It was in September 2022 when Tania joined the Bible study group of Lebanese Christian ladies. Tania is a member of the parents’ committee at her children’s school. Her husband is a mechanic and he is the sole breadwinner of the family. It is fair to say that their situation is not better than the majority of the Lebanese people; living in poverty!
“Before the economic crisis, our life was stable and our living conditions were great. Now, my husband’s monthly income does not cover all our needs. Two days ago, we were at Beirut’s international airport saying farewell to our eldest son Elias. He got a Master’s degree in engineering and could not find a job opportunity here. So, he was forced to travel to Saudi Arabia where he might find work and help us support the family. At the airport, it was a very difficult moment for me, and I wished the flight would be canceled and everyone would return to the departure lounge, but it did not happen. There was nothing I could do but give up and go home!” she said with tears rolling down her face.
Tania grew up in a nominal Christian home, and she was taught all the religious practices and rituals. She has memorized the Sunday Mass because she used to attend constantly. She was reciting the rosary every night before she sleeps. Being among a group of ladies studying the Bible and talking directly to the Lord in prayers was a new experience for her.
“That first time I attended the Bible study session at Heart for Lebanon’s center, I was overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety and fear. I was facing familial problems which I struggled alone with. They were very personal that I could not share them with anyone and were weighing me down. However, the word of God was so powerful to give me peace and comfort,” Tania continued.
“For so many years, I went to church and prayed to God but never felt closer to Him than I feel now. Through the Bible study lessons, I understood what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ without any intercession. I learned the importance of reading and understanding the Scriptures for it is the truth that set us free,” she declared.
Tania didn’t miss any Bible study meetings since she joined the group. For her, it is a place where she can lay her burdens down and get comfort and strength from the Lord. “My life wasn’t easy. My husband is narcissistic and very nervous. He has crossed the line with his verbal and emotional abuse, even with our children, when they were young. Now, he can’t do that because they became adults. He has always been very controlling and never respected other family members’ opinions. Unfortunately, this domestic violence has negatively impacted my adult children who lost their trust in us and didn’t miss an opportunity to show me indifference and disrespect,” she said with regret.
A few weeks ago, one of our staff members here at Heart for Lebanon got a phone call from Tania urging her for a quick conversation. Tania was suffering from an emotional breakdown due to the huge number of problems that were going around at home. She was in desperate need of help! “I came to the Hope ministry center with an overwhelming feeling of despair. I felt stressed and did not know where to go with my problems. I felt a need to open up to someone trustworthy because keeping all my problems to myself added extra stress. I talked to a sister from Heart for Lebanon about all my problems, and she listened to me carefully and helped me to understand the roots of my problems. She comforted me and counseled me through the Bible. We then prayed together,” she continued.
“When I returned home, I directly started to do exactly what the sister at the center told me to do and how to pray. A few days later, I noticed a remarkable change deep inside me. This happened to me first, to later happen in the lives of some of my children. I’m so happy and grateful to God who led me to the Hope ministry center when I was in a deep depression, reminding me that He is close to the broken-hearted and He is the Savior of those whose spirits are crushed,” she said with gratitude.
In an attempt to encourage Tania, we invited her to come with us to visit a lady who is also suffering from familial problems. It was a very blessed visit through which the two ladies had an opportunity to share their struggles and exchange advice. “It brought great comfort to talk with another lady who was stressed over the same problems. Being both in the same boat made communication easier!” Tania said gladly.
The spiritual help we provided Tania with ignited her love and passion for Jesus Christ. Now, she comes to Bible study with a great desire to know more about Her Savior and healer. During one of our Bible study sessions, Tania ran to one of the staff members, hugged her tightly, and whispered in her ear: “For the first time in my life I received a hug that felt so sincere and safe!”
The ladies coming to the Bible study come to a safe place where they can share their struggles and challenges and pray for them. How great is our God! He is tremendously working among us and powerfully revealing Himself to the ladies who hunger for Him.