Last year while watching the world news, my heart was pierced when I saw a report on the massive explosion in the port of Beirut.
I knew I could not just sit back and watch, but was moved to do something. I reached out to my colleague, Bishop Raffoul Najem, a fellow member of Christ Covenant Coalition, a Lebanese pastor in the Boston area. He connected us to key pastors in Beirut, and within several weeks we sent them approximately $50,000 from our USCAL and CCC coalitions for humanitarian work. This resulted in organizing an apostolic team of 18 to serve the nation of Lebanon from September 14-24th. Through the tireless efforts of Raffoul Najem and the immense generosity of our coalitions, the Lebanon project was birthed.
We went to a nation suffering from more than 50-80% unemployment in some areas, over 1000% inflation, inconsistent electrical power, and a huge gas shortage that resulted in cars lining up for more than five blocks at a time overnight to get fuel. In addition to having a two-day conference to strengthen the minority evangelical church, we were able to engage in robust dialogue and share the gospel with many high-level officials in government, education, religion, and the military. We also visited three refugee camps on the Syrian border to bring care packages and to pray with and share the love of God with Muslims.
Several of the pastors united for several joint meetings to preach the gospel, including our last evening when more than 1200 came together for a worship service ending with many coming up for prayer for healing and salvation. God is truly bringing revival to Lebanon amid their dire economic situation! The culmination of the trip took place on Tuesday, September 21st when our delegation became the first-ever evangelical group to meet with the president.
This was reported on national television news and immediately elevated the status of the minority Evangelical church in this nation. We are building a long-term relationship with this historic nation which has been mentioned over 50 times in the Bible. We do not intend to tell them how to fix their problems, but endeavor to wash their leaders’ feet and offer our hand in friendship.
As the only country in the Middle East in which it is legal to preach the gospel, we believe that Lebanon is a key in reaching that region with the good news of Christ.
I am also working on getting some of the books I wrote on the kingdom of God published in Arabic to empower Lebanese Christians to influence every aspect of their culture positively. If you want to help financially support our Lebanon project, please go to https://uscal.givecloud.co/vision-fund and indicate if your gift is for humanitarian aid or the Arabic book publishing expense.
Our delegation included (from left to right) Ted Doudak, Pastor Michael Wells, Josimar Salum, Sherri Mott, Bishop Ray Mott, Bishop Rafael Najen, Lebanon president Michel Aoun, Bishop Joseph Mattera, Pastor Joyce Mattera, Pastor Elliot Penn, Derek and Veronika Ott, along with Attorney Celene Atalah and Attorney Randa Hanna