commit here while fundraising. While all of the ministry we are doing here in Arizona may be what God is calling us to do, we need better time management skills in order to make appointments with people and begin asking people for money. We have gone from Chayah, to baby showers, to Chayah, to Via de Cristo, to Tirosh with each of those being the main focus. Fundraising has been on the back burner and needs to be a priority.

At the same time, we see God’s great blessing in providing people willing to give. What a blessing each donation has been. Thank you to all who have donated money, time, hugs, love, or any other form of Agape. We are truly blessed to be in the family of God.

DONATE / VOLUNTEER

You can be a part of our ministry. To find out more about Horizons International and what we are doing, CLICK HERE.To give some money to our account or become a monthly contributor, CLICK HERE.

Make sure to use our names, Annie & Louis Liss for any donations.

We also still need someone willing to mail out a print version of this newsletter each month. I will provide addresses and names and you will donate postage, printing, and envelopes. This is such an important piece that we want to make sure is taken care of by someone in the USA before we leave. CLICK HERE to add this option to your profile.

Middle East Update

Louis feels strongly that he should update our supporters about the Middle East. However, our communication is still in a young marriage stage. Due to still learning about each other’s communication styles and needs this February newsletter has come out a little late. Please forgive us and keep praying for us. Great things are happening and we want to let you know all about them.  Therefore, the Middle East Update by Louis Liss will be moving to its own newsletter. This way Louis can update you as events occur or questions are asked instead of being restricted to a monthly letter. We have changed the options, therefore, on our sign up list. We promised that we would not burden your inbox with many emails, so you will not be automatically opted in. If you would like to receive Louis’ Middle East Update, pleaseCLICK HERE to change your preferences.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Louis and I have been together 8 years from beginning to date December 14th, 2005 to now. The challenge I want to present is to pause and consider this verse again: “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. Often we pass over this verse faster than others in our readings because we know it by heart. Think on the sacrifice of Jesus to give you eternal life, an undeserved life better than your best day here on Earth. Yes, there is suffering, but God only requires momentary suffering of you; it will only last zero to a maximum of 120 years and then you will never suffer again. I have been reading an excellent book called The Well, by Mark Hill the lead singer of Casting Crowns. It reminded me this month that I am not entitled to anything just because Louis and I are still in America.

“Do you understand what you signed up for when you asked God to forgive your sins and save your soul? Do you understand who God is in your life? Do you understand you don’t get saved so life will be easier? Do you understand Christ purchased you with a price and you belong to him? You are not your own, and when you are not your own, you don’t have rights. On this earth, we are entitled to nothing but the hope of glory…Jesus didn’t endure everything he endured so we wouldn’t lose our jobs or not get cancer. We don’t need to be saved so we’ll be happy. We need to be saved because we’re dead in our trespasses and bound for hell. Believers still have some pretty cruddy days. But the anchor of the soul is the truth that Jesus walks them with us.” (pages 140, 141)This lesson has been extremely necessary to me this past month. I have not been that fun to be around because I have a list of things to do that keeps getting longer, my life isn’t entirely comfortable all the time, my plans fall apart. It’s tough in the middle of my circumstances to keep my eyes fixed on the goal for which Christ calls me heavenward. When I focus on the stresses of life it is easy to lose focus on what the big picture is: That God sent His only son for me and the battle is already won. Pray for us that we may remember that the Gospel is not only for us to share with others but an essential piece of our everyday practical relationships with each other, -Annie

First Babysitter: A 5-year-old?

The beautiful Liliana was David’s caretaker for an evening of missionary discussions. In truth we were with her the entire time, and it was amazing how much the two of them enjoyed each other. She told him stories and he smiled and laughed. She was overjoyed to change his diaper, and did quite a good job of it, too. I was quite amused and entertained by her joy and passion for caring for David.

However, more recently I had to leave my baby for the Tirosh weekend. It is all well and good to say that I have committed my baby to God and leave my fears at His feet until I had to leave my baby for approximately 60 hours. I was an anxious wreck leading up to Tirosh. Even when there was a plan, I didn’t feel better. Even when I had pumped enough bottles for him, I didn’t feel better. I kept telling people, including Louis, that I had given it to God, but I did not. In reading John again I realized once again the importance of not just “playing religion”. When the woman at the well tries to impress Jesus with Samaritan religious practices, and when the 5,000 come across to Capernaum and do the same, Jesus’ response is to draw them to Himself. I need to draw near to Jesus. As I realized this, I felt greater peace flood over me. I told David, “I want you to know that ministry is worth it. I want you to know that you are loved. These youth might not know that. I have years and years with you to tell you, show you, and even send you to Tirosh so that you know you are loved. These kids are only going to be in my ministry radius for a few days. You can show them Agape by staying with your Cadee while I show them Agape by being on the weekend.”

“Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
Luke 4:35b-38
The youth who just attended Tirosh still need your prayers. When Louis went through Tirosh 13 years ago he received Jesus as his personal Savior a few months after the Tirosh retreat weekend. That could be the story for any of these kids. The time after a mountain top experience is often harder than other times, so please lift up these youth in your prayers. -Annie

December Prayer Letter

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to theLord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.
1 Samuel 1:27-28

We love David Ezekiel Liss!

Family Ministry

David has been prayed over every day since we knew we were pregnant. We have read the Bible to him in the womb, and we have sought all of your prayers. Now he is here, and we have continued to strengthen our resolve that the most important thing in our lives is that David know Jesus Christ. Each day we read him a chapter of the Bible beginning in Genesis. Today, December 1st, David is 25 days old so we read Genesis chapter 25. In addition, we pray with him now, knowing that everything going on around him is making first impressions. David’s first prayer request was answered November 14th! When we went to the hospital to have David our cats were left somewhat freer than previously. We were not here to lock them up each night, and when we returned Judah was missing. We didn’t see Judah for the first couple days we were home, and so we all three prayed together that Judah would come home and then we told David that now we needed to trust that God would send him home. November 14th Judah reappeared! We are so blessed to have this child in our family, and we want to commit him to the Lord. We know that he truly belongs to God.

We Are Serious

Louis and Annie are some of the strangest people.
People thought this when our wedding was a tad bit peculiar, if they didn’t think so when we stopped kissing for a year and a half prior to getting married. We were serious about making our wedding point to Jesus Christ. We were married on a Saturday and we showed up at church the next Sunday. Our baby was born on November 6th and we were released from the hospital November 8th. We went straight home to pick up Louis’ mom to take her to Via de Cristo.  We took him to Saturday evening Buenas Noches (aka Mananitas). We drove up that night so Louis could preach at Concordia Lutheran on Sunday. Finally, we returned Sunday afternoon to attend Clausura at the end of Via de Cristo.
Of course, we brought Baby David.Why do we have these seemingly crazy, exhausting adventures? Because we are serious about bringing Jesus Christ to the nations, doing it as a family, and never looking back. Yes we were exhausted, but God called us to do these things and He, therefore, gives us the strength. Also, we want people to understand that we are not going to Lebanon just for fun. We are going to be working just as hard at bringing Jesus to them, reconciliation to the churches there, and living out the 4th day. We also want our baby to know his family: the community of believers all around us who we expect to pour just as much love (and more) onto David as you all do on Louis and I.

Middle East Moment

I’ve been to this point meaning to use our prayer letters to update our supporters on the spiritual side of what you may or may not have seen on the news. Right now Syria is in the middle of their continuing civil war. God is able to use these battles to inspire thousands of Syrians to pour over the border into Beirut where they can freely hear the gospel. Lebanon is one of the only Muslim nations where it is not against the law to convert to Christianity. Our Horizons center “Hope for the Nations” is suffering from an amazing problem: too many people. Pray that Christian leaders would lay aside their prejudices and reach out to the Syrian refugees with the Gospel in words and action.

Fundraising Update

Currently In Account: $389.60Need In Account: $25,000

Need Per Month: $5,816

The reason that we need such a large amount in our account to leave is for all of the initial one time costs of moving to Lebanon. Travel costs, an apartment (

they ask for several months in advance for rent, utilities, and water) , furniture, and a car.  All of these one time expenses total up to $19,000. After that we will be living at much the same cost of living as here in Arizona.Support Us Financially:
Click Here To Support Us

We are meeting with people who would like to know more. 
Call or email us to set up a meeting about specific projects we will be working on and a greater understanding of what you would be supporting with your investment.