Angels of Mercy Bring Life to Refugees in Lebanon
Adnan* is an 11-year-old Syrian boy whose father was a civilian casualty of war.
“His carpentry workshop was hit by a bomb during the war, and he died,” Adnan said. “ISIS came into our town and took everything.”
Lebanon was never a welcoming place for refugees after Syria’s civil war broke out in 2011, and when Adnan, his three siblings and mother fled there in 2013, they were shut out of housing, medical care and work.
Shiites in Lebanon often shun Sunni families such as Adnan’s. Most Syrian refugees barely scrape by – 76 percent live below the poverty line, and 58 percent in extreme poverty – and are viewed as a drain on an already fragile economy. The Lebanese government has begun shutting down refugee camps in an attempt to drive them out.
The problem is that there are still more than 995,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, compared with 1.1 million two years ago, and they continue to pour in.
Adnan is one of thousands of Syrian children who have lost critical school years. A break-through came two years ago, when two workers for an indigenous ministry visited them in their refugee camp tent.
“They asked us if we would like to join the school in the community center near our camp site,” Adnan said. “We started attending school immediately the next day. I love this school very much.”
With war’s trauma and lost school years, Adnan is still at a grade two level, but he is recovering lost ground and has found a more welcoming environment.
“What I like most about this school is that they do not beat us, and the teachers treat us with love,” he said.
Besides teaching kids, indigenous missionaries put on children’s programs that result in many youths and their parents putting trust in Christ for salvation; help refugees pay rent; and provide food parcels and medicines, along with toilet paper, diapers, soap and dishwashing supplies.
“Other practical ways our missionaries help refugees is by providing baby formula, gas for cooking, mattresses and sheets, appliances and help with medical bills and English classes,” the ministry director said. “Helping the people we meet with their practical needs enables us to freely share with them how Christ can meet our greater spiritual needs.”
There is more work than workers, and the ministry struggles to compensate them adequately.
“There are not enough workers to help in Lebanon with refugees,” the director said. “I could use 50 times as many.”
Please consider helping indigenous ministries such as this one to bring the love of Christ to war-weary refugees in the Middle East.
*Name changed for security reasons