Following Tuesday’s massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed at least 137, injured some 5,000 and left as many as 300,000 homeless, evangelical believers are meeting needs in the name of Jesus Christ.
A disaster response team from Samaritan’s Purse will go to Beirut Friday to assess how best to help, particularly in the areas of emergency food, shelter and medical care.
“The country and the people are devastated,” Franklin Graham said. “Please pray for the families who lost loved ones and those who have been most impacted by this horrible incident.”
Even before the explosion, Lebanon was in crisis. Unemployment and inflation have skyrocketed in recent months, and COVID-19 has added to the misery. Now, many more jobs and homes have been lost. In addition, four hospitals were severely damaged in the blast, hampering efforts to care for the wounded at the same time as COVID patients. The nation’s health ministry announced that it is preparing several field hospitals.
Local churches and individual believers have quickly begun to reach out to desperate neighbors. Pierre Houssney, executive director of Horizons International, told Decision that a congregation of impoverished Kurdish refugees pooled $500—a significant amount for them—to make sandwiches that they are passing out on the streets.
In addition, Horizons is partnering with local churches to form work teams. “There’s really no hope of getting glass repair done all across Beirut in the next few months,” Houssney said. “It’s exorbitantly expensive. So we’re going to be purchasing as much plastic as we can, and rolls of tape, and putting those in the hands of little work teams. They’re going to be going to homes throughout Beirut, praying for people, blessing homes, passing out Bibles and putting plastic sheeting over the windows.”
Houssney asked that Christians pray for Lebanon.
“Pray that the Holy Spirit would be ripening the hearts of the people that are in despair, that have no other valid place to put their hope,” he said. “That they will transfer that hope away from whatever it was: their money that is now gone, the institutions that they relied on, their schooling, their jobs, their companies—whatever they had their hope in, that they would transfer that hope to Jesus.”
Photo: Xinhua/Alamy Stock Photo