I sent this to some friends earlier this week and thought it worth sharing more widely. Please pass it along to people who might appreciate it.
A week ago, I was with a group of Lebanese pastors, about to return to South Africa. I’m still processing it, but I need to start sharing.
Lebanon is fairly well-off, but…
Since 2011, over 1,000,000 Syrian refugees have settled in Lebanon.
With no permanent homes, they make tents out of old billboards.
They have little to no furniture or insulation. In winter, it snows.
After seeing decapitated bodies while fleeing Syria, this boy now supports his family by selling tissues and cookies, making $1-2/day. He says… “The day is sometimes beautiful… sometimes not beautiful.”
The Lebanese government wants the Syrians to go back.
So they don’t allow any education programs for Syrian refugees. Most of them are not able to go to school.
World Vision and others are creating “Child Friendly Spaces” to help.
This sheikh is also doing what he can to educate Syrian kids.
The classes are filled with eager and ambitious students.
The girls hope to become doctors, journalists, and engineers.
And the boys, too, are eager for peace in their homeland.
21,000 people live in Shatila, a Palestinian refugee “camp” that is about as densely populated as Manhattan…but without skyscrapers.
Palestinians have lived here for 67 years.
They’ve built 7-story ramshackle homes with improvised electricity.
There are no windows in many homes. Asthma and allergies abound.
Despite all this, Palestinians are taking in Syrian refugees in Shatila.
Like this woman, a refugee who is cared for by other refugees.
And her daughter…
In addition to her own three children, this refugee has taken in two others who were abandoned by their mother.
She shares a bedroom with her mom and dad and grandma and her three kids and the other two kids she has taken in. They share this kitchen with another family.
His t-shirt reads, “the future will be better tomorrow.”
I’m not sure if this is a statement of hope or despair.
It’s probably both.
I wish I had something you could do for third-generation Palestinian refugees. Or these Syrian refugees. Or the Lebanese pastors who are leading the way to help. But I don’t…yet.
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