Quarterly highlights – Q2 2021July 12, 2021
God never abandons His childrenOctober 8, 2021
Mary and fellow church members on their way to visit some families they help in their neighborhood
Our church was very small to start with and as it grew, we had to build a bigger church. We first started our relief work at the beginning of the refugee crisis in Lebanon, with an education program for Syrian refugee children who were out-of-school. We realized that they arrived in the morning without having had breakfast and we saw that some days they were fighting for a piece of bread. We started cooking hot meals at church for the Syrian refugee children around us. Now we have a shop where we cook free meals for elderly and needy people three days a week. We also have a clothes shop, a mini market, and a medical center. Overall, our church serves more than 500 families from our immediate neighborhood. The more families we help, the more families come to ask for help. With the recent economic crisis, needs have increased substantially. A lot of the people who were affected by the Beirut explosion are old people who have no one to help them.
The explosion broke all the glass of the church. It was simply dreadful. It reminded me of the years of the war, except that the explosion caused more damage in a second than 15 years of war. Despite it all, I am encouraged to see that it opened many doors for us as a church. We are now visiting families from various backgrounds, whom we never thought we would ever be able to.
Every day we visit five to six families to assess their needs and try to understand their situation. We feel blessed by this relief ministry but it is also a big responsibility. We take it very seriously and we want to be sure that the assistance we provide goes to the families who most need it.
We started working with MERATH right after the explosion, to help families in our neighborhood who have been affected by the blast. Thanks to you, we distributed food vouchers, hygiene kits, and winter items. We also worked together on the shelter rehabilitation project, helping fix around 50 homes who were damaged in the explosion. To this day, many vulnerable migrant workers are able to come to our clinic thanks to your support.
We believe the Church is not a building. There is a lot of poverty around us. We need to go out, visit the people in our community, get to really know them, and respond to their needs. There are many challenges, but as long as there is a need, we feel that we have to continue helping as much as we can. When we see the joy of the families we serve and their thankfulness, it gives us additional motivation. We know that we are on the right track.