Lebanon (MNN) — A man in the Bekaa Valley recently broke into a bank to steal $50,000 from his own savings account. More about that here. It’s a sign of severe desperation in Lebanon.
“Desperate times require desperate measures. This gentleman was able, by force, to retrieve $50,000 he had saved,” Heart for Lebanon’s Camille Melki says.
“But the question is, if every one of us is going to do that, what will happen? Each one of us trying to break into the bank, take the bank employees hostage until they release the money – that’s scary.”
Many in Lebanon call the man a hero, but he is a criminal to others. He allegedly held seven bank employees hostage and threatened to light a match after dousing himself and the employees with gasoline.
Lebanese resonate with the man’s actions because they find themselves in a similar position. Families who used to maintain a middle-class status now live in poverty.
“Since October 2019, all banks in Lebanon froze everyone’s assets, so everything you have earned and saved for years for your retirement or your children’s education [is gone],” Melki explains.
“You wake up one day, and your assets are all frozen in the banks, and [you] can’t access them.”
Thankfully, Heart for Lebanon can access a majority of its funds and keep serving families in the name of Jesus. Pray this access continues, and learn more about Heart for Lebanon here.
“Though we did lose a significant amount of money in the banks here in Lebanon, we have a majority of our resources in the U.S.,” Melki says.
“New money that comes to Lebanon they call ‘fresh dollars’ and you have 100-percent access to it. Each month, Heart for Lebanon transfers ‘fresh money,’ and we use those resources to help over 4,800 families.”
The Bekaa Valley is Lebanon’s most important agricultural region. (Wikimedia Commons)