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We are honored to partner with God and with you as He raises up a new generation that will display the characteristics of the cedars of Lebanon: resilience, living long, growing strong under harsh conditions, lifting up their branches to heaven, and spreading the aroma of peace.
In February 2017, on our third short-term trip to Lebanon, we were invited by a national ministry leader to prayerfully consider returning long-term to offer pastoral care to his ministry team which serves youth around the country, with the possibility of serving other teams in the Near East in the future. After seeing God's hand at work to confirm the invitation, it is our heart's desire to serve these front-line national ministry leaders by offering on-the-ground, "life-on-life" counsel, encouragement, spiritual direction, mentoring, team and leadership development, and spiritual retreats.
As the director explains: "We are living in historic times in Lebanon and the Middle East. God is urging us to share the Gospel and disciple a generation that is missing hope and purpose in life because of the current crisis. Hand-in-hand with the church we have a responsibility to prayerfully seek the reconciliation of this generation with their Savior and to each other."
How did God bring us to this next step in our journey? We met in college and married in the late 1980s. We began our careers, started our family, and grew in our desire to work in missions. In 1994, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we moved our young family to Eastern Europe, helped to plant a church in a major city and worked with an NGO serving street children. This season was significant for us, as we experienced firsthand the value of ministry workers receiving spiritual support and encouragement. We thrived when we had it and struggled when we didn’t.
Since our return to the US in the late 90s, Andre has worked in sales, marketing and training roles. He also completed his Master's in Management, and recently earned a CPLP status (Certified Professional in Learning and Performance) through ATD. Eliana homeschooled our children, who are now grown and married. After her homeschooling career, she continued her lifelong learning and pursued a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy and served as an Early Intervention therapist with special needs children. She is currently completing a two-year Spiritual Direction training program.
During the last five years, God reawakened our hearts for his mission in the world through coordinating three semesters of "Perspectives on the World Christian Movement" training classes, and through leading three vision trips to Lebanon on behalf of our local congregation. As we worked with Lebanese ministries, God gave us a heart to minister to the ministers. In our most recent trip, we led a team which facilitated a "soul care" renewal retreat for ministry staff, offering guidance and practical experiences on ways to encounter God and to develop a sustainable "rhythm of life" that balances work and rest.
We find ourselves compelled by the invitation to be an answer to Jesus' prayer and His vision for missions: oneness with Him and with His followers. With God's provision, we will transition to Lebanon in March 2018. We invite you to walk through this door with us to carry the heart of Jesus' prayer to Lebanon and beyond.
The uncompromisingly righteous ... shall grow like a
cedar in Lebanon:
majestic, stable, durable and incorruptible.
Planted in the house of the Lord,
they shall flourish in the courts of our God.
Growing in grace they shall be fresh and green
even in the winter of old age;
They shall be full of sap, spiritual vitality,
and rich in trust, love and contentment.
They are living memorials to show
that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises;
He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Verses 12-15; adapted from the Amplified Version
- May we bring glory to the Father and His Son (v 1)
- May we fulfill the mission for which God has set us apart (v 4, 17)
- May we be unified with the Father, Son and Spirit -- one heart and one mind (v 21)
- May we be mature in oneness with all God's people, so the world may believe that Jesus is the one sent by God (vv 21-23)
- May we be faithful to, and protected by, the power of God's name (v 11, 15)
- May we experience Christ's full and complete joy (v 13)
- May we faithfully make known God's true heart and character, as Jesus did (v 6, 26)
- May we receive all the Father's love for us -- the same love He has for His Son (v 26)