Haley’s Journey

Haley Whitehurst felt God calling her to full-time missions when she was 17. 

She tells her story:

God has continued to confirm that in my life over the last five years through different ministry experiences and short-term trips to different areas of the world. However, with this desire and direction, I was never quite sure where the Lord was leading me to serve long-term and what exactly that would look like. Praise the Lord that we just have to be willing and obedient, and He’ll direct us where to go and unravel his plans before us. It’s this unraveling, in all of its twists, turns, and confusing plot twists, which has led me to this amazing opportunity that I am very excited to share with you...

For two months of the summer of 2016, I interned with Youth For Christ in Lebanon where I participated in various ministries with the YFC staff with both Lebanese and Syrian youth. I worked with the youth all throughout Beirut in clubs, summer camps, outreach opportunities, and through various ministries within Syrian refugee camps throughout the country. Going into this internship, I was anxious and fearful about how I would fit in with the YFC staff (which is comprised of Lebanese and Syrian workers), how I would connect with the culture, and whether or not I would thrive in the youth ministries.

God must have been chuckling to himself throughout all of that anxiety because I became incredible friends with the staff, understood and was fascinated by the complex culture, and connected with the youth in amazing ways. It was during my internship that I began to envision myself in Lebanon long-term -something that I had never experienced before in any of my other short-term experiences. I continually prayed about it and spoke with my parents and friends about these new feelings.

Lebanon is a beautiful country that hugs the Mediterranean Sea and is a neighbor to Syria and Israel/Palestine. It is known for its cultural diversity and safety, which has made it the primary location for refugees to escape to from all over the Middle East. This has changed the nation’s population drastically to where more than 50% of their population is now refugees, especially with the conflict in Syria. These refugees have each experienced some form of trauma, persecution, and/or oppression in their lives. This influx of refugees and the historical conflicts between the nations have also created cultural, religious, and national tension within Lebanon. There is a need for not only healing, but reconciliation and redemption within the lives of all who are in Lebanon. I long to see the fruition of Isaiah 61:1-3 in the lives of those I work with.

At the end of my internship, YFC Lebanon’s national director took me to breakfast and asked me if I was crazy enough to consider joining their team long-term. Naturally, I told him I was long past crazy because I had already come to that decision before he even asked. I felt a great amount of peace and comfort throughout this decision process, and felt immeasurable joy in being able to finally say “Yes!” with confidence in this step that is further and farther into what God has for me.

Since the end of July when Haley made this decision, she have been training and continually praying about this opportunity. Serving with YFC in Lebanon will allow her to use her degree from Biola University in Intercultural Studies and double minor in Biblical Studies and International Development in tangible ways.

Haley feels passionate about instilling in youth their identity as God’s beloved and coming alongside them as this transforms the way they see themselves, the people around them, and the Lord. She longs for them to know Jesus and the victory of his resurrection. In Lebanon, she will invest in both Lebanese and Syrian youth through discipleship groups, school ministries, clubs, various development projects, summer camps, and ministries in refugee camps.

If you share Haley's passion for ministering to young people, whether in Lebanon or elsewhere, please contact one of our recruiters today.

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