Heart for Lebanon opens a new Hope Ministry Center
in the heart of the Bekaa Valley.
This new Hope Ministry Center is located approximately one mile outside of the center of Zahle, the center of the migration highway to and from Syria and to the Northern and Southern parts of Lebanon. This agricultural area is where the majority of the Tent Settlements of Syrian refugees are located. In addition, this location is beneficial for several additional reasons: (1) it is removed from the hectic nature of the city providing a calm and quiet place that is excellent for ministry activities, (2) the location is very near to the center of Zahle ensuring that the Center is within close proximity to security personnel should a need arise, (3) its location, just off of the main highway, will make it extremely accessible from various parts of the Bekaa Valley and easy access from Beirut and Mount Lebanon, and (4) this area is strategically located in an area that will allow us to continue to serve both the refugee community and the local Lebanese community in the Valley.
The Bekaa Valley is home to approximately 350,000 of the poorest refugees in Lebanon who have fled the violence of war and considered to be the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. Current statistics state that the Middle East is home to 5% of the world’s population with 45% of the global terrorist attacks, 58% of the world’s refugees, and 18% of the world’s conflicts.
This fifty-four thousand square foot facility is designed to lower these staggering numbers and help us provide for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people we serve. With an average refugee family size of 6.5, we have a whole floor dedicated to providing a solid Christian academic education for 250 children per shift, (ages 5 – 13), more than doubling our H.O.P.E. (Helping Overcome Poverty through Education) Program.
Thanks to the many people who have equally sacrificed so Heart for Lebanon could build this new Hope Center facility that includes a warehouse for packaging and storing aid items, a 250-seat chapel and training room, cafeteria, clinic, dormitories for Service teams, fellowship hall, and an aid distribution/clinic area. The Hope Ministry Center has the capacity to minister to over 35,000 people per year through our various programs. We will continue, as funds are available, to expand our ministry to include more Lebanese, Muslim, and Kurdish background people groups, doing so with our foundational principles of relational-unconditional-holistic process firmly in place. We will continue to hold conversations and build faith defining environments so the people we serve can see and find Jesus Christ as savior and grow in that relationship.
The truth is we are already using this facility!
Every Wednesday, the Fellowship Hall at Heart for Lebanon Ministry Center in the Bekaa is filled with Kurdish Syrian refugees, who come thirsty to worship and hear the word of God. They enjoy the worship time singing in their own language, adoring Jesus and lifting hands. The lyrics are in their own dialect, that’s why they interact beautifully with the music. A sense of solidarity is growing among them as a nation as they sincerely want to praise the Lord in their mother tongue. They come as families, feel at home, it is their meeting, and Christianity is something they did not know before.
“I come here because I find peace, hope and real joy, these things can’t be found in this world!” says Sabiha.