By Peter Wooding —
As the war in the Middle East intensifies and the region faces a devastating surge of violence, Help The Persecuted is on the ground as their teams minister to those fleeing into Lebanon.
Neighboring Israel and Syria, Lebanon is the most open country in the Middle East to Christianity. Many persecuted believers seek refuge there as a result, yet its economy has been in ruins over recent years.
Now, as Hezbollah launches more attacks, Christian families have fled from the southern border with Israel. In response Help The Persecuted is providing a respite for these families in their Safe Houses in north Lebanon.
They have faced so much, including persecution for their faith in Christ, even before the crisis began.
“We have been shocked by the violence we’ve witnessed in the region in the past few weeks. But we have seen God’s grace that we already had safe houses ready to provide refuge to these persecuted Christians caught in the crossfire,” explains Help The Persecuted CEO and President Joshua Youssef.
“We have also seen God’s timing and grace that the vegetable farm we recently established has enabled us to feed literally thousands of devastated people.
“Our offices in Syria and Egypt also stand ready to support many more persecuted believers if the conflict continues to escalate.”
In the coming weeks and months Help The Persecuted will focus on providing:
- A Safe Place to Sleep
|Their Field Ministry Team is preparing to launch a new ministry centre where they can host larger numbers of Christian families—offering practical help from beds to food, and clothing, the pastoral care of our team, and connections to local churches. In addition, we will work with local government shelters, providing practical essentials and spiritual encouragement for residents.|
- Nutritious Food
|They are planning to double the capacity of their Seeds of Hope farm operations! Their farm on the outskirts of Beirut successfully provides vital fresh food to thousands of persecuted and vulnerable people each year. They are also planning to increase their distribution of Emergency Relief Kits, which contain a month’s supply of food basics along with Bibles and Christian literature.|
- Long-term Hope
|As the conflict escalates, there is a strong chance that many will be displaced for a prolonged period of time. Through their Enduring Livelihood program, which has been successful for many families in Lebanon, they are prepared to help them rebuild their lives in their new homes through the dignity of owning their own small businesses.|
Joshua Youssef concluded: “Ultimately, we desire to share the hope of the Gospel. God has uniquely positioned us to Rescue, Restore, and Rebuild the lives caught in the midst of this conflict. We believe that there is always a reason to hope because God is sovereign over everything—even this.”