What is a Lighthouse?
There are many small Christian churches or groups of believers spread throughout the Middle East. Most of these churches and groups stick close together and often isolate themselves from the community around them. They don’t want to rock the boat or face persecution. 1000 Lighthouses seeks to encourage and equip these churches to engage their community – particularly the refugees – with Love and Truth. 1000 Lighthouses seeks to build a network of 1,000 churches across the Middle East that support and encourage each other and receive support and encouragement from the church in America and across the world.
Love – These people need help. In 2017, a mother with three children in tow fled across the border from Syria into Lebanon. They literally had the clothes on their back with no food and no money. She asked several people where she could get help and was told about a church in Tyre. When she showed up on their doorstep, they helped her with some immediate needs (food, clothing and temporary shelter) and worked with her to find a job and get her kids in a school. This is love. This is what Jesus did. This is what we are called to do. This is compassion for another human being who is struggling, regardless of whether they are ‘like us’ or not.
Truth – Love and compassion are Christ-like, and we are called to love even our enemies. However, physical help without the gospel is temporary and we are called to this mission with an eternal love. Therefore, the second pillar of every lighthouse is the truth – the bible and the good news of Jesus Christ. The mother with the three children was given a New Testament and the gospel is frequently shared with her family, often by former Muslims. Her family now regularly attends various weekly gatherings at Tyre Church and while they haven’t yet been born again we trust God to work in their hearts like he has so many others who’ve come to Tyre Church and the current network of Lighthouses.
Pastor Mohammad & The Flagship Church
Pastor Mohammad Yamout was born to a Muslim Sunni family in Lebanon in 1966. He spent a lot of time as a ‘street-kid’ and started attending Sunday School at a local Evangelical Christian Church when he was six. At the age of 14, God saved him through this ministry and he gave his life to Jesus. His family rejected him because of his Christian faith so he had to leave his home and spend the next several years working and living in a warehouse. Two attempts to kill him were made by fundamentalist groups because of his zeal in evangelizing. His local Church discipled him and helped Mohammad with his education including sending him to Bob Jones University where he graduated with a BS in Accounting. Pastor Mohammad is married, and has five children who are all involved in the ministry. Pastor Mohammad’s spiritual gifts are evangelism and preaching.
For the past nine years, Pastor Mohammad and his family have lived in the city of Tyre in South Lebanon where they have dedicated their ministry to planting a church among Muslim Shiite people and seeing them won for the Kingdom of God. God has blessed Tyre Church. Nearly 1,000 people a week interact with, and are served by, the church. There are weekly worship services, women’s group meetings, children’s ministries and other opportunities to interact with the community. Additionally, the church has a medical clinic, a street center/foster-care program, a music ministry, ESL classes, a coffee shop / book store, a sewing center, and the church runs Christian camps throughout the summer for nearly 2,000 children.
Pastor Mohammad’s vision is to see local churches, like the one in Tyre, reaching out and engaging the lost and desperate throughout the Middle East. So far, God has blessed the ministry with ten Lighthouses – four in Lebanon, two in Syria, two in Jordan and two in Egypt.