Pray with Lebanon, February 28, 2021
Lectionary Selection: Psalm 22:23-31
Prayers for Lebanon
Honestly, God, sometimes you feel too far away. In this time of global crises, of pandemic deaths and lost jobs and continuing violence, we can find ourselves asking – where are you? You promised that you’d show up and keep showing up for us. But I confess that it’s getting harder to trust that you are still at work with us.
In truth, God, life in Beirut is hard. People here have faced more crises in the past year than any person should face in a lifetime. Please be with the thousands of people who are still struggling to recover from the devastating August 4 port explosion, whose homes are not yet rebuilt and whose injuries have not yet healed. We need your presence now more than ever.
Some days, it feels miraculous that, despite it all, people continue to do your work in the world. Thank you for these people, and continue to provide courage and strength to everyone fighting for justice – volunteers who have dedicated their time to rebuild Beirut and distribute food parcels, doctors and nurses tending to COVID patients, and all those who speak up for those whose voices are unheard, demanding personal freedom and government accountability. Thank you for these sparks of hope, these reminders that you’re still here. Remind us that we can also be your embodied presence in the world. Help us to find the ways that we can best show up for our communities.
Help us to remember that even now, you are here with us. Help us to feel your holy presence, comforting and energizing, as we face each new day’s challenges. As we grieve for all that we have lost, hold us. And when we decide it’s time to make a change, strengthen us.
Mission Moment from Lebanon
Although we have entered a new year, Lebanon continues to face the same intersecting crises it has been facing for the past year: pandemic, economic collapse, and political upheaval. In mid-January, the country returned to a full lockdown in response to an alarming spike in COVID rates during the holiday season. This return to lockdown has only exacerbated other problems facing the country. For families and small businesses who were already struggling to make ends meet, this lockdown is the final blow. Still, other families are now confined to homes that are still awaiting repairs after the port explosion. The tensions boiled over in recent weeks with a series of demonstrations across Lebanon, most notably in Lebanon’s second-largest city, Tripoli. While these protests were billed as “anti-lockdown protests,” in reality they were the cries of people who could not feed their families and didn’t know what to do. In one heartbreaking story, a man left his young daughter with Lebanese security forces because he could no longer afford to care for her himself.
Immediately after the August 4 explosion, aid from around the world came flooding into Beirut. However, as the months have passed, this aid has slowed to a trickle, and the burden for providing continued support has fallen increasingly on local community organizations and Lebanese NGOs. The Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue (FDCD), a partner of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, has significantly expanded its humanitarian aid program in Lebanon following the August 4 explosion. With generous support of the Disciples and UCC through Global Ministries, the FDCD has been able to distribute over 3,000 food parcels to families across Lebanon between October and January.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Leda Zakarison
Mission Partners in Lebanon:
More information on Lebanon: https://www.globalministries.org/lebanon
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.
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