Uncertain Times Yet Peaceful Times

Tom Atema,
Co-Founder of Heart for Lebanon

To say we are living in uncertain times seems to be something we all witness every day. Just the first 5 minutes of the evening world news will give you the feeling the world is coming unhinged and changing at a record pace.

Who would have guessed a few weeks ago we would have to postpone the long-awaited dedication of our new Hope Ministry Center in the Bekaa Valley due to the protests and much unrest in the country of Lebanon.

I have mentioned in the past that “I believe we have a window of opportunity to share the love of Jesus with the people in the nation of Lebanon – who knows what tomorrow will bring. That this is our time, our Esther moment for this generation to make an eternal difference.  I have no idea if this is the beginning of the closing of this window of opportunity or not. What I do know is that people in Lebanon of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are asking questions like never before. Today it is still our moment to make an eternal difference!

While banks and many services, businesses, and the educational system have been closed for a week now – our ministry continues.  While our Children-at-Risk initiative has to be modified each day to meet the realities of the day, our Family Care Ministry continues. Having more families needing care, both physically and emotionally, we have to use this opportunity to be the hands and voice of Jesus to those who have needs.

Today, one third of the Lebanese population is living at or below the poverty line.  We have an open door to meet their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. While 10-11% of our ministry today is to poorer Lebanese our desire is to help more in their time of need.  With the increasing number of Kurdish people, we have the same opportunity, as well as with the Muslim community. No matter what the ethic group of people, we do ministry in a relational and unconditional way.

It’s during these times of crisis that we are given opportunities to be salt and light, to be relational, listening, praying and answering.  Providing compassionate care, is step one.

While these are very uncertain times, we have a peace that passes all understanding. We know that everything that is happening is under God’s control and for His ultimate purpose. We know God is not surprised by any events that we are witnessing. While we have to adjust the times, He does not, He has the whole world in His hands – and that gives us confidence and a tremendous internal peace.

We are so thankful for your prayers for our in-country team who is working tirelessly during this time, energized by the peace of God, leading as many people as we can from despair to Hope.

We are very appreciative of our faithful partners who are standing with us in these days of peaceful – uncertainty.

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