The church reaches out as Hezbollah and Israel keep fighting in Lebanon

By July 27, 2006

Lebanon (MNN) — The conflict between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon has killed more than 400 people over the last two weeks. Peace isn’t even being discussed other than peace brought on by a cease fire. That would only bring temporary relief to the beleaguered residents on both sides of the border.

Christians around the world are also voicing their concern. The World Evangelical Alliance is speaking out. WEA’s International Director Geoff Tunnicliffe says he’s concerned about the loss of life. “That loss impacts all groups of people including the church. So, because of the massive movement of people — the refugees that are being displaced because of the war, that’s certainly affecting the churches that are in the region.”

While the war is causing hardship for many, Tunnicliffe says Christians are playing a key role. “Christian relief agencies are responding through the churches to help all the people in the region. They are looking for ways that they can directly help those that have been impacted by the violence or have been displaced, particularly for children.”

While the area is known for its Muslim extremism, Tunnicliffe says this violence can have a positive impact spiritually. “When you’re in a crisis and you have no water or you have no food or you have no shelter, people aren’t really concerned where it comes from. So, I think as the church continues to respond people will identify that Christians in the time of crisis really did help and stood with us.” Which could open doors for friendship and eventually evangelism.

Tunnicliffe is asking Christians to pray for a cease fire, “because, there’s been way to much loss of life already. So, we need to pray for that. And then, in the midst of that pray how the church might become a healing agent in the region, a messenger of God’s grace and bring about reconciliation.”

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