Lebanon (MNN) — Lebanon sinks to a new low. According to the United Nations, more than 70-percent of Lebanese now live below the poverty line. The rate was less than 30-percent before the 2019 revolt began. Nonetheless, hope remains.
“More people than ever are open to the Gospel. They’re searching; they’re coming and asking, ‘What’s the answer? How can you help me?’” Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema says.
“It gives Christians an opportunity to step up and be the salt and light God’s called us to be.”
Heart for Lebanon is rolling out a new ministry model this month. More about Heart for Lebanon’s work here. “We will be starting a new phase, partnering with 28 local churches in Beirut to help them minister to the people in their neighborhood,” Atema says.
“They’ve been adding numbers to their churches exponentially, numbers only God could produce.”
Partnership = paradigm shift
New endeavors also include collaborating with like-minded ministries in Beirut. “We have a unique partnership with SAT-7 moving forward in the new school year,” Atema says.
“This framework of partnership is extremely exciting for us in the days ahead.”
Teamwork is somewhat of a new concept in Lebanon. “That sort of thing is challenging in any culture, but especially in an Arabic culture or Middle East culture,” Atema explains.
However, one of the disasters that brought Lebanon to its knees led to a paradigm shift for many Lebanese. “After the explosion, we partnered with numerous Christian schools and churches in Beirut [for] cleanup efforts,” Atema says.
“Because of the explosion, they (Lebanese Christians) are now more willing to give up ego and as much of their logo as they can because they see the advantage of working together.”
The partnership model helps Heart for Lebanon expand its holistic outreach to 1,200 Lebanese families in the coming year. “All have been affected by the Beirut explosion,” Atema says.
“The economic destruction isn’t limited to one locality anymore. It covers the whole country.”
Find your place in the story
Pray Heart for Lebanon’s changes will help Syrian refugees, and the Lebanese hear the Gospel message. Pray many will turn to Christ as they see His unity and love on display.
“Pray for these partnerships with churches, that they will see the benefits. When God gets the credit, ministry expands exponentially,” Atema says.
“One of the best things [you] can do is pray for Lebanon.”
Financial support is critically important, too. Gifts to Gospel work go even farther than before because of Lebanon’s fiscal crisis. Support Heart for Lebanon projects here.
Thousands of families in Lebanon receive care, hope, and survival essentials through Heart for Lebanon.
(Photo, caption courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)