Reaching Abraham's Children
Robert and Souad Helou celebrate God’s faithfulness over many years of ministry
We begin with our Ebenezer, saying "Thus far the Lord has helped us." Our hearts are filled with thanksgiving for what the Lord has done during our years of ministry with Fellowship International.
Our minds travel back to the year 1981, when we just immigrated from Lebanon to Canada. At that time the Lord put on our hearts to start an Arabic Evangelical church in Montreal. The challenge was big, but with the help and encouragement of The Fellowship, specifically Dr. Timothy Starr, the first Arabic Baptist Evangelical church in Montreal was established. By God’s grace and power, this church grew to become the largest Arabic Evangelical church in Canada. It also gave birth to other Arabic churches in Montreal and Ottawa.
After 15 years of pastoring in Montreal, the Lord called us to a different phase of mission. We were accepted and welcomed into The Fellowship International family as missionaries and church planters among Arabic-speaking people in Canada and abroad. That was 1998.
One year later, we were called to help and rebuild the Middle East Baptist Church in Mississauga. We spent four years there and the Lord blessed the ministry in a very powerful way.
At that time we started our outreach Telephone Ministry called "The Good News." People in many Canadian and US cities can call in and listen to short Gospel messages.
In all our ministry years with The Fellowship we always were involved in church planting, evangelism, preaching and teaching the Word of God in churches, and conferences, both in North America and Lebanon. We also were involved in Arabic TV and Radio ministries.
In 2006, something unexpected happened. We were called to start a mission work among Iraqi refugees in San Diego, California. This was a real challenge and a big change in our lives. Depending on God's grace and the power of His Spirit, we started a church with a handful of elderly Christians who, because of their own limitations couldn’t help much in the ministry. But, though the start was very difficult, we were not discouraged because we knew that we have a great prayer support through Fellowship International team and churches.
We are very grateful for all our precious partners in the Lord's work. We appreciate their faithful support during all these years. We could not have done it without that support and constant encouragement.
The good news is that God blessed His work here in San Diego in a marvelous way. We now have an attendance of about 150 people. The number is growing, and the Lord is still opening new ministry doors for us. One of our effective outreach activities is the Friendship Centre, which we established to teach ESL (English As A Second Language) and other crafts and skills. We have now over 120 Iraqi students in our ESL classes. About half of them attend the weekly Bible Study and some of them have responded to the Gospel message and have started attending our church.
We will continue our ministry in San Diego, as long as the Lord gives us, by His grace, the strength to carry out our responsibilities. And we continue to need your prayer support until we finish the race.
—Robert and Souad Helou officially “retired” from service with Fellowship International in June 2013. When it comes to retirement, the better term is “transition” since the Helous are numbered among those faithful servants of the Lord who, like Caleb, simply keep on going. The Lord’s “well done” will surely be their inheritance. Our Fellowship family salutes them.