When members of our Field Ministry Team meet persecuted Christians, they are often getting to know someone in the middle of a crisis, in the middle of the story God is writing in their lives.
In Lebanon, there is a growing number of people finding themselves in the midst of a crisis, and the need is great. Liman is in the middle of his story, and we recently met him through a local partners near Beirut, Lebanon. He has endured incredible persecution and navigated difficult ups and downs since his preteen years.
Our team doesn’t pretend to know how someone’s story will develop. But our team members are confident in the One who writes the stories. They know the power of His name. They’ve seen how God works in the most dangerous situations. As they follow God’s guidance, our team members willingly come alongside our persecuted brothers and sisters to Rescue, Restore, and Rebuild their lives.
Shuffled Around and Unwanted
After his parents divorced, Liman bounced around from home to home, from family member to family member. His mother cared for him, but when he was seven years old she was diagnosed with cancer and was sent to live in his father’s house.
His father was unable to fully care for him, and Liman was shuffled between uncles until his preteens. During the times he lived with his father, his new stepmother was abusive and harsh with him. As an escape, Liman turned to drugs at the age of 12.
Escaping Into Drugs
When he turned 14, he left home and lived on the streets as an addict, sometimes returning to his grandfather’s house for warm meals and shelter. While on the streets, he encountered Christians who talked with him about Jesus. Finally, at 18, he was baptized, yet he admits now that he didn’t fully believe, and didn’t make any changes to his lifestyle. Two years later, Liman was a drug dealer, living in communal housing with other drug addicts.
A First Encounter with Jesus
A few years later, Liman was arrested on drug charges and went to prison. Feeling desperate for help, he requested a Bible and began reading it every day. As he read the New Testament, something touched his heart, and he was moved to change his behavior. Yet, when he was released from prison years later, his friends pressured him to stop questioning his religion and remain faithful to Islam. They threatened to beat him and leave him for dead if he kept associating with Christians. The pressure continued until he returned to drugs. The Truth that had pierced his heart in prison was replaced with selfishness and sinful living. It wasn’t long before he was arrested and imprisoned again.
Discovering the Story God is Writing
While in prison this second time, Liman met a pastor from a local church who discipled prisoners during their incarceration. They met consistently for the duration of Liman’s imprisonment, and he fully surrendered his life to Christ. Through this discipleship, Liman realized how God had walked with him through every season and situation in his life. He was amazed that Jesus loved him even during the times he lived in sin.
Slipping Back into Sin
When he was released, Liman struggled with finding consistent work that paid his living expenses because of his prison record. His jobs were draining and unfulfilling, and he soon returned to using drugs. He began living with a woman named Rifqa who was also on drugs. Through a friend, Rifqa was introduced to a Christian woman from a local church. She discipled Rifqa and Liman and helped them financially through the local church.
After some time, Liman and Rifqa broke up and separated. Heartbroken, Liman attempted suicide by overdose. Yet, in his distress, he called out to God and remembered Rifqa’s Christian friend. He called her and told her he had overdosed but had decided he wanted to live. He was found in time for his life to be saved and to make a full recovery. The fact that Liman was reached in time, and that he survived the amount of drugs he consumed confirmed to Liman that God has a plan for him and loves him as a son. After his release from the hospital, a local pastor was introduced to Liman, and he began to disciple him personally, agreeing to move him to the church guest house under the oversight of a Christian church member who ministers among former drug users.
Following Jesus Day by Day
Since his attempted suicide, Liman has been completely clean. He and Rifqa recommitted their lives to following Jesus, and are getting married in the church.
Liman and Rifqa suﬀer persecution from their former friends who want them to return to providing them with drugs. They are discriminated against and often rejected not only as converts to Christianity, but because of their history of addiction and imprisonment.
Liman has no income or savings, yet, spiritually and psychologically he is doing well and living a stable life. Through the discipling he receives, Liman’s hope for his future is growing. He plans to buy a motorcycle and become a delivery man in his neighborhood. Having a business of his own would provide him with a way to refocus his life and develop stability for his new family’s future.
Help The Persecuted’s Commitment to Enduring Livelihood
Through Help The Persecuted’s commitment to Enduring Livelihood, we’re helping Liman Rebuild his life with a solid foundation. His delivery business will bring trade and commerce to his neighborhood, while he continues to follow Jesus in his everyday life.
Liman’s story is a tapestry that God has not yet completed. Yet, he believes Jesus is at work in his life, loving him and leading him to a future of hope and faith. Your support for Liman’s efforts to Rebuild his life show him that the Body of Christ walks beside him. And your prayers give him the strength to stand in faith and walk day-by-day with Jesus, trusting Him for a future and a hope.