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Lebanon: strength of diversity is strength of unity.

By November 18, 2015
(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

Lebanon (MNN) — Around the world, people have been showing their solidarity under the scourge of the Islamic State. Tributes in Egypt remember the victims of Russia, France and Lebanon.

While the attacks on Russia (a downed plane) and France (multiple attacks in Paris) have garnered the lion’s share of sympathy, last week’s double suicide bomb attack in Beirut, Lebanon seems to have dropped off the radar.

Although the bombing was the worst since the end of the civil war, few seem to remember the Islamic State claimed credit for this attack, too. Lebanese security forces arrested 11 people in connection with the attacks, which targeted Shiite Muslims.

(Photo courtesy Kids Alive International)

(Photo courtesy Kids Alive International)

The Sunni-affiliated bombers struck in the Beirut’s southern suburbs — in an area commonly known as a Shiite neighborhood. Forty-three people died and over 239 were wounded in the attack, which occurred hours before I-S struck in Paris.

The attacks were a painful reminder of how much these children and families need your prayers. Kids Alive International has several projects in Beirut.

Jed Hamoud says, “We are not in a Sunni area; we are not in a Shiite area, but in between the two areas. So, the conflict there is going to impact us quite a bit, and it seems to be intensifying.”

While they were not directly affected, they were a mere 15 minutes away. Hamoud says the attacked area can be clearly viewed from their project sites. Although he hasn’t been able to directly contact staff, ‘No news is good news’…but now, “There has been tremendous tensions between the Shiite community and the Sunni communities in Lebanon.”

(Photo courtesy Kids Alive International)

(Photo courtesy Kids Alive International)

Security protocols are in place. Adults know what they need to do if something DOES happen, but they’re praying it doesn’t.

In Friday’s attacks, loved ones were lost. Children were orphaned. Kids Alive is helping in several ways in Lebanon. Hamoud explains,”We have a literacy center for the Syrian refugees. We have a school for children up to sixth grade, we have a residential program for kids that are orphaned and at-risk.”

They are helping almost fifty children in their center programs. Kids Alive has also been working with other partners in Lebanon to provide support to refugee families that urgently need help.

Every encounter brings with it, hope — but, maybe not in the areas you might have considered.

“We have people from different sects, different nationalities, different ethnicities, different languages, all children that we minister to,” which seems to create an atmosphere of unity—a safe haven—if you will, for the children, explains Hamoud. Safety brings out the ‘kid’ in these orphans, refugees, and street children who have survived horrific abuse.

(Photo courtesy Kids Alive International)

(Photo courtesy Kids Alive International)

Because of Christ, each one has a name. Each one has hopes for the future. The children are no longer divided by tribe, nation or tongue…and that has the potential to unite the country, Hamoud believes.

“We pray that people in the country will see what kind of environment, what kind of care that we provide to the children. If it unites the children, we pray that it will unites the people, as a whole, to come to peace with each other.”

Pray for safety for the children. Pray that the Father, the One who calls the children to come unto Him, may continue to use Kids Alive to advocate on their behalf, to compassionately serve in word and deed in delivering temporal and eternal hope.

 

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