Syria (MNN) — Heart for Lebanon is equipping Syrian leaders from among the refugee population in Lebanon through a new leadership development curriculum.
Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema explains how evangelism is key to the organization.
“If Heart for Lebanon is known for anything, it should and must be known for an organization that makes disciples. That’s our mission,” he says.
In light of this, the next step for many of the refugee believers is learning to share their faith.
“We believe very deeply that where we go with these people that are really on fire for Jesus Christ is discipleship. When we see somebody [who] wants to go further in their relationship with Jesus Christ, we invite them into what we call our Level Five Leadership Discipleship,” he says.
Developing Servant Leaders
This discipleship program has three main pillars or components: biblical foundation, character formation, and life skill development.
“[The] biblical foundation takes people much deeper than in our Bible studies,” Atema says. “It just sticks with basic theology, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the ordinances, for example.”
After 21 lessons on the biblical foundation, students tackle 10 lessons on character formation. These take a deep dive into the character of a leader, subjects such as forgiveness, attitude, and dealing with failure. Finally, students end with 10 lessons in life skill development.
“Life skills is more of how do you build a team, share your faith, go out into the neighborhood, find out what the real needs are, and deal with [them],” Atema explains.
Heart for Lebanon is already seeing success through this discipleship program. Sarah’s* story, in particular, stands out.
“Sarah came to Lebanon a year and a half ago with her family. [They] had absolutely nothing. We started helping them. They were invited and attended a Bible study group, [and] one of the kids ended up in our Hope Education program. The child became a believer in Jesus Christ first, then Sarah,” Atema says.
“Last November, Sarah decided to get baptized. Some extended family members who were living in Lebanon came to faith, plus her husband [and] other daughter came to know Jesus Christ. In February, they decided to go back to their home in Syria because they felt they were needed there and there were opportunities to share Christ. Now they’re back at one of the churches that we know of because of our network of churches inside Syria, and they’re serving in that Church, leading a Bible study, being an encouragement to the people.”
What You Can Do
There are several ways to support Heart for Lebanon and its discipleship ministry. One way is through prayer.
“We’re in desperate need of far more prayer partners than we have,” Atema says.
Visit Heart for Lebanon’s website to read news or sign up for email updates to learn how you can pray for refugees sharing their faith and other current needs. Another way you can support this ministry is through financial gifts here. Finally, Atema explains that it’s important to slow down and rejoice together in what God has done.
“Rejoice with us that people are being discipled, and that some have a heart to go back into Syria and reach their people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
*Name changed for security purposes.
Header image courtesy of Timothy Kassis via Unsplash