Welcome to this May 2022 Life Center Newsletter. In the midst of the ongoing economic crisis the focus in Lebanon right now is on the election with the hope that this will bring the necessary change to break the political deadlock in the country. Without this there is little hope of escaping the nightmare the Lebanese people are living through. So please read on as we hear the latest news from Pastor Said.
Message from Pastor Said
Greetings from Beirut Life Center
It has been since December 9 since I last wrote to you. Since then, I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to communicate with you.
After watching the news about the coming elections, and the number of Lebanese people losing their lives in the boats of death trying to flee the economic turmoil in Lebanon, many ministers and friends outside Lebanon started calling asking me to write something about the Lebanese situation in order to know what to pray for.
Friday May 6, Lebanese expatriates have begun casting their votes in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, almost three years into a crippling economic crisis that has decimated the Lebanese pound, sparked unprecedented inflation, and pushed thousands of people to leave the country. Lebanese expats living in the diaspora voted on Sunday May 8. Lebanese citizens at home will vote on May 15. Therefore Sunday 18 is the Big day for Lebanon, for a new parliament, therefore a new government to fight corruption, restore us back on our feet. Will they let us do it? No way they won’t.
However, we have a great God, and a small window to make change. Please pray because the economic situation cannot continue this way or most Lebanese people and refugees will be left hungry, oppressed and hopeless.
As Spring has arrived, death boats resumed operations, as you might have heard last week. Several dead, 48 rescued and a dozen still missing under water at 500 meters depth, after migrant boat capsizes off Lebanon. In the midst of this Turmoil & Distress, like a boat in rough sea, we as a church are still in the boat of Jesus, knowing he is on board, knowing He will lead us to the safe destination. In spite of all the storms, rough sea, waves and hurricanes, we are still holding to our Faith, speaking Life, Hope, Peace to the situation, continuing our trip, saving people, feeding them, praising and chanting, knowing that He is the captain of the boat, knowing that He is our Life, believing he is stronger than every hurricane. However the weather conditions are not desirable, yet, we are still experiencing indescribable peace, no one can understand, not even us.
I am sure that reading this letter till the end, will bless you richly. I was praying, wondering how to be an encouragement in spite of all that is going on in our country… can life spring out of death, richness out of poverty? Is it possible to experience God’s Love and victory, in the midst of the present distress? Is this possible? Yes, with our God, this is our destination.
Every evening during Easter week we had events in the Life Center.
The Good Friday children’s outreach was led by Eagles in Christ, and before that on the Thursday foot washing.
In addition to medical, social, financial support and baby’s milk and diapers support for Syrians, Armenians and Lebanese, we are still giving away food boxes, the average value of 30$ for all those under our ministry and outreach, the total of 650 families are benefiting, between youth groups, and Bible students, church members, small groups and Massira. Some of them on monthly basis, others every 6 weeks, others once every two months. This is depending on the budget we have. The need is growing daily, but we are so limited by support, please pray as there are families have nothing to eat. the average salary is not enough for 2 kilos of meat or 40 liters of gas for car.
We thank the Lord, after the Christmas, we’ve got three 40 feet containers (used clothes, some basic food items) as gifts. Two from the UK and one from the Netherlands. We have recruited a team of 8 people, some volunteers, and rented two warehouses to store & distribute the clothes and food. And since the beginning of the year we’ve been distributing clothes to all the church members, neighbours and those effected by the August 4 explosion. We are also helping other churches, some charities and NGOs in and outside our area. We will soon close the first warehouse, and keep the other one. We have recorded three thousand families and the number is still growing.
Events at the Life Center
In spite of the total power blackout, we are managing to buy diesel, and electricity from private power generators. Since Christmas passing through the Eastern and Western Easter weeks, till this hour, we haven’t stopped the outreaches and big events, reaching both children and adults, planting hope through the word of God and watering it, seeing people coming to Faith from all age groups Seizing every possible opportunity to witness, pray, heal the sick and glorify our Lord.
The Life Center is super busy & active with Christian outreaches. We have big events and outreaches almost every week. We already organized two big ones for 500 kids this year. Palm Sunday, daily events during Easter week, preaching praying healing, graduation events, etc and now we are planning for two Pentecost events on Sunday (600 people) on June 5, not to mention the multiple big events with:
The union of churches (Lebanese Traditional churches, African & international churches as well as Evangelical and Pentecostal local movements…)
The Discipleship Institute
We are admitting 250 students every year, we hold it every Wednesday and Friday in the morning. We gather for worship then we split into 4 classes, beginners level, level 1 , level 2 and 3 – we do it all-throughout the year. We invite secular people from the neighborhood, and we start teaching them the word of God, during the courses, many of them accept Jesus, get baptized and join the church.
Cell groups are still active, we are still using the Al Massira courses and the School of Christ along side the Bible Study groups for advanced Believers. We’ve been able to Launch up to seven Al Massira groups since beginning 2022. Graduates are joining the Bible study and SOC groups. Praise the Lord for His goodness.
Friday Kids' Club
The Friday Kids club continues every Friday at 3 pm, this Friday we had a French Lady come to help us. We held a special day circus at the Life Center for children, more than one hundred children showed up, they enjoyed it a lot, this is the only thing children have in Beirut, the Friday club at the Life Center. We thank the Lord for sister Samia, and the youth she trained to help her, not only with this club, but also with the daily activities sometimes twice a day, this support group is helping with childcare for all the daily meetings, bible studies and small groups we have at church, sometimes 2 or 3 meetings a day.
Spring of Life
We have just concluded the six months morning program. 180 children came every day for literacy , food and activities programs.
In parallel SOL still has the afternoon program running with 40 kids on a daily basis.
The Youth Eagles have developed a daily Bible study in small support groups. They meet in the afternoons, they have a revival breaking at the level of prayer and reading the Bible. They meet every day, we thank the Lord, at the beginning of this year they got a grant for 6 months to eat and spend for their outings and activities.
We still have the visiting and prayer team doing a great job, they are overwhelmed by the needs of people, but the Lord is helping us through to bring comfort by listening and praying for those families in distress.
We have set a budget for emergencies, but the need is immense.
There are some new ministries God is starting in our midst!
School of music
We have started a school of music for beginners, targeting youth, almost every day we are teaching guitar, piano, violin and singing, we have bought some needed equipment like guitars, violins, 2 electric pianos etc and dedicated a classroom for this reason. This is something amazing.
The leadership school
Two months ago, we have selected some advanced believers and potential leaders from Syrian refugees, Armenians and Lebanese. They are around 25 persons, we have started a special training and leadership equipping them for the work of ministry. Please pray for this initiative.
A new Leadership Team
Last Monday, I’ve started another Leadership group of 10, preparing them to the work of ministry. Similar to the Bible institute, and the Leadership school, students ought to do homework, readings and assignments.
The Bekaa Valley Mission Team
With the help of some friends abroad, we were able to establish 3 centers at the Bekaa Valley, we have designated Gaby and Abou Abdo and their teams to go there 3 to 4 days a week, to visit and encourage the missionaries and field workers there that came from Egypt and Korea, what’s happening there is phenomenal!
The centres are located in three towns:
- Life center Bekaa – a Town called Anjar by the Syrian border, (we have rented a Villa for daily kids, youth, women, men, activities and Bible studies in Anjar).
the tent that we built inside the refugees camp is still there, but we can’t do much with it because ministry is growing and the eyes were opened, as religious leaders start coming and causing us problems and persecution, that’s why we’ve moved our activities outside the camps, using rented buses for transportation.
- We also rented in Koub Elias town a 3 floor building, we turned it into a center, for 200 Syrian refugees kids and adults activities, it is a type of SOL Bekaa, daily schooling and food. Only for refugees.
- And lastly we have rented a big 3 floors Villa in Zahli Town, also for daily outreaches and all kinds of bible studies, evangelism activities. We keep these things covered for security reasons.
And Much More...
Lots of healing testimonies, uncountable. Jesus is being glorified, we don’t have any break except for two weeks ago (Friday and Saturday ) we went to the Zahli Villa 20 pastors from the Life Center just to have some fellowship and prayer time together, what a day hallelujah.
This week we have a circus for kids and youth at the Life Center, uncountable activities, keeping all of us busy.
Praise the Lord,
I think this will give you an idea.
By the way the government is giving us only 1 hour electricity per day instead of zero, we can praise the Lord for that, and we are buying 12 hours per day from a private generator. This is very hard, however, we have plans to build a large metal tent on the church roof top to install a Solar System, and use the tent for storage, meetings, and activities. This would cost around 20,000 USD. However, we are believing God for the funds.
Keep praying for Lebanon as prices are still going high and salaries’ value is still dropping as the Lebanese lira is still losing value. Around 90 percent of Lebanese became under the poverty line, I could talk about that for days and weeks, but…
God is with us, His name is Jehovah Jireh, He has a strong church and a great Kingdom,
Love you friends and family,