Hikmat & Krista with Betine (L), Daniella, Marcus
‘For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has
destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…’ Ephesians 2:14
Dear St John’s family:
For the past several years Syrians have been seeking refuge in Lebanon from the war. Statistics now put the number of registered refugees at over 1.5 million (UNCHR).
Many have lost everything. In the midst of their distress, people don’t just need physical relief; they need relational relief. There is a deeper need for people to come alongside them, to share about Jesus’ love and live it out in the midst of their pain.
HBC (Hadath Baptist Church) visits refugee camps on a regular basis in various places in Lebanon. On one occasion, we met a Syrian mother who stoically shared how she lost her youngest child.
During a shelling, she grabbed her older two children to move them to another building. By the time she arrived back for her younger two children, she found the body of her baby girl in her other daughter’s arms, sniped through the head.
“It is in the midst of stories like this that HBC is entering in, bringing relief through listening compassionately and praying boldly.
HBC with its partners in Nabaa (a district in Beirut where many refugees live) distribute diapers, hygiene kits and baby formula to Syrian women. We also lead Bible studies and discipleship training.
Separately, the Women’s Ministry operates a weekly garage sale with items marked at low cost, allowing refugees to make their own purchases and maintain their sense of dignity.
Some of these refugees have been participating in our weekly services for over a year. With tensions from past conflicts between the countries, the church experienced some resistance when this new initiative began.
However, as time went by, it has been amazing to see Syrians and Lebanese worshipping together, serving one another and seeing Syrians taking on leadership roles, both in the church and in their communities. One young lady at HBC commented, ‘I don’t see the Syrian refugees served by our church…they have become part of our church.’
As Hadath members enter into the lives of those who have lost so much, with a people group where enmity has existed, we are witnessing a transformation in the heart of the church. Those who have lost have given, and relational relief, we realize, goes both ways.
Pray for us!
Hikmat and Krista pastor Hadath Baptist Church (HBC) in the Lebanon.
The Kashouh family are supported by the home group led by Harvey Rigby and Sylvia Pemberton, and also John and Debby Bridge’s home group.