Tragedy strikes Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Source:            www.MNNonline.org

Date:               December 23, 2013

 

Many Syrian refugees who escape across the border into Lebanon end up living in ramshackle camps like this one in the Bekaa Valley.  (Image, caption courtesy Christian Aid)

Many Syrian refugees who escape across the border into Lebanon end up living in ramshackle camps like this one in the Bekaa Valley.
(Image, caption courtesy Christian Aid)

Lebanon (MNN) — As Winter Storm Alexa swept through the Middle East in recent days, it left tragedy in places like Bekaa Valley. The United Nations says Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, was one of the areas hit hardest by this storm.

Snow, rain, high winds, and sub-zero temperatures has been hitting thousands of Syrian refugee families huddled in whatever shelter they can find: tents, abandoned buildings, garages. Whatever the structure may be, it certainly lacks adequate heating.

Cedar of Lebanon, a ministry helped by Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions, ministers to around 2,000 Syrian refugees in a small area of Bekaa Valley. During a recent visit to the ramshackle refugee homes, Gospel workers came across six children who had frozen to death.

The same fate that claimed these children could take hundreds more in the coming days; many kids will be “adversely affected” by low body temperatures and frostbite.

(Image courtesy Christian Aid)

(Image courtesy Christian Aid)

As shown in these pictures sent to Christian Aid from their in-country partners, Syrian families are facing the harsh winter in sandals and summer clothing. Refugees ministered to by Cedar of Lebanon are living in flimsy tents and since there are often no beds, children often sleep on the floor.

“This week I visited seven different families and I am seeing that the needs are increasing from week to week,” one Gospel worker tells Christian Aid.

“Several of the families I visited had received new relatives, and even more family members are living in the same house, with 15-20 people living in the same small room.”

Christian Aid is sending $10,000 to Cedar of Lebanon so they can help refugees in Jesus’ name. The funds will be used to provide blankets, warm clothing, shoes, socks, boots, heaters, and more.

This funding may seem more than adequate in Western eyes, and Christian Aid says their partners will certainly be grateful for the assistance. However, in reality, $10,000 of emergency aid is only a drop in the bucket.

(Image courtesy Christian Aid)

(Image courtesy Christian Aid)

Click here to help send more winter aid. A gift of $10 will help a refugee receive proper winter clothing and shoes, while $65 can provide a mattress, pillow and blanket.

Pray that Syrian refugees will receive the help they need in this desperate time.

As Cedar of Lebanon distributes aid to refugee families, they also invite them to church for a Sunday lunch. At this time, a short evangelistic program is presented. Pray that many will come to faith in Christ through this outreach.

“Words cannot express how hard and difficult the situation is,” one of Christian Aid’s partners says. “It is a huge difference from what I saw two months ago.”

Pray for encouragement and strength for Lebanese believers working to help the Syrian refugees. Pray they will not be overwhelmed by the massive amount of need.

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