Christian relief efforts increase in Lebanon/Israel

By September 4, 2006

Middle East (MNN) — As the United Nations mobilizes troops to maintain a fragile cease-fire, Christians are gearing up to reach out in love physically and spiritually.

The Southern Baptist International Mission Board is one group helping. They’ve already committed more than $500,000 in relief aid to the region. Damage from air raids and rocket attacks has flattened homes and leveled buildings, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. Much of the damage is in southern Lebanon.

Partners with the IMB are handing out food, water, temporary latrines and showers, medicine and cleaning supplies. One Christian work says, “They’ve got no possessions left; there is not a single chair that’s intact. Everything is smashed and covered with concrete. The smell of dead bodies, either human or animal, is prevalent in these communities.”

Food supplies are especially critical, which is why Southern Baptists also have purchased more than 250,000 cans of tuna fish. High in protein, tuna was an obvious choice because it’s already part of the Middle Eastern diet, the consultant said. The cans are slated to be shipped to Lebanon before the end of October.

According to Christians working there, Christians can have more of an impact on those suffering because, “The main difference between other aid work and ours is that we’re not only there to provide assistance, but also to walk side by side with them, developing personal relationships while listening to them and ministering to their physical, emotional and spiritual pain.”

As Christians do this, one work says, “People always ask questions, which gives us an obvious opportunity to share with them why we are here, and God does it every time. God always opens doors.”

Pray that many would turn to Him during this time of uncertainty.

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