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  • The comments and opinions expressed herein on this web site do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and point of view of Lutheran Hour Ministries. Statements are made exclusively by the author and appear as written and have not be subject to the Lutheran Hour Ministries doctrinal review process.

Street Ministry

Due to all Bad things are happening in Lebanon, explosions, death, bad economy, inflation, refugees who are living in bad conditions… The MELM represented by Katia Sahyouni prepared a street outreach with the help of many volunteers who distributed Christian tracts, BCC enrollment tracts in addition to the publication “ Why Bad things Happen?” which is written to bring ease to people’s hearts. These were distributed in the heart of Beirut, in an area that is full of many ethnic people and different religious backgrounds in Dora, Burj Hammoud, Lebanon. Most of the volunteers were from the ETS participants who had a lot of enthusiasm to serve Jesus Christ through MELM, reaching out to people on the street, and spread the word of God and the Good News to the hopeless hearts.

While distributing on the street, a Taxi driver stopped his car, stretched his hand out of the window to take what we are distributing and said : “ Oh I thought you are distributing money”, I replied “ we are distributing the most important thing for life, more important than money!” than the people who were riding the taxi with him answered :” if what you have is the most important for life, than give it to us” happily I handed them the booklet and some other tracts. A big smile on their faces was drawn while they left. We pray that the Word of God works in the hearts of all people who receive it.

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Reaching out street kids

The MELM team represented by Katia Sahyouni visited “Home of Hope” in Kahale, an orphanage for street kids where we taught them a Bible story about “Jesus calms the storm” in which the kids learned that Jesus is the God of every creation, and as He calmed the  sea storm  to save the disciples , He will always listen to our prayers and help us pass the difficulties we face in our lives. In the moments of fear He is always there to calm our storm.

The kids was listening carefully and they interacted with the good news. Many of them prayed to Jesus asking Him to protect them, and forgive their sins. At the end of the program every one of them was happy to receive candies and “Jesus calms the storm” book story as a gift.

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MELM Holistic Mission to Syrian Refugee Children

The massive influx of refugees into Lebanon is crippling the already fragile economy and damaging delicate political and religious balances among the population. “This place will never be the same,” said Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand, and head of the U.N. Development Program. “Many of these people will never go home.”

U.N. officials estimate that a third or more of the people living in Lebanon will soon be Syrian refugees – 1.6 million in a country with a prewar population of just 4.4 million people – or, as Clark said, “The equivalent of the entire population of Mexico taking refuge in the U.S.”

Refugee camps are increasingly looking like permanent places as a new generation is rising in the camps with the births of thousands of children.

Many children are now struggling to find enough to eat, without the right medicine if they become sick or injured. Hunger, homelessness and terror have replaced school for some of these young people. Thousands of children are facing malnutrition as food shortages take hold.

MELM responded as much as it can with providing milk, cereals, sanitary and hygiene materials for children. We focused particularly on Fatherless children, and children that are vulnerable and in need of support and care.

MELM visited Camp al-Marj before and made a list of all the children below the age of one. We distributed two types of packages: Milk and diapers for babies, and milk, cereals and sanitary materials for toddlers below one year. Each package contained versus from the New Testament about the love of God manifested in Christ and quotes about love from Jesus. Once we arrived a long line of mothers was quickly gathered in from of our tent. The mothers were very grateful and thankful for our mission among them and wished we could visit them more frequently.

 

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Reaching Out Through Mobile Messages

“Did You Pray For A Miracle?” That is the booklet title that was advertised through Mobile messages reaching 5000 numbers. A booklet that suits everyone who prayed one day for a better change in his/her life, for a healing maybe, or, a job, a better circumstances, peace, or better situation etc… In Middle East people are praying for all the above mentioned cases due to the war crimes that are happening every day. The mobile messages touched people’s hearts and they called requesting the booklet. We pray that people find their hearts’ ease through the Word of God that is explained in the “Did You Pray For A Miracle?” booklet.

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Misery of Syrian Children in Refugee Camps

As the Syrian refugee population swells to about a million in a country of just 4.4 million people, and as more refugees enter Lebanon every day, there are fewer places for them to go. So the poorest and the newest end up in places where the landlord charges about $32 a month to live among in small tent settlements surrounded with garbage in the Bekaa valley. The picture below provides a clear idea of where the refugees are settling in Lebanon.

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Volunteers

The MELM as it works with Syrian refugees in Lebanon is underfunded, understaffed, and unable to provide many of the refugees’ basic needs. In order to fulfill its mission in assisting the refugees in the Bekaa Valley, MELM has to combine forces with local volunteers in organizing and providing packages to them.

When we arrived to the camp, a crowd mainly of women and children stretched around us to receive the relief packages, and each person signed that he received the package on behalf of his family.

MELM relief team donated many packages of food and supplies to these refugee needy families that have nothing. Each one of them was thankful and appreciated our missions’ love and care for them.

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Filthy kids and the story of Majid

Kids play everywhere. Most of them are filthy. Almost everyone wears plastic sandals, though some of the kids are barefoot.

In my several visits to the Bekaa Valley, I found many kids who circled around me indicating that they are hungry, others were just curious to see what are we providing, and few were intrigued to look at their images in our camera.

Not Majid. Although he remained nearby most of the day, he didn’t talk or come near me. I greeted him and asked if he goes to school. “I used to go to school in Syria,” he proudly responded, but that was “before the war started”.

He and his family were forced to leave their home and live as refugees. Majid’s father stayed behind “to protect and defend the family’s home”, he explains. (The tone of his voice suggests that his father is probably fighting with rebel forces against the Assad’s regime). Yet this political conflict is having a huge impact on the children and their prospect.

Meeting Majid and hundreds of other children refugees in these camps and hearing their stories make me fear for their future both educationally and psychologically.

There is currently more than one million refugees in Lebanon and the largest number among them are children below 17 years of age. The government of Lebanon allowed the children refugees to enroll in the public school system where there is space, however, only about 20% of children attend school regularly.

There displacement is having a huge impact on an entire generation. When you meet the children, you can still see the tragedy on their faces and the worry in their eyes.

It is frightening to realize that a lot of these children will grow up in this refugee setting considering that there is no sign of peace in the horizon.

MELM prays for peace and reconciliation in Syria and gives thanks to the gracious donors who support this important and necessary mission.

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Equipping the Saints Program in South Lebanon

The MELM organized an Equipping the Saints conference, on May 31, 2014, in south Lebanon Saida region in Mieh & Mieh church. The ETS program was for the people who are willing to cooperate with us in ministry, and willing to become volunteers. The ETS program included many sessions, most of them were about evangelizing in general and one session was about how to reach out Muslims. In addition fun activities and Biblical games and competition took place during the conference. The program was successful and all learned many new things. The participants were thankful for the training and showed willingness to distribute materials for the ministry in the near future.

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