Tomorrow marks the halfway point of Lebanon’s two-week coronavirus lockdown. Earlier this week, President Michel Aoun asked citizens to self-quarantine at home until March 29. Lebanon’s land, air, and sea ports sealed to most traffic midweek.
Over 150 coronavirus cases have been confirmed so far, but testing is severely limited, and other critical medical needs aren’t being met. “We are almost at half of our hospital capacity. This is significantly scary for the population in Lebanon,” Heart for Lebanon’s Camille Melki says.
“Lebanon has only 800 ICU rooms in all our hospitals; 400 of those rooms are available for coronavirus patients. One-hundred of those 400 rooms do not have ventilators in them.”
Responding like Jesus
In situations like these, the most vulnerable people in society are often the first to “fall through the cracks” and lose access to care or resources. Or, in the case of Syrian refugees, they’re the first group locals blame for the latest crisis.
“It seems like our government and a large population of Lebanon is blaming the refugee population for this virus for no reason at all,” Melki says. Yet, “there have been no recorded coronavirus incidents among the refugee population.”
Before the lockdown went into effect, Heart for Lebanon met refugees’ tangible needs by distributing food, education supplies, and hygiene kits. Now, they’re finding creative ways to deliver the hope of Christ while still obeying orders to restrict social contact, Melki says.
“We are not doing ministry as we [did] before, but we continue to serve and we continue to lead people from despair to hope in Christ and Christ alone.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for the continued health of Heart for Lebanon’s team.
- Pray for wisdom and creativity as they continue reaching out to the refugee population.