I had meant to write this up earlier but there has been some catching up to do. I spent last week (October 27-November 3) near Beirut in Lebanon. The main reason for my visit was to give a series of lectures on Old Testament introduction under the auspices of Carey Outreach Ministries. This is the first time I have worked with them. I lectured to between 13 and 25 people from Lebanon, Iraq, etc, over five nights, working our way through the 39 books of the Old Testament and ending with an exam and leaving them a project to complete on Christ in the Old Testament. I have no Arabic and so everything was through a translator (thank you Sara and others).
I left London on October 27 on a direct MEA fight to Beirut. There I was picked up, after ages coming through Passport Control, by Elie and his wife Micheline, who looked after me for the week. I was accommodated in a state of the art apartment owned by the church in a Maronite area called Zouk Mosbeh. I shared with a lovely retired Canadian pastor called Bruce, who is doing a two month stint as a substitute TEAFL teacher in the school the church runs, mostly made up of Syrian refugees. The lectures took place in a lecture room next door to me.
On the Sunday morning we were in the old church building (they hope to transfer operations to the new one this month). I preached on a difficult passage as reported in a previous post. See here. I think my efforts were appreciated.
Later that day I was taken to Byblos, which is a fascinating place to see, full of history. There is a fish fossil museum there. I had an interesting discussion with a young student not used to meeting creationists. There was opportunity to see one or two other tourist spots during the week and to dine at Lebanese restaurants but much of the time I was left to my own devices. There was plenty to do. The excellent wi-fi was a help.
On weeks like these you earn more than you can possibly teach and it was privilege to be there in a Middle Eastern setting, to hear people praise God in Arabic and to know that the gospel is slowly moving forward in Lebanon, despite opposition, as it is here.