Bekaa Valley, LEBANON — As the conflict in Syria turns eight years old, many headlines hint at the beginning of the end. Reports even indicate many Syrian refugees waiting in line at borders to return home. And in Lebanon, officials are still putting pressure on refugees to return. Why, then, are most of them staying put?
Millions of lives have been saved from fleeing the war; but for many in the Bekaa Valley, the horrors of war have been replaced with the hopelessness of life as a refugee. Harsh winter months in below freezing temperatures are giving way to the sweltering heat of summer. As the snow melts, the refugee camps turn to mud.
The children who are lucky enough to be able to go to school struggle through the sludge just to have the chance at an education and a future. But they still return to their tents that lack running water (since permanent facilities are forbidden to dissuade these families from staying). While they dream of Syria’s prewar beauty, the sad truth for this next generation is they will likely never experience that anytime soon.
staying in Tents without Plumbing Instead of Returning “Home”…
Call of Hope Frontline Workers are reporting that although some refugees are returning to Syria, roughly the same number of refugees are coming into Lebanon for the first time. Cities of rubble await those who choose to return home. Many more choose to stay in fear of punishment at the hands of Bashar al-Assad's government.
The overall feeling among Lebanese citizens and refugees is that this is now the home of the 2 million+ refugees that have fled to Lebanon. Syria’s future is uncertain. What is certain is that Syrian refugees need immediate aid: food, medical care, blankets, and the hope that only faith in Christ can provide.
At this pivotal time in history, Call of Hope Frontline workers are meeting the needs of refugees both physically and spiritually. Every week, refugees come to one of our four centers for trauma counseling, bible studies, food distribution, training for the blind and disabled and so much more. Each of these refugees has their own story, and thankfully, many have a new story to tell about hope in Christ. Refugees like Abed, a former fighter in the Syrian war:
Prayer and Support Request
Even now that the Syrian Civil War has ended, Frontline Workers will continue to minister to the refugee population. As God has done throughout history, he is turning tears into joy and desperation into hope! We are grateful for the stories of redemption that have come out of our ministry in Lebanon, but we know there is still so much work to be done.
To partner with us in Lebanon, you can sign up below to become a Prayer Partner and click the “Donate” button to give a gift that will go directly to support refugees by meeting immediate physical needs, and the most important need of a relationship with the Savior! On behalf of our Frontline Workers in Lebanon, we thank you for your prayers and support at this pivotal time in history!
Please consider giving a gift below and signing up to be a Prayer Partner so that we can keep you up to date in the future.