When we announced that we were working with local partners to respond to the crisis in Beirut, you stepped up to help. Because of your timely support, we have been able to provide relief and aid to families, individuals and churches that have been affected by the enormous August 4 explosion that left the city destroyed. Hundreds were killed, thousands were injured and hundreds of thousands were left homeless.
Our partners on the ground wasted no time, making sure to get out into the community to help clean up, deliver aid packages and spend time praying with the people they encountered. These acts of service provided even a little bit of hope for residents of the Lebanese capital, who have already endured multiple hardships, including a political and economic crisis, not to mention a global pandemic.
The Armenian Evangelical Central High School in Beirut was one of the buildings that sustained damage in the blast earlier this month. Our local partners spent two days at the school, helping clear broken glass and debris, and making sure to divide and sort for recycling.
They also spent time visiting houses in neighbourhoods in Ashrafieh (a district in Beirut), assessing the damage and cleaning up debris, as well as distributing aid including food packages, cleaning materials and care packages. Out of the visits came meaningful conversations with the people they interacted with. Every act of service provided the opportunity to share the love of Jesus and start to build authentic relationships.
There is still a lot more to be done. The people of Beirut are still dealing with trauma, unemployment, food insecurity, a lack of available medical treatment and heightened stress.