Lebanon (MNN) — It’s been just over a week since a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, destroyed thousands of lives. A new report claims security officials warned Lebanese authorities two weeks before the blast. NASA released satellite imagery of the disaster’s extensive damage yesterday.
Pain is devastating and tangible, especially for those with connections to the port. “I used to work at the Port of Beirut in the container terminal,” Loulwa El Maalouf with the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary says.
“They were good years; I made many friends. At the port, you would meet Lebanese from all kinds of backgrounds. All different Lebanese dialects are there in one place,” she recalls.
“People work together as if they’re one family. There’s an interesting unity that is not found outside of the Port of Beirut.”
For now, Loulwa and others like her must set grief aside as they care for survivors in Jesus’ name.
ABTS shelters survivors
Nestled in the hills surrounding Beirut, ABTS offers solace from Lebanon’s ongoing tumult. First, the seminary grounds became a respite for medical workers battling COVID-19. Now, its dorm rooms shelter blast survivors.
“Around two weeks ago, we were able to send remaining students back home,” El Maalouf says. Lockdowns and restrictions in various countries prevented some ABTS students from traveling earlier this year, she explains.
“We closed the dorms, and we had no idea that [we would] have to suddenly open it again to receive families who lost everything from this blast.”
Less than 24 hours after the explosion last Tuesday, believers were ready to help those in need.
“[On] Wednesday morning, we were buying cutlery and cleaning all the rooms. Then, we started having some volunteers and staff painting rooms, washing and ironing the sheets for the beds,” El Maalouf says.
“It suddenly became like a beehive; everyone [was] working to prepare for the families.”
You can help shelter survivors through ABTS. Simply click here to donate and follow instructions on the page. Above all else, pray. Pray for families grieving lost loved ones, El Maalouf requests, and pray for believers working nonstop to provide aid.
“Without God, there is no hope. We need prayers; we need God to have mercy on Lebanon and remind us to always rely on Him. There is so much work to be done.”
Header image depicts ABTS staff and volunteers preparing dorm facilities to house survivors. Photo courtesy ABTS.