Lebanon: An Ongoing Story

By June 16, 2016

Lebanon (MNN) — Imagine you are forced from your home by violent warfare and chased into a strange land. There, you live on next to nothing in a tent with your family struggling to make it day to day…searching for a reason to keep going…looking for hope.

An Iraqi refugee displaced by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS). (Photo, caption courtesy VOM via Facebook)

Photo courtesy VOM via Facebook.

Chances are you’ve heard this story before. It’s the story of countless Syrian and Iraqi refugees who have fled the brutality of ISIS and left everything behind.

This same story has been told for years now. But Patrick Klein of Vision Beyond Borders says there’s another trend to the tale.

“There’s just such an uncertainty in the camps. They don’t know if they’re ever going to go back to Syria and resettle again, or if they’re going to end up going west, or if they’re going to just have to eke out a living in Lebanon.”

This anxiety stems from families realizing they won’t be able to return home. Instead, they’ll need to build a new home wherever they are. But even then, there’s a problem.

[Lebanon] really doesn’t have enough space for them and they really don’t have enough jobs for them. So there’s a lot of [refugees] living even in the cities, just trying to eke out a living. It’s very difficult for them, some of them get a little bit of siphon from the UN, but a lot of them are still at the mercy of Christians and compassionate people around the world.”

Photo Courtesy Vision Beyond Borders

Photo courtesy Vision Beyond Borders.

Most Muslims have lost hope in their religion and their own god, says Klein.

“They’re seeing the brutality of ISIS, and they’re saying, ‘This cannot be the truth.’ When they’re beheading people, they’re crucifying people, they’re doing all this brutality to people, and they’re even killing Muslims that are even nominal Muslims, and they’re saying, ‘This cannot be the truth.’”

That’s why Vision Beyond Borders and other believers are right there, ready to show refugees and Muslims the love of Christ.

“The Christians are sending supplies and Christians are helping with aid for them, and [refugees] are saying, ‘Christians are different, Christians don’t go out and kill people.’”

The compassion Christians are showing is definitely rubbing off.

“Even in the streets of Lebanon you can actually share the gospel… and you can’t do that in a Muslim country, you can’t go out in the streets and pass out literature you get in a lot of trouble if you do,” Klein says.

Photo Courtesy Vision Beyond Borders

Photo courtesy Vision Beyond Borders.

Passing out literature is exactly what Vision Beyond Borders is doing. Since January, they’ve managed to distribute 20,000 New Testaments, not to mention other books to help budding Christians learn more about Jesus Christ.

And that’s not the only thing they’ve been giving away. “We wanna show them the compassion of Christians, that we want to send the supplies in with them, help meet their basic needs — you know, the shampoos, soap, toothpaste. The hygiene packs have been [a] tremendous witness to the people, especially in northern Iraq, [and] people have been very grateful because they don’t have those supplies.”

That’s where you come in. Klein says they’re trying to send another shipment of New Testaments, but they need your help.

Each copy is in large print and has the cover and binding of a Muslim book. Muslims are then more willing to take a copy, and it’s easier to read. It only takes two dollars to print one New Testament! If you want to help, click right here.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to pray for refugees. Klein shares, “God is really working and as Christians I think we need to keep praying. I know it’s been an ongoing battle, and we need to keep praying for these people and asking God to use this somehow for His glory, that many more people will come to faith in Jesus Christ.”

Even if it seems like the same old story every time, it’s a true story that someone is living at this very moment. Don’t forget the refugees.

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