Jaime Abraham, who leads Tearfund’s work in Lebanon, looks back on the Beirut blast and shares an update on what is happening, as well as an invite to keep praying for the people there – who need our prayers more than ever.
August 4, last year, was a day like any other for Jaime and the other residents of Beirut, until the unthinkable happened: ‘I was on the phone to my wife when I felt the ground shake like an earthquake. Then – “BAM!” – there was a massive explosion.’ The blast killed around 300 people and left more than 300,000 homeless, bringing the city to a standstill.
After the blast, Tearfund’s local partners moved quickly to help those in need. They were able to provide urgently needed essentials, such as food, hygiene supplies and shelter. The money raised through Tearfund’s emergency appeal enabled them to reach even more people affected, as well as adapt their support for the long-run to help the city begin to rebuild. This included supporting local businesses to get back on their feet and offering trauma support.
‘You are amazing, thinking about people like that. Thank you so much. You brought some life and joy back into this house,’ shares Serpohi, who bought medicines and food for her family with the cash grant.
Angel was pregnant at the time of the blast. A cash grant provided by Tearfund enabled her to pay for healthcare costs, and her daughter was born safely in hospital. ‘Even though life is hard, I have great faith in God for sending people like you to take care of me and my children.’
Hanging by a thread
But Jaime shares that life in Lebanon is getting worse with every passing second. The Lebanese pound has fallen in value drastically and families are struggling to pay for food, shelter and healthcare.
‘Our partners are also facing challenges in transportation due to scarcity in fuel. There are state power blackouts reaching up to 22 hours a day,’ explains Jaime. ‘Often, there is no WiFi signal, halting work communications. Generators are rationed, since there is no diesel.
‘The situation is incredibly hard for the people of Lebanon right now – they are out protesting in the streets. Please keep them in your prayers and ask God to bring healing to this country.’