Lebanon (MNN) — After a long, devastating civil war, the Beirut Free Evangelical Church wanted to help devastated families. Helping Lebanese girls who had been orphaned or whose families were unable to care for them properly became a priority. A safe home was established in a building previously used as a conference center.
That was in 1996. 15 years later, the Beit el Safa girls home (in English, "Home of Serenity) is home to 10 girls, ages 9-18. Current residents have come from all over the Arab world. Many are orphans, but not all. They all know what it is to be abused, whether verbally, physically, or sexually.
One 12-year-old came to Beit el Safa from Sudan three years ago. "Here, I feel more safe than when I stay at my home," she told ReachGlobal. "I have fun here."
ReachGlobal–the international missions arm of the Evangelical Free Church of America–and Kids Alive International are both major supporters of the home. The support provides girls with the opportunity to go to school, get tutoring, start a new life, and learn about Christ's immense love for them.
The safe house is a coveted home. There is a long waiting list of girls anxiously hoping that they might be received. Unfortunately, funding and staffing are low enough that taking in more girls isn't possible.
The former conference center can hold up to 20 girls, and even more might be housed in a secondary building. Over the past five years though, funding has been low due to increased heating oil and transportation prices. If the home were to take on more girls and the necessary staff to go with them, the home would also need to purchase a 25-seat bus as opposed to using the van they currently use.
More staff are desperately needed for the ministry to grow. Short-term volunteers are needed for 9-12 months at a time to help with tutoring and activities. But the greatest need is for staff who can commit for longer. Director Alain Farhat says, "I want somebody who can continue with the girls. It's not really healthy to have, every year, different people who are caring for them."
That means finding a Lebanese couple or individual willing to answer God's call since foreign missionaries have difficulty getting a visa longer than a year to stay in the country.
The needs are great, but so is the fruit of this work. Beit el Safa has been God's conduit to take young women out of devastating situations and bring them into loving relationships with their heavenly Father for 15 years. Pray that the Lord would continue to bless the ministry by providing the resources and staff necessary to continue and expand.
You can also help in two other ways. You can give to Beit el Safa through ReachGlobal. In addition to necessities, the ministry is also hoping to provide the girls with new bicycles, scooters, roller skates and a playhouse.
Secondly, if you feel God calling you to do so, you can go. To ask about serving in a short-term position at Beit el Safa, send an e-mail to [email protected].