Lebanon (MNN) – Lebanon narrowly avoided a grey list of countries under special scrutiny by The Financial Action Task Force. Countries are listed for practices connected to money laundering and terrorism financing.
Tom Atema with Heart For Lebanon says leaders have passed the blame for the country’s crises. He says, “Now, what you have because of the corruption is Lebanese government saying all of our problems is all blamed on the Syrian refugees.”
Lebanon hosts roughly 1.5 million Syrian refugees but has deported thousands this year. Most immediately return because there is nothing left for them in Syria. Heart For Lebanon serves the physical needs of many refugees while also sharing hope in the Gospel. Read more here.
“I don’t want any Syrians to go back to Syria until they had an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ. Because once they hit that border here in a closed country, chances of them hearing about Jesus, never mind responding and being discipled is pretty close to zero,” says Atema.
Heart For Lebanon believes the solution to Lebanon’s corruption is a new generation of leaders rooted in God’s Word. That’s why the ministry pairs discipleship with everything they do and empowers people to use their gifts such as leadership ability.
“These men and women, boys and girls, that are coming up through a H.O.P.E. educational program, someday will be in places of some huge influence that will change the country,” says Atema. “Because there’s a new value base to it that’s rooted in Scripture.”
Some of these young leaders empowered by Heart For Lebanon are already beginning to have a positive influence and point others to hope in Jesus.
“We need to do humanitarian aid. We do that. But we’re not a humanitarian aid organization. We do education, but we’re not an educational organization,” says Atema. “We are an organization, a ministry, that’s all about the Great Commission. And to make disciples, it’s all about the gospel.”
Pray for leaders in Lebanon who will obey God and serve the people. Also pray for more Syrian refugees to hear and believe in the Gospel.
Learn more about Heart For Lebanon and how to support the ministry here.
Family Care is about helping families in Lebanon meet their basic needs while also helping them meet Jesus, in very real and practical ways. Header photo, caption courtesy of Heart for Lebanon.