WHO WE ARE
Heart for Lebanon was founded in 2006 as a natural response to the devastation left behind after the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel. The focus was to provide a holistic approach to ministry for people to have a better future. In 2009, we began a student scholarship program to help students attend a Christian School. When civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, sending over one million refugees into Lebanon, we began providing holistic care to help refugee families. In 2013, our Children at Risk Initiative began to provide the skills needed to help children have a better future. In 2014, we introduced the Hope on Wheels ministry, a mobile educational truck that engages refugee children where they live. In 2015, our Beirut hub opened with warehouse space, food packing operations, offices, and training rooms. In 2016 we broke ground for a new Hope Ministry Center – Bekaa that will open in late 2019. This new facility will more than double our ministry capacity in the Bekaa Valley the epicenter for refugees arriving in Lebanon.
The Despair of Syrian Refugees
The war in Syria, now six years in length, has devastated the Syrian population. Almost 8 million people are internally displaced with an additional 5 million people fleeing to neighboring countries. Syrians are fleeing in mass to Lebanon, the largest per capita host of refugees worldwide.
Refugees arrive in Lebanon frantically looking for shelter, basic provisions and someone to trust. The war has broken trust in humanity as many were forced to leave their physical safety, daily provision, security and emotional stability. They arrive broken and full of despair with shattered hearts and dreams faced with an unknown future. What we see in the Middle East is a humanitarian crisis that must be met with more than aid.
Lebanon is overburdened and unable to keep pace with the refugee crisis. The weak economy and the limited financial resources available add to the dire situation the refugees and locals are experiencing. Children are the most vulnerable–having experienced war atrocities and crimes against humanity firsthand, they are definitely at great risk. Children fleeing to Lebanon, in many cases with just their mom and siblings, arrive without the basic needs for survival: food and shelter. They do not have a safe place to live, play, learn or laugh.
Heart for Lebanon is in the midst of this crisis to lead people from despair to hope through humanitarian aid and education, relational engagement, and reconciliation through spiritual discipleship.