Lebanon (MNN) — Winter packs a punch in Lebanon. Back-to-back storms in January buried makeshift refugee settlements. Temperatures continue to plummet in Syria while resources move farther out of reach. The same is true in neighboring Lebanon.
Nuna from Triumphant Mercy Lebanon says snow is typical. But local reports describe the weather this year as strange. “We have another storm arriving; it’s like a storm after storm after storm. We hardly get out of one, and we start another one,” Nuna says.
“They said that these (storms) are coming from the Arctic, so this is a really unusual winter, unusual cold.”
It’s wreaking havoc on Lebanon’s most vulnerable populations. “You have the elderly who have no heating; the refugees who are under tents, the sick, the handicapped,” Nuna says.
“Many people don’t have any kind of heating system whatsoever.”
Roughly 1.5 million refugees live in Lebanon, and over 75-percent of the total population has fallen into poverty. More about that here. “With the financial crisis, the economic crisis, it’s very, very hard for people to find a way to warm themselves,” Nuna says.
“We even hear of people who are dying from cold [because] they cannot afford to buy fuel to heat themselves.”
A gift to Triumphant Mercy Lebanon provides emergency aid. Most importantly, it introduces people to “El Roi” – the God who sees. Teams tell people, “God has not forgotten. God has seen your misery, God has seen how much you’re suffering, and this is why we’re here,” Nuna says.
“They know we are believers, that we are doing this because of the love of Christ.”
Header image is a representative photo depicting the Ain Zhalta cedar forest in winter 2016. (Wikimedia Commons)