by Camille Melki
The worst thing that wars and internal conflicts create is a sense of despair and hopelessness among those affected. With the present situation in Syrian, deep chaos and an uncertain future, people who experience war-related hardships are individuals subjected to great fears and overwhelming anxieties.
The result of 7+ years of conflict in Syria is no exception. People of all ages in that country have undergone the worst human atrocities since WWII. Fourteen million individuals have been forcibly displaced; two millions of them have crossed the borders into Lebanon seeking refuge in our country. With little or nothing to live on, Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in total despair. The political climate of our nation, along with the economic and social struggles, makes things even worst. Uncertainty about what the future holds, fear for their loved ones back in Syria, and rising tensions between the refugees and the local communities are all contributing factors for further worries and despair.
Heart for Lebanon is committed to address this matter of hopelessness head on by helping to lead people from despair to Hope in Christ alone. We believe, for healing to be complete, it needs to happen on all three levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual. For that purpose we have launched into a capital campaign to build our new facility in the Bekaa Valley where the largest refugee population in Lebanon resides. Our Hope Ministry Center – Bekaa will provide multiple services to address the needs among those who are suffering the most. In addition, it will host educational and psychosocial programs for children, youth, and adults; programs to restore hope among the hopeless. Our desire is to repair their trust through building meaningful programs aimed at tackling fear, anxiety, and despair.
Our ultimate goal is to help reconcile broken relationships on the spiritual level. Through our Hope Center, refugees are invited to learn about the loving message found in the Gospel. Bible classes, chapel services, discipleship groups, worship gatherings, and seeker events are all part of our efforts to introduce Jesus to the thousands of individuals we serve on a monthly basis. The Hope Ministry Center – Bekaa is a safe environment for spiritual formation to take place, a place where thousands of people will hear about Jesus for the first time and many will make the decision to accept Him as their personal Savior!
This facility is strategically located in the heart of the Bekaa Valley, close to local authorities and government offices. Within reach are most of the agencies serving the refugee population in the area and it is easily accessible to the refugee and local community alike. All this to say, we are well positioned to make a significant impact on the communities we are called to serve.
The goal of opening the Hope Ministry Center – Bekaa is set for full operations in October 2019. We are at 60% work completion and a little over 60% funded. We celebrate what God is doing in our midst through the generosity of His people and through the faithful work of our contractors. What is most exciting is that in a few weeks, on September 22, 2018 we will dedicate a significant portion of our ground floor and use it for ministry a year ahead of our completion date! Our Bible Studies and Sunday Worship Gathering have grown significantly and more space is urgently needed which means having a good part of the Center available this early in the process is very important. God is doing marvelous things in the lives of the refugee population. Our Lord has truly transformed a desperate situation into one of Hope in Him.
Soon we will enter the final pushed towards total completion of the Hope Center. Your partnership is vital. Your investment is needed. Together we can see lives changed and communities transformed through the love of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for generously giving toward this goal. Thank you for believing that only through Christ, despair can be transformed into hope, and more importantly into an eternal life with Him.