Yesterday marked the grim milestone of two months since the Beirut port blast shattered thousands of homes and upended the lives of some 300,000 Lebanese residents living in the area.
People from our team have been serving the affected Lebanese almost the entirety of those two months since the blast happened. It has been an intense and physically-demanding period of service, but by God’s grace many doors have been opened and people helped!
We find that this week we are entering into a new phase of the response. The labor-intensive period of clean up and debris clearing is largely behind us. The last large team of volunteers cycled out a few days ago after helping clear the remaining big clean up projects we had committed to help.
Close Up And Follow Up
A handful of helpers remain on the ground that are dedicated to two things. Closing up the remaining repair projects, and helping the local church ministries with follow up.
As of today we still have at least seven open repair projects. The labor is being done by local contractors, but our volunteers are still needed to conduct quality checks and coordination. We are hopeful all of these projects will be done within a couple weeks before the winter rains come. The risk of the sudden torrential rains that characterize the start of winter out here goes up each day now that we’ve reached October.
We also have some volunteers helping to follow up with people that showed interest in ministry activities during the past two months. Some are visiting churches connected to the volunteer groups. Pray for them!
Thankful For The Labors Behind Us
As we hit this transition period, we can look back with thankfulness on all of the Lord’s provision – and protection – during the past two months of the blast response.
The food and water distribution tent is one example of that. What began small thankfully continued on and grew to help many people. By the time we closed down the food tent, we had made and distributed over 8,000 sandwiches. We had given out hundreds of paper Bibles, audio Bibles and Biblical pamphlets. We also estimate that the tent volunteers gave out approximately 23,500 bottles of water to thousands of workers, residents and volunteers down in Beirut. That food tent became a mainstay in the neighborhood for those months. It served a huge amount of people at a time when there were no functional stores or restaurants to provide enough food and water for all of the people in the area.
The debris clean up and repair work is another area we look back on with thankfulness. Over the span of these last two months, we estimate that we’ve helped clean out or repair over 50 different apartment units, homes, businesses, churches, schools or building common areas.
When we first began, we didn’t know how well received our offers to help would be taken by the locals, or how much need we would actually find once on the ground. We hoped to help at least a few homes, but the Lord opened the door for so many more than we expected!
Thank You To Those Who’ve Helped
There will be more updates to come as we continue to close out projects in this new phase. I do want to thank all of those following along and praying for us in this time as well. Without the support the Lord provided through you all, we would not have been able to do a fraction of this! We are thankful the Lord used our small team to help in this time, and we do thank the many different volunteers that made the long trek out the Lebanon to help out as well!
If you wish to be involved in any way, you can support TGI via our site, sign up for our relief updates e-mail newsletter to better know how to pray, or contact us if you are interested in knowing more about how to be personally involved.