Pray with Lebanon, November 21, 2021
Lectionary Selection: John 18:33-37
Prayers for Lebanon
Can you hear the shouting, God?
Can you hear the rumble in the streets, our frustration, our fear?
God, we need you to listen to us.
God, help us to open our hearts and our ears to listen to one another.
Help us notice whose voices are the loudest and whose are being drowned out.
And help us to amplify the least heard voices, so that they may reach those who need to hear.
We especially pray for your presence in Lebanon, where tensions are high and bubbling over.
Please be with all of those who are trying to listen, trying to work together to heal a nation that has been broken over and over again. And be with those who are not so able to listen, whose fear and frustration have overtaken them. We pray especially for those who were needlessly killed and injured during the violence on October 14. Please be with those who are healing and the families of those who were killed.
Lebanon is in crisis, God – please be with the country and her people as they live through a catastrophic economic crisis, and continue to attempt to heal from the devastating Beirut Port explosion. More than ever, the people of Lebanon need your guiding presence, your comfort, and your strength.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Lebanon
The news in Lebanon just keeps getting worse. A year after the Beirut Port Explosion and two years after the October Revolution that many hoped would usher in a new era for the country, Lebanese people are living in more desperate conditions than ever. Lebanon is experiencing one of the worst economic crises in recorded history, with inflation rates higher than anywhere in the world. Medicine, gasoline, and cooking fuel are prohibitively expensive when they are available at all. The fuel shortages are leading to longer and longer electricity blackouts. As the Delta variant becomes widespread, more people are becoming severely ill with COVID, but cannot access even the most basic medical care, because hospitals are closing their doors or demanding payment in dollars to cover the costs of materials and generator power. Families are having to make impossible decisions between buying food, life-saving medicine, and other necessities like gasoline, diapers, and school supplies for their children.
Amidst this turmoil and suffering, people in Lebanon are not staying silent – they are voicing their fear and anger, demanding change and accountability. Families of the victims of the Beirut port explosion, parents who can’t feed their children, cancer patients who cannot acquire life-saving medicine, protesters who are demanding government reformation – all are demanding change, and yet the situation is not improving. In fact, it is deteriorating by the day. As the situation gets more desperate, and people feel that their voices are not being heard, anger and frustration are growing.
The Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue (FDCD), a partner of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ through Global Ministries, is helping to channel this anger, fear, and passion into productive transformation at the local level. Through a variety of programs, FDCD offers workshops to young activists and changemakers, where they explore concepts of active citizenship, social cohesion, interfaith dialogue facilitation, and non-violent communication with professional trainers. At the end of these workshops, participants have the opportunity to write and submit their own project proposals with the support of FDCD staff, and several of these proposals are selected for funding and implementation. In doing these workshops, we find that young people have the energy and drive to create real change in their communities – they just need guidance and someone to support them in their work. We are happy to help uplift these young community leaders so that their voices, and the voices of their communities, may be heard.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Leda Zakarison
Mission Partners in Lebanon:
- Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees
- Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue (FDCD)
- Haigazian University
- National Evangelical Church of Beirut
- National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon
- Near East School of Theology
- Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Lebanon
Leda Zakarison serves with the Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue, Beirut, Lebanon. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, and your special gifts.
Make a gift that supports the work of Leda Zakarison