Notes from Lebanon September 2020

An update from Colin & Audrey Gibson, our CMS Partners in the Lebanon Nearly seven weeks after the explosion in Beirut.

Nearly seven weeks after the explosion in Beirut there are still many signs of its devastating effect.  Even in the city centre the main shopping mall is still closed and there are many damaged buildings although the streets themselves are clear.  In the areas closer to the blast there are many NGOs helping in the rebuilding of people’s homes – but it will be a long and slow process.  Fear and trauma returned to many peoples hearts two weeks ago when another large fire broke out in the docks.  Thick black clouds erupted but thankfully this time the warehouse contained ‘only’ oil and tyres.

Lebanon 20200921
SKILD activity area for children affected by the Beirut explosion

One group whose needs are sometimes overlooked after traumatic events are children.  In response SKILD, where Audrey works, has set up a play area for children near to their main centre with a variety of different activities and games.  Therapists are also on hand to help children process their psychological needs.  Audrey had the joy of doing what she enjoys best – creating sensory activities and helping with the children.

Please continue to pray for all those affected by the blast, adult or child, for those injured, bereaved or made homeless or jobless.  Give thanks for the many people, from Lebanon and abroad, who are helping in many ways to restore people’s lives, homes and businesses.
Please pray too for a breakthrough in the process to form a new government, currently stalled by disagreement between political parties.  Without leadership there is little progress on resolving the deeper issues affecting Lebanon, not least the Covid-19 situation where the number of cases is rising alarmingly.

We are now in our last couple of weeks at LSESD – we officially finish on the 30th – though we seem to be busier than ever.  Audrey is helping her colleagues with ideas and resources while I have several reports to complete to donors.  We are also ‘handing over’ to others.  And then there are some ‘goodbyes’.  Last Thursday our CEO very kindly arranged a small leaving event for us at lunchtime.  Many people expressed kind words of appreciation and we received a beautiful table runner as a leaving gift.  It was a special time for us. 
Please join us as we pray that we ‘leave well’ from LSESD, especially as we hope to keep in touch with them in the future.

Finally, we would value your prayers:
For our immediate future – we are excited about the new opportunity God is revealing but also rather daunted if we try to think about everything at once.
For our son, who tested positive for Covid-19 last Friday.  Fortunately, so far, he seems to have nothing worse than mild flu symptoms. 

21st September 2020