Grocery Shopping in Lebanon

Living Life With the Lisses in Lebanon

Whether you pray, send gifts or money, or just read our blog you are a part of our team. You are the encouragement that gets us through the hard times. You are a huge part of the work we do here in Lebanon. With the huge gaps in communication I feel the part of me that lived in America for most of my life getting stressed over the loss in relationships with you all. So, I had this idea to share our lives here in a more interactive way. It has taken me awhile to make it doable, and now I am inviting you to join us in a few challenges to pretend you are living life alongside us.

Life in Lebanon Challenge #1: Grocery Shopping

The challenge will be simple. There will be 3 to 5 basic rules to follow for the activity, and you can do it at your own convenience.

This first challenge is about grocery shopping, which Louis and I do every other week with a few side trips to fill in for ingredients we couldn’t find on the first trip.

1: Make your shopping list as usual. If you normally just shop the aisles make a list for this exercise, yes you can buy things not on your list.

I use a meal plan purchased through Bikini Body Mommy to take the guesswork out of meals for the week. Briana provides a grocery list along with the recipes and the meals and snacks all planned out for me.

2: Now give your shopping list to someone else and ask them to randomly cross out 3 items and circle 3 items.

This is a simulation of the lack of availability of ingredients in our stores. There is no guarantee of any item on our list being at the store every week or the kind/brand/type that we would like.

3: Go to your grocery store and shop. As you reach items that have been crossed off, do not buy them this trip. In your virtual Lebanon experience, that item is “not available”. As you reach items that were circled, buy a different brand than you normally would, your brand is “not available” this week.

4: Try to make it through the week without the items that were “unavailable.” If you absolutely need one of the items you can go to a different store to try again after 3 days.

I hope you enjoy shopping with us! Please share in the comments how it goes!

Serving as Senders Introduction


Over the next 8 weeks we will be walking through the book Serving as Senders by Neal Pirolo. We have found that many people on our sending team have been amazing at sending us to the mission field but were left asking, “What do we do now? How can we support the Lisses now that they are in Lebanon?” Each week we will be sharing stories and how we are personally in need of help from our local churches. If you have already purchased a book they are available in the church offices at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church and Streams in the Desert Lutheran Church. If you want a book they are available at these locations as well as available to be purchased at Amazon.com and for Kindle download. You can also follow this blog each week for practical applications.


Early in our marriage Annie would come home from teaching and I would usually be studying for class. She would politely ask me a question about my day and how seminary classes were going and I would answer congenially. She then went into the bedroom to shower and change for the evening. When she returned she would ask me a follow up question from before she left, and I would strain to remember what she was talking about. She then would ask, “Do remember what we were talking about?”

I had moved on in my mind and panicked to try and recall the simple exchange we had just had. Seeing the blank look I was giving her she continued to ask, “When I leave the room do you still think about me?” I was too young to understand that this quickly went from a harmless interchange to an emotionally charged snare that I was about to barrel into. I innocently shared that, “I am intently focused on you when we are together, and once you leave I give the same laser focus to whatever is in front of me then.”

My young bride obviously did not receive this with the same calm composure that I was trying to encourage. Instead she felt hurt. She shared that when she left in the morning she thought about what I would be doing that day. During the day she was thinking about what we would be doing when we reunited. When she came home she checked in with me and then began to reevaluate how my check in affected the plans for the evening.

I had to confess that I thought about her much the way that I think about most people: When they’re in front of me. Our challenge for this study is to be more like Annie and less like me. We are so blessed by everyone in the states when we are there but feel the void when we are overseas. Most missionaries update their supporters 2-4 times a year, but we have made a commitment to stay in contact every month so that we can build up community. We have tried to make this study as practical as possible with clear applications. If you have any thoughts or questions in the coming weeks please share them with us so this can be as interactive as possible.


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. In what ways do you feel like you are already blessing those who serve cross-culturally?
  1. How has having a global view of God’s work affected your own walk with Christ?
  1. Who are people in your own church & community that would benefit from seeing what God is doing around the world as well as across the street?