Lebanon beyond the blast: a call to prayer

A cross hangs mid air in a poor district of Beirut, strung between houses either side of narrow street

Our Lebanese partners and CMS mission partners in Beirut are asking all of us to pray for Lebanon, reminding us that the situation in the country was extremely fragile even before the blast.

From Beirut, mission partners Phil and Sylvie Good report that following the horrific explosion Tuesday 4 August, there is a “strange mixture of thankfulness and anger” with many Lebanese people feeling grateful that their lives were spared, yet upset that there was failure by authorities to keep people safe from what many are calling a preventable tragedy.

The Goods add, “Another great and probably more pervasive feeling is sadness and brokenness; many people have known violent explosions in the past and have traumatic memories. Feelings are stirred and sometimes difficult to process. The feeling of hopelessness was everywhere before; now it is much greater.

“In some ways it is a continuation of the disruption caused by the revolution and COVID-19. The future of the economy was already very bleak. It is possible that this problem is so big that the difficult transformations required in the economy may be allowed to start.

“There are many Christians here and there is much physical work to do; [in the midst of activity] pray for people to share God’s words of comfort. Pray for churches to work together. As for us, while it is safe to be here and we can support people, we will stay. They are shaken and we remind them that there is a greater security to be found in God.

“As for churches we are connected to here, the Resurrection Church is raising funds to help people rebuild and find medical support if necessary; they are responsible for around 800 refugee families and are key workers in the community. Life Center church, which was empty at the time of the blast, has suffered a lot of damage. Many windows are broken, the suspended ceiling has come down and equipment has been thrown to the floor. The Church has a very strong message of hope and comfort and will be needing to receive mercy and pass it on.”

Also in Lebanon, mission partners Audrey and Colin Gibson concur that there is much to pray for: “We ask you to join us in prayer for Lebanon which has literally been brought to its knees after the colossal explosion in the port area. Give thanks for the rescue and recovery workers, both local and international groups, working tirelessly at the site of the explosion, and for many NGOs helping to alleviate the overwhelming needs for shelter, food and clothes. Many hotels and conference centres are offering safe accommodation for people.

“Please pray for an outpouring of God’s comfort and peace on those who mourn the loss of the 150 known dead (number likely to increase as the rescue and recovery operation continues). Pray for a touch of the Holy Spirit on everyone who feels broken, despairing and hopeless. Also pray for healing and peace for the 5,000+ who have been injured and pray that there will be enough medical personnel and supplies for immediate needs. [There will also be mental health needs] so pray for mental health care to be available.

“Pray for the safe short- and long-term accommodation for 300,000 suddenly homeless people and that there will be a coordinated response to food relief.

“May this catastrophe be a catalyst for change in this land. May God have mercy and may his will be done in Lebanon.

“Please pray for our work colleague H, a young Christian man who is now on the brink of suicide as he has reached rock bottom, saying, ‘I wish I had died in the explosion.’ And pray for a friend of Colin’s who is currently in a coma in ICU with a serious head injury from the blast.

“Pray that God would grant us strength and wisdom as to how to prioritise our time and energy.”

Please join us in praying for the Gibsons and the Goods and all our local partners in Lebanon.

If you feel prompted to give, please click on the donate button below.  Your gifts will be allocated first to support CMS mission partners who are responding to the needs in Beirut.  Additional funds raised will support the relief work of our partner organisation Resurrection Church Beirut.

Published 7 August 2020
Europe, Middle East and North Africa

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