Karim and Rita Anayssi
Home church: Willowdale, Toronto, ON
∙ Appointed to serve in Beirut, Lebanon, 2011.
Karim and Rita are of Lebanese origin. They immigrated to Canada about nine years ago. Both came to faith during their teenage years and have been passionate about children’s ministry ever since. When Karim was approached by Cedar Home Girls Orphanage to take on the role of Executive Director, he responded with joy. God seemed to be calling them to where their hearts had always been. Karim visited the home and God confirmed the call. Being a bi-cultural couple, they will be able to almost immediately settle into their surroundings and fit fully and comfortably into their new role.
Cedar Home is a non-profit institution set up to care for girls ages 3 to16 who have lost at least one parent, or whose parents are not able to look after them. The home provides a family atmosphere with spiritual, physical, mental and emotional support for the girls. As well, the girls are taught skills that will prepare them to become productive members of society. At present there are 16 girls at Cedar Home under the care of Christian women who teach them the principles of the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ. The home could house as many as 85 orphans and one of Karim’s roles is to bring the home up to full capacity.
Karim’s vision is to connect the churches in Lebanon, and the Lebanese community, to the home in a more significant way, raising awareness of the great need of the children living in difficult and dangerous circumstances. He is planning to introduce foster parenting, resources for parents, and an email program for children called Kids Connect, through which children can safely get answers to their questions and help for their problems. None of these things currently exist in Lebanon.
The Anayssis are the parents of two little girls, Neomi and Naya.