“This is the worst refugee crisis for many, many years. And the UN has described it as the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our time. Lebanon itself is a country that has received 1.5 million Syrian refugees.” So speaks Matt Parker of Kids Alive International.
And with those numbers still increasing day by day, around one in four people in Lebanon now are refugees, mostly from Syria. Life in Lebanon for these Syrian refugees is often a day to day struggle to simply survive.
According to Parker, “A lot of these refugees are living in squalor. Many of them are just in temporary tents, and they really have no hope of returning home any time soon.”
“Of course, it’s the kids that really suffer in these situations. Children are at risk of forced marriages, at risk of hunger, violence,” says Parker. “Many of them have no opportunity to go to school. They face discrimination. A lot of them are just ending up on the streets.”
But last year, Kids Alive started their Oasis Refugee Centre, where children are able to continue their education, receive food, daily care, and learn about the love of Christ. Right now, they’re keeping around 100 children off the streets.
“The kids are really making excellent progress academically. We are seeing their health improve. We’re seeing self-esteem grow. And we’re so encouraged to see these children recognising the love of God … They come into our programme, and they’re struggling. They’ve seen so much; they’ve experienced so much pain. But … as they receive love and care and support on a day-to-day basis and they have the security of the ministry, we see great changes in their lives.”
- Give thanks for the work of Kids Alive, and many other similar ministries set up to reach out to and help refugee children and families.
- Pray for the children in these programmes, for the love of Jesus to fill their lives with helping and hope, and for many to come to put their trust in Christ.
- Pray for Lebanon, as is struggles with the increasing numbers of refugees, compounding its problems with infrastructure and stability etc. Pray for good government and wise decisions.
- Pray for the Lebanese Church, to reach out to the refugees with the love and compassion of Christ.
Matthew 25 vs 40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”