Amid the human tragedy present in makeshift camps of Middle East refugees fleeing the murder and terror of the Islamic State, Christ makes His presence felt in offering hope, joy, and peace to children there through a Christian school.
In October our director and our field representative visited with Smyrna’s newest ministry partner in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. They saw first-hand the impact of the Islamic State’s devastation in the great number of Syrian refugees who live in that region.
Over one million Syrian refugees and tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees now dwell in Lebanon. Incredibly, this means they now make up 40% of the country’s population. While Lebanon has become an unofficial base for refugees, it is not obligated under international agreement to permit work or grant asylum because it is not a signatory to the 1951 UN convention on refugees. Many in Lebanon tend to view the Syrians and Iraqis as “displaced persons,” a status that makes the future murky and dark for these refugees.
Our Lebanese partner, Pastor “T”, established a Christian school for both Christian and Muslim refugee children. Given all they have endured, the opportunity to go to school and receive an education from Lebanese Christian teachers is a pure delight and privilege for these kids. Our team marveled at the simple joy of 200 children who appreciate being able to learn and grow with a curriculum that includes the gospel of Christ in a loving Christian environment.
Pray for God to open additional doors in this region for Pastor “T” to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” — Matthew 11:30
12/25 — Pray for the children of Muslim refugees at our partner’s school in Lebanon to learn about Jesus and place their trust in Him. Pray for their parents’ salvation also.
12/26 — Pray for the teachers and the headmaster (who was redeemed by God from his former enslavement as a member of the Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah!) at the school to have enthusiasm and endurance to teach so many children. (4 teachers for 100 kids for 4 hours in the morning, and the same 4 teachers for another 100 kids for 4 hours in the afternoon.)
12/27— Pray for the secret Christians in Lebanon not to be forced out of the Muslim refugee camps because they have nowhere else to go. Pray for their continued growth and maturity as disciples of Christ.
12/28 — Pray that the refugee families will be able to return safely to their homes in Syria and Iraq in the near future and rebuild their communities to live in peace.
12/29 — Pray that Christian pastors and teachers in Lebanon will look on Syrian and Iraqi refugees with great compassion and seize opportunities to be the aroma of Christ to them and, in so doing, advance the Gospel.
12/30 — Ask God to raise up many more Christians around the world to intercede for His Church in Lebanon. Pray for world leaders and government authorities to seek wisdom from God in response to the Middle East crisis.
12/31 — Pray that Christians in Lebanon will rest in the truth of who Jesus Christ is and who they are as co-heirs with Christ. Pray that they will daily recall His sovereignty.