Category Archives: Uncategorized

Goodbye Lebanon, Hello Germany, and the Return Home

We’re back home!!

image

The Frankfurt Airport

After approximately 15 hours of traveling, the Lebanon Team made it back to the states safely. Before returning to Atlanta, Georgia,  the Lord decided to give us an unexpected treat to Frankfurt, Germany.  We went to Germany because of a medical emergency that occurred on the plane with another passenger. The plane did not have a choice but to turn around because of the medical emergency. Despite this medical emergency, we were able to stay in a fancy hotel, where we had dinner and breakfast, and saw really modern-looking sites in Germany. It all worked out because the Lord provided allowed us to enjoy time in Germany together, which brought the Lebanon Team even closer than ever. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

image

The Lebanon Team enjoying there last night together for dinner at a hotel in Germany.

image

A highway in Germany.

image

Sarah, Valhalla, and Deborah taking a selfie on their way to the Frankfurt Airport.

After staying a night in Germany, we got on a plane to travel back to Georgia. The Lord moved through us that day as we prayed for safe travels home and He, in turn, protected us. “…for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

image

A tree in Lebanon.

The God of the Lebanon Team is a consuming fire because He allowed us to overcome our fears in Lebanon so that we can be His witnesses for Jesus’ Gospel in Georgia and beyond.  “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).

image

A beautiful sunset on the Mediterranean Sea in Lebanon.

Now, we are free from fear of rejection of others because of what the Lord did through us in Lebanon and what He will continue to do through us to be lights for Him in the United States.  “For we preach not ourselves,  but Jesus Christ the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake (2 Corinthians 4:5). “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:14).

image

Another beautiful sunset on top of a monastery in Lebanon.

Pray for Dave, Jeri, Sarah, Deborah,  Kim,  and Valhalla as we adjust back to life in the United States and evangelize in Georgia,  the world,  and beyond. This is because God gave us the gift of evangelism so that we can now do His will here in the states and beyond. “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will” (1 Corinthians 12:11).

image

Valhalla giving a warm hug to a child after playing a relay race game.

image

Sarah and Deborah posing with children at the camp.

image

A beautiful sight in Byblos.

We will never forget Lebanon and the lives (children and families) that the Lord through us touched while we were there. Lebanon is now a blessed city in the name of Jesus as a result of what He did through us while we were there. “It shall blossom abundantly,  and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God” (Isaiah 35:2).

Continue to pray for us in the name of Jesus. 

Joy, Joy, Joy!

image

Team Photo

Rest and restoration.

These are the words that describe the Lebanon Team’s last day in Lebanon. We visited a church in which the pastor preached about the church and how we, as Christ’s body of believers, should act inside and outside of the church. God’s joy pushed us throughout the Sunday morning and today,  making today joyfully joyful to ourselves and everyone we met. “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

image

View from the mountaintop as we drive on the highway in the car.

image

Trees tilting downward right as we look at our view from the restaurant.

After we went to church, we drove through the mountains of Lebanon,  where we ate on its mountaintops at a beautiful restaurant in buffet style.  The view that we saw from the mountaintops was glorious and it was a such a blessing for all of us to be in fellowship with one another before we all said, “goodbye,” to each other at the monetary. “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye
also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).

image

Red flowers from the mountaintops of the restaurant.

As we remember our last day here in Lebanon,  we remember that we are with the families and children we met in Spirit because of our relationship that is with them in our Lord Jesus Christ. “And I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing that is in you for Christ’s sake” (Philemon 1:6).

Everyone: Please pray for safe travels back to the states, that we will adjust to life back in the states,  and that all of us, individually,  will be able to touch lives when we return to the states. “According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him” (Ephesians 3:11-12).

Livin the Gospel in Lebanon

image

Our Team and Alma enjoying a walk at the end of the day.

“It is finished” (John 19:30).

The last day with the children at the camp was bittersweet. Even though today was the last day spent with them, the Lebanon Team was able to bring joy to the children by sharing the love of Jesus with them through arts and crafts and games. “….behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10).

image

Dave depicting Jesus on the cross.

image

Dave showing the effects of sin by using a ball and bag as symbolism.

image

Dave showing and telling the story of the cross.

Before the arts and crafts and games, Dave preached a sermon to the children on the story of sin and how Jesus forgave all of us for our sin debt.  The Holy Spirit’s power was evident throughout the sermon as He spoke through Dave to communicate the Word of Jesus’ Gospel to the children. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).

image

Children creating whirly gigs.

image

Children having fun playing with the whirly gigs.

image

Kim giving a thumbs up to the children for the arts and crafts they made.

After Dave preached the sermon, we  helped the children make whirly gigs and visors. These crafts sparked interest and excitement to the children as they smiled bright, wanting Sarah, Deborah, and the rest of the team to help them try out the crafts. The evidence of God’s grace on the children was evident as His good news was being shared through the crafts. The smiles on their faces were bright because of the good news of the Gospel that Jesus shared through our team. “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15).

image

A child playing a tennis ball relay race game.

image

A child knocking down a bottle with a tennis ball during the relay race.

image

A child playing with a spoon and ball during a relay race game.

After the arts and crafts, we played relay race games with the children. These games brought energy and excitement to the children as our team cheered the boys and girls. God transformed the childrens’ hearts as they played these games and it was because of the miracles of the Gospel’s power.  “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you,  and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them” ( Ezekiel 36:26-27).

Before the children left, we gave the children gift bags. It was a joy to see the happiness on the childrens’ faces as they received their gifts. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

God was glorified and evidence of the Gospel was put on display today with the children. We will not forget what God did throughout our time in Lebanon. “To everything there is a season,  and a time to every purpose under the Heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Come Children Come

The past 3 days were amazing.

image

Children from the orphanage making picture frames.

image

Sarah taking selfies with children at the orphanage.

image

Kim playing with the noise makers with the children.

Two days ago, the Lebanon Team went to the orphanage. We helped the children make creative picture frames and took self portraits of themselves to put inside of them. This was a self reminder for each of the children not only were they special, but also fearfully and wonderfully made creations of the One True King. “I praise you,  for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14).

image

Two boys from the camp playing relay races.

image

Valhalla cheering with the children as they play games.

image

A boy and girl from the camp playing relay races with beach balls.

image

Valhalla playing ring around the rosy with children at the camp.

The next two days,  we visited a camp,  where we met children of refugee families. The pastor told the creation story of the earth to the children and how Jesus did miracles of healing for people. He even told them how Jesus died and rose from the grave for them in order to forgive them of their sins. This was a very touching reminder that all of us are God’s children and are in need of His grace daily. “I am the good shepard; the good shepard giveth His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). 

We helped the children make picture frames and played a variety of games with them, such as chalk, jump rope, parachute, and relay races. For the relay races Valhalla seperated the boys from the girls into 2 teams. They competed against each other, cheering loudly as the boys and girls cheered for their teams. This fellowship was a great way to not only point them to the Gospel, but share the love of Jesus with them so that they, in turn, could share this love with everyone around them. “Let all your things be done by you in love” ( 1 Corinthians 16:14).

Lastly,  we visited 3 refugee families inside of their homes.  They were very hospitable toward us as they welcomed us in their homes, provided chamomile tea to drink, and told stories to us. Dave and Sarah lifted them up in prayer in the end before departing their homes, which brought encouragement to the families who love God. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable,  always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Overall, all 3 days brought encouragement to us, the children, and their families. The Lord used us to be His salt and light for them. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seaaoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).

The Little Children and the Beauty of Byblos

The past two days in Lebanon were adventurous.

The Lebanon team went to a children’s orphanage,  where they helped children make picture frames. Every child brought smiles to our faces as we put the love of Christ on display for the children to witness with their eyes. We felt loved as Jesus was drawing them closer to Him God’s sanctified work in us. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

image

The Lebanon Team making picture frames with the children at the orphanage.

Their smiles made our day and their day just as much, meaning more than 1000 words and more than the pictures and their accompanying frames could express. The children said joyfully, “Memories!,” in Arabic as they expressed gratitude for what we did for them that day. Their love for the Lord grew that day as they saw Jesus’ love in us being put on display for them. God’s love for the children is inseperable. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,  nor angels, nor principalities,  nor powers, nor things present,  nor things to come, Nor height,  nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

image

The Lebanon team eyeing ancient artifacts of Byblos.

image

A hallway of a Byblos castle.

image

The Lebanon Team ladies posing for a picture on the top of the Byblos castle.

The next day, the Lebanon team went to Byblos, the oldest city in the world.  We explored the city and bought interesting souvenirs to take back to the states with us. It was amazing to see God’s creations and how beautiful they are to behold in this city since the beginning of time. “In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

image

A sunset to conclude the day.

We concluded the end of the day by praying together in fellowship. It was encouraging to see the word of God sanctifying our hearts during this prayer session. God was definitely at work in our team today and will be throughout the remainder of the trip. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” ( Matthew 18:20).

Lebanon: An Introduction

 

image

Group Photo at Atlanta Airport

 

We landed in Lebanon.

 

image

The Landing at the Beirut Airport with the Mediterranean Sea in View

After 13 hours of flying from Atlanta through Frankfurt to Beirut, our team successfully made it to the land of the cedar tree forest ( Lebanon). We were tired after the flight, but the mighty hand of the Lord guided us to our destination. Our faith in the Lord allowed us to make it. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” ( Philippians 4:13).

Gladys, Danny, and Jessica greeted us at the airport and we ate dinner with them. It was such a joy to meet and fellowship with them as they warmly welcomed us to Lebanon. “We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng” (Psalm 55:14).

Our team is staying at a monestary. That same night, Deborah, Sarah, and Dave went on a walk and explored the outside of the monestary. The view from Beirut at night is gorgeous! God’s creations are splendidly gorgeous!  “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy” ( Psalm 96: 11-12).

 

image

The Lebanese Baptist Church

The next day, our team visited a Lebanese church. The pastor preached on a passage from Philippians 2: 2-16, emphasizing the importance of witnessing and being a light for Jesus to everyone we meet. He quoted in Arabic, ” You say what you do and you do what you say,” meaning that we witness to others based off of our desire and drive to know the Lord more.

image

Group Photo at the restaurant

After church, we ate lunch at a Lebanese restaurant. The food was delicious and we talked and had fellowship with each other.After lunch, the day with me, Dave, Kim, Deborah, and me going on a long walk. We took many pictures and had fun enjoying the nature of God’s creations in Lebanon. As all of you who are reading this can tell, we had fun along the way!  “Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them”  (Psalm 126:2).

We concluded the day with dinner together with Gladys, Danny, and Jessica. Overall, today was a fun-filled day that the Lord made for us. “Every person should eat, drink, and enjoy the benefits of everything that he undertakes, since it is a gift from God” ( Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).

 

Commissioned for Christ!

20160525_183920.jpg

Team Photo (From Left to Right: Kim Morrison, Deborah Lareau, Sarah Dickens, Dave Mikesell, Jeri Mikesell, and Valhalla McGaughey

It is official.

On May 25, 2016, Pastor Anthony George officially commissioned the Lebanon 2016 Team to go to Lebanon at First Baptist Church of Atlanta! He even prayed over our team during the worship service. Tonight gives our team a reason to celebrate and rejoice over everything that the Lord has done to prepare our team mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually for this trip. “Be glad and rejoice! For the Lord has done marvelous things!” (Joel 2:21).

In fact, all of us are so joyful  and thankful in heart for all that the Lord has done to provide for this trip, both prayerfully and financially, through the efforts of our prayer and financial supporters. . “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).  “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

All of us are very excited and cannot wait to see what the Lord does through our team as He sends us on this trip. “I give you the gift of peace. In the same way the Father sent me, I am now sending you” (John 20:21).

Pray for us that God’s will for the Lebanon Team will be made known to us as we go there. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). Also, pray that lives will be transformed by Jesus’ Gospel. “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:23).

 

 

A Fun-Filled Fellowship Day

Group Pic.jpg

(Team Picture from Left to Right): Kim Morrison, Valhalla McGaughey, Deborah Lareau, Jeri Mikesell, Dave Mikesell, and Sarah Dickens

It was a day of fun and fellowship.

The team gathered at First Baptist Church Atlanta to pack items into suitcases. Kim and Valhalla had fun talking and laughing away as they were packing suitcases while Deborah and Sarah worked together to make sure that the suitcases were packed and tightly filled. Jeri had fun as she was getting items together for the suitcases. Dave directed the team as all of the team worked collectively to make sure that everything was packed inside of suitcases. Everyone worked collaboratively and in good spirits as they packed away. “A cheerful heart is good medicine”~(Proverbs 17:22)~

IMG_9348

Valhalla and Kim laughing hysterically as they pack for the Lebanon trip!

After the team packed suitcases, they drove in cars to Dave’s house for lunch. Deborah, Sarah, Valhalla, and Jeri helped themselves to appetizers while Dave grilled delicious burgers on the grill. Deborah made a diverse vegetable salad to accompany the burgers. While eating,  the team had fun talking and laughing with one another in an energetic atmosphere as Valhalla went over basic Arabic phrases with them. This fellowship brought the team  closer together as God brought joy to everyone’s spirits.  “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart”~(Acts 2:46)~

Overall, today was a fun-filled day.  The Lebanon team is one day closer to traveling and God has been so gracious to make today a special day for them. “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”~(Psalm 118:24).~

20160522_145253 (1)

Dave grilling burgers on the grill for our fellowship lunch!

20160522_145421 (1)

Deborah smiling bright at the camera!

Praise Report: He Continues to Provide!

Everything is coming together for the Lebanon trip! The full support needed for all members needed to go on the trip was raised and the team members came up with creative ideas for the arts, crafts, and game supplies needed for the children to play. God has provided wisdom for all of the team members as they decided what arts, crafts, and games to use. “Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise unto thee” (1 Kings 3:12). This is great news since everything is coming together, according to God’s plan for us. It is all in God’s timing that everything is working out for God’s best for everyone. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Here is a list of things for everyone to continue to pray for:

  • That God would use our team to make an impact the lives of the children.
  • For discernment as our team continues to prepare for the trip.
  • Safe travels.
  • Boldness in sharing the love of Jesus with the children and their families.

Thank you everyone for your continued support and prayers! Continue to send up the prayers for our team!

Amen: He Provides!

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:19~

What a praise that this past week has been for FBA Lebanon Team 2016! God has provided team members, Kim Morrison, Sarah Dickens, Deborah Lareau, Valhalla McGaughey, Jeri Mikesell, and leader, Dave Mikesell  plane tickets to go to Lebanon.  We will by flying by plane from Atlanta to Beirut through Frankfurt!! The thought of traveling to make God known blesses our team so much! This goes to show how great that the Lord God is because He is providing for all of the financial needs for this team in order to make it possible for them to go to Lebanon. This is such a blessing!!!!

In addition to plane tickets, our team has made tremendous progress for the arts and crafts and games that we would like to use. The Lord has granted us wisdom for discernment in planning out the arts and crafts and games and this is also a huge praise. God is so good!!

Here are ways that YOU can pray for our team:

  • Safe travels.
  • That lives would be transformed from the inside and out.
  • That the Lord would be made known through us.

Keep sending prayers our way everyone!! And thank you for reading this first blog post!

Lebanon 20167 Team (1)

(From Left to Right): Kim Morrison, Sarah Dickens, Deborah Lareau, Valhalla McGaughey, Jeri Mikesell, and Dave Mikesell