The village where the church is located is in North Lebanon, very far from Beirut. Residents mainly live off agriculture. However, the economic crisis has put such pressure on farmers that they are no longer able to pay for fuel to turn on generators to water plants or to purchase seeds, pesticides, and the necessary ingredients to make preserves. As a result, farmers are seeing a decrease in yield and are no longer able to sustain their livelihoods.
Thanks to them, we were able to add a cow farm to our project, and we feel like the pieces of the puzzle are all coming together. We are now able to fully produce our own compost thanks to the cows’ manure. At the same time, we now have eggs and we started producing milk. The yield from the vegetable crops seems much better than last year already. It is true that we work hard, and agriculture can be tiring, but what a joy seeing our harvest and the fruits of our labor! We are so excited to be slowly but surely moving toward self-sustainability, so we can continue helping the most vulnerable in our community.
At the same time, this is a great support and testimony for our church, because we are building strong relationships with new members of our community. We get to know them and are aware of the challenges and difficulties that they are going through. Our church congregation is approximately 100 members and has been growing as people felt more and more supported by the church.
Before being involved in this project, I didn’t really believe in this type of ministry. I was convinced that our only duty as Christians was to share the gospel with words. But as I grew closer to Jesus, I remembered that His own ministry was twofold. Jesus used to have empathy and show mercy, and He would help, heal, and feed people from many different religious and social backgrounds, without showing partiality. Just as our God shines His light on all, we likewise need to show God’s love to all, without discriminations. We pray that we can always have empathy and serve others the way Jesus did.