Churches in Beirut Sow Hope as Resilient Lebanese Recover

Image shows remnants of the 100-year-old Armenian Brethren Church in Naher, Ashrafieh area. Heart for Lebanon helped church members minister to the surrounding community with Family Care packages, as well as words of encouragement and hope. (Photo, caption courtesy Heart for Lebanon)

Six weeks after a massive explosion obliterated downtown Beirut, parts of Lebanon’s capital city are starting to recover.

“It’s proof once again that the Lebanese people are resilient,” Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema says. Atema returned from Beirut shortly before speaking with MNN.

“There [are] some parts where you would not know the blast happened six weeks ago, and there [are] other areas that are totally devastated and probably won’t get fixed for a long time because they’re going to be extremely expensive.”

The blast killed nearly 200 people and left at least 300,000 homeless, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy reports. With an interim government and flat-lined economy, Beirut’s future looks bleak.

“The people of Lebanon in the affected area, they’re over the ‘shock’ phase. Most of them are still in the ‘mad’ phase, especially since the two other incidences since then have amplified that problem,” Atema says.

“They’re mad at an inept government that would allow such a thing. Then, there’s another group that is very traumatized, and they’re very open to talking about life.”

On Friday, Lebanon’s army discovered large stores of explosive material at the Beirut port. The finding came days after a large fire set many blast survivors on edge. With so many left vulnerable by the August 4 blast, fear of a repeat disaster is tangible.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray for perseverance and strength as Lebanese believers continue meeting community needs in the Name of Jesus.
  • Pray for needed resources so Heart for Lebanon can continue supporting local church efforts.