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17 August 2020

Update: Open Doors partner, Pastor Nihad, asks for prayer for Beirut

Churches in Lebanon are requesting urgent prayer following the explosion that wiped out Beirut's port on Tuesday 4 August. The damage caused by the explosion will likely have a disastrous effect on the distribution of aid in the country, as well as the already-dire economic situation. Please pray for God's comfort, healing and provision in Beirut.


Thank you so much for your ongoing prayers for everyone affected by the tragedy in Lebanon last week. We have received an update from Open Doors partners in the region, and from local churches that are providing help, hope and practical support.

  • Open Doors partners in Beirut support Christians who have fled persecution in Syria. Among these refugees, several were injured by the blast. One is at risk of losing eyesight. We give thanks that, so far, there have been no reports of fatalities among the people Open Doors partners work with
  • Many refugees have suffered material damage to their houses
  • A church that Open Doors partners work with has also been damaged.

“The moment when the explosion happened, I was in my house,” says Pastor Nihad, an Open Doors partner who runs a church in Beirut. “Something like the shape of a mushroom appeared and it came in our direction – and, when it did, I got blown away with the air and the dirt and the debris.”

Comforted by Psalm 91

In the midst of this dramatic event, Pastor Nihad was reminded of Psalm 91, particularly verse 14: “‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him;   I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.’

Since the tragic event, Pastor Nihad has been taking food to those affected. Open Doors partners like Pastor Nihad will continue to help with prayer and practical support. Lebanon is also crucial to the support Open Doors partners provide to Syrian refugees in the region. Please keep praying for our local partners as they continue to provide spiritual and practical support to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the wider region. This support is particularly vital in the face of acute food insecurity caused by the damaged port not being able to receive imports of basic necessities. 

Beirut

Beirut in the aftermath of the disaster

Pastor Nihad asks Open Doors supporters to keep praying for those affected – whether mourning, injured or whose houses have been damaged.

“The light been shocked and saddened by the devastating explosion in the port area of Beirut on Tuesday. The country is already on its knees due to ongoing political unrest, economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. The impact of this explosion will certainly make the situation worse; a lot of supplies came through the harbour that was destroyed, and not having it will increase food insecurity for everyone.


10 August 2020

Churches in Lebanon are overwhelmed but responding to the vast need arising. While the work of Open Doors isn't directly affected by the blast, Lebanon is crucial for the work that our partners do in Syria. We are currently assessing what needs to be done to continue our work to support Syrian refugees. Please pray for God’s guidance.  

Young people in Beirut have already begun a clean-up operation. Local Open Doors partners have said there is a sense of community and new hope as the inhabitants work together.

A local believer said, “Maybe Beirut is physically unrecognisable now but trust me, seeing the youth volunteering and rising up, you will see Beirut in its glory.”

Psalm 34:18 reminds us that the Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Let’s lift the people of Lebanon to the Lord in prayer. 
 


Please pray
  • For everyone in Lebanon affected by the blast; in particular those who have been injured or who are grieving for loved ones who have died
  • For churches and Open Doors partners in the region and all those they serve; ask God to comfort, strengthen and provide everything they need
  • That God would pour out His healing and His Spirit on Lebanon.
Please speak out

Raise the issue of Christians who are last in line for Covid-19 food and aid. Post a photo on social media of yourself with an empty plate and a cross - however you want to interpret that. Tag @opendoorsuk, your MP and #TheLastInLine.

 

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