God with us in the midst of uncertainty in Lebanon

Our new Head of Public Engagement, Emma Brown, and Director of Programmes and Partnerships, Jamie Eyre, reflect on the current situation in Lebanon:

In this time of Advent please join with us in prayer as an act of solidarity with our partners working to provide care and comfort to families living in really difficult conditions in Lebanon.

Lebanon conjures up a mix of images – for many the country is still associated with images of bullet ridden buildings during the long civil war or the capture and eventual release of western hostages.

In recent days and weeks, Lebanon has hit the news headlines again. Ordinary Lebanese are frustrated by years of corruption and mismanagement. Today Lebanon is one of the most indebted countries in the world.

Levels of frustration have prompted people like you and I to take to the streets to express frustration and a desire for change which will bring with it an end to inequality and a future built on hope and opportunity for all.  

It is often the case that when a country is in turmoil the poor and marginalised that suffer the most. Their circumstances simply do not afford them any kind of safety net, they do not have a Plan B.

Children with special needs in Lebanon are especially vulnerable to being marginalised and are often already excluded from community life. Embrace has the privilege of partnering with a number of established community based centres in Lebanon that provide much needed therapeutic and education services to children with special needs.

The difference that the work of these centres makes to the lives of children with special needs and their families is difficult to put into words. To put it simply it means many with special needs are able to flourish in their families and also in their local communities.

Events in Lebanon have a knock on effect on everyday life including access to essential services that many of us take for granted such as banking facilities. That creates a serious level of uncertainty for some of our partners as they faithfully continue to provide life giving care and service to their communities in Lebanon.

Advent provides us with an opportunity to remember Immanuel – God with us. In Isaiah 61 we read about the coming of Christ and the reminder that with his arrival comes the promise of good news for the poor and restoration for places that have lied in ruin.  This is what our partners in Lebanon are doing. Through their work they are turning this promise of hope and restoration into a reality in the lives of some of the most excluded and vulnerable.

However this life changing work is put under increasing pressure as the economic infrastructure of Lebanon teeters ever closer to collapse. This leaves some of our partners facing increasing challenges and uncertainty.

Our partners in Lebanon have told us that the situation remains very critical. They explain that 'there is an impasse between the protesters and the politicians who run the country. So far, thanks to God, the popular revolt (some say revolution) in Lebanon has remained peaceful. Please pray that it does not descend into violence.'

One of our partners has asked us to pray for Lebanon 'Things are spiralling downwards economically ... We are doing our best to manage but it’s been a big challenge with the strict limits placed on cash withdrawals. Please pray for Lebanon.'

It is our privilege to stand with our partners in prayer, to pray for peace and hope and a good future for their work in Lebanon.  Join us in praying for:

  • The continued safety and protection of our partners’ staff and volunteers as they continue working undeterred by the road blocks;
     
  • Wisdom, humility and resolve amongst those in authority, so that they may make decisions for the common good of all Lebanese people;
     
  • Calm, restraint, and an end to the isolated acts of violence that have marred the largely peaceful demonstrations;
     
  • Those on the social and economic fringes, including some 1.5 million Lebanese and around 76% of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon who are living below the poverty line.

We stand with our partners, as they pray amidst huge uncertainty. We trust in God and His mercy. Immanuel – God with us.

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