Stories of Pain and Hope in Lebanon...

Lebanon is back in the news. And, as is typically the case, it is not good news. A massive car bomb has been detonated in Beirut, killing at least eight people and injuring hundreds more. People’s lives, as well as buildings and vehicles, have been destroyed. It is another horrific instance of the evil of men intent on causing fear, destruction and death in order that their own selfish desires will be met.

Hours before the bomb went off, I visited Kids Alive’s work among children in a poor community in south Lebanon. The world in which these kids grow up is harsh. They live in squalid conditions, in ramshackle 'homes' without electricity or running water. Many have no legal papers and are therefore disqualified from local schools. Some end up begging on street corners. Life can be so immensely cruel to the marginalised and weak here. One of the boys in our programme and his brother were killed by a hit-and-run driver recently. Nobody came to help. Their father was forced to carry their dead bodies to the hospital in his arms.

Yet our New Horizons Care Centre is an oasis for children in this community. They get a quality education from our committed staff, and the smiles seen on the faces are testimony to how much this means to them. The Centre also provides medical care, clothing and nutritious snacks. More than anything, this is a place where these children are loved, where compassion is shown, where wounds are treated and hope is shared.

As I write this, television footage shows a child being carried out of the rubble in the aftermath of the Beirut bombing, blood spattered across his face. I am angry. What a world we live in. The story seems to get darker as each page is turned.

Yet this is the story in which we are called to have a part. Giving hope to those that have none. Showing compassion to the ruined, the hurt and the lost of this world. Speaking out for the rights of those that have no voice. Shining some of the radiance of Christ into the darkness.

Pray for those whose lives have been broken by the events in Beirut on Friday afternoon. Pray for peace and stability in the beautiful country of Lebanon. And pray for the precious kids that God has brought to us, that they would be restored and given new life – life in all its fullness.

Matt Parker

Posted on October 20th 2012

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