IFES

Students Reaching Students with the Gospel

Lebanon

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a difficult one for Christian ministry. In these Muslim majority countries, heavy restrictions, isolation and fear can lead to Christians feeling that they are, as several Middle Eastern believers have described it, 'the minority of a minority of a minority'. Yet God is at work and there is great courage, freedom and boldness among Christ's followers there.

Located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon is the smallest country in the Middle East. It has maintained a Christian identity – around 40% of the population is Christian. Freedom of religious practice, speech and human rights are protected under the Lebanese constitution.

Religious freedom allows LIVF to work with students without any restrictions. They thank God that they are seeing new students committing their lives to Christ and new leaders stepping forward to serve the lord through the movement. They are also grateful for the continuity of the ministry over many decades, a result of hard work and prayer.

LIVF have built bridges with churches and Christian organisations and the impact of their ministry on the Christian community in Lebanon is positively recognised. Their major challenge is that graduating student leaders have a tendency to leave the country to work abroad so the movement loses out on their experience and support.

View from the inside

Elie Kharrat is the General Secretary of LIVF and IFES Area Coordinator for the Middle East. He reflects on his ministry; ‘When I meet some people who are in high positions now, and who were involved in a bible study group when I was leading it in the university 30 years ago, I have a greater trust in God’s work among students across the generations. Changing students indeed changes nations.’

Elie is inspired by 2 Thessalonians 2:11: ‘With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfil every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.’

Please pray:

  • for bible study groups to disciple students well;
  • for new students to be reached with the gospel;
  • for graduate students to continue to support the movement regardless of where they work.