BTJ Disaster Relief Effort in Beirut
The situation in Beirut is at a critical level and urgent help is needed after a massive blast destroyed most of the city on August 4, 2020, leaving 177 dead, 6,000 injured, and more than 300,000 people homeless. One witness said the explosion was like 15 years of war in 15 seconds.
BTJ missionaries were among the first to respond. BTJ has been working in Lebanon for several years providing support and feeding the hungry, so they were on the ground ready to help.
What most people do not know is that Lebanon was in a crisis long before the explosion. In 2019, about half of the country was living below the poverty line and more than half a million children were starving to death. Now, after the blast, that number is expected to rise exponentially.
“The situation in Lebanon has been bad for a long time,” one BTJ missionary in Beirut said. “The price of food has been going up and the people do not have any money. Two things are needed right now – bread for their body and Bread for their life.”
The destruction is not only in Beirut. It goes on and on for miles. Three major hospitals are out of action and less than half of all healthcare centres can provide full services. Grocery stores are empty. Transportation is mostly shut down. Government services are out of order. Violent protests are now taking place in the streets.
For so many, it feels like the end of the world. This is why BTJ missionaries are taking a personal approach. They immediately began going from home to home providing emergency care packages to those in need. We are not doing mass distribution, but instead trying to build relationships with individuals that are suffering the most. We might not be able to help everyone, but those that we are helping – we want to really help them.
BTJ missionaries are providing aid packages with food, cooking oil, and sanitation items. They are also handing out food vouchers and helping clean up the disaster area. They have helped to purchase doors and windows and rebuild homes to make them livable again.
Through the support of BTJ Gatekeepers, BTJ will continue working in Lebanon to help those in the most need. BTJ GateKeepers are monthly partners that enable missionaries to immediately respond to disasters like the one in Beirut. To learn more about becoming a BTJ GateKeeper simply go to www.backtojerusalem.com/gatekeeper