News from Beirut, Lebanon

Where do I start? Words fail me

It is so hard to describe the devastation and overwhelming pain and despair that the people of Beirut have experienced from last week’s unbelievable explosion. And our partner schools are part of that. The explosion and subsequent widespread damage and pain in Lebanon is staggering and will be felt by hundreds of thousands for a long time to come.

Trivina is the daughter of Dr Riad Kassis, our Langham Scholars Program Director in Lebanon. Shortly after the explosion, she sent us a plea for prayer and asked us to share her message. What amazed me was her response when challenged about where God was in the midst of all this carnage, a bit like how the apostles felt when the boat was sinking and they cried out: “Teacher, do you not care if we drown?” 

Trivina said: “I believe the Lord was there last night… I saw Him in every little detail. I saw Him in the workers. I saw Him at the hospital. I saw Him in the friends who immediately came to our aid.” Trivina was in Beirut just a couple of hours prior to the explosion, serving at a hospital. It was partly destroyed and the area around her apartment was hit very badly, but during that, she could still see God.

Riad also sent me an update shortly after the explosion and asked that I share it with all our LeaDev-Langham supporters.

“This is a huge tragic event in the midst of our economic, political and COVID-19 crises. Several of our friends have been injured. The air over Beqaa is polluted due to the explosion. All Beirut hospitals are full. Wounded are transferred to hospitals outside Beirut.”

He finished with:

“Please pray for the 4000+ wounded and 150+ dead so far.”

Riad gave a summary of what has happened, which is overwhelming and hard to absorb. The damage goes far beyond the dead, missing and injured:

  • Wheat stocks for six months were completely destroyed
  • Dozens of churches and mosques were badly hit
  • Medicine warehouses in a key area of the city were heavily affected
  • Beirut Port has been almost wiped out and will remain closed for several months, adding great difficulty to importing anything which will result in severe restrictions on availability and cost of products in the markets
  • The state electricity company HQ was almost destroyed
  • Thousands of buildings and cars were severely damaged
  • Local hospitals sustained heavy damage and had to stop helping the sick and injured

Riad said that the health system will almost certainly collapse because it cannot absorb the wounded, that there has been lots of damage to personal property particularly shops, apartments and cars, and the financial losses will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

There will be many calls for help but one of the very practical things our partner school is doing is providing emergency accommodation at the school. Already there are dozens of homeless families that have moved in and need food and clothing. We have been asked for urgent help so that necessities can be provided, including food, clothing, and immediate personal health items.

Our friends and partners are responding in Lebanon, but they need you.

Will you help?

Could you find a special donation today of $25, $50, $100 or more that we can send to Riad immediately?

Give/Donate today

Can I also please ask you to pray with us?

  • Please pray for those who have lost their homes and loved ones, that they may find comfort
  • and healing.
  • Please pray for the doctors and nurses who are caring for the injured.
  • Please pray for the Church as it seeks to comfort and serve the distressed and broken-hearted.
  • Please pray for the People of God as they seek the Lord and humbly cry out to Him for mercy.

Just as Trivina said:

“I believe the Lord was there last night…
I saw Him in every little detail”

I am confident that God will continue to be powerfully present in the days ahead. Please stand with us and support the efforts to bring hope and healing to the people of Beirut.

God bless and thank you.

Russell Thorp

Executive Director