Lebanon (MNN) — This past Saturday, a refugee camp in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley burned to the ground. The story hasn’t received much international notice, and Pierre Houssney of Horizons International explains why: “I think there’s local compassion fatigue in Lebanon. Meaning people in Lebanon just don’t care that much about refugees anymore. They have so many problems right now. Lebanon is becoming unrecognizable through the fuel shortages and the electricity cuts.”
“And if the local people don’t care, how is Reuters going to find out about it?”
Houssney says people are waiting in line for hours to get gas, and some even leave their cars in place overnight. People flock to businesses just to get a few minutes of air conditioning. Houssney says, “I just saw a video of hundreds and hundreds of guys on motor scooters waiting in a huge crowd to try to fill up gas in a gas station.”
Help for the refugees
Houssney says a cooking accident most likely caused the fire. “When your kitchen is made out of a tarp that’s held together by some scraps of wood or two by fours, there’s a lot of fire opportunities. When a fire happens, there’s no fire protection, so the whole camp is quickly engulfed in flames. People run out of their tents, without going back to get any of their limited possessions.”
Horizons sent food and tarps after the fire and will help the refugees rebuild to some extent. Get involved with this work by donating here.
And pray God’s love would be evident in the work of His Lebanese Church. Houssney says, “Anything that you can be doing to support the church in the Middle East, particularly in Lebanon is going to be a wonderful help.”
Header photo courtesy of Horizons International.