Lebanon (MNN) — In a sea of Lebanon’s economic chaos, Horizons International is providing an oasis of job stability for local Christians.
In the last two years, the Lebanese currency has lost more than 93 percent of its value against the dollar. Wages alone barely cover basic necessities. Rising inflation means the average family is struggling to buy food or medicine. Many have to run up unpaid bills or borrow money just to put food on the table.
Horizons International works in Lebanon with a focus on evangelism, discipleship, and training. But in this economic collapse, the ministry’s Middle East Center for World Missions launched a new initiative connecting Lebanese believers with Western companies and ministries for remote employment.
Pierre Houssney with Horizons International says, “There are a lot of really highly educated and capable men and women of God who have a lot to offer on the world scale, but they don’t have job opportunities and the money that they’re receiving in the local currency for their current jobs is just not enough to even start paying their most basic bills because it has just lost all of its value.
“We’re working with Western companies and also ministries to provide accounting, graphic design, web development, social media management, [and] all kinds of different services. We can be providing a living wage to Middle Easterners so they can tough it out in the Middle East right now, and specifically Lebanon during this economic collapse.”
Houssney says providing these job opportunities to church members in Lebanon has a direct impact on the Great Commission in the Middle East.
“The Christian presence in these Muslim-dominated areas is one of the most strategic things for reaching the Muslims for Christ,” says Houssney.
“So not only are we providing jobs for these people to be able to put food on the table so that they can remain in the Middle East, we’re also training them for ministry. We’re helping them to equip their churches, to be supporting their churches and families, and this is all part of our strategy for reaching the region for Christ.”
The Middle East Center has partnered with over 90 Lebanese churches, “which is most of the churches in Lebanon because there’s only about 105 churches in Lebanon,” Houssney says.
The language barrier between Lebanese employees and Western companies is a consideration. But many in Lebanon speak English and have done well in markets around the world. For those who come to Horizons International’s Middle East Center and want English lessons, the ministry connects them with the Language Academy of Beirut.
Interested in getting involved? Houssney asks, “What business are you involved in? Do you have a small business? Do you have a ministry or your church? What are the needs administratively that could be outsourced in your business or ministry?
“If we could just start a discussion about that and you tell us what your needs are in these areas we are offering, then there’s something immediate you can do. You can provide jobs for Lebanese and Syrian believers so they can remain in the Middle East. Then it can also add tremendous value to your business.”
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Finally, Houssney asks, “We can just be praying that the Lord will provide the right opportunities, that the right businesses will come forward, and that God would provide wisdom and ingenuity in figuring out where these Middle Eastern believers can add the most value to the ministries and businesses that they’ll be serving through the outsourcing project.”
Header photo courtesy of Michal Gadek via Unsplash.