By James Ward
One of the questions I get asked most frequently is… “How are things in Lebanon?”
That’s a hard question to answer. The reality is… Things are terrible!
Nearly 2 million refugees of war (with more coming into the country daily), a collapsing economy, no functional government, nearly 50% of the country’s population living at or below the poverty line, and that’s just inside the country. Continued fighting in Syria, rising tensions with Iran, and rioting in Iraq add to the instability within Lebanon and the Middle -East.
At the same time… Things are incredible!
God is moving in historic ways, people are coming to faith in Christ, churches are being planted, communities are being reconciled. In our Hope Centers, girls and boys are receiving a quality education, learning biblical virtues, and being equipped to lead. Women are learning skills and experiencing true purpose and empowerment through Jesus Christ.
There frequently is a dichotomy in ministry. The worse things seem to get, the greater the opportunity for ministry. In many ways I wish this was not the case. War, suffering, and famine are too-often the fertile grounds in which God moves to bring peace, healing, and provision. This age-old contradiction is playing before us today in Lebanon and throughout the Middle-East.
Heart for Lebanon was created in, and for, times like this. I love these words of encouragement from our Founder Camille Melki to our staff, “Lebanon and the region are in turmoil, but our hope in Christ changes the entire equation. The fears around us are real… but the God-given opportunities are much greater. Let me remind you, we are all made for a time like this.”
With that heart and passion, we are committed to take more ground to reach and engage more people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are working hard to maximize the opportunity that God has given us to reach those far from him. In 2020 we will be growing the number of families we serve, adding bible studies, and increasing the number of students in our education program.
Please pray for our staff and the people God has given us an opportunity to serve. We are grateful for your support and partnership as we work together to lead people from despair to hope in Jesus Christ.