Lebanon (MNN) — Syrian refugees become the “crisis within a crisis” as Lebanon inches closer to collapse.
Lebanon houses the most Syrian refugees in the world, and 90-percent of them live in extreme poverty. Single mom households struggle the most; 68-percent resort to “crisis-level coping mechanisms” like child marriage, child labor, or selling their kids to buy food.
“When you live at extreme levels of poverty, your thinking is ‘warped,’ and unless you have Jesus, you’re going to go down this warped road,” Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema explains.
“Eventually, that road is going to lead you to sell your children, [or] letting your girls sell themselves because they can make money.”
Heart for Lebanon offers a different path through relief aid and family-based programs. More about that here. “Our access ministry leads us to build relationships, and that relationship is the bridge for spiritual healing,” Atema says.
To avoid the pitfalls associated with extreme poverty, Heart for Lebanon introduces Syrian refugees to a new way of thinking. Misery fills and pervades Syrian refugee camps. Believers present a God who values people so much He sent them a Savior.
Value change doesn’t happen overnight, but it can transform refugee families. “We spend a lot of time in Bible studies and discipleship with both children and moms,” Atema says.
“Everything takes time. It takes patience [and] understanding, so if you pray for our team to have a fantastic dose of wisdom from God today, that’d be awesome.”
Connect with Heart for Lebanon here to support their work among Syrian refugees.
“You can go to our website [and] invest in the journey that God has assigned as we work with women and children to prevent them from going down this road, [and] to share with them the love of Jesus Christ,” Atema says.
Misery fills and pervades Syrian refugee camps. Believers present a God who values people so much He sent them a Savior.(Photo courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)