Tearfund’s CEO Nigel Harris has just visited Lebanon, where he met some of the 1.5 million Syrian refugees living there. He wrote a diary of what he saw and heard, including some tragic stories and one remarkable tale of God’s provision.
‘It’s 40°C and I’m standing in the Beqaa valley, 15 minutes by car from the Syrian border. Behind the range of mountains on my right is Syria itself. A vicious war has been raging for more than five years there and at the very least, a quarter of a million people have died.
SCATTERED AWAY FROM HOME
‘Here in Lebanon, the population was four million in 2011 before the war in Syria. Now it’s more than five and a half million, swollen by desperate refugees. That’s the equivalent of the UK taking in 20 million refugees.
‘We’re visiting a tented settlement where our partners are distributing supplies to people in desperate need. Refugees are scattered all over Lebanon, some in tents, others in half-built houses, tiny one-room apartments or disused commercial buildings.
‘I hear so many personal accounts – these are the stories behind the statistics and so many of them are heartbreaking. Khalil and his wife invite us into their home and tell us how they fled their village near Aleppo as the rockets began to fall. In the chaos of gunfire and explosions, their seven-year-old daughter was killed.
‘But there are other stories too and these are ones that offer hope…