Lebanon (MNN) – Parts of Lebanon are without electricity and water. Nearly unsustainable costs of living persist. The people are tired of governmental corruption. But despite all of that, protests in the country remain relatively peaceful.
Protests in Lebanon
In October, a video of protestors singing “Baby Shark” to a frightened toddler humanized the people behind the chants. Weeks later, demonstrators continue to block roads, leaving the country at a standstill. Now, people are wondering what the protests are accomplishing.
Disruption from protests is adding challenges to daily ministry for organizations like Triumphant Mercy. Nuna of Triumphant Mercy says people are living with uncertainty.
No one knows what will happen on a day-to-day basis. Refugees are reminded of the Syrian revolution that forced them from their homes and into temporary makeshift tents in a foreign land.
“They were reminded of it and there was so much fear. They froze…they literally froze and not being able to think because of the fear,” Nuna explains.
“We have also a hard time at the ministry here to know what’s happening. Are we opening today? Are we not opening? Are we bringing kids? Are we not bringing kids? Will the parents send their kids? For the first few days, they did not want to send their kids with us because they were fearing that some people would be beaten on the streets…especially as Syrians.”
Syrian refugees are afraid the Lebanese might turn against them. Nuna says part of the financial problem in Lebanon is there are more people in the country than it can support. With 1.5 million Syrian refugees, Lebanon has the highest number of refugees per capita. The volume of refugees has made it harder for the Lebanese when searching for jobs.
Responding to Prolonged Protests
After weeks of peaceful protests, Nuna says the refugees’ fears have calmed some. Still, everyone is on edge. Roads continue to be blocked, and banks are closed. People are unable to make money transfers. Nuna is left wondering how to pay people working with Triumphant Mercy.
“It’s a question mark for all of us,” Nuna says.
What can Christians outside of Lebanon do? Pray.
“We’ve been intensifying prayer…prayer meetings every day. There’s a big fight going on just to see justice, to see corruption being broken,” Nuna says.
Triumphant Mercy set up a tent in downtown Beirut to hold prayer meetings. In the middle of the chaos, the organization offers a calm place to stop and ask for God to bring change. It is also a place for people from different backgrounds to share their prayer requests.
“I believe this is a turning point for the whole region, not only for Lebanon,” Nuna says.
Pray for government corruption to end in Lebanon. Pray for justice and the people in Lebanon to have the ability to afford daily life. Pray for Triumphant Mercy’s work to continue during the protests.
“Thank you for everyone who prays, really. Every prayer is added to this bucket before the Lord. I just thank everyone who stands with us in prayer, who sends us a letter of encouragement, or who says, ‘I’m with you. I’m praying’,” Nuna says.
To send an encouraging note, click here.
Header photo credit: Shahen Books/CC4.0.