No one likes to talk about crisis response preparedness. This is taboo in many Middle Eastern cultures. It is like admitting that “something bad” is going to happen and that people are going to be seriously affected. Society often fools us by making us ignore signs of bad times to come. We go by our daily work unaware of the dangers around us and we spend our lives without any preparedness to respond/react to crises that hit us unexpectedly.
The Middle East in general is a fatalist culture which forces people to argue that we have no way to change the outcome of events. We at Heart for Lebanon believe that although we cannot change the cause, we surely can be prepared to respond well to the needs created by those crises.
For that reason, we made it top priority from the beginning to train our team professionally and emotionally to quickly respond to natural and man-made disasters – God forbid they hit our region. We also made room in our budgets and room in our warehouses to store non-perishable items, ready to mobilize immediately in times of crisis.
The Turkey Earthquake has had devastating consequences. The death toll continues to climb, and the horrific stories of lost loved ones are going to be told for generations. The full economic, social, and emotional impact of that earthquake on Syria and Turkey will never be properly determined. It will take years to rebuild those two countries.
In Syria, the devastation came on top of a crumbling economy still suffering from twelve years of civil war. The people there have little to live on; how much worse, to respond to such a horrific earthquake!
Heart for Lebanon was immediately ready to provide a helping hand. We quickly mobilized 10,000 blankets, 1,000 winter jackets, 5,000 hygiene kits, 3,000 baby layette kits, and many other items for distribution to families in great need. We also redirected some of our winterization funds to help with the immediate response. Our support to the hurting families is both short and long term. Our plans are to sponsor new families who fled to Lebanon for refuge as well as support those traumatized in their homes and villages; families left with very little belongings. For the next 10 months, hundreds of families will receive food parcels directly from our team or through our local ministry partners.
We are working with well-equipped individuals on the ground; ministry partners committed to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those they serve. We are grateful for their tireless efforts, and we stand with them in these difficult times. Together, we share the love of Christ with those who are suffering the most.
Thank you for helping us serve the needy and broken. And thank you for investing in our ministry over the years to help us be prepared and ready to respond when crises hit.
CEO and Co-Founder of Heart for Lebanon