The beautiful country of Lebanon was home for twelve years. It was where my wife, Mel, and I met, and where our two children spent their formative years. It is a country that we love deeply, where we continue to have wonderful friends, and a place that we still feel a strong attachment to. Little more than a year ago we visited again as a family, enjoying the magnificence of Lebanon’s historic landmarks, basking in the beauty of the countryside and coastline, and savoring again the amazing smells and tastes of a Lebanese mezze.
The people of Lebanon have never had it easy, though. The long and bloody civil war may have ended in 1990, yet the ugly memories of its horrors continue to linger. When I first arrived in Lebanon, in the mid-1990’s, there were still very few buildings that weren’t pockmarked with bullets and shrapnel, and many people faced a battle to survive as the country struggled to pull itself back to its feet. Over the past 30 years, an air of uncertainty has continued to hang over this nation. Conflict and tension with its neighbors, festering internal divisions, assassinations, bombings, exploitation, a faltering economy, and a huge influx of refugees have all combined to create an ongoing sense of unease and insecurity.
And today, Lebanon is in the midst of another devastating crisis.
Decades of mismanagement, corruption and overspending have left Lebanon on the brink of an economic implosion as the value of the currency plummets, prices soar, food shortages grow, lawlessness increases, and whole communities spiral downwards into poverty, hopelessness, and despair. With the crisis accelerated due to the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment has rocketed – and there are forecasts that widespread famine may be on the horizon. The future looks bleak. It is heartbreaking to witness.
There are many Christian ministries and churches in Lebanon that are doing all they can to respond to the growing needs. In a country that has been plunged into darkness due to a lack of electricity, these ministries are determined to shine the light of Christ in the midst of the misery and desperation that is enveloping this nation.
One of these amazing ministries is Dar El Awlad, a place where we lived and served for many years, and where we continue to have good friends. Dar El Awlad has served orphans and vulnerable children in Lebanon for more than 70 years – including throughout the civil war – and today provides vital residential care to those that have nowhere else to go, a quality education to vulnerable and at-risk kids from the community – including numerous refugees – and practical help, hope, and the good news of Jesus to poverty-stricken, fearful families.
Would you join Mel and I in praying for the critical work taking place at Dar El Awlad? Friends there have requested prayer that they would:
- Keep their eyes on Jesus at this time and be faithful to the work that He has called the ministry to in the midst of such chaos, uncertainty, and fear.
- Genuinely trust in the Lord to provide for the needs of the children and staff, and that they would see and experience His continued faithfulness.
- Have clarity for the ministry of Dar El Awlad, identifying what must stay, what must go, what needs to change or be adapted because of the rapidly growing crisis facing needy children in Lebanon today.
Pray also for the church and other Christian ministries serving in Lebanon at this time. Pray that the country’s leaders would put the needs of its people ahead of their own interests. And pray that hope would rise again across this beautiful land.
For more information check out the following links: