“He hath done all things well” was the testimony of the multitudes concerning the miracle-working Christ and this statement sums up perfectly our 26 days in Lebanon.
The Lord kept both of us from any kind of sickness, health incidents and stomach upsets. Kathleen coped well, thank God. The country was quiet and safe.
I can again thankfully say, as with the Philippines trip, that God gave strength far in excess of that which I ordinarily enjoy. I spoke 3-4 times each week at the three churches where I ministered. We were with people much of the time which required extra strength. God is to be thanked; I don’t know how either of us could have coped with it all.
We observed God’s obvious direction at every turn of the road. We reminisced how God had directed each step during our 52 year missionary pilgrimage spanning tragedy and triumph. We looked back to the 17 years we spent in Lebanon starting in 1959. We sat with our two daughters on the stadium steps of the camp conference center looking out to beautiful mountains and a deep canyon, praying and weeping together, remembering that, truly, “He hath done all things well!”
I preached my “farewell” message at one church but could not bring myself to preach it ever again, so much did I feel the strength of that bond with Lebanon and her people. Everyone just believed that we could surely come back again next year. I genuinely wanted (and still want) to believe them.
We humbly felt that God used us to be a blessing and an encouragement wherever we went, all credit to Him Who does all things well. Both of our daughters (and one husband) were there and were a blessing to us. Melody, our oldest, had not been back to Lebanon since leaving 35 years ago at 14 years of age. She did marvelously in Arabic, speaking to a ladies’ meeting and spending much time with ladies encouraging them in the Lord.
After a message the last week, I asked for any questions from the packed room. A man stood to his feet and said he was greatly troubled in conscience because of killing five people in the course of his security work. He wanted to know if he could ever enjoy peace and forgiveness. In that hushed room I could announce that the Gospel knows no bounds for him who will believe and accept God’s forgiveness. The man accepted Christ the following day and was a beaming witness at our last meeting along with his saintly wife who accepted Christ several years previously.
During one of the home visits we made with the pastor, a lady wanted to know if she could be delivered from a deep, nagging anger toward a relative who through careless behavior had accidentally killed her brother without ever demonstrating a tinge of remorse for what he had done. What a joy to announce that boundless love God demonstrated in forgiving us! That love makes it possible for us to forgive others even when they show no remorse! Let the whole world know, “He hath done all things well!”