Last year, a horrific explosion at the Port of Beirut placed the spotlight on the decades long struggles of Lebanon. Tons of ammonium nitrate, abandoned in a port warehouse for years, were ignited by an uncontrolled fire. The resulting blast ranks as one of the largest nonnuclear explosions in history, leaving 300,000 people homeless. Tragically, things have only gotten worse.
Lebanon’s fractured government took over a year to rebuild. Their nation is facing a pandemic, sectarianism, bankruptcy, endemic corruption, a refugee crisis, 22-hour power blackouts, and an empowered Hezbollah. No one has been held responsible for the explosion. The Lebanese pound has lost 90% of its value in the last several years alone. There is a triple digit hyperinflation. The World Bank assessed the situation as belonging to the world’s top three of “most severe crises since the mid-nineteenth century.” In its present state, it is considered by many experts as ungovernable.
But not everyone has given up on Lebanon. In August this year, missionaries from Every Nation Philippines landed in Beirut. Armed with the message of hope of the gospel, they are reaching young Lebanese and giving them a sense of purpose.
According to lead church planter Franco, “People are dismayed and losing hope over the domino and snowball effects of sectarianism and disunity in government and society. Despite the challenges and hardship, God is turning all these into something beautiful. He is opening doors for the gospel to be preached, and people from all walks of life and religions are coming to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Lebanon may not be in the best situation, but now is the great season of harvest.”
Jeng, a veteran missionary, added “COVID is the least of the problems here. Imagine a life without electricity and traffic lights, where thousands of people are without jobs, there is no school and no government, there are refugees, as well as constant threats from the Hezbollah, people are unable to withdraw money from the bank, prices change every few days, and there is no help from the government. You really need the grace of God every day.”
In Isaiah 29:17 it was prophesied, “Is it not yet a very little while until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest?” Let us stand in the gap for the people of Lebanon. No government can turn their situation around, but as they begin to turn to God, let us pray for God to deliver them mightily.
- Intercede for a new government that will unite in serving its people and rebuilding the country. Pray that they would have the wisdom to halt the downward spiral of the economy and runaway inflation. Ask God to either convict or remove the government leaders who have plundered their nation.
- Pray for a spirit of unity to change the prevailing culture of division brought by religious and social sectarianism.
- Part of its problem is the huge economic and social impact caused by its open door policy on refugees, with over 1 million refugees from Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Ask God to bless Lebanon as it has become a place of refuge for millions of innocent victims of conflicts in the Middle East.
- Pray for the hearts of the Lebanese to become more open to the gospel. Intercede for favor and protection for our missionaries are they preach the gospel and plant a church.
Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.
We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.
To learn more about the situation in Lebanon, you can check the news and resources in the links below.
- The Conversation article about the ongoing, and worsening, crisis in Lebanon
- World Bank overview on the Lebanon crisis
- An explainer from Reuters on how bad the situation is in Lebanon
- Aljazeera article on the unprecedented hunger that resulted from price hikes in Lebanon
- Smithsonian Magazine article on how big the Beirut Blast really was