Lebanon, as mentioned in the Bible, is a small country on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean with a population of around 6.8 million.
The country of Lebanon is no stranger to crisis.
18 years of civil/regional wars plus 30 years of foreign occupation have crippled the government and destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Decades of corruption have led to a sharp devaluation of the local currency. Soaring unemployment and political instability are driving more and more families below the poverty line every day. The COVID19 crisis and the explosion that devastated downtown Beirut have only compounded this desperate situation.
If that was not enough, today Lebanon hosts the highest population of refugees per capita of any country in the world. These families have fled war and violence looking for shelter and basic provisions. Both Lebanese and refugee families are experiencing significant hardships. For many, despair overshadows their lives.
In the midst of the growing crisis, God is moving in historic ways. More people are turning to Christ in the Middle East today than at any time in history. Heart for Lebanon is taking full advantage of this unique season to reach, engage, and disciple men, women and children, many of which have never heard the truth about Jesus Christ.
The families they serve are living in desperate conditions. The majority include widows and orphans who struggle to survive the harsh realities of life in Lebanon. By assessing the specific needs of each family, they are able to provide unconditional physical care such as supplemental food, hygiene supplies, wood stoves, bedding, mattresses etc. This show of care gives Heart for Lebanon the opportunity to build intentional relationships with the families they serve.
Over 50% of the 2 million Syrian refugees living in Lebanon are children under the age of 18. The youngest of these have known no other life than that of poverty in unstable living conditions. Heart for Lebanon is providing value-based education on a consistent basis in the classroom and the tent settlements to teach, encourage, and equip as many children as possible.
These environments allow their indigenous staff to speak one-on-one with families while listening to their emotional needs and stresses. Sharing life stories opens the door for the team to introduce Jesus Christ into the conversation and unconditionally invite the family to attend Bible Studies and Worship Gatherings. As people learn and grow in their faith, a passion develops to tell others about Jesus. People who desire ongoing discipleship and leadership training are also able to receive in-depth training.