Friday, July 6, 2012

A full day

Today was our first full day in Lebanon. We are getting settled in and preparing for the boys to arrive for our week with them. We were able today to see some of Lebanon. We went up to Byblos, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. We saw ancient ruins, the epigraphy of ancient and modern leaders of nations and empires, swam in the Mediterranean, and ate a selection of the
amazing Lebanese fare here. Tim is the most informed of tour guides telling us the stories of history each place we go. We only had one incident when Fadi's (the director of the orphanage) daughter, Leah, cut her leg on the beach and had to go get stitches. She was a brave girl and amazed most everyone on the team with her calm demeanor in view of a flow of blood that made many team members queasy.

We continue to enjoy sweet fellowship with one another and with our Lebanese brothers and sisters we have met here. We continue to learn much about this rich and diverse culture and how the gospel continues to take root in the lives of those living here. In the morning we heard the testimony of Fadi who is the residential manager (and former chef) of the orphanage. We heard how Christ drew him through the witness and love of other evangelical Christians here. He quit his job as a professional chef in order to worship with the church on Sundays and spend more time with his family. He first came to work at the orphanage as a chef. He has devoted his life and his family to the care of the
boys here. He is full of the grace and love of Jesus Christ. He told us that there is not a day that goes by where he does not feel the grace of God upon him. Fadi only speaks Arabic so Brent showed us his translation skills as he translated for Fadi to us. Tim concluded our time with Fadi praying for him, his family, and his ministry in Arabic. It was a very moving time. God is already at work here way before we ever arrived. It is a blessing and honor to be able to join brothers and sisters, like Fadi, in their ministry at this orphanage to which they have devoted their lives for Jesus' sake and the sake of these boys.
~Jason Whitlark 

Jason and Myles picking beans that the boys have planted at the orphanage.
 Josh and Les looking out at the Mediterranean Sea.
 Hannah, Sarah, Jen, and Tiffany at the ruins in Byblos.
 The whole team in Byblos.
 Les and Lanna enjoying the Sea.
 Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.
 Myles, Sarah, Lanna, and Les with the beautiful sea behind them.

 Enjoying dinner at a restaurant balcony that overlooks the Mediterranean.

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