Preparing vulnerable communities for the COVID-19 Pandemic
Our partners shared that half of Lebanon’s 400 COVID-19 ICU beds are already full. Curfew is currently in place from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and all non-essential businesses are closed. Many hospitals are offering tests for refugees only at an out-of-pocket, high price leaving 1.5 million without medical care.
In the midst of uncertainty, our partners in Lebanon are continuing to hold onto hope. This pandemic affects everyone, but the vulnerable, the poor, and the marginalized are and will be hit the hardest.
Before the nation-wide shutdown, our partners, Heart4Lebanon acted preemptively. During their distributions and weekly Bible studies, they taught refugees how to stay clean and be aware of all COVID-19 symptoms. They distributed sanitizing and medical supplies, so the refugee populations they serve could be prepared.
Heart4Lebanon’s teams are finding extremely creative ways to stay connected with their refugee students and families. They have continued food distributions at appropriate social distancing, and distributed educational material for all their students now studying from home. Although most refugee families don’t have computers, many of them have iPhones. Through WhatsApp Heart4Lebanon‘s teachers are sending assignments and lessons and are calling every student’s family every night. They handed out hygiene kits to 2,200 families and are preparing a large distribution of hand sanitizer.
“Though we are not doing ministry as we did before, we continue to serve,” Heart4Lebanon shared.
Heart4Lebanon is also continuing all of their Bible studies and discipleship online over Zoom and phone calls.
“I can tell you, despite the fear, despite the worries among the refugee population, just like the rest of the world, we are seeing many people encouraged. Prayers are being lifted up,” Melki continued. “We have had a lot of people responding to the call of salvation on Sundays. And we celebrate that not the virus, but the awareness that Christ is alive.“
Please pray with us for Lebanon:
- Pray our partners’ teams stay healthy.
- Pray for continued creativity in how to continue school, programs, and Bible studies.
- Pray for the government to respond quickly and transparently.