Lebanon (MNN) — Saturday, Lebanon’s power grid shut down completely. The total blackout ended Sunday when the army supplied emergency fuel. The Energy Ministry says the central bank has loaned $100 million to import fuel and keep the grid up and running.
This continuing economic crisis is pushing Lebanons’ citizens out of the country.
Tom Atema of Heart for Lebanon describes the scene at the Beirut airport. “People are lined up out the front door trying to get into the airport to get their flight and leave the country forever. They’re weighing every piece of luggage, and if you’re half of a kilogram over, you take stuff out of your suitcase. There are clothes and stuff lying all over that airport floor. And you can tell they’re leaving because their pets are going and everything else.”
For those who remain in Lebanon, education becomes more important than ever. Heart for Lebanon has launched its school for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Last year, this program hosted about 300 students. But this year, Atema says, “We’ve got 950 students. Because of the poverty, we are doing about 350 students in Beirut through local Christian schools. Rather than us run the schools, we’re partnering with schools in Beirut. It helps them, it helps the family and it gives the kids a good Christian education.”
In addition, Atema says the ministry has partnered with SAT-7. “That’s a unique partnership, where some of their students from their educational program join our students in those classrooms.”
Heart for Lebanon recently finished remodeling their school building in the South in preparation to host more students. Ask God to give the whole team wisdom as they continue to navigate Lebanon’s crisis.
Pray many hearts would open to the love of Jesus. Atema doesn’t know a solution for Lebanon’s political and economic woes. But he says the Holy Spirit continues to move in a desperate time. “In the next in two weeks, we’ll be baptizing probably 10 people. Numbers grow every day.”
The header photo shows students in Heart for Lebanon’s Helping Overcome Poverty through Education (H.O.P.E.) program. (Photo courtesy of Heart for Lebanon on Facebook)