Lebanon (MNN) — The latest winter storm to move through the Middle East brought severe flooding to southern Lebanon. Believers are assessing damages and helping refugee families.
Whether they’re from Iraq or Syria, most refugees in this area live in extreme poverty in makeshift camps next to banana fields. Increasing numbers of poorer Lebanese are moving to the area, too. “These tents on the side of the banana fields – banana camps, we call them – get flooded out,” Heart for Lebanon co-founder Tom Atema says.
Heart for Lebanon teams build friendships with affected families, letting them know someone cares. Encouragement from believers gives people a reason to hope.
“Weather-related issues like this [add] to the turbulent times these refugees [and Lebanese] are going through,” Atema says.
“It gets pretty desperate in a country [with] 145-percent inflation rate; 99-percent of all Syrian refugees are missing one meal a day because of the economic situations in Lebanon.”
Pray the Lord blesses Heart for Lebanon’s efforts and uses their work to reach many Muslims for Christ. “Prayer is our biggest thing,” Atema says.
“We’re working in a country where Hezbollah, ISIS, and other radical groups are working as well. We need wisdom; we need strength.”
Header image depicts floodwaters entering a makeshift building that refugees and impoverished Lebanese call “home.” (Photo courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)