Posts in Lebanon 2016
Holy Ground

by Marilyn Borst, The Outreach Foundation's Associate Director for Partnership Development

I have returned to Lebanon for the 23rd time and have brought with me a team of eight women from California, South Carolina, Nebraska, Washington, D.C. and Indiana! In the days ahead, we will meet with partners whose ministries with refugees from Syria and Lebanon are bringing hope and healing in Christ’s name. 

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The church, The Church, THE CHURCH

Confession: This last post from our trip to Lebanon and Syria will be written in first person. I (Julie) have had several days of traveling time with Marilyn and Nuhad. On the curvy narrow roads from Damascus to Homs and then to Mahardeh, there has been a lot to reflect on between speed bumps, or “sleeping policeman” as Rob told us they were called in parts of Africa. Every time I have traveled on an Outreach trip, Marilyn has been my leader and teacher and her words ring in my ears, but never as much as this time. These trips are not about our faithfulness, our bravery, or anything that is preceded by the word our, but they are about the church, The Church, THE CHURCH! In times of peace, in times of war, the church is here. It remains and we have come to stand with it and be embraced within it. Since the rest of our team returned home, we have been with three faithful parts of the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, his church.

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Ecclesia

The word is familiar to us in the church, because it is a Greek word that is used in various ways for church. According to one source it is the body of Christ scattered across the earth, and its Greek root means called out. So we think of it in our Christian lives as the body of Christ called out in the world; called out for a purpose. And the purpose of this group traveling together to Lebanon and Syria is to join up with the body here in the east, to encourage them and learn from them and to remind those of you in the west that they are here. And they are here for a purpose. They stay put in dark and difficult times because as we have heard over and over again from Assis Mofid, Assis Feras, Assis Ibrahim, “God has put us here for a purpose.” As said in an earlier blog, NEST student Mathilde Sabbaagh reminds us that God did not give her a word for Canada, he gave her a word for Syria.

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