Lebanon (MNN) — Violence in Lebanon is causing problems for ministry.
According to news reports, radical elements of Sunni Islam are sending troops in to Syria to fight for the rebels. That has spread into Lebanon where Lebanese troops have been forced to restore the rule-of-law in Sidon, which is home to both radical Sunni cleric Ahmad al-Assir and Kids Alive’s New Horizons center.
The BBC reports at least 16 Lebanese soldiers were killed in the clashes. Fighting broke out after supporters of a radical Sunni cleric opened fire on a checkpoint.
Kids Alive International’s Regional Director over the Middle East and Africa, Matt Parker, says the security situation in Sidon has been unstable. He says, “The New Horizons Center, a Kids Alive ministry in Lebanon, closed a week early, as it was considered too risky for staff to be traveling through Sidon to the Center.”
Was the center attacked? Parker says, “The Center itself is not being directly affected by the fighting, neither is the camp where the children live; however the surrounding neighborhoods were impacted during the weekend and the situation is precarious.”
Parker adds, “Obviously the communities living in the camps are well aware of the unrest around them and there is likely to be considerable fear spreading amongst the families. If people can be praying for safety and wisdom at this time, it would be appreciated.”
According to Kids Alive their New Horizons Center provides vital education, health care, vocational training, assistance with developing micro-enterprise activities – and the love of Christ.
Very few of these people have had any formal education, and many are illiterate. Now the
younger generations have a strong desire to become more literate. To meet this need, a literacy program is being established for the children and teenagers. This program will help them develop their skills in Arabic, English and mathematics.
For the women of the community, vocational training workshops teach sewing and jewelry making. The products from these are sold in the markets in Beirut, a portion of the profits returning back to the project (so that it becomes self-sustaining) as well as the women and their families.
A medical clinic is also being established to meet the needs of these communities. Nurses will provide basic care as well as health education and advice, and they will be supported by a doctor and dentist who will perform surgeries on a regular basis.
The programs are run in partnership with two other local organizations. Kids Alive shares the love of Christ with these families, showing them the love that He has for them, and encouraging them to come to know Him in their own lives.
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