Some Lebanese see slight economic improvements

By November 17, 2021

Lebanon (MNN) — The average Lebanese citizen now struggles to afford gas. It had been subsidized by the government, but the greed of some in the wealthy class put an end to that.

Andrew with Cry Out Now says, “It was subsidized, so low, so cheap that the people who were in power and people who had the ability were storing up gas. And they were actually buying whole truckloads and then putting it in a pipeline and selling it to Syria for profit.”

Some citizens are spending most of their paycheck just to get to work and back. It depends on if people are being paid in dollars, or Lebanon’s extremely devalued currency.

Some improvements

Still, the country has seen some improvement. Andrew says, “Our electricity has been so much better. It’s a night and day difference than over summer. And it seems like people are expecting that their salaries are going to come up. They’ll be able to actually have a living wage to be able to pay for their gas and to be able to go out and afford the normal things.”

But the crisis has exposed a deep rift of wealth inequality. Andrew tells a story from the summer of losing electricity in the city. Then, he travelled to a rich village in the mountains. “It was just a shocking thing to see. ‘Oh, you’re living your life normally. You even have enough electricity to run your twinkle lights.’”

Leave or stay?

Andrew says many wealthy people left Lebanon during the crisis. But he has seen Christians turning to prayer.

Even staying in the country can show the hope of Jesus to those who are hurting. “They genuinely can’t understand why would we be here? And in their minds, if you have the opportunity to leave, why wouldn’t you just go? They think, ‘If I could just go, I would go.’ Or you can choose to lean into the difficulty, which my experience with the Lebanese church has been.”

 

 

(Header photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)