The key to effective ministry in Lebanon is relationship

By March 5, 2024
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Lebanon (MNN) — Work in ministry long enough, and you’ll learn that the big-picture vision you are pursuing happens not in your tasks but in the relationships you have with those you serve.

That’s the key to Heart for Lebanon’s effective ministry, says Bachir Sarkis with Heart for Lebanon: relationships.

Heart for Lebanon’s team of staff and volunteers starts each day at 8:15 a.m., dividing out lists of families to visit whom they have connected with, and determining what rooms of their ministry center will host the week’s busy schedule of Bible study groups.

Along with food kits and winterization supplies, Heart for Lebanon introduces people to the love and hope of Christ.
(Photo courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)

For their home visits, Sarkis says four to five groups of staff will connect with at least 30 households every day, if not more. They have the long-term welfare of people in view.

“When we build relationship(s), we are building trust with people. We are winning the hearts of people, we are winning the love of people,” says Sarkis.

“When we promise them that we have distribution next month, (or that) we will help this family at this date, they find that we are working on time. So we do what we say, and people are touched through how we treat them, because they see through our team all respect, love and care.”

Syrian Sunni (Muslim) families, Syrian Christian families, Iraqis families and those of other nationalities that live in Lebanon alike receive Heart for Lebanon’s friendship.

The team provides humanitarian aid with respect for Kurdish families too, many of whom are looked down on by Lebanese families as farmers. These families feel the difference.

“They say, ‘You are totally different. We were taking (a) bad picture about Christianity, and now you’re changing everything,’” Sarkis says.

Jesus showed us how to care for people – by spending time with them, acknowledging them, hearing them.
(Photo, caption courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)

Syrian Christian families as well as Lebanese Christian families both may know the basics of the Bible, Sarkis says, that Jesus is the Savior who died on the cross. But they don’t necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus or know how to accept Jesus as Savior. So the Heart for Lebanon team helps them toward that understanding.

Sarkis tells us, “Through the visits that we are doing, we (get) the opportunity to win some of the people that we visit to Christ. It’s not easy to win someone to Christ. It takes time, it needs patience.”

Heart for Lebanon strives to help people grow as disciples of Christ. They work alongside the Church with their multiple discipleship programs, learning programs, relief work and more.

Sarkis asks for prayer for the peace of Lebanon, as Israel and Hezbollah exchange fire over the southern border of the country.

“We pray for stability in the political situation, because any political earthquake, I’ll call it— (if) any political problem in Lebanon or any war might be expanded, (it) might affect all our work.”

He says a rocket strike in late February struck very close enough to their center in the South to send shrapnel through the walls and windows, and they had to stop all their operations in the region.

Learn more about Heart for Lebanon’s disciple-making ministry here.

Header photo is a representative stock image courtesy of Masjid MABA/Pixabay.

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