Exactly a year ago we left the U.S., left family and friends, left a familiar environment and lifestyle, to come to another place and people we knew and loved. In the past year here in Beirut, Lebanon, we have been privileged to enter the world and the hearts of those among whom we are serving in the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches of the Near East (UAECNE) and Haigazian University, thanks to the support of Global Ministries and the Armenian Missionary Association of America. In playing a supporting role in the various tasks we are given, we are helping the churches and institutions continue to be salt and light in the Middle East through worship, education, outreach, children’s and youth ministry, ecumenical cooperation, and much more.Read more
"The Ecumenical Agenda on Migration" presented in Milan, by NEV
The agenda consists of seven proposals that involve the following topics: a law on citizenship (ius soli), the definition of precise standards to legally entering Italy for both migrants and asylum seekers, the regularization on an individual basis of rooted foreigners, the repeal of the crime of clandestinity - provided for in the Bossi-Fini Law, the extension of the Asylum and Refugee Protection Service (SPRAR), the enhancement and dissemination of good reception and integration practices as well as the promotion of the participation of immigrants who are now stabilized in this democratic life through providing active and passive electorate. Read more...
A Lenten Reflection from the Middle East
It is Monday, the first day of Lent in the churches of the East, and here in Beirut it is a dreary and drizzly day. Early this morning, as our taxi made its way through various neighborhoods, traversing one end of the city to the other, clutches of people emerged from the various churches, dressed for work but with a telltale cross on their foreheads, remnants of today’s worship and last year’s palm and olive branches. They are bearing a reminder that what once was green and verdant life is now a blackened sign, a simple advertisement of an approaching and inevitable sorrow.Read more
By Dr. Mary Mikhael*
As early as the first week of January our great partners and friend began to visit our Church and its ministries.
Indeed despite lack of certainty, and expectations of changes in plans, and sometimes surprises, our partners do not hesitate taking risk and visit us. We praise God for all those who have been with us on the journey of faith, their commitment encourages us much.Read more
IT'S JANUARY AGAIN IN TUNISIA Clara Capelli - Q Code Magazine
NEW CLASHES ERUPT IN TUNISIA AS A RESULT OF THE UNPOPULAR 2018 BUDGET LAW
It’s January again in Tunisia. A month that, as many observers have reminded us, has often been historically characterised by violent social protests. Like those taking place today in response to the new 2018 Budget Law by Youssef Chahed’s technical government. On Monday, 8 January 2018, a protestor died in unclear circumstances and the autopsy results have not been disclosed. Read more...
En la multitud de mis pensamientos dentro de mí,
Tus consolaciones alegraban mi alma. Salmo 94:17
Ayer por la mañana, después de que le dijimos a un conocido que habíamos dejado los Estados Unidos para vivir y trabajar en el Líbano, nos dijo sin rodeos: "Cometieron un gran error. ¿Acaso no hay iglesias en América que tuvieron que venir hasta aquí? Este país no se arreglará. No por un largo tiempo." Más tarde, le dijimos a otra pareja exactamente lo mismo. Su reacción fue lo opuesto. "¿Qué? ¿Se mudaron a Beirut? ¡Esta es una noticia maravillosa! Nos dan un gran alivio."Read more
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”
Yesterday morning, after we told an acquaintance here that we had left the United States to live and work in Lebanon, he told us bluntly, “You made a big mistake. Are there no churches in America that you came here? This country will not straighten out. Not for a long time.” Later, we told another couple the exact same thing. Their reaction was the opposite. “What? You moved to Beirut? This is wonderful news! You have put our minds at ease.”Read more
Muhammad Piero Tasca, Mediterranean Hope - House of Cultures of Scicl
It’s a “normal” working afternoon. In fact, it is exactly 4 pm on a Friday. I am scanning and printing some documents, but…. I feel like I am being observed. I turn around and from the slightly opened door, I see two viscous brown eyes looking at me, following everything I do. I open the door. It’s Muhammad, one of the Syrian children who arrived about a month ago to the House of Cultures through the “humanitarian corridor” project promoted by the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy. Read more...Read more
Lectionary Selection: Mark 1:4-11
Prayers for Lebanon:
Gracious and loving God,
In this holy season of renewal and rebirth, may we be made new through reflection and repentance.
In this holy season of hope for a better tomorrow, may we be charged with the fire of the Holy Spirit and resolved to be active participants in building a peaceful world.
In this holy season of your love made real in our world through the birth of a tiny babe in Bethlehem, may we too engage in the difficult practice of loving each other, putting aside our regard for creed, nationality, politics, race, class or gender.
May we have the wisdom needed to make difficult choices and the courage to risk our own comfort or interests for the sake of realizing God’s vision for our world. May we always remember that we are one body in Christ. May we relish the role that you call us to play.
We begin this new year knowing that with it will come trials and obstacles, sadness and disappointments. As we move through it, day by day, help us recognize and celebrate the joys that will come as well. Give us the strength to carry on with the work you have called us to do. To love fiercely, to hope undauntedly, to act for peace always, and demand justice for all your people.Read more