Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Beirut - Day 1 (cont)

Breakfast was a number of cheeses, bread, olives, and cereal. A number of us ran across the street to a local vendor to pick up supplies. Traffic is interesting. Rather a free for all.

We met at about 9:30 for worship and sharing the results of our 20/20. At 10, the pastor of the Life Center gave us a background on Lebanon.

Damasus (where a good deal of the fighting in Syria is occurring) is 2 hours away by car.

Two main political parties in Lebanon:

  • March 8 - Hezbolah (Shea) and half of the christians

  • March 14 - Sunnis and the other half of the christians

The highway down to Sidon and Tyre is blocked by a group that wants Hezbolah to disarm.

Beirut became the area that Armenians went when they were forced to evacuate. It became the area that people come to when they flee into Lebanon (or enter illegally). That's why the Syrians are in the area now.

  • Lebanon has 18 religious communities

  • It has 40 daily newspapers

  • It has 42 universities

  • It has over 100 banks (this is banks, not branches of a bank)

  • 70% of the students are in private school ($3500 per year to put kids in school, which is the salary for the average person for a year). The public schools failed during the civil war and have never really recovered.

  • 40% of the Lebanese people are Christians (this is the highest percent all of the Arab countries). A lot of Christians are leaving because they can't afford to education their children here. The Sunnis are becoming dominate because they have a lot more children and don't particularly care if they don't get an education.

  • There is 1 doctor per 10 people in Lebanon. In Europe and Unites States there is 1 doctor per every 100 people

  • The name LEBANON appears 75 times in the OT

  • The name CEDAR appares 75 times in the OT

  • Beirut was destroyed and rebuilt 7 times

  • There are 3.5 Million Lebanese in Lebanon

  • There are aboute 10 million Lebanese outside Lebanon

  • The country was occupied by over 16 countries. Egyptions, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Alexander the grat, Roman Empire, Arabian Penisnsula, THe Crusaders, the Ottoman Empire, Britian, France, Israel, Syria

  • Byblos is the oldest, continuously living city in the world

  • Lebanon's name has been around for 4000 years non-stop (it's the oldest country/nations name in the world)

  • Lebanon is the only Arab country that doesn't have a desert.

  • The are 15 rivers in Lebanon

  • Lebanon is one of the most populated countries in it's archeological sites, in the world

  • The first alphabet was created in Byblos

  • The only remaining temple of Jupiter is in Gallbeck, Lebanon

  • The name of Byblos comes from the Bible

  • Lebanon is the country that has the most books written about it

  • Lebanon is the only non-dictorialcountry in the Arab world

  • According to Christianity, Jesus Christ made his 1st miracle in Lebanon (Sidon)

  • The Phoenicians (Original people of Lebanon) built the 1st boat, and they were the first to sail ever

  • People say that the cedars of Lebanon were planted by Gods own hand. They are called the Cedars of God, and are why Lebanon is called God's country on Earth. There is a mtyth that an army came in to conquer lebanon and attempted to cut down the cedars. The myth indicates that the minute the soldier's sword touched the trees they were frozen, and were only unfrozed when a priest from the area came and prayed for them. At that point they decided to leave the trees alone

Mount Hermon ( mount of transfirguration and Elisha's cave ) is on border of Lebanon and Isreal

Life Center runs an elementry school during the school year, and a free medical clinic year round.

After the briefing we went out on the streets in the local neighborhood passing out flyers for the service on Wed night as well as the Fun Fair that the church will be doing on the weekend. We were also asking people if we could pray for them in Jesus' name, and further witnessing to them if they were receptive. Two of the teams reported 5 conversions each. My team was composed of Luis (one of the other members of my church), Daniel (a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood) and Justin (the son of the founder of Mutual Faith ministries, the organization which started this church in Beirut). We met one woman who spoke Armenian and whose Arabic was so bad our translator couldn't understand her. She was quite upset about something though and wanted to share it. Prayed for an older gentelmen named Joseph for his health, and then when we were talking to some other people he waved us back and asked us to pray for his wife's health and for the safely of his two sons who in the military and are stationed in Tripoli. (Not Tripoli in Lybia, this is a city in Northern Lebanon which is expriencing a lot of turmoil spilling over from the conflict in Syria). Met a shop owner who was highly involved in the Catholic Church here and partnering with World Vision. His clerk was Muslim, but claimed to have a relationship with Jesus in his head and heart. We spent quite some time with both and prayed with the Muslim that he might have a greater relationship with Jesus. Towards the end of the time we did talk with another older gentleman who indicated that he used to believe but had stopped because he had too much knowleged. There was a younger guy there as well (Miles) who had a lot of questions. We spent some time talking to both of them.

Then back to the Life Center for dinner. After that there was the service, which Pastor Kelly preached at. We had a prayer time afterwards where the team offered to pray for anyone's needs. We had quite a few people come forward to receive prayer.

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