We believe we have a moral obligation to educate children, to help raise their self-worth, and to empower them to live a Godly life. We also believe it is our duty to address issues with their parents and/or guardians to help them build safeguards for the children. This is at the core of our God-given mandate to help lead people (in this case children) from despair to hope.
Our 3-prong approach:
- Provide a safe environment for children to play, learn, and grow. In our H.O.P.E (Helping Overcome Poverty through Education) Program, students are given the opportunity to study in a safe environment. We make every effort to help create a setting that advances learning, promotes diversity, encourages openness, supports equality, elevates moral purity, and uplifts Biblical values. Children are invited to play without fear and are encouraged to explore learning with an open mind.
Our teachers are on the front lines to help not only educate the mind, but also to elevate the soul. They are trained to identify potential problems and to seek help in addressing those problems with the children and their parents. We address poverty on all levels: physical/educational, emotional/self-worth and spiritual /Biblical.
- Build a solid relationship of trust between teachers/staff and children/parents/guardians. Through our relational engagement ministry our staff spends long hours in visiting every family in our programs. The child and their parent become like family to us. Through this relationship of trust we earn the right to tackle potential problems with parents, and with the larger community where the student lives. Our field managers and their teams have earned the respect needed in order to boldly address contested circumstances. They are regularly asked for council and are a resource for parents in how to deal with their children’s problems. At times, this relationship of trust leads us to act and address potential and existing problems with the local authorities in order to protect the children we serve.
- Teaching Biblical values in our adult Bible Study groups, H.O.P.E. Program, and How on Wheels Programs is at the core of our prevention approach. In these settings adults and children learn that they are created in God’s image and that their bodies are the temple of the Lord. They learn to appreciate and uplift Biblical character traits such as honesty, integrity, accountability, etc. The adult Bible study groups are opportunities to address Bible-based family values. Parents learn to raise God-fearing children and to love, care for, and protect their family.
The holistic nature of the programs described above provide the context for us to share that the people we are serving matter to God. We share the Gospel with them as we are drawn into this conversation. We invite both children and their families into Bible studies. The combination of experiencing grace and dignity through our holistic programs, plus learning the truth about Jesus’ love and sacrifice for them, creates a full picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and draws many Muslim-born individuals into a relationship with Him.
As a result of many coming to faith in Christ, we have been able to see over 1,000 each month in adult Bible Studies, and we planted three churches that are thriving in both worship and discipleship. Over 1,500 children attend our Children-at-Risk initiative each month. It is our vision that these children and adults are the ones we are to disciple and train. Heart for Lebanon, in the next few years, will equip hundreds of Muslim-background followers of Jesus to be mobilized back into Syria and some of the darkest areas of the world. These men and women will be community leaders working to advance the church, rebuild their communities, and transform the Middle East for Jesus Christ.
In these unprecedented times of despair we have an opportunity to reach children and their families with the Gospel. We are using both environments, Family Care and Children-at-Risk, to reach children who are starving and their families with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People in Lebanon are open, listening, and responding. This is your generation’s Ester moment. What will you do with it?
For more information about leaving a legacy and making today count, contact Tom Atema at Tom.Atema@Heartforlebanon.org