Philemon Project Preschool - June 2019 Update

Beirut, Lebanon

Dear friends and supporters,

Leading in 2019!
What has God called you to in 2019? As I look back, I can see how God has called and equipped me to lead the Philemon Project into its next phase of growth.

Our team of 17 sees their work missionally, and we are committed to providing excellent Christian early childhood development (ECD) and adult mentoring (AM) ministry throughout Lebanon. In the last 12 months, our primary focus has been on strategic growth and organization development. It was an honor to witness God’s hand at work through the project, and we look forward to what’s in store for us. Thank you for standing with us. It’s your faithful partnership that allows us to provide the best Christian early childhood development and adult mentoring possible.

The Philemon Project cares for over 75 children and works with 120-135 parents monthly. By God’s grace, we shared in our last newsletter that we are in the position to replicate our work. Our Board of Directors enthusiastically voted to move forward and purchase the next facility. Lord willing, we hope to replicate the early childhood development center at a second site in another impoverished suburb of Beirut in 2019. While this is a bold step of faith for the project, we sense that God has opened the door for us to wisely grow the work to reach more children and their parent(s).

In Lebanon owning property make good missional sense. Owning the property, as opposed to renting, embeds our ministry into Lebanese soil, and builds our legitimacy among the various faith communities. Buying this property will enable us to use our resources wisely as we carefully replicate the ministry.

At present, we envision acquiring one property. As we grow throughout Lebanon and hopefully Syria, we will rent or work in collaboration with an existing church body to use their space, which should eliminate the need for purchasing more properties.

Our early childhood development center has a child/parent-focused program and is invested in developing the whole child and the child’s parents within one program focus. Missiologically, our intervention-based focus on cognitive early childhood development and parental involvement has proven results. Our adult mentoring team consists of a social worker, nurse, and speech therapist. Together they comprise our group whose purpose is to engage with the parents and promote family well-being. Their combined efforts help mitigate neglect and abuse that may be present at a higher proportion among underserved communities.

According to educational scholars Howell and Reinhard, “children thrive and learn best in settings where they feel connected and safe.” The AM team seeks to consistently deliver developmentally appropriate child-parent mentoring approaches to foster children’s social and emotional skills. Meanwhile, their love and commitment to Jesus shapes their work – to love and care for the child’s parent while introducing biblical and spiritual practices.

• Currently, we average 70 children monthly.

• We interact with over 100-120 parents monthly.

• Our adult mentoring program works intensively with 15-20 parents regularly.

• Our gospel approach and commitment to early childhood development and adult mentoring encourages us to replicate the project in other areas of Lebanon.

Kafrashima – Our Next Mission Site
After some time searching for the best location, we have found an old family villa in Kafrashima (a densely populated poorer suburb of Beirut). We’re planning on making an offer this month. We’re trusting the Lord to help us raise the $650,000 purchase price. If the current owners accept our purchase offer, we will have one year to raise the $650,000.

How Can You Help?
A UNICEF study found that every $1 invested in early childhood development produces up to a $13 return into society. Another important reason why we’re committed to our work is knowing that we’re investing in the Kingdom of God, transforming lives and breaking intergenerational cycles of dysfunction and poverty. All through your giving.

Your Prayers Matter
• Please pray as we move out in faith – that God would lead the way to raise the funds to purchase the building and property. Please join us in prayer that the current property owners and the Philemon Project will come to an agreement on a fair price.

• The villa/property location fits our vision perfectly, strategically placed between two densely populated areas of Beirut that desperately need the love of Christ through our ECD program.

• Please continue to lift up our current GROW ministry in Bourj Hammoud – God is blessing our work and we’re making a tangible impact among the children and parents we serve. Our social worker is sharing the love of Christ through her adult mentoring work which reaches the parents she works among with the love of Christ.

• Please pray for our 17 staff members, too as they carry out the ministry daily, to serve the poor with the love of Christ.

• Pray for me and Joyce as we seek God’s help and wisdom to carry out our growing ministry. We can’t do this work without the Lord’s help.

Robert Hamd
Executive Director

Read more about the Philemon Project Preschool HERE.

The Outreach Foundation is seeking $30,000 to assist with scholarships and general operations. Make a gift HERE or by mailing a check to our office.