This morning we went to church with the director of Baptist Social Work here in Lebanon. It was in a church up the mountain from here. There were about 200 people that attended. It was a good evangelistic sermon. They had headsets and translated it into English for those who wanted it. Afterwards the pastor explained that the village it was in is a summer resort for a lot of people from Beirut and in the summer he preaches evangelistic sermons when the guests are there. In the winter, after all the summer visitors are gone back to Beirut, he works on discipleship with the members who stay year round.
After the service, the church provided coffee for everyone and we stood out on the steps of the church and visited.
We had arrived at the church a bit early so we walked around town. Most of the stores were closed as it is a Christian village. Some fruit and vegetable stands were open. People prefer to by fresh fruit and vegetables daily.
After church the director of Baptist Social work here took us to eat at a nearby restaurant. We arrived a bit before 12 and were the first people there. Before we left, it was full, easily 500 people, families and friends all in big groups enjoying their Sunday afternoon. All were enjoying the cool mountain air, visiting, talking, and eating. A large number of them (men and women) were smoking water pipes (hubbly bubblies).
One of the people eating with us was known by the restaurant staff. A waiter (a Syrian national) came up to him and asked him if he knew a certain pastor in Syria. He replied he did and the waiter told him that he was a member of that church in Syria. He also said that he knew the pastor where we had just worshipped and that he goes and visits him when he can.
Lebanon has a lot of immigrants from other countries working here. It is amazing to here the outreach to other Arab nationalities that is going on in Lebanon, witnessing that may not be possible in their own countries. The man that prepares breakfast here at the seminary is a seminary student from Sudan. In talking with him this morning he informed me that he goes to a church of Sudanese believers here in Lebanon. Arabs are witnessing to their own people, and using the religious freedoms that are in Lebanon to reach out to the whole Arab world for Christ.
Tomorrow, Sheila, Jeremy and I are going down to the Beirut Baptist school. Sheila will be working with the staff who work with the children with learning differences. Jeremy will be working with the summer school students. They have asked me to meet with the person who is the "school nurse." She is not a nurse, and they have asked me to see if I can help her organize the school clinic.
It's the beginning of the second week, and we can't believe how fast the time is flying. We miss the rest of our team, and the boys at the orphanage asked about them today.