Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mission trip to Lebanon

We knew from the moment Nathan, Mia and Owen were born so early and began to face challenges that God was orchestrating these challenges in their lives not to create difficulty or because any of us had done anything wrong, but to ultimately bring glory to God with their unique story.  We have met many incredible  people on this journey and continue to pray for God to use our family — in it's entirety — to glorify His Name.

God is providing a unique opportunity for our entire family to use the gifts, talents and experiences He has given each of us to serve the people of Lebanon, through Engineering Ministries International (the same group Preston served with in Liberia last year).

EMi is serving the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD). LSESD is a Lebanese NGO (non-governmental organization), founded in 1998.  Its goal is to "serve the Church in Lebanon and the Arab world through spiritual, social and educational development".  The society runs many dynamic programs such as the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, the Beirut Baptist School, the Smart Kids with Individual Learning Differences (SKILD) Center as well as other children and youth ministries.

Preston will be the lead architect on the new SKILD School — a school for 500 students with an emphasis on serving students with special needs.  This school will provide amazing opportunities for educating children from Christian and non-Christian backgrounds.  It is impossible to grasp the extent of how God will use the school to serve students in general and special-needs students in particular over the coming years.  We are told that the emphasis on developing the full potential of children with special needs is ground-breaking in the Arab world.

Janelle will have the unique opportunity to meet with families of children with special needs and encourage them, share God's love, and exchange care-giving techniques.  In general, special-needs children in the region are seen more like teddy bears to carry around and love — or worse, are kept in their homes with very little outside exposure.  We hope to encourage families to find the potential in each of their children.  All three Hite three boys will be with us, busy loving and playing with the other typically-developed and special-needs children.  Having Nathan and Owen along also lends an incredible amount of credibility for reaching out to the families.

Our family will travel to Beirut from March 9-22.  We covet your prayers.  Please let us know if you would like to receive specific prayer requests and daily updates from our trip.  We want to have a core group of prayer partners who will agree to lift us up in prayer each day leading up to and during our trip.  If you would like to be part of that core prayer group, please let us know.

Traveling with all 5 of us will be quite an undertaking beyond normal airport travel, since we will have more equipment (gait trainers, modified strollers, etc) as well as Nathan having two cochlear implants with metal embedded in his head.  Your prayers are invaluable.  This is also a big financial undertaking:  The cost for all 5 of us to make the trip is $8,500.  But, we have felt very clearly that God chose us to go on this journey, and we know He will provide for the cost in many unpredictable ways.  If you feel God burdening your heart with the desire to be a part of this exciting work through a financial contribution, you can donate directly to our EMi account at  Then click on "Donate Now".  Under the "Make a Gift" section, click on "Give Now".  Under "categories and funds", click on the "please select one…" box and choose "Project Trip Volunteers."  In the "Subcategory" box, please choose 12018-Lebanon Beirut (there is more than one Lebanon, so be sure to get the Beirut trip).  Under "other category and/or Volunteer's Name", please put Hite Family (this is essential for your donation to be credited to our family's trip).

Thank you so much for joining us on this incredible journey of sharing God's love.

Preston, Janelle, Logan, Nathan and Owen

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