Saideh is a Lebanese woman who recently started attending Heart for Lebanon’s meetings. She was born in Beirut, and lived there during her childhood. She grew up in one of the most dangerous areas of greater Beirut during the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990). She witnessed countless horrors, and lived in fear as her little town on the outskirt of the city was occupied by foreign armies, along with different militias. She lost many family members, and memories still haunt her. The Lebanese people went through a great deal of trauma and loss during that war. Its repercussions still echo to this day.
She remembers how her brothers were tortured, along with most young men of her neighborhood in Beirut. She remembers those days every time she sees the scars on her brothers’ bodies, and feel the pain that never seems to let go of them. The 15 years of war in Lebanon were still vivid and fresh in her memories.
Saideh married a man from the city of Zahle and moved there and started a family. During the war, Zahle was not a safer place than Beirut. On many occasions, brutal genocides would take place. People where under siege in the city more times than they could count. These were the times that Saideh grew up in, married, and started a family. All this time, she wondered what the purpose was. “Though I had questions, I did not blame God. I knew that He is good. I could not understand many things that happened in my life and with my family. It was not easy! We would wake up to the sound of bombs falling around us, then we had to run to the basement or any place to find shelter. We would stay there for hours, or sometimes days. We would emerge from our hiding place to find our homes destroyed, and our neighbors and friends dead. This was made more difficult with my children that I had to hide and keep safe,” Saideh said.
“The war did end, but life did not improve. Since 1990, we have witnessed many wars in Lebanon, and witnessed a financial collapse that cost us our whole sum of savings. We lost it all. We continued to survive, trying to make ends meet doing various jobs. My children are now old, and they work and help us when needed. Life is difficult, but thank God for everything.
A friend of mine told me about Heart for Lebanon, and told me of the meetings that take place there. I decided to attend. I benefited from the care package, but most importantly, I benefited from the word of God shared there. I came to know the Bible, and it started answering my questions on the issue of evilness and the purpose behind the difficulties we passed through. Truly, just like that, Jesus became my everything. I accepted Him as Lord and Savior; He is not just a God I know and have once heard of and come to through rituals. He is my God and my savior. At times, I wish I lived by the center so I could be there everyday and worship and serve the Lord.
Today, I take my grandchildren with me to meetings. They enjoy it. My sister started attending an Evangelical church too. My whole family will soon start attending church and Bible study with me. It is amazing what the Lord is doing with them and I. My husband had a seizure, but he recovered, thank God. This is pushing closer to the truth. Please pray for my family. Pray for me as I continue sharing the word of God with them, and as they are encouraged to attend with me,” Saideh concluded.
The Lebanese people have faced great dangers and terrible wars. They are succumbed to a historic collapse that cost every family to lose every single penny they had in the banks. They were killed in their hundreds in many bombings, and continue to hurt daily as they are barely able to buy food, all the while, taking care of internationally displaced people within their borders.
Please pray for the Lebanese people, because every family is Saideh’s family.