When Mark, a 2nd grade student at Heart for Lebanon’s H.O.P.E. Center South, first started attending classes, his teachers immediately noticed that he had an extremely aggressive and abusive attitude towards others. He screamed at his friends and hit them, only to find out that this was the way his own parents treated him daily. After a year of attending chapel and Bible lessons, the H.O.P.E center teachers started recognizing a change in his behavior. He became calmer, attentive, and more loving towards his classmates and friends. Today, Mark enjoys singing worship songs with his friends and even gets excited when it is his turn to pray. Whether it is a child who needs patience and a change of temperament or one who needs to shoulder into his studies, Heart for Lebanon is there. We are fully invested and we simply could not do it without your support.
Shana was asked to write about a defining moment in her life at Heart for Lebanon’s H.O.P.E Center Beirut and she chose to tell a story of her first encounter with Jesus Christ as she wrote, “We were in Syria and we knew nothing about Christ the Lord. When we came to Lebanon, I joined Heart for Lebanon’s school. It is there where I got to know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that He can save my sins and that whosoever worships Him will have eternal life. I learned that I would be with Him in heaven one day. He who lives according to God’s teachings will inherit the kingdom of heaven. I wish that everyone would know Jesus Christ for their spirit to be saved and have eternal life.” Shana’s teachers were extremely impressed with this young girl’s ability to precisely articulate her faith. The children served through our H.O.P.E Centers not only receive education, but they also learn about the gospel. A H.O.P.E Center teacher invests in each life, showing the child how faith in Christ can transform the way they think, live and love others.
Martha is 11 years old and lives with her parents and 7 siblings (4 sisters and 3 brothers) in one of the camps in the South of Lebanon. Heart for Lebanon has been helping Martha’s family since February of 2015. The family lives well below the poverty line and currently lacks basic resources like shelter, food, water and clothing. Because they are unable to shield one of their babies from the rain and have no bed or cover, they have resorted to putting placing the infant in a trashcan to protect her. Their situation is affecting the health of all of their children. Martha’s mother cannot breast feed her baby daughter due to medical reasons, and because the family does not have money to buy formula milk, they end up feeding her water with sugar, depriving her of minerals and basic nutritional elements. As a 3rd grader, Martha attends a Heart for Lebanon H.O.P.E center with a sister and one brother and she is one of the few students who performed brilliantly on her mid-term review exam. The teachers have seen Martha transform from being a messy, untidy little girl lacking in personal hygiene to becoming a clean, hygienic and neat person. She once said: “I like the health lessons because we have the chance to learn new information about how to be clean and how to prevent and treat diseases.” Before receiving any health awareness lessons, Martha never brushed her teeth or combed her hair, and she left her nails long and unkempt. Now, she never leaves her home before brushing her teeth, combing her hair and making sure to keep her fingernails clean and short. She is not only applying the things she learned but she is also teaching her family and helping them have better hygiene. Imagine if one of your greatest experiences was simply to learn to care for yourself. Heart for Lebanon teaches the refugee children things that impact their entire families and communities. We cannot thank you enough for your support to enhance the quality of life of a Syrian family.