Lebanese Christians have driven efforts to help families and communities affected by the dockyard explosion in Beirut in August.
One church relief project has helped scores of needy families to receive comfort as well as clean-up and repair assistance.
A team leader reported, ‘Although Beirut’s explosion was so big that it has affected hundreds of thousands of people together, it was a personal spiritual experience for each one of them.’
He said team members keep hearing how people claim, ‘God saved me’, words which have helped the Christian volunteers to reach more people with the gospel.
The leader said, ‘This tragic incident opened the door for us to reach more people with the message of life, which is far more important than having a house.’
The teams have also organised an emergency home repair project for needy Christians and others whose homes became uninhabitable in the recent port explosion. This is being done in co-operation with handymen and volunteers from local churches.
The Middle East Reformed Fellowship has been engaged in the aid effort. Working with its local daughter organisation, Lebanon Reformed Fellowship, it has used emergency and reserve funds to meet desperate needs in a gospel-centred way.
Volunteers guided by professional carpenters and metal workers are repairing housing for the needy. All the work is done with oversight from local churches.
Operation Mobilisation (OM) has also been involved. Several members of OM’s team in the Near East have spent time in Beirut – close to the port area where the explosion occurred – to minister to those directly impacted by the explosion.
One OM worker said, ‘We directly identify those in extreme need or have met them indirectly through others.
‘In every case, we first listen to each individual’s story or situation, ask if they would like to be prayed for and, when appropriate, help practically meet a need or give a cash grant.’