Lebanon: It Matters Who Shows Up
Bible readers may remember the “cedars of Lebanon” used by Solo- mon for the temple and by Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
This spring I travelled to Lebanon
to meet Christian leaders. I also visited
camps of refugees who have fled from
the Syrian civil war to Lebanon’s Beqaa
Ancient Lebanon was marked by several ancient empires, including Persian
and Roman. In the 1st century AD it was
central to the spread of the gospel, and
a Christian minority has hung on ever
since, despite being overrun by Muslim
Arabs in the 7th century.
In the 20th century European powers carved new borders, shifting the
Maronites) to predominantly Muslim. The
constitution divided political powers between the two
resulting in a disastrous sectarianism
on our Knees
For basic facts
and suggestions to
incorporate in your
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that soon blossomed into civil war.
Today, surviving war and the ongoing
many rumours of war, flooded by refugees from Syria and elsewhere, Lebanese
people speak in quiet tones, wondering
what listening ears from Syria or its minions – Hezbollah in the south – might be
Refugee camps east of Beirut are the
uncertain home of some 300,000. Another two million Syrians are displaced
within Syria itself.
At the camps I met Syrian refugees
(and a few from Iran) and spoke to them
as they gathered outside their shacks. I
asked about their needs, then about their
views of what is needed back in Syria.
I also asked if I could pray. You should
have seen their faces light up. It was as
if I had given them a priceless gift. I told
them I was a Christian and would pray
in the name of Jesus. I reminded them
who Jesus is as noted in the Qur’an. In
the prayer I reminded them that He too
was a refugee, fleeing with His parents to
Egypt. This resonated.
I asked the camp leader to step into the
centre for a special blessing. Afterward he
asked us into his shack for tea, a common
sign of hospitality. He explained he was
a dentist from Damascus. And he began
asking about Jesus.
BrIan c. STILLer of Newmarket, Ont.,
is the global ambassador for The
World Evangelical Alliance.
provide food, stoves and other essential items to families fleeing to Lebanon to escape the Syrian conflict.
They struggle to find housing, food and jobs.
For more about how eFc affiliates are working in Lebanon, visit www.theeFc.ca/globalvillage
have fled the violence that began in Syria in 2011 by providing refugee families in Lebanon with food vouchers, hygiene kits and stove, blankets and fuel. It also contributes in
education, water and sanitation. www.worldvision.ca