Lebanon (MNN) — Lebanon tightened security around its
government buildings as the political crisis deepened.
The standoff is pitting the current Prime Minister, Saad Hariri against Hezbollah (Shiite) over a UN tribunal probing the 2005 assassination of
Hariri's father, former premier Rafiq Hariri.
The problem is that Hezbollah is implicated in that killing,
and in a show of protest, 11 members and their allies resigned from their seats
in government, resulting in the collapse.
Kids Alive International has a significant presence in Lebanon. This latest move is cause for concern, says
Matt Parker. "There have been some talks over the past week to try and resolve
issues and find a way forward. At the moment, those talks have broken down."
It's the worst political crisis Lebanon has seen in over two
years. Parker explains, "There are real
fears of sectarian violence similar to 2008, when there was a major crisis at
that time…a lot of violence on the streets, which left the country very close
to civil war."
Kids Alive provides a safe haven for refugees and vulnerable
kids in Lebanon. "Kids Alive is
monitoring the situation very carefully," Parker says, adding, "We have 130
kids in our programs, two children's homes, and a school, and we just developed
a new Care Center down in the south. So, we are monitoring the situation very
Talks are slated today to pick a new Prime Minister. On Friday, political jockeying created the
conditions needed to endorse a Sunni to lead a new government. "If the problems should
escalate," says Parker, "[we're] putting together some contingency plans to insure the safety
of our children, our staff, and our missionaries, as well."
The Kids Alive staff working with the children use
everything as a teaching moment, even the tension of conflict in the region. "It's a good opportunity for us to share with
the children that they have a Father–a heavenly Father–who loves them and
cares for them, and in Christ, we can have peace."
The crisis of 2008 helps shape the prayer requests Parker
shares today. "Pray for safety for our
team, for our children, at this time. Pray that we would make wise decisions as
the way forward becomes clearer over the next few weeks. Pray for a new program
that we're opening down in the south."